8 02 2014

Over the last wee while I have been pondering bikes. Not so unusual, but things have been a bit more focussed than typical. The Vertigo Cycles fat bike is taking shape and some decisions regarding parts were required. It is not until you sit and look at the current state of play that you realise just how many ‘standards’ there are. One of the main decisions has been dropouts (front and rear) for this bike.

As Sean recently pointed out: “so just in case anyone is curious, fat bikes are made with the following FRONT axle “standards” 9×135, 15×135, 15×142 and 10×135 rear. Do you know where you can buy an aftermarket 15 x anything skewer? Me neither. 12×142 woulda been a good idea y’all if only because it already exists.

And the rear “standard” is: 10×135 offset, 12×142 offset, 10×170, 12×177, 10×190 and 12×197.”

Then things get more complicated still. This bike will have Paragon sliders, and I would like it to run a shimano saint derailleur as a direct mount (ie, the b-link is removed, the derailleur hanger is angled back rather than down and the whole shebang is stiffer and further out of the way for wheel fitting). Then, if i have my druthers I would like a 177mm thru axle, probably DT swiss. This means the drops have wee pockets to aid wheel placement and the thru axles are just great. But wait! The Paragon sliders are available with Maxle 12mm- a 1.75mm pitch thread- Shimano 12mm- a 1.5mm pitch thread and Syntace & DT swiss- a 1mm pitch thread. Some of these are available direct mount some with traditional hanger.

My head hurts trying to work it all out.

Then again, I have a 29+ bike coming from Kris at 44 Bikes. This will replace the Krampus, which I have enjoyed very much. Why replace it after barely a year of use? Well, the trick with the Krampus is that it was made to fit 73mm bb/135mm rear hub standard kit. Very cool, but if you take away this restriction, instead using an 83mm bb and a 150mm rear hub, add in a skilled builder experienced with fitting drive chain and fat tyres past short stays, you can sneak that fat knard into a 16.5″ chainstay.

Why wouldn’t you want to do that?

Truth be told, I don’t think I am going to fully realise the potential of 29+ bikes until better tyres become available. The Knard is fine until you hit wet roots, then it is an issue. It would be really nice to have a more aggressive tyre. The word is the Dirt Wizard will be around in spring – this new Surly tyre looks much more aggressive, but is likely to be a 2.75″ so we’ll see. If I had my druthers I’d have a 2.8″ Maxxis Minion DHF.

This bike will also have sliders. And a SON front hub, maybe 135mm, maybe 100mm.

So… here we go again….it is a *good* problem to have though!




9 responses

9 02 2014

Have been and am in a similar position – though my parameters are different. I’ve gone 135mm rear symmetrical fat w 73mm BB – limiting me to a Rohloff w Marge Lite and HuDu fat rear (but that’s plenty for me). It’ll also take a 29+ symmetrical rear (the strength of a ‘krampug’ rear wheel build never inspired me) w limited cluster or 29″ w full cluster. For my local trails this covers everything and for remote and third world touring there is a hope of wheel replacement if all goes gurgling. It’s got 435mm chain stays – you’ll have to translate into inches.

I look forward to seeing yours evolve :-). I’ll also likely build a SON135 front wheel for the next big trip…

9 02 2014

Ps – also waiting on the dirt wizards….

9 02 2014
Josh, Portland, OR, USA

I’m in the market for a Jeff Jones frame and wonder what generator light options I might have in the near future. Is there a way to kludge something into Jones’ 135 Front standard – or does someone make a rear disc/cassette generator hub?

Also wondering about 29+ tires for the Great Divide route in N America.

10 02 2014
10 02 2014

Doh, but not in the sizes required….

10 02 2014

Tom: thanks!….i *do* like your bike too and it does seem to be the best given the terrain you cover!….does the offset of the rabbit hole rim drilling allow the rear hub to be somewhat less tricky? i have mine laced all to one side front and rear and they have been fine strength wise… but im guessing 135mm offset is still pretty extreme as the rabbit holes drilling is in reality only a few mm from the centre.

josh: i think you might have some problems. the only 135mm front dynamo hub i am aware of is a SON. however, it is a rear axle/rear disc spaced hub. you can run spacers to make the disc spaced to a jones fork disc (front) spacing, but the axle will not fit in the 9mm dropouts. if you have access to a machine shop of any sort, it would mean skimming the QR tabs down by o.5mm radius and it looks like it *should* work ok…i had considered this myself….

Stuart: thanks!

13 10 2015

I had the same problem, with a son135 and a fatback fork, I choose to fill the fork instead because it was easier and I prefered to modified the fork and keep the hub ‘untouch’ and I think 10mm is better than 9mm.

28 02 2015
Mike C

I’ve been riding a proto set of 29+ DW’s for a few months. I’d say you hit the nail on the head with your wish for a 2.8″ DHF. That is *exactly* what they feel like to me.

4 03 2015

That’s good to know! I’m looking forward to trying them out- DHF is such a good tyre, anything like it would surely be good too. Thanks!

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