Stanton Bikes Switchback – first look
By Oli Woodman | Monday, February 17, 2014 5.00pm
The Switchback could be the start of a new breed of super-slack hardtails Stanton Bikes
UK firm Stanton Bikes has added a new frame to its lineup of steel and titanium hardtails. Known as the Switchback, this newcomer has 650b hoops and an ultra-slack head angle.
Most of the recipe for the Switchback is already proven. The tubeset, for example, is a combination of Reynolds 525 and 631 tubing, which is the same as the company's multi-purpose Slackline frame. Stanton also used the 26in Slackline as a base for the geometry of the Switchback, so you'll still find a low bottom bracket height and short chainstays, the figures having been tweaked only slightly to accomodate the larger wheels.
The Switchback sets itself apart from its other steel siblings through its head angle, which sits at 64 degrees. That's no typo – the Switchback really is as slack as many dual-crown equipped downhill rigs! If there's one thing this hardtail isn't afraid of then, it's steep terrain. Elsewhere there's ISCG 05 mounts and interchangeable CNC'd dropouts to accept either a 12x142mm or 10x135mm rear hub.
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Two sizes are available –16.5in and 18in – as well as two finishes. Choose either a raw finish or, as pictured above, what Stanton call translucent forest green. The claimed weight for a 16.5in Switchback is 2,410g (5.3lb).
The first batch will consist of just 50 frames – to secure one for yourself you'll need to place a deposit of £275, half the £550 retail price. Stanton are expecting the first Switchbacks to arrive in June.
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