Stanton Bikes Switchback - first look

Super slack 650b ripper

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.

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.

Oli Woodman

Section Editor, UK
With more than 10 years of experience riding mountain bikes, Oli knows the good from the bad when it comes to gear. He's a total bike nerd and loves few things more than fettling with spangly riding bits. Also, he seems to have a talent for crashing hard but emerging unscathed.
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Loamy singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Marin Pine Mountain, Pinnacle Dolomite
  • Dream Bike: Honda RN01
  • Beer of Choice: Corona
  • Location: Bristol, UK
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