Sybil the Frankenbike

So I’ve been playing around with the Six13 frame (she’s still wearing Holly the Raleigh’s components for now) and trying to decide how to set her up. I thought about setting her up only for tri’s, but with the quality and lightness of the frame, I’d be really sad to relegate her to my least favorite riding position. I can’t really set her up for road-only and then convert Holly to a tri machine because Holly’s frame is too long for a comfy tri position, and the Six13 is perfectly sized for it.

I was sitting around, thinking about it, trying to make some sort of decision. Then I saw a cheap base bar that would work for my aerobars in the shop. Started thinking about it a little. I’ve got a shorter stem I could use for tri work. I have a longer stem I could use for road work. I have enough components to outfit two bikes. I started looking through the parts catalogs, and came across these:


These little guys are made by Ritchey, a frame and bike manufacturer who, among other things, specializes in bikes that can be disassembled. They’re not folding bikes, they actually have inline couplings in the frame that allow you to break them down and then reassemble them into full-size bikes. This effectively cuts the bike in half. For the two halves to separate you have to have a way to break and reassemble the cables. Enter these things. To use them, you thread a new cable into the male end, and thread the end of the cable from your controls into the female end, where the cable end is secured by a set screw (or two, in the case of brake cables, probably to provide a fault-tolerant system. A non-functioning shifter cable won’t kill you like a bad brake cable will). To part the cable you simply unscrew the two pieces from each other:

In the original application, you only have to set things up for one bike. I thought that if I got two sets of these little beasts I could have them on the controls on my drop bars AND my aerobars. If I was careful with cutting the cables I should be able to switch between the two head/stem units by parting the cables and lifting the stems off the steerer tube:

I’m happy to say it worked:


Some details:


And conversion time (unpracticed):



The conversion worked perfectly, although it took me some time to make sure that the cables were cut properly so that they required no adjustment when I converted from one system to the other. 

Since she is now two bikes in one, with extra bolts, cables, plugs, and things, I hereby dub her Sybil the Frankenbike!

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