June 14, 2011

Initial thoughts: Paragon Rockers

No pictures of the new (sort of) Paragon Rocker dropouts on the frame for y’all, but I thought I’d do a short writeup about these. Keep in mind:
– I’ve only built one frame with ’em.
– It’s not even back from powdercoat.
– I will never get to ride it, as A) it’s not mine, and B) Bernard is 6″ taller than me.

So I know very little, right now, about how the dropouts will actually work out.

In no particular order, my thoughts:

-They are just as heavy as any other slider/swinger/etc. Figure an extra 200-250 grams of weight on your frame as compared to a conventional vertical dropout. C’est la vie.

-The caliper positioning (between the stays) is EXCELLENT for use with a rack or fender, as the caliper is tucked well out of the way of the eyelets (much like the low mounts).

-Like the low mounts, I’ve settled on downtube/chainstay routing of the rear brake hose/housing. On some brakes with adjustable banjos, you could do a conventional toptube/seatstay setup, but in most cases, the downtube is going to be the way to go.

-There are two bolts and one pin holding everything in place, but no tension screw of any kind. I think these will probably not slip no matter what you do (the slots are not oriented in the same direction, even, so it would be insanely difficult to make that happen), but I could be wrong.

-As with the sliders, S-bend chainstays are highly recommended. The dropout is long and the chainstay tabs sit way outboard – so heel clearance will be an issue for some riders. S-bends will help with that to an extent.

-Cost is the same (extra $120) as for sliders.

Bottom line? These are great dropouts and they have some advantages over the slider configuration, especially if you want to run racks or fenders (or both). They are heavy and expensive, just like many singlespeed/disc dropouts, and they are not great for heel clearance. Time will tell whether there are any reliability/function/longevity issues. Basically, good stuff. Let me know if you want them on your bike, I’m happy to do it.