Monday, 23 April 2012

Project 2 - Design Review

It has taken a while, since the conception of my project, for my design to come to fruition however, on Friday 20th the frame finally arrived. Following a palaver with Parcel Force, as ever, I managed to get my frame home and started to un-wrap. A nice surprise also came as a part of the parcel, and it must be said that those little extra efforts that some people go to really make the waiting worthwhile...


Like a little kid on Christmas day, I wanted to get the frame un-wrapped. I have been looking forward to opening bits and pieces for my bike before, but this particular bit, I designed. Yes, I based it on a geometry that is readily available, but little changes, alterations, bits and pieces, I decided those, so getting this thing built as soon as possible was the aim.

My first impressions were good. The frame was packaged well, plenty of protection on the key parts, although I did not realise this much cling film existed. Cling film manufacturers everywhere should be excited to see how much of the stuff Marino uses. However, I digress, I had finally got the frame, and it was time to start building.

I'd heard a few horror stories from a few people who bought frames from a recent UK steel frame start up, which initially put a few doubts in my head. These were laid to rest pretty quickly, the frame looks nice, the dropouts were spot on, flush magura mounts, and the gussets were as requested. I was happy with the design, and everything was coming together nicely, the rear wheel fitted perfectly and the dropouts worked a treat. Geometry felt spot on, chain line perfect, forks were sprayed and all set up, everything was ready...time to tackle this rear brake. 


The design of the rear brake mounts were such that, when brakeless, it would appear that the frame was designed (side on) to have no brake mounts. It would be smooth, however when brakes were required, a spacer fitted under the brake mount would allow for a Magura to be fitted. Marino did his job perfectly, the mounts were brilliant, and it would seem the mount / thread inside the frame is the same depth as the seat stay.


The problem arose when trying to fit the brake with spacers, obviously there is no thread immediately after the brake clamps, and as such I needed about 10 mm longer bolts...NOOB. So after hunting for some bolts, the brake was fitted, and ready to ride.


A chance conversation between Jason Dilworth and myself prior to the arrival of my frame made me realise I'd missed out on the opportunity of hidden brake lines to keep the bike looking clean, however on review of the frame, and set up....I'd definitely trust Marino to rattle me up a frame again. Quality is good, he will build whatever geometry you desire, and he will even go extra lengths to custom build you drop-outs, or any other part for that matter, if you so wish. If you want flush mounts like mine....make sure you have longer bolts to cope

Go visit his site for further information, give him an email and he will help you out with everything he can.