Folding Road Bike Project Using Montague Custom FIT Frame

I wanted to build a lightweight, full-size folding road bike for road touring and off road excursions (gravel paths). After some on-line research I decided that the Montague Custom FIT Frame would fit my needs. Unfortunately, since 2015 Montague have stopped selling their Custom FIT Frames, and only sell pre-assembled folding bikes. I was lucky enough to source a 2015 Custom FIT Frame from the Montague distributor in Germany.

The Montague Customer FIT Frame is designed to use standard bicycle parts, and has fixations to accommodate both single pivot side-pull caliper rim brakes or disk brakes. The overlocknut distance (O.L.D) for the rear wheel dropout is 135mm. Compared to traditional road bikes that have an O.L.D of 130mm and only supporting single pivot side-pull caliper rim brakes, the extra 5mm allows the support of disk brakes. With a combination of the frame geometry and use of disk brakes, the Montague Customer FIT Frame allows the use of 32mm tires.

My 2013 Trek Madone 4.7 now permanently remains stationary on my Tacx Neo home trainer in my garage. So to reduce the build cost, I used the Ultegra 6700 rim brakes from my 2013 Trek Madone 4.7. I originally planned to use the Bontrager Race Tubeless Ready wheels from my 2013 Trek Madone 4.7, and change the rear axle to support the 135mm O.L.D rear wheel dropout of the Montague Custom FIT frame. However, Bontrager Race Tubeless Ready wheels require costly proprietary tools to change their axles. So I put the Bontrager Race Tubeless Ready wheels on my 2017 Team Machine SLR02, and transferred the Shimano RS21 wheelset from the 2017 Team Machine SLR02 to the Montague Custom FIT Frame !

The table below summarizes the parts used, along with their ‘spec sheet’ mass.

PartProductMass in g
Folding FrameMontague Custom FIT – 7005 aluminium2350
ForkMontague Custom FIT – Carbon and aluminium (mass quoted is un-cut)725
HandlebarRitchey WCS Evo Max Handlebar 42/48 cm x 120 mm x 73 mm270
Bar tape and plugsRitchey Classic Handlebar Tape black210
HeadsetRitchey Headset WCS 1 1/8″
StemRitchey WCS C260 Stem 6° 31,8mm
SeatpostErgotec Seatpost CNC (30 mm diameter, 350 mm length, 18 mm offset – safety level 2)303
SaddleRitchey WCS Skyline Saddle275
Shift and brake leversShimano Ultegra ST-R8000 2-speed STI Dual Control left
Shimano Ultegra ST-R8000 11-speed STI Dual Control right

Front BrakeShimano BR-R650 (57mm reach)

Note : originally wanted to use Shimano Ultegra 6700 (salvaged from 2013 Trek Madone 4.7), but they were too short with 49mm reach
Rear BrakeShimano BR-R650 (57mm reach)

Note : originally wanted to use Shimano Ultegra 6700 (salvaged from 2013 Trek Madone 4.7), but they were too short with 49mm reach
Cables and housingShimano brake and gear cables and housing
CranksetFSA PowerBox Aluminium Road BB386EVO Powermeter Crankset 172,5mm – 52/36751
PedalsShimano Pedals PD-M540 silver325
Bottom bracketFSA MegaEvo BSA 30 Bottom Bracket89
Front derailleur Shimano Ultegra 2×11-speed Front Derailleur FD-R8000 34.9mm
Rear derailleurUltegra 2×11-speed Rear Derailleur RD-R8000 GS210
CassetteShimano Ultegra 11-speed Cassette CS-R8000 incl. Lock Ring 11-13-15-17-19-21-23-25-27-30-34 teeth (11-34)
ChainShimano 11-Speed Chain CN-HG701 116 links260
Front WheelShimano WH-RS21-CL-F (salvaged from my BMC 2017 Teammachine SLR02)
Rear WheelShimano WH-RS21-CL-R (salvaged from BMC 2017 Teammachine SLR02)
*- rear axle changed from 141mm to 146mm in order to support 135mm O.L.D
TiresContinental Grand Prix 5000 Folding Tyre Set – 28mm
Inner TubesContinental Tube Cross S42
Total weight (from specs)10030
Actual total weigh (measured)10650

The 2015 Montague Custom FIT Frame is a real beauty (see image below). It has a classic look with gloss black at the rear and gloss green at the front.

Bare 2015 Montague Custom FIT Frame – ready to be equipped !

When sourcing the parts for this project, I hesitated to purchase the appropriate tools to install the bottom bracket, crankset, and headset myself. However, I thought it would be better to put those funds towards paying for the bike to be professionally built by a local bike shop, L’Atelier Poupoupido https://lepoupoupidou.fr.

March 22nd 2019

The following images show the installation of the headset, crank, and brakes!

Headset Installation
Crankset Installation
Crankset and Rear Derailleur

Brake Issues !

It turns out the the Ultegra brakes (with a reach of 49mm) from my Trek Madone are too short (see image below). In fact this is normal, and my error. To support larger tires, the Montague Custom FIT frame uses both rim and disk brakes. However, the rim brakes supported use a reach of 57mm. Shimano make the BR-650 brakeset, which has a reach of the required 57mm. The Shimano BR-650 are manufactured using the Ultegra series mechanics, with the silver finish of the Shimano 105 series.

Ultegra 6700 Brake Installation Issue

April 1st 2019

Front Brake Installation
Rear Brake Installation
Pedal Installation
Brake Levers and Gear Shifters Cabling Installation – Bike taking form !

April 6th – Front derailleur compatibility issue

Normally the bike was planned to be ready. However, at this stage we realized that the folding frame requires a front derailleur where the cable pulls from the top. The front derailleur that I had ordered (used by the majority of road bikes) has the standard ‘bottom pull’ cable configuration.

To resolve this problem it’s either possible to install a pulley below the front derailleur to re-route the cable up into the front derailleur, or purchase a ‘top pull’ front derailleur.

Since the price of a frame mounted pulley costs about the same as a ‘top pull’ front derailleur, I decided to purchase another front derailleur. Many mountain bike derailleurs are top pull. After some research, I decided to get the Shimano FD-CX70T, because of the following points:

– supports up to 52 teeth on the larger chainring

– supports 16 teeth difference between chainrings

– has the Ultegra product line look and finish

April 12th – the bike is ready

Weighing in 10.65 kg, the bike is ready to roll.

Montague Custom FIT weighing 10.6 kg

April 13th – first test

Arrival at Paris Montparnasse, the Montague Custom FIT road bike is ready for the road.

Montague Custom FIT ready for Paris
Montague Custom FIT near Notre Dame de Paris