Maiden Voyage

10.24.2007 | 8:05 am

What is it about the first time you ride a bike? You notice everything, thinking constantly about how it feels, how it’s different from your old bike, how it’s the same, how it climbs, how it descends.

Looking for confirmation that, yes, this was the right bike.

Well, that’s what I was going through yesterday as I rode my brand-new Waltworks Custom Stock — a collaboration between WaltWorks and Twin Six.

Check it out (image pops to larger version):


I went with the “Custom Stock Complete,” with a few modifications — I moved my XTR cranks, Chris King Pretty and Strong headset, carbon fork, and SLR saddle over from the Weapon of Choice.

Oh, and one other modification: I put on the On-One Mary bar sent to me by one of the B7 contestants (whoever you are, thank you. Somehow, I lost your name and email. because I’m a loser). More about the Mary bar in a moment.

It’s a very sexy bike. As in, the sexiest bike I have ever owned. WaltWorks makes a great frame, and Twin Six went with a steel-grey and black color scheme that just looks stealthy cool.

Brad is Cool
So Brad and I got together for a lunch ride yesterday. Brad already rides a WaltWorks, so I showed up with a spare WaltWorks jersey for him. Which meant that we had this whole matching jersey thing going on, which is ordinarily best to avoid. But this was a special occasion, so what the heck.

“Did you bring a camera?” Brad asked. I pretty much always have my camera with me when I ride nowadays, so I said yes.

“Let me have it,” Brad said, and went on to say he was going to take a bunch of pictures of me riding today. “It’s not every day you have a first ride on a bike like this,” Brad said.

And so, for the duration of the ride, Brad would in turn shoot ahead to get photos of me coming up the trail, then take pictures as I went by. From time to time, he would ride side-by-side with me, risking a crash for action photos.

Let’s take a look at what he got (click any image to see a larger version in a new window).

Here I’m rowing up a steep hairpin turn. I’ve only been on the bike for twenty minutes, but I’ve already decided I love the feel of the bike. Steel feels good, the geometry feels natural, and the bike fits great.

It took exactly one climb for me to decide I like the Mary bars for out-of-the-saddle climbing. The position of the grips puts your hands in a comfortable position with great leverage.

What new bike camera shoot would be complete without a posed photo? Say, what does that water bottle say?

Oh. Well, that makes sense. So far, everyone who has seen this bottle wants one. Naturally, Twin Six sells them.

Brad and his self-painted WaltWorks. Creamsicle orange. Sassy.

I’m not totally comfortable with the Mary bars on the downhill yet.


Brad takes a self-portrait while riding his bike. Don’t try this at home, kids.

I didn’t clean this one. Brad says it’s good to have a “humility shot” as part of the series. Fair enough.

Two Declarations
After my first ride yesterday, I hereby declare the following:

  • I really, really like this bike. I need to put a longer stem on (i.e., I should’ve put on the one that the Twin Six guys sent me instead of the shorter one) to compensate for the sweep of the Mary bar, but otherwise this bike is already dialed. I can tell that Fall Moab is going to be a great success.
  • Brad’s Photo Shoot Idea is Genius. The next time I ride with someone who’s just got a new bike and is taking it out for the first time, I’m going to make sure I bring my camera and get lotsa pictures. Cuz it’s very cool to have these.


  1. Comment by traildiva | 10.24.2007 | 8:16 am

    The bike is lovely — congratulations! I wish you both many happy long rides, rubber side down.

  2. Comment by chtrich | 10.24.2007 | 8:22 am

    You are the new bike king. That rig should serve you well at Leadville next year.

  3. Comment by Brian C | 10.24.2007 | 8:24 am

    me = jealous. walt makes some kick ass bikes, and i love the color scheme on that.

    as for the mary bars, i swear by mine. at first you feel like you are riding a cruiser through the woods, but after a bit they start to make a lot of sense, especially on an SS. im thinking about putting some on my cyclocross rig, flipped.


  4. Comment by Quentin | 10.24.2007 | 8:26 am

    Fatty: you should do a post with pictures of all of your bikes!

  5. Comment by Big Boned | 10.24.2007 | 8:28 am

    You bulking up???
    Just messing with you. The bike looks GREAT!

  6. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 10.24.2007 | 8:37 am

    I had trouble making out the bike because the pictures all had a green haze to them. *&*^&%#.

  7. Comment by MTB W | 10.24.2007 | 8:56 am

    Awsome bike – Iam very jealous. I think I may like the mary bars (based on your pics and review) but I would have to try them out first. I liked end bars at first but later got rid of them since it affected my hand position on the bar and may have affected the bar balance (at least that’s my story on why I seem to crash!). Let us know what you think of the bars after you get used to them.

    Nice pics. Now I am jealous of that too while I am sitting at the desk looking at the beautiful weather outside, wishing I was riding instead. Maybe I can fool my boss and go for a ride later today – wait, I am the boss. Hmm, will have to be back in time to watch the Rockies in the WS.

  8. Comment by Sleepy | 10.24.2007 | 9:00 am

    Sweet Ride.

  9. Comment by swtkaroline | 10.24.2007 | 9:03 am

    Before I even *read* the post I saw the first photo and said–out and loud enough to startle the dogs–”Damn, that’s a sexy bike!”

    Beautiful trails too. Now that I’m unemployed for a month or two, I think it’s time to escape the desert blahs and head north for some singletrack!

  10. Comment by | 10.24.2007 | 9:11 am

    That thing is so hot. Like, kick the wife out of bed just to sleep with it next to you, kind of hot. I have to admit, I especially like the King Headset! I think I might just have to get one myself. I have always been a big proponent of “it takes a really secure guy to (wear) pink”, and this just takes the cake! Not to mention it would look extremely bada.. on a silver bike, AND it goes to a good cause. Win, win, win!
    Also: If I may, without being rude, how is Susan doing? Hope all is well with Susan, you and the family!

  11. Comment by mark | 10.24.2007 | 9:24 am

    Fatty, I am in awe. Your reputation as a weight weenie is being seriously tarnished by that steel frame. Will you next be switching to a fatter, heavier tire just because it gets better traction and offers a more comfortable ride? I hope you at least splurged on the ti bolt kit for the new rig–if you did, my faith would be restored.

  12. Comment by Rio's Rider | 10.24.2007 | 9:27 am

    I’m glad you included the “humility shot.” It makes it ok for the rest of us if we see you walking the hill, too! And dang, that looks steep!

  13. Comment by Willie Nelson | 10.24.2007 | 9:47 am

    Trying to find motivation to a mountain bike in Florida has been hard. There are dirt trails here in town that wind around like a sprung spring. Its more like glorified BMX without top tube pads and little wheels. But to have an actual mountain to go up again would be really nice. Good photos, the bike and scenery made me jealous. Enjoy your mountains and new ride.

  14. Comment by Jason | 10.24.2007 | 9:48 am

    Fatty, I had a good chuckle when I saw that your awesome new Waltworks single speed cost about 100 times more than I just spent building up my first single speed mtb (a total beater for commuting in the snow this winter). Of course your steel WCS also looks like it’s about 1000 times better than my Canadian steel classic Norco Cherokee in every way imaginable so I think you still win handily on the price vs. performance comparison.

    So what gearing are you running on that beauty anyway?

  15. Comment by leroy | 10.24.2007 | 10:40 am

    Wow FC –

    The roads you have to commute on sure look like they could use some work. But at least the traffic isn’t heavy.

    Enjoy the new bike!

  16. Comment by scrooge | 10.24.2007 | 11:43 am

    I heart Waltworks(es)…

  17. Comment by TIMK | 10.24.2007 | 11:49 am

    Photos aren’t good enough. We need a youtube video of you riding around singing “I got a sexy bike.” (To the tune of Justin Timberlake’s Sexy Back)

  18. Comment by marc | 10.24.2007 | 1:13 pm

    where are you riding? bike is smashing; put’s the ass back in sassy. mary’s are wunderbars! enjoy and note that i’m jealous, extremely jealous.

  19. Comment by Shiffon | 10.24.2007 | 1:14 pm

    Dude, I’m a new reader to this blog, but I love it thus far… what I really don’t understand however is the whole “Fat” thing!
    You. Are. Ripped.
    And this is coming from a 22 year old female roadie who is a self-confessed pervert of her male counterparts. I have been mooting with a girlfriend of mine that the MTBers do actually look better. Can I include you as a part of my case study?

    Love the bike too… ;)

  20. Comment by JAT in Seattle | 10.24.2007 | 1:32 pm

    Well, Shiffon, you might need to go back through the archives to the (annonymity protected by a black bar over the eyes) self loathing pre-bib shorts torso photos days to get the whole story. Fatty has worked really really hard, and I suppose he deserves yet ANOTHER BIKE while his children go hungry.

    Did anybody else notice that, in comparison to the guilty admission that he’d purchased the Filmore a couple weeks ago, Fatty has now devolved to pure shamelessness.

    Sorry if this, my first ever post, comes off as too aggressive, but i’ve been reading for years and I just couldn’t stay silent any longer. They must have hurkin’ big garages in suburban Utah.

  21. Comment by jill | 10.24.2007 | 1:41 pm


    Dave in Arizona has a great equation to explain this phenomenon. It’s a mathmatical truth. If H is eternal happiness, and n is the number of bikes owned, than H=n+1.

  22. Comment by neigbor of walt | 10.24.2007 | 1:41 pm

    Walt is my neighbor. His bikes are the best. Congratulations!

  23. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 10.24.2007 | 1:44 pm

    Those swept back bars are kickin’. All you need now is some spinning chrome wheel covers and one of those fake limps when you walk. Word!

  24. Comment by Rick S. | 10.24.2007 | 1:56 pm

    Elden, I’d like to make a wager with you. If you miss your sub-nine goal, I get your bike. You can have my Rig if I miss….seems like a fair trade, right? Of course, with a Walt Works like that on the line, I’d probably hire some temps to make sure you miss.

  25. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 10.24.2007 | 2:28 pm

    I’m not smart enough for the technicals regards the bike my first thought was it should be orange -orange is soo much faster. I think I am kinky for Orange. Anyhow scroll down the photo’s and I see Brad has nailed it. Not only that he takes some excellent photo’s as well.
    While we do now know the story behind the glasses (been there insulted that)the photo with the bike nerd bottle as you say “so makes sense”. Got to ask by lunch ride are you saying you are able to just leave work go for a ride like that and then go back for the pm session? Brilliant.
    All the best Sue – hope everyone is sleeping better.

  26. Comment by Marrock | 10.24.2007 | 2:33 pm

    Am I the only one that saw that first pic of FC riding and flashed back to images of the old NORBA bashfests?

  27. Comment by axel | 10.24.2007 | 2:55 pm

    JAT it is just a trickle down economy.
    Soon you’ll find on craigslist a
    Bianchi Pista and a
    Weapon of Choice (Gary Fisher Paragon??)
    for about half of what they cost new…

    and if you wait two years, there will be a
    Fillmore and a
    Waltworks, too…

  28. Pingback by | The RocBike Review » Links Of The Day: 24 October 2007 | 10.24.2007 | 3:10 pm

    [...] Maiden Voyage [...]

  29. Comment by Jeremy | 10.24.2007 | 3:26 pm

    Does this mean you will be building another PVC bike rack?

  30. Comment by Canadian roadie | 10.24.2007 | 3:56 pm

    Gotta say, I’m very jealous of your weather. Our weather is only like that during the day, while I’m trapped in my office, longingly looking out the window…

  31. Comment by Uncle Bob | 10.24.2007 | 4:42 pm

    Very nice bike, very nice pics, very nice scenery… I’m a big city boy and don’t do the ATB thing, but in shots like that I can feel the urge.

    I can’t stand straight flat bars myself, and I hope you become a convert to the Mary and similar handlebars. I favour even more “swept” North Road (or Albatross if you speak Rivendell) bars, but I’m obviously not sure how well they’d work for mountain biking.

  32. Comment by eunicesara | 10.24.2007 | 4:43 pm

    excuse me while I exercise an Epiphany.
    There are those who own bicycles of the “big box” variety. You probably spend more for tubes than they spend for their bikes, but their ignorance is their bliss – and they have wonderful occasional outings on the paved and level bike-paths sprouting up in burpia.
    There are those who own infernal combustion powered tin cans because they have to get to work and the grocery store, and sometimes the weather and the locals make enviro-friendly commuting impractical.
    There are those who have ridden bicycles long enough to have an idea of what they don’t want in their next bike, but have not developed the sophistication to know what they do want.
    There are those who actually like to drive infernal combustion powered vehicles, and have some sort of expectation of comfort and performance.
    There are the “I paid more for my new bicycle than you paid for your first car” fanatics.
    And there are the ones at a level with Fatty – can’t buy anything good enough. Must engineer and redesign. Like Drag Racers. Make it better, faster, personal.
    My question then is. At what point do you become competition illegal? There has already been much discussion about how much tuning and tweaking the motor can get (doping) – but what about the physical machine? Is it still a free-for-all in the biking world? The wild Wild west of sports. Or can your bike design go as far as your imagination will take it?
    Just a musing.
    BTW, I never though bicycle shopping could be such a raging headache. The more I read and the more I learn the more I have to look, and that’s not getting me on my own bike. I think I found something I like (totally impractical for my riding needs) because I couldn’t stop “petting” it in the bike shop.

  33. Comment by leroy | 10.24.2007 | 5:39 pm

    I’m not up on all the fancy bike terminology.

    But I’m thinking that the “humility shot” really isn’t a humility shot.

    I think it’s a picture of something called Cyclocross.

    Or is that redundant?

  34. Comment by Marrock | 10.24.2007 | 8:14 pm

    leroy: It all comes under the heading of “Ritualistic Self-abuse”.

  35. Comment by hades | 10.24.2007 | 8:20 pm

    Wow – you’re pretty much on my ideal bike (I love mary bars, custom steel, SSs, rigid carbon forks, and 29ers)… I’d probably go a tooth smaller in the back though ;) I’m waaay jealous… I’ve vowed however that I’m going to build my next frame (which has cut down on my new bike acquisition tendencies and leaves me on a karate monkey for now)

  36. Comment by harp | 10.24.2007 | 9:05 pm

    Nice Ride. Nice to see you out enjoying it.

  37. Comment by cyclostu | 10.25.2007 | 4:32 am

    hey there. long time reader/lurker, first time poster. i just wanted to go on record as saying that steel is real. there is no better material. period. i strayed from the path after 10 years or so of only riding steel (both atb and road) and now have carbon and aluminium bikes. i am now selling everything non-ferous in order to repent of my errant ways. i just built up a surly pacer to commute on and i feel like i got my soul back. congrats on the sweet bike FC – you will most assuredly dig it.

  38. Comment by Ed | 10.25.2007 | 5:32 am

    Very nice bike. I’ve owned a Waltworks for almost fours years and it is still my go to and favorite bike. It changed my riding style forever.

    Great choice and enjoy it!


  39. Comment by El Animal | 10.25.2007 | 6:59 am

    What did you do with your paragon? if you don’t like it, Can I have it?

  40. Comment by Tim D | 10.25.2007 | 7:57 am

    You made the front page of the On One web site. Can we expect to see some special Ads for Shwag deal/comp for us UK readers? I am only an hour or so from The Shed, you would even need to pay postage! Also, readers is an unsatisfactory term for your loyal fans. We need our own collective noun. One for Al I think.

  41. Comment by bikemike | 10.25.2007 | 8:16 am

    you’re dressed just like your bike. how cute.

  42. Comment by sheila | 10.25.2007 | 9:12 am

    love your blog -was surprised this morning as i was scrolling down – i kmow brad, his wife and girls – he rocks.
    oh, and good luck and that new eating plan of yours – i love it!

  43. Comment by Al Maviva | 10.25.2007 | 11:44 am

    >>>I think it’s a picture of something called Cyclocross.

    No, it’s clearly not cyclocross. You can always tell cyclocross, because in cross, the bike rides the bicyclist, not the other way around.

  44. Comment by blinddrew | 10.25.2007 | 12:56 pm

    Damn but that’s a nice bike. But it turns out that all this time you’ve been giving me a false steer. Here i was comfortable in my expanding waistline, knowing that you were out there on another continent riding away and publicising your extra pounds…
    And then we see on the pictures that you’re plainly not carrying much extra at all!
    Good thing it’s the start of the rugby season here cause i’ve got to do something to get in shape now!
    All my reassuring illusions shattered…

    but that really is a nice bike

  45. Comment by TexasTailwind | 10.26.2007 | 6:19 am

    That’s a great looking bike. There’s something almost primal about riding a single speed 29′r.

  46. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » Allure | 10.26.2007 | 8:00 am

    [...] Take for example that sexy new Waltworks / Twin Six Custom Stock I talked about earlier this week. Well, currently that bike is in the back of my truck with three rides worth of dried mud on it. Drivetrain’s still good, though, so I have no intention of cleaning it anytime soon. [...]

  47. Comment by Dave Caswell | 10.28.2007 | 4:21 am

    Great article and another convert to On-One Mary Bars! Current I’ve got 4 pairs of Mary bars in the garage. Two sets adorn On-One frames, a 456 and a 29er Single speed, as well as my Orange 5 and girlfriends Marin East Peak. The big thing about Mary for me was they make my shoulders ache less on a long ride than Easton’s for example. Even after riding the bars for many months there is still a small desire to get a wicker basket fitted to the front though!

    The bike looks really cool as well, very similar to my On-One 29er with rigid carbon forks etc. and your trails look really great. We’re well into the mud season in the UK but single speeds are great for that as well. Great Site, keep up the good work. Check out our site if you get a chance!

  48. Pingback by Fat Cyclist » Blog Archive » I’ve Been Tagged! | 07.22.2008 | 8:37 am

    [...] could have any one — and only one — bike in the world, what would it be?It would be my WaltWorks. I love the way that bike looks and rides, and I can’t imagine ever loving another bike more. [...]

  49. Comment by George | 01.9.2010 | 6:55 pm

    Hi-do you still feel the same way about the bike-I’ve been riding a 2008 Fisher Paragon XL(I’m right between a L and XL light weight rider)-I thinking about going back to steel or waiitng for cash and then going Ti-Please any comments-Thanks-George-SLC,UT


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