I recently set out to build a bike for myself. Since I started Myth Cycles, I’ve ridden the various iterations of my semi-custom bikes, from prototype to final design. But I’ve never had a fully custom, made for me bike! I decided it was time.
I wanted a bike that would work with 29 x 2.6 or 2.8 tires, and ride all the trails I normally ride, and also be able to go bikepacking. I do quite a bit of riding on the in-town trails here in Durango, which for the most part aren’t crazy steep or particularly rough. I ride these trails all spring while the mountains are melting out, then after June, mostly ride in the high country on the Colorado trail. The high country trails are rougher, steeper, and generally ask for a more aggressive bike, but they’re also usually an all-day affair, so I like being comfortable in the saddle.
This is what I made.
The head angle is the perfect balance of slack but not too slack. An angle that works well with multiple fork offsets. The fork is a Fox 34 at 140 travel and 51mm offset. I’d like to try a 44 offset in the future. It’s got about the same BB height as the Talos, but with a slightly smaller tire. The seat angle is steeper, but not so aggressively steep that I couldn’t ride it all day on flatter trails while bikepacking. I love ultra steep seat angles, but it puts too much pressure on my hands if I’m riding anything but steep trails all day. The chainstays are pretty short at 417 effective, but with sliders in the back I can play around with that. The reach is 15mm longer than my last bike, and I expected to use a 35mm stem. However, I put the build kit on it with the 50mm stem that was already on the bars, and I’m surprised how comfortable it is. I went for a longer ride over the weekend, and could feel the extra pressure by the end of the day, I’ll probably swap the shorter stem in. With the titanium LoMoTo bars’ 50mm of rise, I feel really comfortable, but also like I can ride well. More trail miles will tell.
The seat tube is the perfect length to fit a 175mm dropper post (which I just swapped in on the bike) and nothing more, so I have the most possible frame pack space for a trip. To fit the long dropper I needed to use bottle bolts instead of bosses on the seat tube, just like on Slaypnir.
There are stealth, high-mount rack mounts on the seat stays so that I can use my favorite dropouts; Paragon Sliders. I’ll eventually make a custom rack system for this for bikepacking so that I don’t need to use a seat bag and I can use my dropper whenever I want.
Maybe one of the most exciting new things about this bike is the headbadge. Yup, you heard me right, the headbadge. The new headbadges are laser cut from stainless steel and silver brazed directly to the head tube. After the frame has been powder coated, I sand the coating off the headbadge and there it is. I’ve been wanting to do this for years, so it felt great to finally take this step.
The advantages of a brazed on headbadge are obvious. It will never come off, get lost, get bent, or really do anything but just be part of the bike. It will survive bike trips, bags dragging against it, and even through a new powder coat job if it were required. The only down side is that it’s a bit of a cheese grater against a handlebar bag if the bag is resting against it. The solution? A piece of gorilla tape over the badge for the duration of your trip, then take it off and you’re set. These will become standard on Myth bikes in the next few months. Eventually I’ll also have a bolt-on version for folks who would prefer that. I also had some other things cut out of stainless and added this little guy to the seat tube so I’ll always have a riding buddy.
Last but certainly not least is the powder coat. With any of my personal bikes I try to experiment with new powders so that I don’t do something atrocious to a client’s frame. Prismatic powders makes what they call an Illusion series of powder coats, and I’ve been wanting to try them for some time. They’re a two coat system that requires both coats to be applied exactly right to achieve the correct result. I figured I’d go all out and try an Illusion fade too, and it turned out better than I could ever have wanted.
I love both of these colors, and I think they look totally killer together. So, I will also be adding these two to the list of double coat options for powder coat.
All in all, I’m really happy with the results of this build. It feels great to have something I actually built for myself, instead of prototyping a frame for my company. I can’t wait to get a ton of riding in on it this year, and maybe show it at NAHBS next winter. I can truly say having a custom bike makes me want to ride more. In fact, I may go ride right now.