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I've never been good at half-assing stuff although I could get better at accepting the process.    

~Whit Johnson of Meriwether Cycles

(Interview with Whit below - but you can call him Meriwether)





DISC BOOST WORD (Wacky One-speed Rear Device)
12 X 148

(It's almost ready)

There's this twenty-something-year-old kid with short, dirty-blond dreadlocks who lives somewhere up in the Sierra mountains, and who has descended on the local race scene, making an unfathomable impression. A complete no-namer, he rolls in, packing his single speed mountain bike with him and not only does he WIN the single speed division - he places top 10 for the entire race.

We'd call this kid (we still don't know his name) our "canary in the coal mine," but there've also been tremors of information registering through our customer service lines - turns out people are making requests.

For single speed hubs.

Normally, a single speed is someone's 3rd or 4th bike, but we're observing that cyclists are buying frames and building them up from scratch. Meaning, they're putting some thought into it.

So we're calling it now: Single speed is making a comeback. 

And our new Boost Word 12 x 148 (32 hole) is ushering the movement forward. It's boosted by 6mm (3mm on each side), so you could use a 2.4 - 3-inch tire and still have chainring clearance. 

Exciting news for us because this is part of what it's all about on our end - making predictions about the future of the sport. And engineering quality parts that rise to meet it. 


(It's almost ready)
But enough predictions - let's talk practical. 

If there's an up, there must be a down. If there's a wrong, there's a right. If there's a new Boost Hub, there must be a new Boost Fhub.

Pretty sure Buddha said that.

The DISC BOOST FHUB is our matchy matchy accompaniment to the WORD, which you could, of course, use with any mountain bike, multi-gear or one.

We've done our part, so now...the future of mountain biking lies with you.



It's the Little Things...

Usually a company will strategize and wait for the New Year to roll out product changes, but we're already done (because we're obsessive), so we're already ready (because we're impatient), to announce a subtle revision to our Klamper.

We adjusted the housing approach on the main body, reducing the possibility for any cable drag on both long, and short-pull models. 

And that's it. Minor adjustments matter when it's the riding experience we're after. The revised Klampers are already shipping. Let us know what you think.


This was one of those situations where you have to jump in with two feet and deal with the details later.

We bought a new elephant-sized machine with little room to put it, so we were forced to move a few things around, which is hard and maybe slightly dangerous when the Tetris pieces weigh 12,000 lbs. 

We made a video about it. Hope you like French bluegrass. 
Or watch on YouTube

The Downieville Classic 

Wonderful times, regrettable times, successful races, shit races, and regardless of revelry or carnage, there's always the beer.

That was Downieville for riders last weekend at the Classic. But places mean more to people depending on who and where they are, and how much time they spend getting to know it. So here's a look at why PAUL and Paul are here each year bearing avocados and bacon.
Or watch on YouTube

7 Questions with Whit Johnson of Meriwether Cycles

1. So we know Meriwether is a nickname and refers to Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark. But how did YOU end up a namesake of the man in question? How do you identify with him?

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away...a friend gave me the Meriwether nickname after reading the journals of Lewis and Clark because of my obsession over scouring topo maps and looking for trails instead of training with all my bike racer friends.

When I should've been training I'd be out looking for singletrack connectors to add to my secret wall map. All of the current computer mapping and GPS applications were not around then, so it was all done on paper. My rides with friends became somewhat infamous because I had a tendency to get us lost and late for whatever we had going on that afternoon.

I was also getting a degree in biology and was just as interested in the flora and fauna as on the fun of riding singletrack. Meriwether Lewis was the expedition's naturalist who documented each new species of plant and animal encountered along the Corps of Discovery route. Clark was the main Cartographer (map maker) so I guess I identify a little with both, but Meriwether is a cooler nickname :)

2. One of the most exciting things you do is an elevated chain stay. Can you tell us why you do it on certain bikes?

A couple of years ago a customer approached me about making a bike around a prototype 5.5" wide tire. He wanted the frame to have the shortest chainstays possible since he believed that was a primary factor in how a fatbike handled in soft snow (along with other geometry tweaks). He is a very experienced rider and racer and was one of the first cyclists to do the Iditarod Trail Invitational, so of course I took the challenge.

I built my first elevated chainstay (e-stay) fatbike in 2012 to fit the biggest tires at the time (4.6's). The elevated chainstay frame design is nothing new and one of the first ever purpose-built fatbike had an e-stay. The design removes the chainstay from the problem area in between the tire, chainring, crank arm, and chain. If you raise the chainstay enough, you can clear the crank arm and use a narrower Q-factor crank as well as get a narrower chainline than a traditional rear triangle frame will allow. As long as the chain clears the tire and your heels and calves clear the chainstays, you're golden.

Using e-stays allowed me to make a frame with an extremely short chainstay length of 440mm (17.3") without dimpling the tubes. The other part of the frame design that we tweaked was the chainline.

The customer noted that current 1x11 drivetrains on fatbikes get very crossed up in the lowest cogs. Cranksets existed that pushed the chainline out in front to clear the tire but the rear chainline was still too narrow. He worked with Onyx to create a few 217mm wide hubs to improve the chainline while in the lowest gears which is how most people spend the majority of their time while fatbiking on soft snow. Mark at Paragon Machine Works was kind enough make a run of longer skewers. All bases were covered.

It's not a tire that many want or need and the e-stay look is definitely an acquired taste, so I have only made a handful of these frames. I have one myself and can say with certainty, it's a keeper. It rides like no other fatbike I've built and is somewhat future-proof, as far as tire and wheel size is concerned. I have two wheelsets that I can swap between, depending on conditions - 27.5x4.5" or 26x5.2's.

3. What's your ultimate bike vacation and when is that happening?

If I had to choose just one ultimate bike vacation, I think it would involve starting in New Mexico and heading north along the Rockies until they ran out and I hit ice. I'd have a general route in mind but nothing exact to follow. Then turn around and come back a different way. More realistically I'd love to ride the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango in early fall, or the new Oregon Timber Trail, or the Idaho Hot Springs tour. So many good options!

4. Who's work do you admire the most at this moment and why?

Right now I think i'd have to say I admire Sean Chaney of Vertigo Cycles. There are a lot of builders I respect for different reasons, but Sean is next level. He takes the time to develop and fabricate tooling to be as efficient and precise as possible, and does amazing customization that many wouldn't even attempt.

5. We see lots of your bikes out in the wild, so we imagine you're busy. How do you manage your time between riding and building?

I never feel like I spend enough time in the shop, or enough time riding, or enough time with my family...but that's my personality type. I'm good at riding in the morning and working in the shop till dinner. That's the perk of being your own supervisor and working in your garage..short commute.

I am in the shop 6-7 days a week. I've never been good at half-assing stuff, although I could get better at accepting the process. Riding has been a way of life for me since I was a young kid so any ride is good whether it's a spin to town for burritos and beer or an all-day-go-get-lost-and-find-your-way-home type of thing.

6. Currently, what's your favorite tire size and tire? are my obsession. There are so many options now it's such an exciting time to be riding and building. For so many years the only option for mountain bikes was 26 x 2-ish. Now we have four or five wheel sizes with dozens of tires in each wheel diameter of multiple widths and volumes. It's almost overwhelming.

For MTB, I'm excited to try the Terrene McFlys which are 29 x 2.8. There's something about the big wheels of a 29er I enjoy more for my style of riding but the 3" tire is a bit too voluminous. For gravel bikes, I'm excited to try the Clement MSO X'plor 650x50. I love this tire in the 700x40 and 700x50, so having the ability to use it on more bikes will be great (two wheelsets for the same bike). The 650b wheel size is nothing new, but for touring and gravel riding is something I am digging more than expected.

For fatbike tires, I am excited about the expansion in the market of 27.5x4 with Salsa announcing the new Beargrease will come with 27.5 x 3.8's. Bontrager pioneered that size last year and it makes good sense from a rider's and builder's perspective since you can get a big contact patch to float in soft conditions without going excessively wide, complicating all the things talked about previously like chainline and tire/ring/chainstay clearance.

7. Do you like toast and how toasty do you like it?

I'm a lightly toasted guy, preferably with PB&J.


530-345-4371 ext. 202.

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