Cross Lobster and Santa What?

by Chipps 9

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.

Comments (9)

  1. It’s the two-headed neon monsterbike of doom!

  2. I want that Rock Lobster (once the head tube is replaced with a ‘normal’ sized tube and a conventional King headset. Where’s Santa when you need him?

  3. A metal hammer? Brant whacked a headset into my son Nial’s frame the other day with a rubber mallet. No bits of wood involved. I’d never seen that done before.

  4. Luddite! the headtube looks fine. Santa is a lie 😉

  5. Liking the new Jackal. A lot. Yellow please 🙂

  6. “with a rubber mallet. No bits of wood involved.”

    Eh? Isn’t that how everyone does theirs? (Admittedly not with a new mallet).

    Rock Lobster? Yes!
    Santa Cruz? Eh?

  7. nylon headed hammer headset instalation here, inc King

  8. The beercan headtube is an experiment to house the new King internal headset.

    Hmmmm, I thought King were anti-internal headsets. I’m guessing that this is something more akin to the new Crank Bros offerings rather than an integrated headset. Looks interesting –

  9. Same tubing my mates ss rock lobster is made from bar the internal cable routing and the head tube

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