Esker Cycles Releases Japhy Steel Hardtail 29er

Nov 24, 2020 at 10:55
by Esker Cycles  

PRESS RELEASE: Esker Cycles

Esker Cycles is proud to release our newest mountain bike model, Japhy. This latest offering is a steel hardtail 29er equipped with a 120mm fork. Japhy is designed and built to satisfy your adventurous side, and is right at home on your favorite flow trail. No-nonsense versatility combined with modern geometry and steel tubing—Japhy is the hardtail you reach for regardless of the adventure that lies ahead.

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

This latest addition to the Esker lineup expands on our current offering of the Orion Dynamics Suspension equipped models Elkat and Rowl, and complements our Hayduke model steel hardtail. With the addition of Japhy, we have now made it easy for riders to simply choose between two versatile hardtail bikes with the 27.5” Hayduke, or the 29” Japhy. For those riders that want to choose their own adventure, all Esker hardtails are also offered as frameset only, allowing anyone to dream up their own build.


Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

Japhy is designed around modern frame geometry and custom steel tubing for a playful and responsive character out on the trail. With a 120mm fork and clearance up to 29x2.8, Japhy is ready to tackle everything from local singletrack to backcountry epics. In addition, Japhy features a 66-degree headtube angle, a 75-degree seat tube angle, an adjustable 425-437 chainstay length, and a reach of 420-490 on sizes S-XL.


Esker Japhy Geo

The custom drawn Japhy tubeset is made from externally tapered, seamless, quadruple butted, heat treated 4130 cromoly that is specific to each frame size—making for a better quality frame while reducing weight and cost for the rider. This proprietary tubing design is the result of years of finding the limitations of off the shelf tubing, and opting to work with our talented manufacturing team to create our own tubesets that are custom made and fine-tuned for Esker bikes—giving riders one of the most sophisticated production steel hardtails available.

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

The intention with our hardtail models has always been to make it as simple as possible to set it up how you like, and hit the trail. For that reason, all of Esker’s steel hardtails continue to feature the versatile Portage dropout system, which was designed to allow riders to easily switch drivetrain types, hub widths, and chainstay lengths. Japhy comes standard with internal dropper routing, a plethora of braze-ons to attach anything that you can dream up, and external mix and match routing guides that mount to any of the existing braze-ons to allow riders to place external frame bags or cages, and tune their cable routing.

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

Japhy framesets come standard with Portage dropouts, an axle, seat collar, and a Wolf Tooth Components headset for $750. Complete builds are available in limited quantities in three levels starting with J1 at $2000, J2 at $2950, and J3 at $3250. Framesets and completes are available through eskercycles.com. For more information and complete specs, check out Japhy at eskercycles.com.

Esker Cycles Japhy in Bozeman Montana

For more information, click here.


73 Comments

  • 55 0
 Looks killer guys! And bravo for keeping the cable routing external. All steel hardtails should have external routing in my opinion. And that geo looks super fun.
  • 3 0
 @hardtailparty —name checks out!

And agreed.
  • 4 0
 @EskerCycles: What is availability for frame only? Completes say 4 weeks out. thanks
  • 5 0
 @kcy4130: Framesets are available now and generally ship out within a week.
  • 1 1
 Just run cables/hose together under the downtube. But we can't have that because of logsliding bikepackers. Stack seems low for 29er. Now toptube has to be dropped on Hayduke too.
  • 2 0
 @ceecee: that stack number is at sagged geo. Head tube length is pretty standard.
  • 25 0
 Steel Hardtail field test please!

Stanton Sherpa/Switch9er
Ragley Big Wig/Piglet
Canfield Nimble 9
Esker Japhy
Kona Honzo ST
Chromag Primer/Surface
Production Privee Shan GT

Etc
  • 2 0
 Add the Jamis Dragon to that list too
  • 3 0
 Can't forget the Surly Krampus and Karate Monkey.

#steelisreal
  • 2 0
 Add Ragley Blue Pig to that list.
  • 8 0
 Almost bought another Heyduke Last week ..... then saw this ... Ordered my Dharma frame this evening.. can’t wait to build it

Also would love to see a Hardtailparty review.
  • 9 2
 I'd love to review this bike, it looks RAD!
  • 6 0
 @hardtailparty: your reviews and videos are excellent !! I lived in the red rocks for a few years..
hopefully they send you a bike to review.
  • 3 0
 @EskerCycles oh man, I almost bought a Hayduke earlier this year but decided I didn't want 27.5 and didn't like some of the components in the build at the time. This one looks sweet! Good choice with the Bomber and Deore in the base model. Would love to see a Hardtail Party review if you could spare a demo unit.
  • 2 0
 @ABhardtail: I loved my Hayduke ... it was Advocate then ... I put studded 27.5x3 Wrathchilds on it and rode it all winter in Alaska ... Really fun bike.
  • 12 0
 @hardtailparty: You got it!
  • 8 0
 Esker seems to have a really attractive, no-nonsense philosophy to their designs. Hope to see some reviews on this fair site at some point.
  • 5 0
 Looks lovely, great looking colors, and the price is such that peeps like oi could look at other steel hardtails other than the Kona Honzo. I also like the fact you can have a couple different hub sizes. Well done tup Beer
  • 7 0
 Those builds are super dialed for the price! Full XT, i9 wheels and stem, top end suspension, and carbon bars for $3250. And Deore with Z2 for $2000 is pretty crazy too.
  • 4 0
 Agreed, that J2 build is crazy bang for your buck. Man o man that "desolation" colorway is great. If I didn't just build up a Cotic Bfe max I'd be on this bike like white on rice.
  • 7 0
 That was a quick $750 leaving my bank account...
  • 3 0
 I've been riding my Hayduke in this setup (120 fork, 29x2.5 tires). I have been so surprised with how much this bike rips. I built it as a bikepacker but it absolutely slays the singletrack in central Idaho and Montana. It's the one bike I can't see myself parting with.
  • 6 0
 So if I buy one of these, would it make me a Japhy Ryder?
  • 2 0
 You know it
  • 4 0
 We know Esker likes Kerouac and Abbey... that alone makes me want to buy one. Also named the brand after glacial landscape features, bonus points.
  • 1 0
 Curious, at what height is the STA measured at? Not a fan of steep STAs and the height that's measured at makes a huge difference. Good that you set the geo at SAG, which means 74 STA/67* HTA un-sagged in case anyone wanted to run it rigid.
  • 2 0
 Check your numbers.. if sagged hta is 66°, how can unsagged hta be steeper?? Also, 30"% sag should make much bigger difference than just one degree.
  • 4 0
 @pakleni: Yeah,was absolutely blown from a ride, don't know what the brain was doing. 30mm SAG should actually be about 1.2-1.4 degrees - I normally say 20mm is a degree, but know that's not totally accurate.
Also wanted to commend on these guys on not going crazy with the fork length on this, can't hardly find any HT frames with aggressive geo based around a fork shorter than 140mm.
  • 2 0
 @MTB-Barbados: Agree for the fork length! Way too many ht bikes with 150 mm Lyrics. If I would go for a ht it would be a bike for short faster rides and rides with kids. Aggressive geo with 120-130 mm fork would be perfect for that task.

Actually, this bike would do just fine
  • 4 0
 So glad to finally see this thing drop! Geometry is perfect for what I’ve been wanting to build. Well done guys!
  • 1 0
 The Japhy looks rad @EskerCycles and is a clear leader for my next hardtail purchase this summer.

I can't tell from the photos, but how reinforced are the chainstays where they are crimped for tire clearance near the bottom bracket? for instance is there a brace there? It's hard to tell. How thick is the tubing there? I only ask this because a few years ago I broke a steel Salsa El Mariachi here due to what i assume was a few years of hard torquing as a single speed rider. For reference, I'm only 155lbs so I'm not a Clydesdale by anymeans, yet I still managed to rip that tubing apart.
  • 2 0
 Hey there Munky -

On our chainring and tire clearance dents, we are using a typical thickness there, but with some "secret sauce". Rather than increasing the thickness there, or adding plates or other reinforcement, we actually have that tube drawn custom for us, and then heat-treated. This is a departure from almost all other steel production bikes on the market that only use heat-treatment on the front triangle. We felt this was a better option than adding weight through reinforcement.
  • 1 0
 @tk55407: this is a very interesting comment. Does this apply to the hayduke as well? I avoided the hayduke as I too have seen the el Mars crack here. Ive got a beloved 2013 that im dreading the day it cracks. I have a sherpa on order, but its months overdue and months to go. The hayduke may be what I want after all
  • 1 0
 @AccidentalDishing: Yes. We used the "normal" method when constructing the "Advocate" branded Hayduke, and we did see a few frames crack in that same way. All "Esker" branded Haydukes have had heat-treated chainstays.
  • 1 0
 It’s clean looking! It’s definitely a hardtail
I would’ve bought 6 years ago, but I’ve gotta be honest. Hardtails with 65 degree head angles don’t get me hot and bothered anymore. I love the look and the way hardtails that are long, low and slaaaackkkk!
  • 4 0
 Even more steel hard tails! 2020 is the year of the hardy party!
  • 6 0
 100% agree
  • 2 0
 The Eskers look nice. Was looking to pick up a used Elkat but people were all asking close to new bike money and they were selling. A sign of a well made bike.
  • 3 1
 "What's this? A steel hardtail? I mean it's beautiful, and thank you, but I asked for a JEFFSY for my birthday honey. A *Jeffsy*."
  • 1 0
 Looks fantastic, I love how many options are popping up for hardtail frames lately. Adjustable chainstay length is a big selling point, and that geometry looks spot on.

What's the max chainring size for non-boost?
  • 1 0
 This. Clearance for 38 or at least a 36? What about hayduke?
  • 1 0
 Hardtail geometry is currently great. Compare this all rounder with its 66* HA against my old Norco Manic DH/Freeride hardtail from 2005(ish) which had a super slack 67* HA.

And this one looks beautiful to boot.
  • 1 0
 Any one here start enough to give this dummy a rough idea of what the reach on xl would be unsagged if it’s 490 at sag? 6’2 trying to figure out if i should order large or xl.
  • 1 0
 Hey man, not sure the answer to your question. I'm 6'2" and just bought the xl. I have two other hardtails with 19.5" ST and I believe the 660 ETT / 490 reach is a good place to be. That said, the large Japhy could def work for me... also take note that the stack of both the L and XL is 614 which is fairly short... I think the change in reach unsagged is a nominal difference. With a steep STA these longer reaches still not gonna feel super long... I figure saddle forward on the rails and shorter stem is gonna close the gap if feeling too stretched.
  • 1 0
 @RobertGrainier: I compared the Japhy XL to a few other large and XL bikes I’m familiar with and i think you’re right, xl isn’t going to be too big on this bike. I noticed there are more xl colors sold out than large, which i think is telling.
  • 1 0
 @rottencommie: Yeah it'll be interesting to see how the low stack height translates to ride feel... I think the Chromag Surface, albeit more expensive, is a good example of Cromoly at a slightly larger geo... slightly different niche than this bike. It's never the numbers that really make the magic, it's how they all mix into one machine right
  • 1 0
 @RobertGrainier: I’m kinda glad there’s low stack height because i plan on putting a 130mm 36 on it. I want a 34 stepcast for the lock out remote (running it ss) but i also really want a 38 for my big boy bike so I’m gonna buy a 38 and move the 36 over
  • 1 0
 I see adjustable chainstay length but not familiar with Portage dropouts, can anyone confirm if the Japhy can be run single speed?
  • 1 0
 Yup, similar to Salsa's design on the el mariachi, timberjack and Fargo. Ss heaven
  • 1 0
 I just realized the geo is measured at sag. That's pretty awesome. What's the max tire width that'll fit in the back?
  • 4 0
 That's correct! 29x2.8 is the max on the frame with proper clearance.
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles: Killer! This makes my day.
  • 2 0
 i have a new crush on someone named japhy
  • 2 0
 Well well, what do we japh here...
  • 1 0
 Splendid piece of metal and craftmanship. Just for my knowledge, does the headtube allows tapered forks?
  • 2 0
 44mm head tube can run either. Just change the lower headset cup.
  • 2 0
 Loves a small rear.
  • 2 0
 I like 'em wide. More cushin
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles 50mm BB drop? Is that correct?
  • 3 0
 @Ru-tang That is incorrect. BB drop on Japhy is 65. Good catch!
  • 3 0
 @EskerCycles: OK, I'm excited again! My editing consulting fee is 1 Japhy frameset, red please
  • 1 0
 A great peice of kit. Always nice to see a well designed steel hardtail.
  • 1 0
 Hello
Do you have an european distributor,?
Thank you
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles A size XXL w/ a 510mm reach would be nice....
  • 1 0
 duly noted. Will look into it for future productions.
  • 1 0
 @EskerCycles this is great! stoked!
  • 1 0
 This is a thing of beauty
  • 1 0
 Mmmm skinny tubes!
  • 1 0
 Its steel! You don't need mega think tubes to make it strong unlike carbon fibre!
  • 1 0
 Aaaaand..... SOLD OUT.
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