Its been a little slow on the riding / bike tinkering lately. The holidays was spent with the family and I'm no doubt a few pounds heavier after all the good dinners. I'll just have to pedal a bit harder out there to sweat it out.
Went our for a Boxing Day ride but forgot the camera. It was a nice early ride, out before the sun came up and rode into the morning sunrise. Next time I'll have to get some photos.
I sold the 29er+ wheels for the Nashbar. I like the format and they go over anything but I'm just using the full fat nearly all the time now and needed to free up some cash for another fat build. The fellow that bought them was putting them on his Mukluk for fair weather use, good choice.
I did do some shop cleaning.
I also built some tube lifts for the "almost jigless jig".
Also built a pretty kick ass seatstay bender. It might work on chainstays as well but I'm a bit skeptical.
The first piece of "Bric's Ultimate Bike Build" has arrived. A good old Lefty MAX 140. A lightweight, easily modified, coil sprung fork in need of some love. I got it for a song so I can't complain about it needing some work. Rebuild is going to be cheap anyways.
Some people get nervous ripping down suspension components, especially Cannondale's proprietary Lefty fork. Not me. Bring that shit on. Having rebuilt my fair share of motorcycle and dirtbike forks over the years makes this stuff seem like a breeze.
Started with this oil leaking mess.
An hour later I'm looking at this.
Internals are in good shape, needle bearings are good as well. Its going to need a seal kit and the foam isolator on the rebound damper shaft. I'll grab the appropriate spring for my weight as well and some decals to return it to its original glory. I'll also need a steerer tube adapter but need to sort out what headtube I'm going to build my frame with. One step at a time.
The perfect bike.
Does it exist? I once thought that my 26er hardtail was the perfect bike for me. Then my 26er FS bike, then my hardtail 29er, then my fat bike. Its hard to say what the perfect trail bike is, especially given personal preference and riding style, terrain, etc. This year I found myself riding my fat bike all year when my aluminum 29er cracked. I got a warranty replacement after a bit of debacle which sat in a box for a while while I happily continued to ride fat. I ended up selling the brand new warranty frame with my fork and some other bits so I could afford to build a nice set of 29er+ wheels for the fat bike.
The 29er+ wheels did not disappoint. Lighter than full fat and faster rolling. Retained SOME of the cushion of the fat. Grip was great for summer conditions at the ever sandy trails of Turkey Point. Hmmm, could this be the perfect bike for me? Whats not to like? The fat bike was built for snow, longer chainstays and lower bb meant stable and predictable. With the 29er+ wheels it was still stable and predictable just a bit quicker.
I began to think...... a 29er+ bike with a suspension fork, shorter chainstays, proper bb height, and better gearing might be my "perfect bike". I built the bike in my head.... 80-100mm travel, 2x10 drivetrain, 435mm chainstays (I loved my Scout 29er with 433 chainstays, holy shit it was fun), 83mm bb shell, 150 x 12 mm rear, 4130 cromo double butted frame fillet brazed, 30ish lbs weight.
A guy can dream right? No one makes this bike, and 29er+ is so niche I doubt anyone will, especially with the 650b+ offerings coming out for "summer fat" and no problems fitting in a 29er suspension fork. Suddenly I saw the light. It was a 'field of dreams' type moment. The voice in my head said "build it, then ride the shit out of it".
All I can say right now is that bikecad has been busy lately and tubing has been specced. The torches are waiting to be refilled and my brazing stock is being looked at. Parts are being stockpiled. I have not built a frame since 2009 so it will be nice to get back into the swing of it. Mitering, filing, brazing, measuring. Mans work, no mulling about what frame to order and what compromise I'm willing to take.
Looks like 2015 will see the first ever "BricWerks" bike roll out of my garage and onto a singletrack near you. I'll leave you with some photos from my 2009 frame build just the whet your appetite.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.