Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Eighthinch Scrambler V2

 While preparing to sell my house I was forced with pairing down some of my extensive bicycle collection. I had two single speed/fixed gear bikes at the time. It didn't seem right to keep two of them especially since where I was moving had a lot more limited bike storage. One of my fixed bikes at the time was my beloved Eighthinch Scrambler V2. There was nothing special about it. In fact as far as frames go it was kind of cheap.

But it was the first decent fixed gear frame I built up. I rode like 10,000 miles on it. There was just something about it I really liked. I could ride a century on it and still be as comfortable as you can expect to be on a bike. The Scrambler went through several iterations over the many years we were together.

I had bullhorns on it for a bit, sticker bombed it, rode it with risers, you name it. I wore out a couple pairs of cranks on it even. There was one thing that I felt it was lacking though; tire clearance. I think the maximum I ever got to fit was 28s. So I eventually purchased the Kilo WT. And as much as I enjoyed the Kilo, the Scrambler remained my daily driver. 

One thing I liked about the Scrambler was that raw finish. After years of rain and sweat, it developed a great patina. And the nice thing about a rusty bike with no gears and no brakes is most bike thieves will pass it up and try for something more flashy. It was also cool not having any logos (headbadge fell off years ago) on it. So real bike nerds often inquired about the frame and its origins. 

Unfortunately the Scrambler has been out of production for a long time and the Eighthinch brand itself seems to be defunct at this time. Such a shame too. I would buy another of these frames without hesitation and build it up tomorrow if I could. Hell, the last time I saw them offered for sale, the frame was like $100. 

I rode this bike in several states, in all weather conditions, and made a lot of fond memories atop of it. I also made many friends along the way. But when it came time to thin the heard, I just felt my other fixed gear could do all the things the Scrambler could and more. I sold it to some dude on Facebook Marketplace. I really hope he is still riding the hell out of it and enjoying it as much as I did.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

RIP my Kilo WT

 I have had my Kilo WT for about seven years. Unfortunately, an episode of inattention has taken the Kilo WT out of my stable. I really loved the bike. It carried me many miles through many interesting places both in my personal life as well as geographically. I used it as a solid commuter, beer run bike, and race bike. 

For a short time I even had it pimped out with Profile BMX cranks, which were heavy as hell  but they added a big bling factor and were super stiff. I raced the Croatan Buck Fifty on it several times, even got a podium on it once. I rode this bike exclusively after I was forced to sell the EighthInch Scrambler. 

You might be wondering how a fairly sturdy and reliable steel frame such as the Kilo WT could have been rendered unusable. A buddy and I went for a nice ride one Saturday morning. When we got back to my place, I lazily just rested my beloved Kilo WT on the side of my truck. I went in, showered, and then wrapped up my honey-do list. A couple hours later I was informed it was my turn to cook dinner so I headed out to the grocery store. While leaving I heard a strange noise, but didn't think too much of it. 

But when I arrived at the grocery store it hit me. That noise I heard was probably my Kilo WT. I thought to myself, "Ehh, its fine, that thing is a tank. Better check the truck for any damage." As it turns out the truck was fine. But when I returned home from the grocery store I saw my bike was pretty much done for. I was heartbroken and felt like a complete jackass for running over my own bike.

The downtube was completely bent to crap. the front wheel (H Plus Son laced to Formula hub) was also toast. To make matters even worse, bikesdirect is sold out of them in any color/size. It was a sad day at dudeonabike's house for sure. As I drank my sorrows away I started looking for a replacement frame. But trying to find a decent fixed gear/single speed frame (with wide tire clearance) that doesn't totally raid my daughter's college fund is no easy task. 

Sure I could get a Squid Bikes So-EZ frame and build it up. I have all kinds of parts lying around. But that rear spacing would require me getting another rear wheel. So that option was out pretty quick. I thought about a State, but felt like that was just too obvious an option. The 4130 they currently offer reminds me much of a Squid So-EZ though.

I thought about a Mash frame, I thought about a custom build. But I went with something completely different and hopefully of decent quality.