This month's 3-bike garage
Three bike garage. This is where our favourite people pick their ultimate bike stable. This month’s are chosen by Chris Porter, Mojo Rising and GeoMetron founder.
Journalist turned fettler, Chris has been instrumental in the modern geometry sea change that’s culminated in his own range of custom Nicolai bikes – GeoMetron.
The classic: Raleigh Grifter
I used to ride miles on the old Grifter. ‘Cycle touring’ the Somerset countryside looking for slag heaps and features to turn into lame jumps. It was an amazingly versatile little bike. Weighed an absolute ton, but it had gears, so it made me feel totally grown up ’cos motorbikes had gears! Not one of the gears was ever ‘right’ but it had three, count ’em, three gears. It did its fair share of Evel Knievel style pallet jumps before a mis-judged ‘max speed’ pedal at a ski jump style drop off the Paulton Junior school footy pitch bent the fork out like a chopper. First geometry experiment? The extra offset sucked!
The stating point: Peaty’s Orange 04
Orange let us have one of Steve Peat‘s custom frames when we were doing the Mojo/Orange team… It was massive!
It was one that had been welded up a tiny bit dicky, so I think the shock length was wrong or when fitted gave us too high a BB height or something (BB height British Standard at the time was 13 1/4 inches pre-decimal currency). But we made up a special shock which gave us a reduced travel (175mm, low BB, 62-63°, 1,200mm wheelbase rocketship. It was designed for a very tall Yorkshireman but even the 5ft 6in Mojo riders who tried it didn’t want to give it back. The way it handled the tight turns at the bottom of Abercarn made me think that longer bikes work better, so in that respect it started something.
The future, preset: Mojo/GeoMetron G16
In my garage currently is the first XL G16 I built up two years ago… the two of us clicked immediately. We had a bit of time apart when I tried the XXL frame, using it for timed testing with lead weights attached. But now I’m Back in Black and the XL is in the garage and being used to test all the new features coming up on Mojo Rising products.
I’m currently running the bike in a ‘hybrid’ set up with 29er front and 27.5in rear, which enhances the rollover but keeps the steering characteristics of the 27.5in bike almost intact. I’m running the Mojo Rising adjustable offset crowns on a F*x with a 29er front wheel and I’ve settled on 50mm offset for the best compromise between massive lean angle, hero drifts and carves on known trails, and fast, unplanned direction changes on blind trails. Having the GeoMetron project has allowed me to build a bike that gives me flow and dynamism in my riding; I simply don’t have to fight the bike like I used to. It keeps the fast kids on their toes.