Hyper, a well-known name in the BMX world, had been showing a few different prototype mountain bikes a few years ago, including a mid-travel all-mountain rig being developed by Eric Carter, and a burly looking downhill sled that saw action under Cam Zink before the Reno native made the move to YT. It seemed to end there, however, with no further news from Hyper on the mountain bike front. But walking by Hyper's Interbike booth would have you believing otherwise, with three different bikes on display, including their 203mm-travel 650B DH sled.
650B DH Details
• Intended use: downhill / freeride
• Wheel size: 27.5''
• Rear wheel travel: 203mm
• Frame material: aluminum
• Floating lower shock link
• Frame weight: TBA
• Availability: 2017
• MSRP: TBA
The frame was treated to an eye-catching paint job, done by a local custom painter, that was working as intended - everyone was stopping to snap a photo - but if the bike looks very similar to the prototype that we saw at Rampage a few years ago, it's because it's the same design. Hyper's Eric Carter explained that when they first designed the bike, they wisely chose to build it around 27.5'' wheels that have obviously taken over the market since then. He also said that they're still extremely happy with the bike's performance, and that the production version will be unchanged besides stepping the head angle out from 64-degrees to somewhere in the 63-degree range.
The 650B DH's suspension appears to be a simple yet extremely solid looking single-pivot design that employs a large rocker arm to compress the Fox shock, but taking a look from the non-drive side of the bike reveals a compact linkage hidden just above the bottom bracket shell. So while the rocker compresses the shock from above, a short link attached near the bike's chainstay yoke pulls up on a link to compress the shock from below.
Not bolting the shock to the front triangle isn't a new thing - Trek and others before them have done it for years - but Carter did explain one main advantage when we last talked to him about the layout.
Their approach, he says, give them the ability to make changes to the bike's suspension characteristics by swapping out lower link components rather than having to replace the bike's rocker arm, which is a cost-effective method of suspension tuning during the bike's development. Right now, the linkage is designed to provide some extra ramp-up at the end of the stroke.
Hyper has no plans to pursue a carbon fiber version of the 650B DH, instead focusing on hitting a reasonable price point when the bike does become available sometime in 2017. There will be three sizes - a small with a 547mm toptube; medium with a 572mm toptube; and a large with a 596mm toptube - and all three bikes will share the same 440mm rear-end and 350mm bottom bracket height.