Not too fat not too skinny

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2009 by monstercrosser

Monstercross. I love the looks of these machines as well as their dual purpose nature. While the term “monstercross” only seems to have surfaced in the last year or so and started a buzz it’s roots go back actually quite far.

I myself saw many versions of monstercross bikes back in the early ’90s working for Richard “Deke” Gossen, who at that time owned Decorah Bikes (Now Oneota River Cycles) in Decorah, IA….one of the top shops in the MIdwest with one of the top Teams (ok I’m biased, I was on it for 2 years, but more impressively the guy who designs the REBAs was too. Anyway…).

Deke was a tinkering type who I give a lot of credit too for my ability to wrench, design stuff, and well think critically in general. One paper away from a physics degree from Luther College and an eye for what worked (Speciliazed and many others used to send us stuff to test when I worked there).

One of his first interesting creations was what I’d call a “monster cross” of sorts. It was a Trek 790 Hybrid frame with one of those 700c Smoke 45mm wide tires in the rear and up front used a 26″ 2.0 mtb tire fitted to a purple suspension fork with 2″ of travel. Flat bars and a set of Onza L-bend bar ends finished it off.

One of the joys of working for Deke is we set our bikes up almost identical. I just need to raise the saddle a wee bit and it fit no matter what the bike. So, I often “borrowed” bikes such as this on a regular basis.

You know, to get chicks.

This rig was actually pretty fun on our tight 6″ wide singletrack that surrounded this quite unknown mtb mecca in Iowa. It was also a great commuter. And it was a blast on the local gravel roads.

The disadvantage though was the 45mm smokes *barely* fit and the rim bent easily as it was a cheapo Trek brand rim designed for hybrids on a budget. While the big wheel rolled nicely over things one good whack and it was rubbing your stay. Being Deke’s only rule to borrowing his rigs was to fix any issues you created, I didn’t ride it long moving on to one of the other 5-6 bikes in the stable instead. Yet it always had a place in my heart.

Guess thats’ why I started this. I think it’s a neat niche bike and would argue it makes more sense for bike companies to push these than say…650b wheels.

So look forward to digging up info, hearing from you all, and maybe even getting some posts from those who ride only Monster Cross bikes. Get some history, tips, and have fun. Afterall, if it has two wheels it’s still a bike.