Sunday, December 25, 2011
When the going gets weird…
A few days ago there was another fresh snow fall to the west coast of Scotland. That led me to commit to a course of action. Riding a normal bike in slushy, waterlogged or snow covered woods is ok once or twice but loses its appeal. Several years ago, I took my Kelly RoShamBo and mounted a jones/vicious fat fork and Paul Whub/uma drilled 50mm front rim with endomorph. Initially my thinkering led me to believe that a 26” rear wheel (with a maxis minion tyre) would balance out the geometry (the fork is 5mm shorter and has more offset than the RoShamBo was designed for, and the endo on a 50mm rim has about ½” less radius than the 29er wheel it replaced. Those frames already have a steepish head angle and I didn’t want to pitch myself too far forward - hence dropping the rear with the smaller wheel.. Of course due to the rim brake frame, that meant going either front brake only, or fixed. Fixed it was. Cue loads of fun. The front wheel had precious little lateral grip in the mud and snow, but careening about pinballing off rocks etc was great fun. Before too long, the low bottom bracket and super relaxed (floppy!) handling made me try a 650b rear wheel. Helped by the excellent Neo Moto tyre, it worked really well. The sun ringle 27mm wide rim was just enough despite pretty low quality material and construction. The bike even survived a strathpuffer…amongst other things.Eventually, the bike was pulled apart to lend things to other projects.
But it is time.
This iteration is going to be a bit different. Surly nate. Is there *anything* else? Maybe the Husker Du’s when they arrive? But meantime flotation and grip will be paramount. Again, the rear will be 650b, but I’m going to lace up a velocity p35. It is the widest rear rim I can find and with a dh tube, should allow me to run stupid low pressures mitigating the imbalance between the nate up front and the skinny rear.
Fixed or front brake only? Saint Franken mech or singlespeed? To be decided….