First Look: Switchcraft's 29er Dirt Jump Bike

Mar 22, 2022 at 8:26
by James Smurthwaite  

Dirt jumping has ben the last bastion of the 26" wheel ever since the hoops wars kicked off but if one builder from the Czech Republic has his way then it may not be the case for much longer.

You may remember the Switchcraft name from a Brit-inspired 29er steel trail bike we featured in 2020. Since then, Jakub has added a flat bar gravel bike, a second single pivot and this radical hardtail to his line up.

For now, this bike is simply an experiment without a name as Jakub wanted to see how short you could physically make the chainstays on a 29er and how that would affect the handling. The answer is, apparently, 388mm. Given that the radius of a 29" wheel is 368mm and you have to fit a tire in there as well, it's safe to say he's cutting it fine.

The clearance is super tight on this 29er.

Jakub has achieved this by welding the seat tube to the downtube with a 60mm offset from the BB and another smaller tube used as a reinforcement. There are also chainstay yokes, which means there are steel plates welded to BB to fit chainring properly. With the set up he has been running, Jakub says you could fit a credit card in the clearance between the wheel and the seat tube, but that's about it - you certainly don't want to take this bike off road unless the dirt is packed hard like concrete.

Jakub's unorthodox tube layout has allowed for the 388mm chainstays.

For now, Jakub says he is running the bike as an oversized BMX and that the short stays mean he has no trouble at skateparks or just street jibing. He says the main difference from a 26" dirt jumper is the stability. offered by the momentum of the big wheels when jumping.

Jakub specs low profile Maxxis Pace XC tires as no dirt jump tires are available in his wheel size.


The frame weight is 2,3kg and the whole bike is 12kg. He has no plans to commercialise the frame but could build more up as one-off projects if there are requests.

It jumps all the same although we can't imagine it spins as well as a standard 26er.



134 Comments

  • 214 18
 You Were So Preoccupied With Whether Or Not You Could, You Didn’t Stop To Think If you Should
  • 139 1
 Why Did you Not Capitalize That One "you"?
  • 16 0
 In marketing they teach you to capitalize all words when you write meta descriptions that will show up in google search results. Supposedly people are drawn to it more so than when they are non-capitalized. Maybe he works in marketing.
  • 18 0
 well he's definitely not a software engineer
  • 10 2
 Looks like a Honzo
  • 3 1
 @wheelsmith: I use my honzo as a 29” DJ
  • 2 0
 @samdeatley: same since 2012
  • 8 0
 The good lord already split me - I don't need it de-burred.
  • 76 5
 But I have been told for years 29 inch tires are not playful and not any good for jumping? Has it all been a lie?
Whats next, Shimano Brakes with a consistent bite point?
  • 6 2
 32” wheeled DH bikes are next…
  • 53 1
 Could have also titled this 'Last Look.'
  • 1 0
 Thank you for this.
  • 55 6
 Please make it stop
  • 39 4
 Dirt jump lips are gonna be 10ft tall with a 20ft radius just to clear a 3ft gap..... this is dumb.
  • 12 1
 Riding this at the local DJ or skateparks should make for some pretty good Friday Fails footage.
  • 28 1
 Nothing screams dirt jumping like that fork & 29” wheels.
  • 24 2
 Cool to see someone push the envelope a bit, but no thanks. I ride 29” wheels on my trail bikes and have done so for years, but I like smaller wheels for DJ/Park/jibz etc. I don’t understand the MTB industry’s somewhat apparent need to make 29” wheels the answer for every application.
  • 3 4
 It makes sense for MTB, but not for DJ/Slolam/Jib bikes. 29s are great for novices and experts alike. Really glad mullets are getting traction though, as I believe they truly are the best of both worlds (and better for novices, easier to turn, but still stable in tech). This is coming from a previous 29er dickhead. I'm over here wishing someone would come out with a full sus 26er for easy trail riding, jibbing, and DJ as it's hard to justify a dedicated DJ where I live with many huck to flats, but instead we get this thing lol.
  • 21 1
 How to un-dirt jumper a dirt jumper in 3 easy steps. My steel 26in dj is already a pig to 360 on smaller skatepark jumps. I can imagine people who buys this wont be doing any tricks, jumping, or digging (staples of dirt jumping). It'll be rich suburban dads who want a "dirtjumper" for their crappy pumptrack. Also can we stop building expensive pumptracks that get lame within 3 laps and build some proper dirt jumps?
  • 12 0
 Honestly the country is littered with dog shit pump tracks that could just have easy been a skatepark or a set of trails for the anmount of money it cost.
  • 25 3
 NO ON THE CLOWN WHEELED DIRT JUMPER
  • 16 0
 I do not desire this bike. I do think it is cool that someone who did desire it, went out and built it for himself. And I really don't understand why people act all offended that he did.
  • 9 0
 Reminds me of that scene in Rocky Horror Picture Show where Janet sees Rocky and says "I don't like men with a lot of muscles" and Frank-n-Furter replies, "I didn't make him for YOU!"
  • 2 1
 People are acting like their religion was made fun of
  • 17 1
 Maybe I'm a dumb American with my freedom units, but I'm pretty sure 38mm chainstays like they said in the summary is a little short?
  • 13 0
 That's a gnat's cock under 1.5", in imperial units
  • 6 1
 @Tambo: I did some conversions and got exactly the same thing.
  • 10 0
 @Andrew-Patella: African or European gnat?
  • 1 0
 @barp: Obviously its a Brazilian.
  • 5 0
 @Tambo: I think that’s a fine length
  • 1 0
 @barp: Imperial gnat, obviously!
  • 17 0
 One little flat spot and new rim required
  • 7 1
 The width of the chainstays is so small too. Just a little flex and it looks like it'd rub. Still a cool bike tho.
  • 4 0
 @dualcrownscottspark: my thoughts exactly, and bigger wheels flex more than smaller wheels. This must rub the frame in sharp berms.
  • 9 0
 I would think aside from spinning, the other complaint riders may have is how the bike feels on transitions;

I remember seeing a video recently where a rider went from a 26" DJ to a 20" BMX and mentioned that the bike felt way more suited for the location (indoor skatepark) as jumps, transitions and overall spacing of the park was better set up for a smaller wheeled, shorter wheel base bike.

Does it work going further, from 20" to 26" to 29"? Food for thought.
  • 10 9
 Totally.

I've noticed a lot of municipal pump tracks and skills parks (DJs) that are built by "professionals" end up feeling like they are designed around 20"-26" bikes, and yet, most of the people who ride them are on 29" MTBs with long forks and longer wheelbases.

Which I think is strange because then everybody who rides them says "I need to get a DJ or BMX" - why not design the park around the bikes that most people have?
  • 3 7
flag Tjameson (Mar 22, 2022 at 9:58) (Below Threshold)
 @PHeller: bigger bike=bigger jump which most people without a dj or bmx wouldn’t want to do anyways
  • 10 2
 @Tjameson: utter shite. Have you not seen how big BMX can go? Scroll back in the news feed an watch the S&M film
  • 26 0
 @PHeller: Because the dads riding the jumps on their 29" trail bikes aren't the ones digging.
  • 4 0
 @Tjameson: Also you can fit more features in a smaller space (important if land area is limited).
  • 9 0
 @PHeller: Two reasons. The pumptrack would have to be much larger and longer which cost more money. The other reason is you have much more leverage over short wheelbase bikes to pump and jump. A bmx or DJ would still be better than a 29er on a pumptrack optimized for 29ers.
  • 13 0
 @PHeller: I am happy that pumptracks and dirtjumps are being designed for dirtjump bikes and not for enduro/trail bikes.
  • 1 1
 Don't get me wrong, I think we need both, but I don't think entire skill areas should be devoted to a BMX wheelbase. My local skills area has a 6' drop, then transitions into a pumptrack designed for 26" short wheelbase bikes. The guys on the dirt jumpers aren't hitting that line, but the guys who bring their DH bikes can't really utilize the pump track.

As far as space? We've got plenty of it. Pump track, dirt jump lines, and a huge skills area that just feels like a pump track with rocks in it. All of it seems like it was designed for 26" wheels or smaller.
  • 13 0
 Ah, Stability. The Nemesis of Playful.
  • 2 0
 That may very well be my epitaph…
  • 9 1
 Utter shite, if you know anything aboot BMX trails, tracks an P'tracks you'll understand how this bike just won't work for its intended purpose. Unless that purpose is a pointless gimmick, then it'll sell bucket loads cos we all know how much dip shit MTB'ers LOVE the latest gimmicks.......
  • 3 2
 I mean it doesn't even look good for a chavy wheelie bike....
  • 3 2
 Yet the guy that built it seems to be riding it and having fun...so strange
  • 4 0
 @BillT999: wow you can tell all that from one photo... just imagne how much more fun he'd be having on a real DJ bike or a BMX.....
This is a folly of a publicity stunt of an experiment, nothing more
  • 2 3
 @naptime: Clearly the DJ religion has been offended by a one off creation, I shall repent
  • 3 0
 @BillT999: not offended no, we just know a bullshit gimmick when we smell it
  • 9 0
 Knolls lawyers be eyeing-up that BB area . . . just in case
  • 8 0
 *Knolly* goddamn autocorrect
  • 2 0
 @mashrv1: and GT are eyeing up the Triple Triangle. Lol
  • 7 0
 No, just no, no no no, and no. Yes, you can BUT you SHOULDN'T. Now undo what you have done.
  • 7 0
 I already manage to sit on the tire of my 26" DJ... I wouldn't care to take my chances on this.
  • 7 0
 If you actually dirt jump, dig , ride . You know. 26 rules .
  • 6 0
 Less compatibility with transitions and weaker wheels. Every dirtjumper's dream!
  • 8 1
 NO, Just NO!
  • 6 0
 It's cool but I see no reason why I'd want a 29er dirt jumper
  • 6 0
 The ultimate soccer dad pump track rig
  • 1 0
 shit, dude, you forgot my name in your comment, ouch
  • 7 1
 You can not claim bmx back ground with 29 inch wheels
  • 4 0
 i see no upsides. id be much more curious of a dirt jumper with 27.5 wheels and through axles or boost so it wouldnt be such a nightmare to find parts.
  • 5 0
 I haven't found that 26in rims, 135mm hubs or 26in tires are even remotely hard to find
  • 1 2
 @93EXCivic: good for you man
  • 3 0
 You should give 24”, 22”, or even good ol 20” a go. Going bigger than 26” is definitely going in the wrong direction.
  • 2 0
 This is the most frail post I have seen in a while. A 29" dirt jumper is just weak, gonna get someone scraped at the trails

29" wheels sorta cool for racing

27.5 is chill for trails

26 is dank for street, dirt jumps, slalom, and freeride Smile
  • 4 0
 That gap between the back tire and seat looks like a place for junk to collect.
  • 3 0
 Yep, all the junk stuffed right in there.
  • 6 2
 there is a whole new boomer crowd who think fat bikes are absolutely for shredding, they will love these!
  • 4 0
 This is clearly for fat dads at the pump track.
  • 1 0
 Ive had a Sunday High C for a few years now. It’s fun for tooling around between buildings at work, it would make a good pub bike, but take away the reasonable seating position and it’s completely useless. That’s basically what they’ve done here.
  • 4 0
 Stop this nonsense right now! It’s bad enough what with covid, the price of fuel,ww3 etc. And now this!
  • 5 0
 Buzz Buzz....
  • 5 2
 Cool concept but it's about as stupid as putting 37" mud tires on a Honda civic.
  • 6 1
 I feel personally attacked.
  • 3 1
 i'm putting 31's on my Miata... get at me
  • 1 1
 37” superswampers on a civic would be Gambler 500 gold!!!
  • 4 0
 Great, now I have to call my therapist again…
  • 3 0
 I built a 27.5 DJ using an NS Evo frame, rides nice, but it is a touch big, can't imagine trying to maneuver a 29er.
  • 5 1
 But the real question is:
E-DJ or 29"DJ?
  • 3 0
 Canfield bros built one maybe a decade ago, didn't think it worked well enough to try to market it.
  • 3 1
 I’d love to ride it. I have a 412mm CS. bike, and I love it for certain riding.
  • 3 0
 the seat tube reminds me of the 24 pornking
  • 5 1
 #26ain'tdead... yet.
  • 1 2
 This is a cool proof of concept. I’ll be a production model with a cut out seat tube (think 2000 Litespeed Ultimate) would address a lot of the clearance issues.

For dirt jump and freestyle riding there will always be a place for smaller wheels, but this platform more refined is what I’d want.
  • 4 0
 But why?
  • 3 0
 It's already 1st day of April?
  • 3 0
 With April 1st only days away…
  • 3 0
 Looks shit... probably rides shit. Make it stop.
  • 2 0
 being 6'5" I've been wanting to try something like this. My XXL Hightower doesn't do well on the pump track.
  • 1 0
 Congrats Jakub, you have struck complete terror into pinkbike We don't use 29ers where I live haha, but cool work. I wish I can build frames.
  • 1 0
 I kinda like the idea! I'm completely lost when I switch from my big 29er Enduro to a small 26 dj. The transition might be easier with this kind of setup.
  • 13 11
 this is the world the libruls want
  • 1 0
 THATS RIGHT HOSS
  • 3 0
 i do not like this
  • 3 0
 Soooo much NO.
  • 3 0
 No
  • 3 0
 Shake my fucking head
  • 3 1
 The "dirt jumper's gravel bike"
  • 2 0
 Stop this( dh bike need only 26 wheels
  • 1 0
 I think a 29er ebike dj is right around the corner. Worthless as tits on a boar hog,
  • 1 0
 for a brick, he flew pretty good
  • 1 0
 the saddle and seat tube clearance are my enduro goals
  • 2 0
 TUKT - iykyk
  • 4 3
 It's like a DJ for adults. I like it!
  • 1 0
 Whoa, shots fired!
  • 2 0
 Looks noodley
  • 1 0
 aaaand... i have buit 26er DJ yesterday....
  • 1 0
 Made for dorks who can't wheelie......so can I try it?
  • 1 0
 What is this bike on looks high?
  • 1 0
 looks like an enduro bike if you bottom it out
  • 1 1
 388mm on a 29er seems way too short to me.
  • 1 1
 i turned my smuggler into a dirtjump/4x bike and its a absolute riot
  • 2 2
 Make 400mm chainstays to have a bit of clearance and I ride one!
  • 1 0
 Whatever
  • 1 2
 Am I just stupid or does 388mm chain-stays seem a little off?
  • 23 0
 seems pretty normal in the dj world. I think its the 29 inch wheels that are a little off
  • 2 3
 Looks like it has a giant BMX background.
  • 3 4
 A 29er with a bmx background
  • 2 3
 curve the seat tube and you could shorten the chainstay to maybe 460ish
  • 2 4
 I like that someone made this.
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