26 ain't dead

  • By Peter Atkin
  • 01 Aug, 2017

Many years ago (well, Halloween 2006 to be precise) I snapped my Sanderson running into the front of a parked car.

Shortly after that I placed an order for one of the limited run of 853 Inbred frames and in early 2007 it was delivered, and built up precisely like this:

About 2-3 weeks later, at walking pace in Lee Woods, Brizzzle, a Stick went through my back wheel, and travelled precisely half a wheel turn to wreck the mech and do this to the mech hanger:

I took that photo that night. I was gutted. After asking some advice I decided there was nothing to lose by attempting to straighten the hanger, which was a slow careful process using a vice, controlled aggression and an old hub axle as a fulcrum….. But it worked, and it’s still working today!

The next winter I SS’d it for a while, mud tyres and everything!

It was well known at the time that the 853 frames in particular had very little chainring clearance to the chainstay (I measured it at 2.5mm) and despite fitting 3 new middle rings in a year it only took that long for chain suck to work its way through the stay. I couldn’t stop it…

I nearly did a 2ft drop off (I usually did it) on my way home that night!

So, anyway, I took it to Argos Cycles for a respray and a new stay. Rather than copy the old design I asked for a straighter one, which lost 2-3mm of mud room and gained maybe 5mm or more of chainring clearance.

Now I can get my finger in there! This worked. To this day chain suck just doesn't happen. You may say frames don’t cause chain suck, and you’d be right. But poor design in that area makes the consequences of chain suck a lot, lot worse. A fact I’ve proven.

And once rebuilt the bike looked like this

I rode it like that for a few years but after I discovered that vee brakes won’t stop a fully laden bike plus me plus trailer on a wet Cornish hill I decided i needed a disc braked touring bike (sensible IMO) and repurposed the Inbred into a tourer of sorts:

To be fair, it made a bloody good tourer/commuter and I did a LOT of miles on it in that guise.
Last year however, 2 weeks before our tour I found this:

I think the weight and strain was literally pulling the seat tube apart.
I quickly repurposed my Croix de Fer into a 3x9 flat barred tourer, and it did rather well. That set plans in motion for a dedicated tourer and I now have a Tour de Fer which is ace.
But I never forgot about the Inbred.
The frame sat in the loft for nearly a year (I had a Saracen Kili Flyer as my main bike, I didn’t need 2 steel hardtails) but after I swapped that for a Trek Stache, I decided to sort the old One One out again.
This is just meant to be a cheap repair to last a year or two, then maybe I’ll get a new seat tube put in, so it’s a cheap powder coat in and off the shelf colour from a local firm and some cheap (and they are cheap. And crap...) decals off eBay, after getting someone to run a weld over the crack and then reaming the seat tube out
I’d saved a lot of the parts off the Saracen, and I had a few bits lying around, so all I’ve had to buy is a chain, cassette and chainring which cost me just over £30 all in.
So now, with a new lease of life, she looks like this…!

Share by: