Growing up on BMX bikes, I always loved a bike that was responsive, accurate, quick and maybe even a little twitchy. Somehow I went from BMX bikes straight into road bikes, completely skipping mountain bikes, the next logical step. But in the past few years I’d kinda been missing the more “sendy” ride of a BMX bike.
But before this, MTB’s just didn’t seem that interesting to me. I tooled around on a couple at bike shops and demos years ago but they never really sparked my interest. They were heavy and the suspension just seemed to suck the energy out of every move you made.
I had written MTB’s off. Well, fast forward, like forever, I own a fat bike. Not only do I own one but I really like it!
Then my eye catches a few hardtail’s on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook! Myth, Meriweather, Cobra, Cromag, BTR, Orange, Fuck Yeah Hardtail on IG, Hardtail Party on Youtube and others… Simple and nimble looking. The 27.5’ers in particular.
Fast forward to August 2020, I already have the frame planned out, we live back in San Diego and I’m riding beautiful trails on the fat bike. Time to get going on this hardtail!
I began to use a new tube supplier! Bike Fab Supply! Andrew has been so great with communication and quick shipping.
These head tubes have some serious meat to them! Now they’re internally and externally butted but the ID of this one is just straight thru. It took a fair amount more heat than the downtube here.
The easy half!
I had already done a couple things for this build in Minnesota before leaving. That chainring clearance flat plate thing is one of them.
First time using a sliding dropout. These stainless sliders from Paragon are so slick! Seemed funny brazing them with silver but bronze and SS don’t fly.
On to the chainstay/BB joint. Shawn Pedersen brought up a good point. Miter the chainstays to fit near the bottom of the BB shell and you won’t have to remove any (or as much) of the braze on the seat tube/BB joint. In other words, the centerline of the chainstays should be below the center of the BB shell. I will definitely take that advise forward! Thanks Shawn! #spreadsheet
Paul Brodie even says to only run a tinning pass on the back of the BB shell until you get the chainstays cut and ready to avoid having to remove ANY of the existing braze. Noted!
On to seat stays.
This part is usually my least favorite and most time consuming part of the build. I’m usually too cautious with how much I miter from the top. This time I got a bit more aggressive with it and got them both mitered in one evening.
Borrowed a co-workers back wheel to check fitness as I didn’t even have my own tires ready yet. Haha!
I like small diameter seat stay bridges. I also like them to be curved. Especially when there are curved seat stays. Straight bridges are fine for straight stays.
This took embarrassingly long to get it mitred where I wanted it.
Then something happened!
The fat bike I had been riding was no longer. Side note: I sent Framed this pic and they replied with a 20% off coupon code. I would have bugged out making sure the rider was ok but, that’s just me. Tells you what kind of company they are.
Moving along. This Pike outta fill the void quite nicely.
So happy to have finally made or bought what I need to chase, ream and face my frames!
A little chase / face here.
A little ream there.
And it’s ready for the trail! Well… Sorta. I had accidentally ordered the wrong brake side slider from Paragon but I was so excited to ride it I took it out without a rear brake. HIGHLY don’t recommend it but first impressions were VERY promising!
Once the slider insert came it went straight up Denk Mountain! Compared to the fat bike it’s 5-6 lbs lighter and you really feel it when climbing! The 65° head tube angle was a little funny at first but now it feels normal.
First impression: WOAH! SO fun!!! Front end is precise and light. It bunny hops quite willingly!
The short chainstays make this bike a DREAM on the pump track! I wish this place was in my back yard!!!!
I still need to add cable guides but once I get a dropper post I’ll figure out where they all go and get this puppy powder coated. For now I couldn’t be happier with how this bike came out!
Obviously, I’ll post pics when that happens! Till then…. HAVE FUN!
4 thoughts on “Fillet Brazed Hardtail MTB!”
Can you build me one?
Warning: I either dictated this to my device, or i typed it clumsily. Consider any typos or weirdness my gift to you. 😁
Jeff, I’m glad you like it enough to ask but I only build for close friends and family at this point.
Bike looks great.
I often end up with my suspension being set super hard because of riding BMX. I find so many mountain bikes just feel unresponsive because of the bounce.
I also love Velosolutions pump tracks, we currently help get them in places to help with poverty and anti-social behaviour issues. Which is pretty rewarding.
Yeah man!!! I’ve got a little extra pressure in the fork for my weight. I also only set the fork on “Open” when descending. It’s on “Pedal” or “Firm” most of the time.
The city of Oceanside, CA has approved a bike park like 5 min from my house. I really hope it’s gonna have a Velosolutions pump track!
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