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Phatmike

Concepts, Videos and Updates from PhatWorks

47 posts in this topic

Howdy all,

I've been super quiet on the forum the last few years, being much further away from trials than I used to be, having an awesome we lad who's now 3 1/2 (and shit hot on a bike I will add), and working on some really great projects.

I've spent much of the last 3 years in Taiwan, not riding anywhere near as much as I'd like, but aside from the wonderful culture, scenery and food out here, the bike production capabilities and potential out here is inspirationally vast. I'm working on a couple of larger projects outside of trials, having been working on my 3-wheeler since 2012, and I have recently started with the production design for Podride.

Starting with just wanting a middle-ground (1065ish, low bb, do-it-all) frame - geometry that isn't really available any more, I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to get the Phat band back together.

Testing on the 26" Union frames has been going really well - JJ Gregorowicz, Andy Ponting, Martin Pretorius and I have been riding our frames for quite a while now and they're super sweet to ride - mega stiff and strong. I've barely stopped the design work on them, and with a lot of updates over these prototypes, we're really excited to be making more announcements about these frames over the coming weeks and months.

I was fortunate enough to get a small EU/University grant to cover some engineering work on Chopstick; the single sided fork I posted up about last August. The engineer who spent time on it is a self-acclaimed and imperically validated genius, and did some ground breaking work, largely abstracting the forces, geometry and carbon-fibre layups into some mind-boggling calculations, leading to a really beautiful design. We have been lucky enough to 'poach' him from his University job and are now very proud to welcome James to be working with us full-time. 

Just today I got to work on Kicker-Gear - two-speed sprockets; which will allow our bikes to have a trials gear and a higher-speed gear for (you guessed it) kickers, and for making generally getting around easier. There are quite a few considerations here, largely around hub compatability, so there's more work to be done and I'd really like to get your thoughts on it. 

The handlebars are another concept I got riding recently.. There was a fair few comments on Facebook about them, but noone wanting to give them a go! :lol: I really like how they feel and haven't caused me any discomfort or got in the way of riding.

So there we go, there's lots more in the pipeline I can't wait to get sharing, This is only all possible with your help, so please share your ideas, critique, feedback, what you'd like to see happen and we'll do our best to keep some sweet things rolling out.

 

So give us a follow, and stay in touch

Mike.

http://www.facebook.com/PhatWorks/

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I've grown up and left any beef I had with Mike behind, now I have a respect for him trying and experimenting with things, even if the bars aren't my cup of tea I think more people should think outside the box when designing bike parts.

Good luck with it all Mike

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That last pic looks really sweet. Best of luck, Hope to see them in the flesh soon.

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im still waiting for the chopstick, ive enquired a couple times. would be perfect for my bike in everyway. desperate to test one out. get em made!

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it's exciting to see all this happening after giving you a lift from heathrow :) 

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What are the benefits of a single-sided fork, especially as far as trials is concerned?  I had a look at Cannondale's blurbs for their Leftie forks but the way they've written them is a bit disingenuous for want of a better word (talking about how fork legs splay out sideways, but not actually factoring in a hub bolted between them keeping them in place, for example).

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Can’t scrape your fork leg on a failed sidehop if there’s no fork leg there.

That and we’re now scraping the barrel for ways to make trials bikes look ridiculous.

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Cannondale's do offer some real advantages over dual telescopic forks in terms of suspension performance - though I'm loving the direction a few companies are taking the linkage forks these days. Unfortunately I haven't ridden any MTB since Turkish Airlines lost mine a couple of years ago! :(

This Chopstick is most certainly lighter, and from what we can tell our end without actually making and testing a set - stiffer and stronger too: It's a more efficient use of material than a fork. We've been as thorough and conservative as we can (check out just 2 of the 20 or so pages of calculations on it) and have rigerously conducted FEA, so we've done as much as realistically possible before mekkin' it and brekkin' it. Exactly how much performance we do get, we'll find out in practise.

 

Chopstickcalcs1.jpg

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JD's comment does raise the question of whether you introduce a Left and a Right Chopstick... How symmetric is the existing design? If you added a post mount on both sides of the leg could it be ambidextrous?!

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Interestingly, fork / axle offset has been getting less and less.

A 71.5 degree headtube angle with a fork of 40mm offset, gives the same trail (not really that much of a concern in trials, but a funky observation nonetheless) as a 74 degree h.t angle with a more modern 25mm offset fork.

It would be cool to see how a zero-degree offset fork feels - that or even a negative offset fork is where the current trend is pointing, but I'm not gonna bet the cost of a mold tool on that one! ;)

Likewise for the lephtie/rightie.. let's do this one first - if we find that it's awesome not having a leg on one side then maybe we can justify a symetrical mold tool, but not just yet.

Alternativelty we go down the Ceeco route and get rid of both legs!

 

 

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Where's all the money coming from to finance all this? Seems like there's a lot of theory going on and not a lot of actual production or sales?

I'm all for testing new things out but I can't see anything you're suggesting becoming a big thing.

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1 hour ago, Phatmike said:

Cannondale's do offer some real advantages over dual telescopic forks in terms of suspension performance...

Most of their selling points regarding that appear to be due to it being an upside down style fork though?  Just in terms of leg diameters, and those diameter in relation to the crown.

It's just one of those ideas that doesn't intuitively make sense to me.  From the way Cannondale have had to spend so much on R&D to create a fork that on their website they won't even do a like-for-like comparison to a 'regular' for just doesn't really scream confidence.  I know that it's not a particularly reliable indicator, but the way that no other bikes really use a single-sided fork rings an alarm bell too.  There are obviously benefits for things like road bikes too, but again none of them are using them.  It's not like they're common on any form of motorbike too.  Like I say I realise that that doesn't mean much as some industries are naturally resistant to change, but if there were these myriad benefits to them it seems like they would have been implemented in other genres/disciplines by now.

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16 minutes ago, Phatmike said:

It would be cool to see how a zero-degree offset fork feels - that or even a negative offset fork is where the current trend is pointing, but I'm not gonna bet the cost of a mold tool on that one! ;)

I'm not sure you're quite on the money with the negative offset thing, it seems that things are stabilising around 30mm again after some sub 30mm forks cropped up over the past few years.  Street trials stuff is a little different but again around 25mm seems to be where things are converging.  It's only really Echo going steep on HT angles on 'normal' trials bikes too, most others seem to still be around the 71-72° area like they have been for a while.

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Agreed on the fork-offset there Marky, more just a curiosity than a prediction. Haven't seen anyone give it a try, so we really don't know the answer.

That larger tube diameter, in the right place - thing is a big thing though. :) It's fascinating how much stiffer a tube gets when you make it even just a little bit bigger.

A benefit of Lefties is those roller needle bearings that they run on rather than the tight bushes needed on regular forks. Tbf I've never ridden a set, but from the theory and reading a lot of riders discuss them (I'm a fan..), it does seem to add up. It is interesting they've never made (publically) a long-travel one, so I don't know what constraint has limited that..

The Chopstick certainly doesn't make intuitive sense either. The guy who's been assisting with the engineering on it had the same feeling at the start. It was only when I pushed him to carry on with it that he found it did indeed make a lot of sense! Along with all of our theoretical work, which I will be happy to simplify and post in due course, and real-world testing on the bike, we'll definitely be sharing the results of destructive testing in the machines. If we find we've completely missed the mark, then awesome we get to see some forks break.

Al.. it's trials, it's never gonna be big. The truth is, we're all a funny sort and really love it. I get a bit of a kick out off this kind of work, and really believe these parts are going to be better. If it helps the next Vincent Hermance or Danny Macaskill do a move in a video that they might not have been able to nail with flexier or heavier part, or if someone just really likes riding a certain frame or whatever, then sweet. You're right though, a LOT of theory and design work, so far its just the frames that are getting hammered, but we're gearing up to start work on more. Finance wise.. I'm just being really careful with my outlays, hence all this background work. Going to be needing support and faith from the riders and shops though.

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love thinking outside the box... cant get behind that fork, but you should post poctures of those bars!!! I read through the whole thread and was like the bars in the pictures look awesome... then i watched the video!

 

seems like that position relies more on biceps?? to lift the bike up... id love to give it a go, very very bizarre ! makes sense for pogo stick bikes, on account of them being totally ridiculous to begin with.

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Have you seen the Canadian boy Geoff who rides the Yess? Running his fork back to front. "Better for front wheel moves". That's some serious negative rake.

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23 minutes ago, Ross McArthur said:

There he goes!

 

Has he not just bolted them on the wrong way and someone has pointed it out, then had to make up an excuse and now he has to live with it? ;) 

 

 

*edit, forgot to comment on actual post*   It's cool to see things being done differently, best of luck with it all Mike and look forward to seeing how stuff progresses. 

 

 

Edited by Cap

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9 hours ago, Cap said:

Has he not just bolted them on the wrong way and someone has pointed it out, then had to make up an excuse and now he has to live with it? ;) 

He's ginger. Anything is possible.

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I don't know how you personally use them, and granted I'm hardly an experienced user, but whenever I've used chop-sticks there's been two of them.

 

Edit: More seriously - what's the difference between your Kicker Sprocket and... just running two sprockets? I appreciate the theoretical benefit of the ultra-wide base spreading the force much more, but with the 5-7mm based sprockets already don't really dig into the shell like old sprockets did, and it has the big disadvantage of tooth-quantity-flexibility. Edit 2: Also - holy machining costs, Batman! (I imagine.)
And is it for people willing to run a chain long enough for the larger sprocket and taking up slack with a sprung tensioner on the small one, adjusting the alignment each time? (Or even a full mech, I guess.)
Asking through genuine interest as I experimented with this a few years ago. On a 20" wheel I had a 22t up front, and a 15t and 11t on the rear. The two chainstay lengths were very, very close and one-link-length apart so I just used quick-links to add and remove as desired (enclosed dropouts with no tensioner). 
Didn't find it that useful in the end, and it added weight, and sacrificed chainline (not that either of those are real issues on my type of bike). It somehow just made the bike feel really weird, so I didn't try it for long at all. 

Edited by aener

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37 minutes ago, aener said:

More seriously - what's the difference between your Kicker Sprocket and... just running two sprockets? I appreciate the theoretical benefit of the ultra-wide base spreading the force much more, but with the 5-7mm based sprockets already don't really dig into the shell like old sprockets did, and it has the big disadvantage of tooth-quantity-flexibility.

I think the kicker sprocket is designed for a screw on hub so same theory but a different kettle of fish to running two sprockets on a freehub body.

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1 minute ago, monkeyseemonkeydo said:

I think the kicker sprocket is designed for a screw on hub so same theory but a different kettle of fish to running two sprockets on a freehub body.

Ahhh. Makes sense. 

I didn't forget about the whole FFW thing. Honest. :ermm:
really need to ride with other people more often.

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