Handemade Steel Mountain Bikes

Reverend 29er

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Every time I build a Rev. I find myself wondering why I haven’t explained them better. Reverends are built for solid climbs and fast descents.

Reverend 29er

Eagles Rest, Oakridge OR

I start with customer input on style and weight preferences. I can add bent top tubes for standover height clearance, and reinforcement details on the down tube and seat tube.

Down tube detail on the reinforced style.

Good view of a bent TT on a Paycheck

Any bent main tubes on a bike add weight so it is a consideration to think about. I personally think the weight is worth the style and durability you gain. Of course I am not racing competitively and counting every gram either, which is why I offer a racier version that uses more OX Platinum and less reinforcement. Still strong but less resistant to denting and other damage inflicted during a hard crash. On the race style I bend a short heavier walled tube for fork crown clearance up by the head tube and then sleeve it with a short stainless steel piece and splice an OX Platinum tube that continues on to the bottom bracket shell.

SS Sleeve

above the stainless sleeve is a heavier walled tube and below is OX Platinum.

Active riders, which is to say people who like to flick their bikes around switch backs or tight sections of trail, will enjoy the shorter wheel base the Reverend provides. A lot of effort goes into shortening their wheel base for climbing and cornering. Shorter stays work better for climbing. Period. Traction is based on weight placed on the rear wheel. When I first started building 29ers I found myself having to run longer chainstay lengths than I wanted but they were easy to produce so I stuck to it for a while. Over time I have learned that easy doesn’t always work best and certain “customizations” are indeed necessary for optimal function.

Standard chainstay lengths of 450-445mm center to center are easy to produce and for the most part work well until you need to climb out of the saddle. When you stand and shift your weight forward you remove weight from your rear wheel and run the risk of spinning out. Frustrating to anyone. With a Reverend you end up with a chainstay length of 432mm. Traction for days.

I achieve the shorter stays by bending the seat tube and running a plate mount front derailleur. The direct mount FDs are perfect because their “shifty bits” largely fall to the side of the seat tube vs the rear as many others do, robbing you of mud clearance and generally being annoying. Since the reverend is top pull it is also possible to hack off the bottom pull arm from the FD to add even more clearance.

It is possible to go too short on a bikes wheel base as demonstrated here in a video I took at Mountain Bike Oregon this year.

Hopefully this explanation helps to give you some perspective on our 29ers!

The Sick Puke 101010

Pre-Ride Meeting

It all started with a simple email from a lawyer in Olympia known as the “deal breaker”. He request that I join him and some friends to ride a mystery ride aptly named the Ride Sick Puke 101010. He said that this was going to be an epic ride. It is very hard to say “no” to a mountain bike ride. So of course, I said yes!  For me, it was the last big ride of the year.

The six-annual Sick Puke 101010 mountain bike adventure took place on October 10, 2010 at 8 AM.  It is a loosely organized sick singletrack adventure through the back woods called the Capitol Forest near Olympia Washington. The Capitol Forest is riddled with hundreds of miles of singletrack, logging roads, ORV trails, illegal gun ranges and the occasional meth lab. The route covered a distance of 44 miles, which is a long way on a mountain bike.

A Muddy Bronto Reverend 29er on the Summit of Rock Candy Mountain.

It consisted of a mixture of singletrack, ORV trails, logging roads, 3 mountain top finishes and 12,000 vertical feet of climbing. The event even had some support, which consisted of a truck and trailer that was equipped with a portable generator, fire pit, A DeLonghi espresso machine, hot soup, tasty treats and bike tools to fix any trail induced mechanical issues.

Based on the ride description, I needed a light weight and fast rolling bicycle for the task at hand. So I decided to roll the Bronto Reverend 29er. It was perfect for the challenge. Unfortunately, the weather took a major turn for the worse.  Over 2 inches of rain fell the day before and night before the ride. As a result, the trails turned in to a soggy mess. An estimated 25 plus riders showed up for the ride. They say the puddles in the Capitol Forest can be bottomless and it was true.  These adverse conditions didn’t deter the Rev from performing her best.  In fact, the Rev performed like a rock star!

The Route

Overall, the ride was a blast and I am also completely sold on the 29er revolution. When the final Sick Puke ride numbers were tallied, we logged almost 9 hours on the bike including some short stoppage time for food, shots of espresso and some minor mechanical issues such as flats tires and the occasional occurrence of chain suck. Distance wise, we covered 48 miles due to making a few wrong turns.  From a vertical perspective, we climbed 11,240 vertical feet and consumed 9,600 calories.  Not bad for a hard day in the saddle. – IMP

Mark and Mike Sipping a Freshly Brewed Espresso.

Happy Grins On The Summit of Capitol Peak.

The Meat Wagon

The Gang

Rider In The Storm

Our web guy was new to the world of 29″.  We set him up ok.  Here’s his new steed:

Sexy!!!!  Fox F29 fork, SRAM shify bits, a smattering of FSA.  Sun Ringle wheels.  Todd gave him plenty of tire clearance for big meat tires.

The blue looks good…might again be my favorite color.  Now lucky Matt, he gets to ride this.