Video: Building & Testing a Prototype Long Travel 29er

Jan 15, 2019
by Giacomo Großehagenbrock  
77designz Enduro Bike Picture kasraazad
Giacomo racing the prototype in Iran Picture: @kasraazad


With our video series "We Develop a Bike Frame" we documented one of our biggest dreams coming to reality. Our idea was to design and build a high pivot point enduro bike which stays active on the brake, accelerates and climbs like a trail bike but sends like a DH bike.

Big dream, we know! But we can pretty much tell that we did it. These three videos show you how we struggled to build the frame, how we built an actual test bike and the riding impressions over the first four months of testing. If you want to start the story from the beginning you should check out the first two articles, you will get the details of our concept, learn about kinematics and see how the frame was manufactured.

The subtitle "From Idea to Prototype" basically already says it, the first season will end with the successfully built and tested the prototype in this article. But as so many people got so excited about the project we are planning on a second season which will document the journey from Prototype to Market Release. We are super excited to share all of this with you guys and we really value your feedback.


Watch episodes 11-13 of our YouTube series:

As a German Developer, we recorded the videos in our mother language but we provide English Subtitles for our international audience (click CC in the lower right).

We Develop a Bike Frame / E11 // Bike Frame Assembly

In this episode, we struggle building the first prototype due to some misalignment. This can happen and that's why we build prototypes but it's hard to deal with if you are so keen for the ride. At first, we discussed to not showing the video like anybody else but we wanted to be 100% on the project and show success and failure.


77designz Enduro Bike
77designz Enduro Bike
Giaco and Stefan from 77designz assembling the first prototype

77designz Enduro Bike
Finding a misalignment, what a hard day it was.

We Develop a Bike Frame / E12 // Bike Assembly

In this episode, Giacomo finally builds the first complete bike. It actually happened after he had a hard time working around the alignment issue.


77designz Enduro Bike

We Develop a Bike Frame / E13 // Field Testing

In this episode, we are finally riding the prototype and we are super stoked on what we have achieved.


77designz Enduro Bike
The first protype of the 29" VHP Enduro Bike

77designz Enduro Bike
The chain get rerouted using an idler pulley to design the Anti Squat

What are the next steps.

Right now we are fixing design issues and optimizing manufacturability in order to produce the pilot production sometime in spring. One of the frames will go for fatigue testing and the others to close friends. If everything works as planned we will be able to accept orders sometime in autumn. It's a huge step for us as we are a small components brand but as we are so convinced by the performance of the concept we really want to offer the frame to a larger audience. We will share the whole journey here and on YouTube so you better sign up.


MENTIONS: @Giacomo77



73 Comments

  • 44 2
 I am super stoked for each one of these home designers turned to business project pioneers trying to earn their space under the sun. This is a great time, because knowledge, design and manufacturing technology got so much accessible that even home enthusiasts are in fact able to try their luck. Sure, they profit from resources made available by large manufacturers but let's be honest, large manufacturers grew upon resources of other industries. If things don't mess up in the world we can see a trend of small designers and businesses change the face of MTB, I think. You will see that boom once a 3D printed metals will become financially affordable.
  • 15 8
 Is it just me or does 77designz sound like a rapper name?
  • 1 1
 @DaFreerider44:
i'd say that their logo looks like the Foo Fighter logo but mirrored!
  • 1 0
 @audric: So, Rapper-UFO-enthusiast-rockGod vibes?
  • 15 0
 The build process was really cool, but the field test video blew me away, the dude is pinned!
  • 21 7
 Why would anybody sane of mind internally route the rear brake cable??????
  • 11 8
 I've had the external rear brake hose cut by a sharp rock before. Didn't notice till I approach a steep and twisty section. All I can say I was lucky that day.
  • 3 25
flag chyu (Jan 15, 2019 at 5:00) (Below Threshold)
 @DrSam: Better a cut hose than cut frame
  • 5 0
 its really common mate. not that im in support of it.
externally routed but inside the triangle > internally routed > externally routed on the bottom of downtube.
external routing on the bottom of the downtube was the dumbest thing to ever happen to cables, it makes the fiddling and extreme nuisance of internal routing look appealing.
  • 4 1
 @DrSam: 30 years riding, racing, and wrenching at shops. Only seen a rear brake hose damaged once and it was an under-the-bottom-bracket routed hose and it merely crushed it and the brake was still useable. Only other failure I have seen was a line ripped out of the master cylinder from a violent crash which, obviously, isn't remedied with internal routing.

You guys probably shouldn't bother buying lottery tickets.
  • 4 0
 I'd like external cables for everything but the dropper tbh.
  • 1 0
 @silvbullit: Lol exactly why I've never bought one.

You guessed it right, it was routed below the bottom bracket (stupid design). Anyways, I remedied the issue by getting a steel braided hose. So far so good.
  • 1 2
 @Clarkeh: why not dropper too? As long as it's base and not head actuated you don't have the hose movement. Recabling is a breeze. I love my fox transfer 150 external post. I don't get why the aren't more popular.
  • 4 0
 We hear that a lot and consider to offer an external option too. The Frames will be Handmade in Germany so we have no problem to react on such things.
  • 2 0
 @ryanandrewrogers: agreed. last year on a weeks riding holiday in Spain I had a rock fly up and split my rear brake hose, stupid routing under the bottom bracket on my Radon swoop. On replacing the cable I made it all run inside the triangles over the bottom bracket past the linkage and sit on top of the chain stay. Thank god for cable ties. It's not the best looking but on top of the down tube is the safest and most user friendly place for cables.
  • 6 0
 Coming from a guy who's designed and built a few high-pivot DH bikes in my time - I really think that the high-pivot-Horst Link design is the ticket for DH bikes (the new GT fury is the only production bike I'm aware of). Everyone has a different opinion on what a bike's suspension should do while braking. I prefer a bike that remains as active as possible under rear braking - something that the Horst Link excels at. Pair that with the naturally rearward arc of a high pivot, and I think you have a winner. Interesting to see this brought to an enduro bike.

Obviously still in the prototype phase, but I think you'll find that with the limited chain wrap you guys have, you're going to start losing chains very quickly as the narrow-wide ring wears a bit. You're also going to experience a fair amount of chain growth on the slack side of the chain - which will be hard on derailleurs. Might be worth trying an idler pulley tucked up behind the chainring a bit. This will give better chain wrap, and can almost eliminate derailleur-side chain growth. Will introduce a bit of friction, but if designed properly, might not be too noticeable.

Nice bike! Good luck!
  • 3 0
 Hey it´s great to hear from you. Allways good to receive feedback from guys with lot´s of experience. We actually didn´t aim for an "as active as possible rear suspension" we aimed for the middle way where we wan´t to conserve the geometry. That keeps weight on the rear wheel and still keeps the suspension open enough. We believe that a low anti rise is only good if you are not racing your bikes. So for most people it´s a good thing.

We also experiment with an lower slider to generate more wrap and less chain growth but testing till now proofed 0 problems losing the chain. But you are 100% right time will tell.

Thanks again for your feedback, G
  • 7 0
 A strong contender when time comes for a bike upgrade. Would love to try out a high pivot enduro bike.
  • 1 0
 Great to hear that ;-)
  • 6 0
 Great videos, your trails look mint too. Lucky guys, keep up the good work.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, our trails are pretty low elevation but we learned to make the best out of it.
  • 3 0
 Have you outsourced the welding of the frame to an external company? I was expecting some welding in the videos, but could not find... Welding aluminium is an art, even harder then welding steel.

So the next step is to have a complete"open source" bike with full documentation on how to reproduce the frame at home :-)
  • 8 0
 Yes you are absolutly right the welding can´t be done if you don´t do it everyday.

Here is the welding video: youtu.be/yZmq_GUvM4M

If you follow all of the videos you can kind of DIY ;-)
  • 3 0
 @Giacomo77: I really enjoyed watching that welding video Smile thanks for sharing and best of luck with the pilot run!
  • 1 0
 @deadflat: thanks mate goona be an exiting journey.
  • 6 0
 giacomo rips ! keep it up
  • 5 0
 Excellent, jar. Bloody great article , all the best with final production and what not.
  • 3 0
 Cheers, Aprreciate it!!
  • 2 0
 I cannot imagine the feeling of riding a bike that you developed yourself, after you saw it grow from a pile of tubing to this monster ripping 29r, you guys must be over the moon! this was a great project and has given me the itch to do it myself
  • 2 0
 It is litereally one of the best feelings in the world. You spend endless time on the computer and than the whole building process it just takes forever but the reward after wards is just priceless.
  • 2 0
 Heheh, this bike is aligned like my Knolly Chilcotin, you guys can safely order a batch and sell them Wink Customers will blame shock manufacturer and you will have a reputable company Wink
  • 1 0
 Yes but we would have customers posting in public that our frames are not aligned ;-P
  • 1 0
 @Giacomo77: There is a very strong evidence that it does not mater Wink
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: Anyways we want a products that makes us proud with a not arguable quality
  • 2 0
 @Giacomo77: Of course I was just kidding. In fact you have surprised me in a very positive way. There are many misaligned alu frames on the market from different manufacturers and they make warranty replacements at best. But you showed us a transparent process. I know that those videos are really marketing, but I think it is very good, much better than e.g. pissing on carbon and arguing with Steve Wink I hope you can get it to the market til Q4 2019.
  • 3 0
 @lkubica: To be fair we have been discussing to hold the video back, but in the end the whole idea was to show and document the process as it happend. It´s not traditional marketing like any other company would do but it´s 2019 and people know that mistakes happen and it´s just about how you solve them. Have a good one and thanks for your comment.
  • 5 1
 High pivot 29er, so trendy.
  • 8 0
 Yes and we tried to set the trend once we started in summer 2017. But now we are in a good society.
  • 3 0
 I've been watching you from the begining and cant wair for another episodes ! Good luck guys!
  • 3 0
 Thanks we will keep doing this.
  • 2 0
 The frame looks amazing. Best looking frame in a while in my opinion. Cool that you guys are realizing your passion and I hope it works out!
  • 1 0
 Thank you so much. That keeps us motivated!!
  • 1 0
 Wonder what the front sprocket size is limited too. That chain stay is high and cogging out with a small front sprocket could cause chain drag on the stay.
  • 2 0
 I don´t get it?
  • 3 0
 Love both my 77Designs Crash Plates. I'm rooting for you guys!
  • 2 0
 I'm a close friend, right?! Love this thing, nice work gents!
  • 5 0
 Sure, since I anounced the close friends policy I got a lot more close friends.
  • 2 0
 @Giacomo77: Haha, I can only imagine.
  • 1 0
 It looks like you can mount a derailleur on the seatstay with that upper chain angle....
  • 2 0
 Wow guys! This is super impressive!! Really stoked for you! Keep it up!
  • 2 0
 Cheers
  • 2 0
 just send it to me.
  • 2 0
 Super!
  • 2 0
 Bar plugs?
  • 4 0
 Well I´m spending much time digging my bars in to the dirt, sometimes they come off than.
  • 2 0
 great job, hats down!
  • 1 0
 Maybe you guys can make some sultans for turner?
  • 1 0
 We also offer engineering services for the industry to make the world a better place.
  • 2 1
 I would have bought this over my 2019 Spec EVO 29er
  • 1 0
 Great to hear that ;-)
  • 1 0
 Yeow! Nice one Giacomo!!!
  • 1 0
 Needed a better bike after I tried your races.
  • 2 0
 Want
  • 2 0
 I have and love
  • 1 0
 Why IS2000?
  • 1 0
 Because it integrates so well and avoids threads in the frame.
  • 1 0
 What angle head?
  • 1 1
 *high pivot four bar*
  • 2 1
 We call it VHP "Virtual High Pivot" solves all the Anti Rise problem of HPP bikes.
  • 2 5
 I had a 77 designs chainguide and it broke on the second ride... if the bike is "tested" with the same parameters....
  • 3 0
 You keep posting that, but why you never reached out to us to fix your chain guide.
  • 2 0
 I have never had an issue of any sort with 77designz products

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