44 Bikes’ Custom 29er Singlespeed Mountain Bike Gets Super Short Stays
We first spotted 44Bikes’ handiwork in October with their Huntsman gravel road/cyclocross bike.
This time ’round, we caught a glimpse of his Kid Dangerous custom steel mountain bike, which is available in any wheelsize and tire width. This particular build is a dedicated singlespeed and gets internal cable routing. It also gets a more traditional double triangle frame rather than 44Bikes’ signature dropped top tube and curved gusset, per the customer’s request.
The bike was designed for a rider in Switzerland who wanted something to withstand the local conditions. Word is the water on and around the trails there was pretty hard on carbon fiber and had damaged a few other frames in the past. Well, when resources allow, that’s as good an excuse as any to go full custom.
For this bike, going custom meant getting the fit and geometry dialed, of course, but also the chance to build in a simple yet nifty way to change the ride depending on conditions…
Flattened chainstays are done in house, as is the bend in the seat tube and chainstay dimpling to add tire clearance.
On this bike, the extended dimples (shown below) allow for tire placement that gives an effective chainstay length of 16.75″ all the way down to 16″. Kris Henry, founder, owner and sole builder, says when he tested a 29er with 16″ chainstays (which, if you don’t know, is extremely short for a 29er), he found that the bike was really stiff and the tire tended to bounce around a bit, which is what led to the flattened stays…they’re there to add lateral stiffness, not really for vertical compliance. For a quick bike that’s pretty well rounded, he recommended around 16.25″.
The super stiff chainstays also help prevent any compression and other forces from the chain, important since there’s no derailleur cage to take up the slack.
All frames are full custom and start at $2,000 plus paint, and options include anything you want and can pay for. You can check out the photo set from this bike’s build on Flickr. Website is 44Bikes.com.