Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Project Is Moving Ahead

I don't want to go into specifics until I can post photos. But, the new project is progressing.

There is a style of bike I have tried to build up, for the past few years, called the "all-rounder". Seven or eight years ago, when I was first getting interested in this style of bike, I leaned in the direction of a 700c wheeled cross bike, which could also be ridden on the dirt. The alternative would be a 26" wheeled mountain bike, which could also be ridden on the road (like my red RockHopper that I use for around-town use, right now).

Each of these bikes, while usable in any condition, leans really hard in one direction, and has less usability in the other. The cross bike is terrific on the road, but only partly competent on the dirt (when compared to a dedicated mtb). The mountain bike is terrific on the dirt, but leaves much to be desired on the road (when compared to a dedicated road bike).

So, for years, an all-rounder really was a compromise, pretty good at one thing and merely passable at another. At least, that's how it worked out for me. Your mileage may vary.

And, if your friends and riding partners are all on the same style bike, there's no problem. But, for me, I found that if I showed up for a mountain bike ride on my cross bike, I was constantly chasing the guys on mountain bikes. No one else was riding my style of bike.

Years passed, and something happened which changed everything, when it came to all-rounder bikes. The 29er mtb tire (and, to a smaller extent, the 650b) changed the rules completely. Now, there was a platform which allowed the same bike to run anything from racing-style road tires to big, fat, off-road rubber. If you like riding a full-rigid mtb, things get even simpler.

I think, by now, you have an general idea of what I'm working on. Details to follow (hopefully, soon).



At 4:15 AM , Blogger Erich said...

Good plan, from the sounds of it. I personally have found the closest thing to an "all-rounder" type bike is the XO-1 I just built up. It seems pretty adept in the dirt, though I'm a bit afraid to take it offroad for fear of the light tubed frame being damaged. And it's certainly a hoot on-road or on the trails.

At 7:10 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Congrats on finding the XO-1. If you have followed along as I've built the 650b Stumpy and the Red RockHopper, you can see that I like the concept a lot. The RockHopper is my current go-to bike for errands, coffee shop runs, night rides, etc.

Still, I find the 26" wheel size to be a limitation, both on road and off. Riding rigid, the small wheels just don't roll over the trail as smoothly as I want (again, keep in mind that I am riding with folks on full-suspension bikes or at least front suspension, and I'd like to get back to the trailhead around the same time as them).

On road, the 26" wheels are less of a problem, but require bigger gears to hang with a road bike rider of equal fitness (and an all-rounder needs lower gears for off-road). The Red RockHopper has a Campy Racing Triple crank with 32/42/52 rings. Not the best for off-roading, in Colorado.

That's why I am leaning toward what is, essentially, a 29er XO-1.

More details, soon.

At 7:11 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Also, I wouldn't worry about going off-road with your bike. John Stamsted used an XO-1 to set the world record for off-road mileage in 24 hours, mustache bars and all.

At 7:16 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Great minds think alike Jon,I just started building an allrounder based on Surly's 1X1.Though mine will have interchangable wheelsets for different conditions.It'll have on set of wheels fixed disc with 650bX45's and another freewheel disk with 26"X2.5",It may even get another set with 700cX32C road slicks.Gears will be 44/40 chainrings and 17/21 Surly dinglespeed for fixed on the 650b's,with a 21 freewheel on the 26's and a 17 freewheel on the 700's.Running moustache bars or H-bars I should be able to get enough hand positions to be comfortable anywhere.Just curious if this is something simalar to what you are setting up?

At 7:38 AM , Blogger Jon said...

Mine is based on a 29er platform, disc brake only. I have two wheelsets, one for road/cross, one for actual dirt. 3x9 drivetrain (mtb gearing works well enough on and offroad with the bigger wheels).

Discs also allow for 650b, later, if I can come up with a disc wheelset in that size (might just rebuild the ones I have on new hubs).

Adjustable dropouts make fixed or free singlespeeding viable, but I am planning on using this one as a shifty bike.

I want to save the rest of the details until I can show them in pictures. But that's the gist of it.

At 1:04 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

I am curious now about what frame you are using.29er XO-1 sounds intriguing.

At 3:14 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Stayed tuned to this Bat Station...

At 9:27 PM , Blogger Chandra said...

i am curious about this bike.

peace :)

At 12:18 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

I have changed my tune,now mine will be based on the new Rawland Ravn.2X9 30/40 with a 9 spd. 11/34cassette.2.0"quasi-motosfor off road,45c 650b's for whatever I feel like riding that day except for technical off road and 700 X 32for fast road rides, all with cable discs and drop bars.

At 1:26 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Originally, I had planned on using a Rawland Drakkar, but changed my plans.


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