Kris from 44 Bikes on His Mountain Bike Aug 13, 2014

44_bikes_MTB

People dug Kris’ explanation of his Huntsman cross, so I thought I’d share this as well. I know a lot of you have been interested in getting your first MTB, solely based on all the emails I receive asking for my opinions on the market’s offerings.

I’m not trying to tell you to go custom for your first MTB, because that doesn’t make sense at all, but you should head over to 44 Bikes and read Kris’ thoughts on why he rides what…

And yes, ride as many mountain bikes as you can – demo days, shop rentals, friend’s, etc – before you dive in head-first to a new rig!

  • AttackCowboy

    Beautiful bike and an informative breakdown. Love this post.

  • ninetubes

    Great to hear him explain the thought process behind each part of the bike. Interesting stuff.

  • Tyler Shannon

    It’s been so cool to follow him as a builder. I remember finding him on some random wood working forum years ago and following along as he built his workshop, and now he is cranking out beautiful bike after beautiful bike. He is on my shortlist for a custom mountain bike, that’s for sure.

  • http://www.simplicityofjoy.com/ Simplicityofjoy

    Love this series!

  • http://www.44bikes.com Kristofer Henry

    Thanks for the kind words fellas. And thanks to John for kindly posting up the links. I’ll be doing my fat bike next (which also shares a 29+ wheelset) and then my 29er SS. May also do my wife’s 650b and her Huntsman to explain the thought process behind building for someone else with all things considered. Any questions, feel free to ask.

    • AttackCowboy

      Excited to hear about the 29er SS since that is my dream MTB!

      • AttackCowboy

        And since you asked for questions, is this the SS 29er in question:
        http://theradavist.com/2014/03/2014-nahbs-44-bikes-murdered-out-rigid-ss-29r/#10

        If so, why did you go with a lowered top tube/seat tube extension on this bike and not on the single speed?

        • http://www.44bikes.com Kristofer Henry

          That’s the one! Your question is a good one and one I will cover thoroughly in the write up. There’s a few reasons, but one of the reasons was to have a more “traditional” whip in my stable which has some modern twists. Basically, if I was to do a diamond frame for a client, that is how I would begin to approach it. Clean lines, low top tube for clearance with just the right amount of seat post extension which adds a touch of passive suspension but not too much where you begin to get too much flex when seated hammering.

  • Guest

    Kris- Great write up on your MTB. My ride has a drivetrain almost identical to yours (but with a cheaper raceface “narrowide” 32t ring). I love the simplicity of my setup after going 1x and have only dropped a chain once. My question was, why not go 1×11? Every time I approach a steep and long climb I dream of having that granny gear.

    • http://www.44bikes.com Kristofer Henry

      Thanks for the kudos. The move to 1×11 is mostly cost associated – but I will admit that 1×10 seems to have just enough of everything that I look for when it comes to gearing on my local trails. I also spent some time in the gym this past winter working strength and power in my legs. Last season I was using mostly the last 2-3 gears in my cassette and the effort was wearing. So I spent some time working my legs differently and I’ve benefitted from the results out on the bike. I use more of the entire spread now and have been noticing I’m always further down in the cassette with a few gears to spare.

      I am working on a 190mm version of my fat bike for myself later this fall (already built into the list) and this will be a 1×11. I think with fat bikes and snow involved, you really get the full benefits of that spin when traction and a slow deliberate cadence are necessary in changing conditions out in the snow. Sometimes it’s not a question of whether you have the strength to pull a hill but whether you can maintain traction – too much power out there in the snow and you can spin the tires. I see how 1×11 and that 42t can really help in this situation. (I’ll be running a 28t up front for the record in the snow – 30 or 32t when that bike is on dirt with the 29+ wheelset).

  • Jack Johnson

    Kris- Thanks for sharing your ride. My mtb has a drivetrain almost
    identical to yours (but with a cheaper raceface “narrowide” 32t ring). I
    love the simplicity of my setup after going 1x and have only dropped a
    chain once. My question was, why not go 1×11? Every time I approach a
    steep and long climb I dream of having that granny gear.

  • abelincoln

    This is EXACTLY the kind of write up the dork in me is looking for when bicycles are featured. Feel like I actually learn something about the choices the builder made.