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Old 01-14-14, 07:40 AM   #1
P7HVN
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Loopwheels mounted up...

Received my Loopwheels a few weeks ago and have been working with my LBS for a suitable host. Wanted to go with a rigid MTB frame, but the BB height has been a major hurdle. LBS employee had this used Giant frame that we worked up.The cranks are adjustable(two mounting spots for the pedals) and I have the pedals on the shortest, which is about 130mm. Shorter than I'd like... I'm thinking of going with a spare, straight 29'r fork I have in the garage; it'll raise the front end over an inch.

The wheels came with nice commuter tires, but I went with the Hookworms because I wanted that fat tire look, and needed to find some extra BB clearance. I think the hot set-up for these wheels, for my purposes, would be a conventional fork version of a Hooligan. If the short cranks end up bothering me too much, I might buy one of the $200 Alton mini-velos to try out.

I've only done two short rides, so can't give an in-depth ride report. Will do one in a few weeks. However, just on these short rides, I can say the wheels are very different & effective. With regular suspension forks, you can feel specific hits and the corresponding straight up & down action of the forks. With these wheels, the bumps are just very subtly smoothed out, with no jarring motions. Wheels aren't cheap- they were $1200 delivered. $200 of that was shipping & import taxes. I'm not wealthy, or a hardcore cyclist, so this was quite a splurge for me. However, I'm really happy with them. If you break down the features, they sound a little more reasonable; come with f/r brakes, an IGH, quality tires/tubes mounted and f/r suspension(50mm of travel). Just adding good f/r suspension to a 20"-tire bike would be significant.

So.. here's my other, 20" mini-velo MTB.

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Old 01-14-14, 09:01 AM   #2
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Hi,

Thanks for posting and the picture. I'll be curious to what your experiences are after more miles.

Which IGH? What range?

Thanks,
Charles
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Old 01-14-14, 11:08 AM   #3
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20" wheels in a frame designed for a 26" wheel ? Pedal strike Will Happen ..


You dropped the BB 3 inches.. bent pedals , crank-arms and crashing, is predictable..



look for a frame & fork designed around a 406 20" wheel .. put the 26" wheels back.
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Old 01-14-14, 11:21 AM   #4
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20" wheels in a frame designed for a 26" wheel ? Pedal strike Will Happen ..


You dropped the BB 3 inches.. bent pedals , crank-arms and crashing, is predictable..



look for a frame & fork designed around a 406 20" wheel .. put the 26" wheels back.
Um, yeah, this is my second 20" wheel conversion on a full-size MTB frame, so fully aware of the limitations.
No problems with shortened cranks. My full-suspension Raleigh has a higher BB, so the 152mm cranks were fine. This one is slightly lower, so had to settle on 130's. I specifically wanted the full size frame, to mimic the feel & layout of a "normal" 26" MTB. This is strictly an around town fun bike, not going to be riding down stairs or bombing offroad. Maybe I should've posted in ALT bikes....
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Old 01-14-14, 11:32 AM   #5
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look for a Minivelo Frame perhaps ? ( I have a Bike Friday Pocket Llama , highest BB in the fleet, here. )

yea Alt will include chopper bikes , Chromed, And pedal scraping .

wont need a Kick Stand , at least..
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Old 01-14-14, 12:52 PM   #6
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Check out this old thread.

You need to find a 90s c'dale M800 "Beast of the East" frame. BB is higher than most others.
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Old 01-14-14, 01:31 PM   #7
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Hi,

Thanks for posting and the picture. I'll be curious to what your experiences are after more miles.

Which IGH? What range?

Thanks,
Charles
It's a Sturmey Archer X-RD3(3spd), with 70mm drum brake and 177% gear ratio. I have a fairly small front sprocket; would probably want to go much bigger for longer rides/regular commutes. The short cranks really work out your calves. I'm hoping the straight, longer fork I plan to mount raises it enough to use the 152mm setting. If I end up getting an Alton SS mini-velo for the these wheels, I'll put the Alton's 451's on the Giant, raising it up a little more and have an extra kick around bike in the garage...
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Old 01-14-14, 01:48 PM   #8
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Check out this old thread.

You need to find a 90s c'dale M800 "Beast of the East" frame. BB is higher than most others.
That's pretty cool. Seems to have a similar BB height as my Raleigh. The newer full suspension bikes generally have higher BB's, but I wanted a full rigid frame for this build up, as I thought it might introduce a strange handling dynamic to mix the suspension wheels with frame suspension. Ideally, I'd be looking for something with around a 13" high BB and most MTB's are 10-12...
Swift offers their folder as a frameset, so that might be an option too, but wanted the rigidity & durability of a mountainbike-based frameset.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:53 PM   #9
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you need different frame geometry and a long fork like on the kuwahara gaap:


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Old 01-14-14, 04:25 PM   #10
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you need different frame geometry and a long fork like on the kuwahara gaap:


Those Gaaps are cool. That one listed for about $1800 on their website, several years ago. Not too bad, considering the features & engineering. The Gaap Sonic was very neat too. Wish I had more access to some of the mini-velo frame builders over in Japan, without the shipping prices...
I might just draw up a frameset in the future, and have it built up for me. Going chromoly shouldn't be too expensive, as I'm not worried about weight.
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Old 01-14-14, 04:36 PM   #11
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Those Gaaps are cool. That one listed for about $1800 on their website, several years ago. Not too bad, considering the features & engineering. The Gaap Sonic was very neat too. Wish I had more access to some of the mini-velo frame builders over in Japan, without the shipping prices...
aawww yess:


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Going chromoly shouldn't be too expensive, as I'm not worried about weight.
>as i'm not worried about weight.

implying that cro-mo is heavier than.. what? aluminum?
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Old 01-14-14, 04:44 PM   #12
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Yeah, mostly comparing to alum. Cost-wise too(for a fabricator). Have you seen seen/rode one of the Alton SS's? Thinking that might be a good route, since I'll be dumping almost all the components on it...
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Old 01-14-14, 05:30 PM   #13
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Yeah, mostly comparing to alum. Cost-wise too(for a fabricator). Have you seen seen/rode one of the Alton SS's? Thinking that might be a good route, since I'll be dumping almost all the components on it...
don't want to crack open this can of worms, but a well-made cro-mo frame is going to be superior in every way that counts compared to an aluminum frame in the same size and weight class. actually, i would be hard-pressed to ever dump any cash into another aluminum bike, but here is a thread about the alton. it really is almost a copy of the sillgey piccolo, huh?



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Old 01-14-14, 07:55 PM   #14
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also, be advised, the single speed and the 7 speed appear to be completely different bikes:

ss:



seven:

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Old 01-14-14, 10:27 PM   #15
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also, be advised, the single speed and the 7 speed appear to be completely different bikes:

ss:


The fixie looks like a good option, but I'm thinking now that it wouldn't work. My Loopwheels, with the fat Hookworms, probably aren't much smaller in overall diameter than these 451's; I need about 2" of clearance above the tire to the underside of the fork for the suspension movement, and also the same amount in the rear, from the top of the tire to the seat-stay cross brace(tho' that could be cut out and a new one welded in pretty easily a few inches higher). A little early to make all these decisions tho', as I haven't given the Giant much time to see how it'll work. Might be that I put my longer, straight fork on it and all is well.... I do like the slightly stretched out look of the MTB frame better, as opposed to some of the mini-velos that look like you're sitting directly above the back tire.
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Old 01-14-14, 10:37 PM   #16
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The fixie looks like a good option, but I'm thinking now that it wouldn't work. My Loopwheels, with the fat Hookworms, probably aren't much smaller in overall diameter than these 451's; I need about 2" of clearance above the tire to the underside of the fork for the suspension movement, and also the same amount in the rear, from the top of the tire to the seat-stay cross brace(tho' that could be cut out and a new one welded in pretty easily a few inches higher). A little early to make all these decisions tho', as I haven't given the Giant much time to see how it'll work. Might be that I put my longer, straight fork on it and all is well.... I do like the slightly stretched out look of the MTB frame better, as opposed to some of the mini-velos that look like you're sitting directly above the back tire.
if i were you, which i'm not, i would wrap a very nice frame around those very expensive wheels you've invested in..

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Old 01-15-14, 11:39 AM   #17
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+1, My Pocket Llama has 1.75" wide tires a wide unicrown fork.. plenty of room ..

If you ship the wheels to Eugene Oregon

they may even add all the fittings to make those wheels a plug and play ,
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Old 01-16-14, 10:11 AM   #18
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I'd like to know how those wheels perform with narrow high-pressure tires.
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Old 01-16-14, 10:37 AM   #19
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This seems like the perfect project for an Origin8 Bully frame if you can find one it has a long wheel base and very good geometry. The horizontal dropouts would suit your IGH better than it does my derailleur setup. That low BB on the giant would kill the ride for me, 90% of the fun of those hookworms is laying the bike down in a turn but keep up the mini velo realness!!! It does seem like the best frames for a bike like this are for the most part on the other side of the planet, something like a mercier nano is cheap but the wheel base is too short, i know they arent avaiable here but look up the doppelganger 530 or 555 or look up the wachsen BV-207.

P.S. those wheels are CRAZY! Too rich for my blood but neat they must be a great conversation starter if nothing else.
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Old 01-16-14, 10:58 AM   #20
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This is my stock bully before I went to town on it. Its just what you need horizontal drops, long wheelbase(1028mm), and designed for 406 wheels with fat tires. I have found 2 it the last 6 months if you look you can get one. I paid about $300 for each. Good luck.

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Old 01-16-14, 11:21 AM   #21
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This seems like the perfect project for an Origin8 Bully frame if you can find one it has a long wheel base and very good geometry. The horizontal dropouts would suit your IGH better than it does my derailleur setup. That low BB on the giant would kill the ride for me, 90% of the fun of those hookworms is laying the bike down in a turn but keep up the mini velo realness!!! It does seem like the best frames for a bike like this are for the most part on the other side of the planet, something like a mercier nano is cheap but the wheel base is too short, i know they arent avaiable here but look up the doppelganger 530 or 555 or look up the wachsen BV-207.

P.S. those wheels are CRAZY! Too rich for my blood but neat they must be a great conversation starter if nothing else.
Yeah, those Bullys are great. Really like what you've done with yours(been following it in different threads...). I'm on the lookout for one, or a Hooligan. Actually found a mint Hooligan, w/conventional forks, for sale in the DC area, but don't have any contacts up there and couldn't get one of the LBS's to act as a go-between for the sale. I measured up my spare 29'r fork and it's almost 3" longer than the Surly on there now, so that'll raise my BB probably 35-45mm, which will help a lot.

Another alternative I'm looking at are the larger 24" & 26"-wheeled BMX bikes; they have mid-mount BB's and are stretched out more, so it doesn't look like you're riding around on some 10yr old's bike.

However, recently I've found what, for me, would be the perfect host for these wheels. Just have to wait now for them to produce it....
http://www.blessthisstuff.com/stuff/...e-street-bike/
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Old 01-16-14, 11:33 AM   #22
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note : all the frames designed for 20" wheels ..

they have no BB drop, it is actually higher than the axle center.
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Old 01-16-14, 10:41 PM   #23
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Yeah, those Bullys are great. Really like what you've done with yours(been following it in different threads...). I'm on the lookout for one, or a Hooligan. Actually found a mint Hooligan, w/conventional forks, for sale in the DC area, but don't have any contacts up there and couldn't get one of the LBS's to act as a go-between for the sale. I measured up my spare 29'r fork and it's almost 3" longer than the Surly on there now, so that'll raise my BB probably 35-45mm, which will help a lot.

Another alternative I'm looking at are the larger 24" & 26"-wheeled BMX bikes; they have mid-mount BB's and are stretched out more, so it doesn't look like you're riding around on some 10yr old's bike.

However, recently I've found what, for me, would be the perfect host for these wheels. Just have to wait now for them to produce it....
http://www.blessthisstuff.com/stuff/...e-street-bike/

I saw that bike, its super cool looking but the last line in that description said it all........may never hit production.

a BMX might be cool, a 24" might have a BB high enough. but I'm not sure how much more wheel base you get with a 24, you might be better off with the 20". I do like those skyway T/A bikes they put out recently, could be fun on one of them

those Loopwheels look neat but I would be concern that they would eat up some of the power from your pedal stroke and make the drive mushy, how do you like them?
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Old 01-17-14, 02:42 AM   #24
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Would love to know if there is any lateral play and how true the wheels hold up?
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Old 01-17-14, 01:08 PM   #25
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Would love to know if there is any lateral play and how true the wheels hold up?
Yes, there is a bit of lateral deflection. You can actually reach down from the seat and push the front rim a half inch or so to the side. Very strange. When holding the front end off the ground and spinning the tire, it looks out-of-round, but rides fine. As far as staying true, I don't know if it would come up, with the bike having suspension all the way around the axle. Maybe if one of the loops cracked or something....

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I saw that bike, its super cool looking but the last line in that description said it all........may never hit production.

a BMX might be cool, a 24" might have a BB high enough. but I'm not sure how much more wheel base you get with a 24, you might be better off with the 20". I do like those skyway T/A bikes they put out recently, could be fun on one of them

those Loopwheels look neat but I would be concern that they would eat up some of the power from your pedal stroke and make the drive mushy, how do you like them?
Doesn't have a mushy feel at all. The front is tuned soft enough that you can easily feel the suspension, just pushing down on the bars. The back wheel is tuned stiffer tho', and only reacts to harsher hits. I'll be riding it around a lot more this weekend, so will follow up next week. Also, I found, after several hours of different online searches, a new leftover Bully for sale. Shop wants $450 for it, so might pull the trigger....
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