Made in Australia: Trinity MTB’s Second Prototype, Built for "Downduro"

Jun 3, 2022 at 15:31
by Dave Rome  
Trinity MTB's second prototype, a bike that engineer Mick Williams describes as being built for "Downduro"


It was barely a year ago that Trinity MTB made its debut appearance at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia with a first prototype bike that showed a whole lot of creative promise.

Now the Handmade show has returned for another year, and so has the small team of Trinity MTB. This year they’re showing their second prototype, a bike that engineer Mick Williams somewhat jokingly describes as being built up for “Downduro” (think Enduro, but with shuttles between timed descents). Oh yes, it’s no longer just a joke from Waki.

Trinity MTB is still not ready to put its modular freeride/park/downduro bike on the market, the tease is that there are some big changes still to come before the goal on-sale date of early 2023. While the bike is still expected to change plenty, here’s a look at the latest prototype build.


The modular bottom bracket now features a second rivet pattern to match Trinity’s own gearbox (not shown)*, something that engineer Mick Williams continues to refine.


What’s new?

The new prototype, Prototype 2, builds on general themes introduced in the first. The frame is still constructed with a chromoly 4130 front triangle and a CNC machined rear triangle, all displayed in a raw state. There’s still a high pivot suspension layout and an idler. And the rear shock is still lowly slung in a modular bottom bracket assembly that is designed to fit a regular drivetrain (shown), Pinion gearbox, Effigear gearbox, or Trinity's own derailleur-driven gearbox which remains in development.

However, take a closer look and the specific approach to all of those finer details has changed and progressed. The front triangle now features 3D steel printed lugs at key sections that the 4130 tubes are directly welded to. These printed parts are produced by Australian manufacturer Zeal 3D, and the goal is to clean up and lighten more intricate areas of the bike such as the shock mount, head tube and segments of the split seat tube. Meanwhile, the one-piece CNC-machined 7075-T6 rear-end is intricately latticed on the inner side to save weight.

The front triangle now features 3D steel printed lugs at key sections that the 4130 tubes are directly welded to.

The shock placement is similar to the first prototype but the suspension system has changed, now running what’s arguably a simpler virtual high pivot layout with a fixed position idler pulley. Trinity MTB claims this approach provides an elongating rear-centre, an optimal leverage curve, and all in a compact package. Rear travel sits at 170 mm as shown (180 mm front), but the company have designed it to be bumped up to 180-195 mm through the use of a longer shock. A coil shock can be used, but it’s only recommended in the longer travel setting.

The shock placement is similar to the first prototype but the suspension system has changed, now running what's arguably a simpler virtual high pivot layout with a fixed position idler pulley.

The bike now rolls as a mullet, with a 29er wheel up front and a 27.5 in the back. And the geometry has been tweaked around that, with a head tube now sitting at 64 degrees (an AngleSet headset can be used) and a not-so-long reach of a 445 mm (medium size). The goal is to offer four sizes, with reach figures going up to 520 mm.

A few other details of note come from Mick Williams’ other business, Williams Racing Products. There’s the previously seen sprag-clutch-based CentreHub crank spider. While up front sits the Stuart stem, which is Lachy McKillop's (@Spinthatup) custom concept with a 44 mm length to match the fork rake, a clean wedge clamp design, and an integrated computer mount.

As mentioned this bike is very much a prototype to test some concepts and help show how things are progressing. And it appears that things are progressing quickly.

Borrowed from the road world, a SRAM Force AXS rear derailleur is matched with a small cassette for a gearing configuration that clearly isn't made to climb.


Up front sits the Stuart stem, which is Lachy McKillop's custom concept with a 44 mm length to match the fork rake, a clean wedge clamp design, and an integrated computer mount.

The bike uses the previously seen sprag-clutch-based CentreHub crank spider.





121 Comments

  • 155 1
 Normalize raw metal bikes.
  • 63 2
 Demonize paint
  • 17 3
 I just feel bad for paint, this whole raw business is canceling color. So cancel color, poor paint Frown .
  • 26 1
 100%. If you make a metal frame you should offer it in raw.
  • 36 1
 Paint carbon like raw metal
  • 8 0
 @FloridaHasMTBToo: I did. Looks ace.
  • 6 2
 Yeah, and stop covering nicely machined bits of aluminium in black shit, all components should be available in raw for us weidos that enjoy polishing metal or patinas.
  • 17 0
 @Zaeius: and carbon frames with just a clear coat
  • 5 0
 The seat position in that first picture looks like a wood pecker getting ready to stab somebody’s dangly bits.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: Wait until you see Trey Jones' seat angle...
  • 2 0
 @FloridaHasMTBToo: That brings to mind Mac’s bike in Always Sunny…

Yeesh!
  • 1 0
 @suspended-flesh:
yeah, why not? But maybe its good as a protection. who knows But if not raw metal is the way t go
  • 1 0
 As someone who is finishing building one raw bike up today and ordered a second this week. I support this.
  • 1 0
 Unfortunately you pretty much have to paint raw chromoly
  • 1 2
 @jkiefer: what about clear coat?
  • 4 0
 @diamondback1x9: still rusts under the clear.
  • 2 0
 @tomhoward379: chromag did a raw stylus frame for 2021. IDK how they did it tho
  • 2 0
 @diamondback1x9: plenty of brands do it, they often won’t warranty the finish if it does show though. It is just patina though, not a structural issue for the vast majority
  • 70 4
 Isn’t “enduro, but with shuttles between timed descents” just… downhill?!
  • 40 1
 Maybe it’s a downhill bike with an excuse for when it descends poorly?
  • 4 1
 No disrespect to Trinity, the description is my only gripe.
  • 10 0
 Of course. Enduro or downhill just depends on the cassette and the possible seatpost length. There's no middle way. It either can go up or it can't.
  • 5 1
 @DavidGuerra: Exactly. I don’t see the “enduro” element to this bike at all.
  • 4 1
 Updownhill bikes are the next shit. One devil always hides another ;-)
  • 2 0
 @blissindex: it’s probably in the 170mm rear travel and steep seattube. Wink
  • 2 0
 EWS-E no?
  • 1 1
 @blissindex: Only thing I can think of is them using a single crown fork instead of double crown. Other than that it's just a downhill bike that they made worse.
  • 2 0
 Not if they can sell you another bike for it it's not.
  • 1 0
 "enduro, but with shuttles between timed descents"

ie. a single crown fork and a tiny cassette
  • 12 1
 So stoked to see this in the wild. oops.... I mean as a pink bike commenter, this bike sucks, never ridden the trinity or built a bike in my spare time but, photos tell me is is not going to work......
  • 12 1
 aren't downhill bikes for "Enduro with shuttling"?

ability to run a gear box or normal drivetrain is cool tho
  • 5 0
 Everything on your current bike started out as someone's crazy idea that was initially sneered at by the normals. I think this bike is fascinating. So many interesting ideas at work at once. I look forward to seeing which ones make the final cut and what that final configuration will look like.
  • 13 8
 This bike could very well be my next bike. Not here to troll or trigger but they way the frames designed looks like could be adaptable to having a mid drive electric motor option. That would be brilliant if this is the case.
  • 1 0
 It would need a place for the battery to fit in. If only the downtube wasn’t welded, but say modular?!?!?! Wink
  • 2 0
 Or a gearbox
  • 4 0
 Half of the 3D printed frame parts make no sense and only complicate manufacturing. This toptube- seattube section, whats the benefit of printing it instead of welding tubes together?
  • 2 2
 Strength. Consistency in manufacturing. Time for frame builder. Less skill required for manufacturing. Holding tighter tolerances.
  • 1 2
 I think lugs made a stronger frame in general. You have more surface area to weld each part,so it is a good solution in some cases like if you are welding with silver. I agree the 3d lugs presented here looks a little funky and are tig welded. It is easy to made a 3d printed lug than a cast or mill one,so another good point to 3d printed stuff.
  • 5 1
 @meathooker: none of these points is really relevant for the TT-ST connection. That 3D printed piece is just showing off.
  • 5 0
 Why exactly are we matching our stem length to our fork offset now vs matching them to our bodies?
  • 2 0
 It was just an experiment. He ended up liking the way the bike handled with the matched offset. I’m definitely one for trying new ideas and the logic seems sound enough for me to want to try
  • 5 1
 @gspottickles918: what's the logic?
  • 7 3
 Stem length should not be used as a method to fit a person to a bike, only how it handles.
  • 5 0
 @warmerdamj: numerology.
  • 7 0
 @warmerdamj: numberwang.
  • 3 1
 So this was my concept although Mic designed it etc.I tried this out as I wanted to achieve my hand position being inline with my axle. 50mm stems I get a big of over steer and 35s a lot of understeer. So far I utterly love it, for me at least.
  • 7 0
 @Green2Gold: hand position in line with axle? Doesn't the bar have backsweep ?
  • 2 0
 @boozed: one and the same
  • 2 0
 @Green2Gold: It sounds more like you found a stem length in the middle of the ones that gave you over/under steer then vs benefitting from your hands being in line with the axle? I'm just trying to understand if there is a known benefit to this thought process since it's not the first time I have heard of matching stem length to fork offset? Did you ensure a zero rise stem as well and/or account for backsweep as another user pointed out? Thanks for commenting.
  • 1 2
 Thats how a lot if people have always done it. Basically, choose a length similar to your fork offset, to keep the steering neutral. Shorter or longer can make steering feel twitchy.
  • 5 0
 @mountainjew: I don't think that's how people have always done it unless they have just got into riding. Until maybe 2018 when the industry told us we were all doing offset wrong and had to buy new forks or our bikes would explode most would not have been able to tell you what fork offset was, let alone match their stem to it. People typically have been using stem length to fine tune the reach/TT number of their frame, regardless if this is the right approach or not. These stem lengths have also typically been longer then most offsets, "most" have not "always" been running stems shorter then 50mm.

Also going to a shorter stem or a longer stem cannot both have the same twitchy steering effect.
  • 2 1
 @warmerdamj: it's completely an experiment to be honest with you and possibly you are right with finding something between my previous stems. Definitely not an expert, nor am I trying to convert anyone to have to use it. I'm finding its working and I like to tinker so may as well.

All the stem info can be found on the wrp site. Mic makes stems so you can tailor them to whatever length you require for your set up
  • 1 0
 @Green2Gold: Cool thanks man, I currently have a 47mm stem on a 42 offset fork and am thinking of going from 140mm to 150 in travel and then maybe to a 50 or 55mm stem to keep the front end down. But now I think I should try to leave it!
  • 6 2
 Downduro was being used to describe Enduro bikes with a wide range drive train and dual crown fork long before this "down country" nonsense became a thing.
  • 4 1
 The inner lattice on the rear triangle seems like it’s going to attract a lot of mud, and once it dries it will be a royal pain to clean out.

I do like the raw front triangle.
  • 1 0
 Australians live by what Sam Hill said about riding in the wet.
  • 5 0
 It's STILL a joke from Waki!
  • 6 1
 Waki is STILL a joke!
  • 3 1
 Jeez ive been riding this downduro for years. Why do we need to create a new name for obvious things we ve been doing??? Just marketing garbage. From what i see this is a single crown dh bike.
  • 1 0
 Love the comments of people thinking it won't work/is pointless. Throw up an article of the new trek rail with 1 degree different head angle and a couple of mm on the reach and everyone will think it's amazing.

Well impressed with this, hope it works out.
  • 1 0
 That stem is slick, but MTB is way behind the times. BMX has had all kinds stems with a single clamp wedge. In fact, there are a few stems that tighten down the wedge to the steerer tube as you tighten the clamp for the bars. Very clean. Overall, that whole sled is pretty awesome.
  • 4 3
 Somewhat amusing to see a downduro (still can’t get myself to that that word seriously) frame made in a huge place that is mostly flat

But fantastic to see a frame made here. I’d buy it
  • 2 0
 Stupid question (having not owned an unpainted bike) how does a raw matte frame age with use? Does it still look good after being put through the wringer?
  • 1 0
 Usually it’s covered only with the clear coat that is used when also painted. So it’s protected from weather conditions the same way as if it was painted. Smile
  • 1 0
 Mine looks the exact same as the day I stripped it 2+ years ago. I've done 2 bikes now one is matte and the other if fully polished. Takes a little time but the results were worth it I didnt clear coat it either still looks perfect.
  • 3 1
 Cant wait for grall-mountain bikes! We’ve already got groad and down country! And what about groad-duro?
  • 2 1
 Looks awesome. Maybe just use rectangular 7075 tube for the rear? Pockets will fill with dirt and milling is more expensive...
  • 2 0
 @DaveRome I have a question how does having a stem with the same length as the fork rake change how the bike handles?
  • 2 0
 It’s not something I’ve personally tested yet and I’m a little skeptical about the related claims.

Mick Williams and Lachy McKillop have an occasional tech podcast as part of the ‘Beyond The Tape’ podcast and their theories related to stem length has been discussed in detail there.

I think it’s this episode (but sorry if it’s not!): podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/beyond-the-tape-podcast/id1454491103?i=1000531799301
  • 1 0
 @DaveRome: Okay, thanks for replying, I’ll take a look.
  • 2 0
 Surely such a category of bike could just be single speed, eliminating the need for so much complexity?
  • 3 0
 Road mech on a dh bike, so hip
  • 1 0
 Like stepping back in time . When Innovation was more prevalent than marketing hype . Plenty of cool ideas being played out .
  • 3 1
 What stem is that? One of their own designs or another manufacturer?
  • 5 0
 William's Racing Products
  • 3 2
 says in the article
  • 1 0
 Lachy McKillop's custom concept

@warmerdamj: to show that there is a relation between fork and stem offsets which is independent of our bodies, which should be taken into account when selecting reach, stack/rise, and desired steering characteristics? Also, novelty
  • 2 1
 Super cool, but a constantly moving chain would concern me when going over the pulley next to my leg hair
  • 11 0
 Damn, how long is your leg hair?
  • 2 1
 @Beaconbike: when you turn correctly your outside leg is gonna be up against the frame. It’d only be an issue with the fixed hub and ratcheting chainring
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: hmm, my outside leg hits my seat before the frame
  • 1 1
 @Beaconbike: like I said, when you turn correctly…
  • 1 0
 @kleinblake: maybe in theory. Watch some pro race highlights, in reality the seat is in play between the knees/ lower thigh. Not so much the frame. They must not be doing it correctly I guess.
  • 1 0
 @Beaconbike: you can let Greg know that he’s doing it wrong
imgur.com/a/lDvhaHD
  • 1 1
 @kleinblake: hes not doing it wrong, but the way his twiggy alien body moves is quite unique. I stand by my statement
  • 2 0
 “Down enduro”
What’s next, “ Down Downhill”
  • 5 0
 This is a park bike. Don't know why the term was abandoned by the industry,but it's really stupid to market it like this.
  • 2 1
 It really just looks like they've designed a frame that'll be easier to convert into an e-bike when the time comes
  • 1 0
 No place for the battery. They need to think how to change the downtube for an e-bike conversion.
  • 1 1
 Can some manufacturer start doing a stem with integrated computer mount all ready? I’ve seen so many custom homemade ones. There obviously a market for it. I want one…
  • 3 0
 @Freddye: I would assume that integrating the computer mount in the top-cap or a spacer offers an equally low part count and clean asthetic while still allowing full flexibility/adjustability of the stem, increased compatibility, and lower cost?
  • 1 0
 @agrohardtail: Exactly. And Lezyne and KCNC have other solutions if you want to mount the computer more fore or aft.
  • 1 0
 @iamthatguytoo: Thanks mate! Pretty damn pricey tho.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: I’ve looked into this solution. The problem is that my tools are living in my steerer tube.
  • 1 0
 @st-lupo: the sykkel one is a neat unit. Don't think I'd be a fan of the lezyne one as it appears you'd have plastic between the stem and stem bolts. Just a personal thing
  • 2 0
 @Freddye: pricey yeah, but it’s a custom item. You can have him make any dimension you like and have the mount fitted as well.
  • 2 0
 So we are using road mechs now? No clutch!
  • 2 0
 Wireless shifter for DH bike is a good idea for sure
  • 3 1
 Beautiful machine that looks fun to ride
  • 2 0
 I bet it's 40lbs...
  • 3 0
 That's it?
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: lol.... 42?
  • 3 1
 Looks like a Range.
  • 4 4
 It's a yes from me. I'd choose paint over raw steel everytime, rust never sleeps and clear coat looks shit .
  • 1 0
 Raw dogs for the big hogs
  • 1 0
 With that seat angle, they must have a heavy bmx background.
  • 3 0
 Indeed they do.
  • 3 3
 People get their knickers in a twist about e-bikes, but are ok with this, so much double standards, hypocrisy and idiocy....
  • 2 1
 Effing shuttle bikes can suck it! Walkaloguecoustic bikes are the only true way. Hypocrisy crisis averted.
  • 2 0
 Looks breakable af
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Tre…I mean Atherton.
  • 1 0
 Favourite Bike ATM.
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