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Pipedream Moxie Mx3 review

The ultimate do-anything hardtail?

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £3,300.00 RRP
Custom build / Frame only: £649
Pack shot of the Pipedream Moxie MX3 hardtail mountain bike

Our review

A beautifully-finished, feature-rich steel shredder with a fantastic ride quality
Pros: Excellent ride that suits both aggressive blasts in the woods and all-day missions in the hills; impeccably-built frame, with neat welds and lovely finishing touches; geometry is spot-on – and adjustable
Cons: No full builds available; limited mud clearance in the short position with bigger tyres
Skip to view product specifications

This latest Moxie hardtail shares its top tube with The Full Moxie, Pipedream’s full-suspension bike, enabling it to be used with forks with 140mm to 170mm of travel.

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It’s currently only offered as a frame, crafted from custom-butted 4130 chromoly steel tubes, but the Scottish brand built me up a bike to fit my budget.

Pipedream Moxie Mx3 key details

  • Clever yoke: Pipedream’s CNC-machined chainstay yoke is a smart way to ensure a strong rear end but still allow clearance for wider tyres and the chainring
  • Super sliders: Sliding dropouts not only allow multiple wheel sizes to be used, but also enable a little alteration of the frame geometry
  • Short and sweet: A 420mm seat tube – more often seen on very small frames – makes the largest Moxie Mx3 suitable for a wide range of rider heights, as well as long-drop posts.

Pipedream Moxie Mx3 frame and geometry

Pack shot of the Pipedream Moxie MX3 hardtail mountain bike
The geometry is pretty much bang-on in my books. My ‘Long’ frame had a healthy 470mm reach.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media

Adaptability is the name of the game – not only can it take a range of fork lengths, but also 650b, 650b+, ‘mullet’ or 29in wheel set-ups. This is thanks to a pair of sliding dropouts, which adjust the length of the rear end from 425mm to 441mm.

At its shortest, a 29er hoop does fit, but clearance around the neat chainstay yoke is tight (especially with the wide 2.5in tyres on my bike).

With two bolts per side and a bolted stop, it’s easy to change the dropout position mid-ride. This set-up proved super-secure throughout testing.

Cable routing is external and there’s only one set of bottle bosses. I was really impressed with the finish – everything slotted or slid in with minimal fuss, suggesting excellent attention to detail.

Pipedream offers the Moxie in four standard colours, but it’ll sell you a bare frame, along with a head tube badge and decals, so you can get it painted whatever hue you like.

It only comes in three sizes – Longish, Long and Longer – but with short seat tubes (395mm to 420mm), these should fit a wide range of riders, up to 6ft 3in. Reach figures are lengthy, stretching from 440mm to 510mm.

LongishLongLonger
Seat angle (degrees)77.577.577.5
Head angle (degrees)646464
Chainstay (mm)425-441425-441425-441
Seat tube (mm)395420420
Top tube (mm)580610650
Head tube (mm)105105105
Bottom bracket drop (mm)646464
Wheelbase (mm)1198-12141224-12401264-1280
Stack (mm)642642642
Reach (mm)440470510

Pipedream Moxie Mx3 kit

My bike was built with components available to Pipedream at the time – a Fox 36 Performance fork with 160mm of travel, a Shimano mountain bike groupset and Pacenti PI-30 END wheels shod with Hutchinson Griffus HardSkin Racing Lab 29×2.5in tyres.

Other spec details included a OneUp dropper post, SDG Radar saddle and 780mm Funn Kingpin handlebar.

Pipedream doesn’t sell full builds, but can supply some parts, including DVO Diamond forks and a choice of Pacenti wheelsets.

How we tested

We put four hard-hitting hardtail frames, which can be built up into complete bikes for around £3,000, to the test on some of the UK’s toughest and steepest tracks.

These UK-designed frames were ridden at our proving grounds in the South West, on the varied tracks of BikePark Wales and in the steep loam of High Burnside, near Aviemore in Scotland.

Smooth, stable handling is a must, but so is pin-sharp accuracy, so you can thread your way between trail features that might otherwise throw you off-line.

Also on test

Pipedream Moxie Mx3 ride impressions

As I was writing this review up, I checked back through my notes and was surprised to see that the Moxie was the heaviest bike on test – a testament to its great ride quality.

The geometry is pretty much bang-on in my books, with its ‘Long’ frame had a healthy 470mm reach, 64-degree head angle and a 315mm bottom bracket height.

This gives the Pipedream a lovely balance between high-speed stability and agility in the turns. Leant over onto the tyres’ shoulder tread, it hooked into the dirt and carved through corners.

At the same time, it was easy to pivot around the rear axle and loft the front wheel into the air, either to avoid a momentum-killing impact or to initiate flight off a lip.

Male cyclist riding the Pipedream Moxie MX3 hardtail mountain bike
Bang-on geometry gives the pipedream a lovely balance between high-speed stability and agility in the turns.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate Media

On climbs, the steep 77.5-degree seat tube angle is really appreciated, putting your hips well over the cranks and helping with weight distribution on steeper pitches.

With the chainstays in their short position, the steep seat tube helps keep your weight over the front and the wheel pointing where you want it to.

The sliding dropouts with 16mm of chainstay adjustment are an obvious talking point. I rode the bike in both the long and short positions, as well as swapping in a 650b rear wheel to try it out as a ‘mullet’.

The difference between the two lengths is subtle, but noticeable. In the longer setting, there’s a touch more stability, giving the Moxie a surefooted feel. That said, I preferred it shorter, where it exhibited a more fun-loving ride personality.

Much like the Ribble HT AL, the Pipedream skips around, encouraging you to square-off corners and rally around berms.

My bike arrived with a 35mm stem, and initially I found it too easy to tip into a turn, making me reassess my lines early in the arc. I swapped this for a slightly longer 40mm stem, which calmed the handling down, while still retaining an accurate, snappy responsiveness.

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Because Pipedream is selling the Moxie as a frame only, I’d recommend having a play with a couple of stem options to find the right balance for you.

Product Specifications

Product

Price GBP £3300.00
Weight 14.2kg (Long)
Brand Pipedream

Features

Available sizes Longish, Long, Longer
Headset Cartridge-bearing
Tyres Hutchinson Griffus HardSkin Racing Lab 29x2.5in
Stem Pacenti, 35mm
Shifter Shimano SLX
Seatpost OneUp dropper
Saddle SDG Radar
Rear derailleur Shimano SLX (1x12)
Handlebar Funn Kingpin, 780mm
Bottom bracket Shimano
Grips/Tape SDG
Frame 4130 steel
Fork Fox 36 Performance, 160mm (6.3in) travel
Cranks Shimano Deore, 32t
Chain Shimano SLX
Cassette Shimano, 10-52t
Brakes Shimano SLX, 200/180mm rotors
Wheels Pacenti PI-30 END