Labor of love is the only way I can describe this project. Countless hours of work by all involved, the Vanderkitten/Ahrens team frames are nearing completion and I couldn't be happier. If you're going to Interbike next week, you can see some of these bikes in action at Cross Vegas and of course the Vanderkitten booth.
Tastes great. Less Filling.
The chocolate finished frames look so nice you will eat them up! And with frame weights under 3 lbs (size 52), these babies won't weigh you down during races. The plaid sticker kit is unreal and Vanderkitten has truly outdone themselves this time! Stay tuned for more photos of the assembled frames...
Posted by Mike Ahrens at 2:05 PM
Last year I was contacted by Mark at Wicked Racin' to assist in developing the Dualrailleur chain guide system. Mark had already hand-built a few prototypes that worked exceptionally well on his small fleet of Santa Cruz duallies. I immediately saw the advantages of this concept for long-travel trail bikes that typically use single-ring chain guide/bash guard setups. The Dualrailleur enables front shifting of (2) chainrings which doubles the number of gears available to the rider - how sick is that?!
From the Wicked Racin' website: The Dualrailleur is the first and only guide on the market to provide the precision of a single ring guide while allowing the rider to shift between two front chain rings.
Mark's novel concept encloses a Shimano XT front derailleur with aluminum and polycarbonate plates to create broad shifting surfaces to accurately control chain movement without any slippage. After a full introduction at Sea Otter this year, this unique design has caught the attention of pro racers, major component manufacturers, frame builders and of course consumers. Check out some recent reviews of this product in MBA and BRAIN below.
Here's a review from Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) July 2007:
The challenge to designing the Dualrailleur was converting functional/hand-built prototypes to flexible 3D CAD models. The first step was to dismantle a working unit, trace the pieces onto a piece of paper and measure many of the features with calipers. Each plate has a specific purpose; the anchor plate mates to the front derailleur and is made from aluminum. The center plate bridges the anchor plate and outer plate while serving to stiffen the derailleur cage. The outer plate clamps everything together while adding more stiffness.
After many hours of modeling, the first design concept was prototyped and has served as the baseline for all future iterations. I believed we've reached the goal of developing a low-profile, high-performance design with minimal part count. If you're going to Interbike, you'll want to check out the Wicked Racin' booth in Vegas.
Exploded views of the Dualrailleur are shown below. Do you have an idea worth prototyping or patenting? I can help you bring your product ideas to reality - please contact me for more info.
Posted by Mike Ahrens at 9:56 PM
Here are some shots of Rob's new hardtail. The green powdercoat finish is called 'John Deere Green' but it reminded me of the Boston Celtics uniform from the 80's. Dubbed the thirty three after superstar Larry Bird's number, Rob's bike is outfitted with 2008 Shimano XT parts throughout.
Posted by Mike Ahrens at 9:58 PM