It's not the first time I've ridden a bike constructed from cast-offs, old parts and things left for dead. While there's certainly been a bit of novelty around my patched together Frankengrease, this is the second bike our miracle-workers in the service department have tossed to life a bike built from "the back".
My Focus Mares AX came together with cranks, wheels and components from 2-3 road and cyclocross bike hanging around the back almost three years ago now. It was a crunch-time solution; I was building a complete bike, but some things weren't on hand. With Cross the Bay just a few days off, the solutions were unearthed from other bikes, from the warranty bins, and from Jason's Lowetz's personal shelf. It was 'just for the weekend', and we'd finish the bike properly next week.
That was nearly 9,000 miles ago, and almost all of those mis-matched components are still draped on the bike, albeit a new frame. With that in my mind (and in my heart, if you know how near and dear the Mares is to me) the Frankengrease rose to life this past December with a hodge-podge of parts and expectations great enough to make Pip twitchy.
The Frame: An old friend. Almost two years ago, I bought the last 17.5" Salsa Beargrease known to man. I loved it. But when one of our customers came looking, it only made sense to make sure he was on it. Back to the shop and out the door it went. A year later he traded it in to upgrade to a carbon Beargrease as those became available. Only the aluminum Beargrease frame was left, and it disappeared into the shadowy nether region that is Jason Lowetz's garage.
The Fork: A fortunately-ordered Mukluk fork left after a customer made the jump to carbon. The red fork just makes it look rad.
The Stem: I have always wanted to build a fat bike with all-silver cockpit parts. This is not the start of that, however. The stem was in the back of the box of stems and was the first one found that wasn't a more desirable 70 or 90mm stem, making it up for grabs.
The Handlebars: Obviously stolen from a BMC TE29 or TE03. SKOR bar and thin grips. Same brakes as well.
The Drivetrain: I have a sneaking suspicion the bulk of this was stolen from the warranty bin, as every time we get a shipment in and my bike is on hand, something dirty and used is replaced by something shiny and new. I have investigated its origins but cannot get any straight answers. It's SRAM XX1, which is working brilliantly. It has a 32t front chain ring on there, which is actually great, though I usually like a 36t. See, if you don't let your ego dictate your chain ring, you might be happier. There could be a deeper lesson there, but we don't have time to delve too deep.
The Wheels: This fall, someone bought JW's Salsa Beargrease XX1, but only wanted the 29+ wheels already on the bike. The stock Rolling Daryls build lingered and bounced around the back, a bit forlorn and always leaned against something looking sour. At lease now they're back out there, doin' it.
The bike has been riding great, and I'll be sure to updated this post in another 8,000 miles!