Another week, another lockdown project bike from a European shed-dweller. This time it's Jakub Junek, a frame builder from the Czech Republic and his first-ever full suspension project under his brand, Switchcraft Frames.
Junek has been building frames since 2015 when he quit a previous job due to health issues. He decided to follow his passion and went to welding classes where they were so impressed with his work ethic and motivation that they ended offered him a job of a certified welder. Since then he still works as a certified welder, and on the side has built a workshop where he builds frames.
130mm (140mm fork)Wheelsize:
66°Seat Tube Angle:
433mmMore info: @switchcraftcycles
Coming from a BMX background, Junek has previously built a few hardtails and road frames but now he's decided to take it a step further with this 130mm travel trail bike. He spent a year designing this frame and has been piecing it together for the past three months. He looked to the UK steel building scene for inspiration and in particular took a lot of notes from the Starling Murmur. The frame shape and single pivot suspension design are the obvious cues, but Jakub has brought his own ideas to the bike as well. For example, as he has spent most of his life on 20" wheels, simplicity and durability were high on the checklist for this bike so the main pivot is on oversized 41mm bearings and 24mm axle.
Jakub had some experience with geometry from building his hardtail frame, but adding a linkage definitely complicates matters. He describes it as "building two different frames that have to work together." He put plenty of research in on similar bikes to find the limits and then adjusted the bike to fit his own proportions. Some key figures are a 66° head angle, 76° seat tube angle and a 482mm reach. The full geo chart is below:
Some of Jakub's bracing work at the head tube junction and on the swing arm
Fitting the gussets of the rear end with the gussets of the bottom bracket was one of the toughest parts of the build for Jakub, bu also the one he's ended up most proud of.
Jakub doesn't currently have any plans to sell this frame, however he is working towards expanding to a proper workshop with modern tooling and being able to build similar frames for other passionate riders. His dream is to focus on custom builds where he will work closely with the client on design and geometry based on their riding style and preferences. For more info, click here