Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Contemplating Madness

Custom, custom, hand made, fillet brazed.
"What is that!?

I sometimes get this reaction to the ol' Pofahl Custom. It is a weird bike, for sure. It's been on here several times before, and I've not gotten to ride it as much as I'd have liked to when I got it, but things were different back then. I didn't figure on going down the path I did with cycling back in '07, so back then, the plan was to ride the crap outta this rig.

The back story goes something like this: I have the Karate Monkey in Campstove Green, the '03 model. I put drop bars on it, always used it as a single speed, and it was essentially my first gravel road rig. I decided I could do something better, and drew up an idea which I had shown to Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles. Ben immediately got excited about it, did some geometry tweaks, and the next thing I now we're into a project.

The idea from my standpoint was to have two bi-lateral tubes instead of seat stays. My position was that it would allow for the seat tube and flatter angled stays to get some of that mythical vertical compliance. The bi-laterals would stiffen the front end for out of the saddle honking up hills via one gear. Ben added some offset/head angle wizardry and voila'! The Pofahl Custom Signature model!

No suspension ever on this one!
Early in the design process I was asked if I'd ever run a suspension device on this, to which I said, "no", and so the fork was not suspension corrected. I still do not regret that idea, since the Pofahl has also almost exclusively been a gravel machine. The other thing about this bike is there was to be a custom titanium handle bar, which Ben designed for this, and was sent to another "famous" titanium fabricator who shall remain nameless and then we heard.......nothing. Oddly enough, after about six months the design, slightly revised, showed up on this fellows bikes. Yeah........not cool, but whatever.....

So I've never had the finishing piece done for this bike and that's resulted in a plethora of handle bar and stem ideas on this bike. Nothing has really sparked any love until I stuck a Luxy Bar on there with this high rise Bontrager stem. That's been the best thing so far. I once had a monstrosity of a Niner Bikes bar on there which also wasn't too bad.

Anyway, I am considering doing a single speed or another of my "fatter tired' bikes for Odin's. The course isn't too hilly for a single gear, but it is a case where a fatter tired gravel rig shines. I would really like to do the Tamland Two, but with a forecast of 35 miles of dirt that could be powdery, deep, and maybe sandy, I am looking at doing some 2.0"-2.25" tires. That was good last year, but last year there wasn't as much dirt either.

Next time I post about Odin's I'll show the other bike I'm contemplating which probably hold the edge for the final choice at Odins. Stay tuned!


Exhausted_Auk said...

That is a very interesting idea for a frame design. Did you consider curved fork blades for vertical compliance of the front end, or was this not feasible?

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk: Actually, no- I hadn't thought of that, but not that it couldn't still be done. I did want to go with a plate crown fork, initially, but the budget didn't allow for that at the time.

At the outset I thought that I may still use this as a single track machine, so a stout fork was thought to be necessary. Now looking back, I wouldn't have asked for that.

It is an intriguing idea. I may pursue that as there are a few other braze ons I'd like added to this bike as well. (Proper water cage mounts for one thing)