29'er dirt drop 'Snot Rocket' overnighter camera carrying fully rigid mountain bike.
There is so much to talk about with this bike. Firstly it is worth saying that this is my bike so I have a personal attachment to everything about it. But more specifically I built it to prototype a few ideas and to do a few things well that you can't just get a bike to do well unless you design it that way.
I wanted to be able to run both single speed for simple winter riding and gears for longer tours, camping and the occasional off road adventure. My second, slightly more specific, requirement was to be able to carry my medium format camera equipment and/or a heavy front load rather than a rear pannier or relying on a saddle bag and lots of weight behind. I live and cycle mostly in Epping Forest and I carry my camera most places so it needed to work for that as well as be a day trip or overnighter bike for rooty.
So first stop for me was a front rack and steel fork as well as a porteur style fork offset and trail to maintain the front end responsiveness under load. I designed a segmented fork in 1" tubing and worked with @Hulsroy on the fork and rear dropouts to deal with my wants.
The dropouts are a flat plate design and in this instance they we waterjet cut rather than machined with a larger batch manufacture in mind. Waterjet cuts a shape out of a flat plate without producing much heat so there is very little or no distortion of the material but it does mean that flat is what you get. Any shaping then has to be done with a milling process afterwards or, as we did in this case with the stainless faces, soldered or welded on to the surface. The rear dropouts were made to work as both a single speed and a geared set up with integrated brass tensioners.
The head tube is machined 1 1/8" and stacked much higher than my usual ride in order to put me in a comfortable position in the drops for the majority of the riding rather than on the hoods which is where I would usually be. The rest of the bike is made from a Columbus Zona/T45 mix, it has a BSA 68mm bottom bracket so I can run my super cool WI ENO cranks on a square taper BB.
The rando bag is a Hasselblad medium format camera bag customised to hang from a decaleur with an Ortlieb pannier system and attach to the underside of the rack with the straps on the bag.
The decaleur is custom stainless like the rack but attached to the polished Ritchey handlebar with modified Hope Technology light brackets.
The saddle is my (very) old Ritchey Vector saddle from back in the day :) lovingly restored by Hannah of the Grafton Saddler. Hannah stripped and recovered it in new leather and embossed the bikes name on the back. Its great and is better than new. Hannah also made the handlebar tape! it must have taken ages! but it is very worth it as it feels great and should last and wear nicely.
The wheels are our own Stayer 29'er carbon hoops on Hope RS4 hubs which are amazing to ride. Super light and wide to take a big tyre.
I am looking forward to riding this bike forever.
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