Have you heard of Foundry Cycles? I hadn’t either until this morning. Part of the QBP family of bike brands, they are relatively new to the game sporting only three bike models, all of carbon fiber; which cover dirt, road, and cross disciplines. All three models are very nice on the eyes, with pretty impressive part specs to boot. I would venture to say that these are some folks’ “dream bikes.” What caught my eye about this company though, apart from their gorgeous bikes, is they are offering up free bicycles to a lucky group of folks who apply. Consider this my application.
Auger cross bike.
So why should I get a free bike? Apart from the obvious (I ride bikes, like bikes, write about bikes, take pictures of bikes, etc.) I am not a fan of carbon fiber. Wait, what was that? Yes, I am not a fan of carbon. I feel that carbon is overpriced, and overrated. I feel that it has too high of a risk of failure. I feel that I would break one very easily. Not that I am a Clydesdale by any means, but I ride hard, and I ride a lot. I just do not trust the material. I guess that even though I am only thirty, I would classify as a retrogrouch. Steel is real baby.
Router dirt bike.
So win me over. Prove me wrong that carbon is not a weak, delicate, overrated material, and I will sing it from the rooftops that these bikes are legit. How do you prove me wrong? Send me a bike and lets dance. Ball is in your court Foundry.
Ratchet road bike.
Check out their site here for more pictures and more information about applying for the job. Better hurry though, deadline is tomorrow at midnight.
All pictures from Foundry.
Just keep spinning…
One of my favorite things about the cycling industry, among many, is that every year new products start showing up. Every company has a new product that is bigger, better, lighter, faster, etc. You get the idea. Airborne Bicycles is no exception, and from the looks of it 2012 is going to be a big year for them. Enter the Guardian:
Building off of the very successful Goblin 29er, Airborne has launched a more wallet friendly 29er to, as they say, “Get more butts in saddles.” I like that, more people on bikes is a good thing. Anyway, sharing quite a few components from the more expensive Goblin, the Guardian is a well spec’d entry level 29er, or just the rider on a budget. If you were on the fence about the Goblin due to the price, there is no reason for you to sit any longer. So what is the price? Head over the Airborne’s site and check it out!
Well done Airborne, can’t wait to see the rest of the line up.
Just keep spinning…
Photo from Airborne’s website.
So now that I have finally secured the funds to start my new bike build, I am unfortunately at another crossroads. This time, I am still leaning towards the Troll, but also leaning towards a full fledged fat bike. I seem to go back and forth with this, over and over, and waiting is not helping me one bit. So, for this installment, here is the next round of my bike comparisons.
As for why I am leaning towards a fat bike, it all started with this:
Gary Fisher Rig SS
This was my first taste of the big wheels. Only ridden around 100 miles, in a haste I dismantled it and sold it off, only to buy another single speed to then sell off, etc. I regretted it after the fact, but hind sight is 20/20 right? Anyway, after riding this bike, I really wanted to try out a full on fat bike. So recently, in my planning stages for the new bike, I found a used Surly Puglsey on the local Craigslist that got my mind rolling on the big wheels again. Unfortunately I was not as quick as I should have been with it, and it sold. So that leads up to the comparison.
We will start with this:
This is the current model that I am leaning towards. I will not go into details, since I have talked about this frame numerous times, like here and here. The frame is very versatile, and I feel like it would be a great fit for my riding style, and also the type of riding that I have been doing. Also, it would give me a bike that is ready for the woods, which is what the Xtracycle was lacking, thus it’s departure. Two things make me not want to go this route though:
First, there is newer model coming out later this year. From what I have read on a cycling forum, it will be in the fall. The newer model adds bottle/cage mounts on the fork, and another bottle mount on the underside of the downtube. I would like those options, but I am not sure that I can wait until then. Patience is a virtue that I do not possess. This is not a deal breaker for me though.
Second, the Troll fits big tires. I plan on using the 26×2.6 Maxxis Ardents on the frame, should I get it. But this could be the opening of Pandora’s Box for tires. It could only lead to wanting a little more rubber (enter “That’s what she said” joke here) and the Troll would be maxed out. Not a true fat bike. The Troll would always be lacking in the tire department.
For the fat bike route, I will not go into too much detail again, since I will only be repeating myself. Click here to see my comparison of the Pugsley and the Mukluk, which would probably be the route that I would take. In a perfect world, I would buy both. Hmmm, if only…
The next few days will be tough on the cycling decisions, thankfully that is the worst thing in my life that I have to worry about. For that, I am thankful.
Just keep spinning…
Surly Troll picture from their site, click the link to the right to have your mind blown on their products.
QBP, purveyor of cycling goods, has brought the masses many great fat bike related items. The Surly Pugsley, the fat tires, 45NRTH, the Salsa Mukluk, the Moonlander, and now this: Check it.
To give you the rundown, a new Salsa dual suspension fat bike. Granted it is still a prototype, but this is a big step for the fat biking world. I would imagine if this goes to production, a bunch of hardtail fat bikes will be popping up on eBay and Craigslist. Very nice Salsa!
Photo from Salsa’s site.
Continuing the theme for night rides tonight. Temperature in the low 30s, but luckily no rain. Tonight also brought out the HaroX instead of the T500. I feel very fortunate to be able to switch from bike to bike when ever the feeling hits. Today’s ride was filled with lots of thinking about what new bike or frame to buy, but then all the thoughts came to a head with, “Be happy with what you have, that you have options.” With that said, here is some bike lust for you:
Jones steel diamond frame and unicrown fork
Thanks to the current issue of Dirt Rag, this is my new bicycle obsession. Jones bicycles, you might have heard of Jeff Jones before? Let’s be honest, you probably have not. He is a custom frame builder, building rigid specific frames and forks, that are meant to be ridden hard. His most noticable work would probably be this:
Jones titanium Spaceframe with truss fork
Back to Dirt Rag. In their latest issue, they have a review of the diamond frame, and from the write up, I would love to have one. I will be honest, most of Jones’s products are out of my price range, but the steel diamond frame could be built for a decent price. I won’t go into too many specifics, but check out Jones’s website for more information. If anything, there are some amazing photos and lots to read. And be sure to check out Dirt Rag’s website, lots of good stuff going on over there in Pittsburgh.
Anyway, tomorrow brings another day of riding. It has been one week straight, 3 more to go. I am sure it will be another day of thinking while on the ride, and being thankful that I have options. And also thankful that I can spin on two wheels…
If you are on Twitter, I am posting links to the Map My Ride stats @codsow. Check it!
Photos from Jones Bikes.
Yesterday I picked up the latest edition of Bicycle Times and one ad in particular caught my eye. Inside the front cover was a picture of this:
Beautiful disc brake only, single speed, steel frame cyclocross bicycle from Raleigh Bicycles. This bike is amazing. The bike has a decent set of components, some of the highlights:
-Shimano Alfine crank set.
-Eccentric bottom bracket for easy chain tension.
-Double wall rims.
-Kenda ‘cross tires.
I love a single speed bike, but it is almost like this bike was built for an Alfine internal gear hub in mind. That would be an amazing upgrade to an already fantastic bike. ‘Cross bikes are used now a days for more than just cyclocross. I would venture to guess that most end up in the streets for commuting duties, due to more comfortable geometry compared to a road bike. This bike with an Alfine IGH would be a perfect commuter.
Looks like this bike is in the $800 range, not too bad. Nicely done Raleigh!
Photo from Raleigh’s website.
As of late, I have been selling off my childhood one piece at a time via eBay to fund my next bicycle purchase. Who would have thought that a bunch of toys and games from the 1980s would enable you to buy a bicycle? Fascinating. As in the poll to my right, here are the current contenders for my hard earned money:
I really like the Troll, as you can check here and here. It is crazy versatile. Load it up with racks, fat tires, and hit the trail for an off road jaunt to the next county over. Or, put on some road shoes in the form of 26″x2.5″ slicks and eat roadies for breakfast. It is nice, and it is orange, which is important this time of year in Ohio.
Complete price around $1300.
26″ wheels. For me this is a pro due to the fact that I could use the same tube size that I already use for my HaroX.
Rack and fender mounts.
Clearance for large tires.
Solid component spec with durable, quality parts.
Rigid. A rigid 26er does not sound like much fun in the woods, my old rigid 29er was pretty rough.
Salsa Fargo 2
Drop bar 29er with rack and fender mounts, built for heavy off road touring. Sweet bicycle, very similar to the Troll in my opinion, difference being 29″ wheels as opposed to 26″ and drop bars and road style shifters. I would call this an adventure bike.
Complete around $1600
Rack and fender mounts.
Enabler fork with anything cage braze-ons.
29″ wheels. I do like bigger wheels for dirt duty.
Might be overbuilt for what I am looking for. Especially if any time is spent on the road. Also might be overkill since I now have the T500.
Rigid. Can you tell I am not digging a rigid bicycle for off road duties? I must be getting old.
Price. One of the more expensive on the list.
Airborne Zeppelin Elite
This bike is pretty amazing in my opinion. Good, quality components. 5″ of suspension travel. Nice, comfy trail bike, all in a budget price. I have wanted a dually for a while, I am sure it would be a different ride than the rigid 29ers that I have grown used to. Easier on the back for sure!
Complete, mail order for $699.
Price! Seriously, 5″ travel dual suspension for $700? That is amazing. Definitely in the budget, with room for upgrades immediately.
Good components spec, SRAM X7 and X9 drive train.
Company based out of Dayton. I think it is cool that a company is based out of this part of Ohio, I guess state loyalty runs deep!
Suspension. I am not sold on the fork and shock for this bike. No pedal platform on the shock that I am aware of, so there has to be some sort of pedal induced bob.
Mountain bike only.
The Surly Pugsley. What an amazing bike. I love the idea of fat tires. Just the idea of riding in the snow or on the beach, or basically any place that in inaccessible to most bicycles is tempting by itself.
Complete around $1600.
Big, fat, wide tires. Ride over most things. Extend the normal cycling season.
Price. Along with the Fargo, one of the higher prices on the list.
Heavy. Big fat tires come with big heavy wheels.
Mountain bike only, unless you buy the new Black Floyd slick tire, which would make your fatbike a fat road bike.
Step back in time with this bike. Rivendell makes some amazing bikes, but unfortunately they are a little out of my price range. Someday though, maybe for my 40th birthday, I will own one. That gives me ten years to save…
Frame only around $1500.
Beautiful, mobile, work of art.
Not something that you see everyday. Or ever.
Frame only. Unfortunately, I do not have the parts to do this frame justice, thus putting it out of my desired price range.
Road, gravel road bike only. No heavy mountain bike duties.
So there is the complete bicycle shootout. These are five very different, very nice bicycles. For me, the Troll and the Fargo are very similar. So similar in fact that I would go with the lower price of the Troll. The remaining three are very different bikes that each have a different personality. The go anywhere slowly but surely Pugs. The classy, gravel grinder in the Hunqapillar. And the wallet friendly, make you smile trail bike with the Airborne. Out of those three, as much as I lust for a fatbike, the Airborne has an edge. It is hard to compete with that price. That would leave some money left over to do some upgrades on the Zeppelin, and also the T500 and HaroX. So for the time being, the Airborne has the definite advantage.
I would like to hear your opinion about these bikes, or any others that you might think might compare to these. Also while you are here, do your duty to your country (or just this blog) and vote on which bike you would go with in the “Help me choose my next bike” poll.