Introducing the Airwolf
So you may know that we've been working on a 26' freestyle for a while now. Unlike some of our other projects, we've been mainly just keeping this one to ourselves until the time was right. Well my friends, the time she is right so here it goes.
At first I was pretty skeptical of the whole 26' thing, but at first ride my mind was completely changed. Regardless of the style and aesthetic concerns over smaller wheels and their place within the context of fixed drivetrains, 26' wheels make everything easier. They just do.
They accelerate and slow down quicker due to less rotational mass, the front triangle can be more compact while still providing gains in barspin clearance over 700c bikes, the rear triangle can be shorter which eases spins and wheelies, there is a smaller package to throw around while hopping into and out of grinds etc, etc.
Before I go any further, let me just say that I or we are in no way anti 700c. Nothing looks better than riding with good style on big wheels, and obviously we love our Def Wish. The Airwolf is just a whole different little animal. It's a super fun playbike that can be ridden fixed or with a freewheel (long reach road caliper mount) and since my first ride this Spring, it's all I've wanted to be on. I even really enjoy it for errands and general around town riding. It's like a popsicle, it just makes you smile everytime.
Like the Def Wish, it uses 14mm dropouts (comes with 10mm spacers) and was designed to be used with our new freestyle Deputy hubs. The Deputy hubs have a wider chainline which you'll need since the bike was built around a 52mm chainline. This allowed us to shorten the stays as much as possible to aid spins and bike handling while keeping tire clearance fat. The Deputy hubs have a 48mm chainline, which is 4mm off, but in our testing hasn't been an issue at all. Also like the Def it uses our own Dropout fork, but comes as a frame only.
You may be noticing that our 26' bike looks substanially different than everyone else's 26'ers. Basically it seems to us like most companies are simply scaling down their 700c offerings to fit a smaller wheel and not really capitalizing on all the improvements to the geometry that the smaller size allows. Our bike may seem a bit smaller than some of theirs, but the top tube lengths are right on and from the first ride you'll appreicate the extra standover and shorter wheelbase. The Airwolf is a dream to throw around, and holy shit does it wheelie and hop like a champ.
The MSRP on the frame is $370, and will be arriving in early September. If you'd like to prebook one now, your local shop can do that for you.
For full geo go to the Airwolf page.
Note* the production frameset is coming in a deep red that we are calling 'wolf's blood,' not the black of our protos