2007(?) DBS Kilimanjaro w/ elevated DS chainstay.
As phase one comes to a close, it would do us well to examine where we all started. The goal initially felt very clear - make something that inherently lacks the cool factor, and turn it into a decidedly cool thing. But what exactly is it that makes something cool? A dumpster fire by a different name would still stink just as bad. So, a trash bike, even when assembled with a few modern parts and covered in some fresh paint, still probably rides like trash. Inside the rust is still eating at the tubes; the welds are shoddy; and the additional "features" (i.e. mistakes and errors) from the home mechanic all remain underneath the varnished presentation of a few pretty pictures.
That said, it is my opinion that the cool factor has risen significantly for most of the Trasher Bash '22 contestant submissions. And there even seems to be some common motifs between the various builders and their projects. Of course my biased POV compels me to include my entry somewhere near the top of the pile (*cough* y'know top five at least). And, perhaps, if you think ugly frames with a mish-mash of modern & vintage parts and aesthetic choices plucked willy-nilly from across the spectrum of cycling genres is cool, then you might agree.
It was the ugliness of this asymmetric, sextuple triangle (triple triangle technology ain’t got shit on me), elevated chainstay oddity that convinced me to cough up the 50 bucks to buy the bike on the Latvian craigslist equivalent a couple years ago. Supposedly, the frame is a 2007 DBS (Den Beste Sykkel) Kilimanjaro from Norway, though it is a bit tough to track down info on old DBS products. Besides the weird frame, it was a fairly typical 26" mountain-bikey thing with risers, a 3x7 drive train, and tiny tires. Such a weird looking frame deserved more.
And it was the second purchase that determined the overall aesthetic of this build and provided the opportunity to discover what that “more” could be. The Lemond-era Mavic 355 pursuit handlebars (purchased for nearly as much as the entire bike) set the course for what I wanted out of this project. Pursuit bars embody the aggression of track cycling and time-trialing. But I had to stay true to the mountain bike that the Kilimanjaro used to be. So, it currently sits on some meaty, all-black Billy Bonkers, and utilizes a RaceFace narrow-wide chainring.
That’s where the other defining factor in this build comes in. Strange Norwegian bike companies build bikes using strange Norwegian standards. So to fit modern & contemporary parts, custom pieces had to be designed and built by yours truly. Although it has multiplied the complexity of the project many-fold, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to bring my day job skills (I am a mechanical engineer by trade), such as they are, into my new hobby.
Hence, we have a carbon legged fork with 3D printed aluminum crown and dropouts, and a titanium bottom bracket adapter to accept the mid bottom bracket that came with my chosen cranks - the beefy, raw BSD Substance XL V2’s. Since the cranks are made to fit BMX sprockets, I decided to make my own star-shaped chainring spider to accept the RaceFace chainring.
And, as it sits in these pictures, I have gotten damn close to my original goal. I love the conglomeration of cycling genres here, and somehow they seem not to clash as horribly as one might expect. It won’t win any races. Nor would I trust that fork on any serious off-road terrain. But it screams aggression, and dares you to call it ugly. Anyway, you can call it what you like - “cool” or steaming garbage - because, truly it is a bit of both.; It retains a dear (im)perfection which it obtained through years of being lovingly built up and dreamed about.
Even though ‘cool’ is subjective, I think I’ve done my best to embody the original prompt for the inaugural Trasher Bash. I am super pumped to finish this beast, and ride it around town long after the contest concludes. Maybe in between those two I’ll have earned enough of the popular vote to get a few prizes to buoy this burgeoning hobby of mine. Either way, it has been an absolute blast to compete against all of the other ‘cool’ trash.
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