The other day, while visiting with Dan Powell at PDW, we stopped next door at the Titus / On-One / Planet X offices to say hi. While there, shiggy had this lovely fat tire bike in pieces behind his desk. Intrigued, I asked for more info.
Stay tuned for a shop tour from the new US Titus / On-One / Planet X offices, as well as interview with the General Manager, Michael Golinski.
For now though, head past the break for the details and photos galore on the Askja.
How did the Askja come to be, and how does the company gage demand for a bike?
1. I design a bike I want to ride.
2. I looked at what production bikes are out there now and did not try
to duplicate them.
3. We build some frames. If they sell out, we order more. If not…
4. See #1.
My intent was always for a all-round fat tire bike rather than a snow/sand specific model. Made my first notes about it last October (2010) and did a quick pitch for it in November (2010) when I was in the UK.
I have an area near me (Ancient Lake in eastern Washington) with sand and lava/basalt rock. The rock outcroppings are just begging to be ridden. Should be a blast on fat tires @ 5 psi.
I call the bike a rockcrawler because it does let you do that and it looks more like a four wheeled rockcrawler (Jeep/buggy) than a “normal” bike.
Because of that the geometry is a bit steeper, has shorter stays, lower standover and higher BB than many snow-specific models.
So far I have ridden the bike in the wet/muck/roots of the Oregon Coast Range and in eastern Washington. Performance is mostly as I wanted. At Ancient Lake I was able to ride up some sandy rutted trails I had not cleaned in the past. Rocks became playgrounds. Some of the low ledgey lava fields I rode like slickrock in Utah, except they are slow, rough and chunky, not fast, smooth and flowy. I was grinning a lot.
Recent tests show the frame does have clearance for all current tires, including the Big Fat Larry, on 100mm wide rims. The chain will rub the tire when using the inner chainring and the largest 2-3 cogs. A common issue with symmetric (non-offset) frames.
What is the origin of the name Askja?
My working name for the model is Askja, an Icelandic caldera (also the name of the Icelandair plane I flew home on). Suits the Rock and Ice nature of the bike and reminds me of Ancient Lake.
- Prototype aluminum frame (detail changes to be made for production)
- Twin top tubes
- symmetrical frame/wheels
- On-One fork (not shown)
- 100mm BB shell
- 170mm rear hub spacing
- 135mm fork spacing
- Designed for trail riding on dirt/rocks as well as snow/sand
- Shown with 2×9 drivetrain: 32/22×11-34
- Profile Racing cranks
- On-One Midge bars
- Crud mud guards
- Salsa hubs
- Surly Large Marge rims
- Surly Nate 26×3.8 tires
A special thanks to shiggy for the details and images.