My Elephant 29er

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My girlfriend went out and hit up (no, she didn’t rob it) Trader Joe’s today with in mind to bring home some healthy options to choose from- well, I just got done eating half of the cookies in the some what large circular container without dropping a crumb. In the fridge there are mini peanut butter cups and chocolate covered espresso beans that have a very clear indentation a Caveman caught wind of them. Since there are no stomach sugar pains yet, I thought I’d come through with my weekend post I promised.

The past 7 weeks I have ridden the crap out of my Elephant on a strict diet of single track and the only thing that has seems to go wrong is blowing sidewalls out on rear tires and fork seals getting tired. The frame has been a solid ride so far and that’s all I can ask for.

Glen built me exactly what I wanted plus some…

When the frame was being built I told Glen I wanted a short back end- he did it and it manuals like a champ.

look at where the seat tube meets the BB shell.

Putting the seat tube in front of the bottom bracket was the first step in getting the back end short without bending the seat tube for tire clearance.

ass end dial in

Here was the second step for getting a short back end with also having the option of running SS or gears (rapha’s cross bikes should had adjustable dropout  last year)- going with the adjustable pivot dropout was a good way to go. Also I liked the dialing in factor for getting your wheel jammed in close to the seat stays. If I was gonna do this again though, I would be more specific with wether I was gonna ride SS or run gears. With that being said, I would prefer to have fixed steel vertical dropout next time so there is zero movement in the backend. One thing that was nice about using the adjustable pivot dropouts was truly figuring out how short you can make a backend on a 29er without bending the seat tube- Glen was able to get the chain stay length down to 16.8 inches (those are short chain stays for 29er!).

running the 1 x 9

After going from a SS, the 1 x 9 was the next step up. I kind of geek out on being able to run a short cage rear derailleur on my bikes since they shift so tight and they just look so mean. Glen picked up one of the Paul’s chain guides and if you set it up properly (sober), it seems to give the chain perfect breathing room.

wide bars, short top tube

The cockpit is wide and short on this ride. I had Glen make the top tube short so I could ride more upright and compensate for DH bars. I personally love the way it rides in the front end.

I liked this detail

I like the small things Glen adds to the frames. These bottle cag inserts are a nice touch. He also handed me a gold paint pen when I got the bike so I could write down my thoughts on it. The only thing I have written so far is “you’re only as good as your last drink”.

This is a “Thanks Glen for making me a super badass frame” post. When I told him how much I like it, he told me it was just another frame. Well, it’s another badass one then. He has taken really good care of me and if he can do that, he can take care of anyone. If you are looking to get a road/commuter, cross or 29er built in the future, Glen would be worth checking out. Here is his website:

D2 loved Glen’s garage so much that he’s sending him out a poster ASAP to add to the eye candy on his walls. Bug D2 for some eye candy on your  garage walls…


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About caveman

I am... Caveman. Spokane, Washington, USA

16 Replies to “My Elephant 29er”

  1. Mikey, I didn’t wasn’t feeling it. But I have something planned this week to make up for it.

  2. That’s one sexy ass bike.
    The design geek in me badly wants put the same bend in the seat tube as there is in the down tube, right about where the T is in ELEPHANT. But really, where do you stop with the cool bend? Would three be too many? Why not do a third one on the top tube midway between the cable stops, closest to the seat post? Would doing the seat stays also, be taking it too far?

    (as in Four bends. The R even kinda looks like an ELEPHANT)…

  4. El Jefe, she is super stable at high speed on single track. That was the first question I had when the frame was being built though.

  5. Has anyone here ever ridden a “squirrely” twenty-niner? The shortest I have ridden, in terms of top tube, chain stay (adjustable, but I run it tight), and wheel base is a Voodoo. I’ve owned three with the same frame size, two steel and one scandium. They have been totally stable. Two of ’em are still out in the garage.

  6. On a 26″ wheeled bike, I’d think you’d get a bit of oversteer. At least a bike you couldn’t relax much on. Maybe I’m just used to 26″ and the fact that I have to run long tt because my ape-index is +6 (I’m 5’10” and my armspan is 6’4″… yeah, I’m oddly proportioned. I should have been a swimmer.)

  7. Funny El Jefe, I have a short upper body with long legs and arms- this was one reason for the short top tube. I think If I was gonna have a custom road bike made it would have a 58cm top tube with a 60cm down tube.

    I still love the way a 26inch wheel rolls and cuts berms. I am always gonna have one or two in my collection of bikes.