Esker Cycles Introduces Updated Hayduke & Japhy Titanium Hardtails

May 17, 2022 at 0:21
by Esker Cycles  

PRESS RELEASE: Esker Cycles

Esker Cycles, a Montana-based mountain bike manufacturer is proud to introduce our newest additions to the lineup with Hayduke and Japhy Titanium hardtails.



Best known for our Orion Suspension equipped Elkat and Rowl full suspension mountain bikes, we are excited to be launching a brand-new line of bikes with the release of titanium Hayduke and Japhy Ti. The current steel Hayduke and Japhy are a core part of our offering, and this new take on those models will bring a timeless material and ride quality to the lineup in an exciting new phase for Esker.



With the current Hayduke and Japhy, we created a best-in-class steel tubing design that is custom drawn, externally tapered, seamless, and quadruple butted—making for a high-quality frame that is both light and cost-effective. With titanium, we took that same approach to the design and manufacturing process to create a line of bikes that would delight riders in a whole new way.

“We focus on building the best riding bikes, continually improving, and tuning our ride quality with the various material and design components. When we decided to bring out our hardtail models in titanium, we concentrated on keeping the qualities that riders and reviewers love but took it a step forward by designing the bikes from scratch and using seamless, butted, and cold-shaped 3/2.5 titanium tubing," said Esker Founder and CEO Tim Krueger.


From the beginning, we paid specific attention to how each decision in design and manufacturing would affect the riding experience. With Esker titanium, we think riders will discover that same joy that they found while pedaling other Esker bikes but in a timeless new design that is both lightweight and durable and will take them confidently from the backyard to the backcountry for many seasons to come.

“Our Hayduke and Japhy hardtail models have built a loyal following over the years, and to improve upon that, we felt it only natural to make versions of them in the best possible material for a hardtail—titanium,” said Marketing Director Ryan Krueger.



Esker Titanium frames feature a custom chainstay yoke, versatile braze-ons, and a bead blasted finish with rainbow anodized graphics. Framesets come with Portage sliding dropouts, a Wolf Tooth Components headset, seat collar, and axle. Framesets ($2300) and Level 2 completes ($5200) are available for purchase now with delivery in June. Level 1 and 3 completes will be available later in the season for $4400, and $6000.

For more information on pricing, spec, and availability, visit the Esker Cycles website at www.eskercycles.com.




100 Comments

  • 118 1
 It's like they're trying not to show a proper picture of it
  • 31 0
 It's just shy.
  • 11 0
 how else is their photo intern supposed to show off his depth-of-field skills?
  • 34 0
 There's a few more over here: www.pinkbike.com/u/EskerCycles/album/Esker-Titanium We'll do better Smile
  • 3 0
 I logged in just to upvote this. Wanted to see those dropouts closely.....
  • 2 0
 @FaahkEet: First time posting on bikesgonewild
  • 8 0
 You have to sign up to their onlyfans to see the rest.
  • 1 1
 We came to see to immaculate , beautiful , stack of dimes welds. Disappointed!
  • 43 1
 NX crank on a gucci Ti hardtail. hrrrrnnnnnngggggggghhhh
  • 12 0
 They got some proper, self-respect eeWings on one of them at least......
  • 39 2
 I like how they lead with "Montana-based manufacturer" but all their stuff is produced over seas.
  • 16 1
 Definitely misleading. Annoying when bike companies aren’t transparent where their products are actually fabricated, it matters to a lot of us.
  • 5 5
 Based on their CEO I am not surprised.
  • 8 13
flag EskerCycles (May 17, 2022 at 10:37) (Below Threshold)
 That was not intended to mislead. We've been very proud and open about our overseas manufacturing partners over the years. Our Montana base is home to the design and assembly of our bikes. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
  • 39 3
 @EskerCycles: In my opinion, you're a brand. You can say "Montana based company" or "Montana based brand" or even "designed in Montana" but to say "Montana based manufacturer" sounds like you're welding them in Missoula.
  • 7 0
 @PHeller: it’s what we like to call a ‘canned response’
  • 5 0
 @PHeller: it would be too expensive to weld in Missoula, but they could probably afford Havre.
  • 2 7
flag singletrackslayer (May 17, 2022 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 @artistformlyknowasdan: MADE IN USA is overrated anyway. No pride in buying a bike that is MADE IN USA when 99% of the components that actually complete the bike are definitely and proudly NOT made in the USA.

We're getting there, though. But it'll never be 100%.

Remember when Fox forks were HECHO IN WATSONVILLE? That ship literally sailed.
  • 6 0
 @singletrackslayer: You can get hubs, rims and spokes either MUSA or MCAD. Cranks are easy. Brakes/shifter/cassette/derailleur lacking unless you go SS and Paul Klamper. MRP still produces forks and shocks that are predominantly made in the USA. Tires are probably the only thing you can't find MUSA.

I get plenty of pride buying a Made in USA bike, even if the components are not. The only way we'll get more options is if the consumer cares more about where stuff is made, and if brands are transparent about the fact. If you don't care where stuff is made, buy whatever you want, but to say that nobody cares, or that there are no options is just false and misleading.

Lots of options.
  • 3 0
 @singletrackslayer: I’m not worried some much made in USA - mostly want to make sure I’m not blindly supporting businesses that manufacture in countries with inadequate humans rights. While a lot of people don’t care a lot of us do. When I purchase things I do try and support companies that have the same moral/ethical standards when possible.
  • 3 0
 Well if they made them in the USA they would be pricing like Moots and then everyone would bitch about that.
  • 8 4
 @artistformlyknowasdan: so countries like the USA? You’re pretty far down the list of countries with good human rights.
  • 2 2
 Like Ryan said, that was not an intent to mislead. We are a bicycle manufacturer, and yes, we use 3rd party factories in Taiwan to build our frames. But just like you would call Specialized a bicycle manufacturer, or Trek a bicycle manufacturer, we would call ourselves the same. And we feel that we can even claim a little more than most bike companies, because we do all assembly ourselves in the Flathead Valley in Montana, whereas the vast majority of bicycle manufacturers also use 3rd party assembly.
  • 1 1
 @tk55407: this is the transparency we were referring to "we use 3rd party factories in Taiwan to build our frames". I personally have no qualms with purchasing products that spend part of their lifecycle in Taiwan. The prior response was merely more of the same non-specific statement. Best of luck!
  • 2 2
 @tk55407: maybe the intent is not to mislead, but let’s not pretend like you didn’t omit that fact on the webpage by mistake. You can get a a Chumba MUSA frame for a shade over 2300$. The big brands generally sell value, so their consumers overlook or choose to ignore country of origin. When you claim Montana origin, but offshore production, then say you’re not hiding anything, at least show us the value.
  • 1 0
 @bubbrubb: In Esker's defense Chumba, Reeb, Waltworks and especially Sklar are not producing titanium frames for $2300. They are steel.

Almost all of the above charge nearly $4,000 or more for titanium frames.

Esker is right in line with other brands charging around $2000-$2600 for Taiwanese manufactured titanium frames.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: my dude. I have a brand new Chumba Stella Ti sitting on a hook, waiting for the last few parts. Ordered in Dec ‘21, arrived as scheduled APRIL 4th, $2323 shipped to my door in OR. What that you were saying?
  • 1 1
 @bubbrubb: www.chumbausa.com/stella-titanium-29er-27plus

They list that price at $2850. So you must've snuck in when they are a fair bit cheaper.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: I mean why are you splitting hairs with me? I didn’t change the price. I paid what I paid. Still, MUSA and nowhere near your $4k figure.
  • 20 1
 2300? That’s good for ti!!!
  • 3 0
 Honestly not bad. Twin Six, the other Minnesota ti brand, sells their fleet of Ti bikes for around $2k, but their trail bike is a bit outdated #'s wise.
  • 4 2
 Can they really say "frameset" though? Seems like more of a "frame" scenario.
  • 14 0
 Whoever wrote this has no idea what hardtail purchasers want. Not a SINGLE mention of:
Geometry: Head angle, seat angle, reach. - FIRST thing I look for.
Suspension Travel: What sort of fork these are designed for?
Purpose: What makes the 2 bikes different from each other
So hundreds of words later, I have no idea why I might buy this hardtail over another one. Other than the frame is Ti.
  • 9 1
 Moots and Litespeed are only makers building soft tails, THAT is where titanium as a material has an amazing capacity that they don't take full advantage of, IMO. 40mm travel to soften sting further while still being hardtail lightweight? Yes, please!
  • 6 4
 40mm of forward axle path at 0% antisquat, you mean?

You're better off with a suspension seatpost, honestly.
  • 1 0
 @waltworks: I'd disagree, but you're literally a renowned frame builder so I'll take your word for it Smile Would love own a Waltworks one day!!
  • 4 0
 @waltworks: If you want a suspension seatpost trashing your knees that's up to you.
  • 3 0
 @nozes: Indeed, you are probably *still* better off. Soft tails are worse than useless, though they're a great bike for Moots to sell to dentists who don't know better, I guess.
  • 7 0
 Having been on a steel Japhy for the past 18 months, I plan to keep mine for a long time and would gladly buy another Esker. Their frames tend to be light and supple, while having very modern geometry. If you run this with a 130mm fork and a more common 20% sag, your HTA should be around 65 degrees. I'm 5'9" on a medium and the STA feels comfortable at my height, without slamming the saddle forward. I have mine built up with XT, a SID Ultimate, and 27mm ID carbon wheels and it's about 27lbs. It's a snappy climber and a very stable descender. Whoever they work with in Taiwan for tubing profiles, frame production, and paint does an awesome job. I would compare them to Ritchey in terms of creating high quality, quad-butted steel frames in relatively large volumes for less-than-boutique prices.
  • 1 0
 Love to hear it. Thanks!
  • 7 1
 Very cool that they're making ti hardtail frames more current. Seems like a lot of the existing offerings haven't really caught up geometry-wise, with a few notable exceptions.
  • 8 0
 You should check out stantons ti frames. Beautifully made with modern geo.
  • 2 0
 @mikelee: I confirm: I have my Switchback for more than 5 years now and this bike is a grin maker Smile
  • 1 0
 Passila being one of those exceptions.
  • 3 0
 There are quite a few modern ti hardtails these days, just not from the old-school staples like moots, litespeed, lynskey, etc.
  • 8 0
 Titanium is beautiful.
  • 5 0
 Props to Eskar. That Heyduke is like a modernized Salsa Timberjack ti, but for $1K less.
  • 2 0
 I love how all the keyboard warrior manufacturing experts weigh in on every single company that purports to be "Murican Made". I wonder how many of them actually ride bikes that are designed, manufactured and assembled in the good ole USA? What about their clothes, cars, electronics and everything else? Everybody wants high quality materials but wants them cheap. These two things rarely co-exist. Esker is making some nice stuff for reasonable prices as far as I can see. Hopefully they were able to fly to Asia and visit the factory to confirm the people manufacturing their frames are working in reasonable conditions. How many of the experts on here have flown to China to insure safe manufacture of their jerseys, shoes, helmets, and bikes(because 99% of us do NOT ride "Made in Murica" product)?
  • 5 0
 There are a lot of shit takes around here.
  • 4 0
 Own an XL steel Japhy and love everything about it. Such a fun bike to get out and explore with.
  • 3 0
 Great to hear it. Ride on!
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles: Thinking of a rigid SS with either the hayduke or japhy. The squishy Japhy geo appeals more to me than the hayduke, but is either one of them more suited to a rigid setup vs the other?
  • 1 0
 @hotpotato: Not particularly. Both would take a ~492mm rigid fork and can be run SS. Have fun with the build!
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles: Do they have sliding dropouts?
  • 1 0
 @texsteve: Yes, they do!
  • 1 0
 I'm in the market for a "rowdy" TI hardtail frame but so far haven't found one that fits my criteria. Slack HTA, short chainstays, and either North American made or closer to $2K than $3K.

Basically a Chromag Rootdown TI that doesn't feel like a ripoff when other Taiwanese TI frames go for under 2K.

Anyone have any suggestions?
  • 4 0
 Buy a used Rootdown Ti
  • 3 0
 Check out sonder signal
  • 2 0
 Stanton switch9er Ti. I like mine with a 140mm fork but it can easily take a 160mm
  • 2 0
 Not North American made but Titus Loco Moto maybe.
  • 2 0
 The days of sub $2k taiwan ti frames are long gone. Even chinese ti frames rarely come in under $2k. Bummer you missed out on the binary maniak pre-orders, it could have been a good contender.
  • 2 0
 @threesixtykickflip: That's stainless steel, beautiful bike though.
  • 4 0
 A Nordest Bardino 3 is a cheaper Ti frame and it's designed around a 160.
  • 1 0
 If it's cheap that you're looking for...
www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FRTITLM/titus-loco-moto-frame
  • 1 0
 Oooof. That's a great deal for a titanium bike, but it looks broken. Count me as someone who doesn't like overly slack hardtails. The El Viajero and Fireline are more my speed.
  • 1 0
 agreed
  • 3 0
 I must say, these look quite nice. I like seeing another SS-able option on the market.
  • 1 0
 This is written as if I'm supposed to already know what the (design/functional) difference or particular focus of each model - Hayduke & Japhy - is.

C'mon guys... basic information
  • 2 0
 They should have designed at least one of them around a longer travel fork.
  • 1 0
 Yea, I didn't understand why they were both spec'd with 120mm when the Hayduke steel comes with 140mm..
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: in the world of long slack hardtails, travel doesn't mean much. I had a 150mm z1 on my chromag and 110mm DVO Sapphire on my Pipedream Sirius. The Pipedream straight plows. Better at speed through chunk than the chromag or my old offering or tallboy. Really changed my perspective on travel
  • 2 0
 @AccidentalDishing: My complaint isn't that these bikes will perform the same, my complaint is that there is no verbiage on this article or the Esker website, to indicate which bike would be better for me. The only advertised difference is that one fits comes with 29x2.6 but fits up to 29x2.8 and the other comes with 27+ but can fit up to 29x2.6.

If I was looking for just the frame, how would I know the difference between the bikes? At least pipedream markets the Sirius and Moxie differently.
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: fair point. Hayduke on 29x2.5 tires has a tall bb height at 15-20% sag on a 531mm atc (120mm) fork. Pair with a 100mm suspension fork or 485mm rigid fork for best results on meaty 29 tires. Japhy is about 15mm lower on the bb for same tires and forks.
  • 1 0
 @rustiegrizwold: The Hayduke is more geared towards bike packing but with trail geo. It has a more open frame to accommodate bags and can take 27+ or 29" tires. The Japhy is a trail bike first, it has a little more bb drop being 29er specific as well as a slacker HT angle. Obviously one could bike pack with a Japhy or trail ride with a Hayduke but that's gist of it.
  • 1 0
 @AccidentalDishing @eluder: I mean I knew the differences but only because I was looking at the Hayduke before COVID then went in another direction. Well, I thought I knew the differences but on top of the poor choice of words, the pictures Esker used appear to be an XS for the Hayduke and L for the Japhy making the Hayduke look like the lower, slacker bike. I had to go back to the steel pages to jog my memory.

All in all, still are both bikes I'd love to own, and I demoed the Elkat in 2019 and thought it was great. I just feel the marketing missed the mark.
  • 2 0
 I love my Hayduke. This is exciting! Price is competitive for both Ti and Steel.
  • 1 0
 Honest question: why do I see plenty of Ti hardtails on offer, but never a Ti full suspension? I see both ht and fs in steel and AL but Ti=hardtail it seems. Why?
  • 1 0
 you're not looking hard enough? kingdombike.com/collections/full-suspension

(just poking fun, there's not a whole lot out there for sure)
  • 1 0
 Because it would cost way too much. For a FS, aluminum and carbon make more sense. Check out the Stanton Switch9er FS Ti though, that's a beauty.
  • 1 0
 @hardtailparty: @dreamlink87: thanks for the links. Prices are higher than steel for sure, but not crazy when compared to big brand carbon bikes. I am not in the market now, but I will definitely consider a bike like this in the future. To me, Ti is worth a premium. There's something magical about it.
  • 1 0
 anybody know frane weights on these?
  • 1 0
 Couldn’t find this bit of info either. Very curious.
  • 1 0
 Taiwanese cable bosses? Who is the tubing supplier?
  • 3 3
 Uh no, Vassago has them beat on geo, price and quality.
  • 3 0
 I have a Vassago Radimus ti and would definitely buy one again. Great company.
  • 1 1
 Almost as good as my Sage Optimator.
  • 1 0
 So stoked for this.
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