My New Ahearne (X-Post from 29er)-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    My New Ahearne (X-Post from 29er)

    I spent a fair amount of time earlier this year researching a new 29er. Last summer I swapped a Cross bike for a Carl Strong 29er to give the whole big wheel thing a try and was sold pretty quickly. The only real issue with the Strong frame was that it was too big for me. My wife had offered to get me a new custom frame for X-Mas and all looked great. I took a very awkward tumble in early November that left me with a fractured C-7 vertabrae and a wife who was done watching me get banged up riding. 3 months in the neck brace later and with my wife getting over the initial scare (and anger) she realized how much I wanted to keep riding. Hell, she even OK'd the new bike. My last two purchases were Ti frames and I have grown to love the Gray Metal...a lot. I decide though that perhaps my first foray into the 29er scene called for something different. I decided to go with a steel frame that would be slider equipped should I decide to add gears later. After narrowing the search down to 3 builders, I decided on Joseph Ahearne. Joseph's work has been featured a fair amout lately in several of the bike mags and after talking to him, I really liked the way he seemed to appraoch his craft. While I know he has become a bit of a pariah on these boards as of late, my Matt Chester Ute is still my favorite bike and I got the same feel talking to Joseph that I had when speaking to Matt six years ago. To make an already long story, a bit shorter, I went with one of his 'Stock' semi custom frames. basically Joseph mates a stock front end with a rear triangle that provides a fair amount of flexibility with respect to options. I went with Paragon Sliders and routing for gears. I also decided on a new color scheme for me (I've been a Ti/Black guy) and decided to add some Gold accents to a gloss black frame (really branching out, eh?). Some of Joseph's signature features are the Celtic knot decals and headbadge. One other really cool aesthetic feature is the option to include a 'naked' steel panel on the seat tube, which is then clear coated. Here are the final specs:

    Ahearne Frame
    Willits WOW Fork
    CK / Salsa / DT Swiss Wheelset
    CK Gold Headset
    Magura Marta SL's Gold
    Thomson SeatPost / Stem
    Phil Wood BB
    Race Face Next Cranks
    Boone Ti Chainring / Cog
    KMC SL-9 Gold Chain
    Salsa Carbon Handlebar
    Panaracer Rampage tires
    ODI Grips

    I did not realize how far out the choice of paragon Sliders and the option to run wide tires would push the Chainstays and as such I needed a very wide BB (125mm). The offshoot of this, is that I don't have to agonize over the Free Wheel / Free Hub decision and it will have to be Free Hub when I build the dedicated SS wheels. Of course, they will be built around Gold CK SS hubs.

    I only have one ride on the bike, but it felt really great right out of the shoot. I still have a little bit of cockpit tweaking to do. The bike has a much longer top tube that my other frames and as such I went with a shorter stem and have to figure out whether to add 10 or so mm there as well as do the final seat fore & aft adjustments. Bike climbs REALLY well. Hooks up great, those meaty Rampages probably have a lot to do with that as do the larger contact patch of the big wheels. I have the sliders in as far as I can to both accomodate the tires and tension the chain, and while I haven't measured the exact wheelbase, that will be another thing to experiment with. The Willits rigid fork feels... well, rigid. It is reasonably compliant given the beefy blades. I don't have enough time on it to give a thoughtful comparison to my Vanilla rigid fork. More reports to come (shorter I promise). Here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    MCM #47.867

    "Freedom has a scent like the top of a newborn baby's head" - Bono

  2. #2
    6x7=Dont Panic!
    Reputation: TheRedMantra's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Beautiful bikes man
    Herro prease

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