The Tumbleweed Prospector
The Prospector has been painstakingly engineered from the ground up to be the highest quality and most rugged mountain touring bike available at any price. That doesn’t mean it follows all the latest trends in parts standards, or utilizes exotic materials to shave weight at any cost. Instead, it blends the best materials and time tested design attributes into a package that is dependable in the most unforgiving conditions.
While the Prospector is fully derailleur compatible (front and rear), it was designed specifically around the Rohloff SPEEDHUB, a 14 speed internally geared drivetrain that has proven itself to be supremely dependable and capable. With it’s fully sealed gear mechanism, fixed chain line (to maximize tire clearance) and lack of any dangling parts that could get ripped off in mud or bent out of alignment, this drivetrain is built to explore. We've been using Rohloff hubs on our tours for over eight years and tens of thousands of miles through sand, mud, snow and at elevations of up to 18,000' without issue.
The Prospector has several features that separate it from other expedition bikes. A Phil Wood eccentric bottom bracket offers half an inch of bottom bracket height adjustability, custom cast dropouts work seamlessly with the Rohloff hub, and a hollow chainstay yoke maximizes every millimeter of mud and tire clearance to round out a complete package that can take you anywhere in the world with confidence.
We are always looking for ways to make our bikes better, and the original Prospector design has been tweaked based on customer feedback and continuous real world testing.
What’s new compared to the original Prospector? Mostly evolutionary changes. The cable routing has been tweaked by a few millimeters here and there. The chainstays are shorter by 5mm, and the bottom bracket has been raised by 5mm since the majority of our customers have built their bikes with 27.5+ wheels instead of 29+ wheels as we originally thought. The smaller wheel size works fine with the original Prospector since the eccentric bottom bracket allows for height adjustment, but raising the BB gives a little more pedal clearance for those rocky technical trail rides.
The fork is where most of the Prospector’s changes are visible. The triple bottle mounts are now on the backside of the fork blades by popular request, to allow cages and racks to more easily be used at the same time. There is also internal dynamo wire routing, since most of the bikes we built were specced with dynamo hubs and it’s always a good idea to protect that wire. There are also now two axle choices for the fork, the original 135mm quick release fork with rear disc spacing (to allow front/rear wheel swapping) as well as a new 110x15mm thru axle fork. The thru axle fork allows easy swaps with suspension forks without needing to build a new front wheel.
The new Midnight Blue color is rich and deep. The Sandglow color carries over from the original Prospector, but there are new decals and a headbadge.
Click here to download Frameset Spec Sheet and Warranty