Pässilä's Runtu Titanium Enduro Hardtail & An eMTB Proto with Automatic Transmission

Mar 22, 2023
by Pässilä Bicycles  
P ssil Runtu titanium enduro hardtail


Even though many think hardtail mountain bikes are not meant for enduro racing, such a frame has been on our list for a long time.

In Finland we have own category for the hardtail racers in the Finnish national enduro series. We have a special place in our hearts for riding between the tapes on the weekends with a bunch of friends and fellow racers. Racing (not always so) seriously when the clock is running and goofing around when it's not. We've had so many unforgettable racing weekends on our hardtails over the years so we figured it's time to expand our frame line-up to finally include also an enduro racing frame. It has been the missing piece. Runtu is a frame that's been developed with just one purpose in mind: to be fast.

P ssil Runtu titanium enduro hardtail

P ssil Runtu titanium enduro hardtail

Runtu is designed for 160 mm to 170 mm travel suspension forks and provides a progressive Pässilä geometry to back it up. It has a 63.5 degree head tube angle for stability in high speeds and taller stack heights to optimize the rider's position while descending. Runtu's short seat tube provides lots of clearance for the rider when the seat is set low but also has enough of room for long dropper posts.

The 77 degree seat tube angle keeps the rider centered in the bike while seated. The 440 mm (size S1) to 450 mm chain stay length gives stability while descending and traction in the uphills. Runtu has also a higher than normal bottom bracket to provide quick handling in spite of the long wheelbase, which is crucial in tight corners during the race.

P ssil Runtu Sizing and Geometry

After we thought we have the numbers and details right, we let our friend and an enduro racer (way faster than any of us at Pässilä!) Tero Alapoikela ride the Runtu prototype frame in the hardtail category of the Finnish enduro series during season 2022. He ended up on the highest podium at the end of the season, winning not only races but the overall as well. We're still thrilled! So the frame has been race-approved and we are now ready to introduce it to other hardtail enduro fanatics around the globe.

Pässilä Runtu titanium frames are now available for 2023 preorder and we have also our other titanium frame models in stock. You can head over to passilabicycles.com for more information.

P ssil Runtu prototype

Pässilä x Revonte titanium prototype hardtail with automatic and stepless transmission

During 2021 and 2022 we have also been busy developing something else. We teamed up with an innovative Finnish e-biking company and together we created a prototype of a titanium eMTB hardtail with automatic and stepless gearing. Pässilä titanium frame combined with Revonte ONE Drive System creates a combination that the bicycle world hasn’t yet seen. A titanium eMTB with a single speed belt drive drivetrain and automatic transmission was something we could not resist when we heard about Revonte the first time. Maybe more about this later but here's a sneak peek.

P ssil x Revonte eMTB proto

P ssil x Revonte eMTB proto
P ssil x Revonte eMTB proto

For more details about the Revonte One drive system, head over to Revonte.com.

Author Info:
passilabicycles avatar

Member since Nov 6, 2017
7 articles

  • 38 17
 How is hardtail can be enduro? I know HT bros will minus this into oblivion because they are super cool and HT is only the way, but then you ride something where you need 160 - 170mm of front travel, won't it make HT just super wonky on the trail? Just imagine hitting something, blowing tough the travel of your 170mm fork and then hitting it with a HT back end? That cannot end well.

I guess my point it... if you need 160 - 170mm travel, why would you buy HT?
  • 28 1
 So I don't really agree with going this aggressive with a hardtail, but you'd be surprised by how much travel you can use effectively, and how fast you can go. You basically end up riding super hard on the front and the back end just bounces all over the place. As the rear end bounces up, it actually uses front travel because the bike rotates about its CG without the whole bike moving upward a significant amount.

Riding hardtails is fun, and they're a great N+1 because maintenance is minimal. However, your body definitely takes a beating.
  • 25 6
 Enduro is a style of riding. Youll be slower on the ht then a fs, but its still enduro.
  • 5 1
 @DaneL: I'm in my 50's and ride a HT (Rocky Mountain Growler) 2-3 times a week. I rode a FS Stumpjumper on the same trails for years. I'm more confident, overall faster, and surprisingly feel less beat up on the Growler. I realize there will always be faster, more capable FS bikes, but set up right even intermediate riders can ride aggressive terrain on HT's. I don't know what to make of this bike or the Revonte system, but it looks interesting.
  • 22 1
 @8a71b4: No. Enduro is a form of mountainbike racing.
  • 8 2
 First, your "HT bro" comment feels pretty thoughtless. Do we really need more unnecessary classifications and ways of condescending to people for their personal preferences? Aren't we just supposed to be enjoying riding bikes? And is it really so hard to consider that somebody might like doing that differently than you do?

Also, riding an aggressive hardtail can really change the feel of a trail a lot. It can just be a fun change of pace, especially if you care more about enjoying yourself than getting down something the fastest. Sometimes it also pulls you into the riding more. A bit more focus on the trail, but you still don't want a geo that is going to throw you @$$ over teakettle the moment things get steep.
  • 7 1
 can sort of answer this one, I have a Norco Torrent with a 160 fork, so head angle is 63 or there abouts and a 510mm reach, it's a big ass bike. I have mine set up firmer than my dual sus bikes for your above reasons, it can unsettle the bike if you blow through the front travel that much, particularly on "steppy" type rocks in succession.

But having 160mm can be the difference between "I'm dead" and "I cant beleive I just rode down that!"
  • 2 3
 @KKRoos: Enduro racing is a form of mountain bike racing.

You can buy a motorcycle, and take it to a track day, and ride it the same way you would if you were racing, but you are not actually racing.
  • 2 0
 There are plenty of reasons to go with an enduro hardtail, but I got one in college ('17 Meta AM) when the budget was tight, but I knew I'd want to do a couple races, park laps, and trail riding. Those bikes, much like the Runtu, are more designed for gravity disciplines/riding. They were much longer and slacker (than most HTs), which gave up the playful feeling in exchange for more control through steeper and technical sections. I never had instances where I "blew through the travel" of the fork, leaving the back to take the brunt of it. Instead, the two main issues were...
The back wheel bouncing up repeatedly, taking away braking chances. Eventually, you can get this figured out, but until then, you'd want to make sure you're looking well down the trail for any sharp turns or obstacles.
The other issue is when there are gaps that need ample speed, but have a rough run-up. The rocks and roots still catch your back wheel and take away some speed, so line choice becomes more important.
  • 7 0
 Because its fun!!!! Thats the reason why we ride bikes, no? I have a full sus and a slacked out (62' HA , 1330mm WB, with Z1 150mm forks, 29er Hello Dave, formerly a Sick Bike before they went bust) HT for days when i don't want to go full send. The HT is just out and out fun.
  • 3 18
flag valrock (Mar 22, 2023 at 19:04) (Below Threshold)
 @TopherJones93: I am not creating stereotypes, I am only using them. HT bros are 2nd worst after roadies in full lycra... f*cking asshats... almost every single of them.
  • 2 12
flag valrock (Mar 22, 2023 at 19:05) (Below Threshold)
 I am not saying HTs suck, I am saying if you ride "Enduro" - get a full sys ffs
  • 1 9
flag valrock (Mar 22, 2023 at 19:09) (Below Threshold)
 @DaneL: I used to be poor, I had a hardtail, and I learned how to ride a bike confidently on one. But when I got full sys it opened up a new world of riding; then I moved closer to the mountains and live in the city with amazing MTB single track ( and not a single mountain ahahaha ). I see no point of HT for this application. Or actually, let's put it this way - HT on a single-track MTB is the same as a Gravel bike - it is a bike... but only if you hate yourself and like pain and suffering Big Grin

I still ride a hardtail (actually a fully rigid bike) 5 months of the year ( it just has fat tiers on it with studs)
  • 3 1
 @valrock: There are plenty of enduro races for which a hardtail would be better. Not every place has lots of elevations, and some enduro races have a bunch of pedaling sections. Enduro is by definition downhill between start and stop, but it can have climbing sections, and being able to put power down more efficiently can actually be of a benefit.
  • 4 2
 @8a71b4: I think you are talking about XC races
  • 1 5
flag NorCalNomad (Mar 22, 2023 at 19:44) (Below Threshold)
 @DaneL: lol all my fs bike's require less maintenance than my HT ever did cause their is less force and vibrations on all the parts.

All that being said putting this much fork on a hardtail is silly af
  • 5 0
 I have a 160/160 enduro bike I take out for big ""enduro"" rides where I know I'm going to be doing some big gnarly descending and will want the extra comfort, and a stupidly slacked out 160 mullet hardtail that I ride when I want to do the same thing but on a hardtail. trolling aside, I'm aware that it's harder on my body, and I'm not going to be charging as fast and recklessly as I would on a full sus, but I'm out to have fun not win a race. It's a very personal thing, some people obviously just don't enjoy hardtails, I know I didn't think I would considering my past spinal injuries, but at the end of the day all my longest rides last year were on my hardtail, and they were all super fun. Am I going to grab it for a park day, probably not, but I'm not going to grab my full sus just because I know there's going to be a drop or two that ride. Most people you see riding hardtails aren't looking at you on your full suspension and thinking "what a loser, he cares about how sore he's going to be tomorrow", they're just riding their bikes
  • 1 0
 @thomas1965: I couldn't say it better myself!
  • 5 0
 The geometry on this hardtail is almost identical to my Pipedream Moxie’s apart from the BB being about 30mm lower on my bike. My hardtail also has a 160mm fork - it might seems strange on paper if you’ve never ridden a bike like this but in the real world it’s a lot of fun!

(You can work out “on paper” why big forks work on hardtails - it’s to do with force vectors, centres of gravity, inertia and so on. But it’s easier to just ride them!)
  • 3 0
 Don't people race the Megavalanche on hardtails anymore. Sure enduro nowadays is associated with a different format (which was called mini-DH back then) but yeah, why wouldn't one be able to race enduro on a hardtail? The current format of enduro is timed descends with untimed transfer sections. Nowhere is defined how tough and rough those descends need to be. Heck, pick your favorite XC loop and ride it with your friends. Time the descends and don't time the climbs. You can call that enduro and do it on your hardtail.
  • 4 0
 As the press release mentions, the Finnish national enduro series has its own category for racing hardtails. It has been there for at least a decade. They race the exact same race, just on hardtails. It's a fun category where people choose to take the punishment for some reason. Brings a lot of good banter and that category has lots of fun nicknames.
So you question is valid, why would anyone do that? I never raced that category, but many of my friends did. I still don't know why.
  • 2 0
 @Prestige: I think it's great to have a separate hardtail category. For one thing, it's a significantly cheaper point of entry than having to get a FS to be competitive in most races.
  • 3 0
 @8a71b4: Not sure your comment helps to prove your point.
By buying a motorcycle, and going to a track day, youre not going motogping, youre simply riding around a track, on a track day.

Enduro, in both motorcycles, and MTB is a form of racing. We use the term to describe a form of riding, that is essentially just mountain biking, where you pedal up, and ride down, or shuttle up and ride down, or take a chairlift up....and ride down.
Are you able to articulate the difference between going DHing, and enduro riding (assuming youre shutting) or the difference between enduro riding and XC riding?

I always refered to moto style enduro riding as woods riding, but when I race, im in an enduro race.

when I ride my mountain bike, I'm just going for a bike ride, im not sure why its different now compared to 20 years ago, when we just riding....
  • 1 0

This is a pointless definition argument. Replace the word "Enduro" in the MTB context with "pedaling up to the top of a trail then riding down", and everything will make sense in relation to hardtails versus full suspension.

You don't tell people you are going Enduro-ing. You either say you are going to go do Enduro type riding, or Enduro racing. In the same way, when you say you are going DH riding, its assumed you are going to a park without racing.
  • 5 0
 I had no idea there was so much full-sus vs Hardtail tribalism in mountain biking! It sounds about as bad as the roadie disc vs rim brakes crowd.
Ride what ever you want. Here in the UK enduro races have a hardtail category. Don't think there are many courses out there that you couldn't complete on a modern hardtail. You're just not going to come first. But at least it means all the people out there who don't have full sus bikes can still take part and have fun (and compete for #1 in the hardtail category)
  • 2 0
 @KKRoos: no dude, with my goggles on, I am definitely riding ENDURO.
  • 3 0
 @8a71b4: Nope, I say I'm going riding, full stop. Sometimes thats going up and down, sometimes its all going down, sometimes the focus is on going up, its all just going for a ride.

What the hell is Enduro type riding, no one says theyre going for an enduro type ride.
Your definition of enduro type riding is just mountain biking, what makes it different to an XC type ride?
  • 5 0
 @Prestige: Why not? Less travel, double fun.

On a more serious note. There's something about the simplicity of a hardtail bike, and they are fun to ride. When someone can really rip a trail on an HT and time a segment at a similar time as most do on a full suspension, it's pure joy to watch.

And as a plus, one appreciates full-suspension bikes even more after a good dose of hardtail riding.
  • 9 0
 I guess my Finnish heritage comes through more often then I thought. I prefer a hardtail. I've been seriously on bikes for 40+ years. Especially now, my slacked out 29er with a 140mm fork, really nothing I can't ride down. It's a treat clearing lines that AARP would frown upon.
  • 3 6
 maybe you just didn't ride anything that you cannot ride Big Grin
  • 7 2
 @valrock: you know, instead of being a jerk on this thread you could make a "Full-suspension bro's only" app and find other small minded individuals and talk amongst yourselves.
  • 1 4
 @TopherJones93: I am sorry, this is how much HT bros pissed me off that I just cannot stop trolling here Big Grin
  • 2 0
 @valrock: Oh no, I've brought that knife to a gun fight before. Not too proud to walk around a 6 foot huck to flat. But when I ride with my son in law, an avid mtber with a 140/150mm carbon FS bike or my daughter, raced NICA and several local races since, and we start on a root and rock strewn 2-3 minute downhill, with flow and tech and tight single-track where you're rewarded by not touching brakes, bump jumping, manualling and bunny hopping everything, enjoying myself, and then I have wait 20-30 seconds at the bottom for them to catch up. Why do I need a full suspension bike, again? I like them, I've had 5. I mean, I could probably be faster, but I find it more fun to sacre the crap out of myself. Ya know?
  • 4 1
 It certainly looks nice, but that wheelbase looks like a handful to ride. I thought the point of a hardtail is some degree of playfulness, since straight line speed is not so high on the list when your joints and rear wheel get attacked whenever you open the throttle. Maybe that's just me though...
  • 3 0
 E bike with automatic transmission...sweet....looking forward to when they design something to eliminate the boring pedalling bit...maybe make it have 4 wheels so I don't have to waste precious gnar shredding time on balancing...
  • 3 0
 They need to cover that giant hole in the seat tube or birds will make a nest.
  • 1 0
 bit excessive for a mere dropper cable
  • 1 0
 Wile E. Coyote is gonna try to run through it and splatter. Or it's one of those holes the Beatles carried around in their pocket.
  • 4 0
 Let's see Paul Allen's bike..
  • 2 0
 They really came into their own with the Runtu.
  • 2 0
 Congrats @Pässilä, both awesome looking bikes, and I bet they ride just as good as your ramakka..
  • 2 0
 Pässilä no, she will not let me go! Let me go!
  • 2 0
 Are they allowed to use the word Transmission or is it ok with SRAM? Smile
  • 2 0
 Last picture: why does it have two rotors?
  • 2 0
 Maybe the small one is a speed-o to send data back to the transmission?
  • 2 0
 Small 1 is really thick and touching a part that is probably a sensor as mentioned.. Now if it was regen braking that would be something.
  • 2 0
 Both of their bikes look awesome.
  • 1 1
 Anyone else find it ironic that they spec'd a SRAM NX level drivetrain on a Titanium bike? I guess it's no more ironic than a long travel hard tail enduro bike.
  • 4 0
 Hi! Thanks for your comment. We have not specced complete Runtu bikes, we leave that part to our customers. So anyone can fit exactly the kind of components they want to.

It’s just that at the time when we took the photo of a complete bike, the availability of the parts was not the best. Sorry for that but I’m sure we can all live with this.
  • 1 0
 When e-bikes are just too much work...
  • 2 0
 Love this!
  • 1 1
 The external cable routing makes me a little rigid.
  • 1 4
 Calling a hardtail mtb is like calling a vw Beatle a rally car.

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