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Walking Cast and Building a Bike

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Part 1: Sixteen Hours

In about sixteen hours I get my walking cast off. The walking cast has help me get around better than the support boot. The boot had the virtue of being removable and adjustable. The swelling has gone down since the walking cast was put on my leg, ankle and foot. The result is that my foot is quite loose in the cast. Here is a shot of the walking cast:

I have never been in a cast before and really don't want to be in one ever again. My foot is in the cast at an odd angle. I had to do quite a bit of walking the day I managed to get into my office. I pulled my right hamstring,

I don't like being so immobilized. I am impatient to be free. I decided since I can't do much, I would build a new bike.

Part 2: Reasons for Building a Really Cool 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

My good spark friend Bill "ELYMWX" blogged about designing and building a bike from the ground up. He even took a class to build his own frame. Here is a link to his page. Check out his super bike building blogs.


Bill blogged about the selection of bike components, including a really cool internally geared hub. He totally customized his bike for his tastes. He did not compromise one bit. I was inspired. I wanted a 29" hardtail mountain bike. I checked-out frame building classes in my area. I discovered the mountain bike frame building classes were quite expensive. These classes were intended to give you all the knowledge you needed to go into the bike manufacturing business.

I decided to buy a frame. I wanted a bike that was different from the bikes I already have.

Little Stumpy is my current hardtail bike.

This bike is a 2007 Specialized Stumpjumper Pro Disc with 26" wheels. We have gone a zillion miles together. Unfortunately, Little Cam fills exactly the same function as Little Stumpy, which is that of a hyper-responsive 26"trail bike. Little cam is a full suspension 2012 Specialized Camber Comp.

When I got Little Cam, he was far from the class of Little Stumps. Little Stumps was a good bike with solid Shimano XT components. Little Cam was an entry-level bike with lower-end Shimano Alivio components. I completely rebuilt Little Cam with great Shimano XT Dyna-Sys components and Fox performance suspension. Now, Little Cam can run circles around Little Stumps.

I have a chance to sell Little Stumps to a good and loving home. Little Stumps is as good as gone.

I am also selling my Specialized Allez road bike. Although not the bike's fault, there is just too many negative feelings associated with the Allez. I was riding the Allez when I was clobbered by a Toyota Forerunner. That accident has lead to 8 months of painful recovery.

The Allez is a sport performance model, which handles really nicely and pedals effortlessly.

The good news is that I am hanging-on to my Surly Cross-Check, which is a versatile bike in the extreme. My Surly is a decent touring bike, off pavement bike, and reasonable road bike.

The Cross-Check is a very utilitarian bike that is a lot of fun, that is, if you are not in a hurry. If you are in a hurry, I have a mountain bike that is fast. Ultra-Stumpy is a Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Carbon Expert racing bike.

I have had this bike close to 50 mph on dirt trails. Ultra-Stumpy is made of carbon fiber and titanium. This bike never fails to astonish me. The harder I push, the better the bike behaves.

Part 3: Replacement for Little Stumpy - Canfield Nimble 9.

Riding a rigid or hardtail mountain bike over a bumpy trail is a very athletic endeavor. I actually breath harder and use more muscles riding a mountain bike than running. It is also very satisfying to "clean" a technical section.

I did a lengthy search to find a mountain bike frame that had geometry and looks that I desired. I did not want to buy a frame that was used to make an off the rack bike. I also wanted a Chrome Moly steel frame. Steel calms down trail chatter and vibration that is characteristic of aluminum alloy bikes.

There were some nice frames on the market. I wanted a bike with a short chainstays and stable "slack" steering. There was only one frame that met my requirements. I bought a Canfield Brothers Nimble 9 frame. Here is a finished Nimble 9.

This builder of this bike needs to take about three or four links out of the chain. The rear derailleur should be able to keep the chain tight.

Here is a good shot of another Nimble 9 that shows "slack steering" quite nicely.

The front fork is raked forward, which provides stability at speed. However, the rear wheel is moved forward as far as possible, which provides a short wheelbase and enhances responsiveness.

Here is my frame. The color is a Sparkle Blue that has gold and silver metallic flakes. The frame is powder coated and sparkles vividly in the sun. Unfortunately, the sparkles don't come through in photos.

I am anxious to get to work on the bike. I ordered all the stuff to complete the bike from online bike shops.

This photo shows a little bit of the sparkle blue color:

I like the head tube badge. I bought Canfield wheels also.

These wheels are strong and look good.

Here is a video on the Canfield Brothers site that shows the Nimble 9 in action. You have to go through a sales pitch before you get to the Nimble 9 ripping down a trail.


Just hit the "play" on the Vimeo video and make it full screen. Enjoy! Thanks for reading my blog.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    What a great looking frame! Sounds like you'll have something to keep you occupied for a while. :)
    1890 days ago
    I've never had a cast before but I was on crutches for 13 weeks after an ankle pinning, so I can feel a bit of your pain. I'm so glad things are coming along okay. Love the bike pics and would love to see it come together!
    1896 days ago
    That was a great idea for you to work on while you are healing!
    I love the blue color, the skull emblem is a nice touch!!
    1899 days ago
    I look to the future blogs showing progress on both the ankle and the bike!
    1899 days ago
    When I saw you say that I was your inspiration, I was worried that your "mean" wife would come looking for me with something to say about that. Then I saw you were letting two of your stable go, and now I'm a little less worried. The remaining worry comes from wondering what trouble you will get into with Nimby :-)

    Since the crash I've not been inspired to put up Part 4, the build-up. I really should do that before I'm cleared to get back on it!
    1899 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Well building a bike ia a great idea for you, I can't wait to see it either.
    Hope your swelling has gone down too, hope you feel better. emoticon
    1899 days ago
  • NWFL59
    Glad you're making progress on the healing front and have found something of high interest to do that keep you physically and mentally busy. emoticon
    1899 days ago
    Yay for the cast coming off!! I never had a hard cast, only the walking boot and even that put my foot/ankle in a weird position but at least it could come off. At least it served it's purpose.
    Yay for new bike!! It's going to be awesome!!
    1899 days ago
    Glad you are going to get that cast off. When a couple of my kids were young at different time they had casts' and I know how loose they get when the swelling goes down. I also remember one of mine getting a regular kitchen knife caught in his cast when he tried to scratch his ankle. Glad you have this project to keep you busy and get you back to normal.
    1900 days ago
    OMG, you could have a business in bike building and do classes.

    Question: how long before your doctor will release you to ride a bike? I do hope it is soon.

    I won't even ask how much something like this costs. I balk at $400 for a 3 speed touring bike. LOL
    1900 days ago
    Glad you found something constructive to do while you heal!!!!!
    1900 days ago
    Cool! Can't wait to see the finished product. Hope your healing continues to go well, that would drive me crazy as well!
    1900 days ago
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