Sated Steed: My Geekhouse Mudville

At this point, my Geekhouse Mudville is about as worn out as I am. It’s traveled the world multiple times and each trip to Australia, the build is slightly different.

Looking back, had I known this bike had clearances for up to a 42c tire, I would have ditched the 33c world a long time ago. For big, big rides, those 40c Nanos are the way to go. Surly’s Knard 41c looks like a great option as well, but I’ve yet to try them.

Over the past few years, this bike has proven itself to me time and time again. While there are a few characteristics that make a cross bike less-than-ideal for big tough dirt rides, I’d say it’s an all around, solid tool for the job. Even doing ‘road rides’ on a 40c ain’t as bad as you’d think.

Looking forward, I’m not sure what kind of bike I’d like to use for ‘dirt riding’ and travel. A road geometry with a slighly-slacker head tube angle is best suited for descending steep, rutted and sketchy fire roads, but the clearances for a larger tire make any rocky surface just kinda disappear, even on singletrack.

I’d love to make a bike with a road BB drop, a slightly slacker heat tube and enough room for a 40c tire but for now, this bike is ripping! Out of all of my bikes, it’s seen the most action and it shows, especially after a long ride like the two day Bush Blast (day 1 and day 2).

After that ride, I have had these photos on my desktop and figured I’d share them.

  • Keith Gibson

    I have one of these on order (expected in Feb), and cannot wait. I am ready mapping some routes. I visited the shop a few months ago, and Marty has got a great thing going.

  • Sebastian Kills Francis

    ACES !!

  • Dobry

    Great stuff. Nice bike. So do you think bigger than 40/41 is overkill? Rock and Road or FireCross potentially too big for off the road long rides?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Rock N Roads are great too, they just won’t fit my stays.

      • hans

        shave the side knobs with a bench grinder and you’ll get ‘em down to the right size! paul sadoff did this and got them to fit his cross racing bikes….and man, love this geekhouse dude. this is probably my favorite of your bikes.

  • alex wallis

    could it be time to go all rivy with a dirt touring 26er?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      I’m too big for a 26″ wheel – tried it, not a fan. The only time I liked something smaller than 29r was the 5010 or a long travel 27.5 mtb

      • alex wallis

        ha, ya, guess 26er makes more sense to me being 5’4″. you planning a new manpowered monster truck?

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          Probably a disc “all road” bike for next year.

          • BurlyGates

            What kind of BB drop and HTA are you thinking for this bike, if I may ask?

          • btdubs

            Don’t worry about it. Geometry on a custom bike is specific to the rider’s preferences, body and fit, and a head angle and BB drop that will work for someone else won’t necessarily work for you.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            HTA and BB drop have little to do with fit, they’re more about a bike’s handling.

          • BurlyGates

            I’m doing a custom disc “all road” kinda guy right now with 68 drop, 73 STA, 72.5 HTA. Should be a hoot.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            68mm is where my cross bike is now, for an “all-road”, I’d probably go 70 – 72mm drop. Angles seem spot-on though.

          • BurlyGates

            I was going back and forth between 68 and 70 and finally just said screw it and made the call. GUESS I’ll just have to race cross now, sighhh…

  • cyclecuse

    please, for the love of all that is unholy, ‘c’ is not a unit of measurement, despite what the tire companies mark/mould into their tires. it’s millimeter or mm.

  • JIm Cameron

    Hi John, have you got any advice on max tyre widths for rim widths? Currently have H Plus Son Archetypes on my Albannach Crois. Think 40/41mm tyres are about as much as you’d want to ride. Cheers Jim

    • Bilsko

      curious about putting 40s on a Archetype (23mm) rim myself… might be a little too much.

      • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

        40 is fine on a 23mm rim. That’s what I have.

        • Henry

          I regularly run 40mm Schwalbes and 43mm Bruce Gordons on Archetypes – no problems whatsoever.

          I run tubes, if that matters at all.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      there’s this (towards the bottom) but I don’t think it’s right, especially since most rimes are 23mm wide these days…

      http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html

  • Bilsko

    Funny, I’m thinking about the same type of rig for my next setup – well, next one after the Big Dummy to haul my daughter around. The past couple of years have had me on a Surly Disc Trucker andI’ve run it with the Clement MSOs (40), the Knards are on it now, and I have a set of Rock n’ Roads coming in the mail. The MSOs (and the smaller USHs) are easily among my favorite tires, and I’ve thrown them at everything from local gravel metrics to a DC randonneurs 250m fleche.

    The knards are nice enough, but I haven’t had much of a chance to take them out on dirt/gravel. With the raised centerline knobs,they’re pretty squirrely on road surfaces. No clearance issues on the Trucker, though, so I’m optimistic about the Rock n’ Roads fitting well.

    I’ve run the Clement USHs I have on the SSCX into the ground and they have done very well. @cycleboredom is recommending the Ruffy Tuffysas my next set to replace the USHs.

  • Jon B.

    How have the Rotors been, trouble free?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      No issues

  • Jimflip

    How about the “+1″ being shoed with 650B’s ? That takes care of lowering the BB a smidge, plus the extra-cush will play nice on gravel roads.
    Anecdotally, I had the opportunity recently to ride a lovely rando fitted with Grand Bois Hetres a week back and found out first-hand that there’s no exaggeration about their ability to roll smoothly and fast on pavement too.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Putting 650b on a frame designed for 700c like this requires a different brake positioning and will look like a two legged pig. haha

      • Jimflip

        My bad, I read into your post that you were considering another bike (hence the “+1″). Agreed, the canti’s would probably add too much complexity to running 650b’s on the Geekhouse. As for the aesthetics though, ain’t 27.5 (aka 650b) the “new black” ? ;-)

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          I am considering another bike, but that’s my job. I’ll be passing this frame on to a friend, who can continue to enjoy it.

  • Mike Skalnik

    Looks slick. I’ve been eyeing a Mudville as a cross bike. Preparing for next years bike build already :)

  • krashdavage

    John, just get custom ti (Baum or Firefly?) with S/S couplers and get the design elements you want. Easy.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      S&S sucks! I put down a deposit on a Firefly last year… ;-)

  • Gordon Watt

    I got a pair of 41mm Knards recently (the higher thread count folding ones) and have been running them on my drop bar Inbred. I’ve only done about 400km on them (mainly dry off-road and gravel) but they seem great. I was trying to find Nanos in the UK but no joy – the Knards came from Charlie the Bikemonger.

    One thing I’d add is that they have been a really loose fit on both pairs of rims I’ve tried them on – the beads really “pop” into the rim on inflation. First time I fitted them I must have nipped a tube. 2 days later I came out and the tyre had blown right off the rim, and the tube was split in two…

    • mookauu

      Same thing happened to me this weekend with my 27tpi Knards. After some online research, seems it was a combination of having the pressure too high (had it at the max of 75psi) and my garage getting too hot. Heat will excite gases and cause the air in the tube to expand and since there is no where for this air to go, it ultimately blew my tire off the rim. Unfortunately it also ruined the bead on the tire so I had to buy a new tire..

      • Gordon Watt

        Interesting. I was under the impression that it was impossible for a tyre to blow off a rim completely unless you caught the tube, as an innertube bursting wasn’t enough to lift the bead out.

        Funny thing is, I’d inflated mine to 60psi to seat them when it blew, but I live in Scotland so I doubt it was a heat issue (!). I’ve now had them on for 4 weeks and no issues (40psi) so I hope that was a user error.

    • Gordon Watt

      Interesting. I was under the impression that it was impossible for a tyre to blow off a rim completely unless you caught the tube, as an innertube bursting wasn’t enough to lift the bead out.

      Funny thing is, I’d inflated mine to 60psi to seat them when it blew, but I live in Scotland so I doubt it was a heat issue (!).

  • Mike

    that is one happy bike