Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

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olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 6 Aug 2016, 6:55am

Hi All,

I am looking to put together a new commuting bike. Having just moved from London to Edinburgh my previous commuting bike (a cheap Viking singlespeed) is not up to the job. Essentially I need to run much wider tyres (currently 23c(!) - came installed and haven't got around to changing - plus, not much room for wider under calipers) at lower pressures and I need gears for the hills up here.

I have most of the parts for a road bike build after writing off a frame in the summer (another story) - a mixture of Sora/Tiagra 9-speed so very functional and perfect for this build. I have some spare Mavic Aksiums and would rather use these instead of buying new wheels but this may not be realistic depending on how much the rims limit tyre width (I need to go to at least 28 but would rather 32 - the frame is very versatile with full mounts/eyelets, room for 32c tyres and to top it off is disc brake ready for the future).

I can sell the singlespeed for around £150 and the new frameset costs the same, so based on parts I already have this is mostly a cost-neutral build. My questions are:

1. What are the wideset tyres I can realistically put on the Aksiums without pushing the boundaries of common sense (32c?)

2. Will the Canyon carbon 1 1/8 fork from the previous road bike that is being cannibalised fit the Kaffenback frame? (I could always phone planet x but it's easier to just add to this list of questions).*

*Some may be outraged at my even suggesting removing the steel fork supplied, but ideally I would want the carbon to dampen road buzz which is significant on the poorly-maintained roads up here

3. How do I estimate heel overlap with panniers? I'm presuming this not only depends on geometry e.g. wheelbase but also on the ergonomics of the pannier rack itself. I have problems with overlap on my old Dawes Galaxy tourer and would want to avoid this problem again.

4. Recommended tyres for running down at 80psi - looking for bombproof but extremely cheap. As I want this to be an absolute budget build I am considering the Lifeline tyres, £8 each off Wiggle, which I expect will be functional enough.

5. Mudguards - I have had so many problems with mudguards in the past. What mudguards do people now recommend that would fit this frame well. I am sick of tyre rub and cable ties all over the place just to keep them held in place. I know this is sometimes unavoidable but the mudguard market is now too confusing for me to re-enter...

Thanks for the help.
Last edited by olivermleach on 6 Aug 2016, 7:03am, edited 1 time in total.

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 6 Aug 2016, 7:02am

p.s. if anyone reads the above and is shocked that I want to re-use a Carbon fork involved in a crash that wrote off the frame, you'd need to know more about the nature of the crash: the wheels just need a quick true, the fork is fine but the frame has a big ding in the downtube

the snail
Posts: 149
Joined: 5 Aug 2011, 3:11pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby the snail » 6 Aug 2016, 9:59am

I think 28mm would be max recommended on those rims, but you might get away with a bit wider. I wonder if your carbon fork would take a wide tyre - a lot won't take 28mm, ditto calliper brakes. You might be better keeping the steel fork - 32mm will soak up road buzz better than skinny tyres/carbon fork IME. 80psi is high for 32mm tyres - I run my tourer at 65-70 unless it's carrying a heavy load.

andrewk
Posts: 354
Joined: 20 May 2011, 3:19pm
Location: SW London

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby andrewk » 6 Aug 2016, 10:35am

Regarding cheap puncture proof durable tyres which are also comfortable even if a bit heavy, I can recommend Vittoria Randonneurs. (Not to be confused with Randonneur Pros which are a higher spec and more expensive tyre). I have bought wire bead Randonneurs for between £7.50 and £15 over the past few years depending on promotions, stock clearing etc. both for myself and for friends. Everyone I know has been satisfied with the tyres both for puncture resistance, durability and comfort.

Brucey
Posts: 35529
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby Brucey » 6 Aug 2016, 11:22am

a carbon fork from a road bike typically won't let you fit tyres larger than 28mm or so; only you can answer this question, so just try it.

However the height of a road bike fork is likely to be very different to the height of the correct fork for your frame; I think that even if it fits, you will screw the geometry up if you fit a road bike fork to a kaffenback. So I think you will end up using the correct fork.

I think you will be able to fit 32mm tyres and mudguards to a kaffenback (with the correct fork...), but this is written in the specifications.

Aksiums (and similar rather narrow rims) are not truly suitable for wide tyres IMHO; I think you will be able to use 32mm ones but only if you keep them reasonably well inflated; at lower pressures they will tend flop from side to side when you ride hard which is certainly disquieting if not dangerous.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 6 Aug 2016, 2:04pm

Noted - I will stick with the steel fork for simplicity going forwards. As you all pointed out, if I run the front tyre at, say, 70psi, the front end should still be nicely cushioned.

Andrew, you've reminded me actually, I used to run a set of Randonneurs on my old commuter. I'll take a look. Thanks all.

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 6 Aug 2016, 2:05pm

Brucey - where do you think the compromise pressure would be running a set of Randonneurs in 32c size on the Aksium rims?

Brucey
Posts: 35529
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby Brucey » 6 Aug 2016, 3:12pm

it depends on your weight and how you ride but I'd expect everything to go pear-shaped if you go below ~50psi.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 7 Aug 2016, 7:35pm

No worrries then. I never run my commuting tyres below 60psi as I find the rear end too sloppy, especially under load. A couple of 32c tyres at 70-80psi should be fine then if they cope with the roads. Otherwise I have a bit kf room to let them down slightly but I'm sure they'll be grand at those pressures. Time to get ordering then. Cheers

Stevek76
Posts: 510
Joined: 28 Jul 2015, 11:23am

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby Stevek76 » 8 Aug 2016, 2:06pm

The kaff 2 fork is 400mm axle to crown and approx 40mm offset if you want to compare to your carbon fork. The kaff one is not the most compliant of forks about so might be worth a switch if your carbon one is a similar size, if the bike it came from was more aimed at the commuter/cross market it may well be.

For the panniers it's a combination of chainstay length, crank length, foot size and how the rack and panniers fit. I'd be a little concerned if you're getting heel hits on the galaxy though as the kaffenback chainstays are 415mm while current galaxy's are 445mm so you're losing 30mm of room there. It may come down to the rack and bags though. I'm using an old topeak rack with ortlieb rollers, have size 10 feet, 170mm cranks and a fairly toe heavy cycling style and still have a couple of cm room. I do have the bags setup to mount about as far back as they will go mind.

Also note that the kaffenback has the disc caliper mounted on the seat stay so you'll need a rack that can work around that, tubus might be worth a look as they have an adaptor that extends rearwards rather than outwards which will give you more heel clearance.

For mudguards I'm using some fairly standard sks ones, 45mm width. The kaffenback frame has fairly normal mounts (though only one set of eyelets at the rear so the guards share with the rack). I had to do a bit of bending with the front stays to get them under the disc caliper but otherwise fitting was fine.

olivermleach wrote:the frame is very versatile with full mounts/eyelets, room for 32c tyres and to top it off is disc brake ready for the future).


Not sure if I'm misunderstanding your intentions but the kaff 2 frame is disc only. There are no mounts for rim brakes.

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 9 Aug 2016, 6:51pm

You're right actually, I was being stupid as I assumed the frame would also have mounts for normal caliper brakes.

In that case I will take another look at the alloy Ribble winter/audax, it's just such a shame it has such limited tyre clearance. Longer term I will look into the Surlys, the Spa framesets, genesis, dolan, kinesis et al. But for now I just want a winter hack that will get me to work and back through a few Scottish winters.

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 9 Aug 2016, 6:54pm

It could even be worth getting a decathlon btwin triban 500 for an extra £100 (£250 for complete bike) and then transferring parts over as they wear out. Again, though, tyre clearance is the major issue.

Brucey
Posts: 35529
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby Brucey » 9 Aug 2016, 7:15pm

olivermleach wrote:....But for now I just want a winter hack that will get me to work and back through a few Scottish winters.


worth a look?

http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/CBHOLQDBM/holdsworth-la-quelda-steel-single-speed-drop-bar-mens

Singlespeed ain't for everyone but

a) you won't know if it is for you or not unless you try it and
b) you can always whack an old Sturmey-Archer AW gear (or 5s derailleur perhaps, both are 120mm OLN) in there if you want to and
c) it is 'only' £299

I actually think some of the finishing kit is worth buying in its own right, but if you don't fancy it the frame alone is about £89 or something; maybe you have a load of components from your old road bike that might fit?

This is how a 47-59mm brake caliper looks with a 28mm (allegedly, I think it comes up small) tyre

Image

so I think you will definitely get 25s and mudguards in there OK, maybe some 28s and mudguards. (I estimate brake drop at around 52mm if the picture above and the specification are anything to go by)

It even has a 'sensible' 36h wheelset.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Freddie
Posts: 2329
Joined: 12 Jan 2008, 12:01pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby Freddie » 9 Aug 2016, 8:00pm

If you're looking at cheap Planet X frames, why not get a 90's steel hybrid. They typically have room for 37mm tyres + mudguards, braze-on for rear rack and a long wheelbase like a tourer, which will be more comfortable on rough roads and reduce heel overlap problems.

You could probably pick one up for about £80-£120, then upgrade bits like wheels, chain, cassette, cables, pads and likely still have change from £250. It won't be quite as attractive to thieves as a brand new Planet X either.

olivermleach
Posts: 107
Joined: 7 Feb 2013, 5:29pm

Re: Commuter Build - PX Kaffenback 2

Postby olivermleach » 9 Aug 2016, 9:35pm

Good spot Brucey. I had seen thwt frameset but not the entire build. I wrote it off (so to speak) primarily due to the lack of rack mounting potential. It's a long story but I'm recovering from a broken collarbone done in France so it's absolutely essential that I'm able to mount a bag somewhere on the bike. I've obviously considered large bar bags and saddle bags but none really give me the versatility of an old pannier (and decent saddlebags can cost as much as the Ribble frame...).

The bike I'm looking to flog is a singlespeed - I don't mind the one gear per se - but the build is very budget and having originally ruminated on the idea of sorting it out I decided it would rapidly turn into a money pit on what is basically a cheap and heavy steel frame (with no eyelets and limited clearance). So seemed a bit pointless.

Having said all that I'm pretty surprised by the components PX have managed to get on there, right down to the gumwall tyres in sensible sizing and the michelin type treads of old.