Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Custom bicycle Build: Powdercoated Mukluk Build


Last week we finished building a custom painted Mukluk for a customer.  We've been working on this build for a while.  We had the frame set built as a complete bike when Mark decided to buy it.  At the time, frame sets were unavailable, and he wanted a different set up than the bike came stock with.  I had one more 17" frame set coming along that those parts could go on, so I agreed to break the bike down and sell him the frame and fork along with a different build kit.

Mark had specific theme he wanted to build centered around the new Brooks Apple Green B17.  He wanted the bike to be understated, offer a lot of performance for the dollar, and look kick ass.  I think he easily accomplished those goals.  This bike will assuredly turn heads and will perform great, but will do so in a  very refined manner.


Color is very hard to do well on a bike.  Anodized aluminium colors vary depending on a lot of factors such as alloy, manufacturer and anno process.  Getting those colors, in this case green, to match when they are next to one another is next to impossible.  The satin black color of the frame and fork serve to isolate and moderate the different greens on this build.  With the black to fill in the space between colors, it has the effect of lessening the differences between them.  You end up seeing sharp points of brilliant green without being overwhelmed by them.


The build kit on this bike puts higher dollar parts where they make the most sense.  The wheel set is built with Surly's awesome Rolling Darryl rims.  These are built around great bang for the buck hubs from Salsa and Surly respectively.  I built these using standard DT butted spokes which keep weight low but strength high.  Black brass nipples that offer serviceability and resistance to salt corrosion tie all the parts together.  Mark made some multi-layer Duct tape rim strips that look just killer on the blacked out wheels.

A green Sotto Voce Chris King headset with their new to them, (cheap bastards,) split compression ring will keep the front end turning nicely for years.  I love the new more understated logos.  It's the perfect little jewel to keep the front end on track.  The Mukluk is shod with Surly's Larry tires and ultra light tubes front and rear.

Drive train.

The drive train on this bike is simply and functional.  The bike is set up as a 1x8, (not pictured here,) with 9 speed spacing.  This was done by simply moving the 12t outer cog into the inner position on the hub and then adjusting the derailleur accordingly.  This involved some little gun smithing, but makes for a better chain line and shifting with the 24t cog up front.  The single gripshifter and derailleur are Sram's proven X9 set.  They are reasonably priced and function very well.  Cassette and chain are from Shimano.  Green cable ends complete the theme.

Mark wanted to build this bike as a dedicated snowmobile trail bike.  For his riding style, a 24t cog in the granny position works out just about perfect for 95% of his local trail conditions. For the crank set up, we added a Salsa Ring Dinger in the middle position to keep loose clothing out of the chainring, and to maintain chain position.  The inner guard is a modified NGear Jumpstop space out from the frame with Salsa's provided direct mount derailleur mount.  Clean, light, and simple.  I love that it maintains the "No Step" label.  I love that.  Whoever thought that little number up is a winner in my book.  

Finishing touches.

The saddle color is really the highlight component of the bike.  Set atop a classic Thomson post, it becomes the primary focal point of the bike.  The particular green is hard to photography well, and has a quality that is a bit lost in these pictures.  In person it's stunning.  I love it.  You can see how clean the set up looks in this shot, as well as how the three distinctly different greens work so well in this photo. Peeking through in the background are the awesome Ashima rotors sold under the JB Importers house brand Origin 8.  I love these rotors, and they are a big improvement in performance over the stock BB7 offerings. 

There you have it.  The latest creation to come out of Milltown Cycles.  I am pleased to say that we were able to help Mark bring this project together.  We achieved everything he was looking to do at a price that he found reasonable.  This bike should be a great ride for him for years to come.   

We do have one more 17" Mukluk frame set coming in to stock at the shop today.  Give us a call or shoot us an email if you'd like a set up like this, or if anything suits your fancy!  Happy Wednesday.  


Bill G said...

Man can I have that also! Great job Mark and Milltown!!! That bike is killer!

Ben said...

Time and money Bill, that's all it'd be. I can certainly make it happen!

Doug Idaho said...

best looking bike I have seen in a while....great job.

Captain Bob said...

Very nice! Love green.

Guitar Ted said...

You had detailed this out for me in a conversation we had previously, but none of that does the final product justice. Stunning! Well done, Ben!

retroscool said...

Love it! Very nice work!

Anonymous said...

Nice build, Ben! I'm curious about which tubes you use and why you prefer the 'Ashima's over Roundagons (?) ? Thanks, Frank

MMcG said...


Ben said...

Frank, the tubes are Surly's new 1.0mm thin walled, full size tubes. They are over 100gms lighter than the old ones, and work wonderfully.

As to the rotors, I hate Roundagons. Worst rotor ever. They lack for power, are noisy as hell no most bikes, and generally I have not found them to work well at all.

The Ashimas are lighter, have more power, are quieter, look better, shed mud and muck better, and all around vastly improve over particularly Roundagon performance for less than $40 a set. Besides compression resistant cable housing and nice levers, it's the biggest upgrade you can make on a BB7. The brakes on my Potts for instance scare most people by how well they work.

Joboo said...

A thing of beauty, nicely done gentelmen!!