We took a quick look at this bike once before – during our 2018 NAHBS coverage – but it’s back, with a vengeance! This Northern Frameworks hardtail belongs to Jarrod Bunk, one of the authors here at the Radavist. Who knows Jarrod? Show of hands. Ok yeah, he’s a popular fellow and he finally made it across the United States from Western Pennsylvania to as far west as you can go to California. He has been in town for the week to see Kyle and Liz get married and to get a taste of what it’s like to ride mountains here in SoCal.
Problem is, to enjoy it a little more, he had to switch the bike from singlespeed to geared.
Luckily, the Paragon dropouts make that easy. He added a derailleur hanger, with SRAM Eagle and took to the mountains. By my estimates, we climbed around 10,000′ in three rides and the dude had a smile on his face the whole time. It was a new experience for Jarrod, coming from relatively flat singletrack in Western PA, to climbs that last hours in Los Angeles, with descents that are bench cut into the sides of mountains. Battling a fear of heights, Jarrod killed it the whole week and it brought about an interesting discussion about bike design.
Jarrod usually rides meandering singletrack and for that, a steeper than usual head angle of 69º works perfectly with his normal singlespeed drivetrain. He likes the snappy responsiveness and the bike fits his local trails perfectly. Yet, you take that same bike and point it down a 5,000′ descent and it handles differently.
It really made me think a lot about the different terrain and experiences we label as mountain biking. What works really well in one area, might not in another, but that’s the beauty of a custom bicycle, it can be designed to ride how you want it to for where you want to ride.
The build kit here is identical to the NAHBS coverage, save for an Onyx hub on the rear, which replaced the Paul SSMTB hub. Oh and some new bottles. ;-)