Retrobike Forum Index

It is currently Fri Dec 09, 2016 6:44 pm

* Login   * Register * Search  * FAQ



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:16 pm 
Sticker Master
Sticker Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 2353
Location: North Yorkshire
Where do I start…

...if you want a review skip to highlighted Sunday

I had my first 29”er built at the beginning of 2004, a single speed custom built by the now long gone “Paul Donohue” it was shortly after this that On-one started to do the 29”er Inbreds, mine was different, I ran a very short fork on the front and designed the chain stays as short as possible.

I remember turning up to the UK single speed event in Thetford that year and feeling like a God, the bike flew, you got it rolling and could walk away from anyone on a 26” single speed, if it hadn’t been for the 4am drinking session the night before with a certain “Charlie” I am sure I would have been UK Champion that year ;~)

Things moved on, Surly dropped the Karate Monkey, On-one pushed the Inbred a little more and Niner started to become a recognised name, the whole 29” thing was starting to gain favour, people rode them and become converted. Components improved, no longer was I building wheels with 19mm wide Mavic Open Pro rims, it took a while but slowly rims got wider and tyres became more available. I now had more than 1 tyre to choose from, a red walled IRC of all things

Move forward a number of years and how things have changed, all the Pro racers run 29”ers and they are becoming more common place through the range of any of the main manufactures
I found shortcomings with most of the later frames I chose, always opting for a shorter fork than the bike came with always feeling the steering a little slow

First it was a Karate Monkey a little heavy so I moved on, next came a Niner SIR, loved that but again ran a short fork, I thought my dreams had been answered when Ragley built the TD:1 great ride and designed around a short rigid fork, I ran it for a while and threw in a Fisher and a FS Niner but always loved the direct feel of a rigid bike so ended up falling into the Jones trap…

Much as I love my Spaceframe and feel the Truss fork is one of the nicest rigid forks available I still have a passion for the madness of a big fat tyre. They are so forgiving, the direct steer of a rigid for without the weight penalty and wear issues of suspension

I took my Pugsley to the lakes and had my eyes opened on the abilities of a “Fat Bike” on loose rocky trails, it was amazing, the term “hooligan” hasn’t been used for my riding style for a lot of years but that certainly brought it out on me. The sure footed ability of those big tyres and the indestructibility it gave you, it was so much fun, but where to go next…

Surly in there “haphazard” manner announce the Krampus

This has got to be the answer, I try to ignore the early tyre clearance issues and sign up, my racing days are long gone but I love the rattle through a trail as much as the rest, the bigger the smile at the end the more I love the bike

…the wait goes on, talk of Christmas delivery are ignored, I hope maybe a end of January birthday present might be on the cards, this passes, Ok end of Feb, I finally hear from the afore mentioned “Charlie” now a well thought of purveyor of bikes…

They are in the country, you should see it around the 20th!

The parts are collected, the spoke lengths calculated and bought, I spec the bike in my head, I love the almost “custom car builder” style of buying a “rolling chassis”, every bike is personal in colour and components, every one is different

Friday night the Leffe is out and it’s time to build wheels, spoke lengths are good, a little long on the back but it will work, an hour or so later the wheels are up and true. The Frame is rushed together, headset pressed in, seat post found, seated fitted to the amazingly complicated Moots clamp, it’s starting to take shape

Saturday comes and work gets in the way, sometimes being “self employed” has advantages sometime not. I get home late and put the finishing touches to the Krampus, cut the steerer, hope the Friction 9sp set up will work and pray the pads will bed in quick


Sunday arrives, out of the blue I get an email from a friend asking if I’m riding, 30 mins later and he’s round, we both admire the sparkly green paintwork in the short lived morning sun, I sit over the bike and press down, it jumps into life

I spin round the yard making sure things are together, brakes work, gears are somewhere in there, the usual, immediately the feeling of speed can be felt, those big tyres rolling so quick without the drag of the Pugsley, this is going to be fun
Attachment:
DSC00006.JPG
DSC00006.JPG [ 146.91 KiB | Viewed 2138 times ]

Mark grabs the bike while I find a jacket and gloves, his short spin is condensed into “God that’s quick” did Surly build a race bike?

The first tester, a tricky singletrack trail full of roots logs and off camber leaves, I take the lead, the bike rails through the flatter section, with the indestructible feeling of the Pugsley, rolling over everything without even a blink, into the root infested bank side, weaving between narrow trees and the bike feels so confident, it spins straight up the narrow ledge climb, timing the pedal strokes I avoid the stump with nothing more than a big smile on my face.
Attachment:
DSC00024.JPG
DSC00024.JPG [ 148.6 KiB | Viewed 2138 times ]

We get to a fallen tree, too big to hop and I look back, Mark catches me up only to say “where did you go, I looked up and you had just gone. That thing is so quick” I laugh and press on

Next section weaves between narrow trees with a leaf covered clay base, every bike I ride across this slides down the camber, regardless of tyre, pressure or wheel size, it’s a given. I roll in and realise I am picking a line, not only across the camber but up it, aiming for the high line and between the narrow gap, not even the slightest sign of sliding down the camber, I weave between the trees and lean that section for the first time ever. Once again the smile appears across my face, this bike is amazing, so much grip and so much momentum

We roll out onto the footpath exit and Mark catches only to see me standing there with a huge smile on my face gushing about how good the bike is
Attachment:
DSC00034.JPG
DSC00034.JPG [ 141.39 KiB | Viewed 2138 times ]

I could go on, I did and at the end of each familiar section I stopped took a step back and smiled, this just worked, it didn’t have 4” of travel or even a 6” fork, it was rigid, fast and worked so well, everything I had hoped for and so worth the 6 month wait

Mark couldn’t take any more of my gushing about my “new bike” he left me to it I rode two sections I normally avoid, just to test the bike a bit more, it cleaned them oozing confidence, I flew back across the open Moor making the most of the tail wind and straight into the warming pub

I sat outside admiring the new Wheel platform, 29+ if you want some fun and to ride the best you ever have, make sure your next purchase is 3” wide and a 29”er

Roll on the future…even if it still needs thumbshifters :D
Attachment:
DSC00039.JPG
DSC00039.JPG [ 146.54 KiB | Viewed 2138 times ]


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:31 pm 
Sticker Master
Sticker Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 2353
Location: North Yorkshire
I think this says it all :D


Attachments:
IMG-20130224-00160a.jpg
IMG-20130224-00160a.jpg [ 382.15 KiB | Viewed 2134 times ]
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:54 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:00 pm
Posts: 5611
Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne
Brilliant write up Gil.....so glad I managed to snap one of the 20 frame sets in the first batch!

I would of kicked myself if I missed out.......just have to wait til Saturday until I have mine together.


Did you try different pressures? Hearing 15 psi is key?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:32 pm 
Sticker Master
Sticker Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 2353
Location: North Yorkshire
...ran them nearer 20psi I would guess but certainly no grip issues, guess I will mess a little this week but think 15psi would be as low as I wanted to go


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:05 pm 
Old School Hero
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 11:41 am
Posts: 246
Location: New Zealand
Awesome write up. You share a bit of my bike taste but obviously are a bit fitter.

Tell me, I have a purple pugs, a jones front ended ti bike (which rides awesome) and I just got a karate monkey which I wasn't impressed with.

Would you take this for a normal trail ride, over the pugsley?

Just tossing up whether to spend money on more modern tyres (I have an endo/Larry) combo or just get this bike. Pretty sure I know what you will say thou


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:33 pm 
Sticker Master
Sticker Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 2353
Location: North Yorkshire
"clockd" if I was you I would buy a Rabbit hole rim and a Knard tyre, this will fit in your Jones truss fork (assuming 100mm) and even from memory the Monkey front end

This will give you some feel for the 29+ platform and can be moved onto a Krampus if you were to buy

Much as I love the Pugsley as a trail bike it can be a little bit more draggy than it needs to be, the Knard just doesn't have this but still has the grip and fun of that big fat tyre

Somewhere nice in NZ I hope, spent a month riding out there before the 2010 World Single speed event in Rotorua, excellent part of the world


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:39 pm 
South East Deputy AEC
South East Deputy AEC
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:27 pm
Posts: 4398
Location: Angmering
*waves* hello Gil, long time chap, hope everything is well :)

really nice write up and I have to say is pushing me into going to find one of these to test ride


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:47 pm 
Sticker Master
Sticker Master
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
Posts: 2353
Location: North Yorkshire
all I can say is test ride one, find the worst techy trail you know and fly though it like you won't believe

your wallet might regret but they are worth every penny in grin factor :D


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:50 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:31 pm
Posts: 2491
Location: ManchestOr
It was only a matter of time wasn't it?! I underestimated how 'popular' (we are niche junkies a bit aren't we) Fat bikes were going to be so good on Surly to take on the next logical thing. You've sold me though I won't be rushing out just yet i've not invested in a 29er yet. Sounds brill, defo better than 29 plus suspension? I saw On One have developed a long travel HT, bit of a monster I expect but it was long overdue expanding the envelope...

Great, nice build I want one!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:43 pm 
Retro Guru
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:34 pm
Posts: 1513
Great write up, and a wonderful looking thing!

I want one....


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

About Us

Follow Retrobike

Other cool stuff

All content © 2005-2015 Retrobike unless otherwise stated.
Cookies Policy.
bikedeals - the best bike deals in one place
FatCOGS - Fat Chance Owner's Group

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group