Buying & Building the Steve Potts 2012 Award Winning Ti Bike

26er Video

Introduction by Francis Cebedo

We get a little bit of a different look at this Steve Potts Ti Hardtail. The perspective from the buyer’s point of view is represented by Peter Tsang who is a regular forum member (aka “tburger”) on Mtbr and also a good friend. Read on to follow Peter’s bike building journey and watch our interview of Steve Potts at NAHBS 2012!

Peter is a resident of San Francisco who works in San Jose so he is a tight member of the mtbr riding group. He hangs out in Norcal Forum, drinks fine beer with the gang and he rides at every opportunity.  But he crashed a couple of times on his shoulder and it would not heal properly. So had surgery on it and was down for about 6 months.  He used this unfortunate turn of events to turn his custom bike dream into a reality.  Follow his odyssey into the world of owning a custom bike.

Check this interiew with Peter below. And on the very last page, check the interview with Steve Potts.

By: Peter Tsang

I’ve been waiting a long time to start this new bike build thread! The planets had aligned, and I was finally able to order that custom dream bike I’ve been waiting for all my life. Being a NorCal native, and resident still, I quickly narrowed down my list of potential builders. It really became a no-brainer, when all I had to do was drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, and in a short time, be sitting down in the shop of the legendary Steve Potts. I had an awesome visit with Steve back in July, and we chatted about bikes and everything else for about 2 hours. I even played doggie soccer with Cowboy, his Jack Russel, in the shop. Just the visit itself was priceless. But more than that, I just agreed with his philosophy of bike building. Pure and simple. I appreciate and enjoy all of the improvements in cycling with modern technologies, but I’m also a bit of a retrogrouch at times. For example, the Santa Cruz Highball was actually high on my list, but carbon fiber just doesn’t move my soul like a custom ti frame. This is going to be one to take to the grave. I have already told my wife to bury me with my Potts.

Okay, so fast foward 5 months, and now my bike build is in the works. During the last 5 months, I found that there is really not that much information (bike p0rn) out there with Steve’s more recent creations. A few pictures here and there when the bike is new, but it seems the typical Potts customer is not one to spend much time on the interwebs posting pictures of their pride and joy. Well, I hope to change that with this thread. Rather than posting my build spec and pics of the final product, I thought I’d share my build process with you as I get parts together, and as the frame gets built.

I’m 5’6″ with a 29.25″ inseam. I don’t race, and I have a Nomad for bigger hit stuff, so I wanted this bike for all around XC trail riding with intermediate gnar thrown in. I definitely wanted a Type II fork. I knew I would kick myself later if I didn’t get this bike with the Type II. I also definitely want a 2×10 geared bike, so no sliding drop-outs, and it needed space to accomodate a front derailleur. I described my riding style to him, and deferred the number crunching and geometry design to him. Here is the preliminary drawing that he came up with.

I debated for a bit whether to have the bike built for me, or do the build myself. Steve works with Mike at Black Mountain Cycles, and I would not hesitate turning the frame over to Mike for a truly professional build. But during the wait, I did a lot of on-line shopping, and I ended up buying pretty much everything I needed. So the motivation hit me full on, and I will be assembling everything myself. Parts have been trickling in from Brown Santa.

Here are the Shimano Deore XT M785 brakes. I chose the 29er compatible silver color.

Everything pictured here weighs in at about 655 grams. That’s before the hose gets cut down to size.

View the Complete Photo Gallery »

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