Nestled away on the outskirts of Matlock in Derbyshire is a small unit, home of arguably Britain’s most progressive, geometry driven hardtails. Stanton Bikes - the originators of the long, low and slack steel hardtail frame have recently been making waves on the internet with the birth of their new-fangled dual-link full suspension offering.
Stanton Bikes was started by founder and owner Dan Stanton along with another party who no longer plays a role in the business. Stanton came to be, from Dan wanting to satisfy his desires for the perfect ‘cross discipline’ hardtail frame in 2010. The process led him on a quest down the manufacturing wormhole, resulting in the production of a prototype which would go on to be developed into the world-renowned Slackline 853 26". The Slackline 853 really came to light with its success in Dirt Magazine, followed by its award of ‘Best All-Round Hardtail’ in Dirt 100. The original Slackline has since been reborn as the Switchback, a 27.5” version based on exaggerating the aggressive aspects of the Slackline. This bike soon became a world-renowned hardtail ideal and has been a platform for the progression of hardtail geometry in the industry.
The full suspension bikes come in the form of the Switch9er FS (29er) and Switchback FS (650b). With the predecessor being the latter this piece will focus on the Switch9er FS. This bike is a 29” wheeled 140mm rear travel, 160mm front travel trail monster. As quoted by their website the aim ‘was to design and manufacture in-house the most well engineered, playful natured, confidence inspiring, aggressive 29” full-suspension frame.’
With the bike being manufactured in house, this Tech Insider takes a trip to Matlock to take a look inside the home of Stanton Bikes, meet founder Dan Stanton, his tight-knit seven-man team, and follow the process of manufacturing their new bike.
Dan critiques his first ever frame with painter Si (left) and proudly presents the first production Slackline 853 (right)
Stanton are currently tooling up for a UK frame production line, of both their hardtail and full suspension frames. This includes the Marchetti which automates the tubing cutting process with the ability to cut tubing on multiple planes
Eggs ready to fire on all cylinders.
Thermal drilling pushes the material back into the tube, allowing threads to be tapped. It is a clean process, producing very little waste.
A line of union jack darts awaits the next set of frame manifests in the pig pen (welding bay).
Steel is a beautiful raw material, with the rainbow heat stains surrounding the welds
Learn more at stantonbikes.com