March 14, 2011

Reductio ad absurdum – now with less reductio!

So, for the background on this, you can read about the original geometry, or the followup post.

Well, I’ve made some changes since then, and I’m very happy with the bike. To whit:

-I’ve changed the fork to 100mm travel (it’s easy to do this, if any of you are curious – about a 5 minute job). So the head/seat angles are now 69/73 rather than 70/74. I am loving the slack front end – honestly, I have a hard time imagining ever building myself another bike with a head tube angle steeper than this. The short wheelbase seems to make tighter turns/terrain work out just fine, too (keep in mind that what we call “tight” here is not really the same as in, say, New England).

-I put some gears (a modified 14-34 XT cassette that fits on my singlespeed hub) on the bike, along with a Paul Components chainkeeper (which is a fantastic part, btw – 100 times better than the MRP I was using on the dually last year). Why? Well, our winter riding is mostly on trails that require lots of flat road/path riding to get to, and spinning crazily on the singlespeed for 45 minutes each way isn’t very fun. Also, I am lame and not at all cool. So there.

In any case, the ride is fantastic. It’s pretty darn stable on the rough stuff (ok, I have yet to ride *really* rough stuff, since all our high elevation riding is snowed in, but I have a pretty good inkling that she’ll do fine), super easy to jump/hop/wheelie (yes, the front end tries to come up on steep climbs, c’est la vie with 415mm chainstays and a 36″ inseam) and in general a blast.

Are there things I would change? Of course.

-I should have put a through axle fork on the bike. Dumb. Anyone want to buy a 100mm travel Fox F29 and a nice DT 240/Arch wheel with low miles, cheap? Say, $600 for the package?

-I think I prefer the Paragon dropouts. I’ve already bent the super flimsy Black Cat derailleur hanger (the aluminum is just kinda thin) twice. Who knows how long it’ll last. Then again, I could have just built for gears. I am sort of wondering if I’ll ever actually convert back to SS.

-Since I’ll probably never care about running a front derailleur or a tire bigger than 2.3 in the rear, I could conceivably try doing even shorter chainstays (I think the practical limit is probably around 400 or 405mm). I guess that’s not something I would necessarily do, but it would be interesting to see how it rode.

-On that note, I’d be interested to try a hardtail 29er with a 68 or maybe even 67 degree head tube angle. It might suck, but it would be fun to try.

-The 2.5 Weirwolf on the front is just silly. Great tire for a rigid fork, massive overkill on this one. I need to put something with some actual tread up there, but I’ve been too lazy.