Monday, February 27, 2012

Project Sette Reken - It is Alive

As mentioned recently, Racer Boy Ian has outgrown his current mountain bike and required a replacement.  As per my plan to keep him rolling on race ready gear for low dough, replacement means frame only, moving everything possible from one frame to another.  And I do declare, the plan has been a success.  Project Sette was bolted together and brought to life this very weekend, by yours truly.  That be me, ex bike shop guy and all around goof ball.

For any and all interested, some Pics 'N' Words describing the build.  Grab a Snapple and pull up a chair.  The tour begins...

The completed machine.  Purty, huh?  Yes, we have flowers all year in Washington, despite the fact it was spitting snow today.  Enough about the weather, let's talk bikes.  Frame is the Sette Reken model, the in-house brand from Price Point.  $100 will score you one.  Similar to the Performance Access frame it replaced, these bargain frames are a killer deal.  Light weight, decent welds, disk and v-brake mounts, low key graphics, 6061 aluminum with a 5 year warranty.  If you're looking to build up a budget bike, you can't go wrong.  Simple, low key, aluminum frames that work well.  This is the 16" size to match growing Ian; seatpost was bumped up another inch or so, once he actually rode the thing.

As to not repeat myself later - though probably will - except where noted, I moved all the old school XTR goodies, LX crankset, wheels, Fox fork - almost everything from the Performance frame to the Sette frame.  A very low cost build up, especially considering the majority of components have now lived on four bikes.  My Ellsworth Truth and Cannondale hardtail, then Ian's Performance Access and now Sette Reken.  Shimano and Fox make some quality stuff, no doubt.

Shimano XT front derailleur that lived on my Cannondale for two years and still looks new.  The XTR Ian was running didn't fit the thinner seat tube on the Sette.  No problem, XT works just fine.  Water bottle cage from used Redline 'cross bike we picked up last year.  Reusing parts is the way to go whenever possible.

Beefy welds and gusset on the Reken frame.  Race Face headset from eBay for $35.  I didn't pay attention to the stack height and lucked out, everything just fits with two thin spacers on the precut 2004 Fox Talus fork.  Sette stem and 'bars pulled from previous build, but originally came on my Sette Razzo 29er.  XTR v-brake grabs Mavic ceramic rim, that spins on XTR hub.  Older stuff that still gets the job done.

Old school XTR derailleur that still, uh, derails on command.  The SRAM cassette and Shimano chain still usable.  I did need to buy a Shimano pin to reassemble the chain, none to be found in my Pile-O-Parts.  The Sette frame features a replaceable dropout, a must on the aluminum frame.

Looking pro like on the bike stand.  New Panaracer XC Pro tires mounted, looking quite red. On sale from Price Point for $20 each.  I also replaced all the cables for the new bike feel.  Picked those up local from REI, retaining the budget build theme.

Nice looking welds in the BB area with plenty of mud clearance to boot.

To match the front, XTR v-brake and Mavic ceramic rim.  Rear brake cable required full housing, since it shares mounts for the disk brake cable.  Zip ties through provided slots keep cable in place - handy.

Shimano LX crank transferred from previous build.  The BB bearings were in great shape, so installed and used again.  Battered Shimano 747 pedals keep on working and have graced a few bikes.  I splurged on the new Lizard Skins chainstay protector.  $8 from REI.

Nice Fizik saddle moved over from previous frame.  Originally arrived on my Ibis Silk Carbon road bike.  My butt prefers the old school Flite saddle, so I removed the Fizik - glad I saved it.  

Sette branded seatpost pulled from garage stash, originally arrived on my Razzo 29er though never used.  27.2 size required for this frame. Really cool to pull stuff outta your Pile-O-Parts to keep the build rolling.

Front view and ready to roll.  2004 era Fox fork has been amazing.  No maintenance for 13 years, no air leaks, and still feels new.  Cat Eye computer was a present for Ian's 7th birthday, has lived on several bikes now.  Scratched plastic a reminder of his first ever mountain bike race in 2008, courtesy of a pre-race warm up endo.  Seems like yesterday.

After the build, a Sunday cruise on local trails to sort things out.  Besides a quick trail side derailleur adjustment, no problems.  Ian said it feels like his old bike, just a little bigger.  Mission accomplished.  Pretty cool bike for a 12 year old, no?

A little Pacific Northwest mud and goo to officially christen Project Sette.  Felt great to hit the trails today.  Predicting the little Sette will look like this often. That's a good thing.

With Ian's Reken added to my Razzo 29er, we now appear to be Team Sette. Blurry photo as proof.

Overall, the build was a snap and went together with ease.  I dig building bikes up from a bare frame and really enjoy projects like this.  I also get a kick out of seeing my son ride something that I assembled.  Doing it for low dough that doesn't require guilt factor from the family budget is also a plus.  I hope it inspires other folks out there, riding and racing decent bikes doesn't have to be expensive.

Stay tuned from future Project Sette rides, races and updates...


  1. Nice build up. Glad to see it done on the cheap.

  2. That is one sweet looking rig. Good job dad. "Racer Boy Ian" is gonna fly. Always nice to hear about father and son(or daughter) having fun on bikes, does my heart good.

  3. Thanks. It came out okay and rides well. There's something fun about a simple aluminum hardtail. With the fat tires and Fox fork, works great - especially for a 12 year old.

    These "bargain" bikes, including my Sette Razzo 29er, have changed my view a bit on riding. You don't need to spend a ton of money to ride and race. Mix 'N' Parts and/or modern mid level parts works really, really well.