Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cat, You're Free To Exit The Bag

This is going to take two posts to get the information properly out there, so read on then look for the next post.  It's been over eight years since I opened Black Mountain Cycles and almost six years since I took delivery of the first road and cross frames.  There's been a couple of minor tweaks to the cross geometry since then, but for the most part, they've been the same frames since day one.  Model years be damned!  

With this next run of cross and road frames that are due February-ish, I've made some big changes.  The first post is dedicated to the cross (or monster cross) frame.  There's got to be a better name since a lot of folks use theirs for riding on the road, commuting, dirt road riding...  But, there's no time to argue names.

Monster cross frame changes!  I've built up a lot of these as complete bikes in the past half-decade and one thing became clear - y'all like your bars up closer to your seat height.  That resulted in the need to run a fair amount of spacers.  Now, I'm okay with that - really.  If that's what you need to be comfortable, I'm all for it.  The steel fork allows for more spacer stack than a carbon fork.  Comfort - first rule of bike fit.  

Change #1 - Taller head tubes.  Not a lot.  Just a bit.  Just enough to not need to run a spacer or two depending on thickness.  And the head tube lengths are a bit more evenly spaced out between sizes.  Sizes?  Did someone say something about sizes?

Change #2 - More sizes!  Yep, I've changed the geometry around for closer steps in the sizing.  The old sizes were every 3cm from 50cm up to 65cm.  The new sizing range is every 2cm from 52cm up to 64cm.  I decided to drop the 50cm size because I haven't sold one from the V4 range of frames.  So that means I've got some 50cm frames for folks who need one.  And while there is no 65cm size, the 64cm is darn close and will fit as the 65 would have fit.  There's a geometry chart below to compare old and new sizes.  I suggest using the stack and reach numbers to figure out the new size fit.

Change #3 - But wait, there's more!  The fork crown on the new monster cross frames will be none other than the elegant Pacenti Paris-Brest-Paris crown.  Besides the great looks, the Pacenti crown is a bit wider than the previous crown so there's more tire clearance.  Good for mud clearance and good if your brake/tire combination meant that the tire didn't clear the pads when removing the wheel.  This costs quite a bit more than the previous fork crown and I don't have pricing yet.  I'm going to do everything to keep the price the same, but I anticipate the price going up a bit.  As soon as I know, I'll post that info.  

Change #4 - Well, not really a change because I change colors every production run.  The colors of this run of frames will be British Racing Green and Pink.  Why?  Because I saw a beautiful Jaguar E-Type a while back in British Racing Green that knocked my socks off.  And pink because I have this old pink Specialized Stumpjumper Team from 1985 that is one of my favorites - and the color is awesome!

Change #5 - A third set of water bottle bosses!  With more folks going long and far on their rides, the addition of a third bottle will keep you riding hydrated when the distance between water stops is far.

(Edit!) Change #6 - Fork offsets!  Based on feedback from some riders with big feet on 56cm and 59cm frames, who had some issues with toe overlap with big tires, and the fact that I experimented with different fork offsets this summer (up to 60mm with no appreciable difference in ride handling), I bumped up the fork offsets a bit across the board.  

There you go.  Info on the new frames.  Availability in February-ish and pricing will be forthcoming.  And these are still rim brake frames.  I am working on a disc frame.  Specifically, I'm working with a local frame builder on a dropout design that's taking time.  I want to do it the way I want to do it (right) the first time, so I'm okay with waiting for a disc frame.  I know I'm losing sales, but I'd rather do it this way than have one just for the sake of having one.

The pink color tube sample alongside my old Team Stumpjumper.

Pink (RAL 4003) and British Racing Green (RAL 6005)



Pacenti fork crown on the US made frame

Geometry chart comparison with current and new

(What's playing:  The Isley Brothers Summer Breeze)

15 comments:

mcq said...

Shoulda waited!!! I love my v4 but this addresses some of my little qualms. Next up: thru-fork eyelets for low rider racks.

Guitar Ted said...

This is exciting! I didn't see what brake standard these will have, (pardon me if it's been spoken of somewhere before), so cantis or disc?

blackmountaincycles said...

Guitar Ted - still rim brakes. I added a bit on the brake choice and discs.

Jim Stahl said...

A pink 64 sounds great!! I am a fan of rim brakes. Will there be pink road frames?

blackmountaincycles said...

Jim Stahl - sorry, orange only on the road frames.

Guitar Ted said...

Thanks Mike, and I appreciate your wanting to do the disc frame right from the get-go. As I was wanting a new rim brake bike anyway, that won't stop me from pursuing a new one. Missed out on the green last time, hopefully this time I'll not miss on either of these colors. Love both, but I think I would go with pink first this round.

Wayne said...

Will the Pacenti fork crown be drilled for mounting a fender or rack? The photo shows no hole.

blackmountaincycles said...

Wayne - The crown pictured is from the US made frame production. The Taiwan made frames/forks should have the crown drilled. If for some reason it doesn't happen, it's super easy to drill and tap the crown.

Bill said...

Really interesting stuff on the small changes. The only thing I wish was different on my Monster cross is more room between my toe and the fender. Other then that, perfect! On my new road/cross frame that's on it's way it be great if the clearance works out.
Colors; I really like all the new colors and the graphics. But I could not be happier with the green on my cross,which is good. The new road orange does look great bit I think I'll like the old layout just fine. I still love the old fork crown. Nice work all 'round.

laffeaux said...

Very nice Mike!! I like the increased number of sizes, and the fork crown is a winner!

Wayne said...

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

so, more slope on the top tube then? thanks, Dan

blackmountaincycles said...

Dan, yes, another degree or so of slope.

laffeaux said...

Mike, does the cross frame have rack mounts? Have you tried the frame with a full load. If so, how does it ride?

blackmountaincycles said...

Laffeaux - rack mounts front and back. I've never loaded mine up beyond a bag of groceries, but others have toured on it with both front and rear panniers and have reported it rides fine. My choice would be to go with front lowriders only for short trips.