Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1.00pm
By Guy Kesteven & Steve Worland
The frame here is a final prototype, but some members of our test team are already placing orders for the first production bikes due imminently.
Designed by Brant Richards (previously On-One) this is a radical hardtail frame that rides superbly in conditions that most right-minded people would do their best to avoid.
The long top tube, steep seat angle and slack head angle demand a 50-70mm stem but with a big bar and a stiff 140-160mm fork you’ll feel invincible. It’s a superb technical climber too, consistently surprising everyone who rode it with what they could get up.
The unique ‘three finger’ split-plate chainstay design means massive mud and chainring room, and this is the first steel hardtail we’ve ridden that passes the latest brutal CEN testing standards.
The skinny seatstays and cunningly butted main tubes still manage to deliver a resilient wrist-saving spring to the ride. There’s excellent traction and power delivery, and ample breathing space meant we didn’t worry about the high weight either.
The separate sticker kit and machined cable/hose clamps can all be moved according to different rider/drivetrain demands too.
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