Boutique frame merchants Singular Cycles are known for their 29er bikes, and the Hummingbird is designed to accommodate a 29in wheel up front as well as the more regular pairing of 26in hoops. This is how we ran it, and we were impressed by its singletrack prowess.
The big wheel was usually happier than we were as we rolled the occasional vertiginous section of trail, and the reduced weight and increased efﬁciency of a rigid fork suited smoother terrain.
It’s a versatile steel frame that’s equipped with an eccentric bottom bracket, so it runs effectively as a singlespeed or hub geared bike, as well as in the geared incarnation seen here. A 1x9 drivechain may seem an odd choice for backcountry riding but the simplicity works in its favour, freeing us to concentrate on the scenery and making sure that the average speed stayed reasonable.
You may think that you’d ﬁnd yourself walking too much to make the lack of a granny ring a realistic proposition, but in reality only the very steepest grades can’t be cleared with a 34T sprocket at the top of the cassette. We’ll be trying it in 27-speed guise and hopefully also with a hub gear in the future, so keep an eye out for the Hummingbird’s further adventures.