OneUp's New Components and Titanium from Ibis and RSD - Sea Otter 2019

Apr 13, 2019
by Mike Levy  
Sea Otter 2019


Leave it to the guys at OneUp to show something clever. I already looked at their new EDC stem earlier today on a video, but let's check out how it works and why it might make a lot of sense. The idea is to skip having to smash a star nut down into your steerer tube or, if you use their EDC tool, to not have to cut threads into its steerer's inner wall.

It's simple in how it works: There's a threaded collar trapped under the stem (it's invisible when installed) and a conical washer that goes under it but on top of your headset. When you tighten the collar's screw, it pushes the conical washer down to take up extra room and compress everything.

When you install the stem, you push it down by hand; then you should only need to take up a few millimeters with OneUp's preloading washers. Threading the inside of a steerer tube isn't a big deal, but you know suspension companies aren't a fan of that move. Now you don't need to do that to carry an EDC tool inside your steerer. There's an extra bolt to tighten with this design, but you're also losing the star nut and its preload bolt.
Sea Otter 2019
Now you don't need to thread the inside of your steerer tube to carry OneUp's EDC tool.


Sea Otter 2019
All you need to do is lower the slider until the 4mm hex key touches the top of the chain. Tighten the bolt and then it should be bang-on at the right height.

OneUp has also tweaked its chain guides to make setup as easy as possible. The upper slider has the image of a chain link molded into it to help you set it to the correct height, but it's even more of a no-brainer. When you put your 4mm hex key through the slider to snug up the bolt, all you need to do is lower the slider down until the hex key is resting on top of the chain, then you tighten the bolt and it should be in the best spot and not rub on anything. Pretty clever.


Sea Otter 2019

Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019
The updated OneUp dropper uses a revised travel-adjustment system and a shorter overall length.



OneUp's dropper post has been getting a lot of positive feedback - I've had a 175mm version for months and it's been trouble-free - but they've made some notable changes to the design for 2019. Internally, it uses the same cartridge and activation system, but they've managed to take a bunch of height out of the design (22mm of the 150mm model) so that riders can get as much drop as possible. That came from a lower stack height clamp and seal head.

The plastic shim system that you used to change the travel is gone, too, with that job now being done by adding extra anti-rotation pins into the slots. There's less adjustment range now, but it looks like a more robust layout.



Sea Otter 2019
All the titanium, none of the pivots. The 120mm-travel Ibis Bow-Ti is still the stuff that dreams are made of.


Ibis has been releasing fresh bikes non-stop over the last few years, but it was their titanium Bow-Ti from the 1990s that stopped me in my tracks at Otter. I wasn't the only one, either, with a constant stream of people putting on the brakes to stare. The bike came from the mind of John Castellano, and the pivotless titanium frame offered 120mm of travel and cost $3,500 USD. Those were huge numbers back in the 1990s, by the way. We make jokes about URT (unified rear triangle) bikes these days, but this stuff was the thing of dreams when it debuted and it still is for a lot of riders.


Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019
The titanium tubes were designed to flex vertically but be rigid enough laterally.



Sea Otter 2019
More titanium, this time from RSD, but very different geometry compared to the Bow-Ti. Think enduro without rear suspension.


I'm a bit conflicted about the painted titanium, but RSD's MiddleChild is a looker regardless. They've been doing the steel MiddleChild for a while now, and word is that this Taiwanese-made 3AL 2.5V titanium version weighs 5.2lb, or nearly 2lb less than its steel brother. It's only going to be made in limited quantities, though, so don't dillydally if you're in the market for an exotic, enduro-friendly hardtail. You'll also need $2,199 USD.

They've used adjustable dropouts to get the correct geometry for both 29'' and 27.5+ wheels, and the front-end sits at 64.5-degrees with a 140mm-travel fork installed. It has a steep 74-degree seat tube, and the large-sized frame gets a 465mm reach as well, so it's definitely on the forward-thinking side of things, rear suspension or not.


Sea Otter 2019
Sea Otter 2019
The black paint is lasered off the frame to reveal the titanium underneath.



93 Comments

  • + 63
 The RSD looks nice, but why paint Ti?!
  • + 30
 So you can have HIT ME WITH YOUR LASER BEAMS etched into the paintwork.
  • + 14
 @Fix-the-Spade: is your rig even laser-etched bro
  • + 1
 my exact thoughts. and fix the spades comment makes me think of the original video for that song. if anybody here has not seen it, do urself a disservice and google it.
  • + 5
 Why not? First time I've ever seen a painted Ti bike. It's different.
  • + 8
 This would be the only bike where I wouldn't mind scratches
  • + 9
 I'm more offended by their choice of font.
  • + 2
 @thebrucetrail: lol. So true.
  • + 5
 And if you are gonna paint it at least make it sparkle or some shit! Black bike is boring.
  • + 2
 Why Not?
  • + 1
 @rezrov: Black with raw Ti underneath looks pretty killer
  • + 2
 @FrantikLex: You mean in the one spot where they etched out Middlechild in that Indiana Jones font? To each their own Wink .
  • + 1
 @mkul7r4: can’t say that for sure though, what with the paint and all.
  • + 2
 We made quite a few raw Ti frames in the past and while we love the look of Raw Ti, we wanted to do something different for this frame, hence why we painted it but left out of the raw ti underneath the logos
  • + 1
 @rezrov: it was good match with the Lyrik
  • + 2
 @oldtech: Mine is stone etched all over, it says KTCHCHKHCKCKHCHCKHHCKKHHCH.
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: ride faster there still paint left in the upper seat stays
  • + 1
 I ride the steel version and its an amazing bike. Check out my profile to get a discount on one.
  • + 2
 @RSD-Bikes: I have no problem with a black ti bike, looks sick.
  • + 40
 Serious question....why so much hate for the star nut in 2019? Poor little guys has been in hiding and untouched for many years. Now public enemy number one.
  • + 36
 Agree. Hands off our nuts!!!
  • - 5
flag mixmastamikal (Apr 13, 2019 at 14:48) (Below Threshold)
 Compared to the one up threaded top cap it is incredibly sloppy.
  • + 24
 I just like saying ‘star-fangled’.
  • + 6
 One less tool needed to put together a bike is a win in my book.
  • - 3
 Star finger nut lives matter
  • + 9
 We’ve now solved a problem no one ever had, but keep jamming cogs on the rear wheel as our best effort at a drive train. Smdh
  • + 13
 @mikekazimer: Does Park Tool make a star-fangled spanner?
  • + 0
 @mixmastamikal: How do I adjust that on the trail?
  • + 2
 @jclnv: by using the tool itself, it has a cassette lockring tool in it
  • + 1
 @StumpyJR: But I have to use the tool! I already have all that in the SWAT box!

I get ya though. I'd rather run a threaded steerer than the new stem. The design is a bit fussy for me.
  • + 2
 Because you can't use the star nut if you want the OneUp EDC steer tube tool.
  • + 1
 @jclnv: you can adjust it with the edc tool.
  • + 1
 I thought we were supposed to hate new standards... #confused
  • + 1
 i think Alan Watts has a whole bit about star nuts and the beauty of the inevitable struggle of life.
  • + 2
 @jclnv: I don't see why this idea couldn't be built into a 5mm clamping spacer and allow you to use any old stem instead of having to buy their stem...
  • + 2
 @SonofBovril: because this industry wants you to be able to use nothing you already own go out and spend all your money to buy the new stuff it's no better than the old stuff this is the bicycle industry
  • + 1
 @sonofbovril: because the stem is what captures the actual multi-tool. Unless you want to add an extra part into the mix, it’s simpler to add it into the stem.

@oldtech
Not sure what the complaint is in this instance. No special tools. Want their edc? Hide it in their pump and attach it to literally any bottle cage. Want the integration, it works with your existing steerer and headset which both remain unmodified.
  • + 1
 @slabhardcheese: my complaint is just at the industry as a whole constantly changing sizes and standards. Nothing directed towards this product specifically. I would just love it if once you invested money in several of the same products the company would support it with service products for a minimum of five years. Seems every time you try to use a warranty in this industry lately on a product that is more than 12 months old the warranty is completely freaking worthless. They will either replace it with something that does not fit or just give you BS sob story that there's nothing available. Let's not even get into the part about wear and tear service items. I just think everything should be serviceable for at least three to five years after it is purchased. Nothing like purchasing a 2017 bike in 2018 new and a year later there's nothing available to fix it right.
  • + 26
 OneUp has done the unthinkable with their product line and pricing... they've actually left no doors open for legit trolling. Maybe the first company in the bike industry to pull that off.
  • + 4
 For real. One Up components on a Guerrilla Gravity frame is pretty hater-proof.
  • + 2
 @GTscoob: ooh. That does kind of seems like something that makes pants creamy. No nonsense, no bs rig. Hmm.
  • + 10
 Got my edc stem and tool. So trick! I love it Already own the 170 dropper, flawless Might have to get the bars now.. OneUp is killing it!
  • + 7
 Spent a year riding behind a bow-ti. Jesus did that thing flex like a sumbitch. Never seen a bike move in so many planes at once. It was pretty cool though.
  • + 5
 At least this stem solves my problem of having to track down hideous hollow stem caps/star nuts so I can barspin my trail bike.
  • + 3
 you know how the whole idea of inflation doesn't always seem real, like in the here and now? well it was only the 90's when that bike was worth 3500 bucks. today, that's 8 grand or more. so in 20 years bike will be........ scary.
  • + 1
 And the reason people live with it is because we age enough in that time span to where it doesn't matter to us by then. The younger generation will pay the inflated prices because it's all they'll know. The rich get richer and the poor get older.
  • + 3
 Titanium is beautiful without makeup. Why add an extra processing step or two to cover up ... then remove the paint (for the logo and brand) ...the titanium? Costs more and adds to the esthetics. Oh, there ya go!!
  • + 1
 Pretty crazy that for the same $2200 as that titanium frame produced in Tiawan, you can have a carbon full-suspension frame manufactured in Colorado by Guerrilla Gravity.

Ive always like RSD but their value drops after you leave the aluminum models.
  • + 2
 $2200 for a hand made frame that is hand painted with custom CNC machined Ti yoke and sliders at $2200 is not good value?
Have you looked at other brands that make handmade frames? Chromag $3100, Oddity (a lot), Moonmen (a lot), Why Cycles $2500. Other brands that are Chinese made sell for $2000-$2500
  • + 1
 Maybe that's the reason I've moved away from hardtails. It seems like our choices are: bone rattling stiff and cheap alloy, steel and heavy, expensive carbon fiber produced overseas, or crazy expensive Ti produced overseas.

I remember when I first saw the prices of some custom USA made steel frames and was aghast at the pricing, but $2000 for a full custom 4lbs-6lbs steel WaltWorks doesn't sound so bad anymore.
  • + 4
 I have a pair of those Panaracer redwall tires somewhere in the depths of my garage.
  • + 2
 Fire XC Pro...still being sold in 26" and a decent tire at that!
  • + 3
 I love my rsd middle child. I CA. Only imagine how good the middle child ti will be. Such a killer bike from a. Cool company.
  • + 4
 But what happeneds if you wanna slam your stem
  • + 1
 Run it upside down?
  • + 1
 It looks like the top cap can snap directly into the stem body. Slam that stem.
  • + 2
 Get a star nut
  • + 4
 Oneup is the coolest company. Love all of their products
  • + 2
 Seems like you could just use the collar off the EDC stem to use your(a) conventional stem and get the same effect to tighten the headset. Sort of like an adjustable spacer.
  • + 3
 Or just get this Problem Solvers adjustable headset spacer: problemsolversbike.com/products/headset/adjustable_spacer_-_6547
  • + 1
 @estelja: meh, that'll look crap once you put a wrench on it
  • + 1
 I have a custom painted TI hardtail. Scratched the hell out of it in the first month. Worst decision I ever made for a finish. Titanium can be sanded and polished making it look new....paint just gets ruined.
  • + 1
 Creamed my riding shorts over that Ibis. I bought a Catamount because I wanted an URT, but could not afford that one. Regretted it. Wink
  • + 1
 Still have my old Catamount built up with 1995 XTR and a Judy SL. Swapped the parts in off an old Schwinn Sweet Spot (also from the mind of Castellano) when the pivot bushings finally wore out and I couldn't find a replacement...
  • + 2
 @kevmocal: Nice! the main pivot wore out on my Cat. Squeaked like a mouse!
  • + 2
 @FatTonyNJ: haha. yeah I'm holding on to it in the off chance our local club ever puts together a MTB museum display thing. Also have a 2005 Turner 5 Spot and one of my riding buddies has a circa 1992 ProFlex (!!!) Smile Every once in while I'll throw a leg over it and can't believe how far the bikes have come...
  • + 2
 They should have done a lot more lasering the paint off. Titanium showing beneath is awesome, but moar!! Smile
  • + 2
 5+ lb ti ht is very heavy! wtf? my old F-12 was 3.0 lbs!
  • + 2
 It's a rowdy frame, therefore it needs to be solid and stiff, and not ride like a noodle. custom yoke and adjustable dropouts
  • + 2
 @FrantikLex: My roudy Ti frame also with adjjustable dropouts is four pounds flat.
  • + 1
 there is only one colour i would allow my ti frame to be.. gloss black. maybe kawasaki green.
  • + 1
 Oneup is continuing to kill it with their out of the box thinking.
  • + 1
 Do the OneUp droppers all have the same return speed regardless of stroke?
  • + 2
 You can adjust the air pressure, at least in the previous version. So no one set return speed anyway.
  • + 1
 EDC stem is nice, getting rid of the star nut is a good idea anyway...
  • + 1
 I agree, I have it on multiple bikes now, even my DH bike and just swap the tool to whatever I am riding and it is just a better system irregardless of the convience the tool provides.
  • + 2
 @mixmastamikal: ever have it come out in a big crash riding DH?
  • + 3
 why do you think it is a good idea to get rid of the star nut?
  • + 3
 @bart882: it is truly an archaic method compared to threading the steer tube. People are hating on my comments stating this but its the truth whether people like it or not.
  • + 1
 @lognar: no I have not had any issues with it whatsoever.
  • + 1
 @mixmastamikal:

" irregardless"?

Yer from Utahr huh?
  • + 1
 @bart882: have you ever removed a star nut an seen the damage they cause to a steerer? Cave man engineering
  • + 1
 When do thre new one up guides come out? Only see the old ones on the site
  • + 1
 They are up. Just waiting on stock that was delayed a few weeks.
  • + 1
 @OneUpComponents: can you link me? All the ones i see look like the old style
  • + 0
 Wait, does that mean the steel middlechild frame is 7lbs?
  • + 17
 Dear Google, not everyone has the aptitude to seek you out but it doesn't change that they still seek answers. Please help @buggyr333 with "RSD Middlechild steel frame weight".... size large: 6lbs, 14oz.
  • + 2
 @thesharkman: You win the a*shole of the day award today, congratulations.
  • + 3
 @Buggyr333: and you win laziest a*shole award of the year. Congratulations sir!
  • + 4
 You guys may as well be grammar nazis
To clarify, the question of the weight of the frame was more of a "Shit that's a heavy frame" than a "how much does this frame weigh"

Because, Shit, that's a heavy ass frame.
  • + 1
 @Buggyr333: Then just say what you mean instead of phrasing it as stupid question.
  • - 1
 I guess I overestimated the people's intelligence and ability to infer what I meant. But hey, this is the internet after all.
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