Brant Richards has unveiled his first Ragley 29er, and in typically uncompromising fashion it has been designed as a "rigid only" ride – if you fit a suspension fork it'll wreck the handling.
As the man himself says: "If you’re fed up with bars in the air, bouncy forks and just want something pure and rigid and fast, then here’s something for you."
Made by Lynskey Performance in the US, the titanium TD-1 – it's named after Ragley racer Dave "Twinklydave" Powell – is designed around a 440mm fork, which means the bars are 30-50mm lower than on many other 29ers, resulting in a more 'racey' riding position.
Geometry is based around a 72-degree head angle and 73-degree seat tube angle. Features include sliding dropouts, a horizontally ovalised top tube and a curved seat tube for better tyre clearance and front mech positioning.
Frames (16, 18 or 20in) are available to pre-order now from Hotlines UK at £1,199.99 (US$1,526). Stock should be landing within the next fortnight. According to Richards, plans are also in the pipeline for a high-end steel version and possibly a 7046 alloy option.
29ers are mountain bikes that use 700c rims (the same size as most road bikes) to achieve a wheel size of around 29in, instead of the standard 26in. Advantages include the fact that bigger wheels are faster rolling and give better traction; the payoff is that they are heavier and slower to accelerate.