I’ve been working on a new Cross frame besides the Frankencross (which I still love, even though I had to repair a break due to a crash on a singeltrack descent that broke a finger, as well as the seatstay on a rock). The new frame is designed to be more race oriented = a lower BB, shorter head tube height, tighter wheelbase and lighter tubing. I used Columbus Spirit tubes, which have some very cool shapes. The top tube, downtube, seatstays, chainstays are all dramatically shaped. For engineering purposes and definitely style purposes. It’s hard to see in the pics due to the reflection off the glossy pain, but the tubes add a nice design flare to the frame.
I also painted the bike myself. I wanted a more dramatic paint job that still looks a bit pro. I am not up for paying $1000 for a paint job, (cost if I sent it out) however I am up for spending 70 bucks on supplies and taking the time to do it myself. I am lucky that I have a 3rd car garage area that has heat and I can wrap off in plastic to keep from getting paint on anything. I have set it up with a fan on the bike frame for drying and 2 box fans over for ventilation. I also set up a small bathroom by our pool that is heated (100+ degrees) and ventilated as a drying room. (Thanks Meredith for the idea!) This all made the painting process much more professional and I was able to attain the best results so far. I used automotive professional paint (have to order) and it made a huge difference in the ability to really create a great paint job.
First ride out: 4+ hours on the bike in a windy fall day. I had a blast. It was so windy that I had a hard time getting a real feel for the frame. I am going to through some road wheels on it this week and see how it feels compared to the S3 frame. It came out about 1/4 lb. heavier pre-paint and it feels a bit more solid so far. Total bike weight with wheels is 18 lbs and change. I could get it down below 18 if I went with a nicer crankset, seatbost, bar, stem combo. Not bad for cross racing, especially when you get the comfort of steel.