Most steel frames we cover on Pinkbike
tend to work with a single pivot suspension design
. The simpler kinematics tend to fit with the ethos of small-scale frame builders - simple, reliable and effective. However, Gavin White of Coal Bicycles wanted to do things a bit differently with his 84 frame.
Gavin has been a welder since he was 15 and has worked with a number of small brands around the UK offering OEM services. He says, "If you’ve ridden a steel hardtail from a UK brand, there’s a good chance that I made it." With 26 years of experience, he started thinking about how he would do things differently himself if he were in charge of the full production process and so Coal Bicycles was born. Gavin was inspired by the miners that he grew up surrounded by in England's East Midlands and wanted to build bikes that reflected them - tough and resilient.
He started his range with the Pony hardtail
(that he assures me has more than one trick) and now is trying his hand at a full suspension bike with the 84. Rather than settle for a single pivot, Gavin wanted a virtual pivot design with a floating shock for the pedaling characteristics. For the linkage parts that Gavin couldn't build himself, he teamed up with Rideworks
, another UK company that mainly specializes in machined components, and together the dream came to life.
The bike itself is a 160mm 29er but it can be configured as a mullet thanks to a flip-chip in the lower link. Swapping this over will give the bike an extra 10mm of travel and a more progressive kinematic so Gavin mainly recommends it for bike park riding with the full 29er set up more optimal for everything else.
Details: Coal Bicycles 84Frame Material:
Steel, Reynolds 853Intended Use:
160mm in 29er, 170mm in mullet, 170mm forkWheelsize:
29" front and rear or mulletHead tube angle:
64.5°Seat Tube Angle:
78° (73° actual)Sizes:
M, L, XLAvailability:
First batch of 20 frames released soonMore info: coalbicycles.com
At the moment the bike is still in its testing phase but Gavin is hoping to release his first batch of 20 in the next few weeks. He'll then continue to drop small batches as long as there is demand.
All of the graphics are painted including the head badge.