Thursday, February 27, 2014

Vote! What stupid project should Walt build in 2014?

I have a deal with Sarah (and myself) - I get to build myself one bike a year. I've maybe fudged that rule a few times but I generally stick with it pretty well.

In recent history, in 2012 I built myself a cargo bike (which, because it was a test bike to check equipment after the move to UT, I decided didn't count) and Stupidmobile (the stupidmobile build lasted into 2013, really). In 2013 I reassembled (with very expensive parts) my 6" travel 29er, rode it a bit and decided I didn't want or need that much travel in northern UT, and then parted it back out. I also played with my 4" travel FS bike and built some new chainstay assemblies for it. With all the churn there I figured I was at my bike limit.

But 2014 is a new year. Of course, we're having a daughter in June and we're moving to Park City in 2 or 3 weeks... so there's a lot going on, but I am hoping to still find time to build myself something fun and a little bit wild/weird.

Maybe not THAT weird.

That's where you come in. I need ideas. Keep in mind that:

-I have a very fun hardtail and a very fun XC full suspension bike that I have niggling complaints about but am not all that excited to replace.

-I rarely ride road bikes and have an "old man" flat bar road bike for those rare occasions.

-I only ride fixies on the track and I sold my track bike when we moved to UT from CO. There is not currently a track here. Also I am perhaps the world's worst track rider.

-The cargo bike works fine and there is no way I have room for another one in a 550 sq ft. shop. It's already in the background of every picture, ever, from in there.

-I've determined that I don't have enough really gnar trails to ride in the PC area to justify a long travel setup of any kind. Plus I have a 6" frame that I could put back together if I changed my mind.

-Park City has a metric ton of groomed winter trails that are generally open to bikes. I also need a bike that can be used to pull a mower for the new huge stupid yard without damaging the turf too much - fatbike of some kind? But a rigid fatbike is kinda boring. I do those all the time. We're looking for weird here...

-I've been doing lots of building full suspension parts and have entertained the thought of doing an FS bike for Knards or for 26" fat tires. Combine this with a custom headshok fatbike fork perhaps? That would peg the weird meter pretty well as I pulled a mower around the lawn in my wife beater (or UV-protective long sleeves) while drinking a beer... but might also weigh a ton and not be much fun to ride. Having only ridden rigid fatbikes I'm not sure it makes any sense to do suspension if you're riding on actual snow - and I've got other bikes for dry trails.

-Maybe I need to build a kids bike? Something that can grow with the little one and work with multiple wheel sizes, maybe? Problem is that Bean isn't even 2 and doesn't much care for his current balance bike, so it might just gather dust.

-36er? For all that I seem to be the main guy building these, I don't own one. That's probably because I'm a little too small for one, and because they take up an amazing amount of space. Maybe I need to go big...

-A road bike, just to attract the deep-pocketed dentist-bike crowd? Problem is I'd hardly ride it and the build kit needed to impress that kind of customer would cost me a fortune.

-Tandem? Sarah would kill/maim/divorce me but maybe Bean would be big enough to ride it with me in 7-10 years.

-Recumbent? Swing bike? Muni? These are all terrible ideas, probably. No offense to the recumbent swing bikers out there.

-Something else? Get creative and tell me your ideas. It has to be at least moderately practical for living in a mountain town and not require $10k worth of obscure parts.

36 comments:

Kate Rowan said...

Here we go:

The bike for 4:
http://www.bikeforest.com/family_truckster.php

The pedalski:
http://sevenislands.50webs.com/cycleski/index.html

or the couch bike:
http://www.bikeforest.com/couch_rental.php

Smash all of these together, and I think you've got what you, Bean, Sarah and Sprout baby need.

Walt said...

Dude, that pedalski is AWESOME! Couch-pedalski? Genius!

We miss you guys!

Mike said...

Tall bike.

Mike said...

Tall bike.
Or tall fat bike.

BigHank53 said...

Stealthed town cruiser: a nice singlespeed (or Nexus 3-speed) bike that looks like such absolute crap that you don't need to lock it. Paprika and clear nail polish makes great paint-on fake rust. Whatever saddle you have with the name worn off and a torn cover. Enjoy the challenge of finding beat-up old parts so you can have something that looks like it came out of Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

Why not a Knard compatible hardtail(Lefty?), with sub 43 cm stays? You could mount three bottle cages, and raise the BB just a hair so you could run it with regular tires for trail use. This could be a very cool bike-packing set-up, and versatile enough to use almost everywhere. Wait, I'm describing a bike I would like to have...

Anonymous said...

Why not a Knard compatible hardtail(Lefty?), with sub 43 cm stays? You could mount three bottle cages, and raise the BB just a hair so you could run it with regular tires for trail use. This could be a very cool bike-packing set-up, and versatile enough to use almost everywhere. Wait, I'm describing a bike I would like to have...

Anonymous said...

Why not a Knard compatible hardtail(Lefty?), with sub 43 cm stays? You could mount three bottle cages, and raise the BB just a hair so you could run it with regular tires for trail use. This could be a very cool bike-packing set-up, and versatile enough to use almost everywhere. Wait, I'm describing a bike I would like to have...

Walt said...

Lefties aren't my thing, I think I'd do a headshok if I did a Knard bike. But yeah - super short stays (42cm should be *theoretically* possible on a 73mm shell) with the big tires could be really fun.

Full suspension stupidmobile?

Paprika and nail polish will be in the cards no matter what. That is just too good an idea to pass up.

Walt said...

Also, please remember that with 2 small children, bikepacking is kinda not possible.

G-reg said...

Fat-cargo, or 29+ bike. Any suspension on either is missing the point IMO.

Fat-cargo, not only rhymes with escargot, but with in an xtracycle/bigdummy style could have the younger kiddo on the cargo bike with a trail-a-bike type thing for the eldest little Waltworker.

BIG 29er wheels are fun, with your affinity for short stays and NON-suspension corrected forks those big wheels could be REALLY fun.


If you must monkey motion, 650b has a lot going for it.

G-reg said...

29+ is fun, short stays and a NON suspension corrected fork make for a fun bike, especially SS.

FAT-Cargo, Lil kiddo can happily hang out on the back of a xtracycle/big dummy, and bigger kiddo on some sort of trail-a-bike.

560/27.5 if you must FS stupidmobile.

Adam M. said...

A chameleon. A bike that can reasonably accommodate 29+, 26" fat and regular 29". You can come up with the geo, I don't even want to begin scratching my head on that.

Tandem 36er. You might as well be first, uhh that's a lot of metal just thinking about it, maybe not.

Or a super gknardly 29+ full susser. You know they'll be all the rage at NAHBS this year.

My friend had Rick build him a fat cargo bike he took to Australia on the Canning stock route. Things pretty bad ass.

Forget a tall bike how about a penny.

Folding travel bike with 20" wheels. but cool.

Whatever you decide on will be pretty bad ass I'm sure.

meriwethercycles said...

Hmm...weird for you? How about a long chainstay, long front center headshock fatbike with a SIDE-CART that seats TWO. Hell yes. Think how stable that'd be railing around Park City's groomers with both kids in there!

Rob said...

Yeah, what happened to the FS Stupidmobile you teased us with?

Anonymous said...

Walt,

How about a folding bike? They take up WAY less space and I think there could be a future in "custom commuters"!

Other idea is a -10 bike. 36's front wheel and 26'r rear wheel. This should make them shorter and easier to fit in your garage, plus that would be really cool.

Reid said...

2WD bike.

Anonymous said...



How about a tandem cargo 29+ stoker steer and brake that can morphed into a Bean and Beanette hauler for those occasional family outings with thud busters and headshox.........just a thought.

Todd

dicky said...

36" swing bike... because.

Anonymous said...

36er trike with couplers so you can go tandem, triple, or quad.

Or just figure out the holy-grail geometry for a fat/29+/29er do-everything frame that doesn't do everything with great mediocrity.

cartographer

Mark said...

Maybe revisit Stainless Steel?

Walt said...

I don't know, Mark - my question about stainless steel is still, "why?" I don't see any benefit to using it, since I take moderately good care of my bikes. I've never had an issue with anything rusting.

I guess you could leave it bare which is sort of neat but the selection of tubes also totally sucks if you want to build something weird...

Joel said...

Kid carrier/utility bike with integrated roll cage (could possibly carry a small keg if necessary)!

mike said...

big dummy style bike but set up so that your kids can ride side by side allowing them to have a view other than your butt or the back of the seat in front of them.

Fred Blasdel said...

Make yourself a big kid's bike, bonus points if it folds. 20" wheels are so awesome.

I just finished getting a project build like that together myself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo/sets/72157641237479913/

Loren said...

How 'bout a rickshaw style Fat Bike. Three Huge tyres and a bench seat so you can take the family out on the well groomed trails or maybe a fat bike with detachable side cars for the little ones.

jmc said...

36"er, but along these lines - http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/24200451_c-1898-crypto-high-wheel-ordinary
Or step up to a 50" http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/24200509_c-1888-springfield-roadster-high-wheel-safety

Anonymous said...

So, as kids we all used to rock the Big Wheels. What if you created a Waltworks one? You could pass it off as a toy for the kids and still be able to build yourself a bike later on.

-Chris

Walt said...

Just a note to everyone - great ideas. I'll do a followup post later in the week with some more thoughts. I think maybe I overempasized the "weird" angle and underemphasized the "practical" one, c'est la vie. Fun ideas!

Jon said...

Folding 36er?

Anonymous said...

Adult sized 'big-wheel' with fatties!!!

Adam M. said...

I got it (maybe because I want one)....

A 20" or 22"" wheeled bicycle that can be road toured on, ie sitting and pedaling comfortably all day, panniers and/or some bikepacking baggage to carry things.
Then wiith the simple swap of a handle bar/seatpost it turns into a street and skate park shredable BMX.

Only half jokingly could something like this actually be done?!?!

Steve said...

Tractor?

Steve said...

Chopper. Fattie rear with 29+ up front. 3 foot rigid fork or an inverted DH fork. Painted red/white/blue of course.

Anonymous said...

It's obvious.

A 36er recumbent delta trike. :)

epicyclo

Anonymous said...

Better late than never....you could improve on this, way cool!!!!
http://www.gizmag.com/calfee-convertible-tandem-bicycle/31233/

Hope you enjoy, I did.