A lot of smaller brands that deal exclusively in steel bikes like to keep things simple. The ethos goes hand-in-hand with the toil of long hours in the workshops jigging and welding a frame from a material that most of the industry left behind years ago. Martin Saida, of Zoceli Bikes, is one of those small-batch builders, but rather than revert to a standard single pivot he instead decided to challenge himself with something a bit more intricate. Martin has been a mechanical engineer for seven years and, inspired by the classic Yeti 303 downhill bike
, decided to create a steel full suspension bike with a sliding shock. The result is the stunning Dobordelu prototype.
Zoceli Dobordelu DetailsFrame Material:
Columbus steelIntended Use:
180mmHead Tube Angle:
64°Seat Tube Angle:
N/AMore info: shredwear.cz/zoceli
At the heart of the bike is a single pivot that isn't quite as high as the Yeti it is inspired by, but still sits comfortably above the chainring. Instead of having the shock connect the front and rear triangle, as you might expect on a single pivot, the shock is mounted onto a carriage that slides along a rail built into the downtube. The carriage is guided by two machined aluminum arms and the whole system allows Martin to tune the suspension more precisely than a standard single pivot.
Crucially, the slider design makes the Dobordelu more progressive with the leverage ratio on this frame changing from 3.25 to 2.45 as the bike moves through its travel. The design also keeps the centre of gravity of the bike low and, let's face it, looks damn cool too.
Of course, there are a number of obvious drawbacks including the fact that there's a large moving mass, more friction in the system, ingress of mud and dust and, Martin says, it's pricey. It's because of this Martin doesn't plan to ever bring this design to market - he views it as an engineering puzzle he was happy to solve.
Machined aluminum is used to complete the unique design.
Martin built the rest of the bike as a freeride/enduro monster truck with 180mm travel front and rear and 29" wheels. It has equally rowdy geometry to match, with a head angle of 64°, a seat tube angle of 78° and a reach of 455mm on this prototype. Martin spent nine months in total working on the bike and has had the chance to get in a few early ride impressions. He said, "It behaves similarly to a downhill bike, but with the advantages of an enduro bike. The frame sails the trails without hesitation, it is exactly what it was created for. The sensitive system keeps the wheels on the ground and ensures great traction."
Unfortunately, the Dobordelu will never see a production run and it will instead be Martin's one-of-a-kind personal bike. He has learned a lot from the process though and will be using those findings to improve his other frame, the Naosm. For more information on that frame and how to order one, visit Zoceli's website, here