When John told me he was pulling the trigger on a custom bike, I knew from the start it was going to be special. Every time he’s asked me about features or things I could do to a bike, it was something unique and special. So I knew this build would incorporate at least a few of them. He was also pretty open to my input, so the design evolved organically and took on a life of it’s own.
John’s also not a petite human. He’s the kind of rider who has to buy bikes because they come in XXL, and also can’t buy bikes that aren’t known specifically for being incredibly strong. He’s big, but he also shreds. Hard. Bike parts simply are not made for John.
But this bike is.
We started with the double top tube design, and things started rolling from there. The head tube is 200mm long, which means that he can run a slammed stem (with 50mm riser bars) for the first time ever. It also means that the steerer tube on this bike has been left totally uncut, it is full length, and there is only room for a 5mm spacer on top of the stem. With that much canvas on the headtube, we went with two headtube badges, with the second one having been put on upside down and inside out. It’s a mirror image of the top one. We followed the double design to the seatstay bridges and the bottle cages, and stacked two where there are normally one.
The geometry is modern, and fit to John, and no one else. Slack HTA and designed for a 150 or 160mm fork, long chainstays to go with his long legs, and a STA that works for his femur length.
The components were selected for durability and stiffness over most other things. Starting the party in the front is the Factory Fox 38 at 160mm. We chose 157mm spacing in the rear for a stronger 29er wheel, and Spank 359 rims that are tough as nails. The 157 spacing also brought us out to a wider chainline and the option for Super Boost Plus cranks, which have a wider q-factor. Those cranks are attached to a T47 bottom bracket at 92mm wide which is then attached to a 1.75″ down tube. When the rider exerts twice the number of newtons of force on a frame, it needs to be twice as stiff. Every feature is completely custom.
Since everything on this bike is oversized, it actually comes out looking pretty normal. But for reference, I’m 6′ and that saddle comes to just below my nipples.
John is a friend of mine, and I’m so absolutely honored that he wanted me to build his custom bike. This was a fun project in approaching a bike from the perspective of solving problems, and I’m so happy with the result.
Oh yeah, and it’s called the Swampsquatch.
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