Bending the Design

I’ve made no secret that the TD-1 hasn’t rocked my world, although it’s no fault of the purpose of the design. Its just a bit too old skool head down for me, fast in the right places, no fun in others, dare I say a bit “roadie”
With a pile of bits lying around again I decided to have a play. Totally against the Northern bike God’s design spec I grafted the Pegasus front end on, the Rebas and all. Getting out the angleometer showed un-sagged this kicked out the head angle to 68 deg and the seat tube at 71 deg. Interestingly slacker than that new Kona spec!
Seat tube with forksHead angle with forks
Thinking this will be stretching the wheelbase out to barge proportions, the sliding dropouts come in handy to tuck the back end in. The great points of the frame design, the finger bridge and the kinked seat tube allow 445mm chain stay length.

On 100 miler loaded
Superb crisp 100 mile ride

Mindfully of the harsher rear end than the Pegasus the USE carbon post and WTB SST were called on. Getting unusually silly with the tape measure and spirit level I noted all dimensions as a neutral starting point, I wanted to understand what effect the changes had.

Needing a bike for some long bike packing epics what better test than to go out and crank some miles. CX tyre mode on the Stans Alpha wheels and 101 road miles later I was smiling. I can honestly say that’s one of the most comfortable long rides I’ve done for some time, the front end kick up having two effects. A higher front end (at 20mm sag) meant less pressure on the hands and shoulders, the 71 deg seat angle seemed to have the impact of placing me in just the right spot in comparison to the bottom bracket. Good news for epics but what about when you throw corners and lumps into the mix.

On with the bigger tyres, exact same setup, just a swap to the DT wheels shod in Ardent/Crossmax hoops, then off on our regular Tue night nightride with the guys. I have to admit i didnt have much energy on this ride which does tend to sway feelings but at no time did the bike feel lacking in the handling dept round some tight wooded circuits.  I even liked the front end feel, Boy it’s still a tad harsh but then it was frozen solid at – 4 degs and it does now seem to want to have fun. Pulling up over roots and log jumps is now at least do-able. More test rides needed when I’m a bit fresher and can push it, but I’m in a better frame of mind that I now have a bike for my long distance plans for 2012. details soon!

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