Reader Story: 72 Hour Handmade Mountain Bike

Mar 2, 2024
by Liam Donohue  

Jack Harle is a 23 year old engineer for TaylorMade in San Diego. In 2020 after breaking multiple bikes he began designing his own frame. After 4 years and 6 revisions, this bike is far from a janky garage build. It's a work of art. This short doc covers the process of building a bike by hand as well as Jack's story and love for the sport. "The vessel" bike will be piloted this summer at race events across North America by Owen Davis.

The vessel

The vessel pilot Owen Davis.

First version

Jack at sea otter 2022

First ride


Current version Jack rides

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liamdonohuemedia avatar

Member since Jul 23, 2015
8 articles

  • 69 1
 When you say 'side hustle' you mean 'money pit', right?
  • 13 0
 It’s worked for Starling.
  • 3 0
 Ah, I fail at replying to a comment.
  • 3 0
 @justanotherusername: yep. It's not's just unlikely.
  • 35 0
 That green version is rather tasty, loving the amount of riders just designing and fabricating their own frames these days, if you’ve got the engineering knowledge I imagine it to be a fun little side hustle
  • 14 0
 I agree, bar the bit about it being a side hustle - I don't think you would do it for the money, particularly in the current climate for bike sales!
  • 34 2
 The green bikes rims are laced improperly, the valve stems in the wrong spot
  • 3 6
 Ran out of money for spokes
  • 5 1
 Will it implode, or explode?
  • 9 8
 @mikesee: Whilst riding, Owen pinged off a baby head rock, causing a crack in the rim and a disturbance in the internet comment boards. It erupted with,"I told you so!". It was used so much, with such anger, it caused the Texas Instruments B5200 mainframe in Caucasus, New York, mainframe for the entire internet, to to create a evil dark hole. The nice dark hole was busy planting flowers in a meadow in Wales. Eventually, it sucked up everything and everyone died. The End. Way to go Owen. Smile
  • 2 6
flag bedren (Mar 2, 2024 at 14:00) (Below Threshold)
 Spokes are there. He builds a nice bike. Not trained to take pictures with good lighting.
  • 2 1
 Bikes look great but the rims lacing on the last bike and valves not aligned with tires throw me off. The patch and valve alignment shouldn't matter but that's about the only thing I get close to looking ok on my builds.
  • 11 0
 Bet you can't even see the hub logo if you look through the valve hole
  • 8 0
 @bedren: Its not pictures,
typically you want the valve stem to be between the section of spokes that are parallel (or close to) rather than at the spokes that cross. Little details, and it makes getting a pump head on much easier.

Cool bike though
  • 5 0
 @mikesee: Of course not,
But its something to catch.
I prolly wouldnt buy a set of wheels from someone if they missed that detail, and let it slide. the whole brown M&M theory you know.
Its a cool bike though
  • 1 0
 Well spotted.
  • 12 0
 local boys getting it done! seen this rig all around socal! keep it up man. Salute Salute Salute
  • 7 0
 Why can I only see some photos (not all of them are downloading) when I open an article?
  • 7 0
 At least it has a straight top tube. Should be a winner..
  • 4 0
 except he forgot to go with the internal headset routing that everyone here seems to want, maybe next version. Smile
  • 6 1
 Stoked for him there is literally 10's of dollars to be made.......for real this is great
  • 3 0
 Jack if you are around, hit me up, like to get one of these if possible.
  • 3 0
 Great bike and video. Good to see it hitting our local trails.
  • 2 0
 Kinda looks like the Contra MC.
  • 3 0
 External cable routing!
  • 2 1
 Very cool! Though I can't recall the last time I broke a frame, let alone multiple.
  • 1 0
 psycosis will put that bike to the test, well and owen. good luck and have a blast, that bike looks awesome.. great ideas
  • 2 0
 finally, seat angle that will make PB'ers to STFU about seat angles Big Grin
  • 2 0
 Probably cheaper to build your own bike frame then to buy one nowadays
  • 1 0
 Good job fella's, you both have a bright future ahead of you...Keep doing your thang!
  • 1 0
 Nice water bottle, dragged that thing all the way to Highland Mountain Bike Park?
  • 5 4
 Golf + MTB = the dream. Well done.
  • 1 0
 Supremely epic! I was still eating sand in the playground at that age.
  • 2 0
 Sick bike
  • 1 0
 No headset routing. That’s a deal breaker for me.
  • 1 0
 Great project! Nice video! Great trail! seemed to work fine! Good luck!
  • 1 0
 Dude broke a bunch of frames and said "Fine... I'll do it myself."
  • 1 0
 Good stuff.
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