Speed-o-thon.. the concept

the only thing I wish is if I could find a good set of Profile XC Aero bars to throw on this thing.. memories of my descent in to Indio, California flood back when I’m crouched in this bikes cockpit.

The concept of the Speed-0-Thon is to be replicable… that means.. anyone can do it.

Eric Barone’s speed attempts aare done using specialized wearables and a custom one- off bike and together the investment is HUGE. So huge that if anyone other than Barone chose to do it.. they’d need to find sponsors aplenty in order to cover the costs.. or be as rich as Gingrich.

I wanted to make my attempt open.. kind of like Open Source software.. so that anyone anywhere could do it.

That meant that most, if not all, the parts had to be off the shelf
it also meant that the section of road chosen for the trial had to be general and publicly available. And as a side note- it had to be of a general grade that is common for standard roadways.

I admit- I am going to use gravity for my speed attempt but.. if I stop pedalling the deal is off.. so gravity will~ literally~ just be an “assist” and not the main or only force in speed attainment.

So, the Sturmey- Archer rear hub is a BOON to this project. And using my old Courier Rig.. that vintage Stumpjumper Steelie.. well, on a paved stretch of highway I’m hoping I won’t need rear suspension.

And the AMP fork up front? It’s one of the best forks available.. it’s~ essentially~ a “suspended rigid fork” with the way it works. I chose it mostly because of “stiction” of standard Rock Shox style forks- stiction being legs compressing at different rates on a corner. I figured that if I had to do any cornering on this thing.. I’d want the wheel to be locked and dialled in rather than all loosey goosey in the forks. Also- the AMP fork doesn’t have a TON of movement.. just enough for a highway descent (well, and an old schoolie singletrack cross country burn.. but who’s counting).

So, with 54 gears available.. and front suspension to smooth out the descent.. I’ll be strapping on my Bell Full Face Helmet soon and pedalling out to the Scott Lake Hill between Calgary and Morley and.. going for it.

My assumption is that I’ll be hitting speeds faster than the highway allows so I won’t have to, technically, close the road for the attempt.. at least- not the first one. It’ll be “guerilla” attempt and maybe I’ll spin over to the abandoned gas station that has the abandoned go cart track for some fun and games/ burn off some adrenaline 😉 

Introducing the…


The FS Suburbinator.. sporting her 650c wheels running 650x 23c tires that have been swapped out for 650x 28 Terry tires.. and the AMP designed front end to smooth out life’s little bumps and bruises as I speed down a gentle slope.

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!

ANd the GEARING… 2 up front running to a 3spd internal holding a 9spd casette.. 54 gears.. massive overlap but what a TOP END. Just need to dial in the shifter (replace.. it’s broken and Shimano so non- repairable) and she’ll be a smooth sailer as I do my speed trials.

The Update:
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.