Finished my 29er

It took me a couple of months once I really got started to finish this project. I’ve never attached any photos before so I hope this works. I decided I wanted to build my own uni and thought that a 29 would be a good project. I haven’t added up the receipts yet but I think it comes in at right around $300. I know I could’ve bought one for less but I wanted the fun/satisfaction of building my own. Here are the particulars:

KH29 rim
UDC wide CroMo hub
14 ga. SS spokes

I laced and trued the wheel myself. My first wheel build and it came out just fine.

Fork crown is machined, hard-anodized aluminum
fork tubes are 1" ID x .060" wall stainless steel tubing
tubes are flattened on the ends in a hydraulic press and shrink fit into crown
Seat post tube is same stuff as the fork tubes
bearing holders are industrial type split collars machined to fit 40mm bearings
Crank arms are Qu-Ax 125mm
Pedals are Kona platform pedals currently w/ pins removed to spare my shins
Tire is a Big Apple.
Saddle is a Torker DX

The ride? OK, I guess. I’ve never ridden anything but my 24" w/ 150 cranks. I’m amazed at how much more torque it takes to turn the cranks and I’m having a really hard time freemounting the thing. I did manage to get around the block but it’s definitely going to take some getting used to. Anybody have any tips for mounting a larger uni?





Don’t try and use a roll back mount. Use a static mount, or if you’re feeling adventurous try a rolling mount, it looks very cool if you can wheel the uni along and get on without breaking step - it almost never happens like that though…


How much does it weigh?

That is one good lookin’ uni! Your description of the frame making procedure sound very familiar :stuck_out_tongue: :

Where did you locate the crown?

As far as mounting on a larger wheel goes, I start with the pedals at 6 and 12 o’clock. Place one foot on the lower pedal and push off with the other foot to get the uni rolling. That way the other pedal has reached the 2-3 o’clock position as my other foot is planted on it, giving optimum leverage to get things moving.

Great job:D

for unis with big wheels (and torque problems) I found the rolling mount worth the try.
for sure I usually miss the first 3/4 tries but afterwards I may mount even when people are watching (my usual nightmare :frowning: )
on the 29er since I do not need much speed to start I put my foot on the pedal in the proper position , then I walk back and start forward again … thus I am less stressed to get the proper foot position and usually do not need to perform a funny break. the 2 paces thrust is sufficient.

Thanks for the mounting tips. I’ll try some them. I did get to ride a bit more yesterday and actually nailed a small percentage of static mounts. Once I got rolling, man, does this thing ride nice. It’s very smooth and it just wants to roll. Bumps and dips in the road are much less noticable than on my 24. The shorter crank arms (compared to what I’m used to) are much less forgiving to little hesitation and errors. It’ll force me to become much smoother. Practice, practice.

I tallied up the receipts this morning and I’ve got right at $260 in it. Not bad, huh?

To answer a few of your questions;

It weighs in at 14 lbs. on the shipping scale here at work, which I assume to be fairly accurate.

I was a machinist in a past life and I still have access to the machine shop here at work so I came in on the weekends and machined the fork crown out of a block of aluminum and then sent it to an anodizing shop in Phoenix. I also bored out the bearing holders on a lathe and also cut the radii in the bottom of the fork tubes for the bearing holders to seat into. I’m not much of a welder though so I had a friend of mine, who is a certified welder, attach the bearing holders uisng a TIG welder. I had a setup on the milling machine that allowed me to get the fork lengths to within a thousandth of an inch and I bored the holes in the crown to exactly the same depth so that when I seated the fork tubes in and clamped the bearing holders on very tightly, everything would be square and perpendicular. IOW no misalignment of the wheel upon assembly.

Man, that uni looks sweet!!
I love homeade rides, and I appreciate the effort and energy and originality no matter what the cost.
It was well worth it, Im sure!!
Im kinda jealous actually. :wink:

Actually (don’t tell anyone round here but…) I use a rollback mount and quite successfully too now. I have a 29er with 125 cranks.


I don’t know why the rollback mount is getting dissed around here. It’s my favorite mount. It creates a nice separation between the mounting and the riding. You can wait until after you’ve mounted before deciding whether to go backwards or forwards. And it feels real cool to mount into a stillstand and just hang there for a few seconds before doing anything.

After a few days of riding this now under my belt, I’m starting to get it down pretty well. I seem to be able to do a static mount or a rollback mount with relative ease. I’m still amazed at how much pressure it takes on the pedal to keep the thing from rolling forward though. Especially when I remember back to when I was first learning to freemount on my 24. I had to learn to use such a light pressure on that one. I still can’t seem to visualize what a rolling mount would look like on a larger wheel. I’ve seen videos of people doing this on a 20" but never on a 29 or 36. Does anyone know of any video of this?