Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pack Mule

Hey gang.
This post is slightly different than the norm.
I'm going to show you the bike while in action.

This bike was built for NAHBS as a bike packing bike.
Full Moto-Touring.

 I guess it makes sense to show it off to you half way through a short 
excursion in the local 87,000 acre state park.

The bike was built as a fairly straight forward mountain bike.
Not super light, not super beefy. 


I've seen rack mounts torn off seat stays, or worse, 
cracked or torn the seat stay itself.
These mounts run through both sides of the tube
and are threaded all the way through.
Keeps the frame strong, the rack stiff, 
and the mounting bolts much less likely to back out.

The loops on the racks are for running straps through to 
stop them from migrating around and loosening.
I prefer to make touring gear to be as universal as possible. 
With these racks you can strap anything on them and off you go. 
I like running dry bags. Easy, light, and replaceable in a pinch.

These are third set of racks I've made myself
to make sure all the bugs were worked out.
Those bugs are now long gone.

Racks allow for things to be tight, immovable, and out of the way.
I like my skills dictating whether or not I feel comfortable 
going for that steep off-camber switchback, 
not my gear getting in the way or pulling me around.

The front rack is mounted both from underneath, with an 
expanding wedge that holds tight in the steerer tube, 
and from above between the headset and stem.
With all the moving parts, there's not a lot of room to spare so the bolt head
 on the wedge must be a button head, and the brace from below must
 do a little up and over to make room for the bridge on the fork lowers. 
It's tight, but there's just enough room.

 Add some extra pounds on the front end of a bike 
and wider handle bars make a lot of sense.
Add a few inches of width to your handle bars and 
suddenly that stem is a bit overwhelmed.
Adding a bit of width to the stem suddenly 
brings it all back to the comfort zone.
It looks pretty cool too. 

Proto-typical proprietary dropout.
Holes drilled for 5mm, 6mm, or 8mm bolts.
You thought the holes just looked cool? 

Full length housing routed on the top of the down tube, 
the side of the tube least likely
 to get yanked when barging an overgrown trail, 
damaged from portaging or kicked up debris.
 Protects the frame when using front triangle frame bags,
and keeps those bags tight, 
since you're not fighting the cables to strap them on. 

This bike is going to be a work in progress.
At the show, I wanted to have another fork and 
set of racks for more road going voyages but ran out of time.
I'll keep y'all posted as it occurs. 

Sorry it's been so long posting, but the timing of frames going out has been awkward  
and I've gotten a bit bored of my own web-log. 
If I'm bored, you've got to be in tears by now. I've
been thinking that the "end result format" is getting a bit stale.
I'm not going to start covering religion and politics, 
and I'm not going to wax poetic on the virtues of my chosen
brand of flux, tubing, safety glasses, peanut butter, etc, 
but if you were coming to visit the shop, 
what would you want to see?
See. Not read. See.
Think photo essay, not a regrettable ranting diatribe.

You will not be let off the hook when it 
comes to my horrific taste in music though.
It is a one man dance party, after all...
Lately I've been obsessed with
Future of the Left

Or you can watch a whole set starting here.


onlyontwo said...

I'll chime in...

I'd love to see how you take what we give you in measurements and turning that into a frame. I guess the design side as well as the build up. It would be cool if you followed an order from start to finish. Just sayin'

Oh, and the Mango Mariposa is back in Indiana now. It is just as home here on the tight and twisty as it was on the long and fast in SoCal. Good work sir.


rik van hooydawg said...

more boobies please...

more carbon rims on touring bikes...

blackcatbicycles said...

andy, thanks for the input, and have fun reincorporating as a hoosier.

rick, more boobies? i didn't know i had any boobies... i'll have to look closer.

as far as carbon rims go, i have to rebuild the front wheel on my "touring wheelset" to accept the qr15 on that fork. so much to do... was i gonna let it stop me from going on this trip? no way.
if you wait until everything is perfect, you might not ever go.

i did say it was a work in progress.

Nathan said...

Nice choice with regards to Future of the Left. It's a shame that McClusky had to break up so that Future of the Left could be born.

Greg Preskit said...

I tried to comment but I don't think it ever went through and I don't want to retype it. I basically concur with onlyontwo... I'd love to see drawings, how you decide on geometry based on body measurements and desired ride characteristics, that sort of thing. Keep it rolling, TI.

blackcatbicycles said...

all things must come to an end. even future of the left.
i'm not so sure of the new lineup.
the bass lines were so prominent with kelson. without him, the sound is so different. not the same.

the new blogger interface is a bit odd. you're not the first or the last one to have been befuddled.

i'm trying document the building of the bike i'm working on now. it'll be a bit before that bike is done. a couple bikes will be posted between now and then. stay tuned.

tgadd0 said...

I'm a long time reader of this blog, and I do love the "completed bikes" format. I would like to see slightly more in progress shots, so you could do a short teaser for each bike of it partly done, or just tube selection even, and then the full post for completion.

Nicholas said...

Sir, that is a super-sweet bike. I want updates on how it rides loaded, especially on singletrack. It seems like riding trails with fore/aft loads and panniers sticking out the sides could be a bit hairy, or maybe just more fun.