Cross Lobster and Santa What?

April 16, 2009

What happens when a framebuilder fancies building himself a new bike with a show coming up? You get a mad collection of odd tubing (externally ribbed Tange), some super neat cable routing that would probably cost a fortune to do, but which still looks great, a custom fork with twin caliper mounts and lugs and a matching stem, again with neat internal routing. Add to that an extended seat tube, a huge head tube just to see what the new Chris King headset is like and just the one gear. The bike does have a name – the Ninety Eight – after the Oldsmobile (actually after the Public Enemy song about the Oldsmobile), and Paul from Rock Lobster doesn’t reckon he’ll sell many (even with normal sized headtubes) but we thought it was worth showing off.

Paul at Rock Lobster can be found at

In all its glory, the rather limited Rock Lobster ribbed 'cross bike.
The beercan headtube is an experiment to house the new King internal headset. Check out the ribbed tubing and that lugged fork crown.

Paul's super-neat dropouts
The brake cable runs inside a guide in the top tube all the way to the wishbone seatstays.
Super minimal seatpost sits in the extended seat tube. You can see the externally ribbed tubing in the sun.
How neat is this internal cable guide leading to the Paul's twin pivot 'cross brake

Meanwhile, down the road at Santa Cruz, they’re building up an odd looking bike of their own. It’ll be revealed in all its glory at the Sea Otter, but here’s a shot of it going together. And top marks to their top wrench Josh for being the first person we’ve ever seen to install a headset using just a hammer. Look for the madness in our Sea Otter coverage this weekend.

We could explain what's going on, but you'd never believe us...
Old and the new. Here's a stack of new Jackal frames from Santa Cruz, next to the last few of the old, curved shape ones.

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Press Launch