Nigel Kinney’s $100 Black Death Build

So you may think that all of us that work here at the shop are ridiculously spoiled and ride around on $10,000 time trial machines, but you would be DEAD WRONG!   Only some of us do.  Some of our summer employees are penny pinching college students that are high on talent but low on funds.

So to inspire all you fellow penny pincher’s out there I bring you:
Nigel Kinney’s $100 Gear West ‘Black Death Build’.

Nigel is one of our all-star mechanics that comes back to us every summer once school is out.  His main sport is actually Biathlon (skiing & shooting), but he’s gotten into cycling and has some raw talent.  He’s been upgraded to a Cat. 3 cyclist and has actually won some criteriums and road races in the last year, but up until recently has not done any time trials since he didn’t have a dedicated TT bike.   But that all changed when he saw an old Trek Equinox frameset that had been warrantied due to it’s broken front dérailleur braze-on.    Who needs a front derailleur anyway!

This is where it helps to have the mechanical skills to piece together a beast like this, as well as access to a bike shop basement and friends with odds and ends parts. With the frame, miscellaneous used and warrantied parts from the basement, and literally taking things out of the garbage, Nigel put together this bike for $100! I kid you not. And how does it perform you ask? The day he built it up he brought it over to the TNT time trial (our local Tuesday Night 11 mile TT) and he broke out a 25:05… averaging 26.3 mph!

We asked him to describe his build in detail:

Here is the part by part build:
Frame: Old 55cm Trek Equinox with broken front derailleur braze on. Custom painted flat black by yours truly. Free
Fork: Old Felt carbon fork we had sitting in the rafters. Literally. Free
Seatpost: Trek came with frame. Free
Seat: Felt 3.2 saddle heavily used. Free
Headset: Used Black Cane Creek S3. $20
Stem: Used 90mm Syntace. Saved from the aluminum recycling bin. Free
Cockpit: Vision that had been crashed. Free
Shifters: No front Derailleur/shifter. 9spd. rear shifter on friction to work with 10spd. cassette and derailleur. Free
Derailleurs: No Front derailleur. Rear derailleur used SRAM Rival from Cory. $40
Brakes: Used Sram Rival from Cory. $30
Brake Levers: Used tektro levers that had been crashed. Free
Cranks: Used scratched up 170mm FSA Gossamer cranks, rocking only 53T big ring. Free
BB: Heavily used FSA BB with dust seals removed to accomplish near frictionless spinning. Free
Cable and Housing: Odds and ends sitting around. $10
Pedals: Off my road bike. Speeplay Zero stainless axle. Pink, of course. Not included.
Cassette: Road setup. Not included.
Wheelset: Not included in build. I borrow from whomever is nice enough to let me use their deep Zipps or I use my personal 303s.
Total cost of build is around $100. It has served me well for TT’s like TNT. My bank account is thankful of the employee deals from Gear West Bike and Triathlon and Cory in the shop .

This is a salvaged crashed Vision cockpit that Nigel resuscitated, paired with an antiquated & used 9 speed bar end shifter he found in the basement.

A takeoff FSA crankset (again, no front dérailleur or small chainring), and custom paint job at home by Nigel, with some sweet stencil work.

No you’re not Nigel, no you’re not.

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