RSD Bikes Release 27.5+ MiddleChild Steel Enduro Bike

Mar 21, 2018 at 12:11
by RSD-Bikes  

PRESS RELEASE: RSD Bikes

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!"

At RSD, we think hardtails have always been old-school cool, but with our latest release, we're going back to the future. We're proud to shine the spotlight on our new 27.5+ MiddleChild - a top-shelf model of the new-school breed of 'enduro' bikes that let you climb with ease and descend like a beast.

Handmade from heat-treated 4130 steel tubing, every detail on this premium frame has been designed and fabricated to handle all of the abuse that you can hurl it at.



• Boost spacing
• Room for 3.0" tyres on 50mm wide 27.5 rims (or up to 2.6" x 29)
• CNC-machined custom yoke
• 415mm - 430mm adjustable chainstays
• 448mm Reach (M) and 465mm (L)
• 64.5-degree head tube paired with 140mm fork
• 74-degree seat tube angle paired with 140mm fork


When you're blazing trail doing 88 in a 50, you won't waste a nanosecond worrying about whether this bike's build will hold up. We went for a supporting cast of all-time greats on the MiddleChild spec:

• Shimano XT 11spd drivetrain and brakes
• RaceFace Turbine cockpit and crankset
• RockShox Pike RC 110
• Maxxis Minion 2.8" DHF and DHR II 3C Maxx Terra EXO TR tires
• Optional KS Lev Integra dropper post (internal cable routing)

Available in soft turquoise, bright yellow or matte black finish.

Pricing:
• $2799 USD complete
• $2999 USD complete with dropper
• $749 USD frame-only with Cane Creek ZS44 headset & SRAM Maxle 12x148

Geometry:



Take a look at the sexy lines and finishes of the newest rig in the RSD family, along with complete build kit, specs and geometry here.

Pre-order online or contact us directly for late-May 2018 delivery Info@rsdbikes.com


MENTIONS: @RSD-Bikes



111 Comments

  • + 33
 Who is the person that decides to buy a 30lb steel hardtail for $3500 and why? I don't understand so please enlighten me. This isn't a dig, I'm truly curious.
  • + 69
 because its sick
  • + 67
 My Honzo was easily 30lb or over and never felt the weight, just the fun. I think for lot of people weight has far less bearing on the ride than handling on technical terrain, and when it comes to aggro hardtails the only way you're getting well under 30lb is with lots of carbon or titanium (or alu, yuck). 27.5 plus bikes in particular are never gonna be light unless you are planning on spending 6000+ for a bike with carbon rims etc. Climbs will never be as fast as an XC bike, but downs will make you giggle and that's way cooler to me. Also, for anyone that puts a water bottle on their frame, you probably know that the extra 2+ pounds didn't ruin the ride. Rim & tire weight is the only weight I ever notice.

Also: because it's sick.
  • + 25
 Lots and lots of British, British Columbian and Pacific North West folks. When the riding season is all year the prospect of cleaning mountains of crud out of a full suspension bike all winter isn't an attractive one. A hardtail can be quickly washed and shoved in the garage, plus nice ones do in fact ride better than cheap ones made from thick walled steel. . In the summer they're a laugh for pump tracks and smoother trails too, or just ride them wherever and feel like a riding God as you clear stuff people on Enduro bikes are standing around looking over the edge of.
  • + 5
 @JesseE: How much did your Honzo cost? Would you pay $3500 for it? Also Transition's Vanquish is 25lbs for the same price. I guess for my money I'd rather by a YT Capra or something else thats a FS Carbon Enduro bike for the same price as this. I just don't get it, but to each their own I suppose. This just seems super-niche to me. Like if you MUST have a super slack HTA and you MUST have steel.

Also didn't we just see a titanium, pinion geared aggressive hardtail the other day featured on PB that was under $3000?
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: Totally get it, but would you choose the 30 pounder for $3500? Maybt this "nice ones" argument holds up. But I don't know steel all that well, are you getting a large benefit for the price?
  • + 11
 @yupstate:
This is a bike for someone who already has a full-suspension but just wants something to dick around and have a blast.
My skills improved since I have my hardtail- you need to do much more work on the bike to be fast but it makes you a better rider.
And man hardtails are so much easier to whip/ do some tricks Wink
  • + 2
 @yupstate: That Nordest is $3300 for the frame and gearbox, although Nordest do some gorgeous normal steel and ti hardtail frames at more sensible prices too.
  • + 9
 @NotNamed: Right, that's starting to make sense to me. But I still can't get why someone would pay $3500 for their "dick around", 30lb, steel hardtail? I thought steel was cheap? If "fancy" steel isn't cheap, what are the benefits over titanium, carbon and aluminum?
  • + 8
 @yupstate: My honzo with a pike, CK hubs, 9.8 dropper & XT retailed for like 5K easy. The vanquish is 800USD more than this, with a crappier fork and drivetrain, frame alone is $1000 more. And the titanium/pinion was frame only, which I guess is pretty cheap for Ti and a drive train. Steel bikes aren't the cheapest, but are so much nicer than alu. Heck, the new Honzo is 700CAD before tax while mine was 550 and nothing has changed except paint. These bikes might be niche to some, but I've only been riding heavy steel hardtails for the last few years and have loved it. Brits and BC'ers cant get enough of heavy steel, haha.


I think most of us hardtail fans would dig a Ti frame, but the reality is most Ti frames are 2-3 times as much as a steel frame, which makes each pound of weight savings like 500 bucks. Not worth it to me when I have at least 10 pounds I could lose off my gut alone. Smile
  • + 2
 @Fix-the-Spade: I love the shove it in your garage part.
  • + 2
 @yupstate:

Average Ti hardail is like 2-3k CAD. Average Carbon Frame same price. Alu frames 500 ish but hurt. Steel frames 6-900CAD in 2018 unless you want crap. Pretty big price difference if you want the fancy stuff, considering steel feels nice. If you're really hung up on weight, steel is not for you. I've never actually weighed my steel hardtail, all I know is that it's heavy and fun.
  • + 3
 The person who lives by flow trails, xc loops and pump tracks. And the person that wants to keep his bike for the foreseeable future.
  • + 3
 Mine is 31 lb and it's a blast and for all of the reasons above.
  • + 6
 @JesseE: Well, in general I've learned a bit today, so thank you. If you asked me yesterday about steel, I would have said it's a heavy, cheap alternative for folks who want to save money. I didn't know that to some folks its actually preferable. Poking around the internet researching, I would have thought a Norco Torrent and $1000 in your pocket was a far better option here or something similar like I mentioned in the other posts. But I guess this truly is the "to each their own" situation.
  • + 7
 @yupstate: my pleasure, haha. Ive been a bit of a hardtail advocate for years, particularly on my trails which aren't super rough but has lots of out of the saddle short steep climbs and descents. Hardtails are a blast, but the new crop are so much better than hardtails of yore - it's shocking. Some people like an alu hardtail, but I have yet to ride an alu bike that felt anywhere near as nice as steel one, even with plus sized tires. Jumps (the take offs anyway) feel awesome on a hardtail as does mashing up steep climbs without any rear squish. I enjoy the trail feedback at times, too. Makes things exciting. Full squish can feel like cheating now. I highly recommend putting in some time on one, while you're at it, try single speed, haha.
  • + 8
 $3500 is the CAD price. USD price is $2999 with Dropper
  • + 2
 @yupstate: There are a lot of nice HTs coming out of UK at the moment. Some locally made like BTR and some Taiwanese but equally nice - Stanton / Cotic. Also Chromag make some really nice frames both in Canada and Taiwan.

275+ and 29 wheels have definitely changed HTs for me. You don't get as beaten up as you do on a 26HT to the point where they are fun to ride.
  • + 1
 @RSD-Bikes: Ahh, I see the article is now updated above. Thanks! Definitely a bit easier to swallow.
  • + 1
 Especially when they're a 27.5+ bike, where you're not going to notice any difference in ride quality over an aluminum frame. The only noticeable difference will be about 2lbs, which the steel is real aficionados will pretend not to notice.
  • + 1
 @TucsonDon: I don't know, I've got a ti plus bike and a heavy steel 29er and I know which one climbs faster (the heavy one).
  • + 1
 With all due respect guys the only sick bicycles are coming from Sick Bicycles. Just saying
  • + 3
 i'm one of those weirdos. and i like to go faster on my heavy ass honzo than the other guy on his fancy german direct to customer online super bargain full suspension. because i can and it just rocks.
  • + 1
 @yupstate: My first two steel hardtail XC frames (from Voodoo and DMR) were about 200euro. I'm currently still riding the DMR but the next frame is in production (by BTR) and goes for more money because I wanted it to be exactly the way I want it. I've riding the DMR for a decade (wrecked the Voodoo within a few years) and I expect the BTR to last me well over a decade so I'd say it is well worth it. I don't know how much the DMR is worth the way I've built it now because it is an assembly of stuff gathered in about fifteen years or so. But because I ended up buying quite some stuff new for the BTR, I could do the math and think I'm going well over the 3k euro mark.

It won't be a "second bike" though. It is my main mountainbike, it is going to see years of hard and varied riding and I expect it to keep up. I wouldn't dare to expect that from a full suspension bike with a 2k euro frame. At least not without some costly maintenance to bearings and shock.
  • + 3
 @yupstate: You may like to watch this to get an idea of why these bikes go for this kind of money:
www.pinkbike.com/news/Documentary-BTR-Fabrications-From-The-Ground-Up.html
I have to add that they have moved to a better workshop hence have to charge more for their frames to pay for that. Can't blame them. They've built a pretty solid reputation by now and to stay in business, they have to charge what it's worth.
  • + 4
 steel is real! more durable (trail abuse and longevity) than aluminum. in general it's a better ride quality, at least for hardtail thrashing. usually more expensive, especially when the word "handmade" slips in. if you can find some alu tubes and some steel tubes (or sheets or whatever), try hitting them with a hammer and see how they compare.
  • + 3
 I built up a bombproof Surge EVO at 28lbs on the button. Some might call it heavy but I call it a riot.
  • + 2
 Chromag makes the stylus, a ripper of a 30+ pound hardtail.... ride one, they're fun!!!
  • + 2
 I possibly would if it's a frame that'll last me at least a decades worth of quality ride abuse and the build kit is top notch indestructible gear. But I'd avoid any current design fads that'll be obsolete next week.
  • + 2
 The price is a little high for the provided build. My Stanton with a much higher build spec cost me a bit less to build up. With that being said, a steel hardtail can be an amazing bike. I don't think I can see myself parting with the Switchback anytime in the near future. I was worried about spending as much as I did on a hardtail, but after riding all those worries faded away.
  • + 3
 @scottlink: Holy hell, just visited their site. $3000 - $7000 steel hardtails!
  • + 2
 @mfranzen: My 2016 honzo frame was 550, now they are 699CAD. My old Chromag was 800, now it's 900 and it doesn't even have sliding dropouts and is made in taiwan as well. I feel like bike price inflation is really high right now.
  • + 2
 @vinay: I think you nailled it on the cost. £1000 for a custom steel frame is not that bad considering it will last 10+ years of hard riding. How many if todays carbon bikes are still going to be around and being ridden hard in 10-15 years? My bet is not many.

£1000 is what you have to pay for a custom UK HT frame. There are several others at the same price so its not uncommon.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Sick are doing interesting things but are a little too specific (DH focused) for my liking. BTR are a little more sensible altho very nu skool in terms of geo.
  • + 2
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: I think I bought the DMR frame about ten years ago (the design was probably much older) and I built it with stuff I had. Straight steerer, IS mount disc brakes, 135mm qr in the rear... If you'd buy my frame from me (once I've got my new one) you can buy pretty much all components from any decent online shop. The 26.8mm seatpost may be only odd thing (though still quite available). Now of course I'm probably going to sell it along with quite some decent components that won't make it on my next build. I don't want much for it. I'd rather see that this frame is still being ridden properly. Either way, obsolete is a strange term. You can get everything for this frame, quite easily. Even straight steerer forks. If you meant to say "in ten years there is new stuff around that I'd rather have", now that is more in the owner than in the bike, obviously.

As for the BTR, I expect it to last me decades because it is the frame I wanted well over a decade ago. I got the small DMR (me being about 6' tall) because I wanted my top tube low. But the instability is getting me in trouble. And now I can get a longer frame that's still as low as I want it. I also recall looking at the On One 456 Summer Season which was particularly slack. But only with the longest fork. I wanted that geometry with the short fork! Now, BTR does that. I don't care if there is another axle standard out in five years. Heck, the BTR will take 26" wheels and I'm really confident I'll be able to get spares ten years or longer from now. I got complete wheels from Syntace (W35) and with (associated brand) Liteville still pumping out high end frames for 26" wheels, you can expect them to back that up.
  • + 2
 @JesseE: Similar setup on my Honzo (Size L). Pike, CK hubs and headset, flow rims, transfer dropper, and all the XT bits. Im weighing in at just below 32 lbs. Could be a bit less if i swapped out my 2.5 EXO Minions (f and b) though. Super fun bike and it can handle just about any trail.
  • + 2
 @BobbyLite: I did some big climbs on my heavy honzo and never wished the frame was lighter, especially going down Smile
  • + 1
 @yupstate: I was lucky to get a used demo... roadies hardtail I've ever ridden!!!!
  • + 1
 Rowdiest
  • + 1
 ME Steel is Real !!
  • + 1
 I ended up paying around 7.5k burger money for my hardtail with the exact specs I wanted, and I don't regret it for a second. I don't have the faintest idea of what it weighs, and I honestly don't care one bit.
  • + 0
 @fartymarty: one day I’ll buy a HT from one of these guys. But if I’m to pay a grand for a HT I want it quite tailored.
  • + 1
 Congrats on being one of the few people that use reason, logic and some research to form a new opinion. You are rare these days. @yupstate:
  • + 1
 @vinay: I still have and ride my DMR Trailstar 2, straight steerer tube, 26.8mm seat tube, 135mm rear and 26" wheels, no problems here!
  • + 1
 @streetkvnt-kvlt: Yeah, the Switchback I have is basically Trailstar geometry but with lighter tubing. But because I want my top tube low I went with the small size, about 375mm reach. I'm just under 6ft tall. But for quite a few years I've been riding very concave pedals which work best with the ball of your foot over the axle. A couple of years ago I moved to these Catalyst pedals which are designed to have your midfoot over the axle. I love the comfort they offer but obviously this basically implies that I'm extending my chainstay by a couple of cm and effectively reducing reach and front center even more. It is really getting too unstable and hard to control. The bike already kept me on my toes but I think I prefer some more stability, so it is time to move on. But really straight steerers, 135mm qr rear axles etc haven't really gotten me in trouble. The introduction of 1.5" steerers (and later tapered) was to have single crown forks longer with more travel than 130mm. But there have been enough 160mm travel forks with straight 1 1/8" steerers after that which held up perfectly fine. So the (old) Trailstar nor the Switchback nor the BTR Ranger really need tapered steerers. Though the BTR needs an external lower cup for the fork crowns to clear the downtube. So with the 44mm head tube, this most likely implies that to have an external cup it needs to take a 1.5" or tapered steerer.
  • + 0
 I hear you: I want to upgrade my ht for something like this, a modern geo, steel hardtail, but that price is ridiculous. My friend got a Bronson at 3000usd in our backwater country!
Also, a beautiful one, this one is ugly and lacks all the simplicity of a ht.
  • + 18
 64.5 degree head angle. Someone's gettin a little sassy.
  • + 2
 I've taken this for a quick spin and it's very confidence inspiring. Super planted. I always thought head angles like that would be unmanageable, but I feels very natural once you're rolling.
  • + 11
 Don't forget front suspension sag. You will lose a few degrees of rad slackness.
  • + 4
 @jozz: totally. The static numbers are decieving when compared to full squish. My Procss111 with a 140 is techincally less slack than my Honzo was, but jump on that thing and right way you can tell how much more raked out it is than the hardtail with a compressed fork.
  • + 3
 @jozz: yep, and gain a couple degrees of seat tube angle. hard tails and FS bikes geo can't be compared apples to apples. it would probably be like having a 66.5 HA and 76 STA on a FS. suddenly the 78 degree ST angle of the kona Satori doesn't look that crazy given that the honzo is 75

I got a chance to ride a RSD sergeant, I loved the insanely high stack on that bike. Sad they dialed it back a bit with this bike. It's now the same stack as a Honzo with a 140mm fork
  • + 2
 @xeren: There are always stem spacers!
  • + 4
 Let's face it, this bike screams 150mm fork... Wink
  • + 1
 @JesseE: oh, i'm using a lot of those, too Smile but too many and things start looking really odd
  • + 1
 @xeren: You'll need that 150mm fork @jozz is reccommending.
  • + 10
 Hardtails are fun. I picked up a Canfield EPO on closeout--so frame was relatively cheap. As a "non-boost" frame, it allowed me to pick up a used set of wheels with CK hubs for cheap. Everything else came out of the spare parts bin. Love it! I can see the appeal of bulldozing down the mountain on a long-travel "enduro" bike, but I don't really "need" one for most of what I ride, and I'm having more fun the rest of the time.
  • + 6
 Spot on. I have been shuffling my carbon boutique bikes for a few years now. Different amounts of travel & geo. Super fun & then it happened - I bought a hardtail. From that day on, I cannot get the grin off my mug. I was so impressed by the carbon 29 ht, I started thinking what a hoot a steel 27.5 might be. Just picked one up. I ride it more than any of my other bikes & when I do, I feel like I did when I was a kid. Bombing trails with reckless abandon. Dang, that's what's I ride bikes for!
  • + 2
 I ALMOST bought one when they were $700 USD but didn't pull the trigger. Now I wish I would have.
  • + 2
 I am fortunate enough to be married to a bike nerd, so I got one out of the blue for my birthday. Holy monkey that bike is fun! Playful, still plows, and with a 140 pike and wide rims, I'm still at exactly 26lbs. It rocks! Find one.
  • + 7
 That bent seat tube reminds me of a Giant Acid.

There's so much good choice in the hardcore hardtail sector right now! They're all super sexy and all really confidence inspiring. In the sense that you feel like you could spend a £1000 on something you could huck to flat in a sloppy local woods and get the sense that you're the next Slice of British Pie sensation.
  • + 7
 If you were on acid, this would look like a Giant Acid.
  • + 5
 Weight doesn't matter to me, everyone needs lovin'! Hardtails will always have a place in my heart. And my basement. Nothing stopping a guy or gal from having both. Different bikes make for different experiences on the same trail. Hardtails make you a better rider imo, you can't just point and shoot. Love for all, hate for none!
  • + 3
 Hey, RSD, maybe a little context before launching a new brand. Like where are you based, what is your specialty, what makes you different. Who are you? Do you ride bikes? Things like that. All I know is there are 3 letters and a nice lookin bike with killer short chainstays.
  • + 7
 They're about 6 years old already, make a killer fat bike too. Check website
  • + 4
 www.rsdbikes.com/about-us

They were born north of the wall.
  • + 4
 RSD is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and has been around for about 5-6 years I believe. Their fat bike, the Mayor is pretty popular in our country and I'd imagine their other bikes are also up there usage-wise too. Great little brand.
  • + 5
 Prob sound like a broke record, but a well put together hardtail is like the great craft beer of bikes.
  • + 4
 If this was marketed as TRAIL Bike, they could probably just charge $549 for a frame set, but since it’s being marketed as ENDURO, $749!
  • + 2
 Sh*t. I was hoping to find a frame to ride on trails. I don't plan on racing End*ro....
  • + 4
 Dag, those lines. The solid line from headtube to dropout. That little flourish of bracing. Almost made me want a hardtail for a second. Just about 1 second.
  • + 5
 I got nostalgic a couple years ago and built up an "aggressive" steel hardtail. It was pretty damn sweet, but after a handful of laps on the trails, it was ridden more to the bar than anything else, so, I sold it. It's tough to leave full suspension fun
  • + 4
 $750 is a good price. no mention of tubing supplier tho. if you're gonna go Steel, seems there's value in knowing you got the good stuff.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a lot of money to me. Plus size is PLUS the price. My steel TransAM was list spec 1500 2 years ago. Can’t see what could have doubled the cost for a steel hardtail.
  • + 2
 Hey McFly, McFly, your dad was a slacker and this frame needs to be slacker
  • + 1
 @RSD-Bikes that Big Chief 29+ also looks like a seriously capable rig! any chance of getting ahold of them in Europe? thanks!
  • + 1
 Thanks. we don't have distributors, which makes the shipping very expensive out of Canada. Email us with your shipping address and we'll be happy to get a quote. info@rsdbikes.com
  • + 1
 Is it not possible to do internal routing with steel? Would the tubes have to be bigger and hence an increase in weight?
  • + 0
 You know the term Enduro has entered a new phase of abuse when handrails are Enduro. Are they gonna be able to find a desperate enough racer to race a hardtail in Enduro?
  • + 4
 It was already done in the NZ Enduro last year or the year before...A Shan build if I remember right. I do think there needs to be a safeword established before the starting bell though...
  • + 1
 Jordan Hodder raced a Chromag HT in the elite category of the insane Crankworx Whistler enduro a couple of seasons ago. No slouch, that boy
  • + 1
 It would be nice if they provided.a frame weight since it is available as a frame only as well.
  • + 2
 (L): 6 Lbs 14 oz

its on their spec page
  • - 3
 @Oggie123: ...and what is that in real measurements like kg ? Razz
  • + 3
 @themountain: 3.1184475 Kg

Google is your best friend for that type of question.
  • + 5
 @themountain: It's about half a stone.
  • + 5
 @acali: So, about 3-4 pebbles?
  • + 2
 That's almost 49000 grains!
  • + 1
 @themountain: typing in "6 lbs 14 oz in kg" in google will give you an answer far faster than asking someone else to do it for you
  • + 1
 Should say external dropper routing. I checked with RSD a while back and they said it would only be external.
  • + 7
 we added Internal routing for production
  • + 2
 @RSD-Bikes: That is good news. May be hitting you up in a couple of months.
  • + 1
 What's the seat tude diameter ??
  • + 1
 30.9mm
  • + 1
 looks a lot like a production privee
  • + 0
 I love steel hardtails and this one looks good, but I'm getting bored with 'long and slack'.
  • + 6
 64.5 degrees is hardly slack for a hardtail.

64.5 is slack for a full suspension that says both front and back and retains it's angles, but a hardtail sags in the front! 140mm fork (5.5"), sag at 25%, gives you 1.4" sag. That's about 1.5 degree reduction.

64.5 degree hardtail is equal to about a 66 degree full suspension in this case.

66 is pretty mid pack, for full suspension
  • + 1
 Droooollllll
  • + 1
 awesome geo.
  • + 1
 no iscg mounts?
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