by Marc Basiliere
February 25, 2014
Framebuilder’s project brings new life to old bike
While Colorado framebuilder and mechanic Casey Dean was building his belt drive singlespeed, Pedal bike shop owner Bill Nagel wondered aloud if his vintage Cannondale Super V could somehow be converted into a fatbike. The short answer is shown above. For the first time, this Cannondale Super V has tyres sized to match its massive aluminum tubes.
While the original idea was to craft an entirely new rear triangle from steel, Dean was able to split the bike’s existing rear end to accommodate 4in tyres. Once split, the rear triangle was machined to accept a wider main pivot as well as extended chainstay and seatstay bridges. New pivot bolts were machined and broached and dropouts created to move the rear axle up and back. As the bike is a proof of concept, the duo opted not to heat treat the result.
In order to keep the front end in one piece, spacers were machined to allow the Race Face fatbike cranks to work with the standard 68mm bottom bracket and shell and an external 30mm bottom bracket.
All told, Dean spent about 40 hours on the frame, which was then finished in shop colours. The resulting bike has roughly 5in of travel at each end and geometry much like a modern full suspension 29er (which would have a similar overall wheel diameter). Casey reports that the bike does ride well, but could use a bit of shock tuning to allow the stock Fox unit to handle the longer swingarm and growth in travel.
Another of Casey Dean’s projects was this mating of a carbon fibre Yeti rear end with a custom True Temper Super Therm and OX Platnium steel front end. The complete frame, with shock, weighed in at 5.1lb.
Not limited to the deconstruction and reconstruction of full suspension bikes, Dean’s website shows a whole lot of beautiful polishing and lugwork for road, mountain, and BMX. See more at caseydeancycles.com.