Neko Mulally has revealed he will be riding on bikes he has designed himself at World Cups and US races in 2022.
Neko has previously ridden for some of downhill’s biggest teams including Trek, YT and Intense
, and has frequently experimented with his race bikes
to add his own spin on the designs. Now he is taking all of that experience and applying it to his own creations for his 2022 race program with the help of Martin Whiteley. Neko has specified the geometry and kinematics and the legendary Frank the Welder has helped him fabricate his designs.
Frank the Welder helped Neko choose the right tubes and do the welding.
|Right now I have 2 frames- a standard pivot height frame and a high pivot (not too high pivot) that I'm riding and testing. I designed these bikes to be as simple as possible to prove the concept, and will decide which route I want to go and refine a design before the first race. I chose the Horst link 4 bar rocker design because it was the simplest way to get what I wanted out of the bike. I also put together my own program where I'll be racing all the World Cups and big US races with support from sponsors within the industry.—Neko Mulally|
Neko will be testing two designs before the race season - a high(ish) pivot and a more regular design. He's hoping to settle on one direction before the first round in Lourdes in March.
Neko’s sponsor list now includes: Ride Kanuga, WorldWide Cyclery, Maxxis, Fox, Reserve, Fox, Kogel, WD-40, ODI, Factor, WTB, HandUp, Spank and GoPro.
That’s all the information we have on Neko’s new project for now but we’re working on a bike check and in-depth interview to talk about this decision and unique direction. Stay tuned for more.
If there's a crowdfunder - I'm in for $50
ABSOLUTELY! Neko set up a crowdfunder - East Coast DH - time to buck up and support this man!!
What a kick ass project!
Love that it just looks like a BMX frame with the highest end Fox gear on it. Gussets look wicked.
I've seen quite a few steel and titanium hardtails, but could somebody explain why it's almost never seen on suspension frames? Aside from price and the 'boutique' nature of expensive metals. Is there a structural reason you wouldn't be wanting those on an enduro/DH rig?
this rear axle is melting my brain. so it nearly has BMX dropouts and then a separate 'thru axle' piece slots into the drop outs? and then your thru axle goes through those pieces and the wheel to secure it? one of the images looks so cursed... looks like the thru axle is half way north of center of the cassette lol
Steel and titanium are perfect for road bikes and hard tails because your weight penalty isn't as dramatic and you're able to get the supple feel of the material, as opposed to it being deadened by suspension. If you're taking away all the attirbutes, it doesn't make sense financially or design wise if aluminum is cheaper, more durable, AND lighter.
Why would you get a Ti or steel FS bike then? Bragging rights...simply to have a bike most people don't have. Maybe you adore titanium, so that's why...you want all your bikes to be ti. Put it this way, if Moots stopped making full suspension bikes and their clientele is $$$$$, often owning multiple $10k Moots, there's a valid reason they don't offer them from a manufacturing standpoint as well.
That all said, front triangles are sexy as hell. Cotic had a thumb on the scale in that regard, at least with me.
Lots of steel full sus frames out there, just not by the big mtb players. It’s a fairly significant industry in other parts of the world.
Cotic (FlareMax currently on my shortlist)
Project 12 (this looks unreal for a prototype)
Marino will make you a full custom.
Not to mention the custom builders that come to mind in the US
Kidding of course. Apples for apples, ti is stiffer.
It’s all a trade off. Ignoring manufacturability/cost/challenges associated with ti, of which there are many, if you compare an aluminum part and a ti part designed to do the same task, optimized for weight with no concerns about modal analysis (these are bikes, not airframes), say a linkage rocker plate or even just a straight non-butted tube loaded at one end, the ti version will be significantly lighter and have much thinner walls/cross sections. However, these thinner walls/x-sections make the overall part much more flexible than the aluminum part.
To say that all carbon bikes or alu bikes are good, or even better than one another is fairly difficult to do. As far as my personal preferences go, carbon adds no discernible benefit to me. It’s cost prohibitive, doesn’t offer any outstanding characteristics, and requires me to be more careful when handling it. Even at the same cost, I’d go alu or steel over carbon. Again, my personal preference, maybe not everyone’s.
As far as steel over alu, I’ll let you know when I add a FlareMax to the the quiver to compare…
@Tambo @surfhard987: you are correct, at least in for 6/4 ti: material-properties.org/aluminium-alloys-vs-titanium-alloys-comparison-pros-and-cons. On the other hand, steel has a much higher modulus than ti: www.thomasnet.com/articles/metals-metal-products/steel-vs-titanium-strength-properties-and-uses
@melanthius: prop. Possible explanation for Cotic chainstay
Not sure I understand your comment on frame sus travel, the original comment was more generalized about steel or Ti materials on full sus bikes, not just long travel versions.
Check this,it is almost a steel Megatower. Anything is possible. Even you could buy a Magnesium bike,check Vaast bikes.
It doesn't mean much, since it's from '97 and says execution as much as material is key, but here's some fatigue data from road frame torture tests: www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/frame_fatigue_test.htm. I bet steel and ti weld failures are more common as they require better eyesight on the welder's part--is that structural?
@homerjm: www.shredwear.cz/zoceli?lang=en. I'm telling anyone who'll listen I have a Zoceli Naosm even if it's not true
@hamncheez: I'm relieved to learn that you're joking
I did design several ti frames. I broke one of them, but after some revisions I think I have a 3kg size L 29er in titanium that is as robust as any aluminum frame out there, and I haven't heard of an aluminum frame at this weight with comparable travel.
I have an older titanium xc hardtail and can confirm that it is flexy as hell. Still fun though.
Love that Fox liked him so much, they decided to sponsor him twice
But isn't there any kind of UCI rule that "forbids" racing with non commercial equipment? I hope not or else this project is going down a dead end road
Good look @worldwidecyclery!
Also worth noting, Cannondale's most recent DH program (which turned into the new Jekyll) lasted just two seasons.
Amazing news just got even better! Did he drop this in the Vital interview and I missed it? Doesn't matter, that's pretty sick.
The rule regarding commercialization (1.3.006) which concerns prototypes doesn't make exemptions by cycling discipline. it does make an exemption for "onboard technology" - things like telemetry, helmet cams, and rider biometrics. it could be argued that the mtb exemption from 1.3.004 carries over to 1.3.006, but if that's the intent it could be made more clear.
sorry, i'm a bit of a nerd and have spent entirely too much time reading the rulebook (and I read a lot of technical standards and government regulations in my line of work). and yes you're absolutely correct that since it sounds like the bike (whatever its final form may be) will be offered for sale it's a moot point.
very pumped to see how this is coming together. it also sounds like with his mini documentary series it'll give a cool behind the scenes look at not just racing but bike / team development.
fox head = protection/clothing
Fox tail = suspension etc
quality was incredible. Man I wish I’d held onto that frame. We had fun
Jeff Staber: Go on then.
Neko: (quits and designs his own bike rather than stay on Intense)
Dear PB - thinkaboutit
Maybe Frank is just the guy to help PB bring limited runs of the Grimmy to market. *thinks-emoji
I would build a 3 option with the main pivot like in the Demo&Enduro,forward relative to the BB with a longer chain stay!
Oh yeah, another Newcastle-upon-Tyne based builder from the early to mid 90s, Bombproof, under Rob Fuquarson (I've spelled his surname wrong and no doubt he'll be giving me a bollocking for it in a DM shortly, sorry Rob x)
All went out onto the World Cup scene.
He is kind enough to respond in the comments from time to time, typically when there is speculation that is errant.
Also, @captain23 ... You said you were looking forward to down time in 2022. Hah
When you look at the sponsors he lists, what we picture in our heads financially from each company doesn't add up to enough funding from each of those companies to be able to travel internationally.
Apparently he's structured it in some manner that puts him on a lot of planes, trains & automobiles & pays for a full on paid staff.
My guess is that his elaboration of where the most money comes from will be the size of the logos and placement on his kit when it rolls out.
My mom would always say....if you wish in one hand and shit in the other, guess which one's gonna fill up first. Now do your chores.
Hated it...every single time. Just passing on that bitter wisdom. You probably won't think it's any funnier than I did.
But Yes, Rock Creek was Wizard, and we likely crossed paths last sunday. I was the lone Canadian on the red Propain Tyee.
Good luck to Neko and Frank!!!
Can’t wait to watch him rip this rig down the Snowshoe WC course!!
170~240% AS is a bit high but LR curve and AR curve are better than most on market. Very interesting!
Indeed, the HA is 63 despite my software saying 61.5 degrees; chainstay is 450/455 while my software said 470.1mm; BB is 345/350 despite my software saying 338
I am curious as to what the intended/designed/actual AS values are
I am puzzled as to why the BB height and chainstay in the photo is so different from official specification. I can understand the headangle estimate being unreliable as it is further from the center of the photo.
I Think it's awesome!
Good luck Neko!! Rad stuff!!