Will Bender is a bicycle frame builder based in Fort Collins, CO. His custom frames run the gamut from all-road to gravel, touring, and modern hardtails. Last summer, Josh paid Will a visit to document his shop and learn about his background and approach to building bikes. While he was there, he enlisted Will to build the touring MTB of his dreams — a comfortable 29+ rig capable of carrying heavy loads and designed to harmonize with the Oddity Squid Fork made concurrently by another Fort Collins frame builder, Sean Burns. Continue reading below for the full rundown on this build…
Radar Roundup: Panasonic Classic Road, Knob Tech Tee, Bike Friday All-Packa, Ranger 3″ are Back!, Standard Rando Fog, and Chris Akrigg on the Rocks
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
Photos of The Radavist Otso Voytek in 29+ Mode
Last week, we announced our limited edition Otso Voytek with proceeds going to Protect Our Winters and thanks to Kurt from Otso, we got some exceptional snow photos of the Voytek. Yet let us remind you that the Voytek is a great 29+ platform. While at The Mid South this year, John photographed a sample bike with 29+ wheels, so check those photos out below!
Cjell’s Moné Hardtail with a 130mm Lefty Fork
These days, it’s hard to set your bike brand apart from others within a specific niche but if there’s one thing Cjell has achieved with his brand, Moné Bikes, it’s just that. Moné frames are instantly recognizable with their large, bountiful brass beds of fillet brazing, unique tubing bends, intricate and ingenious singlespeed-friendly dropout designs, and yeah, rat rod aesthetics. Cjell and I have met before, albeit briefly, but at last weekend’s Dangerbird event, we got to spend a lot of time on the bike with each other, which helped me gain an even deeper appreciation for the brand, the bikes, and the man who designs and even builds some of them.
Don’t Fret: WTB Plans to Keep 29+ Tires in Its Catalog
So there’s been a lot of chatter on this website about the availability of 29×3″ tires and I can finally share what WTB‘s 29+ offering will be later this year and into 2022. The official word from WTB is that 29×3 is here to stay, with the following coming in soon:
-Ranger 2.8 x 27.5″ TCS Light/Fast Rolling 60tpi Dual DNA SG2 tire
-Ranger 3.0 x 29″ TCS Light/Fast Rolling 60tpi Dual DNA SG2 tire
-Vigilante 2.8 x 27.5″ TCS Tough/Fast Rolling 60tpi TriTec E25 tire
If you’re like me, who invested in a 29+ tourer, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Many thanks to WTB for believing in us chonky weirdos. xo
Also, you don’t need to do anything at the moment but be patient. They’re hoping the 29×3″ Rangers will land in December so you don’t have to email them or anything…
Enjoy the weekend!
Simon’s Lavender Titanium Haley Cycles 29+ Rigid MTB
Santa Fe has long been a hub for travelers and this year, we’ve seen a good amount of cyclists roll through town while on their vacations and holidays. Most people just want to go out for a pedal and some bring a special bike. Simon is the latter, bringing along with him a really beautiful titanium 29+ rigid MTB, built by a company with a small internet presence called Haley Cycles. Let’s take a look at this beaut below.
Curve Cycling’s GMX+ Fork is Now Available
Our friends at Curve Cycling are excited to announce the GMX carbon fork is now available as a standalone product giving frame builders and those with suitable bikes a new bikepacking fork alternative. There are very few non-suspension corrected fat tire bikepacking forks on the market. The GMX could be the ultimate bikepacking fork in this space.
With clearance for a 29×3″ tire, the GMX+ fork packs a punch!
-12 x M5 mounts (6 per side)
-430 mm axle to crown
-15x110mm axles pacing
-Stainless steel hardware
-55mm fork offset
-1.5″ inch tapered steerer
-180mm post mount brake
-Sold with carbon expander axle and external cable guide
See more at Curve Cycling!
Did You Enjoy Our Slingshot Reportage Last Week? Check out this Slingshot Meriwether!
Photo by Mike Curiak
We don’t want to spoil too much about this project, because Mike has documented it so thoroughly, but we’d thought y’all would get a kick out of this Meriwether after last week’s Slingshot gallery. Tukt rear end, 110mm travel fork, 29×2.8″ tires, and just the kind of kooky beauty we’re missing from all the bike trade shows. Check out the full spread at Mike’s Exposure page and see some process photos at the Meriwether Cycles Instagram…
Kyle’s Sklar Touring Fat Bike in 29+ Mode
With the snow melting and the season ripe for desert ramblings, Kyle Klain took his 2016 NAHBS-built Sklar fatbike and converted it to 29+. After spending all winter with fatbike 26+ tires, the bike has undergone quite the transformation. This weekend while celebrating my 40th birthday in Southeastern Utah, I documented this stunning build in the morning sun. Check it out in detail below…
Jonah and His Kokopelli Warthog Ti Hardtail 29er
A bike can be a liberating tool for a youngster. I got the first bike that I could travel distances on when I was 14. Granted it was a beach cruiser but hey, we lived at the beach. I’d carry my skateboard and even a surfboard to spots after school and on the weekends. It was a vessel of adolescent liberation.
For Jonah, a local of Santa Fe, and an employee at Mellow Velo, the bicycle has helped develop his independence as well as a vehicle to meander around his homeland. His family is one of the deeply embedded heritage households and have been in the area for hundreds of years. Just north of Santa Fe is the town of Chimayo where his family has been weaving for generations under the brand Ortega.
Why Cycles: New Wayward V2 Hardtail or in Squidward Mode with Oddity Fork
The Why Cycles team has been constantly working on their Wayward 29+ platform MTB since its inception, so there’s no surprise that V2 is still the same bike but with a few new details. Why used their tubing of choice, 3/2.5 titanium, and added their unique cold-formed shaping to really tune the ride quality. The geometry has been corrected to fit a 120mm fork (instead of 100mm), giving the bike a more balanced feel. The next change is an increase in standover clearance, yet the biggest change is a product spec. Why Cycles worked with Sean Burns at Oddity Cycles, the master manipulator of titanium, to offer a suspension-corrected Squid fork option for the Wayward along with his Lowrizer titanium handlebars. The team at Why have dubbed this the Squidward.
Pricing for the V2 remains the same with a frame (including headset, seat collar, anodized water bottle bolts and rear axle) coming in at $2449. Frame and fork options start at $3049 with a RockShox Yari and a $1000 upgrade for the Oddity Squid fork. Complete builds with SRAM components and Industry 9 wheels start at $4799.
See more at Why Cycles.
2019 Grinduro: Ti Sklar Super Boost Rigid 29+ MTB
This year at Grinduro, eight frame builders presented bikes in partnership with Maxxis, Sram/Zipp, Columbus, and Hope Tech. The theme? What is your ideal Grinduro bike? For each gravel bike in the morning, we’ll present a mountain bike in the afternoon. This round, we’re matching the BTCHN’ gravel bike with this Sklar Rigid 29+.
George’s Landyachtz Titanium Drop Bar 29+ is a Beast! – Morgan Taylor
As the lead designer at Landyachtz Bikes, George Bailey sees his ideas come to life through the company’s made-in-Vancouver custom steel frames as well as their factory production models. Yet even those whose ideas regularly come to fruition have their dreams, and that’s exactly what George’s titanium drop bar 29+ is. No holding back, just setting every detail where he wanted it, and creating a one-off frame with a very long ride in mind.
Curtis’ Rigid Retrotec 29+ Trail Cruiser
Before we jump into the world of Retrotec Bikes and Curtis Inglis, let’s look at one of Curtis’ personal rigs; this 29+ rigid mountain bike, what I like to call the “Trail Cruiser.” Now, calling this a cruiser has nothing to do with the speed at which Curtis rides trails while on this rig and has everything to do with the history of Retrotec; a company that began modifying actual cruisers into off-road machines.
Bombtrack’s BEYOND+ ADV 29+ Rigid Bikepacking Rig
Bombtrack is listening. They’re listening to their customers, their racers and the riders who want more from their bikepacking rigs. The BEYOND+ ADV 29+ takes everything learned over the years and pushes new boundaries with SRAM’s GX Eagle, a new, custom carbon fork and clearance for the chubbiest 29+ tires. Check out all the details below and holler at your local Bombtrack dealer for ordering.
Sklar Bikes: 29+ Rigid SS MTB
Adam at Sklar Bikes likes to take on unique and challenging projects. The latest being his personal MTB. This rigid beast rolls on 29+ wheels yet maintains a 420mm chainstay, the magic “wheelie” number. The dropper routing is internal and it’s set up singlespeed currently with those fancy Paragon ends. Head to the Sklar Blog to read more and the Sklar Flickr for more photos. Seriously Adam, this looks like so much fun!
Tyler’s Engin Cycles 29+ Rigid MTB
Drew from Engin Cycles is a wizard of custom mountain bike framebuilding. Over the years, he has built some of the most dialed titanium bikes I’ve seen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rowdy hardtail with 140mm of travel up front, or a snappy, steep XC race machine to tear the field apart, what Engin offers to their customers is custom, performance machinery.
So where does a 29+ rigid mountain frame come into play? It’s not exactly performance, but it does offer up a unique problem solving opportunity. One that Drew couldn’t pass up.
Tyler’s bike utilizes Paragon’s 29+ yoke to ensure chainring and tire clearances. The rigid steel fork is painted with cerakote, as are the frame accents and Tyler chose a mix of X9 cranks, XX1 rear mech and XTR brakes, with a Stan Hugo up front and a Blunt SS on the rear. The Groovy bars really just add the icing on the cake for me.
Fatter tires at a low pressure are perfect for Austin’s Greenbelt trails, which offer a rocky, rooty and sometimes slick environment. Tyler’s been vibing with this bike all spring and is sold!
See more for yourself in the Gallery.
2015 NAHBS: Oddity’s 29+ Rigid and Curvy MTB
Sean “Burnsey” Burns builds Oddity Cycles in Fort Collins, CO. He’s an architect, an artist and a furniture designer. His bikes, along with the likes of Black Sheep Bikes, stand out from a lot of traditional lines found in the MTB world. Coincidentally, Sean used a Black Sheep fork and bars on his personal 29+ rigid MTB. The word rigid here is italicized because it’s anything but that. Even with a high volume, low-pressure tire, you can still pick up on the bike flex from the lines and fork. It gives in just the right amount, in the right places.
A few wheelies, hops and manuals post-photo shoot had me digging what Sean has created here: a highly shredable piece of art. Please note that this is Sean’s personal bike, it has dings, dirt and yeah, crochet cozies in it with empty beer cans. I didn’t remove them intentionally. Bikes like this at NAHBS are highly successful tools in showcasing a brand’s intent and I respect that.