It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention, but I’ll also attribute a few beers and an active imagination. It was certainly a contributing factor for Alex Fry, a Sydney-based creative who decided to reconfigure a well-loved F. Moser mountain bike into a road bike tough enough to take on the deteriorated suburban streets.
The seeds of the idea for the Motard were sown after Alex and a mate were riding bikes with 23c tires and were overtaken by a downhill bike. Not because of its speed, but because Sydney streets can often be more suited to off-road bikes. Alex also gleaned inspiration from Jan Heine‘s ardor for the 42mm 650b Grand Bois tires and a thread titled ‘fast bikes and fat tires‘ on the tarckbike.com forums.
An F. Moser MTB finally wound up in Alex’s posession after passing through the hands of various owners, including the Creux Cycling crew (who employed it as a pub bike), and Andy ‘Fyxomatosis‘ White, who used it for its original intent. Andy described it thus: “It was a fun bike, rode like a tractor compared to modern MTBs, but no less enjoyable on singletrack”.
Naturally, reactions were varied, aptly summarized up by Cheeky Transport, Sydney’s premier commuting / touring bike shop with, “My God! What does it mean?”
Tarck.com user Buffalo Bill was suitably impressed: “Measuring in Photoshop, it looks like it’s got parallel 71.5° angles. From eyeballing it looks like 40-45mm offset, which with the 559×60 tires would give it very similar steering geometry and trail to a similarly-sized Specialized Roubaix and most other similar jawns. But then the pneumatic trail you get from having huge soft tires brings a whole new level of awesome handling. Would be a terrible 26″ MTB though, you’ve done a most beautiful thing here on so many levels”.
Most importantly, Alex is happy with the result: “It’s done what I thought it would, allowing me to belt around road style, whilst not caring much about the road surface, fun and stress free”. Sounds just like the ticket. Who else is starting to think about that forgotten steel MTB in the shed?