Nobody Walks in LA - Bearclaw Thunderhawk

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  • Really love following the build here. Also considering a Thunderhawk. Really curious on the dropper and you decide on!

  • @ffm Appreciate the heads up. I'm going to hold off on the front rack / bag for now. I've started using my mtb bumbag for all my rides and it does the job just fine so will stick with that.

    @hurley2020 Thanks man. The frame is really lovely. And Jason @ Bearclaw was awesome to deal with. Can't wait to get out on a ride and will report back when I have.

    Dropper is prob going to come a little later once I get position dialed on a regular post, and confirm how much travel I want / can have.

  • Great thread, you had me at chief Bogomil.

    Bike is looking great and I'm loving the pictures. LA was always a dream place to live for me and i quite often find myself watching riding videos in or around the city on YouTube. Seems like there's a lot of bike culture there but I'm never sure if that's contained within a few areas or if it's a city wide thing? From memory, my one time riding on the roads of West Hollywood did not go well! Anywho, keep the updates coming and watch out for those 6 foot blondes...

  • What kind of dropper is it?

  • @jono84 Haa thanks man. Glad someone got the reference! I loved that movie as a kid. I totally get a kick out of seeing the oil derricks silhouetted against the skyline when I'm out riding. And yes you must always be suspicious of tall blonde women with Ferrari trouble :).

    There is a great riding culture in LA. The city has a reputation for being all smog and freeways, and there is that side of it for sure. But you can also get out of the city pretty easily and into the canyons or trails. There is an amazing fireroad and trail network. And the road riding is also really good if you can get to the quieter mountain roads and avoid the traffic.

    The city is such a sprawl I don't ride all around town like I used to in London and miss that a bit, but there are endless possibilities for bike adventures.

    There's a fixed gear scene here too that seems to have bloomed in the 5 years I have been here. I'm too old for that shit but will still shout Do A Skid. I don't know if that translates. :D

  • @Merak I was looking at this PNW Coast dropper. It’s got built in tunable suspension. 40mm. Which I figured could be nice for longer days on corrugated dirt.

    I should have about 150mm of seatpost showing when I get the bike set up.

    The dropper has 120mm travel in the 31.6mm post size I need so all should be well, but I figure I’ll test fit myself on the bike.

    Got to leave room for some upgrades too of course. :)

    Dropper link: https://www.pnwcomponents.com/products/c­oast-suspension-dropper-post-external


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  • And while not LA, this is a snap from one of my favorite California bike adventures - a solo mission to Death Valley a little while back. This is taken at a spot called Dante's View, and is from where Obi Wan tells Luke, "You will not find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy in alllll the galaxy."


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  • Looks pretty breathtaking.

  • Haha very Murtagh of you, I'm wary enough about shouting DAS at people in London!

    Thanks for the info, I made a few trips back in the day to check out the custom car scene as I was big in to that in my youth. Moving to the states seems like an impossibility nowadays but I'd love to do a tour of LA/California and all the bike spots one day soon.

    As you seem to like your movies have you been to the New Beverly movie theatre (cinema...)?

    Anyway, sorry to derail the thread, keep up the good work with the build.

  • @jono84 Yeah man saw Hateful 8 and Once Upon A Time In Hollywood there during their opening runs. It's a great place. So nostalgic watching movies projected on film, and even the rake of the seats means you have peoples' head silhouetted against the picture. It's totally like going to the movies when I was a kid. And not hipsterized either with any fanciness. Love it.

  • Not quite custom but I did end up with some old Chevy heavy metal shortly after we arrived in the States. The result of a late night drunken eBay session.


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  • "the same crappy blue Chevy Nova..."

    Excellent choice, Axel would be proud.

  • Ha yes. I’d forgotten that Axel drives a Nova. And it’s Stuntman Mike‘s car in Deathproof too, albeit a way meaner one than mine, so there’s the Tarantino link. :)

  • At long last the Thunderhawk has been released from the clutches of the bike shop and is out in the wild. Pretty stoked on it. Some quick snaps from first batch of rides here. I'll try to get some better and more detailed ones soon.


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  • It rides great. Ultegra shifting is sharp and quick. GRX brakes take a bit more force before they kick in than the Sram GX1 I have on my mountain bike. Some fettling needed there I think.

    The frame itself is lovely. And super comfortable on the 44mm tyres.

    I need to look at the gearing too. It's 46+36 up front and 11-36 at the back but I could use some more spin on the trails. Will be looking at a 1x switch sometime in the future I think.

    Got out for the first proper ride on it at the weekend. Many more to come. :)

    I'd recommend Bearclaw to anyone looking for a ti bike out there. Great service, beautiful frames, clever design touches.

    Next on the list....

    Dropper
    Rack
    Camping trips

  • Hey @jimalex! I live in LA and have been talking to Bearclaw about purchasing a Thunderhawk as well and stumbled upon your thread while doing research. Would love to check yours out in person sometime if you're down for that. Which shop built up your bike, btw?

    Planning on going with a Hunt wheel set as well but the 650b dynamo version and had the same problem of adapting the fork from 15mm to 12mm since the dynamo version only comes in 12mm. I came across this guy that sells fork adapters which is the solution I think I will end up going with.

    Also planning on going GRX 46/30 with an 11-42 cassette. Glad to see another 2x build bc all I've seen are 1x builds. Do you think the 2x setup limits tire clearance at all? Bearclaw says a 2.1" would clear but they haven't gotten back to me about max clearance.

  • Hi @jimalex! Looking at BC TH 2x setup myself. I am however concerned with excessive loss of tire clearance with the 2x setup. You are the only one so far that I have found with a 2x setup. Can you please tell me how much tire clearance did you lose by going to 2X? In another word what’s the max 650b width tire w/ enough rm for mud and stuff can you get there in the back w/ the 2x setup.
    Thank you very much for your help.

  • Hello @da_berbz and @user117540

    Late reply but I hope still of some use.

    Golden Saddle built the bike. I am now using the Ride-On bike co-op in Leimert Park who are local to me and I love them. Great service, good prices and supporting the community too. Highly recommended. The mechanic Innis used to work at Condor in London.

    I’m back in the UK now so can’t show you the bike but 44mm knobblies on 700c cleared the double just fine.

    Hunt will sort you out with whatever axle adaptors you need - just tell them at checkout and they ship with what you need in place. Super convenient and awesome service there too - if you can handle the wait times.

  • I recently changed the drivetrain to a 1x 11 XT set up which works much better for me and the riding I was doing in LA. I have 34t on the chainring up front which is just a bit too spinny but it’s fun to have a granny gear that will get up pretty much any trail climb.

    Here’s some snaps with the new gearing.


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  • And some clearer pictures showing the Wolftooth Tanpan that converts the pull of the Ultegra levers to play nice with the XT mech, and the Goatlink adaptor to shift the mech outboard of the frame to accommodate the wide range cassette. Bit of a fiddle to set up but running silky smooth now.


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  • Was back in America this weekend for a quick work trip, and squeezed in one of my favourite rides, up Sullivan Canyon in the Santa Monica mountains.

    It was so great to be back on this bike, and having been riding steel bikes in the UK, it was awesome to appreciate the difference in ride and feel of this frame. Such a fun bike and pretty perfect for Californian fire roads.


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Nobody Walks in LA - Bearclaw Thunderhawk

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