Origins of Mountain Bike Geometry and more with Will Clauson and the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame



Apr 26, 2020
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I've read the fat tire flyer book. I'm amazed how those guys raced downhill on the very early prewar schwinn bikes. I'm 6'2 and own a 36 schwinn excelsior framed bike. It feels small and awkward to ride SLOWLY down the street with the steep head tube angle and the bar so close to me!!
 
May 18, 2020
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Good information in this thread. I'm prepping a 1937 BA97 frame for a bomber build. While I'm building for my local flatland conditions, it is good having the historical perspective. I'm 6'1" so I'm a little concerned about using the 18" frame but the most of the OG guys were tall (and used cruiser bars!) so I'll see how it all shakes out soon enough.

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Jan 31, 2021
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A lot of good stuff. CK's book is awesome. I just watched a couple of videos yesterday and today of a 62 year old CK riding his modern MTB down Repack 12 years ago with 2 different people. I'm 62 and I'm not certain I'd ride down Repack now, although in one of the videos CK said "Riding down Repack isn't hard; riding down it fast is hard.".
 
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Jul 16, 2019
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I don't think Charlie is pushing too hard to get his stuff out there. I believe he's as famous as he'd like to be. The people who know revere him. Lol I saw more publicity from him for Gary's book than his own. If you Google search his name, more hits for It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
I respect his outlook on it all, I think he's got a pretty chill life
 
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Apr 26, 2020
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Good information in this thread. I'm prepping a 1937 BA97 frame for a bomber build. While I'm building for my local flatland conditions, it is good having the historical perspective. I'm 6'1" so I'm a little concerned about using the 18" frame but the most of the OG guys were tall (and used cruiser bars!) so I'll see how it all shakes out soon enough.

View attachment 152561
Same 18” frame as mine. I believe its the angle of the head tube which makes the frame feel small. bmx bars or mtb with little sweep would make it feel more roomy.
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Mar 26, 2012
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Hey guys, this is a really cool thread! I have been riding / racing / adventuring on mountain bikes since 1987. Big fan of Gary Fisher, since I rode his CR7 for 5 years, and sold his bikes from '89 - present day (many of Gary's ideas are featured on current Trek mountain bike models, or have derived from them).

As many of you remember, I re-built a Fisher CR7 to how I rode it in the early '90s in a past RRB build off, #13 if I recall.

Another build I have done since my joining this forum, is my Desert Sky klunker build. Initially it was a single speed, but a couple of years ago I added a geared rear wheel, an adapter to put a disc brake in the rear, and a three-piece crankset in the front (which actually came from an early '90s mtb). The bike started out as a early '50s Hiawatha cruiser with fenders et al.
I have to say, the geometry on this bike is amazing for off-road klunking! I take it on easy trails here in the desert, and it handles well, accelerates well, goes downhill well, and climbs pretty decently too (probably it's weakest trait). I have often thought of having a custom frame build of lighter weight steel tubing, with this identical geometry of Desert Sky. It rides that good!

Here are a few photos to show the build(s). Again, this is a cool thread, thanks to @whitecoyote for getting it started!

The day I picked up the bike:

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Pretty solid condition. And only a 20 min drive from my house in Minnesota. I had a dream to match the blue sky in AZ, hence the name, so I stripped the frame and found it was a brazed frame! Really smooth welds, and well done.

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Rode it in this single speed config for a couple years. The seatpost is a 'Chad post' from chopshopkustomz , one of our forum members. That allowed me to 'get back' in a better position. The bars are '78 Yamaha moto-x bars found in a motocycle graveyard in Phoenix. Wheels are original as well as the crank in the photo above ^.

The next config involved a 6 speed rear freewheel hub, an old Shimano Eagle der, a disc brake adapter and Avid BB7 cable disc rotor and lever, and a three-piece conversion BB. I mounted a Shimano crank from late '80s very early '90s and the vintage Rock Ring bash guard.

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The modern aluminum double walled wheels make this bike ride lighter and more responsive. It really is one of my favorite rides!
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Yeah OJ, I liked the story of the Arizona junkyard. There is an old dirt bike growing vines on a fence down by the local speedway. Once I get a frame to put em on, I'm planning on making an offer for the bars. It is quite picturesque when the vines are in bloom, hopefully they aren't too attached to the aesthetics as a whole
 
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Mar 26, 2012
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Yeah OJ, I liked the story of the Arizona junkyard. There is an old dirt bike growing vines on a fence down by the local speedway. Once I get a frame to put em on, I'm planning on making an offer for the bars. It is quite picturesque when the vines are in bloom, hopefully they aren't too attached to the aesthetics as a whole
Matti, I have a supply of handlebars that I have scrounged from Bob's cycle yard. This is the first year I haven't spent a few hours crawling through there finding gems. RaTs GaSs is outfitted with a cool pair of atv bars from last year's excursion. I've sold a couple of pair to guys here on RRB, but the shape and weight of them makes the shipping prohibitive for most.
 
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