Daniel’s Tumbleweed Prospector Rohloff Touring Bike

Daniel is the head designer and brains behind Tumbleweed Bicycle Company. Yet he didn’t get to this point on his own. Through working with Cameron Falconer and Anna Schwinn, Daniel was able to successfully jettison Tumbleweed onto the internet and into the real world.

Tumbleweed officially launched last year with their Prospector 27.5+ touring bikes, equipped with Rohloff technology and an Anna Schwinn-designed chainstay yoke. With these two moves, Tumbleweed’s design solved two major issues within the realm of bikepacking: clearance around the bottom bracket cluster and derailleur malfunctions due to mud. Speaking of which, because these bikes utilize a chainstay yoke, Tumbleweed was able to offer about an inch of mud clearance around even a plump 3″ tire. It can even run a 4″ on a 26″ wheel. The chain tension is made possible by a special Phil Wood eccentric bottom bracket, laser-etched with the Tumbleweed logo.

Details abound on the Prospector and they’re hard to grasp online. Even in photos like this. Usually, on steel bikes, the bottom bracket cluster looks cluttered. There are very few well-resolved chainstay and chainring interactions out there. People are oftentimes forced to use 0mm offset rings, resulting in less-than-ideal chainlines and heavily crimped tubing. These bikes are damn impressive and as proven since their inception, are very capable for bikepacking excursions like the Baja Divide.

I was fortunate enough to meet Daniel this morning at LA River Camp Coffee and enjoyed rambling on about bike design, the Baja Divide, Toyota trucks, Death Valley and the future of Tumbleweed Bicycle Co. Safe travels, hombre!

  • Great photos of the Prospector! Daniel is such a nice guy, and loaned a small Prospector to a rider for our group start on the Baja Divide in January.

    Lael and i got to spend an evening with Daniel in Oakland this past fall talking about bike travel around an artisanal hobo fire in his back yard. Part of what makes the Prospector frames super special is that they are designed to clear up to a 26×4.0″ tire with a standard 73mm bottom bracket, although single-chainline drivetrains like the Rohloff are required for full fat mode. They are also just as happy with 29×3.0″, enabled in part by the eccentric BB which allows BB height adjustments for different wheel sizes. There are so many considerate details in the design of this bike.

    • Agreed!

    • Rick

      Crust’s Scapegoat shares a similar approach with a 73mm BB for comfortable Q factor I believe – but not the eccentric BB..

      • Yes, the concept is similar although the geo is quite different. This one is much more suspension-friendly.

  • hans

    nice dude! met him up on Strawberry Peak this weekend. Hope he enjoyed those Modelos on Lukens!

  • Ray Penrod

    Looking at this bike and the Crust Scapegoat, I have to wonder about the decision to not use thru-axles. Is there something I’m missing?

    • Robert

      I’m assuming that’s the case because this is a touring bike first and sorta mountain bike second. I think the thru-axles would be more practical since it’s got discs, but replacement qr’s are much more common to find out in the wild. That’s my guess.

    • This bike in particular is designed for the Rohloff hub, where 135mm QR and solid axles are most common.

    • joshhh

      It’s also easier and cheaper to come by 100mm QR dynamo front hubs, too, which I imagine would be pretty common on a bike like this.

    • Erik_A

      I agree, I am a big guy, and steel disc MTB forks with QR tend to flex too much – causing the rotor to rub against the calipers when turning. Thru-axles on the front help a lot with that. For the rear, I am all for QR.

  • Nice looking bike.

  • Hell yeah, my kind of content! Love this bike. Is this the same prototype bike that was featured on Bikepacking.com a year back?

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  • Erik_A

    What is the top-tube length and reach? For the height of the frame, the reach looks short enough to run drops.

  • Peter Chesworth

    This is the sort of bike, and photography, that makes this site unique. The eclectic parts, the mud, the used and abused countenance … The story is that this bike is loved and belongs to someone.

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  • PNT

    Respect for this guy!

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