Words and Pictures by Gareth Taylor
Single speed Cyclocross bikes are a strange combination, grinding up muddy hills and blasting singletrack on a bike that isn’t really suited for the job is also a little perverse. However mine is probably the best bike I own. Not value wise or exclusivity etc., more that it’s the most fun to ride and that’s the most important factor isn’t it?
More pictures and details of this bike after the break.
Those windy bits of singletrack in stammer that my 29er MTB takes so easily, becomes a concentrated effort and real challenge. This bike has been down all my local trails, the most exciting being Squirrel Monkey in the wet (those of you who know it will understand!), and it handled each one with skittery brilliance.
Having said all of this, it is the bike that I am looking to replace first out of all my bikes, the rear tyre clearance its pitiful, aesthetically there are bits I love and bits I hate. Ah the fickle world of bike ownership however this bike is so good I have bought 2 of them. I had a previous moment of stupidity and sold my original one for a pittance and spent the next year trying to find another. Thankfully a brand new frameset turned up on the French eBay site. So if I sell it will I do the same again?
So the frame isn’t particularity well made with rather blobby welds and, as said above, practically no mud clearance for the rear wheel (the frame shares many features with their road based single speeds and fixed gear bikes of the time). However the geometry is perfect.
The build kit is a mixture of items that seem to work well together and most came from the parts bin or eBay;
- Roval Pave SL wheels
- 39:17 gear ratio
- Thomson post
- Giant bars
- Cane Creek canti’s and levers doing the stopping duties
- Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle and RL cranks
Continental 35mm tyres