Impeccable manufacturing, proven testing, and dialed geometry are some of the guidelines that Tonic Fabrication
follows. Since day 1 Tonic Fab has been about doing what they want, when they want, not to follow the trend. No trendy graphics, weird geometries, or eye-sores are added into the Tonic, making it one of the cleanest looking frames I've seen.Click here for info on my Howie...
A short while ago Tonic was keeping their ties in the 24" wheel industry. The Fall Guy was Tonic's claim to fame. Tonic had developed a 24" specific frame that had dialed geometry and they had a small grouping of riders following close behind. I have been following Tonic as they have advanced through the years. I figured with the creation of the Howie, it was time for me to get a Tonic.
After getting a hold of Landon at Tonic Fab, figuring out his stock, and sending him my cash via Paypal, I traveled to Ship Happens
to get my frame. I was ready to build up my own Tonic. I have been waiting for this for quite some time now, so once the frame showed up it was time to get things started. However, this is not a review on my bike build, so lets talk about the Howie
A couple years ago the Tonic team requested a 26" hardtail. They created the Howie, the team loved it, and now we are able to love the Howie just as much. Just for a slightly increased price bracket over the team. Tonic prides themselves in construction. So why buy a Tonic? Well, for starters because it's a Tonic! Hand crafted in Portland Oregon, using simplicity and focusing on a term known as "clean". The Howie is one of the most eye pleasing bikes I have ever seen. With extra short chain stays, an integrated headset, press in bottom bracket, and a standard disc mount the Howie frame is far from busy. Strait gauge tubing keeps the general design clean, with nice accents such as bent seat stays, and limited gusseting.
As stated before, the headset is integrated Campy style
. The head tube measures in at 112mm and sits at 69 degrees. The top tube length on the Howie is 22.25 inches, with 15.25 inch chain stays. These ultra short chain stays keep the wheel slammed in the drop out, making for a very clean wheel well. The seat tube angle is 72 degrees, which puts the rider in an upright position when sitting. However with the extremely low stand over height I do not see myself sitting very much. The Howie runs 135mm drop out spacing which allows you to run all mountain and freeride orientated wheels, therefore not limiting you at all, however, it is disc brake only.
Equiped with a 27.2 seat post, and weighing in at a minimalist 5.251 pounds and constructed out of 100% Tonictanium which is better known as steel, the Howie is a street and park ready bike, with clean lines, and dialed geometry. Tonic
sells these beauty's for $700 USD (frame only), and include a small side note that the Howie is one bad mutha. Tonic frames are available through their site, and they are pretty good about writing back asap.
As it stands, the component build on the Tonic goes:
Fork: RST Space Fork
Cranks: Deity Vendetta Cranks
Stem: Point One Racing Split Second
Tires: WTB Graffiti UK Tires
For those of you who are interested in Tonic they have recently re designed the Howie, and also released a Howie R/T. Click here for more info.