Categories ArchivesBuilds

Prototype Season 2018 standard

It’s that time of year again when I take all of last seasons observations and time out on the trail and funnel those experience into the next round of prototypes. I have one steel build planned as well as 2-3 Titanium mountain bike prototypes planned. Why so many? Well, I’d like to try a few subtle changes out mostly fiddling with some drivetrain and dropout spacing but also fiddle with wheelbase a bit. I feel as though I’ve pushed the geometry to a point where I know the working range of what performs in different terrains pretty well but now I’d like to make subtle adjustments to other details to see how those affect the geometry decisions if they are ...

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Freshly Minted Marauder standard

Just finished up a build yesterday for a client across the pond. This one’s coated in Prismatic’s “China Mint” powder coat. Parts spec includes Sram Eagle XX1, Shimano XT M8000 Brakes, Thomson bars, stem and dropper, WTB Saddle, Maxxis tires (Rekon front / Ikon Rear / 2.8’s), White Industries cranks, bottom bracket and headset, Fox 34 Float, and wheels laced by Southern Wheelworks with Nox Kitsuma’s and I9 Torch Classics. Speaking of White Industries, these M30 cranks are something else! This is the second set I’ve had a chance to work with and they’re growing on me. Very similar in design to Race Face’s Cinch system. The pre-load mechanism is all alloy which is a nice touch (RF’s used to ...

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Mountain Bikes of 2017 standard

So 2017 has come and gone.  Typically I get a lot of requests for Huntsman’s.  I heart is really in mountain biking and whenever a mountain bike comes into the list next…  I can’t say that I do not get a bit more excited.  Seems word got out in 2017 and I actually made 3 times more mountain bikes than I did road bikes!  That’s pretty exciting I have to say.  I love every bike I build but like I said above, I can’t help but get just a bit more excited when those wheels will be touching single track.  Let’s take a closer look at some of these trail beasts! First up is this frame set which is ironically ...

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SUPERBOOST standard

Earlier in the year I put together a post just after completing the next iteration of the Marauder in a titanium prototype. You can read that post here. What is special about this bike is I used the pre-existing 157mm TA standard paired with an 83mm shell width. This is technically an existing DH standard which Pivot tweaked by adjusting the flange spacing of the non-drive side to move it outboard a bit more to stiffen up the rear wheel build and subsequently re-marketing it as “Superboost”. Which I think took some by surprise as a “new” standard. It’s quite the contrary. And when paired with that 83mm shell width (another existing standard) you get perfect chain line and a ...

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Let’s Talk About PLUS standard

One of the challenges I faced with this build was accommodating two separate wheel sizes and tire sizes. Some have asked me why I chose the DH standard of 157 Superboost for a hardtail. Well, this should help to explain where I’m headed. That’s not to say all hardtail’s from here on out will sport this standard, but there’s a strong reason why you would choose this over Boost 148 or 12×142 with a 73mm bottom bracket shell width. It’s unfortunate that another standard was created in 148 as the existing 150 / 157mm standard was pre-existing and when paired with an 83mm shell width, the chain line is exceptionally good. And with these two existing standards you literally and ...

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Into the Weeds with the Marauder Ti standard

So upon getting home from the maiden voyage on the new Marauder prototype, I sprang into action. There were a few small things I needed to take care of… immediately. First and foremost was the tires. I was not feeling my choice which up until that first ride I was excited about. Second was an issue that was a first for me which was some backpedaling derailment via the XT M8000 drivetrain. Third was a simple change in saddle height. Fourth was setting up the fork properly and dialing in all the settings. Last but not least was then to take the bike out for a good long ride in mixed terrain to see how she performed. Let’s get into ...

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Marauder TI Build Check standard

I took this past week to put my nose to the grindstone and finish this second titanium mountain bike prototype. By Thursday at 10pm the frame was finished and Friday afternoon the bike was built up. I have been wanting to try out Shimano’s XT M8000 so I had been sitting on a whole XT M8000 drivetrain for a few months in preparation for this build. The big differences from the first prototype were more to do with process and approach. I had tweaked how I was making chain stays a bit more getting bends in just the right spots but I also wanted to use the DH standard of 83mm bb shell width coupled with the 12x157mm TA rear ...

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First Impressions X WTB Riddler 29 x 2.25 standard

I recently put a 1×11 drivetrain on my Marauder Ti prototype. I typically build all the Marauder prototypes for myself that can take both gears and be a single speed so I can see how different set ups work in the same terrain and riding conditions across different riding (SS vs Gears). When I built the bike, I also built up a rear wheel with an XD driver to take Sram’s X1 11 speed kit. I’m mostly getting some last minute testing in before I start work on the second Ti Marauder prototype. But with all these different set ups, I also try and see how different tires layer on performance. I’ve always been a fan of a rather large ...

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Titanium : Looking Back and Towards the Path that Lies Ahead standard

So if you’ve been following along via Flickr and Instagram and reading along here via the 44HQ blog, you’ll have taken note that I’ve been working with and working towards offering Titanium as a companion material to the tried and true offerings in Steel. At first, I was hesitant to share my work and journey as I quickly began to realize that not only were potential customers really excited about the prospects about offering Titanium as a material choice but they were willing to wait until it was made available. Pretty much any time I’d share a little sneak peak at what I was up to, I’d get a lot of dialogue, questions and inbound emails asking “When is it ...

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Lessons in Plaster standard

I want to say it was my second year at Penn State which would be the fall of 1996. I still hadn’t discovered that whole industrial design thing which would eventually lead me to the Rhode Island School of Design’s I.D. Department. It’s funny how chance encounters can lead you in a new direction. But I had “reorganized” my pursuit of my education and had fully committed to Penn State’s School of Arts and Architecture. (I had originally declared my major in Biology…). It was a change in direction. I was feeling really inspired but a bit let down I had not gotten into the School of Architecture which I had applied to in my Freshman year. Actually, that was ...

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