Russell’s steel 29er

Russell already has two Meriwether’s but sold his first 29er to get an update with even shorter chainstays, steeper seat angle, slacker head tube angle and longer reach. The main design criteria was to get the chainstays as short as possible for a 2.5″ tire. Since the recent (relative) abundance of steel aftermarket yokes I was able to get 414mm chainstays with a 34t ring on a Boost chainline. But since it’s got a PF30 EBB shell that CS length is the BB spindle is at 12 or 6 o’clock. Chainstay length gets shorter as you rotate the cranks back but…the chain loosens on a single and the ring gets closer to the yoke. This was the first frame using the new Lichen QDW yoke, machined in Washington state. Usually when i make short chainstay frames for a 2.6″ tire or greater i’ll use adjustable dropouts since that way the chainstay length increases with the tire clearance – so if you want to fit a 2.4″ tire at 415mm you can with more room, or a 2.6 farther back. We also used the hooded Lichen OGQ dropouts with a bend in the seatstays to accommodate the chainstay mounted brake caliper and continuing the straight line of the top tube back to the dropouts. The downtube has both internal rear brake routing and dropper cable routing but no rear derailleur routing as it’s a dedicated singlespeed (or AXS someday…maybe). Steel is the most easily customized frame material and because of it’s relative stiffness it can fit bigger things in smaller spaces than Titanium, Aluminum or Carbon. It’s much more difficult, if even possible, to make a Ti frame with these rear triangle dimensions especially with the same stiffness.

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  1. What a thing of beauty! Thanks for getting me amped on a cold rainy day. How do you keep creating such sexy trail slaying machines Whit? 415mm chain stays got me hot and bothered. Fantastic color too!

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