Categories ArchivesBuilds

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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Marauder // Back in Black Build Check standard

Up above is Keith’s Marauder in that “team issue” satin black powder coat, aka Black Magic or as I like to say “Back in Black. This one sports Paragon Machine Works’ hooded sliders so he has the option to run this rig as a 1×11 or as a single speed. If in time he’d like to try a dropper, there’s routing for that too thanks to Paragon’s triple stop braze on. As you’ve read before, the Marauder is my take on a classic New England hard tail mountain bike. Low slung, short rear with room for 2.4″ tires, aggressive geometry and a few modern touches to get you down and in the bike. When I say short, this one has ...

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27.5 Plus Build Check standard

This past spring I got the call for a 27.5 Plus. The client made the trip up from Massachusetts for a morning of talking bikes, how he intended to ride, what his terrain was like and lucky for both of us: He was just about the same size as me so he was able to take my 1×11 out for a test spin. That helped to seal the deal. From these conversations, we settled on the spec and build. Originally, he was dead set on a 2×10 setup. I wasn’t sure about that due to the nature of the wheel size (and width) but said I’d take a really hard look at the numbers and check things in real time ...

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Wheel Summary standard

So this is the first 27.5 “Plus” bike out the door of 44HQ.  Really pleased with how this one turned out and I think it’s a high time to give you the cliff notes version on wheel size… If you’re not “hep” to what a Plus sized bike is, here’s the intel you need to know. The mountain bike wheel size was based on a 26″ wheel because that’s what the early pioneers had access to: Lot’s of Schwinn cruisers which had 26″ wheels. However the 26″ wheel has one bad feature: That small wheel size needs constant pedaling to keep it going. Any amount of obstacle sucks the momentum out of it. Early on, a few were playing with the ...

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Marauder : 27.5+ Bikepacking standard

I got the call recently to build a 27.5+ bike packing rig for a photographer who has a knack for taking epic trips and even more epic photos. Perhaps you already follow Mr. Wilson’s work via Instagram. If not, give him a follow! Apparently, he’s working his way down to Peru and needed a special build. John Watson from the Radavisst inquired as there should be some photo galleries in the future from the trip and introduced me to Ryan. We got to talking, settled on all the details and I was left to do the heavy lifting to create his ultimate bike packing setup. We increased the head tube length a bit more to make room for a larger ...

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Hunstman : “Super Fortress” Edition standard

Recently finished up a Huntsman frame set with ALL the trimmings for a client in Connecticut. This one included fenders, a custom fork with rack/fender mounts, matched Thomson Stem and optional carbon ENVE CX fork. Set up will be 2×11 with an 1x option. 12mm TA front and rear. Internal rear brake routing. And that Olive Drab powder! All matched for the color hook up. I’ll let the photo’s do the talking on this one. Really stoked how this turned out.

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Let’s Talk about the Marauder… standard

I’ve been riding my personal Marauder as a single speed the past few weeks and really enjoying it. However, with this past prototype, I had made a slight error on one of the bends of the seat stays. I’ve been wanting to tear that bike down and replace the seat stays to correct the mistake but that would leave me without a single speed.. So that meant rebuilding another prototype. Which offers an opportunity to try some tweaks to geometry and set up (yes, still fiddling). I finally hit my cockpit length on the nose with my 1×11 coming in at 21.75″ from tip of saddle to the center of the bars. It took some time to dial that in ...

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“Oranged” Marauder image

RECENT HEAT: So Brian’s Marauder came together after a slight delay on one last part from the good folks at Shimano. Some times things come together nice and smoothly. Some times things take a bit more time with a delay on a part. But they always are worth the wait! But let’s be frank… I love me some curves in my mountain bikes. However, nothing beats a straight up New England Hardtail. Traditional diamond. Low slung top tube. Some modern touches like disc brakes, 12x142mm TA and a robust 34mm fork. I recently “upgraded” from my now measly 32mm Fox 120mm travel Talas to a Fox 34 FIT4 Float. You point my bike and it plows through lines now. Odd ...

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