When Brad’s yellow Geekhouse hit urbanvelo.org last year, it swallowed up the entire blogosphere cycle that week because it was so awesome. Everyone was sharing pics of it and commenting on how the different ideas were executed. I’ve yet to see a bike get that kind of attention in Hardcourt since, so I thought it would be a cool idea to follow up with Brad a year later and see how it’s been treating him and what he would change (if anything) if he got to do it again. Check it…
Name: Brad Quartuccio
Started playing: Back in 1998 I played grass polo fairly regularly with a group of locals, enough so to have a dedicated bike for it that season. Mountain bike based, with the classic bamboo and wood mallets on a grass field with lots of rules. 2012 is my fourth season playing hardcourt.
Bike theory: I got hooked on short chainstays and steep angles back in my mountain bike days—I had both an Eastern Woods Research and a Spooky xc bike back when they were pushing the limits of tight handling woods bikes and defining what became known as east coast mountain bike geometry. When I got into track bikes I instantly felt at home with the steep angles and tight wheelbases of traditional sprint and keirin bikes. My first two seasons of hardcourt were played on a Pake track frame (that I still have and ride regularly) before I switched to a Milwaukee Bruiser. There were some significant differences between those two bikes, but each has a short rear end and a steep head angle with a short offset fork for “track” trail. As I transitioned from fixed to freewheel and dual brakes, mechanical advantage became that much more important and discs seemed a reasonable solution. Choosing to go with 26″ wheels was a bigger jump than anything, and came down to wanting larger volume tires, stronger wheels, short wheelbase and no toe overlap… and wanting to give the 26″ wheels a try, as many people who’s opinion I respect made a strong case for them.
Working with Geekhouse came down to the classic perfect storm coming together. Marty and I had talked about a NAHBS bike for roughly a year before this one came to be, as I could come up with the parts build and was willing to give Geekhouse more flexibility in the final design and look of the bike then you could really expect from most customers. We went back and forth with some geometry specs—I provided a wheelbase spec, head angle and trail, bottom bracket drop, and cockpit specifications and let Geekhouse design the rest. I wanted disc rotor guards of some sort, conventional track ends, and a burly fork with 135 mm spacing to match the rear end. Geekhouse made it all happen with oversized BMX tubing and integrated headset, a curved seattube, and their very first box section crown fork. When it came to the paint I sent Geekhouse all black parts and a link to the Wiz Khalifa Black and Yellow video, which being from Pittsburgh was quite the hit a short year ago. I first saw the bike at the 2011 NAHBS and couldn’t have been more pleased. Nearly a year after have first received it I still catch myself spying it a guilty glance as I walk through the house.
If i was to do it all over again I’m not sure I’d change more than a cable guide here or there. Part of me says I’d put a large volume 29″ tire (I ride a 29/26 single speed mountain bike) on the front for goal tending, a slightly lower bottom bracket, standard fork spacing for roofrack compatibility and the original fancy dropouts that Marty had designed for the project. Another part of me is so genuinely happy with the bike to this day that I don’t know if I’d change anything given the chance. Perhaps a slightly lower bottom bracket or standard fork spacing. Perhaps not. Larger diameter disc guards are in my future, as I bend my front rotor on other’s peoples wheels more frequently than I’d like.
Hubs: Surly 36 h 135 mm single speed disc f/r
Rims: Velocity Blunt
Brakes: Avid BB7 f/r, roughly biased 30/70 f/r
Brake Lever: St Cago Double Pull
Cranks: Sugino XD 165 mm
Ring: 35 t Milwaukee Polo Guard
Freewheel: 18 t White Industries
Saddle: Some old mtb race saddle. I tried the giant DH saddle for a bit, but went back after breaking an admittedly seatpost.
Pedals: Fyxation Mesa
Tires: Vary, generally 26 x 2.0 or 1.75