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Thread: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

  1. #41
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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Do you think a tube may let you run the EL tires at a lower pressure without squirming?
    A latex tube should get you close to tubeless in ride quality or not?
    Would sooo like to try a bike like that. Nice.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    B:

    Did you or the builder consider a steerer stop to keep the rack from swinging into the frame when stopped? I have seen braze ons on Tout Terrain and a few customs, but for the most part no one does it. The only complaint (as far as that goes) I have with my porteur rack set up is that sometimes when stopping with a load up front inattention to securing the bike can yield dings (perhaps not a problem in your bike currently as it does not appear to be painted).

    Also, does Martina have a pattern for bags to match your rack? The Swift Porteur seems the perfect match on your set up.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    The Pelican is the bag closest to those racks. They don't make one with attachments for that tombstone stock anymore, but you can ask for them to do it as it is a minor change (though for high season they don't do very much custom stuff). I should be getting one within a week.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    This bike is awesome, it is nice to see someone making something so utilitarian
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    what 1 1/8th roller bearing headset did you use?
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by omnigrid View Post
    what 1 1/8th roller bearing headset did you use?
    This one is a Stronglight Headlight, which unlike the old A9 has the bearings arranged in an 'X' shape — both of the cups are really cups instead of the upper one really being a cone

    I imported two dozen vintage 1 1/8" needle headsets from a guy in the Netherlands a couple years back to sell to other people buying rSogns

    I held on to this one for this project because it used the Dia-Compe split-ring patent for locating the upper bearing instead of a transverse clamp bolt or a compressed o-ring like Chris King

    I no longer have any complete headsets in stock, but here's some pics of a few different Stronglight options: Index of /fred/headsets
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by rabo View Post
    Do you think a tube may let you run the EL tires at a lower pressure without squirming?
    It sure does seem that way.

    I had to put a tube in the front one yesterday after scratching the sidewall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/waldo/8835099911/

    Haven't decided how I'm gonna repair it yet (patch on inside/outside, vulcanizing/non, superglue?)

    I may switch to tubes with these tires just for the compression damping, and save the tubeless for the Racing Ralphs.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    Did you or the builder consider a steerer stop to keep the rack from swinging into the frame when stopped? I have seen braze ons on Tout Terrain and a few customs, but for the most part no one does it. The only complaint (as far as that goes) I have with my porteur rack set up is that sometimes when stopping with a load up front inattention to securing the bike can yield dings (perhaps not a problem in your bike currently as it does not appear to be painted).
    On some sizes of the G1 Kogswell P/R, the fork crown bolts for the rack could hit the downtube, which was way no bueno.

    On my Kogswell G2 the rack hit the downtube bosses, which worked out pretty well though I did break a few barrel adjusters over the years. I think that was the case on my Rawland too at some point, but in its present setup the handlebars hit the frame.

    Currently on the new bike the rack perimeter hits the DT on the DS, and on the NDS the rack crown strut + front brake housing hits first. I might wrap some tape around the DS strut to see if I can get that to hit early too. I still need to play around with stems a bit more, I might end up with a position where the bars hit again.

    I'll see if I can design a steering stop that isn't ugly or a pain in the ass to make. I was already planning on making a custom headset spacer with my friend's new homebrew CNC lathe, with a redesign and some afterwork in the mill there are a few possibilities, really dependent on what options we have for holding the part.


    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    Also, does Martina have a pattern for bags to match your rack? The Swift Porteur seems the perfect match on your set up.
    I've had my big purple Swift bag for four years now, it's a custom design based on the old Pelican pattern:


    Half Naked Fred, Half Naked Elephant by joeball, on Flickr

    It has a narrow rectangular base that plumps out instead of being square like the new one, predates their use of coroplast stiffeners (there's a foam interlining in the body), and has a double-cinch closure instead of having a roll top. Waterproofness has never been a problem even being out all day in torrential rain, the roll-top is really way overkill.

    The inverted arrangement for the primary straps on the new pattern is something I've wanted for years: Pelican Porteur Bag from Swift Industries | handmade bicycle panniers and accessories

    My new rack was really made for it and not my vintage bag. The only bit that makes it anything less than perfect is that it has a transverse buckle for the CETMA fence instead of having a sleeve for the tombstone like on their Ozette bags, but that's pretty trivial for them to accomodate.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Last question.
    Your opinion on rolling resistance of the large EL tires versus narrow tires on pavement.
    (Did a 7 hour ride yesterday on Alu -oversize-frame with 23 mm tires and my spine gets so jacked up these days).
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by rabo View Post
    Your opinion on rolling resistance of the large EL tires versus narrow tires on pavement.
    Not all narrow tires are identical; the 24mm Open Corsa Evo CX that BQ tested was quite fast, but don't expect a Specialized Armadillo of the same size to roll the same. Also, rough surfaces like chipseal or rumble strips will make a narrow high pressure tire roll more slowly than it would do on smooth pavement, and will affect narrow tires more than wider, lower pressure tires.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    with knobbies and a 12-36t cassette mounted:

     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    from the weekend ride reports thread, it looks like it does the job!
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    blasdelf
    After this many pages you've kicked your way to the Vsalon Wiki. You've done a pretty awesome job making a case for this sort of bike. I very much appreciate how much consideration went into making these bikes handle well and serve a strong purpose. Riding these bikes hard proves they work. Prior to this I had these bikes pegged as something you want for carrying a load around cities, you've swayed me some and for doing well I thank you.
    Yer still a freakin' Fred but you are our Fred.
    Peace, TT

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    blasdelf
    After this many pages you've kicked your way to the Vsalon Wiki. You've done a pretty awesome job making a case for this sort of bike. I very much appreciate how much consideration went into making these bikes handle well and serve a strong purpose. Riding these bikes hard proves they work. Prior to this I had these bikes pegged as something you want for carrying a load around cities, you've swayed me some and for doing well I thank you.
    Yer still a freakin' Fred but you are our Fred.
    Peace, TT
    This bike does fill a niche quite well. If you've got weekend access to fire roads and live in a city this bike is pretty hard to beat.

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Delightful bicycle.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    I realize I may not get many answers on this given that the last post was two weeks ago, but I am curious about a couple of things related to this bike. I've read through all of the other threads where blasdelf made his opinions known and haven't had these questions answered directly yet.

    1. How much does the rear end of the bike impact the low trail design of the front end (73 degree and 60-ish mm rake fork)? Is this pattern of use and handling characteristics the sort of thing that could be retrofitted to an existing 73 degree head tube bike with a new fork?

    2. How does this thing handle with mountain bike tires on actual singletrack? Would a mountain biker used to typical 29er rigid geometry (if there is such a thing) get on it and think WHAT THE HELL or oh, this is nice.

    3. Is your preference for extra deep drops a consequence of how a low trail bike handles, or is it just a preference? Would flared dirt drops, like I've seen on several Rawland builds, still make sense? I like Flared dirt drops, even though I know they look a little ridiculous.

    Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanrtaylor View Post
    1. How much does the rear end of the bike impact the low trail design of the front end (73 degree and 60-ish mm rake fork)? Is this pattern of use and handling characteristics the sort of thing that could be retrofitted to an existing 73 degree head tube bike with a new fork?
    Fork retrofits are definitely in the cards, Kogswell was trying to get into that years ago before it imploded, but now SOMA is going to be selling conversion forks: S O M A f e e d: Low Trail Forks

    The rear end just needs to not be super long, touring-length chainstays would be counterproductive. Having the clearance for fat tires is also a big deal, and that can be hard to find on a new production frame that isn't overbuilt.

    I find it hilarious that the industry has been selling superstiff turds as commuter bikes with "steel is real" marketing bullshit about how compliant they are, but then the race bikes they proclaim as stiffer than ever are usually just as flexy as they've always been to keep the ride quality up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanrtaylor View Post
    2. How does this thing handle with mountain bike tires on actual singletrack? Would a mountain biker used to typical 29er rigid geometry (if there is such a thing) get on it and think WHAT THE HELL or oh, this is nice.
    Independently of tread, the mountain bike tires change the handling for the better on singletrack, especially unloaded. The larger wheel diameter increases the trail, the extra rotating weight stabilizes it somewhat (29er effect), and there's also a significant effect from the larger air volume called "pneumatic trail". That's all actually true for all mixed-terrain bikes regardless of trail, the tire choices actually alter the geometry to be more appropriate to their matching use cases, what luck!

    I had my Rawland out camping this weekend because I didn't want to take the new unpainted bike out on boats, and the Elephant definitely handles much better than it does on rough trails. They both have the same 35mm of trail with Hetres, but the Rawland is *way* more skittish unloaded. I think the fault lies with its 73.3° HTA, extra cm of front-center, 2cm wider bars, and extra cm of chainstay, in that order.

    There's definitely a WHAT THE HELL factor especially on the Rawland, I have a few friends that just can't countenance it. Compared to a MTB or CX bike it's much less sensitive to steering with your hips, and much more sensitive to steering with your shoulders. It makes it much easier to work up against the limits of the tires, very fun to take corners at speed without worrying about understeer.

    The Elephant handles pretty awesomely on singletrack, taking creative lines and always having the ability to switch lines even while leaned over mid-turn. I'd *much* rather carry 10-30 pounds on it than off-road than with any other rigid setup.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanrtaylor View Post
    3. Is your preference for extra deep drops a consequence of how a low trail bike handles, or is it just a preference? Would flared dirt drops, like I've seen on several Rawland builds, still make sense? I like Flared dirt drops, even though I know they look a little ridiculous.
    I think low trail bikes lend themselves even more to getting your body weight long/low than normal road bikes.

    Flared dirt drops are necessarily super wide, and I've found traditional 44cm bars to be nearly too much w/ low trail, and that's with a 130mm stem and a couple inches of drop.

    The standard dirt drop setup has bars that are at least 52cm wide in the hooks, placed high and close with a mega boner stem — great on a MTB with a slack ass HTA, a fucking nightmare on something that already handles quicker than most road bikes.

    Honestly most of those Rawland builds are fop chariot disasters, the standard customer seems to be someone that loves the Rivendell setup but is a cheapskate. Recently they're also into Jan Heine despite the fact that his and Grant's handling philosophies are totally irreconcilable.
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    so Fred... I'm trying to understand what were the key geometry targets to focus on for a new bike.
    From your BikeCad drawing your bike has a 73 d HTA and 65 mm of rake versus the Rawland's 73.3 and 70 mm of rake. Is that correct? So too much trail on the Rawland?
    Also I noticed you have 8 mm more bottom bracket drop than the Rawland. It seems that most of the 650B bikes are closer to the Rawland's drop no of 65mm. Is that an important factor also?
    Also you mention handlebar width. I know Jan likes narrow bars and he has said he feels that it works better with low trail bikes. It seems that off-road a slightly wider bar may be better for singletrack even with the quicker steering. I can't fathom going back to a narrow bar as I love the fit of a 46cm bar.

    What other design factors are important to control besides chainstay length?
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    From your BikeCad drawing your bike has a 73 d HTA and 65 mm of rake versus the Rawland's 73.3 and 70 mm of rake. Is that correct? So too much trail on the Rawland?
    no, the Rawland was 73.3° / 63mm — it was supposed to be 73° but it was derped up

    if I was building another fork for my Elephant I'd probably do 73° / 60mm


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    Also I noticed you have 8 mm more bottom bracket drop than the Rawland. It seems that most of the 650B bikes are closer to the Rawland's drop no of 65mm. Is that an important factor also?
    this is something according to taste, that's pretty independent from all the low trail jazz

    though you wouldn't want an extra-high BB on one


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    Also you mention handlebar width. I know Jan likes narrow bars and he has said he feels that it works better with low trail bikes. It seems that off-road a slightly wider bar may be better for singletrack even with the quicker steering. I can't fathom going back to a narrow bar as I love the fit of a 46cm bar.
    you can feel the handling difference from bar width extra easily on a low trail bike

    on my Rawland I went from 40cm to 44cm and it took me a while to adjust to the even more sensitive steering


    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    What other design factors are important to control besides chainstay length?
    chainstay length's corollary: front-center

    don't get carried away with long toptubes on XL low-trail bikes, gotta remember that the fork is adding an extra 2cm of front-center vs a normal road bike
     

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    Default Re: My latest 650b low trail fredmobile for the peanut gallery

    thanks Fred, I had already told my builder 73 HTA and 60mm fork rake.
    As far as front center, with 700C wheels and my need for a slack seat tube, My size 12 shoes force me in to a longer top tube to eliminate TCO.
     

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