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Quiring Triple B Mid-Term Report

 

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This is only “kind of” a mid-term report on my Quiring Triple B. There really was never an initial report on it but if you follow the Fat Camp Podcast here on Fat-Bike.com you will undoubtably have heard me talk about it and it is tough to talk about the Vee Tire 2XL tires (preview and mid-term reviews) without mentioning my Triple B. Uncle Gomez also posted two articles about Scott Quiring’s Triple B frame and complete bike which is similar in some respects to my bike.

This bike was designed to optimize riding the conditions where the 2XL tire excels. This ranges from soft sand, to deep powder, to marginal crust conditions that just barely support a rider. The Quiring Triple B works amazingly well in those conditions; far better than any fat bike I have ever ridden. Luckily, it isn’t just a powder hound bike and has a lot more versatility than that. More on all of that after getting some details out of the way.

Since there wasn’t a proper intro post I will detail the build specs:

  • Quiring Steel 2XL fork with True Temper blades and straight 1 1/8″ steerer and 51mm rake
  • Cerakoat Corvette Yellow “paint” job
  • Industry Nine 150/190mm hubs
  • Carbon Fan 100mm carbon rims
  • Sapim Laser spokes (2x) with alloy nipples
  • Various tires (Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL, Surly Bud/Lou, 4.8″ Knard, 45NRTH Flow/Dunderbeist, and Maxxis Minion), all tubeless
  • Paragon Machine Works DT front thru axle
  • Hope 190mm quick release
  • Answer Protaper Carbon 720 Enduro 20/20 handlebar
  • Thomson X4 stem
  • Chris King Headset
  • Thomson Setback Seatpost
  • Fizik Gobi saddle
  • SRAM Guide RSC brakes with Centerline rotors 180mm front, 160mm rear
  • SRAM XX1 Cassette and chain
  • SRAM X1 shifter and rear derailleur
  • 180mm Raceface Cinch cranks with the long 190 spindle
  • Absolute Black 28t oval chainring
  • ISIS pedals
  • Rogue Panda bags
  • Weight without bags or pogues (but with pedals and cages) and the 2XL tires is 29 lbs

This isn’t a stock build on Quiring’s site but the geometry listed at Quiring Cycles’s website applies to my XL frame and fork.

Triple B testing with Scott Quiring

Triple B testing with Scott Quiring

Overall the build quality of the frame and fork are excellent, which is something you would expect from a seasoned custom frame builder. Welds are beautiful and the machining of certain key components really adds value to the frame. One of these key frame components is the yoke that Scott machines in two parts out of a chunk of aluminum and then welds together. It is what gives great tire and drivetrain clearance but also seems to really stiffen the drivetrain. Overall the bike feels lively and comfortable (very similar to my Ti Quiring) but the drivetrain stiffness is definitely increased. Get on the pedals and the bike just scoots forward.

Machined yoke with great clearance and I-beam like construction

Machined yoke with great clearance and I-beam like construction for stiffness

While head tubes are far from the sexiest items on a frame, kudos to Scott for including a beautifully machined 49mm ID headtube. He custom machines the head tube to remove material where it isn’t needed while leaving reinforcing rings at the top and bottom and extra thickness on the back side where it is welded to the top and down tubes. The 49mm size allows you to run straight 1 1/8″ or tapered steerer forks but also allows the use of an “angleset” from companies like Works Components and Cane Creek. This is great for tuning the ride of the bike depending on what season you are riding in.

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My bike included a quick release on the rear and this has worked flawlessly. It is lighter, more than secure enough and with the yoke/frame designed the way it is; the rear end certainly doesn’t lack stiffness due to the use of a quick release. My frame was an early production version and Scott has already worked out a design for a new dropout that will allow the end user to select from a variety of Paragon Machine Works slider dropouts. This gives the option of quick release or any of the various thru axle standards (DT, Shimano, Rockshox…) as well as the ability to adjust chainstay length (singlespeed beach riding!!).

My bike has a matte “Corvette Yellow” Cerakoat finish. Cerakote is a spray on ceramic coating that gets baked onto the frame. This is something that Scott recently started using and I am very impressed with the durability. I tend to be pretty tough on bikes and bike finishes but even after 3+ months of hard use there isn’t a single scratch or chip. The only negative I see so far is that the combination of the matte finish and light color allows rubber (like shoes and tires) to leave black marks. They can be easily rubbed out so it is no biggie but it is something I have not run into with other finishes.

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This bike is exceedingly stable yet somehow still feels good and snappy in the twisties. I attribute a lot of this to the bottom bracket drop which is 3.2″ which is about a full inch more than most other fat bikes. The reason for large BB drop is because of the huge diameter of the 2XL tires (approximately 31.3″ vs. 30″ for most 4.8″ tires). In order to have a reasonable BB height with the 2XL you have to have a lot of BB drop and this figure works out to an effective bottom bracket height of about 12.4″ with 2XLs mounted which is a pretty normal BB height. When I switch to another tire like the Surly Bud and Lou or a pair of Big Fat Knards the BB gets down to about 11.9″ which is lower than normal.

I feel like the monster sized 2XL tires bring a large degree of stability even with a “normal” BB height due such a huge contact patch. It is easy when slipping, sliding and drifting to keep your center of gravity over the contact patch. With 4.8″ tires, the bottom bracket height is lower than “normal” for a fat bike and that adds a lot of stability because your center of gravity is lower. In powder and when carving corners it makes tires like the Bud/Lou or Maxxis FBF/FBR Minion feel even more capable than normal because little slips and slides are so easily corrected for.

The low BB with 4.8″ tires can have a downside of more pedal strikes. During dirt riding at high lean angles in corners I found myself having to be more careful about pedal placement than usual. I have also experienced times in crusty snow conditions on rutted snowmobile trails where I will get a higher incidence of pedal strikes. In deep powder riding my pedals may dip into the snow more than usual but I don’t notice that as an issue at all. For the kind of riding I do, the increased chance of striking/scraping a pedal is far outweighed by the stability and ability to keep on chugging through challenging conditions. The trade off for gaining all this stability with the increased BB drop is that you most likely are not going to want to run tires that are smaller in overall  diameter than about 760mm. Most 26×4.8″ tires fit this criteria as well as “large for their width” diameter tires like the 45NRTH Flow/Dunderbeist. The Bontrager 27×4.5 tires Travis Brown rode at Fat Bike Worlds also would be a great option when the come to market. Lastly, if you are thinking about 4 season use, 29×3″ tires are also very similar to the outer diameter of the 2XL so that is an option. Whew! That is a lot of wheel size geek-a-tude!

The front end geometry also lends itself to a nice stable ride. The slack 68.5 degree head tube angle and 51mm of fork rake produce right around 100mm of trail (depending on what size tires you are running) which I have found to be the sweet spot for winter riding. Never has the handling felt twitchy or on the flip side of that, slow/sluggish when riding anything from deep powder to buffed out groomed singletrack. The top tube length is slightly shorter than what I normally ride so I am using a slightly longer stem than usual. This helps in two ways. The longer stem makes the handling feel a bit slower which adds to the stable feel but it also helps to keep my weight distribution more equal between the two wheels. When riding steep uphills, deep powder and drifting corners, the more equal weight distribution really feels good with both wheels breaking traction at similar times.

Loads of clearance even when you have a ton of snow build up.

Loads of clearance even when you have a ton of snow build up.

The tire clearances on this bike are excellent even with the 2XL tires. The frame could easily fit the rumored 5.6″ Snowshoe 3XL tire. All of that clearance really comes in handy in certain sticky snow conditions. Even after a lot of snow has built up on the wheels, frame and drivetrain, I have never run into any issues with the tires rotating freely. This is in part due to the open windows on the yoke which helped shed snow. The slightly longer chainstay length (18″ effective) was never an issue handling-wise and I wouldn’t want to sacrifice any of the tire clearance to reduce the chainstay length. I have also had no issues with shoe or calf clearance. I predominantly ride 45NRTH Wölvhammer boots which are not that bulky and also don’t have particularly big calves but is seems like I have a ton of extra room in this regard.

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The fork rides very nicely. It also has ample clearance so there are no issues with snow or mud build-up. Like most other high end steel forks, this uses True Temper OX Platinum fork blades. Vibration dampening and weight can be nice with a carbon fork but a high end steel fork such as this still seems to thread the needle better than any other fork I have ridden providing ample stiffness to have really great handling characteristics while still providing a comfortable ride. The triple braze-ons on each leg allow the use of a variety of different cages and add a lot of cargo carrying versatility. Even after riding nice carbon forks for several years now, this fork has such a great ride that I am going to have a hard time riding anything else on any of my rigid bikes.

The Triple B frameset is the perfect compliment to the Vee Tire Snowshoe 2XL tire. This bike has become my go-to fat bike for adventuring and anytime I know I am may be in challenging conditions. The combo of this frameset and the 2XL tires has opened tons of new riding opportunities for me. With the increased availability of tires in the 4.8″ range, this bike also is amazingly capable/competitive in faster snow conditions. If you live in an area where you consistently get substantial amounts of snow each winter and you like to ride anywhere and everywhere regardless of the conditions, this bike should definitely be on your shortlist.

For more information about Quiring Cycles visit – http://www.quiringcycles.net/

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One Response to Quiring Triple B Mid-Term Report

  1. Allroy February 15, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    3XL! Absolute madness.