|The Pofahl custom single speed upon arriving home from the Geezer Ride.|
First though, a little background information for those of you who haven't been here reading for a long time. This bike goes back to 2007 when I had just met Ben Witt, who was the founder and owner of Milltown Cycles in Faribault, Minnesota. I had mentioned that I had an idea for a 29"er frame and fork. Ben asked me to send it to him to see, and then his wheels started turning. Using a BikeCad program, he cleaned up a few details and then suggested that I get the frame and fork brazed up by Mike Pofahl, a Northfield, Minnesota custom frame builder. This is what resulted, as seen here, a blue powdercoated single speed specific frame and non-suspension corrected fork. Based loosely off a Karate Monkey, this Pofahl Signature frame and fork was to feature a specially designed titanium handlebar. The design by Ben was sent off to a very well known titanium frame builder to have it fabricated. However; nothing was ever done by said builder. He basically ignored us, and several months later, hey, presto! He introduces a new handlebar/stem combo that looked suspiciously like Ben's design. Live and learn......
Anyway, I ended up putting a drop bar on it, and it's been that way since. It has a Luxy Bar on it now with a high rise Bontrager stem. The gearing is 38 X 18, and I have 180mm Race Face Turbine cranks, vintage 1995 on there as well. Tires are out of production WTB Vulpines, and the wheels are 2007 vintage Industry 9 single speed specific wheels with DT Swiss rims. The seat post is a 27.0mm Syncros, vintage 1994, which I used to run on a '92 Klein Attitude. I'm using a Minoura bolt on water bottle cage on that seat post for an additional third water bottle.
|The ol' Pofahl handles gravel really smoothly.|
The interesting thing to me was that the single speed has to be worked in an entirely different manner than I do a geared bike. I had to really spin like the dickens to roll the hills and many times I found myself sprinting up the other side to keep that precious momentum up. It was like intervals, in a way. I was pretty worked over, much more so than usual, from riding the single speed on this loop. Overall, it was good for me, and the Pofahl worked like a well oiled clock. Well, except for that durned flat tire!
You might notice the frame pump on the lateral tube. I get asked about my frame pumps a lot. I still have two of these left. They are vintage Blackburn frame pumps from 1995. Obviously, these are not made anymore. I may have to start looking into those new Silca frame pumps if my two Blackburns fail, which may happen any day now. I had one explode spectacularly on a gravel ride last year, I think it was. I suppose gravel travel is pretty stressful on things like frame pumps, what with all the vibrations. I could have bought a case full of Blackburns for what one of these new Silcas cost though!
|The Gravel Worlds rig|
Speaking of the Raleigh Tamland, I am choosing it for Gravel Worlds next weekend. This will be the last big "hoo-rah" for the year, a 150 miler, and the second time I've ever used a geared bike down there. In fact, the Pofahl has seen duty down there at the last event they called the "Good Life Gravel Adventure" in '09. The first time I ever used a geared bike down there was at the first Gravel Worlds, I believe. Anyway, the Tamland Two gets the nod and you can see how I have it set up in the image here.
I've got my modified gearing, so I have a low enough gear for the Denton Wall, (hopefully), and I have my Bruce Gordon Rock & Road tires for the looser, sandier gravel they have down that way. I've got two Bike Bag Dude Chaff Bags for extra water bottles, and all I need now is a computer. I guess I'll have to buy one of those cursed things this week. bah!
I'm looking forward to this weekend. It's gonna be awesome. Stay tuned......