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Nov. 25, 2019, 7:20 p.m. -  Andrew Major

It's been a journey. I've owned quite a few rigid bikes over the year but just as Shore-XC rigs until I started experimenting using a Kona Explosif (67° HTA) with a rigid fork and a 29+ front wheel which combined preserved the sagged geometry of the Explosif with a 140mm travel fork and a 27" wheel. I really enjoyed the bike but wished for a longer rear center and also for a 29" rear wheel as running the mullet (27x2.6" rear) rigid I found there were places the bike didn't pump-and-roll through terrain as well as I knew a dual 29" would. Walt had built me the rigid fork for the Explosif and the fork was holding up great and V.1 was an extension of that bike. Clearance for 29x2.6" out back with a longer rear center (currently sitting about 450mm) another degree slacker up front with a longer front-center and a slightly reduced fork offset.  This year I've managed to clean Bookwus and Upper Digger on V.1 so it's far exceeded my goals. There's a review pending but running the Plus-sized CushCore is a surprising part of that - I think CushCore is a fantastic product in general but certainly, a rigid bike is the most obvious way to feel the difference.  The V.1 is long but not unwieldy or at least the bike can be muscled into most situations. The weight distribution is almost exactly where I'd like it. It's part of a process for me - I'd love to learn to weld and have space and time to play with all my ideas - and by the end of this year or early in 2020 I'll be riding V.2 full time. It grows significantly with a wheelbase that will vary between ~1240-1260 depending on the rocker position (gearing dependent) and has a slacker HTA, further reduced offset, and longer front-center to boot. It'll definitely require an adjustment period but I'm excited to learn to ride it and see if I've gone too far.

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