The Stayer workshop has been a busy place, but I (me, Taylor) finally sat down with Sam to dig a little deeper into the concept of the upcoming OG+. I, for one, am pumped to see this super rowdy bike frame model come to fruition, and I think you will be too.
Taylor: Okay, first question, why did you make the OG OG (the OriGinal OG) in the first place? BUT, explain it to me like I am a fairly mature school-aged child. Go.
Sam: "Oh god." *laughs* "Ummm..."
Taylor: "So like, I know how the world works."
Sam: "Yeah, yeah. Got it. A fairly mature school aged child who likes to ride bikes because they're in bike school."
Taylor: "Yeah, I'm a smart child and I like to ride my bike."
Sam: "Okay. The OG was about the trails that we ride around here, and the type of riding that I like to do. I suppose it comes from cyclocross, in which, you need a fairly manoeuvrable bike. But also as a little bit of an antidote to stuff that you could buy off the shelf, in the sense that most offroad bikes tend to go for a certain geometry which makes the rider feel safe and secure, and all of the things which are very good, but not necessarily always desirable in a bike ride. So we shortened the chainstay up, as we also wanted to make a bike specifically for use with 650b wheels. This gives a smaller diameter, and higher volume, making it generally more comfortable, giving you suspension but also making it more manoeuvrable because of the outside diameter of the inflated tyre, and also the fact that it is a smaller wheel generally. We wanted to emphasize the qualities of a 650b wheel on a bike, rather than just retrofitting it to something which has a geometry of a 700c bike which tends to be basically 98% of what you might be able to find out there in the big bike world."
Taylor: thinks *I must be a very knowledgable school-aged child*
Sam: "There are a number of reasons why that's a super awesome thing to do. It means you can make bikes smaller, without massively compromising on the ride feel. Most people who design bikes are like, 7ft tall guys, for the most part, and I think that massively limits your understanding of applying the geometry that you want on a bike, on smaller bike frames. But also because it's for mountain biking, we wanted it to be, you know, a drop bar trail bike, we wanted something that you could smash around the woods for an hour or two on, not necessarily something that was amazingly good at, say, climbing up really really steep hills, or that would be the most comfortable bike that you would sit on for like 8 hours a day, but something that could really emphasize the fun of riding. So yeah, we tried to turn the dials up on those bits, rather than the kind of general middle ground of everything."
Taylor: "The next question is, why are you now adding a '+'?"
Sam: "Because we want the tyres to be bigger."
Sam: "And all of the good bits that come along with that. Because we shortened the chainstays so much on the OG, really, 47mm on a 650b wheel is pretty much what we aimed for. At the time that we did the initial geo and the setup, there were maybe two 47mm tyres available for 650b, most of them 42s or 38s. So the setup with the clearance was good for then, but we feel like--well, to be perfectly honest, it's just like dumping a bunch of steoroids on the idea of the OG. We can make the tyre size bigger, but we also wanted to have something which we could push to a 29er, as well as 650b, and try and emphasise the same ideas. Really though, the aim is to still think about the manoeuvrability of the bike, with as big of tyres as possible, but keeping with the road groupset. So 68mm bottom bracket, potentially a 40T/42T single chain ring, something like that. What you would consider to be a standard road group, but with as big a tyre clearance as humanly possible."
Taylor: "Amazing, sign me up, so does the '+' = better??"
Sam: "Meh, no. The original design of the OG created such a manoeuvrable bike that is so much fun to ride. I think we're going to lose some of the manoeuvrability of that bike (which will still exist btw) when you go up a tyre size. So I still think that the OG is going to have its place in the stable, in the way that it is still the ultimate smash-it-round-the-woods trail bike. It's like going from mountain biking to BMX, with the manoeuvrability and the smallness of the frame. We always really wanted to push people to, or suggest that, people go a size down with their frame, so that they're really, fully in control of every part of the bike. You can push that thing around, you can jump it, and you can chuck it around corners. What we always wanted the OG to be like is a mountain bike, it's like a gravel bike for mountain bikers. And that was always the perspective rather than where most bike designers are coming from, which is that idea of trying to obtain the road setup, and pulling it into gravel. That's where, myself and Judith, specifically, that's where most of our interests started was in cross and mountain biking, and then with the idea of a gravel bike, it just seems like as soon as you up the tyre size, you're looking at a cross between a 90s mountain bike, with road geometry, and you do that and what you get is just like this ultimate fun bike, and that was always the idea. So we're going to try with the OG+ to keep as much of that as humanly possible, but up the tyre size, and potentially then open up the possibility of fitting a 29er, having a mullet setup, and just playing around with those aspects a little bit more."
Taylor: "Okay last question, and you've kind of answered this but, who should get an OG+ or who should ride an OG+?"
Sam: *wise contemplative noises* "I just think it is a great bike, I really really do. I think it's not like a swiss army knife bike. If you want an entry into gravel bike riding, if you want something that is going to be capable of doing a whole bunch of things, then maybe, I mean, to be honest, that's why we made the UG, and developed the UG geometry and model, is because it's again, just the bridging point between road and gravel, instead of the bridging point between mountain biking and gravel. I think the person who I would suggest buy an OG+ is somebody who wants that kind of super-cool-fun bike. Something to play around with, something to predominantly have fun with, you can race it as well, it's very definitely a cross bike if you want it to be. It covers so many different bases but it's about the person who's looking for manoeuvrability, and as much fun as humanly possible out of a bike frame."
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