Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My new Elephant

The obligatory garage door photo. Similar to the brickwallers for band promo shots

Here's a pile o super high-rez pics. Click any of them to enhonkin.

So far I've ridden it about 60 miles and it's everything I was hoping it would be.

I still have a few tweaks to make. I've swapped out the crankset/bottom bracket since I took these photos yesterday. I need to put another stay on the fender. And I need a new rear cassette. Anyone have a nice 8spd XTR 12-30 or so they want to unload? This one is toast.

Other than that, this bike is ready to ride. I'll take the long, mostly dirt way up up to Kettle Falls on Friday to give it a full shake down. I'll probably make those tiny saddle/bar adjustments that you can only detect after 50 miles or so on that ride.

I dig the color. Officially, it's "International Orange," but really, it's XO1 orange, which is the king of all bike colors. I left the color up to Glen. He then told the powdercoater to use one of 3 colors: optimizing for quick turn around time. The other colors were Pat Red and super yellow. I'd like either of those too, but this orange is pretty ruley. Especially with the bling logos.
Generally speaking, I really don't care much about the color -- and if I had any request, it would be sparkles, but sparkles aren't as sparkly in powdercoat as they are in wet paint, and I'm a powdercoat lover. BUT, I dig this orange.

Glen also has a proper headbadge on the way. Which is why there's a big blank spot on the headtube.

Logo on downtube

Chain hanger

Crazy rad chainstay work. Clearance for Hetres with fenders. Take off the fenders and you can put Quasi-motos in there for more serious dirt touring.

Dig the bi-plane mono seat stay. So cool. I also like the cable hanger. And the fancy-ass adjuster barrel.

Wiring. Wiring. Crazy man. Above and beyond. Exceeded expectations. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

This is an Alex rack. Cyo light. Wired to LED rear.

The wire runs down the DT, through the bottom bracket and out the left chainstay. According to Glen, the light mount is a prototype. He'll have a fancier one coming. Not sure what to expect there. This looks fine to me. But I'm curious.

Another pump peg. The idea is for mounting with the knobbies, so the bike is easier to shoulder when in "dirt" mode. Cool.

Glen made the fork crown. It's beefy and rad and suits me well.

Yep. That's internal wiring through the fork. Word.

Some crazy Italian tubing. 858. Standard.
So, we started this with a drawing from Alex. The basic design is the same as the Gifford.
I dig how Glen made it his own and really focused on the details. There's an externally reinforced seat tube because he knows how I ride. Against his aesthetic judgement he went with me on 1 1/8" steerer -- he was worried that it would weird against the standard diameter tubing, but it came out great. He sacked the first attempt at the chainstays because they weren't perfect. He added little carve out frillery at the headtube. He did a little Bontrager fillet trick at the chainstay/bottom bracket junction. He probably did a bunch of stuff I'll never know or appreciate.
I look forward to riding this bike for a long long time. Hopefully it will fit Maddie some day.


Pat S said...

When I saw the bike at Glen's, the color/graphic combo just immediately worked - there was no having to let it grow on you or anything like that and you're right, it rules.

It's not clear from the pictures and it needs to be pointed out that the internal routing for the wiring to the rear light is actually a tube within a tube - Glen brazed a continuous section of automotive small-diameter brake tubing into the frame as he was building it that runs from the entry near the the head tube to the exit near the rear dropout. So it's super easy to run a wire between those two points. So rad.

There are a ton of great details on this bike, but a couple that I just dig are the vertical slots on the ST/TT lug and the braze-ons on the CS scheme for mounting the rear light. Solid. Oh, and the chainstay bridge goes *through* the stays. Tig'd on the outside and brazed on the inside. So cool.

There's only one thing wrong with the bike that I can see . . . you have all that wiring buried in the frame and then you have the wiring for the front light coiled around the rack stay. Tacky and all kinds of wrong. I do know this rack guy . . .

Very sweet ride, John. Another damn fine piece of work, Glen.

Dan O said...

Wow - nice bike. Really nice. The orange paint looks fantastic.

Rachel said...

Beautiful bike! I'm totally jealous.

Jacque Hendrix said...

I don't say this often but...
Holy crap! What a nice bike.

John Speare said...

Thanks all. It really is a much prettier bike than I imagined. I need to get that first scratch/gouge out of the way so I can live in peace. Hopefully it won't be too long in coming.

Pat: you're right. I gotta hide those wires. I hear Ryan is going to build a rack. Maybe we can double up that class and I can join in? I also want to lower the rack a bit so I can bolt the fender into the bottom of the rack. And I can optimize the rear piece for my Swift bag.

Apertome said...

I really love all the details. Amazing bike!

EvilElf said...

Right purdy!

Unknown said...

John, how do you and Alex like the low trail thing offroad? I like the idea of being able to use one bike on and offroad with a tire switch as needed. That would moot my Sogn.

Michael said...

Nice bike!

I found your blog back in 2007 because of a post you did talking about peak oil, or a peak oil bike at least.
Is your new bike your peak oil bike?

John Speare said...

Ryan - loading up the front of the bike a bit slows down the handling. In fact, a lightly-loaded low trail bike like this will handle very similarly to your Rawland, which has a trail of mid-50's, which is also the sweet spot to me in handling.

Michael: thanks for the link to that old chestnut. What a great idea! This bike would be the bourgeois version of the peak oil bike. But if you added sliding dropouts and maybe kicked up the tubing to 969, then the design would work well for the peak oil bike.

Anonymous said...

what kind of barrel adjuster is that in the rear? I am looking for a barrel adjuster that will sit in my rear seat stay bridge...so I dont have to use an in-line adjuster.


mander said...

Love it! I ride a very similarly built-up crosscheck for most stuff. Your bike is far more refined, but I love that its overall look is still all-business and un-twee. Beautiful, beautiful bike.