Thursday, July 21, 2016

Birthday Bike

As the boy grows, so must his bikes get bigger!
This weekend is my son's thirteenth birthday. I bought him a fat bike when he was ten, I think it was, and since kids grow, well, it was time for a new sled too.  This time I went with a different brand, Origin 8, and I got their XLT Scout model, an aluminum frame that came with a head set and seat collar. This will be the story of how the boy's bike came together.

The old rig he had was an extra small sized Mukluk. Well, Salsa Cycles had a recall on the forks on those bikes. Since I had one, I was in line to get taken care of, but when we heard that forks were going to be scarce due to that dock strike back in '14, I decided to take myself out of the queue and wait till later so our shop's customers would get their forks. I had a steel Enabler fork I used on my son's bike in the meantime.

Well, time went on and I forgot all about getting that new fork. Anyway, the kid grew, and it became apparent that I was going to have to get him on a new rig this Summer, ostensibly for his birthday. That gave me time to pull something together, and when I finally got the fork for his Mukluk, I was going to put it on that bike since I do not have any other fat bike that a tapered steer tube for would work on, that is until the Scout XLT came along.

This frame came at a killer deal to me, but with no fork. Fortunately, I had the new carbon Salsa fork to go in there, and the old Mukluk was originally slated for mothballs because my son pleaded with me to keep it as it was. He really is attached to that thing! That meant I needed wheels. Well, "New York" Roll, a friend I know in town, was trying to ditch a pair of Beargrease wheels he had and no one was wanting them. I got them for the kid's new bike project. Good deal for me as far as the front went, since the Salsa fork is a through-axle type, and Roll's wheel was as well. Bad deal because the Scout XLT has a QR rear drop out and Beargrease frames are through axle. But wait! I could get QR end caps, right? Surely someone would have those.

I've got to cut the steer tube to length, but the bike is ready to ride.
Well, I asked at work about it, but after days of searching, we couldn't scare anything up. So, I put the word out on social media, and I got a bite and was provided with some end caps, but they turned out to be the wrong ones. I was standing in the basement looking at my project and decided that I was not only short the end caps, but I would likely need a crank, bottom bracket, and maybe some other small parts. That's when the hammer fell. I decided that I didn't really want to have an entire fat bike just sitting around, and that evening I stripped down the old Mukluk frame, which solved several problems.

First off, I had a QR rear wheel, which allowed me to put the Beargrease rear wheel QR end cap search on the back burner. I also had an entire drive train and a rear brake set up. My son's first fat bike only ran a rear brake. Now, let's see if that 31.6mm seat post will slip into that Origin 8........what?!! It didn't fit. Crap! Another road block. So, I had to sleuth out what seat post size Origin 8 used, and that wasn't easy, since it is cryptically buried in their site and is not labeled as a seat post size. All it says in a line of copy is "30.9", which I happened to understand is a somewhat common size for a seat post. Bah! So, I ordered that item and waited......

Well, the seat post came in just this week, and that meant that yesterday I was pretty busy all day building and test riding this new rig for my son. His birthday is Sunday, the 24th, so we'll get it out and cruise a bit then. Here's the spec:
  • Frame: Medium Origin 8 Scout XLT
  • Fork: Salsa Cycles Makwa Carbon
  • Front Wheel: Green Ano hub, Beargrease spec wheel with Rolling Darryl rim
  • Rear Wheel: Salsa hub laced to a Fatback 70mm rim
  • Front Tire: Big Fat Larry
  • Rear Tire: Fatback Sterling
  • Crankset: Origin 8 2X ISIS
  • Pedals: Fixation Mesa Platform
  • Seat Post: TruVativ 30.9mm X 400mm
  • Saddle: Bontrager Rhythm (Out of production)
  • Handle Bar: FSA SLK Carbon
  • Stem: FSA SLK Carbon
  • Shifters: 9spd Grip Shift
  • Brake Levers: Avid
  • Grips: Ergon
  • Brakes: Avid BB-7's
  • Cassette: 9spd
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X-9 9spd.
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano SLX High Direct Mount
  • Chain: SRAM
  • Bottom Bracket: 100mm ISIS TruVativ
  • Cages: Velocity Bottle Traps
  • Quick Release: Salsa rear- Maxle front through axle.


Steven Butcher said...

Very nice! Great job, dad!

Wally Kilburg said...

Awesome work! Your son will be over the moon my friend. Happy Birthday to him!

Robert Ellis said...

That's pretty sweet!