Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Between Me and the Ground

That time again.
Time for a new post of a new bike.

Disc brakes are the in thing for cross bikes.
All the cool kids are doin' it.

Before somebody gets their undies in a twist
 about the sacrilege that disc brakes on a 'cross bike represents,
I'll say it first: I've always had apprehensions about it.
My theory has been that the surface area that a disc 
and its pads have, is about twice the contact patch 
your tires have got on the ground. 

I said that half the fun of riding a 'cross bike is the
lack of braking that makes you just kinda go for it.

I was wrong.

Disc brakes on 'cross bikes are the jam.

Don't fool yourself.
The same arguments against disc brakes on mountain bikes
are being trotted out 15 years later when debating the
 merits of 'cross bike disc brakery. 

In the future, you'll be able to control your 'cross bike,
and ride it faster.

The future is now.
Actually, the future was like 5 years ago,
but some of us were to stuck to our own ways to see it.

Dead Meadow.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Blue Velvet

Hey, gang. 

This bike has found its way to Greg Ooley,
currently residing in Durango, Colorado.

This bike is one of those single speed-twenty niners
that seem to keep me pretty busy. 

 I guess I'll run through the details for those of us that just joined us.

 These bikes have a chain stay length starting at about 16.5". 
I've built them shorter, but they don't ride as good.
Shorter than that and they start pivoting on the rear wheel rather than carving through corners.
The shorter the stay, the less stable. That's good to a point, but when the rider's 
weight is perched over the rear axle things can get spooky at speed in the rough.

 The swinger dropouts that have been showing up on Black Cats for
the last 7 years have about .75" of adjustment.
Not as much adjustment as some designs but when designing them
my thinking was to keep them as small as possible to save weight
and that the shortest I want the chainstay is 16.5",
and the handling of the bike really starts suffering at 17.25".

The head tube angle changes depending on the person,
 their riding style, their local trails, etc.
A lot of these bikes are made for a 100mm travel fork. 
If so, the head angle runs at 69.5 degrees, give or take, 
based on the variables listed above.
The Thunder Monkey geometry is based on a 120mm fork
 and comes out slacker than that, starting at 67 degrees or so.
Turns out that the "new" "progressive" "all-mountain" "aggressive"
29ers so popular this season are about 4 years behind the curve. 

Greg's is built around a 100mm fork, 
and ready for the action found up in the high country.

These bikes aren't made to be hung over your mantle.
They're made for a good thrashin'.

Thanks, Greg.
Go forth and thrash.

Somewhere between Bruce Springsteen,
The Violent Femmes, and Nation of Ulysses;
somewhere between Transcendentalism
and Existentialism lies
Titus Andronicus.

Their "The Monitor" record is the real deal.