Saturday, 9 June 2018

Going Commando...



A while back i purchased a heavily discounted Ritchey Commando Fatbike frame set, a bargain at £179 - reduced from £799. I had no real plan to build it  but keep as a spare frame,
Then with the New Fatbike sales bubble burst and mainstream companies seemed to have cut model options and returned to chasing sales of regular mountain bikes leaving the specialist companies to once again feed the Fat curious, Fatbike frames of all makes were going for crazy cheap prices, like the Charge Cooker alloy frames at £79, they then dropped to £59!,loads of real cheap secondhand stuff now for spares/cheap builds,

Anyway when i built two of the discounted Charge frames and a Pugsley i sourced a lot of old Fatbike parts scouring eBay,Forums,Facebook etc.. and odd new stuff, like VP 100mm Bottom Brackets that allow old square taper MTB cranks to be used with regular old MTB cranks and are under £30 posted from USA, around £20 if sourced from shops in Europe, this one came from Italy for £19 inc postage, result!

Note; the narrowest VP 100mm is 137mm and only Shimano XT crank arms have so far cleared chain stays,  i usually buy the 147.5 BBs for Pugsleys, the whopper 165mm option fits a Moonlander,


I also had a spare set of 27.5+ wheels for the Surly Wednesday which i had bought a rather expensive pair of Maxxis tyres for,  but had hardly used them after i bought a used pair of 29+ wheels for my Wednesday from friend Tony,
So sitting one night i made a list of all parts i had in stock and realised i could build the Commando bike up as a single speed with the 27.5 wheel set by swapping out the 150mm front hub for a Front disc spacing (FDS) 135 Hope hub i had in the cave


That done and tyres on set up tubeless-tubeless ready rims and tyres but with the cut aways on the rim i used split tubes (no foam needed) as not much contact area on the rims for tape, and i like to be able to deflate and roll the tyre to get to the spokes to replace them/nipples if broken,
So wheels taken care of i raked through everything else i had...


A single speed rear hub kit, stainless Surly chain ring and tensioner i would need for vertical drop outs, rusty chain i decided to replace,
Alpkit bars, non brand (Surly Pug) stem, Ergon grips, BB7 brakes, the 100mm VP 137mm BB matched to some old school Shimano XT cranks, a free unknown seat,
That left a seat post (Raceface £24) and KMC single speed chain to buy and it was game om!


Finished on Friday evening...






I  had a quick spin before sunset, through potato field tracks, bone dry and dusty where not watered...


27.5 (or 650B) wheels sit the same height as 4" tyre fat wheels so the handling is not altered, except for the weight/grip/drag differences, i prefer `650B` than 27.5mm  to say as i think it rolls off the tongue better...
Bike rides nice, steering is planted and spring frame set comfortable, but it would be being made by classic pioneer mountain bike manufacturer Tom Ritchie...


Stunning evening...


We live in a beautiful country..


We enjoy this freedom in part to the men this monument is in honour of...



Here is a wee film, with the wheels, cockpit (bars, stem, grips, levers) cranks pre built up while i waited for parts to arrive it was kind of a quick `IKEA` build!



Ritchey Commando 650B  Singlespeed; build and first ride from coastkid71 on Vimeo.


More soon...

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