Project Stinky

Project Stinky gets underway!

It may not be the most momentous start, but the first tangiable bits of Project Stinky are starting to arrive at the workshop.

More news on the base parts soon, but as a teaser, here's the first part to arrive - it's a stock Kona (Koski) Stronghold seatpost. 30mm diameter and 328mm length, bought for a tenner.

Talking of money (vulgar, I know) I'll put up a Excel spreadsheet of the various costs incurred during the build, in case it's of any interest or use - maybe you're building your own project bike and can learn from my mistakes? It's something I always do when building a custom project. If you don't, then (in my experience) you'll always be amazed at how much more you actually end up spending than if you just roughly tot it up in your head - even after it's complete.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 17:14

Bigger chunks start to arrive...

Now it's real. The frame arrived today, after a short delay in the post.

Rather than me bang on endlessly, well, you know what they say about pictures - so let's get some posted!



The first thing is that, as promised, it's orange (OK, and black) - but in fact it's not really as orange as it looks in the pictures, so it might just get a blow over with something a little bit more zesty before I call time. Secondly, although it came covered in crud and looking pretty sorry for itself, it actually appears to be in very good condition for it's age. I'll be going over it with a very close eye tomorrow to ensure there are no hairline cracks to any of the welds, but I'm feeling very confident that it's a sound buy.

I paid just shy of £150 for the frame, including the Fox Vanilla R shock and other bits you see in the photos. I have no way of testing the shock either on or off the bike at this stage, so that will have to wait until it's built, but it looks to be in fair condition externally. The spring compression is wound up as tight as a ducks Vanilla R's, but I'll reserve judgement on it's performance until the test ride. The spring is a 500 x 2.30.

There is nothing even remotely resembling a dent on the downtube, or any other part of the frame for that matter. No gouges either. The worst marks can best be described as paint chips, other than a little chain damage due to derailment and suck, so that's cool. There is no headset with the frame, the residual cups will be knocked out. I have a brand new FSA the Pig DH Pro headset on its way. I've used them before, and they are superb, with a sealed cartridge lower bearing race.

All the bushings and bearings look to have been replaced not too long ago, and I can feel nothing in terms of movement in any of them. Based on that, they'll probably just be stripped and cleaned as far as possible. The IS disk mount looks to be fine, the (detachable) mech hanger is in good nick, and the bottom bracket is clean with good threads (although they have a little gloopy residue which needs to come out.)

Seat tube is good, and fairly clean inside, but this will get a serious scrub and lube before the new post goes in. Seat clamp is included, but needs a new bolt (stainless will be strong enough for this application, I think) and there is also a clamp to facilitate the use of cable ties to route and retain the rear derailer cable and hydraulic hose for the rear caliper.

The primary swing-arm element is a work of art. Asymetrical, it looks very strange when viewed from the rear of the bike, but is beautifully constructed and in superb condition given it's proximity to both the drivetrain and the track. A fresh coat of paint, and it'll look a million dollars.

That about covers the frame for now. Just wait until you see the front end for this bike, which sould be here in a few days. All I'm going to say for now is BoXXer....

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 17:14

The Kona Dona

Been a while since the Stinky took centre stage, so I thought I'd reinvigorate the project log by injecting a few pics of the benefator of many of the remaining components. It's a Mission Quantum Leap. I paid around £280 for this puppy, largely, it has to be said, without knowing the exact specification.

Here's why.

Firstly, it had a wheelset & tyres etc. which I knew would really make the overall project work. More on those later. Secondly, it had the ubiquitous Hope M4 hydraulic brakes that I simply worship. Goodridge braided hoses too! These brakes are unreal. Once you have fitted and used these Hope stoppers, it will take something very special to tempt you away.

That's it. That's why I bought this bike. Those parts alone are worth more than I paid for the whole shebang (and the price included shipping from the other end of the country). Basically, everything else was a bonus, but I knew that there was a good possibility that the other parts wouldn't be rubbish. It just doesn't make sense to mix quality and trash.

Generally speaking, I was right. Some parts I'll use on PS, the rest will either hit the parts bin, or be used to advance other projects waiting in the wings.

Anyhow, check out the merchandise for yourself, and I'll detail it in just a minute.



OK, I didn't say it was pretty!

The Mission graphics department is clearly staffed by a goldfish using a ruler and a 1970's Dymo label-maker!

That, plus the fact that it was poorly described and photographed, is probably why it was the bargain it undoubtedly was. I find that poor photographs of bikes for sale can be a real bonus for the buyer. That may sound like an odd thing to say, but five minutes spent in Photoshop,  enhancing, lightening, sharpening and otherwise tweaking poor, dark pictures, can reveal the true nature of the beast. Bit like panning for gold really! You have to sift through a lot of poop before you find a nugget. Man, I wish I hadn't started this analogy. Sloppy advertising will really put other buyers off though, strengthening your position.

Right, the pictures have spoiled all the suspense and drama, so here's a run-down of what you can see above.

The wheels are amazing. Red anodised Hope Pro 2 hubs (rear is standard QR MTB item, not the 10mm bolted single-speed Trials version - it's running a standard, splined 16T single-speed conversion) on white Da Bomb 'Da Rim' 2011 downhill rims. These are currently £68 each from Chain Reaction! Front hub is 20mm bolt-through. Stainless spokes, black nipples. Nearly new Maxxis Holy Roller 2.4" x 26" tyres (nice twist!)

The rear brake rotor is shocking. It's going directly in the bin. You can put a permanent bend in it with one finger <<shudder>>. Better news up front though. A 200mm Hope SAW floating rotor with black carrier! {Makes mental note to find matching 180mm rear, at any cost...}

Onto the forks. Won't be using them on this project, as I have a pair of 2004 Team Boxxers lined up. No you can't see them. That's the next instalment! These forks are scruffy as hell, but of decent quality. They are 2004 Rock Shox Psylo SL's (cost £200 back in the day). They employ the U-Turn system of travel restriction, and can run anything from 80mm to 125mm of travel. The lowers look like they've bounced down the north face of the Eiger, but it's only de-laminated paint and light surface corrosion. The stanchions are mint (tapered wall, Easton-supplied), and the seals are sound. Travel adjustment seems to work fine and there is also a functioning crown-mounted lockout lever. I'll probably leave these on the frame, as they're well suited.

Steel bars with welded cross-brace are attached via an ugly-looking alloy stem. The bars might make it to Stinky heaven, but the stem will be replaced with something stiffer, stronger and a lot shorter. Grips are quality Lizard Skins lock-on jobs. Good grips, but LIME GREEN? Now, where did I put that lime-green bike I was building...?

Seat is OK, but Stinky will have a WTB Rocket V. This one can stay on the Mission, along with the seat post - which isn't adjustable for rake - meaning that it's about as useful as a chocolate teapot as far as I'm concerned.

This bike is running a Da Bomb chain tensioner and Prowheel cranks. Decent kit, and might get a temporary fit to The Orange One, but will be replaced by a 9-speed setup as soon as I can find all the parts at the right price. Pedals are Wellgo alloy. They have no discernible play or end-float. They can go across pending an upgrade to DMR V8's.

That'll do for now. I had better think about stripping and restoring some of these bits then!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 17:14

Joomla templates by Joomlashine