First Waltly frame

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Chasing some info on Waltly frames. I have followed the builds on here and really like the look of them but would like to know how they are to ride and what changes you would make if you did it again?

Couldn't buy a banshee paradox so figured I would get one made so that's the style of bike. Trail bike with a big stack like the Honzo I'm currently riding but lower stand over and more modern angles.

Any thoughts @beeb @Ackland @Calvin27
 

beeb

beebenson
Firstly - nail down the geometry you want 100% before you get the process started. This will save you a bunch of time later, as if you have to tweak it later it often has minor effects elsewhere on the drawing (sometimes easy to miss unrelated things).

Don't be deterred if the first drawing you receive is off by a country mile. Not sure why this happens, but it seems to be common. Just send them a list of all the bits that need adjusting and the second drawing is normally pretty close. If you want to adjust the placement of welded-in hardware like bottle mount bosses or cable ports after that, the easiest method I found was to just amend the drawing by hand (I used red pen so it was more visible), scan the drawing and send it back to them.

In terms of tube selection, I gave them my weight and just let them choose for the first frame I had built - and it was very good. It is very compliant, but surprisingly still puts the power down well when you crank up the Watts. The first frame was a more conventional design, with a high top tube. The second frame I had in my head I wanted a stiffer frame, so I upped the tube wall thickness (with a more angular tube profile) on the down tube, spec'd a larger diameter top-tube and changed the frame design to one where the seat stays and top tube intersect pretty much inline with each other at the seat tube (like the Paradox). This combo was a mistake. It's no worse than a stiff alloy frame, but no better either (Does look pretty though!). I'm thinking (hoping) it will work well with a true-to-size 2.6" tyre out back setup single-speed, but I wouldn't want it to be my "daily driver" as it doesn't smooth the trail chatter like the first frame does (and does ridiculously well).

With my first frame I choose press-in headset cups, but they tend to squeak a little in warm weather. Having a Fox fork I assumed it was a creaky CSU at first, but I ended up putting the same fork in the second frame where I'd spec'd integrated bearing cups and it was blissfully silent, so maybe that's something to consider. I had been a bit wary of putting integrated cups on the first frame I ordered as I didn't know what the casting/machining quality would be like, but after seeing the overall quality of the first frame I took the chance on the second one and was pleased with the results. The casting and machining of the headtube is excellent and I would almost certainly go with the integrated cups again next time (I would only go press-in if I really wanted the option to run angle headsets easily, but if you're happy with your geo you shouldn't really need to...).
 

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Thanks @beeb this is really helpful. I was worried about the flex as you mentioned the first frame wasn't as stiff as you wanted but now it sounds like Waltly got the tubes right for the riding I will be doing so will go with their recommendations.

The head tube has given me something to think about. I was going 44mm straight head tube for external cups as it's what's on the Honzo and I was just going to reuse those but the integrated looks really good.
 

SummitFever

Eats Squid
...I was going 44mm straight head tube for external cups as it's what's on the Honzo and I was just going to reuse those but the integrated looks really good.
Integrated does look much neater and its over a decade since I've had a bike with external cups BUT external cups in addition to the extra flexibility, allow things like a straight downtube for more room in the frame while still having the downtube clear the fork crown / adjusters. This can be handy when chasing the lowest standover height (eg. top tube) and still fitting a large drink bottle in the frame without having to use a side loading cage.
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Basically just copy an existing bike is the easiest way to go. You can go wild with geometry, but tube shapes, sizes and gauge makes a bit of a difference to the ride characteristics so best to start with something. Also Waltly appear to be bonkers at the moment, my second frame is still in production and I paid the deposit almost 2 months ago - apparently they are busy as hell.

The head tube has given me something to think about. I was going 44mm straight head tube for external cups as it's what's on the Honzo and I was just going to reuse those but the integrated looks really good.
One thing to consider is what sort of headset will be easier to replace and last longer. From this perspective almost always the bigger tapered headset wins out - ZS44/56. For the roadie I went with a IS42/52 setup just to keep the tube a bit smaller. Finally if you plan to put a custom badge on it, $$ top and bottom is preferable and more accessible.

Good luck and as per usual - PICS!
 

Ackland

Eats Squid
I reckon @beeb has covered most of the points.

I'd say, keep it as simple as you can, threaded BB and external headset cups. I tried for an eccentric BB shell and they ovalised it to buggery!

Sounds like their process has changed since I had a frame made, I wasn't offered any tubeset changes.

Be interested to know if they are riding any better with the additional options. Mine rode similar to a Steel Frame (but lighter) but not as nicely as a high end Ti frame.

FWIW I would love to get my second Waltly frame back
 

beeb

beebenson
Sounds like their process has changed since I had a frame made, I wasn't offered any tubeset changes.
On that, I only got different wall thickness tube because I asked for it. First frame they just choose for me.
 

komdotkom

Likes Dirt
Be interested to know if they are riding any better with the additional options. Mine rode similar to a Steel Frame (but lighter) but not as nicely as a high end Ti frame.
I'd love to hear more about exactly what you mean, I've never ridden a high end Ti frame but have ridden a few good steel ones. Too noodly? I think that was an issue that Beeb had?
 

beeb

beebenson
I'd love to hear more about exactly what you mean, I've never ridden a high end Ti frame but have ridden a few good steel ones. Too noodly? I think that was an issue that Beeb had?
In the choice between too noodly, and the stiffer second frame I had built. I mostly choose to ride the "noodly" one. I ended up mulleting it, and the geo felt even better and now I don't even notice it. I think I had the cockpit setup a little low, mulleting it brought everything into place, and now I have no complaints with it. I really should update those threads!
 

Jpez

cancelled Easter
In the choice between too noodly, and the stiffer second frame I had built. I mostly choose to ride the "noodly" one. I ended up mulleting it, and the geo felt even better and now I don't even notice it. I think I had the cockpit setup a little low, mulleting it brought everything into place, and now I have no complaints with it. I really should update those threads!
Have you ridden on proper trails to get a proper test in since the mullet conversion?
I mulleted the GG a few days before lockdown so it hasn’t even left the house in months. From others reviews the bike responds very well to mulleting so I’m expecting big things.
All going well it’s maiden voyage in mullet form will be at Bright first weekend after we get let out on parole.
The look of the different wheel size does take a bit of getting used to though. In reality if GG still sold 29er Smash Seat stays I’d just 29er the bike.
 

Ackland

Eats Squid
I'd love to hear more about exactly what you mean, I've never ridden a high end Ti frame but have ridden a few good steel ones. Too noodly? I think that was an issue that Beeb had?
Of my two Ti waltly frames
#1 was noodly and the rear end wagged like a dog as an SS - I cracked 2x drive side stays (they replaced the whole frame both times)
#2 Rode like my SIR9 but still flexed a bit at the rear axle (SIR9 did as well - that was the 12x142 frame)
A really good Ti frame balances stiffness and compliance to the point that you don't notice that it's doing anything at all.
But I do hear that really nice handbuilt steel can deel just as nice as Ti, just with more weight.
That being said, despite my SIR frame weighing about 1KG more than my One9RDO, with the same wheels, I never noticed the frame weight for most rides.

FWIW I would love to get my second Waltly frame back
FWIW I'd also love to get my SIR back....

I've been having impure thoughts about an Egress frame
 

beeb

beebenson
Have you ridden on proper trails to get a proper test in since the mullet conversion?
I mulleted the GG a few days before lockdown so it hasn’t even left the house in months. From others reviews the bike responds very well to mulleting so I’m expecting big things.
All going well it’s maiden voyage in mullet form will be at Bright first weekend after we get let out on parole.
The look of the different wheel size does take a bit of getting used to though. In reality if GG still sold 29er Smash Seat stays I’d just 29er the bike.
Not proper trails no, just local dirt tracks and round the backyard. In this case, it's not the wheelsize change that made it better as such, more the geo change it brought about. It's the slacker HA and increased stack height change that just make it feel ready to shred. Do love mullets though. Bit hard to love the look of them like you say, but seems the best combo of fun (small rear wheel, quicker feeling acceleration and change of direction) and smash (front end rollover and tracking). When I mulleted the first Ripmo that was an absolute hoot to ride on Cressy, but anything with any tech and the BB was too low. Sticking a bigger wheel up front on a 27.5" bike like you are won't have that problem though!
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
But I do hear that really nice handbuilt steel can deel just as nice as Ti, just with more weight.
One of the advantages of good steel frames is that they are double butted (sometimes triple - who knows there the third butting goes?). This is a critical factor that keeps key areas (BB for example) stiff as possible while the member has compliance. As far as I know, Titanium doesn't come in butted tubes - almost all of it is aeropsace straight tubes. There are more variations coming as the bike folks try to one up each other but mostly, even branded frames use straight tubes in 3Al/2.5V or 6Al/4V (stiffer).

I'm on my second Waltly so I can't say if I miraculously got it right or if my bum isn't as sensitive, but it's a lot more compliant than my other bikes, yet I wouldn't call it noodly. I've traded with mates Van Nicholas, litespeed and Lynskey and aside from geometry don't pick up too much. Having said that, both are road/gravel bikes. I am thinking about MTb as the next one, but my philosophy is different with MTBs, I prefer them rock hard and the tyres/suspension can take the edge. I previously owned a Charge cooker 29er hardtail and was bitterly disappointed - seemed like on a MTB I can't feel the difference bar the extra weight!

To be honest if I could have gotten what I wanted off the shelf ten I would have just bought that. But as I was after custom geometry, the price gap was negligible irrespective of material.
 

Litenbror

Likes Bikes and Dirt
First pass from Waltly came in this arvo.

367436


It looks pretty close but the seat tube looks a bit slack for the 76 degrees it's meant to be. Need to have a good look to make sure everything is in the right place.
 
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