Custom building a bike means you can tailor everything from the frame material to the geometry to your personal preference. Michiel Burgerhout, the owner of Project 12 Cycleworks, went one step further and tailored his bike down to the very trails he rides in the Netherlands.
Despite its reputation for flatness, there is a trail system in the east of the country that consists of several hundred kilometres of short punchy climbs and flowing singletrack. These trails left Michiel with a problem. He loved riding hardtails such as his patientZERO but they started to feel harsh on long rides, while his Vertigo full suspension
(with up to 150mm travel) was too heavy and progressive with too much travel for the humble elevation the Netherlands offers.
Project Victor DetailsIntended Use:
Dutch downcountryFrame Material:
73mm (120mm fork)Wheelsize:
29" front and rearHead Tube Angle:
3.21kg (frame and shock), 13.4kg (full build)Price:
€2,950 - custom frame, SIDluxe shock, any RAL color. More info: projectxii.nl
He first thought of the idea of making a soft tail around 4 years ago, but the concept was shelved until he was inspired by the Trek Supercaliber
and the introduction of the new RockShox SID last year
. 6 months of designing and building later he can reveal the first prototype of the Victor, a 73mm travel downcountry bike with geometry that's relatively progressive while still being efficient enough for long days on the bike.
Michiel thinks this could be the perfect bike for a lot of Dutch riders who want something that sits between a harsh XC bike and a trail bike that may be unwieldy on their mellow trails. He admits that the market for these bikes may not be huge but it has allowed him to find a niche that hasn't really been explored by any of the bigger brands.
Michiel currently runs the bike with 73mm travel using a 170x30 SIDluxe but there is the ability to expand that to 88mm using a 170x35 shock. The rest of the geometry comes from Michiel's patientZERO hardtail but adapted for a 120mm fork. This prototype model is tailored to his 1.75m height (5'9") with a reach of 460mm, a head tube angle of 66°, and a seat tube angle of 76.3°. Any customers will also be able to customise the geometry to their own height.
The intricate single-pivot gives a linear suspension curve
Michiel is really pleased with his early riding impressions. He says that the travel feels much more than 73mm and that it feels poppy on the jumps, nimble in the berms and it holds up well in the braking bumps (or Dutch rock gardens as he calls them). Despite its steel construction, the weight isn't sky high with the frame coming in under 3kg/6.6lb (3.21kg with shock) and this full build tipping the scales at 13.4kg/29.5lb.
Victor will be added to the Project12 lineup once testing on this prototype is complete and Michiel already has his first pre-order. The price will be around € 2.950 for a custom frame with SIDluxe shock in any RAL color. Next up for Michiel is a Mk4 version of the Vertigo full suspension bike that will offer more travel. For more info, click here