Categories ArchivesBuilds

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

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 ...

Continue Reading

This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!