Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Honeman Flyer Update: The Frame Arrives - Problems Begin!

What's in the box?
 Well, finally the Honeman Flyer is in my hands. Now to get to building it up, but as I have stated several times when doing frame/fork builds, there are always hiccups. This would be the case right out of the box with this frame. 

My main worry ahead of getting this was whether or not the Salsa Cycles Waxwing fork would show up with a steer tube plug which is the piece that takes the place of a star nut in an aluminum steer tube. Carbon fiber steer tubes are not a place where a star nut should be used, although I have heard of it being done before. Whatever... You go on with yer bad self!

I would never consider doing such a thing, so it was paramount that the steer tube plug come with the fork. I knew that most carbon fiber forks are supplied with this part, but I had the Waxwing fork sent directly to King Fabrications to save time, so I did not have the chance to see if there was a plug nor did I have the chance to squirrel it away. I was trusting that King Fab would send it. 

Once I opened the box I found that the plug had been inserted into the steer tube so that was good! Now on to the Lab and parts installation. But first......let's weigh the thing, shall we? Yes, let us do that... 

And it weighed in at 4.10lbs. That's without the fork, by the way. That's pretty dang light, and the frame tubing sounds pretty thin gauged when I ping it. Woo! This was maybe pushing the limits for a single speed design and a guy my weight. But let's go!

The contents of the box unwrapped.

First Impressions: Well, to be honest, I've seen so many images of this bike there wasn't much to leave to the imagination. The aforementioned weight was what impressed me the most. The fork weighs next to nothing as well, but we all would expect that these days with carbon fiber. One thing about the Paragon sliding through axle drop outs was a bit of a surprise and that was that the non-driveside drop out (is it a "drop out" if it is a through axle plate?) has the place for the flat mount brake as part of the drop out. In other words, there is no direct connection of the brake to the frame itself. 

This means that the non-driveside chain stay has a full-length run from the bottom bracket shell to the connection to the seat stay. I once heard Joe Breeze theorize that longer frame members have a more comfortable (flexier) ride quality. We will see how this plays out on this bike. A single speed and a flexy rear end? Might not work well. This is something to look into later. 

As I suspected the logos are masked off and clear-coated over to show the raw steel. The head badge is brass brazing material, as is the serial number plate which is stamped "CG001". I assume that to mean "Custom Gravel 001". The paint is pretty cool. It isn't as thick as I thought it would be. In fact, I think it is actually pretty thin. There is one place on the top tube, near the seat tube, over toward the drive side, where there is raw steel showing, as if the paint wasn't applied in that small patch. Odd..... I may do something there to make it look intentional. 

Problems Crop Up: The first thing I wanted to do was to find a seat collar, and I had a black Salsa one identified as a candidate. It was a typical-for-steel frames 30.0mm size, but the frame tubing on the Honeman Flyer is so thin that this was too big! And so was anything else I had. Dang it! Right out of the box I was thwarted. 

I gently clamped the frame by the seat tube with a terry cloth rag in the stand's jaws. Then I tried the through axle I guessed the length of and yep! Too long! Batting a thousand so far. I then tried to fit the crown race on the Waxwing fork and what the..... Oh! I was dealing with an integrated crown race. Cool....cool. that head set would work then. Okay.... There is something going right here at least. 

Borrowed from a coworker.

I left for work and asked my coworker Carl if he had any nicer seat collars squirreled away and he did. One was a 28.6mm AC Components anodized red collar, probably for a BMX bike. But he let me take it home and it actually worked, which was a good thing since I just ordered a Wolf Tooth black anodized one in the same size from Jenson USA along with the correct through axle, also Wolf Tooth. 

Later on I mocked up the build with a stubby stem, Cowbell bar, my Tamer seat post, WTB Volt saddle, and I sat on this thing for the first time. (Oh! Both wheels were temp fitted with the rear using the too-long through axle) Amazingly, I think I may need a 90mm stem on this thing! I should also mention that the stock Dead Bolt through axle from Salsa would not fit the brand new Paul Components front hub! Yeah... Weird. Fortunately I had a spare Paragon Machine works axle that fit perfectly in the fork and the hub. I suppose this voids the Salsa warranty.....

Checking angles with the wheels fitted I found that the seat tube, which was supposed to be a 70° is reading out at a bit steeper than 69° and the head tube, which was supposed to be 71° is dead on. This was measured with an app on my iPhone. So, this will be pretty true to the design manifest for a modernized 1930's track bike. 

More soon....

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