Since I contribute to Twenty Nine Inches I got to go to Las Vegas to cover Interbike with Crooked Cog founder, Tim Grahl. Tim also heads up Blue Collar Mountain Bike. One of the highlights of our trip was meeting and chatting with Gary Fisher.
One of the more interesting topics of discussion that day was the fact that today's nine speed mountain bike components do not last as long as the older 7 speed components did. Nor are they as durable in alot of cases. The thinking that day was, "What if there was a quality 7 speed gruppo that the "average" guy could buy. A gruppo that would last, be durable, and reasonably lightweight."
Well, to that end Tim and I have put together a tentative package that we are calling the "Bombproof Bike". We are spec'ing the thing with parts that are readily available and are deemed by us to be durable first and foremost. Secondly, they had to be of good design. Proven technology. Thirdly, (and almost by default by the nature of them) they had to be cheap to obtain by anybody. In other words, I dearly would have loved to spec the bike with my parts bin Sachs 7 speed twist shifter, but you can not buy one today!
The frame and fork are going to be the Surly Instigator, which I think is a perfect example of "bombproof" in cycling terms. (Yes, I know it's not a 29"er! I suggested a Karate Monkey, but that didn't fly in the end)
So, what do you think? We probably will see this become reality before too long and will be out mashing it into the ground to see how it holds up. Stay tuned! For now, here is a tentative spec list..........
Crankset: Shimano FC-MC20 with 104/64 BCD rings, square taper BB compatible or Sugino XD-300 square taper BB compatible with 110/74 BCD rings.
Bottom Bracket: Shimano UN-53 118mm spindle or SKF equivilent
Shifters: SRAM MRX-Comp grip shift type 7spd
Hubs: Shimano Deore front and rear
Cassette: Shimano 13-34T 7spd.
Chain: SRAM PC-48 with Power Link
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore
Brakes: Tektro linear pull
Levers: Tektro linear pull compatible
Cables/Housings: Jagwire or equivilent
Seat Post: Kalloy (cheap, does the job)
Handle Bar: Dimension or equivilent (See seat post for why)
Stem: Ditto above
Saddle: Personal preferance (WTB has a commuter saddle in it’s line up)
Grips: Personal preferance (Suggest we get some from Ergon)
Pedals: Personal preferance
Rims: Laced to a Sun Rhynolite, Salsa Gordo, or equivelent rim
Be sure to check out updates on this project at Blue Collar Mountain Bike