Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Single Speed Mind- Part 2

The Sawyer is ready to roll.
So, like I said in the last post about single speeds here, I have a lot of single speed bikes. I wasn't done fixing up those devices just yet, and to be honest, I'm still not done yet. Got a few more to get to yet.

Well, one of the bikes I did get around to was the Sawyer. You've seen it here before if you've been around reading this blog a long time. The Sawyer is an odd bike. It probably wasn't ever meant to be a Trek branded bike, but the 2010 absorption of Fisher by Trek going into the 2011 season kind of put things off kilter with this bike. So, following is my interpretation of the events which made the Sawyer one of the failures of the shuttering of the Fisher brand.

It is a fact that only a small handful of people had previous knowledge about the early Summer announcement that Fisher Bikes was going to be no more. Obviously, all the 2011 product was well into production. Marketing was being developed for the coming year, and all of that was scuttled after Trek announced the change. One of those marketing ideas was centered around the Sawyer. A retro styled 29"er. A bike that was all about embodying all that Gary Fisher was best known for.

Think about the geared 2X10 drive train. Fisher was often credited for slapping gears on a 30's era Schwinn cruiser frame so he could ride to the top of the Repack course instead of pushing, or hitching a ride on a stake truck. The Sawyer was a nod to that. Also, Fisher was preeminent in pushing 29" mountain bikes into production. This occurred in 2001, exactly ten years previous to the introduction of the Sawyer. The Sawyer featured G2 geometry, a Fisher Bikes innovation, which radically changed how 29"er bikes were designed going forward. This bike was to be a celebration of Gary Fisher's MTB contributions, but with the absorption of Fisher into Trek, all the marketing plans had to be scrapped.

The frame is very detailed and had to be a nightmare for Trek to get it produced. The twin top tube starts at the head tube and then flares out to become the seat stays. Maybe a nod to Breezer's first bikes? The support tubes from the top tubes to the seat tube had to be "just so", and there are a lot of other details to this frame which make it a really interesting production bike. The drive side drop out is split, so I run the bike single speed with a Gates Carbon Drive Center Track belt. The frame can accept really fat tires. I've seen examples stuffed with 29" X 3.0 and 27.5" X 3.0 tires. Mine has 27.5" X 2.8"ers on there. Anyway, enough about that. It's a special bike that failed due to a larger plan Trek had and, of course, after a two year run it was over.

Don't forget your special tools.....
I also got to working on another stalwart of the G-Ted bike stable, the 1999 Surly 1X1. Again, you've seen this before if you've been reading here awhile. It's the "mechanic's bike" of Europa Cycle & Ski. I'm the seventh of the line to have had possession of it.

I've had these Surly Extraterrestrials on the bike tubeless since I built up the wheels for it. That's been.......what? Late 2015? Yeah.... Three solid years. I never have had the tires off to inspect things. So, late last Fall, the rear tire up and goes flat. I figured that it probably was high time I took off the tire and see what was up inside of there.

Fortunately I did not find any balls of rubbery stuff, or any other untoward things, so I did a bit of tidying up and remounted the tires with new sealant. Then I switched back to freewheel from fixed, and the next order of business is a new chain, chain wheel, and perhaps a crank to accommodate a different bolt pattern. So, after that I should be okay to roll another three years!

That'll be two more single speeds gone through. I have to get to my Pofahl, my Blackbuck, and the fixie Raleigh in the garage. Then I think I'll be done, but I was looking at building some new wheels for the Blackbuck with some hubs I was gifted, and so......you never know.


boom said...

What handlebars are on the Sawyer?

bnelson said...

gt what is a good eccentric bb for non press fit shell

Guitar Ted said...

@boom- Those are Ragley Carnegie's Bars.

@bnelson- I am not at all familiar with those. Sorry!

bnelson said...

gt any thoughts on eccentric bottom brackets?Any recommendations, tips ect?Thanks

Guitar Ted said...

@bnelson- I have used the Split shell type, wedge type, and pinch bolt style EBB's and in my experience, I've never had any issues with any of them. That said, you'll hear all sorts of horror stories about EBB's making noises. So, maybe I am an outlier.

My favorite type is what my OS Bike Blackbuck uses which is the split shell type.

On any of them I have found it is critical to clean and grease them regularly.