Kilian Reil has spent most of the European Bike Challenge photographing other builders' bikes, but now it's his turn to step in front of the lens and show off his own creation. Kilian hasn't built his own bike, but he's worked in partnership with Project 12 Cycleworks
, a small Dutch builder, to create a steel-framed, gearbox full suspension bike that, as you'd expect, has components from European brands from head to tail.
Project 12 was started by Michiel Burgerhout who, after more than 10 years as an architect, decided to follow his passion and move into frame fabrication. He builds road, mountain and gravel bikes and uses a combination of water-cut parts, CNC, and silver and brass solder to bring his creations to life with a focus on bikes that are as nice to look at as they are to ride.
Burgerhout offers pretty much infinite customisation with the frame he is commissioned to build, his only restriction on this frame is that the seat tube angle must sit between 75 and 77 degrees. Reil specified the wheelsize, geometry, and travel of the frame and loosely based it on a Santa Cruz Tallboy, as he was looking for a bike that was comfortable on long tours and multi-day events like the Swiss Epic. The build took Michiel a month and a half to complete and is the 31st bike his brand has produced. The full geometry sheet can be found below:
While a steel frame may not be the first material you would think of for a long-distance ride, Kilian has drawn on his experience touring through Siberia and Central Asia when speccing his dream build. Despite the many miles he is expecting to rack up on this bike, reliability and sturdiness were more important than gram pinching. The result is a 132mm travel frame with aluminum wheels, a coil shock and a Pinion gearbox but also a Berk carbon saddle, Beast carbon bars and Tune hubs.
Frame: Project 12 Pinion Vertigo custom frame (132mm travel) (Netherlands)
Shifting: Pinion C1.12 gearbox (Germany)
Fork: Intend Hero (130mm travel) (Germany)
Shock: EXT Storia Lok V3 (Italy)
Pedals: Pembree R1V (UK)
Rims: Rad15 Ozone 30 (Nederlands)
Spokes: Sapim Spokes (Belgium)
Hubs: Tune Singlespeeder Boost rear, Tune King Kong boost (Germany)
Tires: Continental Trail King Tires (Germany)
Handlebar: Beast Handlebar 25mm rise and MTB Stem (Germany)
Grips: Tune Grips and plugs. (Germany)
Brakes: Trickstuff Diretissima Brakes, Pads and Discs (Germany)
Dropper: Vecnum Nivo 182 (Germany)
Saddle: Berk Lupina (Slovenia)
The intricate shock mounting and linkage is a work of art
You do have to work with a twist shifter, but a single cog on the rear wheel dramatically reduces the unsprung weight.
The pink brake adapter is a neat flourish.
For more info on Kilian's bike and the European Bike Challenge follow the European Bike Project, here
. A North American partner page has also been set up, here