First Ride: Frameworks Racing Trail Bike Prototype - Crankworx Whistler 2023

Jul 25, 2023
by Dario DiGiulio  
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With myriad prototype downhill bikes under his belt at this point, Neko Mulally has been hard at work dialing his designs, honing in on the construction methods and suspension kinematics that perform best on track. As either a byproduct or fellow intention to that effort, he focused some time on the shorter travel end of the spectrum, and the initial result is what you see here. Fittingly dubbed the Trail Bike, this 160mm machine is meant for a bit of everything, intended to pedal as well as it can while still maintaining descending prowess.
Frameworks Trail Bike Details
• Aluminum front triangle and chainstays
• Mixed wheel size
• 160mm suspension (170 w/ longer shock)
• 160mm or 170mm fork
• 64° head angle
• 480mm reach
• 455mm chainstay
• 80.8° seat angle

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I really dig the bike's look.
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Equal parts utilitarian...
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and agrarian.
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Pardon the crude screenshot, but it paints the picture well.

Sized to fit Neko, his outstanding junior racer Asa, and his mechanic Anxo, the Trail Bike has fairly neutral geometry numbers that are adaptable and suited to a wide variety of terrain. There are a couple extreme standout numbers, such as the 80.8° seat angle and the 455mm chainstays, but for the most part things aren't too out of the ordinary.

Construction-wise, the frame carries a lot of details over from the downhill bike, with the tubing spec, gussets, and carbon stays doing double duty between the two frames. Due to the clearances of a trail bike drivetrain, the carbon chainstays from the DH bike couldn't be used, but that's a change that will likely come with the next version of the Trail Bike, to reduce weight and play into the overall frame stiffness. Some of the most impressive details are the CNC-milled elements on the frame, such as the bottom bracket - main pivot - shock mount cluster, which makes for a more elegant look while also increasing the ease of manufacturing.

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CNC'd cluster.
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Peek at the clever pivot placement.
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Handsome headtube.
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FWxCC.

Ride Impressions

I get the opportunity to ride a lot of bikes, and have grown pretty used to the learning curve and adaptation period that happens when you jump on a new bike. Typically, after a couple rides and some tweaking, you're in a pretty solid place to start pushing the bike. I took the Frameworks bike out for a first lap in the Whistler Bike Park and immediately started pushing the pace and checking off features, with a feeling of confidence I don't typically have on a first ride. Sounds like high praise, and it is, but I think a fair bit of this is due to the similarity between the Frameworks Trail Bike and the Santa Cruz Nomad, which I've been riding a ton this summer.

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Small wheel and some carbon.
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Big wheel and lots of metal.

The geometry is well sorted, with modern yet reasonable angles and measures all around. The head angle can be slackened out by about half a degree by moving to a 170mm fork, which would also make the comfortable stack height even more elevated - this might be the move for people who like a more defensive position while riding steep terrain, though I never found the 160mm fork terribly lacking when things got vertical. The 480mm reach pairs very nicely with the 455mm chainstays, giving you a very planted and mobile feel within the bike. I like the pocket of space this gives you to move your weight around, without feeling like you're pulling the bike out of its happy place.

Unsurprisingly, the 80° seat tube angle puts you in an almost comically upright position, but it makes climbing the bike a breeze. Since you're sitting right in the middle of things, the suspension doesn't cycle very much, which was welcomed to me as the spring weight on the bike was definitely a bit light for me.

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Looks simple, isn't.
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Helps keep the noise down.

One very impressive attribute was just how active the suspension remained under braking, with the bike riding relatively high and maintaining excellent grip even when I was yanking on the brakes. This allows for the chassis to take hits when you're bearing down steeper sections of trail without packing in too deep. For folks who like to be back on their heels in steeps, this might feel a bit daunting, but I really enjoy the sensation.

The bike wasn't dead quiet, but a big part of that was just long cables tapping against the frame, which is fairly resonant given the large tube diameters. Overall the frame feels robust, stiff, and smooth, with truly excellent suspension performance. I'm looking forward to spending more time on this one, hopefully that can come soon.

Build Details

This is far from a production bike, so the parts kit is interesting and well considered for the needs of serious racing and riding.

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They typically run TRP 2.3mm rotors as well, but were sent the wrong hubs - hence the Centerlock IceTechs.
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Anxo says they usually run Galfer purple pads in the rear, as well as Shimano hoses connecting the TRP system.
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XO Transmission, works great.
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With the old chainring style (works a-okay). Team Frameworks usually runs an Ochain, but ran into clearance issues with these chainstays.
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One last look.


At the moment, the Trail Bike isn't for sale, as development is still ongoing. However, Frameworks do have plans to sell downhill frames next year, so hopefully that means the Trail Bike will follow suit.


There are plenty more photos to check out here, should you be compelled.



Author Info:
dariodigiulio avatar

Member since Dec 25, 2016
190 articles

177 Comments
  • 109 2
 I know this is a horst link, not four-bar-single-pivot, but otherwise this thing has some serious old-school Kona vibes with modern geometry. I love it.
  • 7 0
 Was going to say this EXACT thing!
  • 21 0
 rocker is about the same size as the one on my 05 stinkey (which is now a wall decoration bc cracks)
  • 10 2
 Mad respect for Neko and the whole project but I have a hard time getting stoked about those Kona-esque linkage arms myself. Function over form is fair enough in this case.
  • 31 0
 Looks more like an original Turner RFX to me.
  • 13 0
 @big-red: I'm getting way more mid-2000s Banshee vibes, ala the linkage and massive head tube.
  • 9 0
 @seraph: You're right. It practically SCREAMs Banshee too.
  • 2 0
 Yup! Stinky for the win Smile My son still rides his on occasion
  • 1 0
 Arent horst and 4-bar the same?!
  • 2 0
 @ShopMechanic: yep, I thought I was looking at an old Romic shock for a second
  • 9 0
 @ShopMechanic: FYI, Frank The Welder (who made that FW frame) made some of the early Turner Burner bikes in 1995, including the Burner DH frames with gusseted headtube and DH-specific silver CNC’d rocker links.

That new FW bike has definite Burner DH DNA as well as 1998-99 Turner Afterburner DNA. The two versions of the RFX and the one version of the Six Pack came after the Afterburner and were sort of an All-Mountain / Enduro version of the Afterburner (BTW, I think “Enduro” was first used by Intense in 1998 on their Uzzi DH frame with Horst link rear end; the alternative to the beefy Team / DH single-pivot swingarm).

Below are some of the Burner DH variants, Burners w/DH links, Afterburners, etc. The silver Burner DH links made by Frank The Welder have a clear resemblance to the new FW links, 28 years on. So yeah, being that Dave Turner doesn’t make rocker link bikes nor MTB’s anymore, this new FW bike is the closest thing we have to a 2023 Turner mountain bike =)
www.pinkbike.com/u/WRCDH/album/Turners
  • 1 0
 Exactly my thoughts, It'd look unreal in a class Kona paint job with black linkage and Stinky blue or Stab grey front triangle.
  • 2 0
 @lastminutetech: Not quite. A Horst is a four-bar layout, but with the pivot below the axle so that the axle moves with the seatstay. A four-bar-single-pivot as I called it above is really just a single pivot bike where the axle moves with the rotation of the chainstay and the pivot point is above the axle. The four-bar component is just a convenient way to make it structurally sound and to activate the shock at the desired ratio.

In essence, a Horst link allows the designer to create an axle path that can be somewhat different than the rotation of the chainstay.

Good examples of a Horst would be a Norco Optic or Specialized Stumpjumper Evo. A good example of a single pivot with a four-bar arrangement to drive the shock would be any of the Commencals other than those new Tempo bikes they're making.
  • 2 0
 @big-red: I'd say that differently. 4bar is generic and horst link is especific, but are the same. The pivot is on the chainstays before the axle. Single pivot linkage driven is when there is no other pivot on the chainstays. Many twin link designs, DW, vpp, are four bar designs too, just named differently because of their link placement.

Lots of designs offer axle path differently from the single pivot, and are all four bar, with recently being launched more and more 6 bar designs.
  • 2 0
 Surely the closest analogy is a Privateer 161!!
  • 1 0
 @big-red: sweet thx!
  • 1 1
 What are those cranks!? They look awesome!!
  • 1 0
 @lastminutetech: Horst falls under the 4-bar umbrella but not all 4-bar is Horst. It has to do with the rear most picot. On a Horst bike the pivot is in front of the axle in the chainstay somewhere. Some 4-bar designs have the link sort of above the axle. There is only one pivot between the axle and the frame (the pivot right above the bottom bracket). There is still a pivot nearish the axle but its between the axle and the seatstay so it doesn't effect the axle path. This second one is called a "single-pivot 4-bar" because the axle path is the same as a single-pivot bike but the linkage to transfer forces to the shock is 4-bar. So the shock kinematics are 4-bar-esque.
  • 2 0
 @lastminutetech: the split pivot design from trek is another example of single-pivot axle path with 4-bar linkage. But with better braking characteristics than a true single-picot
  • 1 0
 @RatBait: awesome thx!
  • 2 1
 @bunjiman82: The cranks are by 5Dev they are awesome!
  • 2 0
 @WRCDH:
Dave Turner should get way more credit. I owned a Hl 5 Spot and Flux, and a non- HL, 4 bar free ride bike (burner? RFX?) And they were fracking awesome
  • 64 6
 I've been watching all Neko's videos and really enjoy watching him go through the development process. But let's be honest here, these bikes aren't going to be significantly better than others, there's just too many good bikes these days. What Neko is doing is sharing a great story and creating fans. I hope things work out for him.
  • 25 1
 Well if you watched the videos he pretty much says that but is looking for specific details that he doesn't find in any bike on the market, geometry and suspension kinematics. When you're as good as Neko and can feel small geo or kinematic changes than making a custom bike is what you do. For normal people would we feel a difference between this and a Trek? Who knows.
  • 16 1
 If you’re a serious racer type I think these would/should be at the top is the list given the very very propose driven design. Seems he’s really addressing a lot of little things that often get over looked, a lot of minor items resulting in an overall notable impact.
  • 22 3
 From my limited understanding, when a brand makes a production bike, they have to make it for more than just the customers who are racing if they want to keep the lights on. So they make it great for their average customer and it becomes the Goldilocks principle. Not too hot, not too cold, but in the middle. When Neko makes a bike, he can make it specifically for the person that wants to race, as in Papa bears porridge that was piping hot.
  • 4 3
 @avg-roadie: "For normal people would we feel a difference between this and a Trek? Who knows." The answer is no. But still a sweet bike and I want one because their novelty
  • 1 1
 @honda50r: oh I agree. This thing is so rad. More just like why build your own bike when it’s similar to others. Well Leno can feel a difference. We can’t lol
  • 4 0
 Its a race driven design with less concerns about sales. Thats a big advantage. Also there are no Product designers involved(these are not engineers and usually start the developement(problme is that they have no technical background and create looks which the enginnerring has to compansate later in the developement for(in short almost all current bikes are Apearance >> function)) no PR Marketing technologie bullshit (like Fact 11 Carbon, Alpha Platinium Aluminium, ...).

I Think this freedom will lead to a great design with significant advantages over the conventional competition



PS yes current bikes are mostly good but thats also based on comparing them to older designs. Lets see how we view the current design in 10 years and if we still think that they where good.
  • 50 0
 Asa beat Ritchie on this bike at national champs
  • 29 2
 Thank you. The ‘meh’ sentiments here are missing the point that this prototype side project enduro rig was dialed enough for ANYBODY to give Richie a run for his money.

And just look at it - uninterrupted seat tube to eliminate dropper length headaches, super steep seat angle for civilized winching, Probably heavy AF too but you know how much that held him back? Nada.

I need this bike in my life.
  • 11 0
 @Blownoutrides: Pretty sure I could not give Richie a run for his money :-D
  • 3 0
 @Blownoutrides: I think he said its 39lb in his FrameWorks video about it. It's made of the same straight wall .083" tubing as the DH rig, and likely way over built.
  • 6 0
 Pretty cool to see this bike go head to head with the top frame manufacturers and win. Obviously the rider makes the biggest difference, but given how much marketing money is spent on buzzwords and all the articles that talk about "race DNA" and "driven by innovation", it's super rad to see an underdog brand like FWs come out and perform.
  • 4 1
 @TTASS: well a bike doesnt win a race, a rider does. but the bike can definitaly lose it
  • 6 0
 @emptybox: Especially when we're talking about a 16-year-old Asa on a prototype bike going against Richie, who many consider the GOAT of enduro racing on essentially the most successful program in the sport.
  • 36 5
 Paul Aston thinks it’s too short by 100mm. Thank god Dario likes to actually ride fun bikes
  • 12 0
 It would be interesting to read what pinkbike thinks of Paul Aston's bikes after testing them.
  • 4 4
 You can't have fun on a 100mm longer bike? Shorter is more fun?
  • 27 4
 @SintraFreeride: I used to really value his opinions and testing when reading pinkbike years back, nowadays every bike besides the ones he "builds" is apparently rubbish and everything else is inferior unless it has a 1400mm wheelbase and 500mm chainstays made from ex soviet railways beams.
  • 4 4
 @Brasher: also any suspension from a mainstream manufacturer is utter shite and will probably get you killed.
  • 6 2
 @Brasher: That's just not true (Nicolai for one). IDK if Paul pissed all of you guys off or something, but if you guys are going to criticize him, at least be honest.
  • 6 3
 @BamaBiscuits @brasher he's really gone off the rails lately. At this point his reviews dont have a ton of relevance to anyone since they are of 1 off custom bikes and heavily modified suspension that just isnt going to be available to everyday riders
  • 4 2
 @mtmc99: 100%. And his boy rule man won’t even tell you anything. I asked him why his stuff is better and he pointed me to a bunch of random
Dms on his Instagram of people saying it was better. So idk what’s up with Paul Aston but he’s gone nuts. He gets mad when stock out of the box stuff isn’t as good as a 2k fork with 2k In upgrades works
  • 18 0
 @freeridejerk888:
I think it looks damn good actually.

If they were using a longer frame reach, as I do (as I'm taller than the average of the 3x people this bike is designed for, plus I ride a shorter stem + a more swept back bar for personal comfort) then I would like to see a proportionally longer CS - then the longer wheelbase I like is simply a result of those numbers.

Personally, I also like a slacker HA, but that is more related to the rider's height in my opinion: taller rider can benefit from a slacker HA due to reducing weight shift under braking/in steeps from their higher CoG.

My bikes are the funnest bikes I've ever rode. I love riding bikes and have made 3x similar ones in a row. Do you think I'm deliberately going out of my way to ride boring bikes and ruin my riding time?

Come over to ride them if you like: I'll accommodate you, feed you, and take you riding at the local park. As long as we can document it for a video?
  • 14 0
 @freeridejerk888: I just try to point out real-world truths to hard-working consumers, like you (I assume) that spend a serious amount of money on this kit.

The amount of stuff I have spent my own money on to test and it didn't work out of the box is silly. I believe all suspension sent to the media to test for free will have been checked/prepped beforehand and is often different to what comes out of a box, so I buy it and give a real customer's opinion.

I just try to help you guys to decide where to spend your money, and it is always better to go to a reputable tuner who will strip, check, and tune the product for you to maximize valuable riding time:

- NSR-tuned Boxxer will cost you a few hundred more than a stock Boxxer to get actual (from Stevie Smith's ex-wrench) WC performance tuned to your weight and speed.
-Dorado RRT is €2600 for a fully tuned and prepped forked, where it retails at €1970.

I think anybody spending that amount of money on a fork would be able to stump up the little extra to get something that works perfectly from Day 1.
  • 12 0
 @mtmc99:

My steel frame cost €1800
My Ti frame cost €3700
My Radical Replica cost €3000. Anybody can order a frame from Egerie, and looking at those prices are essentially cheaper than anything you can buy production-wise. Which is why I bought them and not any more production bikes that I have lost money on every time - if you want to stump up the cash for some production bikes for me to review I would not say no!

Modded suspension adds approx. 20-30% to the product price. So well worth the extra money if you have it. Or buy a used product and send it to a reputable tuner.
  • 14 0
 @Brasher: Maybe I am just a step of the industry? I'm not saying I am, but I had literally hundreds of comments telling me I was wrong/an idiot/mental when I was working for PB for many things that have now become standard.

The initial Geometron and Pole Bikes I praised a lot, I got abused on here a lot, then look a the geometry of the average bikes now (7/8 years on) and they are extremely similar.
  • 3 0
 @astonmtb: I think you are forward thinking, for sure. I still follow your instagram and subscribe to your youtube as I align my thoughts on Geometry in line with yours.

It's more the shitting on other products that irks me, But you seem to really break stuff so there is some truth to your words. Watching your latest vid on that track in the alps, you sure are riding hard/fast enough.

For what it's worth, I'm about your height, I'm on a bike with 1340mm WB, 63deg HA and 462mm Chainstay and life is good, I love the bike, the "out there" geometry works.
  • 10 0
 @astonmtb: You are rad for replying to these comments.
  • 8 0
 @Brasher: So we basically have identical geo except 1º and 33millimetres.

I don't try to trash stuff, I just say what I think and point out issues. Criticism might sound like moaning but it's sometimes the only way to improve things: for example, Norco send out packages of new parts to all existing Shore customers thanks to my review so I am happy I can help hard-working riders get better products and enjoy riding more!

Peace!
  • 1 0
 @astonmtb: Hello you mentalist . I would very much like to see a three way chat between you, neko and starling Joe.

Keep up the good work
  • 32 1
 Levy is going to lose his shit that this is being called a trail bike
  • 7 6
 remember Levy...
  • 9 6
 What ever happened to Mr. Levy?
  • 9 4
 @Murphius: yes, I'd like to know this too. Was he too "Outside" the norm for the new regime?
  • 48 0
 @Murphius, he’s still around, he’s just taking some time off.
  • 9 2
 @mikekazimer: that's great to hear! Please don't lose the Kaz and Levy beer. That's my favorite PB brew ever! No offense @dariodigiulio or @henryquinney , you guys are rad too!
  • 26 0
 I’m fairness, downhillers will call anything that pedals uphill a trail bike.
  • 3 0
 @mikekazimer: Have you worked out a way to auto reply to this question yet?
  • 3 0
 I was walking dogs with my missus the other day, and we were walking towards two other people doing the same. Missus comments "some people really looks like their dogs!" One of the people was Mike ha ha. To be fair she was mainly talking about the other person, and Mike has a fine looking dog Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @BagelMan: Hi its me
  • 23 1
 Not really close to a Nomad at all, other than it's a mullet.

Longer front/rear centers, lower BB, steeper SA, way lower stack, vastly different anti-rise and anti-squat curves.

I think the reason @dariodigiulio was comfortable quickly on it, is simply because it's a well designed frame!
  • 20 0
 Finally, a prototype, not covered by a blanket with Velcro lol
  • 15 0
 Elite WC Athletes like Neko and the Atherton's making bikes just gets me fired up. Who knows how much of the athletes input went into their sponsors production bikes in years past. But I know how much of their input goes into the bike brands they've started!
  • 11 0
 Interestingly it has same/similar geo numbers as the Pole Vikkela and Voima. 80* seat tube, 455 chainstays and 480 reach on a size K2 are the same. Head tube is 63.5 on the Vikkela and 64 on Niko’s bike. The Vikkela/Voima just has more travel, 190/190.
  • 2 0
 Well observed… if it also rides similarly to the Vikkelä (which is a fair assumption), it will be a blast. Like it!
  • 2 0
 I think Pole has higher BB but can't be arsed to check right now. Anyway I like your comparison
  • 2 0
 Good job picking out the numbers. That is actually crazy!! tup
  • 1 1
 There's also the Honzo ESD that has a 77.5° effective seat angle at rest and around 80° at sag, 490mm reach but shorter stays (417 to 432mm I think), and it climbs pretty well.
  • 1 0
 @kanioni: I've not checked either but think about BB height at sag with a 190 against a 160, probs the same
  • 11 0
 Anyone know why Neko runs the Shimano brake hoses vs the TRP ones? Been wondering this for awhile.
  • 3 0
 yea curious as well, I think Commencal Muc-Off doing the same with Saint hose
  • 5 0
 In this post r(www.pinkbike.com/photo/25226419), he says that the Saints are a bit firmer with longer banjos for better cooling. Said it provides a bit firmer bite.

It has also been noted that the TRP hoses are 5mm while the Saints are 5.5mm.
  • 4 0
 @TheFunkyMonkey: Interesting, TRP was using 5.5mm before and dialed it back to 5mm on the DH-R
  • 1 0
 @TheFunkyMonkey: Thanks! Do you know if he is running Shimano or TRP mineral oil with those?
  • 2 0
 @rowyoboat: he's said he runs red Shimano mineral oil in the past if my memory serves.
  • 10 0
 That seat tube looks like a flag pole, it’s so upright.
  • 34 0
 Does that mean the rider is a flag pole sitta?
  • 3 1
 @kcy4130: that is just an amazingly awesome deeeeeeeeeep pull!
  • 1 0
 @kcy4130: He’s not sick but he’s not well…….
  • 9 2
 Everything I want and nothing I don’t
  • 17 1
 yup, checks a lot of boxes:

- aluminum
- mullet
- external routing
- minimal branding
- reasonable reach
- reasonable head angle

would love to see a chainstay flip chip for a shorter option, and maybe a slightly slacker STA, but looks pretty great.
  • 6 1
 @scotteh: Raaw has that and is for sale.
  • 5 0
 @wolftwenty1: good shout - love the Raaw bikes, but unfortunately not designed around mullet. also, their seatpost insertion isn't very good.

i have converted both dual 27.5 and dual 29 bikes into mullets, and it's always a compromise. with a 29 raaw converted to mullet, you would lose reach, get slacker, and most importantly have a ground scraping bb height.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: No mullet from Raaw.
  • 3 0
 @wolftwenty1: Raaw is a beautiful alum frame but seat tube is way slacker and has insertion issues, head angle is (IMHO) way too steep, and chainstays are (IMHO) a bit too short. Chainstays do track with sizing tho which is really nice touch. Been aching for Raaw to make a slacker bike with longer chainstays but no dice.
  • 2 0
 @pisgahgnar: I'm with that. Would have bought the Yalla already if it was.
  • 4 0
 @scotteh: Cascade Components makes a mullet eyelet for the DHX2. Been running this set-up on my privateer 141 and has been working out pretty good. I think they share similar frames/linkages so I'd imagine this would work with Raaw bikes as well.
  • 2 1
 @scotteh: Transition Patrol
  • 2 0
 @fabsmf: transition alloy frames are stupid heavy and have internal routing, geo is pretty dialed though (bit too slack but could fix with angle set)
  • 1 0
 @jalopyj: super interesting, thanks man! too bad they don't make one for an air shock
  • 2 1
 @scotteh: and no trunion, only the chainstaylength is not my cup of tea, no matter how much i want to like long stays i only really fall in love with 43 ish chainstay bikes.
  • 1 0
 @Blownoutrides: I’m 184 and can easily fit a 210 OneUp post, and you can run the chainstays at 450 for every frame size by switching out the axle. Switched from a slacker and longer bike to the raaw because the previous one was too unwieldy. 64.5 feels spot on, could probably go slacker just by using a longer atc or 180mm fork if you want.
  • 3 0
 @scotteh: My 22 Alloy Patrol only has the shifter internal. Brakes are outer. I doubt this frame is light and its slacker than the Patrol. Im only comparing it cause it looks similar in its suspension etc. This has a much longer chain stay though.
  • 2 0
 @fabsmf: Shifter...cable....does not compute...
  • 1 0
 @scotteh: size down on a Geometron (M) and you basically have almost the same Geo Smile
  • 3 0
 @ESKato: but sadly, no waterbottle (god i'm a picky c*nt)
  • 1 0
 @scotteh: yeah on the M it’s more tricky I fitted a fidlock in the front and a yt bottle on the bottom of my size L frame so I can carry 1L on the frame. Plus the toptube is so low you can even fit one on top if you really want to Big Grin
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: For a bike park DH bike 29" inch is quite good to me. Got a Demo mullet and I ride only 29 front and rear.
I like the Yalla,it looks amazing.
  • 6 1
 I am just going to come out and say it... looks built like a brick shit house. A squirrel could use that triangle as a roll cage.
  • 3 0
 Given many full suspension bikes are following this familiar silhouette these days, is it testament just how right Dave Turner got things right in the 90s in terms of suspension design? And is this classic setup basically becoming the best way of building a suspension frame??
  • 5 0
 Franks welding is gorgeous. Carbon bikes are great, but something about raw aluminum, with gorgeous wells, just looks soooo good!
  • 7 0
 This is good pinkbike.
  • 3 1
 Interested in how the new T Type chain works on the old Eagle chainrings. Also all that effort to create a quiet bike, but running the Cascade bash guide, which I use and love, but makes a ton of noise?
  • 3 1
 Am I out to lunch, or does chainring specificity matter much less than brands would have us believe?

Don't 9-12 speed chains all have the same internal dimensions? And in a 1x system without shift ramps, I can't imagine what else matters. Tooth profile patents, I guess.

Love to learn more on this if someone knows.
  • 3 0
 @AndrewHornor: Doesn't seem to matter between brands, but the new T Type chains are physically narrower, which can lead to issues with some chainrings that have wider teeth designed for the older eagle/12spd chains.
  • 3 3
 The Flat Top chain is not compatible with any Eagle cassette or chainring. The roller bearing in the Flat Top has a larger diameter than Eagle chains.
  • 3 0
 @krka73: some people (and that post) repost that transmission works fine with eagle-compatible chainrings. Some guy on reddit is still runninig Eagle cassette with XO RD. I have GX Transmission coming my way and going to try exactly that.
  • 6 0
 @krka73: You say that - but here one is, on a bike after being ride tested and not a word of chain-drop from incompatibility.
  • 2 0
 @electrfiedride: with a full chain guide it won't be dropping anyway, but we have photo evidence it fits...
And that's why I'm so skeptical of brand claims like "we developed a new profile for Shimano 12 speed" -- nice, it works great with my 11 speed chain too.
  • 1 0
 @kovyrshin: I'm curious to hear how it works out.
  • 1 2
 @electrfiedride: I don't own transmission or any road flat top components. It's what SRAM says...

I'd like to put a caliper in a Flat Top roller bearing. See just how much bigger it is. To date I have not read or seen an exact dimension difference given.

Maybe that information is out in the ether somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @kovyrshin: Interested to see the results! I got GX AXS right before GX Transmission dropped, and would prefer to ditch my hanger if possible.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: Ok then how do you square that claim with the fact that this bike is running an "incompatible" chainring?
  • 2 1
 @ksilvey10: I don't know, either the difference in roller bearing diameter is not enough to surpass the normal +/- tolerance of the chainring, or maybe it's a used chainring that's worn and has more space between the teeth such that the larger roller bearing works.

It could possibly work perfectly despite what SRAM says is incompatible.

Now, I've also mixed and matched a ton of components over the years. In my experience, just because some says it works just fine, doesn't necessarily mean it's desirable or seamless.
  • 4 0
 @krka73: 7.65mm roller diameter for most chains. 7.9mm roller diameter for t type. other than that, most things are the same.
small note on chains, shimano 12 speed quick links are narrower (on the inside) than the rest of the chain so the wide teeth of a shimano compatible chainring have to be narrower than a sram compatible chainring.
  • 1 0
 @Spencermon: Thanks, good to know.

On a side note: I'd be more interested to know how a Transmission rear derailleur would work with Eagle cassettes & chains. That's where you could save a ton of money "upgrading" if you have an existing Eagle drivetrain.
  • 2 0
 @krka73: I haven't tried it with an eagle cassette, but the eagle chain on the new transmission cassette does not work well at all, rides very poorly. Also, the new cassette is 2.5mm further outboard than the old cassette, so I am not sure how you'd get the transmission derailleur to index the gears correctly (although the spacing between gear is the same), unless the micra adjust trim feature can move it in that far
  • 1 2
 @ShreddinThePig: Good points. I guess you could re-dish a wheel 2.5mm to put an Eagle where the Transmission cassette would sit. Or you could swap to an XDR freehub, which also places the cassette 2.5mm further outboard. I think a 2.5mm spacer on an XD freehub could be a little sketchy, you lose a lot meat where the cassette engages the freehub spline. Those options would be a lot cheaper than any of the Transmission cassettes if you're trying to use an Eagle cassette you already have.
  • 1 0
 @krka73: I think you would have to re-dish and use custom end-caps. but then the brake rotor would need spacers. I think.
honestly I have no idea if you even could use the transmission derailleur with anything but the transmission cassette.
  • 1 0
 @ShreddinThePig: from what I can find, a 1mm cassette spacer behind the Eagle cassette is enough for the micro adjust to gap the difference.
  • 2 0
 @krka73: I can confirm that T-Type chains are compatible with regular Eagle chainrings, and the opposite is also true. I've tested it here in the shop.
  • 1 0
 @seraph: Also, only a matter of time till Absolute Black and alike bring out chainrings that will work with T-Type on regular SRAM or whatever cranks.
  • 2 0
 @dmackyaheard: Wolftooth already did it! 3-Bolt to T-Type.
  • 1 0
 @dmackyaheard: Yeah Wolf Tooth did it. They're usually on the forefront of chainring compatibility when companies come out with new "standards".
  • 2 0
 I feel like I love this bike more than I should. Great geo. No frills. Hope they can make stuff like this affordable.
  • 3 0
 Its the bike intense should be making.
  • 2 0
 Reminds me of what I wished my Turner 5-Spot would have evolved into......R.I.P. Turner....
  • 3 0
 Holy seat angle batman.
  • 3 1
 that seat angle is sex-ay!
  • 1 0
 Personally, wouldn't want anything less!
  • 2 0
 That’s got to be a first calling a 160mm bike a short travel trail bike
  • 1 0
 I like it. Getting some Turner RFX vibes on it. A modern RFX would be awesome.
  • 1 0
 Why is the piggyback off to the side like that?
  • 4 0
 Neko answered that question on instagram recently. It's to keep the heavier end of the shock on the unsprung side. With the shape of the frame, it only fits sideways.
  • 2 0
 *sprung side
  • 1 0
 @AndrewHornor: so is it to keep it on the unsprung side or is it cause it doesn't fit? Looks wonky...I saw this bike in the lineup, some strange stuff going on with that shock mount.
  • 2 0
 @wolftwenty1: www.instagram.com/p/CvFjZnCOntN/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA=
The way I understand it, reservoir down for less unsprung weight, and sideways to be able to make that happen.
  • 2 0
 @AndrewHornor: thanks. Interesting. Not hating just literally never seen anything like it.
  • 1 0
 neko also said allows for a straight down tube / simpler bb connection detail. ie, otherwise would have to have to use a bent dt for clearance. clean & smart solution!
  • 4 0
 @AndrewHornor: I guess the other thing it does (because there's a tiny little yoke with bearings) is allow for shock rotation in the fore-aft and side-to-side axes. Which means any frame twist doesn't side-load the shock. Which might make certain brands of shock last a little longer
  • 1 0
 It looks like it could be kicked pretty easily.
  • 2 0
 @mountainsofsussex: Thats what i noticed when I saw it in the lineup the other day. You gotta wonder if that increased complexity is worth any incremental gain it might offer
  • 3 0
 @jeffpegan: Neko addressed that in the in depth video on his YouTube channel. It sticks out less than the chainring, no issues. It's similar to people running a pump on the side of their bottle cage in that spot. It looks like it sticks out but not as much as you think.
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: one and then the other
  • 1 0
 @wolftwenty1: Pole bikes do the same thing
  • 1 0
 The geo looks just about perfect!
  • 1 0
 The headtube is agrarian? Like, made for plowing?
  • 1 0
 Holy crap who installed the rear tire.
  • 1 0
 this thing shreds the skatepark. Skaters love it
  • 1 0
 Looks rad and I would definitely ride it! What's the bike weigh?
  • 1 0
 39 pounds according to his YouTube channel.
  • 1 0
 Nice... looks just like my Turner 6-Pack from '05. I'll take one.
  • 1 0
 Keep doing rad things Frame Works!
  • 1 0
 Looks like the older Ells worth bikes
  • 2 1
 Love metal bikes. But what if We Are One made this.
  • 1 1
 Love everything about it but the short head tube.
  • 1 2
 But the orange...when will it end?
  • 1 0
 Raw / Privateer?
  • 1 0
 Looks sinister
  • 2 1
 Ellsworth prototype
  • 2 0
 Nah man, swing arm aint nearly long enough.
  • 1 2
 So it’s noisy like all Orange’s apparently are but that’s ok cos merica?
Looks nice tho Smile
  • 1 0
 i would buy it
  • 1 0
 Raw Donna
  • 1 2
 Raw and orange=group think. Get outta da box!
  • 4 6
 Looks like a session...
  • 1 2
 Looks like ...well everything, with orange
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