The younger generation won’t get this reference. Way back, when I was very young, the kids loved this car. The wonderful flying car that would save the day and cause everyone to sing. It’s probably the song I heard most sung in grade school. Mary Poppins was big back then as well.
The GEN11 is also a clunky jalopy roadster that can bumble down most dirt roads. Big wheels and lots of clearance. Perfect.
The introduction of this bike is perfectly timed. This weekend is the Old Cazadero Grasshopper event. In the NorCal cycling scene, this is the proving ground for mixed terrain performance. 55 miles and 5,500 feet of climbing on pavement, fire road, single track, with a host of stream crossings, dirt chutes, and ice slicks. You ride high on ridges, deep into the woods and right along the Pacific ocean. It’s a really crazy event. Even crazier is that most of the best cyclists in the state are there to ride the course as fast as humanly possible. This is really a bucket list ride.
This is a more serious attempt at the narrow gauge class of dirt bikes. The F-35 was an attempt at total progression and shred-ability. This is more about doing well at classic mixed terrain events. It’s lighter. It’s leaner. It’s all work.
Windy needed something nice just for her. Her mountain bike, Pink Five, is something that allowed her to play on trails with us mountain bikers. Her heart is in long adventures, far from whatever worries we have. This bike is about that. She can carry a rack and bags. She can go on the road or off. Whatever she likes.
We used the old Light Cycle frame to get a baseline fit for Windy. It turned out that she needed something just slightly shorter in the cockpit. Once we worked out what was needed, I went to work cutting tubes. Windy likes a more upright riding position as she may spend a few weeks on a bike at a time. She also demanded rack mounts.
Of course, since this is a dirt bike, it has a dropper post. While I would have liked a 170mm version, I chose a 150mm because this is about the minimum usable type and it offers a little more room for racks and in-frame bags. You can see the cable mod here. Because Windy will ride local rides in cleats but flats on long tours, room had to be made for adjusting the saddle with the long travel dropper in both cases.
The tires are the utterly amazing Maxxis Re-fuse 700x32mm tubeless type. On the i25 rims, these measure 35mm wide. The frame offers room for a 48mm tire. I’m still trying to decide if these are the right choice for Caz this year.
SRAM Force road cranks. 170mm length, Q145. Very narrow for all day pedaling fun.
The bars are 44cm Salsa Cowball 2. 2cm narrower than what I’m using. I figure that will be a little easier on her. It’s a nice handlebar.
I am not happy with the handlebar tape. I couldn’t get the black synthetic leather tape that I usually use. Frustrated with that and not being the super-fantastic-best bar wrapper in the world left that scene a mess. I never use foam or cork tape, those are just profit centers for bike shops, junk. Only synthetic leather, it lasts and feels great. I do line the pressure points with cork tape beneath the outer wrap to keep the diameter down and comfort up. One accidental and hysterical by product of the red tape is that the bike, without any planning, matches the color scheme of the GEN11 with it’s wings out. Ha!
The spider is PVD. Unobtainum. 110mm. Too sick. The mounted ring is a 38t combined with a 10-42 cassette and 54POE ratchet.
The fork is a cheap Chinese item. I re-routed the hose to be correct. I also swapped out the garbage axle with the SRAM Ultimate axle. They are the finest you can get.
Color is RAL1034. Pastel Yellow. A clear coat helps it pop. Windy had chosen something lighter but Prismatic was out of stock. Also, cheap powder gets errors passed through. There are a few blems in the paint.
2/2/2017 – The bike turned out very well. It was used by Windy at the Old Caz. No flats, no issue. All good. The fit and geometry worked out very well. The one issue that will be addressed at the next painting is the water bottle mounts. I had given up on seat tube bottle mounts when droppers and bent tubes came out. Now I’m feeling that I may be able to add a mount there. Then I could have two bottles in the frame. The under side mount is also too high on the frame. It needs to be all the way down. That’s it. Just some additional mount holes.