Friday, August 05, 2011

I (heart) Carte Blanche

Unlike some people, Al basically told me to do whatever I thought would work best for his new 36er - so here's the current state of the art (keep in mind, he's 5'10" tall - no huge dude by any means).

-69 degree HTA, 90mm rake fork.
-510mm chainstays, plenty of tire clearance, 83mm BB shell and kinked seat tube.
-Paragon sliders to allow geared/single use.
-1 1/8 head tube - I see no reason to do a tapered setup when the odds of being able to build a tapered rigid fork anytime soon are next to zero. Plus, it's rigid.
-23.8" effective toptube (yes, that's right). Yes, there will be some toe overlap. Acceptable price to pay, IMO - if you're riding super-gnar chundery switchbacks, you should probably not be on this bike. It's for XC.
-33" standover (it's possible to get a little lower, but not a whole lot - once again, you gotta just deal - the darn wheels are just too big to have lots of standover for most folks).

I seem to be doing more and more of these - maybe it's time to start hassling WTB about doing a run of a "real" 36er tire...

Addendum: Feldman points out, quite correctly, that for many people, the state of the art head tube would be a 44mm ID version with an inset/zerostack headset, to get the bars lower. Not a concern for Al, so not necessary in this case, but a great idea for smaller riders who run their bars closer to saddle height.


Anonymous said...

Walt, definitely hit up WTB. I'm itching to join this insane club. More thoughts on your seat tube design? was Brad's curved tube really a hassle?
Bill from Vancouver.

Walt said...

Hey Bill -

Great question. The curved seat tubes are a PITA here, because the seatpost needs (minimum) 4" or so of straight tubing to fit, and ideally a bit more (in the bike pictured, it's 5.5") to allow some up/down adjustment for different riders, or those who like to drop the seat for descents.

It's possible (kind of) to make a smooth bend that replicates the geometry of the kinked seat tube, but it's much more work and requires a TON of post-bending manipulation to get a smooth look, because no matter what you do, you get a big dent where the bent section ends and the straight section begins.

So the kink is a lot easier and more practical. Some folks don't like the look, and that's fine. If someone really badly wants a curved tube, I'll do it that way, but as I said, I got carte blanche on this one, and this is the way I prefer to do it.

Nateo said...

Do you have any insight into WTB's minimum production run for making a tire like that? I have no idea how hard it is to make a new tire size.

Walt said...

Hey Nateo -

I would guess 500-1000 units. But I am not a tire expert by any means, so I have limited insight into that part of the industry. There is some demand on the uni side of things for a lighter/better tire, so maybe it will eventually happen.