Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Somebody get me a Monster..."

Famous words, only to be spoken north of the border.

In usual context that quote is referring to an energy drink but in this case it is referring to a bike.  A 'monster cross bike'.  This term has come about recently and usually refers to a bike running the bigger 29er mtb wheels but built up more like a cross bike with drops, etc.  Some manufacturers even offer some stock monster cross bikes, Salsa is one and I think there are a few others as well but they escape me at the moment.

Mine isn't a 29er unfortunately but its still pretty sweet.  This has been a long time coming and I have mentioned this project a few times and the bike itself has made it into a few tweets in various stages of completion.  A lot of the parts on this bike have lived a long and varied life but I am particularly pumped with this version of things, I think this could be really fun to ride.


My favorite part about this bike is the fact that most parts on it would fall under the category: "no name".  Its just a big steel nameless behemoth that can go anywhere it wants for as long as you can stand.  Lets see, interesting tid bits...On One Midge bars for the 'dirt drops'.  I spent a lot of time researching the various options here and ended up with the Midge mostly because it was one of the few that took bar end shifters, which I find weird because just about every monster cross build I have seen has bar end shifters.  The disc brakes are the Avid BB5 Road.  Basically the same thing as a normal BB5 but a short pull version that is compatible with road brake levers.

wrapped the shifter cables under the bar tape to keep the front end a bit more tidy cable wise

I'm going to be riding this monster for the NH100 this year, should be interesting to see how it effects my time.  I bet I'll ride it quite a bit faster, this thing is fully geared which will be nice in certain spots on that course.  I can change up my hand positions a bit with the drops.  No suspension though...

In other news I went a bit more manly with my SS and shrunk my cog down to 19 teeth the other day.  Went  with a Surly.  Usually a good bet.

 Things were starting to get too easy and I can't let that happen...

Took it out for a spin this morning.  My feelings are mixed at this point.  Which is basically what I expected, try riding your favorite trail system except ride everything in one gear will kinda suck first time around.  Initially I felt much slower, my acceleration was non existent, didn't feel very 'peppy' on the bike.  I almost felt like I was lumbering a bit more, my cadence was much lower which typically doesn't suit me.  I have always been a spinner over a masher.  BUT come to look at the ride data afterward and I put up a similar average speed on a similar route at this time last year running 32-20.

So overall the speed is still there it just feels completely different.  I feel like I am strong enough for the 19 but I will have to make some modifications to my riding until my legs get the force they need to turn that gear at the cadence I am used to.  Just going to have to rely on momentum even more for a bit and try and smooth out my riding.  The roots were still a bit slick this morning so there was a lot of slow and start out of corners and getting the 19 going again was wearing on me a bit.  But I'm not discouraged, I will get there it'll just take some time.  Good idea to change things out 1 week before my first race?  Time will tell...

Its funny to think that when I started my foray into single speed riding the most I could muster on my converted 26in bike was a 32-22.  Which when you get into gear inches is more like a 32-24(ish) on a 29er.  What I am running now would roughly equate to a 32-17 on a 26in bike and when I had first converted my bike I had set it up in the 'recommended' 2-1 ratio of 32-16 and I remember test riding it in Plymouth and thinking to myself there is never any way I could ever ride this for any length of time, way too hard.  If things go to plan the 32-19 will be my new 'butter gear', ride anything, anywhere, anytime.  Never would have thought it possible a few years ago.


  1. NH100? That's a monster ride on a monster bike - good luck. What's in weight in at?

  2. hard tellin but probably 30+. its a tank.

  3. that bike looks bad ass, see ya sunday!

  4. wow...i like where this is going...that bike is awesome...sounds like between getting your fork more dialed and the new gear ratio you are making some pretty significant changes with your ss too...keep on GITTN' IN THERE!