The concept of a rig that could go real real fast started many years ago.
I was hanging out at a bike shop in Prince Edward county.. Bloomfield Bike Shop that is~ still to this day~ owned and operated by a good friend and her partner.
They had (probably still have) stacks and stacks of old mountain biking magazines.. and I would pour through them and get ideas aplenty.
There was a magazine article about Eric Barone who was doing gravity descents on bicycles.. they were called bike speed trials but to me~ and our discussions~ they were nothing but gravity descents. Not cycling.. just a bike frame that got pulled down the hill by.. gravity.
I would wonder, as I cycled around PEC (Prince Edward County) with them.. what kind of a bike would you need in order to see how fast a human could pedal, ultimately?!?!
Rick and I talked..
I kept thinking
He kept thinking
we talked more..
I hung out there for about a month..
would have stayed longer but winter was looming and I had no desire to “winter” in Ontario as a tenter…
We settled on a “jack shaft” configuration that consisted of two bottom brackets armed with opposing triple chain rings driving a ground breaking (back then) 8 speed casette on the back wheel.
As an aside, there was a recumbent bike builder in Hintonburg, where I lived in Ottawa, that had jury- rigged a 3spd hub with a 7 spd casette.. that really got my mind thinkering….
Anyhow.. Rick and I thought that if you had two triple chainrings mashing it out to an 8spd casette.. you could achieve some pretty amazing speeds. It works out to about 72 gears. Pretty massive. Pretty massive overlap of gear inches but the top end.. woa!
A couple years ago I found a cool product.. the Sturmey- Archer CS-RF3.. a 3speed INTERNAL hub that has a 9 spd casette body on it! The intention, from what I can deduce, is to get away from having the three chainrings up front and have it all built in to the rear wheel.
To me.. it was a GOLDMINE of inspiration!
I bought one and had a wheel built around it using my FAVE wheel size- 650c (triathlon size from the heyday of trigeekery.. skinny, sleek.. and actually great to tour on).. and I decided to use my Stumpjumpr frame as the core.. slowly it evolved..
I have some training to do.. and some mechanicing to do.. but she’s basically ready for some light- gravity assisted heavy pedalling speed trials. I’ll share some more thoughts on her and the plan in an upcoming post but she’s just about ready.. and I think I’m just about ready too.