Shop news: New blog address

It’s been a great year here and i hope you’ve had a great year too. Unfortunately, I’m ending the year with a cold virus (Yay) but am looking forward to next year and the bikes I get to build (and ride!).

A few days ago I had a shop visitor that is building a lugged road frame for his high school senior project. How cool is that?! I did my best to teach him framebuilding in less than 4 hours and how to braze with brass and silver. He picked up the heat control and adding silver really well and went home with a tube stuck in a seat tube lug that he brazed himself. Wish I had gone to THAT high school!

In other new, this here WordPress site will very soon become the ARCHIVE of the Meriwether Cycles blog to this point (12/31/2014), so please update your bookmarks.  The old blog’s photos will not link to the current blog without manually adding them and I’m not about to do that for the last 4 years of posts.

My Flickr site will still be used to share photos but I will also be posting the bike-related photos to the new Gallery on the new website.

The new website is:

and the new blog address is:

Thanks to Dan Cavallari for creating the new website and for many of the photos found on the new site. Tim of TimmyPphotography contributed many of the other photos and all of the shop photos.

Hope you like the new site and let me know if you have any problems using it or finding anything!

Happy New Year!


2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 98,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Website update in the works

We’re working on a website makeover this week so things may come and go and definitely will look different very soon.

The page will take over this WordPress site as the main portal to Meriwether bikes, but the blog should stay active until the other site is up. Stay tuned!

KB’s uber-custom fatbike – The Swan

This frame was really cool to see go from computer screen to reality. A few people said it looked Swan-like so…there you go.
Thanks to Walt and Brad for their help with this. I probably couldn’t have made it like this had they not given me great advice and in Brad’s case in-house gusset lessons.

KB wanted a 5″ fatbike with a Bluto and 2×10 gearing allowing a 20 x 42t for her lowest gear. She requested the lowest standover possible with a 80mm Bluto, BB height no less than 12.5″, and 4.8″ tires. I was able to get the standover (unsagged) to 695mm and lower as you get closer to the seat tube (~630mm).  I bent the top tube to get it as low as possible but also to give a nice long coped interesection with the True Temper 38mm Supertherm downtube.  The top tube comes into the downtube in the thicker butted section (1mm wall) and a big long gusset was added to strengthen the headtube junction made out 2″ diameter x 0.049″ wall 4130 straight gauge tubing.  She also wanted her bars to be 4″ higher than her saddle.  So this build was very different than anything I’ve attempted before.

Geometry:  68.5 degree head tube angle, 73 effective seat tube angle, 430mm long chainstays, 612mm front center, 41.4″ wheelbase.

Components: SRAM 10-spd twist shifters, Hayes Prime Expert disc brakes, Truvativ Noir T20 carbon riser bar, Thompson 70mm stem and seatpost, Surly Mr. Whirly Offset Double 165mm crank is on there with a 20x33t ring combo paired to a 10spd SRAM 12-36 cassette.  But the cassette is a wide range 10, with a Wolf Tooth 42t ring and a 16t to replace the 15 and 17t rings. I used their longer B-tension bolt too to get it to shift right.

The front derailleur is a direct mount X7 mounted to the Wolf Tooth clamp for Moonlanders/190 rear hubs.   Because of the weird crank when set up as spec’d (2mm from bottom of cage to top of big ring) the cage rubs the crankarm. It’s really easy to adjust the direct mount derailleur upwards and out of the way and it still shifts pretty good.

Wheels were built by and are Bontrager tubeless Jackalope rims laced to a 190 Fatback 10mm through-axle on the rear and a Borealis 150x15mm hub on front, Vee Rubber Snowshoe XL’s run tubeless! Very easy to set up without any tape on these rims. Super psyched about this. It didn’t work well (at all) for me using Lou/Buds.   Headed to the Colorado high country!


Truckee Wednesday night fatbike ride & a ski up Castle Peak

Got up to Truckee to partake in their weekly fatbike ride Wednesday night at Scott’s house. Thanks to Doug for the invite I headed up through sheets rain on the west side of Donner to reach a pretty much dry and absent of much snow Truckee.  Scott has a sick house at the end of a small road, surrounded by open space. He had built some trail on his property over the summer and invited the group to check it out. Pretty sweet to have that out your shop door! A huge variation of fatbikes was on display from a custom Ti Carver on-off (not to be produced ever again) to an unknown maker Chinese bike that was extremely cheap to buy but…is cheap for a reason. I’m a custom builder and bike snob though so don’t mind me!  I realize not everybody can or wants to add yet another bike to their quiver.  The ride was a windy singletrack out and back with more safety breaks than I think I’ve ever witnessed, it was classic. Warm at 32 degrees with dirt/snow mix on the trail it was a fun time and great to meet so many new people loving the fat.

I also got to take out the new-to-me skis up Castle Peak off I-80 at Donner Pass. Pretty mellow 20-25 degree slope with 4+ inches of new snow made for a great intro into the Dynafit Huascaran’s. They pretty much turn themselves and with the rockered tip i never had tip dive and floated over everything. I’m sold, even if they’re a little heavier than I’m used to for BC. There’s been a lot of moisture in northern California these last two weeks, constant rain in Foresthill and a lot of warm snow hitting the Sierra Crest. Raining in Truckee mostly but snowing up higher. The trees were plastered white up high like I remember the PNW and Whitefish, MT being like because of such high humidity. Some dudes were going off the north side chutes but I chose to stay safe on the south since I was solo. Fun stuff up there at such an easy quick skin from the Pass.

Melissa’s Fatcycle

This fatbike will be really fun to ride. I pushed with normal chainstays here so am “only” using the Specialized Ground Control 4.6″ tire on the rear to give some room on the 430mm chainstays.  A Surly Lou 4.8″ fits but with not enough room for comfort. Orange Nextie carbon tubeless ready rims, Surly Bud on front, tires are both run tubeless. Hope Fatsno hubs with a 197×12 rear and a 150×15 on front for the Bluto 120 fork.  Shimano XTR shifter and brakes and rear derailleur, Race Face Turbine Cinch crankset with a direct mount 28t ring, a wide range 10-spd cassette with the 42t Wolftooth cog and their 16t as well.  A Thompson Covert dropper post will be put on when it arrives which also has internal routing like the rear brake and derailleur.  She wanted something camo but also dug this Cosmic Blue so I got some orange camo decals made up by VCG.  I think it looks pretty awesome!

Geometry is short chainstays and slack head tube angles, my new fatbike preferred geometry because of how it behaves in soft snow. Here goes:

– 68.5 degree HTA

– 73.5 degree effective STA

– 430mm (16.9″) effective chainstay length. Actual is about 434mm. In my mind, effective length means more than actual. Effective is the horizontal distance between the rear axle and the center of the BB.

– 62mm BB drop is nothing too high or low. I’ve been leaning higher lately to reduce pedal strikes with such wide Q-factors that now are common (222mm!) and when using flat pedals.  Having said that…this still is a pretty low BB at about 318mm (12.5″) with the biggest diameter fatbike tires.

– 610mm (24″) effective top tube, 720mm front center.

Foresthill Dirt roads

We got a bunch of nice dirt roads around here, and they’re all pretty nice for riding the cross bike. Especially with some 40mm tires. Other than a quick dip in a bigass puddle, we had a great ride yesterday covering 52 miles and 5600ft elevation, with maybe 1/4 of those miles on pavement.  A huge storm is brewing off the coast here, the biggest in several years they’re calling. So gotta get out before Armageddon hits!

Isaac lives on the other “divide” (Georgetown) than Foresthill so we rarely ride together. It’s only about 10 miles away but takes over an hour to drive there because of the American River canyons. He’s put more miles on his new Meriwether frameset than I think I have all year on my cross bike! Good product tester…