December 9, 2011

Waiting to finish up Guillaume’s Fatbike

Yes, Nick, it’s fat rear (and front) Thursday. Featuring Guillaume’s fatbike front triangle, a couple of terrible pictures, and some rambling thoughts from someone who does not really ride fatbikes much but has built maybe a dozen of them.

Guillaume’s is a new-wave fatbike – it’ll have clearance for the 115mm Big Fat Larry (yikes, that’s a lot of rubber!) accomplished partially by some careful chainstay manipulation and partially by offsetting the entire crank out to something like a 70mm chainline. To compensate, it’s also using a 170mm rear hub (thank, Anvil, for making a dummy axle for such a beast!)

For those folks wondering about the geometry, it’s nothing crazy, except that Guillaume has legs that go up to his elbows (he’s 5’9″ tall and runs his saddle at 79cm! Holy cow!)
-71 HTA, 73 STA.
-22.8″ toptube, 19.2″ seat tube (yes, superfreaky)
-45cm chainstays, 12″ BB, built for a Fatback carbon fork
-Clearance for some godawful huge tires, set up as a 1×9 or SS
-Nice Paragon low mount dropouts to keep the disc caliper out of the way of the rack mounts.

There are a bunch of bikes on my *personal* wish list – geared hardtail race bike (yeah, like I’ll be racing once the Bean is born…), FS race bike (ditto), 36er (waiting to get some decent rims/tires in the pipeline), new townie (that will still go when the mercury drops below freezing), and maybe even a cargo bike. Alas, none of them will fit in my limited shop/garage space, so all of those projects are on the indefinite back burner.

So why not a fatbike? I do love to ride in the snow, after all. Here’s the problem: Boulder does not have the kind of snow you’d want to ride a fatbike on. We have periodic big dumps of slushy junk that partially melt, then turn into ice – almost never the consistent, packed or semi-packed (or at least consistent depth – it’s always windy here too) snow that you’d need to enjoy riding a fatbike. So, alas, no fatbike for me, unless I move somewhere with consistent snow and packed trails of some kind.

But I enjoy building them anyway, and sending them off for people to enjoy, all while cursing the mud and ice on the trails here.