How did time move so quickly? The first race of the year was Saturday and the realization that I had to make a frame for Cary W. as his winning bike from the 09 season drawing had come more quickly than anticipated. The fact that I lost 2 weeks in the shop heavily weighed upon the delay, but as the calendar had run out, the time is now. Added to the pressure was the fact that Cary had sold off his race bike in anticipation of his new toy...if he was going to race Saturday night I had to come through.
I had measured Cary months prior and knew the direction that I wanted to go. Cary, or Wangpig as he is affectionately known, has been riding off road for like, forever, so knows what he wants in a bike focused on fit and performance. It was my goal to introduce him the 650b wheel format, get him back on steel, and make the bike fit and handle like a patriot missile. To get the feel I wanted, I designed the bike for a 80mm 29er fork with...
Head tube - 72 degrees
Seat tube - 73 degrees
Chainstay - 16.75
Offset - 45mm
I choose light double butted tubing, 8-5-8 and 7-4-7, and made the main triangle more compact to keep the lateral stiffness I wanted for fast/efficient acceleration. Using my spec'd stays, I set the chainstay length a bit longer than fashionable these days. Understanding that coming off a 26er after 20+ years, some psycho-motor skills like sliding off the rear of the saddle during fast descents are unconsciously learned traits that need to be compensated for in design...after all, I wanted the bike to feel intuitive immediately. Getting the rear wheel back a bit more kept the bike a bit more balanced and fit Cary's riding style. Moving the wheel back a skoosh also allowed me to set the front end geo fairly neutral over the contact patch, allowing for fast slow speed steering and fast confident descending.
I started the build at 1400 hours Friday, worked through the night, and finished assembly with Cary at 1400 Saturday, a long 24 hours. Knowing that I would not have time to get the bike where I wanted it, I built two frames. One to get under Cary immediately and a second to paint up like I wanted and present at the next race.
I did not take time to take photos, so you'll just have to trust me that she's an ugly race bike in a rat rod primer grey. I did cut out some custom decals to pretty her up a bit though :)
Cary raced it just hours later. I think we both did ok under pressure as he finished first in the over 35 Expert field...nice work Wangpig!
If I can get a pic later I'll try to post it up.
EDIT... Cary wrote up a blog post and has some pics, looky here... http://www.familyofpain.blogspot.com/