New Bike Porn: Jerónimo Rasputin 29 Plus

I wasn’t even looking for a new bike. Rasputin found me (at least that’s the story I am telling). I was just browsing PinkBike ‘for a friend’ when Rasputin growled at me. I was powerless.

Shiny-thing-make-better-feeling!

Pedro Jerónimo started Jerónimo Cycles in Tenerife in 2010 and he specialises in custom titanium. This particular frame and fork were requested by Ismael, a bike mechanic  from Valencia who did some work building bikes for Jerónimo. After working together with Pedro on the design features, Ismael assembled the complete bike during the summer of 2015 in preparation for an expedition in Alaska, but his plans changed whilst he was living in London and he decided to sell it. Lucky me!

When I first contacted Ismael, I wasn’t sure if I deserved such a flashy ride. I’d been riding a 36lb beast of a touring bike and a battered, creaking Stumpjumper. I explained that I’d never owned such a fine machine and I was a little apprehensive. He calmly replied,

Life is too short to ride shitty bikes!

And he was right! This was the machine that was lurking in my wet bike dreams! It was meant to be!

  • Svelte body, burly paws @ just over 25lb
  • Raw finish that I am not afraid to scratch
  • 29×3.0″ tyre clearance (with even a little to spare)
  • Geometry suitable for chubby rigid or XC/trail hardtail
  • Lots of mounting bosses, including three Salsa Anything mounts
  • Lifetime warranty on the frame and fork

Rasputin devoured his first bikepacking trip in January 2016, where he first flexed his titanium muscles. I’ll be posting more about this rascally Rasputin over the coming months. It’s sure to be my weapon of choice for the Highland Trail 550 in May.

The Build

The frame was customised around the chain and seat stays to accommodate 29×3.0″ tyres , currently rolling on Velocity Blunts 35s and 29×3 Knards. There’s plenty of clearance beneath the down tube for a bouncy fork, should I want to swap in some speedy XC wheels in the summer. The rear end is 142×12 thru axle with a custom drop out.

The build is basically exactly how it came from Ismael. The only changes I’ve made so far are tubeless conversion and replacing the cartridge bearings in the bottom bracket (cost me a tenner from Wych Bearings). Everything else was in pristine condition when I bought the bike.

  • Frame: Custom Jerónimo Rasputin Titanium with 142×12 rear axle
  • Fork: Titanium tapered 1/8 to 1.5 with QR15/ Maxle and mounting bosses galore
  • Wheels: White Industries CLD Hubs laced with DT Swiss Competition spokes rolling on Velocity Blunt 35mm rims
  • Tyres: Surly Knard 29×3.0 120TPI
  • Crank: White Industries ENO 175mm with 30T ring
  • Bottom Bracket: White Industries Ti Axle ISO
  • Shifter: SRAM X0 10 speed
  • Derailleur: SRAM X0 10Sp
  • Headset: Chris King Tapered
  • Brakes: Shimano SLX with Ice Tech rotors 180/160
  • Bar: RaceFace SICX Carbon 710mm (uncut)
  • Grips: ESI Grips Chunky
  • Stem: Titan Evo 90cm
  • Saddle: WTB Silverado Titanium/Carbon
  • Pedals: Shimano 520 (might be changing)
  • Seatpost: Basic aluminium for now, looking to upgrade
  • Cassette: SRAM X9 10 speed (11/36)
  • Chain: SRAM PC1031

Peep Show

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Custom design by Pedro Jerónimo, Tenerife.
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According to Señor Jerónimo, there are only a handful of Rasputin frames bearing the ‘plus’ sign.
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Weighing in at a voluptuous 25 lbs in his underpants, Rasputin is lean but he’s no weight weenie. A few more pounds could be shaved off with an XC wheel set, but then I’d probably want a suspension fork to avoid the pummelling over rough terrain on longer rides. The 29+ wheels are a good compromise for a low maintenance all around fun machine.
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White Industries ENO crank and titanium bottom bracket – not cheap, but it’s built to last and I love the look.
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One of my favourite features of the frame is this custom yoke where the chain stays meet the bottom bracket. No, it’s not 27.5+ friendly and I don’t care!
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Plenty of clearance up here too!
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The clearance on the fork is greater than it looks here. It still has enough clearance for a Mucky Nuts fat fender with only a gentle brushing sound as a Knard’s whiskers tickle the Mucky Nuts. Ha! 
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The 29×3.0 Knards are now setup tubeless on Velocity Blunt 35 rims. I didn’t have rim tape or ‘tubeless valves’ so I just ripped a few valves from some old tubes, lined the rim with two layers of Gorilla tape, and injected a few glugs of sealant. It leaked slowly for a while, but after a few hundred miles it’s running with no leaks at 22 PSI.
The matching titanium fork is a one of a kind Jerónimo design. It has a variety of mounting bosses for front racks, water bottle cages or Salsa Anything cages. This fork has a remarkable playfulness that I’ve not experienced with a rigid fork. It’s hell of a lot more forgiving than my Salsa Cromoto Grande!
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Currently setup with as 1×10 with 11-36T out back and 30T up front. The short cage XO derailleur probably won’t cope with a wider range, but I’ve got my eyes peeled for a used medium cage SRAM derailleur so that I might be able to fit an 11-42T cassette. Call me a weakling, but I think I am going to need it for the HT550!
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The White Industries hubs are quite blingy for my taste, but I’ve found I prefer the freewheel feel and sound of the WI over my Hope Pro 2 Evo. I am so over the Hope freehub sound and the WI freehub just spins forever… so buttery smooth!

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