So i’ve been working on a new model, the Speedball, a full-on titanium 29+ rocketship. There are a few tweaks to make yet, but so far so good. Geometry is still Stooge but with a lower bottom bracket and longer stays and the mother of all ladder top tubes. I’ve always loved Klunkers and the early MTBs and i guess this is my homage to them, a cross between lots of different things. I always remember a holiday in Oban when i was a kid, sometime in the early 80s, and i picked up a copy of BMX Action and there inside were the first photos of mountain bikes that i’d ever seen and it was like a transmission from another galaxy. Many years later i’d recognise the bikes as the original Breezers with those fabulous diagonal ladder bars, boy, what we’d all do for one of those ten bikes now.
I’ve always been a fan of design for design’s sake, the idea of making something complex and geometrically interesting, and there’s certainly an element of that to the Speedball, and yet on the same note everything serves a functional purpose. On one level it’s wilfully different, but on another it rocks like a b—–d and rides like a truly exciting machine.
The bike in the photos is an 18 with a 23.5″ top tube. It feels like a big bike. A few people have commented that it looks short but i guess they’re coming at it from the angle of the new modern hardtail trend for 27″ top tubes and 30mm stems and 65 degree head angles, great i’m sure with 140mm of suspension but a proper load of rubbish with a rigid set up. The Speedball is a trail bike first and foremost, designed for pinning down Welsh mountainsides with your arse hanging over the back and your hands unweighted, it’s a far cry from the ‘longer is better’ being peddled by more or less everyone. Ahh, trends, don’t you just love em.