Throwback Thursday: The Story Behind the One-Of-A-Kind Paul Brodie 69er Gearbox DH Bike

Mar 10, 2022 at 6:14
by Ed Spratt  

Legendary frame builder Paul Brodie (of the 8 Ball fame) has shared a fascinating look into the history of a completely unique bike that he made as a one-off in 1998. The 69er gearbox DH bike.

After going through multiple owners over the years Paul Brodie managed to get the completely unique bike back into his own hands and went through the process of restoring it to its original condition. The bike features a Shimano Nexus hub built into the frame to act as the gearbox and has a slack (in 1998 ) 69-degree headangle which led to the bikes '69er' namesake.







104 Comments

  • 105 0
 High pivot + gearbox, PB commenters should be foaming at the mouth.
  • 57 1
 But no bottle cage mount...
  • 39 0
 @baulz: Easily solved! There's plenty of room, and I don't think anyone would even notice if you just drill a couple more holes in that frame.
  • 16 2
 Zerode G1/G2!!!

I'm actually CADing up a design to do this right now with a Kindernay hub. Going to weld it up in steel first, then carbon tubing with welded aluminum lugs if it works out.
  • 3 1
 You forgot mullet... Oh, and the fact that it was built NEARLY A QUARTER CENTURY AGO!
  • 2 0
 @MikeyMT: so intense made a HP single pivot? Is that what I see?
  • 2 0
 @Trudeez: Looks more like a HP Horst Link to me in that pic
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: Linkage driven single pivot, just upside down from the usual way.
  • 3 0
 @Genewich: Are we both talking about this picture: www.vitalmtb.com/photos/member/PIT-BITS-Tennessee-National-USDH,13610/Seth-Sherlocks-Intense-Prototype,149618/JackRice,44569

Because if yes, that's not an upside down linkage driven single pivot. It's a bog standard horst link except for the higher pivot placement. The main pivot is still the one connecting CS to the frame, there's another pivot on the CS before the axle (the horst link) and the whole seat stay/rocker part just drives the shock. Could not be a more classic HL.

Check the drive side shot too if it helps: www.vitalmtb.com/photos/member/PIT-BITS-Tennessee-National-USDH,13610/Seth-Sherlocks-Intense-Prototype,149617/JackRice,44569
  • 1 0
 @Genewich: I was feeling nerdy so here are some drawings I made to help. Admire the mad MS Paint skills haha Wink

Horst Link: www.pinkbike.com/photo/22198281

Upside down linkage driven single pivot: www.pinkbike.com/photo/22198280
  • 1 0
 @threesixtykickflip: ha ha I was about to say the same thing. This thing is full of speed holes!
  • 3 0
 @bananowy: Ha ha, no, I was still talking about the Brodie 69er, I just didn't follow the chain of replies. The Intense is Horst for sure. My fault.
  • 2 0
 @bananowy: That is some sweet MS Paint though
  • 2 0
 @Genewich: ah OK my bad! Of course you're right about the Brodie. Oh well at least I got to make those sick drawings haha, cheers
  • 1 0
 @bananowy: ah yes you're right. The pivot is on the chainsaw so variable axle path.
  • 62 0
 I was able to hang put at Paul's shop a couple years back when he just finished rebuilding this bike. As a machinist (not an engineer) it was so impressive to see all of the work he put in on that bike with manual machines, no CNC! He had all of his original templates cut out of cardboard on a table laid out for each piece he machined, really a work of art. It was awesome hanging out and talking tech with the man himself which eventually turned into the history of train tracks somehow LOL.
  • 42 0
 I thought 69 was referencing it's weight.
  • 30 1
 69er? barely knew 'er
  • 25 0
 That‘s a healthy dose of drillium on that frame
  • 15 0
 Brodie, Balfa, RM, Norco, Cove...the Orginators of the Shore Bike culture.
  • 7 0
 .243 racing!
  • 11 0
 Brodie's channel is a great and worth a subscribe if you get a chance. The guy is a really good teacher and just likes to explain what is doing. You may think you would be little interest in a guy making hook for his torch, and then 20 minutes later your wondering who wouldn't want to watch it. One of the true pioneers of our sport.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=45NAvfUVifw
  • 3 0
 Unfortunately I just wasted an hour on this video and another of Brodie's It was an enjoyable wasted hour.
  • 9 0
 Paul is such a genius! Everything that comes out of his shop is just pure art… Smile

What would we do without his brain ?

Thanks for promoting this local legend
  • 7 0
 i still remember the first time seeing that at a local race (when rich was on board). was SO cool at the time. kicked off a long term infatuation with gearbox bikes. great to see it lovingly restored.
  • 2 0
 I actually worked at Heatherbrae for a short while and never put it together that Rich was THAT Rich.
  • 3 0
 And the Balfa Nouveau Riche was floating around that time too
  • 1 0
 @WayneParsons: NR's were sick. i don't actually recall seeing one in the flesh on the local scene (heaps of bb7's, of course). i do remember steve mitchell's devici big bang - that was a mental rig. funny to see the re-emergence of high pivots. what comes around...
  • 8 0
 Came for the name, stayed for the DX pedals.
  • 1 0
 The 321 rims are doing it for me, as well.
  • 1 0
 I have a pair of them somewhere Smile
  • 1 0
 @blacktea: I’ve got one on the front of my Transition PBJ, and a 521 on the back. Smile
  • 1 0
 @sngltrkmnd: i mean DX pedals Smile
  • 7 0
 Looks like the Meccano stuffs I was building when I was a kid Smile
  • 6 0
 Good times. I have some good memories riding that bike. I'm glad Paul got it back and returned it to it's glory.
  • 3 0
 I had some of those Hope brakes from back then...put me off hydraulics for a really long time.
  • 4 0
 The sealed master cylinder that causes the brakes to lock up wasn’t fun??
  • 3 0
 It slices! It dices! It squeezes and juices! And if you order now, we'll include this free set of steak knives!
  • 5 4
 A bike truly ahead of its' time. Add 29" wheels, massage the geometry, and refine the frame/hardware and it would blend right in 24 years later.
  • 22 9
 Why the hell would you want to ruin it by putting on clown wheels?
  • 3 2
 @Darknut: tell it like it is!
  • 12 1
 @Darknut: Because I'm 6'-3" and like to go fast. lol
  • 9 5
 @jkwilliamz: I don't care. We're officially renaming them "clown wheels". Anybody using the old term will be punished from now on.
  • 1 6
flag stiingya (Mar 10, 2022 at 11:02) (Below Threshold)
 @Darknut: It already has a 29er front wheel, so not sure how a 29er on back would be ruining anything...???
  • 7 0
 @stiingya: pretty sure it's 26" F&R, the name 69er refers to the head angle
  • 2 2
 @arden0: Well then it's unridable...

Smile Smile Smile
  • 3 0
 What a nice guy, love stuff like that.
  • 2 0
 Isnt this just a rip off of what GT Bicycles did in 1996 with their Shimano nexus internal hub bike?
  • 8 2
 No - GT took photos of this bike at the Snoqualmie Norba when I was there racing it. They ripped Paul off!
  • 1 0
 Maybe not the '96 one. I was thinking about the IT
  • 1 1
 The GT thing did not happen in 1996, despite what articles claim. It was a '98 concept and easily dated by the White Bros fork, D321 rims and Tioga tyres
  • 2 0
 paul did mention in the vid that they were inspired by an existing design; assume that would have been the GT (which first showed at interbike '97). obscure tidbit: bcd racing also built a nexus gearbox bike in 1997 - perhaps the first (functional) frame mounted gearbox rig?

www.pinkbike.com/photo/22198598
  • 1 0
 I can say for certain that they did take numerous photos at that race. They asked if it was ok and that they worked at G, I said of course. 98ish
  • 1 0
 @lacuna: love my white brothers fork. Currently looking for a replacement upper crown
  • 4 5
 I watched this the other day on Paul's channel. Super interesting guy and I love his completely manual work. But, I have to say, every time and Orange get's reviewed here, its gets brutalized for ugly welds, then this thing shows up and everyone gushes over Paul's work... I love the form following function approach and the overall aesthetic, but the welds... sheesh, a little bubblegumy.
  • 5 0
 i mean this IS a 25 yr old one off build. and alu wasn't really his medium of choice. his fillet brazed steel bikes are gorgeous.
  • 3 0
 always a pleasure to watch and listen to this man
  • 1 0
 Nobody is talking about the left hand drive/right hand brake arrangement? I see how it simplifies the layout; but that caliper...
  • 1 0
 Gearbox aside, the suspension design on this bike is really similar to the Norco Range. Upside down linkage driven single pivot on the 69er vs 4-bar on the Range.
  • 1 0
 Feels like the new Norco Range with a high pivot and rear ward axle path including horst link with the added bonus of gearbox!
  • 2 1
 OMG that is an amazing story. Epic. Very impressive design and craftsmanship. Inspiring.
  • 1 0
 I know he's based in BC, but what kind of a accent is that? Maine? Eastern seaboard of Canada?
  • 4 0
 Sounds like south shore of Nova Scotia to me - almost exactly like my father-in-law's accent.
  • 4 0
 Huh... and apparently it's Southampton, UK mixed with West Coast Canada. Dunno how that works!
  • 2 0
 A face only a mother could love.
  • 1 0
 Charming video. I have never seen anyone ask people to buy them coffee before.
  • 2 0
 Thanks Pinkbike and Paul, great article and awesome bike.
  • 1 0
 He should allow people to bid on this bike for a "one race rental" over and over again just to see all the places it goes.
  • 2 0
 But someone tell us about the 20/15 debate!
  • 1 0
 Thought we were talking about a new wheel size standard when I first read the title
  • 1 0
 Great work on the video. I enjoyed watching and listening to Paul talk about the bike, he is well spoken.
  • 2 0
 How did RockShox try to warn us?
  • 1 0
 those Mavic d321 were what my dreams where made of at 15 y/o! bike looks like a cheese grater tho
  • 1 0
 Just had a 70's Mongoose BMX flashback...
  • 2 0
 Love this new Zerode!
  • 2 0
 Brodie is a legend.
  • 1 0
 Looks almost like the new intense Seth is riding
  • 1 0
 Amazing amazing amazing! Just love it
  • 1 0
 I recognize this bike, it's Zerode G1's ancestor.
  • 1 0
 Wow what a story! what a bike!
  • 1 0
 Looks like the early ancestor of a session
  • 2 1
 This was perfect until I saw that the brake rotors were on opposite sides.
  • 1 0
 Love content like this (:
  • 1 0
 Looks like it was inspired by an Erector Set.
  • 1 0
 Looks like a Pro.....fessionally built bike.
  • 1 0
 Actually a pretty sick bike
  • 1 0
 Old School High-Pivot DH. HUCK YEAH Big Grin \m/
  • 1 0
 Best thing I've watched in a minute!
  • 2 1
 Bet this is heavier than an E-bike with downhill tyres on...
  • 1 0
 mavic d321 wheels! I had those wheels! Unbreakable
  • 7 7
 Huh Huh Huhuh, they said 69, huh uh huhuh.
  • 6 1
 Wonder if Outside would endorse Cornholio riding the 69er for a throwback Thursday special?
  • 2 1
 Yessss! 69
  • 3 3
 Cool vintage bike what year did it come out? 1969?
  • 3 0
 In the Summer of 69 to be exact.
  • 1 0
 WOW!
  • 1 1
 Looks like a 1982 Mongoose frame. Total BMX background!
  • 1 0
 So Rad!
  • 1 0
 Nice!





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