South of the Huon Valley are untold kilometres of dirt roads, pushed into the wilderness by Forestry Tasmania during the bad old days of the Paul Lennon led State Government. These roads track up mountain-sides and along dark river valleys. Picton, Weld, Plenty… names ingrained to the Tasmanian psyche as the ‘front-line’, the places where Protesters halted the chainsaws. The saws have been silent since December 2013 and the roads are quickly returning to nature. Flooding rivers wash away bridges, culverts collapse leaving holes in the road, saplings push up through the coarse gravel surface. This is no place for a dainty road bike. This is fat tyre country.
I’m a simple guy who likes simple things. No bells, no whistles. I had been looking for a steel, single speed specific, fat tyre dirt road bike to tackle these remote, backcountry roads but was unable to find a bike suitably ‘Spartan’ to my taste. I contacted Seth Rosko, a New York City frame-maker to discuss a custom build. We chewed on a few ideas and came up with a plan. We’d use Columbus steel, canti mounts (with Paul ‘Mini-Motos’ in mind), clearances for a 41c tyre, short rear stays, a low slung bottom bracket, plenty of standover height and a geometry based loosely on one of my favourite bikes. Roll the clock forward twelve months and what we have is what you see above. A single speed dirt road bike.
The new whip is currently winging its way to me. Should have it in hand soon. Will post an update once she is built.