Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ian's new bike

I don't usually post a lot of pictures of bikes I'm building here, just because a lot of them are pretty similar - you can't tell much about the wonderful subtle stuff I did with the geometry from a picture, and most of them are intended for similar purposes - go shred some singletrack in (fill in the name of your state). Neat bikes, for sure, but not really that interesting to read or write about.

This one is different. Ian (a Boulder local) asked me to build him something pretty unique. The goals were, in no particular order:
-Use 26" wheels (for strength reasons and to avoid toe rub) but be capable of clearing 29" ones. With 26" (and 1.5" slick tires) wheels, the bike has a 10.8" bottom bracket height - nice and low and stable for carrying loads. On the other hand, with small 29" tires or big CX tires, the BB height rises to around 12", great for riding trails.
-Rack/fender/H20 mounts all over the place to allow using a wide variety of racks and other add-ons. The canti bosses are for mounting an Old Man Mountain rack, though they could be used for brakes in a pinch as well.
-Drop bars with a combined mountain/road drivetrain for touring.
-Ultra beefy tubes for carrying loads and handling rough terrain.

I don't even have the tires, saddle, fenders, or racks mounted (not to mention cables and housing) and this beast has to be getting close to 30 pounds. Normally that's not something I'd be proud of, but in this case, the goal is to make sure the bike will keep going no matter what (probably with 80# of gear on the racks), not to save a few grams.

In any case, something unusual for me that was fun to build. I'll post a picture of the bike when it's finished up later this week.


Kerry said...

Love that bike. Close to what I would want. Here is my dream. Non-suspension corrected drop bar 29er with canti mounts.
What do you think?

Walt said...

Kerry -

Sounds like a good plan to me. The big thing that kills a lot of 29er drop bar bikes is toe overlap - you've gotta be reasonably gangly to make it work out decently.

If I had to have just one bike, I'd probably build something similar, though maybe with a flat bar and bar ends (or one of those sweet Scott mtb aerobars!) instead. I'd do discs AND canti mounts. You never know when something's going to break in the middle of nowhere, and last I checked, a lot of bike shops in the developing world do not carry disc brakes...

Ken said...

Very COOL!

What I've been pondering . . . a drop bar 650B mountain bike with S&S couplings that will also run some burly 26 inch wheels for off-the-map, no-crazy-wheel-standards, rugged touring. Figure I could have a lower, more stable BB when running 26 inch wheels. And I'm thinking Paul Motolite BMX brakes in the rear to adapt to the two wheel sizes.