Steamboat Bound for awhile

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We got to Steamboat Springs a little after noon, just in time for lunch.  Then we hung for a while, then went for a super road ride.  Hung a little more, then dinner on the river.  Pretty great day.

Vincent got his car and decided to come back through Steamboat on his way back, so he drove Hwy 40 from Salt Lake to Steamboat Springs and got here late last night.  He says that his new Honda Pilot steers itself on the highway for over 30 seconds without touching the steering wheel.  It tells you after a while that you should steer, but the car keeps steering itself.  Weird.

I’m going to help Kent do some construction stuff at his house this morning and then hopefully talk him into doing a MTB ride.  Vincent only has his mountain bike with him, so that is the bike of choice.

I’m getting a new dual suspension frame from Kent.  Brad already assembled it ( and designed it), so it’s all ready to assemble.  It should be great for rocky midwest trails.

Okay, this day is going to be busy, so I might as well get it started.

My new dual suspension frame.

My new dual suspension frame.

Brad Bingham, who designed the dual suspension bike, doing his thing, welding a tandem frame. The guy is an artist.

Brad Bingham, who designed the dual suspension bike, doing his thing, welding a tandem frame. The guy is an artist.

Kent holding the tacked tandem frame.

Kent holding the tacked tandem frame.

Kent sitting in Brad's Airstream. We stopped at the end of the ride to check it out. It is beautiful inside.

Kent sitting in Brad’s Airstream. We stopped at the end of the ride to check it out. It is beautiful inside.

Here's an old picture of my Mt. Oread team from when I first started racing. A couple of the guys, Jim May and Cal Melick were hit by cars while riding and killed. Jim when I was younger and Cal last year. Most the other guys in the photo I still know.

Here’s an old picture of my Mt. Oread team from when I first started racing. A couple of the guys, Jim May and Cal Melick were hit by cars, while riding, and killed. Jim when I was younger and Cal last year. Most the other guys in the photo I still know.

  Kent explaining his vision of the project.  



20 thoughts on “Steamboat Bound for awhile

  1. Ken Webb

    I remember Jim May from our Wednesday evening Oz Bike Club training rides around Sim Park in Wichita. I was recently back in Wichita and drove around that area, and it brought back some fond memories of those times. Jim was one of the guys that I looked up to back then. I was very sad to hear of his death back when it happened.

  2. Bart

    That full suspension frame and bike should be awesome. If it’s a good pedalling bike without bobbing, you’ll love it and likely never go back to a hardtaill.

    Hardtails are for kids and idiots. Life is better when you’re fully suspended (correctly) on a mtb.

  3. John H.

    Actually I am going to be really curious on how that works out(the FS Titanium frame). Given your relationship with Erikson I can’t imagine you would trash it if it didn’t work well(not a criticism, just a commonsense expectation), but I would look forward to an in-depth review of “titanium as a FS MTB frame material” if you have the time…and some miles of course.

    I went looking the other day* and there don’t seem to be a lot of offerings of FS titanium from any manufacturer(a couple one offs). With most comments being that titanium tends to be not rigid enough[too springy?](honestly, I can’t speak to that, but it was a very common opinion) and so it just often isn’t done, and where it is, it is, it’s almost strictly because of the “people with too much money” niche.

    *I went looking because of the park tool video where you(steve) were talking about durability of titanium over carbon and even aluminum.

  4. Gabriel Byrne

    Yeah, ti seems like it would bee too flexy for full susp, but for a season or two Geoff Kabush was killing the north american scene on a dualy Litespeed when everyone else was on carbon hardtails or Epics, so clearly the rider is still what matters. Now that I think of it, he has always rocked super wide bars and now that’s what you see everywhere a decade later.

  5. Bart

    Me? I’ve ridden and raced many different hardtails. Steel, titanium, and aluminum. I liked them all and won many XC races on each material. All bikes were high end racing hardtails with top of the line components.

    But, once I got on a well engineered and well constructed full suspension XC bike, I have never again wanted or needed a hardtail. A good full suspension will climb as well as a hardtail and in many cases it climbs even better. If you think otherwise, then you are woefully misguided. Full suspension bikes obviously descend better. Better control and comfort in all ways. That’s the facts. The best thing is that fs bikes save your body. I ride xc bikes and trail bikes up to 5″ travel.

  6. Bart

    I think it’s safe to say that Kent Erikson can design and then build a titanium bike to have any amount of flex he chooses. To say that a ti bike is always flexy is incorrect. Yes, titanium is an inherently flexible frame material. That’s why it can give a compliant ride.

    But, a competent frame builder can tune the ride characteristics any way he or she chooses. The same can be said of steel, carbon and aluminum frames.

  7. Krakatoa East of Java

    Steve, I’ve been squatting in your house for the past six weeks. Where the hell do you keep your friggin toilet paper?

  8. John

    So are you going to put new and modern fork, wheels, group, etc. on this bike?
    Or will it be a hoopety?

  9. Dave LeDuc

    Being that this is the US and the rider in question is in his mid 50s, only the best. Middle aged is the US market. The hoopty stuff is for juniors and other developing riders

    For the record, ti suspension components – while pretty to look at are not the way to go. Cost/time and just the improper material. That swingarm and linkage is pretty to look at, just the wrong stuff…and overwrought

  10. Bart


    Thanks for the Sheldon Brown link. He was right on the money about frame materials and that’s the point I was making about the builder being able to tune any material through design and construction. He’s also right on the money about seat posts and tires and such. RIP Sheldon.

    My personal examples- The steel hardtails I’ve had were great riding bikes. Comfortable and light. They were also relaxed geometries and I used fatter than the norm tires with a good saddle, good grips on a proper bar set up, a good riding position and a properly set up suspension fork or a compliant steel fork. I’ve also had very nice riding steel road bikes. They rode well mainly because of the geometry, which was somewhat relaxed.

    The titanium hardtail I rode had a good suspension fork on it and it was light and fairly compliant. Unfortunately, it flexed alot at the bb and in the head tube area. The flex could be felt. The frame eventually cracked in the bb area. The reasons that the bike failed were poor manufacturing (welding) and design. The designer had not compensated for the characteristics of titanium and it resulted in a less than great bike. I’ve also had a titanium road bike that didn’t crack or break anywhere, but it was excessively stiff. The designer/builder had over compensated for titanium and it resulted in an uncomfortable bike. In both cases, the geometries were good and the bikes were not from the same builder. The problems with both of those bikes were the design and the construction, and not the material itself. Good ideas, but bad executions.

    The aluminum hardtail I rode was a very light and positive feeling bike. Stiff in all the right ways. I set it up with a heavily worked-on suspension fork, fat tires, and I used a suspension seatpost. I never felt any bobbing with the post and it soaked up the bumps while seated. It worked great. My legs were the suspension when out of the saddle. By virtue of the fat tubed aluminum frame, conventional wisdom says it should have been a bone shaker of a bike. In reality, it rode like a dream. It was light, torsionally stiff, and it was my favorite hardtail by far. The only thing I’ve found better was a full suspension bike. I’ve also had aluminum road bikes and found them to be too stiff. The geometry was good, but the tubes were the culprit due to their slightly oversize o.d. but too thick walls.

    In each of my mtb examples, the determining factor or factors was not the frame material, but the design, the construction, and the set up of each bike.

    The moral of the story is to get out and ride and make your own decisions. Try everything you can. Set your bikes up to suit you and for your comfort. Don’t believe the hype.

  11. ScottO

    Since you’re right there, you need to go to Strawberry Park when it’s crowded, and right a post about it!

  12. Jeff

    I spent three years in Steamboat in the early 90s after college. I haven’t been back in years and sure miss it. Always enjoy your posts from there.

    I don’t guess Buddha’s Burritos is still around?

  13. George

    I had Kent and Brad build me one of their FS frames this spring. I’ve put just over 1000 miles on it out here in AZ.

    I can’t feel any flex in the bottom bracket. There is enough travel in the rear to take the jolt out of big bumps but it doesn’t have so much travel that it feels like it’s soaking up all your energy when you’re on the uphills.

    I’m looking forward to your opinion Steve but based on my experience I really think you’re going to love your new FS Eriksen.


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