Airspeeder!

Airspeeder!

This bike is named after the Incom T-47 Airspeeder. It’s such a badass low altitude combat fighter. It seemed fitting for what this bike is intended for. A flat bar all-road bike that is better in every way than all others in the class.

After building the Bird of Prey I was a little sad. Lack of proper modern drop handlebars in the marketplace meant the geometry was hobbled from where I would like to have gone with the project. It was a great bike but not what I felt was truly cutting edge.

I played with the setup some and got a little bored. Then tried the bike with a flat bar and 1X 10-50 drive. It was a lot more fun in the way I really wanted to use a bike. I like drop bar bikes but with a flat bar everything gets so much more aggro. Without being limited by the drop bars, the frame was now feeling pedestrian like it was the wrong size. Hobbled. I decided to build another narrow gauge bike with a full blown all-road geometry, now 71mm longer than the Bird of Prey.

Keeping the head tube and top tube low but bars at the right height with the small rigid fork meant that I would need to be a little more creative with shoehorning a long front center into the frame with a high rise bar/stem. The new Warbird style construction would be mixed with a bull moose style to get the 65mm rise by 45mm (about 35mm traditionally) offset. This is farther than anyone has pushed this concept. I’m stoked that it looks so good while solving a real problem.

These bars are so amazingly cool looking. They solve a very difficult problem but they look like nothing else. I’m so thrilled.

This is a hooligan bike. A hybrid, built to get from point A to point B very quickly regardless of terrain and traffic. The dropper seatpost not only makes bombing singletrack a fun time but makes jumping medians and up curbs glassy and fast. More, dropping super steep San Francisco streets is an amazing experience when you have real room to move your body. The riding position is on the more comfortable side of aggressive but making full use of the modern geometry.

Construction of this bike took a bit of time. I’m making some real improvements in my tooling and I had to work through making that but also figuring out how to use it and fix problems that came up. Also, the home world was a bit distracting and shut a lot of free time down.

An important detail was ensuring the possibility of using a 160mm rear rotor when the bike is campaigned in more aggressive dirt environments. It was very close but modeling proved that with a 5 degree tilt of the caliper mount I would be able to keep the seatstay/seattube interface where I wanted rather than make a longer seat tube.

The lack of a front derailleur meant that there was also no need for a braze-on or the line going down the down tube or the accompanying dropper line. That was moved into the down tube like the mountain bikes. This makes the bike look a lot less cluttered.

Gearing: The 12 speed GX Eagle drivetrain gives enough range to be a viable in a focused spectrum, 500% compared to the 644% of the BOP. Currently set up with 42t-10/50 gearing. This is biased a little more toward San Francisco street riding but has enough range for light mountain biking. Going down to a 36-38t chainring would make a lot of sense for faster fire road riding and 32-34t for more crushing climbing rides. I will be leaving this on the taller side and hopefully only go down to 40t if really needed.

Tires: Tires are the trickier part of this bike. Photos were taken with a WTB Riddler 622x45mm tire in the rear and a Clement X’PLOR MSO 622×50 in the front. This would be the full off road setup. I’m not a super fan of either of these tires but the the sizes and general tread lent a lot to what I was trying to do here.

For most urban riding, I’ll be using the Maxxis Refuse 622x35mm or WTB Exposure 622x30mm. The Refuse being completely bomber and the Exposure being fairly light while still being rugged.

The data plate for this bike will be finished in the upcoming week. Some things just don’t fall into place at the right time.

The paint: RAL 2009, Traffic Orange

Fender: I decided to make a little fender for the fork. I didn’t have just the right ABS (3/64″) material in stock so I will take care of that later. Maybe I’ll be doing a carbon version. I’ll figure this out during the upcoming week.

Road cranks keep the ‘hell yeah’ in hybrid. Pedaling on this bike is a dream.

35mm slicks

40mm slicks

An ugly fender but nice protection for riding fast in filth.

In riding the bike, I found that the inner bar section was good for more aerodynamic positions during long road sections. I added a grip. Ugly but very useful for all-road.