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  1. #1
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Click here if you like to look at other men's Matted Chesthair

    I got my Matt Chester Mutinyman recently and have put about 90 miles on it. Noticeable weight difference and handling, so we're still getting acquainted. I've scared myself launching off little things and getting more air than I'm used to because the Mute's a lot lighter than my Karate Monkey The Monkey, which I've been riding since February, weighs about 26.5 lbs, while this bike weighs 21.75 lbs as built. This bike also steers more quickly than the Monkey, so I've got to learn to relax a little more.

    Details, if you're into that stuff:
    • Matt Chester Mutinyman: 72 degree HA, ?? SA. TT low enough so I don't hurt my crotch on dismounts
    • Waltworks fork: 430mm A-C, 50mm rake
    • King headset
    • Thomson stem: 100mm x 5 degree rise
    • Moots post
    • Seven bar: 26" wide, 11 degree sweep
    • Oury grips
    • Flite saddle
    • Paul compact levers
    • Avid mech disc front brake
    • Shimano XTR rear brake
    • King (constantly loosening rear SS and ISO front) hubs
    • Salsa Delgado rims
    • Ignitor rear tire (folding)
    • Exiwolf front tire (folding)
    • Bonty 29 x 2.1 tubes
    • Raceface cranks 175mm
    • Shimano UN-73 BB
    • Salsa bash guard
    • Surly 34T ring
    • King 20T steel cog
    • SRAM PC-58 chain
    • Shimano 959 pedals
    • Jen Green head badge


    I was a little worried about how skinny the fork looked when I got it, but after riding it a little bit, it has worked fine. It flexes back and forth, but none of that shuddering while braking that I've heard about on ultra lightweight/skinny forks. Lots of clearance with the Exiwolf also!

    FWIW, Me: 5' 8.5", 158 lbs, 32" inseam.

    Thanks Matt and Walt!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Drevil; 11-15-2005 at 09:50 PM. Reason: gramatikal erors
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  2. #2
    This place needs an enema
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    Simple. Clean. Classic.

    May it give you years of trouble free smiles...

    MC

  3. #3
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
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    Wow....that thing is just awesome. Dreamy.....dare I say perfect.

    Are those rack mounts on the dropouts? Nice touch if soo.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  4. #4
    meh....
    Reputation: Monte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    • Waltworks fork: 430mm A-C, 50mm rake
    Nice bike. That fork would scare me, it's skinny!

    Monte

  5. #5
    Bored
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    I had some hesitation opening this thread. Then using some feeble minded deduction, I realized what you might be talking about. I'm glad I opened this thread.

    As stated earlier, clean and elegant. I really like the lines on this bike! Still love the look of a classic leather flite saddle!
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  6. #6

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    I love the head badge. The bike's nice too.

  7. #7
    Don't be a sheep
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    I got my Matt Chester Mutinyman recently and have put about 90 miles on it. Noticeable weight difference and handling, so we're still getting acquainted. I've scared myself launching off little things and getting more air than I'm used to because the Mute's a lot lighter than my Karate Monkey The Monkey, which I've been riding since February, weighs about 26.5 lbs, while this bike weighs 21.75 lbs as built. This bike also steers more quickly than the Monkey, so I've got to learn to relax a little more.

    Details, if you're into that stuff:
    • Matt Chester Mutinyman: 72 degree HA, ?? SA. TT low enough so I don't hurt my crotch on dismounts
    • Waltworks fork: 430mm A-C, 50mm rake
    • King headset
    • Thomson stem: 100mm x 5 degree rise
    • Moots post
    • Seven bar: 26" wide, 11 degree sweep
    • Oury grips
    • Flite saddle
    • Paul compact levers
    • Avid mech disc front brake
    • Shimano XTR rear brake
    • King (constantly loosening rear SS and ISO front) hubs
    • Salsa Delgado rims
    • Ignitor rear tire (folding)
    • Exiwolf front tire (folding)
    • Bonty 29 x 2.1 tubes
    • Raceface cranks 175mm
    • Shimano UN-73 BB
    • Salsa bash guard
    • Surly 34T ring
    • King 20T steel cog
    • SRAM PC-58 chain
    • Shimano 959 pedals
    • Jen Green head badge


    I was a little worried about how skinny the fork looked when I got it, but after riding it a little bit, it has worked fine. It flexes back and forth, but none of that shuddering while braking that I've heard about on ultra lightweight/skinny forks. Lots of clearance with the Exiwolf also!

    FWIW, Me: 5' 8.5", 158 lbs, 32" inseam.

    Thanks Matt and Walt!

    Hey a triangle frame, the easiest way to make a light, stiff, resilient, well handling bike. After all the freak show bikes I've seen lately it's a breath of fresh air.
    "Do not touch the trim"

  8. #8
    elbow gloves
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    Diggin the white

    pleasing to the eye, MC's always are

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    This bike also steers more quickly than the Monkey, so I've got to learn to relax a little more.
    Try not to break this one, Rick. I just wish you were a little taller...and rode Eggs...so I could have a go on that pretty little thing.

  10. #10
    DiscoCowboy
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    haha

    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    Try not to break this one, Rick. I just wish you were a little taller...and rode Eggs...so I could have a go on that pretty little thing.
    you would probably break it then he'd have to wait another 2 years for a new one...
    Looks better in the pix than in person...

  11. #11

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    A Very

    Poetic build.

    Kudos.

  12. #12

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    sweet headbadge!

    as we would say back here, "ASTEEEEG!"

  13. #13
    Recovering couch patato
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    Holy smokes, 7mm more offset than the KM fork, same head angle. I can only imagine how quickly it handles... My Cube on paper is 72.25º/43mm now, also with a Walt fork, and that's already plenty quick to pester the babywheelers on singletrack :-)

    I love how that bike looks, and I've got a serious thing for lightweight 29"ers. Respect for your commitment to go non-suspension corrected. Or is that the only way these frames come? :-)

  14. #14
    Category Winner
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    The fork?

    I have never seen a WW fork with tapered legs. Is that a new thing?
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3¢ every time I post on MTBR.

  15. #15
    Belltown Brazer
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    Drevil,
    Yours could be a cousin to my Strong. Especially when I put my Walt fork on it. The buildup and look is so close to mine that you know I like it!

    How do you like the Seven bar? Have you ridden a Mary/H-bar to compare the 11 deg sweep with?

    As mentioned in my thread, it sounds like you and I are in the same boat. Much lighter, quicker bike making the transition a bit of a challenge. I must admit in my case I was slightly put off. After all the waiting and planning I was expecting the angels to choir when I hit the trails. Instead, I could tell the bike is *going* to be great, but that it is going to take some dialing in and quality saddle time to fully bond. After 3 rides and a stem change, saddle change and some fork fiddling I could say that the angels are clearing their throats.

    I guess no different than my first 29er. I could tell it was different, and mostly better. After a year of riding the 29er I had to use one of my old 26ers while waiting for busted up parts. Then I could tell that the 29er was so much better.

    Anyway, enjoy the bike...I hope for many happy miles for you two.

    B

  16. #16
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Cloxx/MDEnvEngr: Yes, the bike steers really fast and I've crashed a few times because of it. I figure like any new bike/gizmo, it'll take some rides to get used to it. I liked Jones H-bars when I first tried them, hated them for a couple of weeks later, then loved them thereafter (and after the proper callouses built up). I'm experimenting with position still, and the bars are a little higher than I like. I'm used to them being ~1" lower than the top of the saddle. Right now they're about even.

    Why no H-bar? I wanted to see if I missed flat bars. I'm getting a Mary for my wife's bike, but will probably play with it myself for a little while. I've got a lot of time.

    I'm pretty sure Matt builds sussy corrected, but I won't put suspension on this bike, so I figured why have it sit up so high? As it is, with no spacers underneath the stem, it still feels a squidge high. (I guess I have short legs?) Flipping the stem (or trying a 0 rise) will take care of that.

    Teamdicky: Nope, not new. I've had this fork since May, and I've seen it in another post: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...5&postcount=20

    Donkey/Striker: Yup, rack mounts. Good for those long jaunts in the woods, the Great Divide Race , or carrying Allroy's mama.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  17. #17
    Category Winner
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    Well

    Teamdicky: Nope, not new. I've had this fork since May, and I've seen it in another post: http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...5&postcount=20

    Maybe it just wasn't an option for me. I wanted a 473mm fork built with a lean to the stronger rather than lighter side. The tapered legs do look nice. Makes me miss my KM fork (only from an aesthetic point of view).
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3¢ every time I post on MTBR.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    A picture

    of this ride should be in every dictionary next to the word bicycle.

    Sweetness
    Professional Amateur

  19. #19
    pepito
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    Good job!

    i'm sure it was worth the wait. that thing is a beauty. i've been wondering when you'd post it up. enjoy!
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  20. #20
    Kill your... television
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    This bike also steers more quickly than the Monkey, so I've got to learn to relax a little more.
    I swapped out my Jones H-Bars on my monkey for a set of flat bars (the H-bars went on my Wily). The bike feels noticeably quicker steering. It just takes a while to get used to it.
    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

    Ti
    Misfit

  21. #21
    try driving your car less
    Reputation: jh_on_the_cape's Avatar
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    dude, finally. looks cool. be sure not to poo your shorts or that seat will get ruined.

    i had white bar tape on a road bike once and it looks like i took a dump on it within a few weeks.

    you should get a white suit to go with it. like boss hog


    Only boring people get bored.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
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    Drevil, new ride looks awesome. Matt Chester makes some sweet frames. His website blog is always interesting too. Couple of questions:

    What kind seatpost clamp is that?

    What does the "MC DIY" sticker stand for?
    Matt-Chester Do-It-Yourself?

    Do the seatstays have a slight s-bend to them, or is it just the angle of the pics?

    Thanks for posting. Very nice build.

  23. #23
    paintbucket
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    Beautiful bike, Drevil. Clean.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  24. #24

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    aye caramba!

    eye-gasm.....and I bet it rides sweeter than it looks

    g

  25. #25
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
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    Albino Blinglespeed!

    Congrats on the beautiful build. I am likening it to an albino blinglespeed, heh-heh

    That is one sweet and unique build. I suppose the rear V will give you that patented Chester plush ride with the softer seat stays. The best looking mullet ever!

    I am really preferring my 11 degree, 26" wide flat Salsa ProMoto bars over the H-bars these days. I loved the H for the first few weeks, but after my first 12 hour solo race, I changed my mind. I certainly loved the Ti feel, though.

    I believe Walt's forks are truly the best out there right now. I wouldn't worry about strength or longevity one bit!

    GG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  26. #26
    SUBLIM8er
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    I like. Nice to see a non-suspension corrected build which is what I hope to have soon. PLease tell us more about that fork! I think it is exactly what I'm looking for. I want something that will be a little compliant and light. What type of tubing is used on it and any ideas on the weight?

  27. #27
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    Sweet!!! Nice looking bike.

    In my second week on mine, really getting it dialed and loving it more every ride, real nice work by Matt.
    I have Mary's on mine now, and they have made the ride even better.

  28. #28
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    Ricky

    Once again, you suck! Here I am waiting on my sir 9 and you're on another Chester. Oh, btw a bud of mine is getting married in the spring, so now I have to come visit you guys. Keep the KM in one piece for me.... or maybe even the old Yo Eddy please.

  29. #29
    Always Learning
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    Quote Originally Posted by jh_on_the_cape
    dude, finally. looks cool. be sure not to poo your shorts or that seat will get ruined. you should get a white suit to go with it. like boss hog

    I'm trying to figure out your choice of photographs.....

    Anything to do with penis, I mean, bike envy?

  30. #30

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    Beuatiful clean looking ride but..

    ...why no discbrake(mount) in the rear? Is it to save weight or is there another reason?

    Cheers

  31. #31
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiBiker
    ...why no discbrake(mount) in the rear? Is it to save weight or is there another reason?

    Cheers
    Matt Chester will not build frames for disc brake usage.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  32. #32

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    Ok, I didn't know that. Any special reason that you know of?

    I'm in the process of ordering another 29er (Ti hardtail this time) myself and still have to decide on disc and/or (removable) V-studs. I like the mech discs a lot but would like to save weight on this one...

  33. #33
    giddy up!
    Reputation: donkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiBiker
    Ok, I didn't know that. Any special reason that you know of?

    I'm in the process of ordering another 29er (Ti hardtail this time) myself and still have to decide on disc and/or (removable) V-studs. I like the mech discs a lot but would like to save weight on this one...
    It has to do with using light tubing for the rear end to achieve a certain ride quality...and the idea that said tubing wouldn't stand up to disc brake usage very well. That's the way I've always understood it anyway.

    I think it also has to do with Matt's ideas in regards to simplicity and keeping a bicycle as basic as possible.....he's got some great ideas I think.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  34. #34
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    It has to do with using light tubing for the rear end to achieve a certain ride quality...and the idea that said tubing wouldn't stand up to disc brake usage very well. That's the way I've always understood it anyway.

    I think it also has to do with Matt's ideas in regards to simplicity and keeping a bicycle as basic as possible.....he's got some great ideas I think.

    B
    Do you know if he ever wrote about it in his Blog or anything. I just tried looking, but there's no real way to search through his archives. I probably shouldn't care though, I weigh 180 and probably will use disks from now on...

  35. #35

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    Ok, thanks for the info Donkey

  36. #36
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
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    shiggy's Chester...

    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    It has to do with using light tubing for the rear end to achieve a certain ride quality...and the idea that said tubing wouldn't stand up to disc brake usage very well. That's the way I've always understood it anyway.

    I think it also has to do with Matt's ideas in regards to simplicity and keeping a bicycle as basic as possible.....he's got some great ideas I think.

    B
    What about shiggy's Chester? You have to know how to "ask" for a rear disc setup, apparently. It is all about the ride and simplicity for Matt, based on what I have heard from frame owners, and what I've read. But he won't refuse if you have your reason's properly argued in a thesis.
    You can always contact him directly if you are interested in a frame build...

    GG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  37. #37
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    FAQ: Chester and discs

    FAQ: Chester and discs

    Scroll down:
    http://archive.mtbr.com/17/0EF8B2DB.php
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  38. #38
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
    Reputation: OneGearGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    FAQ: Chester and discs

    Scroll down:
    http://archive.mtbr.com/17/0EF8B2DB.php
    Good find, but it's almost 3 years old.
    I would imagine, as shiggy mentioned, that his frame will still have that magic ride even when built for a disc. I just can't see myself giving up what I have come to love about disc brakes... but I still have 2 years until I buy myself a custom Ti frame for my 40th birthday. Maybe by then I will just convert to fixed and it won't be an issue, hahaha

    GG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  39. #39
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    Ricky,

    Love the white Flite and oury grips. I fully expect you to keep up with Camp et al Wednesday nights. All that Ti is gonna clash with the Disco Gold jumpsuit. Time for a wardrobe change.

  40. #40
    pepito
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGearGuy
    I just can't see myself giving up what I have come to love about disc brakes...

    what does a mullet setup, like drevil's, give up in braking efficiency to a full disc setup? i've never run my brakes this way, but it seems like a good compromise, in that you have the modulation and powerful braking where you need it. keeping the back end light, smooth, and soft.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

  41. #41
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevieDT
    Ricky,

    Love the white Flite and oury grips. I fully expect you to keep up with Camp et al Wednesday nights. All that Ti is gonna clash with the Disco Gold jumpsuit. Time for a wardrobe change.
    And therein lies the rub: having a really nice bike means you gotta have game. You, Campster, Knuckles, et. al. could beat me on clunkers. The nicer bike just means I can mellow out on the (non-existent) training because the bike will do all the work for me.

    ps - I could beat Camp...if the race lasted 10 seconds.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  42. #42
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown
    I'm trying to figure out your choice of photographs.....

    Anything to do with penis, I mean, bike envy?
    it has everything! Matted Chesthair, the Boss Hog suit, and ghey pron.
    Only boring people get bored.

  43. #43
    indigosky
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    what was the lead time on the frame? I am so tempted to sell all my mountain bikes and send Matt a check...

  44. #44

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    Oooo - purrrty!

    Whatcha gonna do with the KM?

  45. #45
    DiscoCowboy
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    yes I'm curious too...

    if I order now would my non-first born be in college by the time I get my frame?



    Quote Originally Posted by indigosky
    what was the lead time on the frame? I am so tempted to sell all my mountain bikes and send Matt a check...

  46. #46
    Let me ask my wife
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    Man that's nice, I too would like to have a Mutinyman. I reluctantly sold my Ute to fund another project. I'm beginning to think it was a mistake. That bike was smooooth.
    “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.” John F. Kennedy

  47. #47
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    A's 2 da Q's

    Indigosky: Good question. It takes a while (make that a whiiiiiiile), but Matt bent over backwards to get everything right.

    Fat Bobke: I hate you too. However, you're always welcome to borrow one of my (soon to be shrunken) quiver whenever you're in town. I won't ever sell the Yo Eddy, but right now it's built rigid, fixie, and brakeless. If you're willing to ride it, and sign a waiver, feel free

    Drewdane: Probably sell it. If you want to try it on a ride on our stomping grounds, let me know a few days ahead and I'll make sure it's ready. However, even though you're only slightly taller than me, I think your orangutan-ish limbs are too rangy for my small-sized bike and won't give you a proper feel for the 2niners. I could throw on a longer stem to help matters a little.

    HoSS: Buttah.

    the_dude: In the Mid Atlantic we get wet, we get mud, we get snow, we get ice. While the disc is better in those conditions, it's also a lot of fun on a fixie because rim brakes allow flip flop wheels.

    Allroy and jhonthecape: I swear, ever since the two of you started partying together, your bad attitudes have rubbed off on each other! (And hopefully that's all )
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  48. #48
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Goofing around a little bit during lunch yesterday:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=145298
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  49. #49
    Waiting to exhale.
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    Does anyone know what MC's opinion/theory/phlilosophy on short or long chain stays is?

    Sweet bike by the way... For some reason, it reminds me of an ol' skool chopper. I dig it.
    Quite possibly the slowest single speeder on earth.
    Now skating 'cause its cheaper.

  50. #50
    kung food
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMOKEY
    Does anyone know what MC's opinion/theory/phlilosophy on short or long chain stays is?

    Sweet bike by the way... For some reason, it reminds me of an ol' skool chopper. I dig it.

    Stolen from Matt's fixie fitment piece on 63xc:

    Chainstay length is subjected to incessant analysis. 'Shorter chainstays are better for climbing!' crows the internet discussion forum sage. Utter nonsense! No single aspect of frame design will enable you to predict a bike's handling characteristics. (If that were really the case, my job would be much easier.) In the real world, all aspects of frame design work in concert with one another. Adjust one, and the others are affected.

    Why am I wailing on the oft-repeated myth of the 'short chainstay?' Because there's more to building a good off-road fix than lopping the chainstays wicked short. Here are the things that I've learned from experience.

    The first is that you are seated on a fixed gear. A lot. On rough terrain. Any frame design which tucks the rear wheel underneath you is likely to produce an uncomfortable ride.

    The second is even more important--to me, at least. You will find that the shorter the chainstay, more difficult it is to keep the rear of the bike tracking straight while pedaling at some ungodly RPM down a mountain pass.

    It is possible to combine a longish rear end with good climbing. The old guys knew this already. I have learned, too.

  51. #51
    Belltown Brazer
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    Drevil,
    Any words about the Seven bar? Any comparo time in the Seven Ti vs the Mary?

    For some reason I cannot explain, my new Strong likes a rigid fork better than the Reba. With the rigid fork, I start to think a Ti handlebar. I like the hand position of the Mary bar, but probably could deal with some less sweep.

    Does that Ti bar provide a bit of flex/bump absorption?

    Have a good turkey day!

    B

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    Drevil,
    Any words about the Seven bar? Any comparo time in the Seven Ti vs the Mary?

    For some reason I cannot explain, my new Strong likes a rigid fork better than the Reba. With the rigid fork, I start to think a Ti handlebar. I like the hand position of the Mary bar, but probably could deal with some less sweep.

    Does that Ti bar provide a bit of flex/bump absorption?

    Have a good turkey day!

    B
    MDEnvEngr,

    I've owned the Seven bar for over two years. It's been on several bikes and through a few crashes. Nary a hiccup, and with a little Scotchbrite, it looks brand new again. My hands don't hurt as much when I ride this versus some of the aluminum bars I've owned. I used to ride with a Monkey Light carbon riser bar before I got this bar, but the Seven is so much more tough that I never have to concern myself about breakage. Plus it's cheaper and customizable!

    I haven't put much time on the Mary bars. I don't own one, but I have tried several friends' bars for very short test rides. However, I do own Jones H-bars, and I think they are more comfy than the Seven bars. Better hand angle and it feels like it absorbs shock more. I'm going to play with the Sevens for a little while though.

    Right now I'm in my experimental phase. Last night I wanted to see how my old 26er fork felt on the new Mute. It's a Kelly disc, with 428mm A-C and 38mm rake. (The Walt is 430mm with 50mm rake.) The Kelly has enough room to swallow an Exiwolf and has decent mud clearance. I also flopped the stem over, and my position feels better.

    On my quick lunchbreak ride, I noticed that my toes lightly rubbed against the tire whenever I do the parking lot "nose pivot" thing. However, even though I conciously tried to get my foot to rub the tire while on the trail, it didn't happen. Steering's slowed down a lot. I'll keep it on there for a few rides to see how it feels on real trails.

    Here's a pic before my quick spin:
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  53. #53
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    Drevil, closer to cousins. Actually they look like those pointy nosed black and white spy cartoon guys. I'm in an experimental phase as well:
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  54. #54
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    fork rake

    The 72 degree head angle became popular with 29er frames because it helps to preserve the traditional amount of trail when running a fork with 38mm of rake (the normal susp fork offset.)

    Additional rake, like that on your walt fork, is a great way to preserve the neutral steering feel when running a 29er with a slacker head angle. Old 38mm rake forks will feel 'floppy' when running a slacker head angle, like the bike wants to 'fall' into a corner.

    I've tried 41mm rake with 72 and it's plenty responsive. I bet 50 is scary at speed.

    If you go longer on the fork, and choose more rake, you can probably preserve the steering quality(and eliminating toe overlap), but that will definitely affect the BB height and seat angle.

    Who spec'd the numbers and were they figuring on a 50mm rake fork and 72 head angle?

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    The 72 degree head angle became popular with 29er frames because it helps to preserve the traditional amount of trail when running a fork with 38mm of rake (the normal susp fork offset.)

    Additional rake, like that on your walt fork, is a great way to preserve the neutral steering feel when running a 29er with a slacker head angle. Old 38mm rake forks will feel 'floppy' when running a slacker head angle, like the bike wants to 'fall' into a corner.

    I've tried 41mm rake with 72 and it's plenty responsive. I bet 50 is scary at speed.

    If you go longer on the fork, and choose more rake, you can probably preserve the steering quality(and eliminating toe overlap), but that will definitely affect the BB height and seat angle.

    Who spec'd the numbers and were they figuring on a 50mm rake fork and 72 head angle?
    I was thinking about this too after listening to Drevil talk about how different the Chester feels compared to the Monkey he used to ride. Then I checked the specs at surlybikes.com: 71.5 degree HT angle, and 43mm rake. Makes sense now.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    Drevil, closer to cousins. Actually they look like those pointy nosed black and white spy cartoon guys. I'm in an experimental phase as well:
    I think you got something stuck in your chain, guy.

  57. #57
    Tom
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    Can we get a closer shot of the headtube badge? It looks really pretty but it is a little hard to make out. I really like this bicycle.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom
    Can we get a closer shot of the headtube badge? It looks really pretty but it is a little hard to make out. I really like this bicycle.

    from his former chester:


  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    Who spec'd the numbers and were they figuring on a 50mm rake fork and 72 head angle?
    I did. I always spec 45-50mm of rake with a 72 degree head angle on rigid 29s/700 x 40+c bikes. Always have. The only time I haven't is when the customer chooses an off-the-shelf fork like a Kelly or a KM fork.

    50mm of rake "scary" at speed with a 72 degree head angle? My experience differs. It is quick, but the whole idea is to have a light steering bike that rewards a rider who stays smooth and relaxed. It pays large dividends on long distance rides combined with careful fit. Of course it is going to feel different in the first few rides than a more slack bike that is 5+ pounds heavier, that's the idea. All it takes is some seat time.

    The trail numbers are very close to Drevil's previous 26" wheel setup. Everyone felt the small wheeled rigs I built were very quick out of the box too...'til they rode them a while.

    mc
    Last edited by flexiflyer; 11-22-2005 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Maid un errur + clarifukayshun.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by flexiflyer
    I did. I always spec 45-50mm of rake with a 72 degree head angle on rigid 29s/700 x 40+c bikes. Always have. The only time I haven't is when the customer chooses an off-the-shelf fork like a Kelly or a KM fork.

    50mm of rake "scary" at speed with a 72 degree head angle? My experience differs. It is quick, but the whole idea is to have a light steering bike that rewards a rider who stays smooth and relaxed. It pays large dividends on long distance rides combined with careful fit. Of course it is going to feel different in the first few rides than a more slack bike that is 5+ pounds heavier, that's the idea. All it takes is some seat time.

    The trail numbers are very close to Drevil's previous 26" wheel setup. Everyone felt the small wheeled rigs I built were very quick out of the box too...'til they rode them a while.

    mc
    No worries. The bike is fun fun fun. I am just playing around with the stuff I have now. Next swap: Jones bars
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  61. #61
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    Hallelujah!

    Quote Originally Posted by flexiflyer
    I did. I always spec 45-50mm of rake with a 72 degree head angle on rigid 29s/700 x 40+c bikes. Always have. ....50mm of rake "scary" at speed with a 72 degree head angle? My experience differs. It is quick, but the whole idea is to have a light steering bike that rewards a rider who stays smooth and relaxed.
    I am so happy to hear this. My 29er, built by Black Sheep, has a 72 degree HTA and a fork with 50 mm of rake. Like Mr. Chester, my experience is that the bike is exceptionally stable at speed and wickedly quick when negotiating technical terrain. I've been very pleased with my decision and suddenly feel "vindicated" by my insisting on the design (and I must say James at Black Sheep was perfectly willing to accomodate me). All this time I've been feeling alone in the wilderness, and all along one of the godfathers of mountain bike design has been leading the way...

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDEnvEngr
    Drevil, closer to cousins. Actually they look like those pointy nosed black and white spy cartoon guys. I'm in an experimental phase as well:

    hey.. what's going on with the chain ring in at the back of the seat stay/chain stay junction? Am I seeing things, or is it the Buckley's and 2 nights I cannot sleep?
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  63. #63
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheelboy_490
    hey.. what's going on with the chain ring in at the back of the seat stay/chain stay junction? Am I seeing things, or is it the Buckley's and 2 nights I cannot sleep?
    Ghost ring, explained in the SS FAQ (method #8).
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  64. #64
    Belltown Brazer
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    32 tooth chainring used for a tensioner. Works suprisingly well. I'm amazed it isn't a more popular alternative.

    Folks think that maybe it'll bounce out. But, unless your chain is incredibly loose, the chainring is captured. Keeping the ring relatively small and positioning it as close to the cog as possible will also keep the chances of it bouncing out to a minimum.

    Perfect tension would have been achieved for me by moving the ring 1 tooth closer to the cog. But, then the cog and the ring hit each other...so I left it where it is.

    Plenty of bumpy/rocky new england singletrack showed me that this will work no problem. And it looks neat. So in case rigid 29er singlespeed isn't niche enough for you, the ghost ring will take it that bit further.

    B

  65. #65
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    Huh... that is pretty cool. I don't SS, so I had not read that FAQ before, but now, I'll bookmark it!
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

  66. #66
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    I think that you will notice that the H-Bar will slow the steering down a bit.
    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

    Ti
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoman711
    I think that you will notice that the H-Bar will slow the steering down a bit.
    Really? In my experience, H-bars and Marys significantly speed up the handling unless they are paired with a longer stem. I even wrote a thread about it lately, though it was concerned with the Mary only. If people think that the H-bar has the opposite effect (i.e. the effect of slowing down the handling), then I might need to look into purchasing one.

  68. #68
    JAK
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    Elegant

    sums it up. Nice clean ride you got there...I rode JuanSpeed's Chester and slid out the front wheel right away. With an adjustment of my Chi, all was well and I felt the SwiftSweetSpot them rigs are famous for. I thought it was neat cuz on paper it looked weird to me. But underneath me the weirdness went away and I appreciate the cleverness of his designs....even w/o disks Anyway, once again NICE!
    Night has fallen.
    And there's nothin' we can do about it.

  69. #69
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    ooopsy!

    sorry!
    Night has fallen.
    And there's nothin' we can do about it.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by AteMrYeats
    Really? In my experience, H-bars and Marys significantly speed up the handling unless they are paired with a longer stem. I even wrote a thread about it lately, though it was concerned with the Mary only. If people think that the H-bar has the opposite effect (i.e. the effect of slowing down the handling), then I might need to look into purchasing one.
    I could be totally wrong. But, that is what it feels like to me. maybe it is the difference in width or the shape... who knows.
    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

    Ti
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  71. #71
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    As it should be

    Three friends and I played amongst the rocks of the Frederick Watershed (in Merryland) today. Prior to going, I built up the bike as Matt and I originally intended: proper-geometry Walt fork, 20mm longer stem and (drumroll) Jones H-bar.

    I resisted putting on the H-bar - even though I love the dang thing - because I think it's ugly. Stupid and shallow reason, but unlike my occasionally blinding wardrobe, I wanted my bike to be simple, clean, and minimalist. The Jones bars and frames are too swoopy, overdone, and overbent for my eye. I like straight and short, so I resisted, trying as hard as I could to like the Seven.

    For the first hundred+ miles on this bike with the flat bars, I have never crashed so much. In my experience, every new bike or major "fit" component needs some time for your body to adjust. Endos, washouts and just a general feeling of loss of traction on uphills and off-camber stuff led me to wonder if I made a mistake in what I requested. So after messing around, I relented and swapped the flatties for the bars I've been using on the Monkey for the last seven months.

    On today's breakout ride on the Chester paired with the H-bars and proper fork, the bike has blossomed from being a light bike with a good ride into an incredible, well-balanced, can't-wait-til-the-next-one ride. The positioning feels awesome, and I do think I've found the sweet spot. No crashes on the most technical ride I've taken the frame on yet, and I always felt in control.

    I love how my hands are always in the semi-straight, semi-barend position all the time. I love how I can use more of my arm and back to muscle up hills. I love how I can hang my arse waaaaaay off the back on the steep stuff. I love how I can use more than just my wrists to lever the back of the bike up. The Jones just feel more natural and comfortable than the straights, and the temporary stint with the latter proved it.

    Thanks Matt, Walt, and Jeff. The three of you work wonders together
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  72. #72
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    I just read that Drevil had crashed a few times due to the steering, and with it being so out of the norm, quickness-wise, I thought I'd mention it.

    I guess I would have thought that a slower handling, more stable bike would reward a rider more over the course of a long ride, as the rider fatigues and his inputs become less precise.

    And is his bike now steeper than 72 because he didn't use a susp-corrected fork? Sounded like Drevil thinks he has a short fork on a susp-corrected frame. Maybe he's running 73.5HA and 50mm rake... scary.

    Quote Originally Posted by flexiflyer
    I did. I always spec 45-50mm of rake with a 72 degree head angle on rigid 29s/700 x 40+c bikes. Always have. The only time I haven't is when the customer chooses an off-the-shelf fork like a Kelly or a KM fork.

    50mm of rake "scary" at speed with a 72 degree head angle? My experience differs. It is quick, but the whole idea is to have a light steering bike that rewards a rider who stays smooth and relaxed. It pays large dividends on long distance rides combined with careful fit. Of course it is going to feel different in the first few rides than a more slack bike that is 5+ pounds heavier, that's the idea. All it takes is some seat time.

    The trail numbers are very close to Drevil's previous 26" wheel setup. Everyone felt the small wheeled rigs I built were very quick out of the box too...'til they rode them a while.

    mc

  73. #73
    flexiflyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    I just read that Drevil had crashed a few times due to the steering, and with it being so out of the norm, quickness-wise, I thought I'd mention it.
    [shrugging] It is quicker than the KM he rode for months and became accustomed to...but no different than the 26" bike I built for him and happily rode for years. We are literally talking about a ~0.3mm difference in the trail numbers between the two. Drevil went through the same experimentaion with that bike too, trying his SID at different travel lengths (with mixed, unsure results) before (as this time too) he went with my original design/spec. The way he has the 29er set up in his previous post is what we discussed from the start. There is lucid reasoning behind what I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    I guess I would have thought that a slower handling, more stable bike would reward a rider more over the course of a long ride, as the rider fatigues and his inputs become less precise.
    Believe what you want. Quick turn-in doesn't denote overall lack of stability. A quick ratio rack in a rally car doesn't make it twitchy as an overall entity. Does it take an adjustment from driving a normal car? You bet. Everything works in concert. A reasonable wheelbase under a carefully designed cockpit/rider position that allows the rider to ride with a relaxed upper body and light hands...allowing soft input for direction changes makes a big difference over long distances, especially when rigid. Tension = fatigue. I'm no superstar on a bike, but I speak from personal experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    And is his bike now steeper than 72 because he didn't use a susp-corrected fork? Sounded like Drevil thinks he has a short fork on a susp-corrected frame. Maybe he's running 73.5HA and 50mm rake... scary.
    What? NO. The bike was specifically designed for a 430mm x 50mm rake fork...not suspension correction. Come on, man.

    mc

  74. #74
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    Matt told me to get a 430mm A-C 50mm rake fork. I forwarded the info to Walt. The bike is not built with suspension correction. The HA remains 72.

    I did another four hour long ride today on my favorite local rocky trails, and the bike was pure gold. I'm tired, but don't feel beat up. The new bike and geo just took some time to get used to. Things have clicked and I friggin' love it now.

    Pic from today by AteMrYeats:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Drevil; 11-27-2005 at 06:27 PM. Reason: remove repeated stuff (because I'm taking care of two nephews at the moment)
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Matt told me to get a 430mm A-C 50mm rake fork. I forwarded the info to Walt. The bike is not built with suspension correction. The HA remains 72.

    I did another four hour long ride today on my favorite local rocky trails today, and the bike was pure gold. It was about four hours long and rocky, and I'm tired, but don't feel beat up. The new bike and geo just took some time to get used to. Things have clicked and I friggin' love it now.

    Pic from today by AteMrYeats:
    Are all your trails that smooth?

    Oh, and red knickers=a good level of outlandishness.

    B
    www.thepathbikeshop.com

  76. #76
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    (quick parenthetical to the current discussion)

    Just so everyone is clear here:

    D.F.L. = Steve Stickel - framebuilder with some very cool stuff out there...

    flexiflyer = Matt Chester - framebuilder with some very cool stuff out there...

    It is neat to see the take of two different well-known framebuilders on such a fundamental issue.

    Why do I feel kind of like a ring announcer?

    LP = Lance Pope - nothing really cool out there...

  77. #77
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Quote Originally Posted by donkey
    Are all your trails that smooth?

    Oh, and red knickers=a good level of outlandishness.

    B
    There's a line in there somewhere

    Most of the trail is rocky, but not that bad. That section is one of several playgrounds that my buds and I have fun cleaning.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope

    LP = Lance Pope - nothing really cool out there...
    I laughed out loud for a second there:-)

    B
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  79. #79
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    Correct

    A wider bar slows down the steering compared to shorter bar on the same bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by motoman711
    I could be totally wrong. But, that is what it feels like to me. maybe it is the difference in width or the shape... who knows.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    The Jones bars and frames are too swoopy, overdone, and overbent for my eye. I like straight and short, so I resisted, trying as hard as I could to like the Seven.

    Maybe you should cut off the front extensions. That would really simplify the look of the bars.
    "Whereas Motoman's bike looks like an industrial, TinkerToy experiment gone horribly wrong." - Aquaholic

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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by motoman711
    Maybe you should cut off the front extensions. That would really simplify the look of the bars.
    Nah, I actually use them. I was just being a dork with the aesthetics thing. The handlebars are perfect the way they are.
    "Keep your burgers lean and your tires fat." -h.d. | ssoft | flickr

  82. #82
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    [Squat-thrusting] Please don't be defensive. I think myself and others only benefit from hearing more about your theories.

    Drevil mentioned wrecking a few times and that didn't seem optimal to me.

    He also expressed uncertainty as to whether his bike was built to be susp-corrected. The instability he noted was completely consistant with too steep of a head angle/too much rake. It seemed like a point that needed to be cleared up. I'm not doubting your abilities as a builder. Apparently, the bike is working great for him now, but when I entered the thread, he seemed to be questioning.

    Please explain further the relationship between turn-in on a 4 wheel vs 2 wheel vehicle. I know just a little about cars and had thought that rally cars (non-dakar-style) were inherently unstable due to their need to change direction at will. John Buffum I am not.

    Quote Originally Posted by flexiflyer
    [shrugging] ... There is lucid reasoning behind what I do.



    Believe what you want. Quick turn-in doesn't denote overall lack of stability. A quick ratio rack in a rally car doesn't make it twitchy as an overall entity. ...



    What? NO. The bike was specifically designed for a 430mm x 50mm rake fork...not suspension correction. Come on, man.

    mc

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    Drevil mentioned wrecking a few times and that didn't seem optimal to me.
    Just poking my nose in where it most likely doesn't belong...

    I'm sure you've seen the pictures by now. A wreck or two is usually par for the course at the watershed, especially if you attempt to ride some of the drops with the hairy approaches.

    Regardless, I'm always interested in reading input from an experienced frame builder. I hope others are as well.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles

  84. #84
    flexiflyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    [Squat-thrusting] Please don't be defensive. I think myself and others only benefit from hearing more about your theories.

    Drevil mentioned wrecking a few times and that didn't seem optimal to me.
    No egoism or malice here, I just think you commented without knowing everything involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    He also expressed uncertainty as to whether his bike was built to be susp-corrected.
    No, he did not. What Drevil said was:

    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    I'm pretty sure Matt builds sussy corrected...
    That was in response to Cloxxi, who commented on non-suspension correction. Drevil was only mentioning that suspension correction was an option from me. One of the first questions I ask anyone is whether they have intention of running a sussy fork ever. I am particularly anal-rententive about having the front end of the bike set up right. A ~40mm axle-to-crown error would never happen because I go through everything to begin with...especially with shorter riders.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    The instability he noted was completely consistant with too steep of a head angle/too much rake. It seemed like a point that needed to be cleared up...
    You are combining two entities, "steering speed" and "stability", and that is what I have contention with. I'll address that below.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    I'm not doubting your abilities as a builder. Apparently, the bike is working great for him now, but when I entered the thread, he seemed to be questioning.
    There is absolutely nothing unusual about that. The comments with anything I build are along the lines of: "Wow this is way different than my old bike!" or "It took me [a short time] to get used to the handling and then it was amazing!" It's different. I think PeT summed it up well with his comment earlier:

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    ...my experience is that the bike is exceptionally stable at speed and wickedly quick when negotiating technical terrain...
    Also from DanO who posted a review on his Ute back in the day on mtbr and said:

    Quote Originally Posted by DanO mtbr review
    The bike rails like mad and on the occasion it does start to slide out, it's real smooth and predictable. The numbers don't say it (long chainstays and high bottom bracket) but it's super stable and very well balanced. I get on through tight, twisty stuff great and those long ti chainstays + the Moots ti post really smooth out the ride. It's like it's speed sensitive- when I slow down to get through tight stuff, the bike really stands up and whips around, but as I get on with speed and start to haul arse down hill, it seems to stretch out and flow more. Don't know how it does this, but it just works.
    And on and on. I get basically the same feedback from everyone. Everyone = 98+%. I build a quick front end, but from that it isn't possible to make a broad assumption about the behavior of the bike. Everything works in concert.

    I would also like to reiterate that the amount of trail on this bike, again, is equivalent to that of a 26" wheel bike with a 72 degree head angle and a fork with 38mm of rake. Nothing extreme or crazy going on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    Please explain further the relationship between turn-in on a 4 wheel vs 2 wheel vehicle. I know just a little about cars and had thought that rally cars (non-dakar-style) were inherently unstable due to their need to change direction at will. John Buffum I am not.
    It was an analogy, not applied theory. The point I seem to be belabored to make is that "steering speed" is a different entity than "stability".

    Analogy #1:
    Drive to the go-kart track in your street vehicle. Now, get in a go-kart and give the same steering input you used in your street ride and see what happens. You will most likely be asked to leave as you continually auger the kart into the curbs multiple feet before the apex of the turn.

    Does this make the go-kart "unstable"? Or is the steering action just extremely quick? How would you know? Do you get going fast enough to really determine if it tracks well at speed? What other factors could affect that? CoG? Wheelbase? Alignment?

    Analogy #2:
    So let's talk rally cars. I have some minor, passing experience here. Yes, responsiveness in direction change is important. Does that mean the car is purposely set up as unstable...in a broad sense? No.

    The best setup is what works in the broadest range of situations. So, do you toe out the rear wheels multiple degrees so the car acts like a pit bull on ice under braking? No...that's for those autocross guys in the parking lot with the cones.

    A rally car is much like a mountain bike. I did a rally overseas once where one stage was incredibly tight 1st and 2nd gear hairpins over waterbars descending off of a ridge, where having ample brakes and (at that time) a dogbox were very advantageous. A stage or two later (with no service in between), we were going 230km/hr on a 3km straight through a pineapple plantation. Did the quick ratio steering rack make the car "unstable" as it felt like it weighed three ounces floating over the dirt road at that speed? No. Did the balance, alignment, brake bias, and wheelbase of the car play a factor in how "stable" the car felt in that situation or any other you might encounter? Yes.

    Analogy #3:
    So let's examine bikes. Obviously, wheel alignment is not an issue. What about wheelbase or balance from rider placement?

    I could build two bike with the same amount of trail as Drevil's bike. One with 450mm chainstays, a ~72.5 degree seat tube angle, and bars placed level or slightly below his saddle height (Drevil's actual bike). Another with a 420mm chainstay, a 74 degree seat angle, and bars 4" below saddle height (a refugee of "short stays climb better!" thinking). Which bike "handles" better in a broad range of situations? Which is more "stable"? I say all this as someone who used to ride a bike with a 405mm rear end, a 74 seat angle, a 24" TT, and flat bars on a 120x0 stem slammed to the headset far, far below my saddle height ala Mr. Trebon. Suffice to say I do not ride that way anymore.

    Everything works in concert. Quick steering speed can be adapted to, and is! Careful consideration of all factors can result is a bike that provides excellent traction from both wheels, handles well in tight terrain, and is completely stable and comfortable going down a kitty-litter covered fireroad at 40mph. All it takes is a relaxed upper body and a light touch!

    Drevil's initial issues stemmed from being unaccustomed to the steering speed of the new bike versus the Karate Monkey, not an inherent "instability" of the design. That's it.

    mc
    Last edited by flexiflyer; 11-28-2005 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Accidentally submitted too soon.

  85. #85
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    I love it when you guys (steve/matt) geek out.

  86. #86
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    thanks matt.

    Quote Originally Posted by flexiflyer
    No egoism or malice here, I just think you commented without knowing everything involved.



    No, he did not. What Drevil said was:



    That was in response to Cloxxi, who commented on non-suspension correction. Drevil was only mentioning that suspension correction was an option from me. One of the first questions I ask anyone is whether they have intention of running a sussy fork ever. I am particularly anal-rententive about having the front end of the bike set up right. A ~40mm axle-to-crown error would never happen because I go through everything to begin with...especially with shorter riders.



    You are combining two entities, "steering speed" and "stability", and that is what I have contention with. I'll address that below.



    There is absolutely nothing unusual about that. The comments with anything I build are along the lines of: "Wow this is way different than my old bike!" or "It took me [a short time] to get used to the handling and then it was amazing!" It's different. I think PeT summed it up well with his comment earlier:



    Also from DanO who posted a review on his Ute back in the day on mtbr and said:



    And on and on. I get basically the same feedback from everyone. Everyone = 98+%. I build a quick front end, but from that it isn't possible to make a broad assumption about the behavior of the bike. Everything works in concert.

    I would also like to reiterate that the amount of trail on this bike, again, is equivalent to that of a 26" wheel bike with a 72 degree head angle and a fork with 38mm of rake. Nothing extreme or crazy going on here.



    It was an analogy, not applied theory. The point I seem to be belabored to make is that "steering speed" is a different entity than "stability".

    Analogy #1:
    Drive to the go-kart track in your street vehicle. Now, get in a go-kart and give the same steering input you used in your street ride and see what happens. You will most likely be asked to leave as you continually auger the kart into the curbs multiple feet before the apex of the turn.

    Does this make the go-kart "unstable"? Or is the steering action just extremely quick? How would you know? Do you get going fast enough to really determine if it tracks well at speed? What other factors could affect that? CoG? Wheelbase? Alignment?

    Analogy #2:
    So let's talk rally cars. I have some minor, passing experience here. Yes, responsiveness in direction change is important. Does that mean the car is purposely set up as unstable...in a broad sense? No.

    The best setup is what works in the broadest range of situations. So, do you toe out the rear wheels multiple degrees so the car acts like a pit bull on ice under braking? No...that's for those autocross guys in the parking lot with the cones.

    A rally car is much like a mountain bike. I did a rally overseas once where one stage was incredibly tight 1st and 2nd gear hairpins over waterbars descending off of a ridge, where having ample brakes and (at that time) a dogbox were very advantageous. A stage or two later (with no service in between), we were going 230km/hr on a 3km straight through a pineapple plantation. Did the quick ratio steering rack make the car "unstable" as it felt like it weighed three ounces floating over the dirt road at that speed? No. Did the balance, alignment, brake bias, and wheelbase of the car play a factor in how "stable" the car felt in that situation or any other you might encounter? Yes.

    Analogy #3:
    So let's examine bikes. Obviously, wheel alignment is not an issue. What about wheelbase or balance from rider placement?

    I could build two bike with the same amount of trail as Drevil's bike. One with 450mm chainstays, a ~72.5 degree seat tube angle, and bars placed level or slightly below his saddle height (Drevil's actual bike). Another with a 420mm chainstay, a 74 degree seat angle, and bars 4" below saddle height (a refugee of "short stays climb better!" thinking). Which bike "handles" better in a broad range of situations? Which is more "stable"? I say all this as someone who used to ride a bike with a 405mm rear end, a 74 seat angle, a 24" TT, and flat bars on a 120x0 stem slammed to the headset far, far below my saddle height ala Mr. Trebon. Suffice to say I do not ride that way anymore.

    Everything works in concert. Quick steering speed can be adapted to, and is! Careful consideration of all factors can result is a bike that provides excellent traction from both wheels, handles well in tight terrain, and is completely stable and comfortable going down a kitty-litter covered fireroad at 40mph. All it takes is a relaxed upper body and a light touch!

    Drevil's initial issues stemmed from being unaccustomed to the steering speed of the new bike versus the Karate Monkey, not an inherent "instability" of the design. That's it.

    mc
    every builder is different for specific reasons, and every rider is unique,if everyone thot or designed the same, then what would be the point of different builders? when i ordered my bike, i did not want another serotta, i wanted an MC because it was not designed like a serotta, or anything else for that matter. don't get me wrong, i love the serotta, but i did not want another. by the way, did you send out my frame yet?

    rick thompson

    ps. i will submit a full review and pics when it arrives !

  87. #87
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    You are correct about the susp-corrected thing. I didn't take the time to read all of the posts in the thread, and was focusing on Drevil's comments.

    "You are combining two entities, "steering speed" and "stability", and that is what I have contention with. I'll address that below."

    All bikes are inherently unstable (they fall over when not held up). Steering can be thought of in terms of stability, too; when the front wheel strikes an object, does it return to center of does it deflect from straight forward. Bicycles with lots of fork rake are less stable. Imagine something striking the front wheel. Ever catch something with the front wheel and have the bars spin? Longer rake gives the force a longer lever to act against the rider's arms. Taken to the extreme would be a center-pivoting bucket loader (Lots of rake); with nothing to resist turning but one's arms, the slightest input at the front wheel will cause the vehicle to literally fold itself in half. Most people will find longer rake more difficult to handle in rougher terrain, especially when they tire.

    BUT, that does not mean that your bikes do not work better for folks that other bikes would. I'm simply saying that extra rake demands more attention. Most riders seem to want the stability that conventional slack 29ers so often provide. (I'm not a proponent of one style of bike for all riders, either. They need to express their desires and it's up to me to provide the best solution based on what they want and what I know. Heck, my 29er has 16.7" stays and a 41.75wlbs. I wouldn't expect it to work for everyone in every region of the country.)

    Changing a riders position can increase stability, but everything has its trade-offs. Maybe you've hit upon the Holy Grail, and this is the sort of breakthrough that revolutionizes the industry. You never know what improvements are left to be discovered.

    Anyway, I appreciate the clarifications.

  88. #88
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    Steve - just out of curiosity, are you going to be at the Handmade Bike Show in San Jose in March?

    I've talked to you a few times via e-mail, but I would love to see some of your stuff first hand.

    LP

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    ...Most people will find longer rake more difficult to handle in rougher terrain, especially when they tire... I'm simply saying that extra rake demands more attention. Most riders seem to want the stability that conventional slack 29ers so often provide...Maybe you've hit upon the Holy Grail, and this is the sort of breakthrough that revolutionizes the industry...
    I'll bet that 99 out of 100 riders have never had the opportunity to try a bike with trail in the 66 mm range. And until there's suspension forks made with a rake that will allow such trail measurement without some ludicrously steep HTA, they likely never will. So, what "most people will find" with a low trail geometry bike out on in the wild is only speculation. What doesn't seem to be speculation is that most of us who have tried both small and large trail geometry like the smaller trail figure -- with the noticeable (and significant) exception of Mr. Curiak.

  90. #90
    flexiflyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    All bikes are inherently unstable (they fall over when not held up). Steering can be thought of in terms of stability, too; when the front wheel strikes an object, does it return to center of does it deflect from straight forward. Bicycles with lots of fork rake are less stable. Imagine something striking the front wheel. Ever catch something with the front wheel and have the bars spin? Longer rake gives the force a longer lever to act against the rider's arms. Taken to the extreme would be a center-pivoting bucket loader (Lots of rake); with nothing to resist turning but one's arms, the slightest input at the front wheel will cause the vehicle to literally fold itself in half. Most people will find longer rake more difficult to handle in rougher terrain, especially when they tire.
    I understand your point but you're approaching it as someone being on the bike for the first time, and I think a lot of the discussion on this board follows similar thinking. It's a longer term thing. As I said before, everything works in concert and if the rider is set carefully in a very natural, relaxed position (I'd elaborate more on how I try to do this, but I'd rather not start a litany of "well that won't climb well then!" or "that won't work in [this] situation!"...there's really no good way to explain it in a segmented, measurement-by-measurement way) and has some basic seat time on the bike, one can ride very light on the bike and there is markedly less kneejerk flailing from abrupt, whiteknuckle inputs. Like I said before, it is different but I don't think it is anything extreme. Building custom frames in such a small window of what is really usable in terms of head/seat angle, drop, stay lengths, etc. puts a premium on manipulating the subtleties as a whole...thinking of the entity as a whole. There's really no good way for me to put it with sounding all holistic I guess. I don't use a CAD program or a computer at all, just full scale pencil drawing and lots of visualization.

    My own bike has approx. 60mm of trail. Definitely quick. I was thinking about this discussion as I rode to town today in 4 inches of snow/slush and normal 35c CX tires pumped up to 60psi. I rode on a snow covered back street and wiggled the bars and bit, and yes, there was definitely some quick response...like a slalom ski. But if the fit is there and you're just draped on the bike, riding light with little tension...you can roost along in complete safety. It is applying much of the same logic as you'd see in a "soft" martial art, like Tai Chi. The quickness is there, but with the design of the bike, the stability is there too if you ride calmly. I have no problem riding that bike no handed on about any surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    BUT, that does not mean that your bikes do not work better for folks that other bikes would. I'm simply saying that extra rake demands more attention. Most riders seem to want the stability that conventional slack 29ers so often provide. (I'm not a proponent of one style of bike for all riders, either. They need to express their desires and it's up to me to provide the best solution based on what they want and what I know. Heck, my 29er has 16.7" stays and a 41.75wlbs. I wouldn't expect it to work for everyone in every region of the country.)
    I wouldn't say "more attention" but a "different mindset." I don't automatically put a smaller trail front end on everything either. I have built 29ers with a 71.5 head angle and a 38mm fork (an off-the-shelf Kelly, specifically) and that is as slack as I've ever gone.

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    Changing a riders position can increase stability, but everything has its trade-offs. Maybe you've hit upon the Holy Grail, and this is the sort of breakthrough that revolutionizes the industry. You never know what improvements are left to be discovered.
    Of course, that's why I say "everything works in concert." I doubt I've hit on anything that the French didn't already figure out in the post-WWII explosion of cycle development with technical trials and whatnot. That could be said of a lot of things we tout as "modern."

    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    Anyway, I appreciate the clarifications.
    No sweat. Hopefully you'll make it out to San Jose in March. I'll be there sharing a booth with Rick Hunter. If not, maybe I'll see you at SM100 if I can come some year and you make the drive up to your old stomping grounds.

    Dat it.
    mc
    Last edited by flexiflyer; 11-29-2005 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Said "rake" instead of "trail." Doh.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    I'll bet that 99 out of 100 riders have never had the opportunity to try a bike with trail in the 66 mm range.
    Possible. Unless you factor in those of us who, like you, have ridden our CX bikes offroad. Then your guess is pretty out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeT
    What doesn't seem to be speculation is that most of us who have tried both small and large trail geometry like the smaller trail figure -- with the noticeable (and significant) exception of Mr. Curiak.
    Depends on how exactly you define "small". I'd bet that 99 out of 100 people that are riding the Lenz Leviathan, Titus Racer X 29, Asylum, Lenz Behemoth, El Capitan, and Airborne B29 (plus several more that I'm missing...) love the handling of their bikes. Ask them--they'll tell you. All of these bikes that have a sus fork on them (WB, RS, Marz, Winwood, etc..) have a trail number at least in the low 80's. And most of these riders came from a 26" bike at some point along the way. So they have ridden a bike with a lot less trail than they have now, but I doubt any of them would trade the larger trail figure in to have their old 26" bike/ride back.

    But all this points to is what Matt/Flexi has been crowing about all along--it's the total package that matters. Trail is important, but it's just one number among many.

    Sorry for getting even further off-topic, Drevil. Just seemed like it needed to be said...

    MC

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Sorry for getting even further off-topic, Drevil. Just seemed like it needed to be said...

    MC
    Fine by me. I'm learning new stuff!
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  93. #93
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    Thanks again for the cool discussion.

    I'm not going to the NAHMBLA show this year. Didn't go last year and probably won't ever, unless it's within a few hours drive.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Possible. Unless you factor in those of us who, like you, have ridden our CX bikes offroad. Then your guess is pretty out there.
    Good point -- I'll change my estimate to 78 out of 100 riders haven't experienced a "low trail" geometry bike (e.g. - 65 mm) in the wild...


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I'd bet that 99 out of 100 people that are riding the Lenz Leviathan, Titus Racer X 29, Asylum, Lenz Behemoth, El Capitan, and Airborne B29 (plus several more that I'm missing...) love the handling of their bikes.
    I was careful to not knock the handling of bikes with a "higher trail" geometry -- I've stated elsewhere that they don't work as well for me but I'm not so dense as to think that they don't work well for others. Far too many people can ride me into the ground to even consider making that claim...


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    And most of these riders came from a 26" bike at some point along the way. So they have ridden a bike with a lot less trail than they have now, but I doubt any of them would trade the larger trail figure in to have their old 26" bike/ride back.
    Virtually every 26" bike has 10% greater trail than the bike being discussed here, and I submit that's significant, so I would disagree that most riders have any substantial experience with a true off-road bike with low trail geometry.

    I really only got into this discussion because I was relieved to see that someone else out there -- some one with real experience and insight -- realized that low trail geometry (and yes, packaged correctly with appropriate TT/STA/Chain Stay length) wasn't inherently inappropriate for off-road riding. It's not THE only answer, but it is an answer...

  95. #95
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    Thanks for the interesting discussion, its what raises this forum above the noise of the others

    Guitar Ted has a "Bike Geometry 101" running on his blog now for those interested in learning more: http://g-tedproductions.blogspot.com/

    Alex
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  96. #96
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    is there a place for a geometry sticky?

    i dont mean a particularly excited forum member either ( hey, gotta keep it smutty eh?)

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...78#post1379378

    it seems to me that as 29"ers often mean custom (as opposed to 26"ers for example) there is an onus for the punters to understand that a builder can know a lot about geometry and suggest a good design for a bike given riding conditions, but should also have a modicum of knowledge themselves for self preservation, to allow some discussion, and to reduce B.S chat...

    anyone?
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  97. #97
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    Cool and interesting thread!

    A couple of questions that have nothing to do with geometry:

    Is that a built-in seatpost clamp?
    I thought Matt used a regular seatpost clamp.

    Do the stays have a slight "S" bend in them?
    Or is it just the camera angle.

    What does the "MC DIY" sticker stand for?
    On Matt's gallery it looks like all of his frames come with one now.

    Thanks!

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJones
    A couple of questions that have nothing to do with geometry:

    Is that a built-in seatpost clamp?
    I thought Matt used a regular seatpost clamp.

    Do the stays have a slight "S" bend in them?
    Or is it just the camera angle.

    What does the "MC DIY" sticker stand for?
    On Matt's gallery it looks like all of his frames come with one now.

    Thanks!
    The clamp is a stainless steel one I snagged off of a previous big-maker ti bike I owned. The clamp cost me an arm and a leg because I sold the rest of the bike for close to half the price I bought it for after 7-8 months. This was the only thing I salvaged. Matt ships his frames with Surly Constrictor clamps. I don't need it, so I'll send it back.

    Yes, it's an "S" bend. It's the first one he has done on a Mute. It was necessary for my tire choice, decent braking, my stumpy legs, and short seattube. He may handle others differently.

    I assumed it meant "Matt Chester Do It Yourself".
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  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drevil
    Nah, I actually use them. I was just being a dork with the aesthetics thing. The handlebars are perfect the way they are.
    Lovely bike Drevil. I disagree with you on the aesthetics of the H-Bars. The function dictates the form and there is no additional embellishment. Sounds like the definition of simplicity to me. Minimal does not have to be austere. I think the frame and bars are both simple, but incredibly elegant. Looking forward to seeing you on the trails sometime.
    Fixing Frederick Coasting Carroll Wandering Washington

  100. #100
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    ...especially with shorter riders.

    Who you callin short?

    Dr. Evil is LARGER THAN LIFE!

  101. #101
    flexiflyer
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    I'm not going to the NAHMBLA show this year. Didn't go last year and probably won't ever, unless it's within a few hours drive.
    I hear you. I feel the same way about Interbike. I "respectfully decline to attend."

    I'm going this [maybe] one time to NAHMBS because it is in San Jose and it is a good place to debut my zine. Lots of bike people and lots of friends there. I'm glad to support Don Walker too, he's a good cat.

    mc

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