This week we're pleased to bring you this little BTR Fabrications beauty courtesy of single speed maestro Ryan McKee.
This Steel wonder from BTR Fabrications is their first foray into the world of Endurance XC frame design; created to be ridden all day and to smooth even the toughest trail. Whether you run a geared setup or you're of the single speed persuasion, the Chaser is a flexible base on which to build a reliable and forgiving endurance machine.
Ryan let us into the reasoning behind his frame choice, saying that the Chasers design was "laterally stiff but seat tube flexes for comfort when pedalling seated. The Chaser is designed to be ridden all day and is great fun, whether I’m racing or riding my local training loop."
[caption id="attachment_12675" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Now thats pretty![/caption]
The Frame itself is Reynolds 853 and 631, and Columbus Niobium front end with Reynolds 525 and Columbus Zona stays and is acid dipped then clear powdercoated, which is what gives ‘The Chaser’ it the unique finish.
[caption id="attachment_12676" align="aligncenter" width="450"] Take note Turner judges... This is art![/caption]
Ryan is one of those strange breed of knee hating single speeders, and the Chaser's Horizontal Dropouts with integrated tensioners give a tidy and fuss-free rear end for those wanting an uncomplicated SS setup.
On the subject of the dropouts, Ryan said "Tensioning the chain is probably the most difficult part of running SS and most brands go for sliding dropouts or EBB. Neither are ideal and overcomplicate what’s supposed to be a simple setup.The dropouts on the BTR Chaser are much tidier, the horizontal dropouts with integrated tensioners couldn’t be easier to use. The brake mounts remain fixed, with the rotor movement being marginal relative to the caliper."
The first port of call for Ryan's power is the Sram X1 Spiderless (Direct Mount) crank and a 34t Absolute Black oval chainring.
The oval ring is appearing more and more, and becoming common sight around the XC pits. Designed to optimise the pedal stroke and to distribute torque more evenly through the pedaling cycle, whilst aiding traction and reducing fatigue - and when you're running single speed anything that reduces fatigue is welcome!
So what are Ryan's thoughts on the Absolute Black Oval chainring?
"This is also my first foray into oval chainrings and it’s been interesting. I wouldn’t say it’s made a huge difference, but it’s definitely noticeable on the climbs. The Absolute Black is a beautiful piece of engineering."
Looking quickly at the cockpit furniture... bars are the Element Nickel wide 720mm, held in place by a FSA SL-K 110mm stem. A set of endurance racers best friends (Ergon grips) are keep Ryan in full control and comfy on the longer races.
The other major contact point is well looked after, as sitting on a rather nice FSA SLK Carbon post is the very plush Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite saddle.
When talking about his Fabric inspired seating, Ryan said "It’s been great, the custom nylon base is super flexible which helps with comfort and the choice of widths is really handy. I’ve been impressed with how white it’s stayed as well, a quick scrub every now and then keeps it gleaming! The Fabric saddle, combined with the FSA SLK carbon post and the flex from the steel frame means it’s a super comfy ride."
It's worth mentioning the forks before we wrap things up. Ryan has not only been running single speed over the last few years but also thumping round on a fully rigid setup. He's recently moved back to a little front squish and he's opted for the lovely looking (and performing) Marzocchi 320, set at 80mm travel.
Ryan remarked "I've been riding rigid for over 3 years, so I'm pretty excited to be back on suspension this year. The Marzocchi 320s have been great so far, really plush and predictable, easy to adjust on the fly and track really well whilst slamming through the descents."
- BTR Chaser SS (size L)
- Marzocchi 320 80mm
- Stans Crest on Hope Pro 2 Evo
- Hope Tech X2 brakes
- Schwalbe Nobby Nics
- FSA SLK Carbon post and Stem
- Sram X1 + 34t Absolute Black oval chainring
Frame Geometry Guide:
So let's get straight to the nitty-gritty; how much does the steel beauty weigh? Well, with the frame alone nudging the 2 Kg mark you know it's not going to break any weight weenie records, and to be fair I don't think it matters! This is a race machine driven by compliance, comfort and reliability. It's not trying to be a lightweight carbon whippet, it doesn't need to try to imitate one either, all it needs to do is ride well with no complications over large distances, which it does... So there!
But with that said, Ryan was kind enough to pop it onto the scales pre and post squishy fork change so I should give you the grand unveil. I can now tell you that she weighs just 24.5lb with the Marzocchi 320 and only 22.2lb when in her carbon rigid guise... Not to shabby!
A massive thanks to Ryan for showing us around his BTR Chaser and we wish him the best of luck for his future Single Speed endeavours... why not give him a follow:
Now go out and enjoy your Sunday!!!