Feb 10.16 – Tom’s own “klunker”
Tom built this wonderfully idiosyncratic machine to race in the recent Hack Bike Derby, but the bike itself has been much longer in the making than that. The rules of the Derby are simple: participants all turn up with their own custom-made, klunker-inspired mountain bikes, build a course and then race them. 26″ wheel only, no disc or V brakes or professional paint jobs are allowed and all bikes must be running the same rubber – in this case Bontrager 2.35 Team Issue. As you can imagine it’s a great recipe for mud, mayhem and fun.
Tom had been looking for an excuse to go back to his early DH routes and create a rough-and-ready “suspended” klunker for a while – the Hack Bike Derby provided the perfect opportunity to do exactly that. The ‘hack’ spirit meant he could really revel in the freedom to freestyle the design as he went through the build process.
The bike combines some pretty out-there features with, what is at its heart, a very ridable geometry. The tubing is a ‘Frankenstein’ mix of Reynolds 725, 853 and 631 – essentially anything that was lying around the workshop. Tom engineered the leading link suspension fork himself with 4130, mild and stainless plate, various stainless bolts and 1inch headset locknuts to secure the shock. The addition of a coaster brake at the back makes things a little more fun – although perhaps not the safest choice when in the thick of the racing action (as Tom learnt!). The saddle is maybe the most ‘hack’ part of the whole build – being made from plywood, foam and duct tape…
The bike’s built as a good times, get loose trail bike, getting back to simple pleasures. The purpose was always for it to be ridden after the Hack Bike Derby as well and it’s been built tough with enduring use in mind. It’s comfortable and fun enough to take out time and again, and it is most certainly one of a kind.