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Month: May 2015

Whishart Long Travel 29’er is Born!

Whishart Long Travel 29’er is Born!

Over the last several months I’ve been busy baking my own baby in the oven.  In the oven so to speak!  My last post explained why ( and since then I’ve reviewed countless bike geo’s, reviews and test rides.  I started with a Chromag Surface design then tweaked the design based on Canfield’s Nimble 9, 44 bikes and the Kona Honzo.  The final design ended up being a short chainstay, longer top tube, short stem, 140mm fork.  The sliding dropouts were added for tweaking the ride and water bottle bosses for bike packing tours.

Throughout the design phase, my good friend Rob Warren from Whishart Cycles helped me developed and finalize the design.  Once we agreed to it, he was off ordering the tubes, and parts for the build.  The headtube is a 44mm CNC unit, the sliding dropout is stainless from Paragon Machine works.  The tubes are pre-bent (chainstays, seatstays) and the rest is a pick of Nova and Columbus tubes. The design will have 68 deg headtube with a 73 deg seat tube (using 120mm fork).

Rob uses fillet brazing to join the tubes and his workmanship is a thing of beauty!  This is where a bike building becomes a real craft with emence patience and a critical eye.  I visited Rob to see the build which was half assembled and I was like a little kid with a parent. Whats this? Whats that? How did you compensate for twist? Do you cold set? He was certainly patience with me.

I realized then that I was on a journey of cycling learning.  I had to understand why mountain bikes were designed in the past, what worked and what didn’t and where design was going.  Also,its not like I just visited the bike stores and chose an already built up bike like most folks.  I had to really think about the essence of what trails I ride and why I ride.  A bike design and its designer really needs to have a vision of what the rider is looking for.  For larger bike companies, its a faceless rider; for small companies, maybe its for their local area.  I chose to jump on a journey without not knowing the end result.  Truly a trail less travel and I still don’t know if the bike is a dud!!!  It could very well be a mistake or hopefully the best ride ever!  We all know that a first design is a prototype and its design tweaked with later iterations.  We’ll see about later revisions…but thats part of my life long cycling journey.

The rear stays are on the jig


This is a beautiful join of the a bent seat tube with the seat  post insert


Bottom bracket area – the chainstays are crimped to allow a 2.4 Ardent tire


Front triangle on – rear seat stays last thing to join.


The bike 99% complete and getting ready to paint


She is a thing of beauty!