Monday, February 4, 2013

Blackbuck as Phoenix...rising from the ashes

The OS bikes Blackbuck single speed has been my fav steel SS that I have owned or even ridden, really.  It is not the stiffest or the most expensive or the lightest, etc, but it is smooth looking (el sueno, perhaps?...muy guapo?)...anyway, those 40's coupe' bend seat stays and elegant steel tubes are stitched together in angles and dimensions that make for a lively trail bike SS.  The EBB is solid and quiet.  I liked it very much.

But it was a casualty of newer and shinier frames as testing required me to get on a couple of other bikes for the last two seasons of riding.  So I had no use for the little dear and had pilfered some parts off of it leaving it like a half-picked over carcass.  Gruppo buzzards, as it were.  On the hook it languished, ribs all exposed.

So I thought about building it up, even began spinning wrenches, actually, to be a bike path SS cruiser but I came to realize that the old Karate Monkey was better suited for that.  So the languishing continued.  I thought about getting it back on trail but it had some things that were stopping me.  The wheels I had built were super solid and rolled great, pairing the White Industries SS hubs (freewheel type...old school) with Stan's Flow rims.  That was an over 2000g set of wheels with the freewheel on there.  Ooof!  It also had a non-tapered HT so I had no fork to replace the 80mm travel Manitou Pro with.  Not that the fork was a great fork...but I wanted to go to a 100mm fork and I wanted to get to a 15mm axle dropout for future proof-ness.

So, I needed some parts and a plan and a reason to do it at all.  Not like I need another bike to ride, you know?  Then, while I was riding the new Stumpy carbon SS on a couple of more techy, winding trails, it came to me that it might be interesting to have a slightly tweaked SS option compared to the racy but very tasty Stumpy carbon.  What if I had a slightly slacker HT angle, maybe 70 degrees static?  Then keep the back end as short as the settings allow for, not really all that short, but just under 17.5".  I would also gear it down a bit as well and run a long 180mm crank to help in low and slow sections of trail.  That would give me a bike that would give up something in overall weight, but may be juuust a bit sweeter on steeper, more demanding trails.

Then some hubs and rims showed up and they needed a place to go.  The new build will drop some weight off the hoops.  I wrangled a fork, a new handlebar and stem, oh, and some brakes too.  So now I had a plan and a reason in some new wheels to test.  Ok the hook it comes and into the work stand.  Stand by.  Should be fun.

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