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Jim C. talks frame building with ESPN

25 10 2011

ESPN ran a great post on the weekend featuring Jim C. from Sunday Bikes talking about Sunday’s philosophy on frame building and the reasons why they approach it the way that they do.

It’s an in-depth look at how they work with their partners to create frames with innovative features like wave tubing, hollow dropouts with twice the strength of regular dropouts and their famous 41 thermal treatment that helps keep the frame light but yet incredibly strong.

There’s tons more in the article, so be sure to check it out here.

A Sunday post is always a good excuse to run a pic of Jim C. airing out on his 24.  Bonus pic of Jim at the Sunday office.  (Source: ESPN. Sandy Carson pics)

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17 responses

27 10 2011
olivier alibart

That might be the place to pop the question :

What do you think lead to picked 25*10 gear ratio on the model-C ?

From my experience, that’s completely stupid. It feels like a road bike ratio and it is impossible to accelerate decently, not to talk about having 2.1 tires at the rear!!! If you check the profile website, it is pretty easy to see that 23*10 is the cruiser ratio that behave like a conventional 20″ bike.

Do you think that pure marketing decision (because of the number of produced 10t drivers and 25t sprockets) ?

O

27 10 2011
Ian

I ride 26-10 on my Sunday. Never did like low gear ratio’s. So each to their own.
What size rear tire would you recommend. I have 2.1 front and rear? Seems good for me!

28 10 2011
olivier alibart

Ian

I should have mentioned that I’m mostly riding trail and having fun on the race track or skatepark occasionally. For trail riding, I would love to find the odyssey path tire in 1.95″ just like on my 20″ bike. Smaller tires give better acceleration when pumping or cranking while we don’t need lot of shock absorption in trail riding.

I admit 25-10 is not a big deal in skatepark where you gain momentum by dropping from a plateform but this is really large ratio when you need to crank before the first jump in a trail. In your case, 26-10 whoww I’m really impressed that really large but I agree everyone have fun its own way.

My message was maybe a bit rude saying” 25-10 is stupid” but I was rather wondering why for commercial bike they didn’t picked a low gear so people have the feeling their bike is very responsive and lively just like a 20″.

28 10 2011
olivier alibart

Ian

I should have mentioned that I’m mostly riding trail and having fun on the race track or skatepark occasionally. For trail riding, I would love to find the odyssey path tire in 1.95″ just like on my 20″ bike. Smaller tires give better acceleration when pumping or cranking while we don’t need lot of shock absorption in trail riding.

I admit 25-10 is not a big deal in skatepark where you gain momentum by dropping from a plateform but this is really large ratio when you need to crank before the first jump in a trail. In your case, 26-10 whoww I’m really impressed that really large but I agree everyone have fun its own way.

My message was maybe a bit rude saying” 25-10 is stupid” but I was rather wondering why for commercial bike they didn’t picked a low gear so people have the feeling their bike is very responsive and lively just like a 20″.

28 10 2011
BobbyP

O-
First off, to answer your question on why Sunday chose to spec their bikes with the 25/10 is because that is the gear ratio we felt is the best for the Model C. It is in no way, shape or form because of an overstock issue at the factory of 10t drivers and 25t sprockets. We spec all of our bikes how we feel they should be spec’ed. Our factories have no influence on what we spec on our bikes, they simply make what we ask them to make- and happily at that.
I ride my Model C everywhere. I actually used to commute to work on it when I still lived within a ride-able distance to the office (about 2.5 miles each way). The gear ratio I choose to ride on my Model C is a 28/9. Yes, I understand that is a harder gear than what most people prefer, but that is what feels amazing to me. I ride my Model C at skateparks and at the trails and I will admit that sometimes the gear is a bit too tall for tight spaces and short runways, but I like the feeling the 28/9 gives my Model C. Simply put, it just makes that bike feel like a “man bike” to me, which is one of the reasons why I think my Model C is my all time favorite bike (of any wheel size).
Something worth noting, I went on a cruise around Austin checking out some legendary spots from Road Fools 1 with a buddy who has lived here for years. He was on his 20″ with a regular 25/9 gear ratio. I was riding the 2011 Model C EX spec’ed with the 25/10 gear. I actually felt like I had a hard time keeping up with him. I felt like I was constantly cranking to stay on his rear tire.
The majority of our customers who gave us feedback from our 2010 and 2011 Model C bikes have all felt the gear ratio was spot on. It is pretty safe to say it is impossible to spec a bike that suits the needs of 100% of all riders out there. But we feel like we have made a large step in the right direction with our 2012 Model C from the feedback we received from all of you guys out there. It now has a longer TT (22″), taller rise bars (7.75″ with a top load stem) and even a tad lower BB height.
The last thing I wanted to bring up is that we have seen harder gear ratios becoming more common across the board. It is very common to go down to 9th St and find a rider on a 20″ with a 30/9 ratio. These harder gears are becoming so common that we have even gone as far as to speck our mid-upper level 20″ bikes in our 2012 line with 28/9 gear ratios. I took the 2012 Sunday Scout down to 9th St for some of the locals to try out and one of the first things they said about the bike was “I like how it pedals.” Most of them didn’t even realize the Scout is spec’ed with a 30/10 gear ratio, it just “felt right” to them. An encouraging statement.
Also, just to clarify, Odyssey’s Path tire comes in a 20×1.85″ and a 20×2.1″. There is not a 1.95″ sized Path tire (in 24″ or 20″). Just want to put that out there to not cause any confusion to anyone reading this.
It is always great to hear what people think of the Model C’s, especially on this blog. Never hold back on telling us what you think! Just because you think it is stupid won’t hurt our feelings. Sorry for the novel of a reply…

29 10 2011
olivier alibart

Hi bobby

I’m really happy with your long answer. It does answer very well to my question.
It might be two things then: people in the US use the bmx to commute while in france it is rather unusual. Bmx is (unfortunately) still seen as a teen sport.

It also might be a trend to run long ratio and I’m biased bcz i mostly hang around with bmx racer. Would you say that this love for long ratio on the model-c come from the older average age of the rider owning à model-c?

Even if my comment was negative, everyone should know that i earn a 22″ model-c and I’m loving it. It is a great bike (but the gear Ratio 😉 )
I trade my 20″ to 24″ because I’m 6.4 feet and riding tall bar is not a trend for me. I’m riding the Sunday tall-T bar with upload stem, but I’m pretty happy you listen to the riders and designed the cruiser xl bar. Not so long ago 6″ was the max size for cruiser.

oups, i made a mistake with the 1.95 Odyssey tire, but if you Odyssey guy would consider manufacturing à 24×1.95 or 24×1.85 i would be happy.

Ok, looks like I’m the only one wanting short gear ratio…i am really the only one ? If any one has comments on that i would be happy to hear about him.
I’m going to try anyway 23-10 next week.

Cheers
O

30 10 2011
Ian

Wow 28/9 Bobby! Feel the burn 🙂

2 11 2011
BobbyP

Sometimes I feel it pretty bad, not going to lie…haha. But cranking as fast as you can and hauling ass is one of the best things you can do on a bike.

28 10 2011
ar4130

I run a 28-10 on my model c and think it feels great. I also mostly ride trails with occassional skatepark and have no issues. I don’t really have to pedal at either spots though, so doesn’t really matter what I run. Feels really good when I have to take a ride round town.

28 10 2011
ar4130

Also, I started with a 25-10 and thought it was too easy.

2 11 2011
BobbyP

On Saturday I commuted down to the Halloween Jam at 9th St here in Austin. I currently am riding a different wheel set on my bike (the 24″ Quadrant wheel set from the 2011 Pro). I also swapped out tires to some Intense Micro knobby (I think they are 1.95 or 2.0). With the 28/10 gear and the lighter weight rims/tire combo I did notice a big big difference in acceleration. I have only been to 2 BMX races in my life (a number I am trying to increase in the near future). This would be my ideal gear for racing or if we went to a place with a short run up to something. Valmont’s pro line in Boulder, for example, was something that my 28/9 gear was horrible for. I couldn’t even get one full crank in before I got to that log/launch thing that sends you into the line. But for hauling ass anywhere/everywhere, I am in love with the 28/9. And I really missed it on my 9 mile commute down to the Halloween Jam.
It is so awesome how drastic a bike can feel from the simplest changes. Everyone’s tastes are different when it comes to everything. Bicycles are no different. I always encourage everyone to change around their bike set ups. You never know what “secrets” you will find out you like unless you change things up.

2 11 2011
olivier alibart

Bobby,
Reading your post, and everyone gear ratio, I feel like a little girl :)…since I’ve got custom wheel (double butted spoke, sun-ringle rhynolite, shadow hub, 2.1 KHE dirt MAC tyre) and I still feel 25/10 is long.

More seriously

I agree that changing few things can make a difference since I am happy with 25/10 on my race cruiser with significantly lighter wheels (profile, double butted spokes, aluminium nipples, 1.75 intense micro knobby) and that is perfect for racing where you have room for acceleration.

O

2 11 2011
cruiserrevolution

I’ve been riding 25/10 without a care for some time now. However, all this talk about taller gearing is making me wonder if I’m missing out on something…

3 11 2011
Buddy

I am currently running 28/13 on my new sledgehammer,which is of course a 26.I have an Odyssey cassette hub on it and a extra 12 tooth cog and will probably be changing it soon.According to the gear calculator chart that will be equal to 25/10 on a 24.After riding it for 5 weeks I feel that I need a little more top end.

8 11 2011
KitsapCruiser

I ride my DK Cygnus 24 with 27/9. It’s a little tall if the run in is short, or I’m going up a GIANT hill, but it’s great for everything else I do with my bike. Especially commuting. Passing traffic on the 35 mph road and still having room to pedal is a great feeling. 🙂

8 11 2011
olivier alibart

What I feel when reading all your post, is that “commuting” is one of main use of your cruisers. I agree that 25*10 is good enough for commuting and even a bit short.

But for skatepark-trail-race only use, I still believe it is a bit long but that still my point of view…I’m glad you all shared your gear ratio, it has opened my mind to other ways to ride.

O

11 11 2011
BobbyP

Oh don’t let me fool you, my 24″ gets its regular abuse at the trails and skateparks. But it is so much fun to ride that I often find myself taking that bike on any sort of social ride or commute. I have other bikes that would be better suited for those style rides. But they don’t ride the the Model C, thats for sure! Wanna have your mind blown for a second… a local legend here in Austin rides a 46/9 on his 20″!!! Now that is a hard gear.

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