First Ride: Machina's Beautiful, Technologically Advanced Prototype was Fun While it Lasted

Dec 7, 2022 at 11:58
by Matt Beer  


When I first laid eyes on rendered drawings of a futuristic carbon bike bound by fancy metals, my bike nerd alarm bell went off. This rig ticked all the boxes that every keyboard warrior was asking for because the carbon and 3D printed titanium front triangle captured a belt-driven gearbox and coil shock, while the alloy rear triangle looked like it came fresh out of a CNC machine. I soon learned that the bike in question was being built within the Sea to Sky and that meant we’d have to get our hands on it, but I had no idea what the First Ride would have in store for me.

Sion Gwynn and Tom Moffatt built their first Machina Bikes prototype in-house and after hours at FYI Design in Squamish, where they also held day jobs. Both lads had gotten their feet wet in the bike industry prior to starting this project though. You may recognize the similarities on the rear triangle with a park bike that Tom built while working at North Shore Billet.

Machina Bikes
It would be rude to not match the craftsmanship of the Machina with anything less than We Are One rims and EXT suspension.
Machina Proto Details

• Wheel size: 29" front, 27.5" rear
• Travel: 165mm, 170mm fork
• Carbon front/aluminum rear, 3D-printed titanium junctions
• Pinion C1.9 XR belt-driven gearbox, 568% range
• Head angle: 63.5º
• Seat Tube Angle: 77.5º
• Chainstay: 437, 442, or 447mm
• Reach: 475mm
• Claimed weight: 17kg / 37.5lb
• Price: N/A
Machina Bikes Instagram

The prototype, however, is a much different beast. Sion and Tom set out to build an enduro bike that would cater exactly to their riding requirements and highlight their skill sets. Essentially, the Machina Proto threw out any preconceived notions of what marketing departments deemed necessary, while both the specifications and geometry of the frame are tailored to what they value. A focus was placed on durability and low service intervals from the gearbox, but also being able to tune the amount of flex in the rear triangle.

Off to work they went. The project began in October 2021 and the duo wasted no time getting the first frame built up for Crankworx, just ten months later. In fact, Sion dropped into the EWS 100 that week and walked away with a top-10 finish to prove its might.




Machina Bikes
Machina Bikes
A closer look at the materials around the seat tube junction and rocker link. The Machina dropped some jaws at Crankworx. It took me thirty minutes to walk to the Whistler village.
Machina Bikes
Who would dare paint or anodized frame components with such a fine finish?
Machina Bikes
At the heart of the Machina is a Pinion C1.9 XR belt-driven gearbox that bolts into the lower 3D-printed junction. Nine gears give a 1:1 ratio with a 568% range.
Machina Bikes
Offset chips in the chainstay allow for rear center lengths of 437, 442, and 447mm. The Machina could also be built to accept a 29" rear wheel with a few modifications.


Frame Details

The Machina is one of a kind in both how it’s produced and the materials that shape it. All of them are exotic in their own way; carbon, titanium, and aluminum use manufacturing methods that optimize their strengths, both figuratively and literally, in key areas. The build process isn’t exactly cheap though.

Three molds are CNC’d from aluminum to serve as the bed for the layup of the carbon. The front triangle isn’t built as one piece though. First, you have the top and down tubes that extend from the head tube intersection. Offsite, the BB and seat/top tube junctions are 3D printed from titanium. The rear triangle and rocker link halves are machined from solid aluminum blocks and then bolted together. At the seatstay, an interchangeable bridge allows for tuning the frame flex. The seat tube and drive-side seatstay are formed on their own and then bonded into position.

Very little finishing is needed once all of the various materials come out of their processes. Inside the drive-side seatstay, head and seat tubes, the walls are as smooth as they are on the outside. Sion and Tom have achieved this by inserting silicone mandrels that can withstand higher pressures compared to the inflatable bladder. The mandrel can be built in multiple pieces to simply slide out once the carbon is set.

Internal hose guides are waived in favor of a higher quality carbon finish and the cables run through foam tubing. This leads to cables running at perfect angles into the gearbox and out to the rear caliper.

A stock Pinion C1.9 XR gearbox is the transmission of choice and bolts straight into the 3D printed junction. This system produces a whopping 568% range in the gearing, but also moves the shifting mechanisms off of the swingarm. Relocating the gears onto the front triangle, the sprung to unsprung mass ratio is increased. In theory, this makes the rear suspension more supple.

By using a belt, there’s no chain slap noise or oscillations either, plus the only servicing needed for the system is a once a year gearbox oil change - no lubricants are needed for the belt. Underneath the gearbox lies a belt tensioner jockey wheel that rides on a spring-loaded arm which also acts as a skid plate, further adding to the clearance and reliability of the drivetrain.

A more obvious benefit to ditching the derailleur though is the clearance and risk of smashing the venerable mechanism is basically removed. If desired though, a standard bottom bracket could be 3D printed and a derailleur hanger added to the dropout to operate a standard drivetrain.

If the rear triangle looks familiar, that’s because the theory of the design builds on the park bike project that Tom built a couple years ago. This iteration is a refined evolution though and flip-chips at the dropout allow for geometry changes. A carbon section makes up the drive-side seatstay to increase stiffness and save weight. On that note, the seatstay yoke uses a modular bridge to tweak the amount of flex desired from the rear end by the rider.

So, how do you buy one? For now, you can't. This was a project that Sion and Tom built just for themselves. Surely though, there are other riders out there that are searching for a bike just like the Machina. As for the price, a frame would likely land well above most other competitors due to the exclusivity, materials and construction methods.




Machina Bikes
How clean do bikes look without derailleurs? I love how the belt lines up symmetrically with the chainstay.


Suspension Design

Machina decided to roll with Horst-link for its performance, simplicity and ease of tuning. Instead of anything overly complicated or wonky characteristics, the four-bar linkage provided the balanced and neutral ride the duo were seeking.

The prototype gains 165mm of travel by using a 205x65mm length shock, but could be dropped to 160 by adding a 2.5mm spacer to limit the shock stroke. A linear-progressive leverage curve keeps the action light off the top of the stroke and has plenty of ramp to control heavy bottom outs. The EXT Storia shock also has a hydraulic bottom out feature that reduces the chance of feeling a harsh clunk at the end of the travel.

photo
photo
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Despite its artisanal appearance, Machina’s key numbers like anti-squat and anti-rise, are fairly run of the mill in comparison other popular enduro bikes. When sitting at full travel the anti-squat starts at about 120% and rests closer to a neutral 100% at sag. Under braking, the anti-rise floats around a mid-60 percentage.

Although, what really sets the Machina apart is its lower sprung to unsprung mass ratio thanks to the transmission being placed on the front triangle.




Geometry

Sion and Tom built this bike to shine on their home trails in an aggressive, fun manner. In other words, the Machina won’t hold you back when the trails get steep, yet it isn’t a total plow. Two figures that showcase this ideology are the 63.5-degree head tube angle and an optional short chainstay setting of 437mm. The rear center can grow in 5 or 10mm steps using interchangeable chips located in the dropout that are finished so smoothly that they’re barely noticeable. For the course of the test, I opted for the shortest 437mm chainstay length.

The reach measures in at 475, although if desired, the frame could be built anywhere between 455 and 495mm without straying from the stock angles. By simply cutting the tubes shorter or longer and adjusting the angles at which they meet the 3D-printed lugs using only one carbon mold. We’ve heard of such an idea before from [L=https://www.pinkbike.com/news/an-in-depth-look-at-the-canyon-geobend-concept-with-the-industrial-designer-marvin-henschel.html]Canyon’s Geo-Bend concept that Marvin Henschel derived[/L].

When placed in the middle 442mm chainstay length, the wheelbase measures in at 1266mm and the BB sits at 338mm off the ground. That’s quite low but the seat angle is a forward 77.5 degrees and gets slightly steeper in the shortest axle position.




Machina Bikes

Ride Impressions

When I first got a hold of Tom’s bike at Crankworx, I wasn’t sure if I should even ride it because the whole bike was so captivating. The industrial looks are polarizing from the rest of the market and beautiful in their own way. There are no blemishes to hide behind extra epoxy or paint here. However, the Machina was built to be ridden, and ridden hard.

From the get go, I could tell that the Machina could happily charge down any of the surrounding trails in the Whistler valley.

A 400-pound spring sounded light and although I didn’t have time to measure the sag, it felt appropriate. The stance was very aggressive. The front axle was well ahead of me thanks to the slack head tube angle and high bar height. I’d change that out later but loved how, in conjunction with the low BB height, I felt so deep in the bike.

Dark Crystal’s rough, natural trail bed will quickly point out the flaws in a bike and your setup. Roots cross the ground at all angles and those can sap your speed. The rock-rolls near the top test the deeper end of the suspension’s travel too. Get all of those right, though, and you can fire out of turns and keep the flow going.

To get there, I’d have to pedal the moderate weight of the Machina up while testing the lower gears of the gearbox. While you don’t feel like you’re slouching off the back of the saddle when climbing, this is not an uphill rocket. I’d put that down to the combination of a few factors, like the high initial bar height, DH casing tires, and possible drag from the belt-driven gearbox. Maybe it was just Crankworx fatigue or dusty-lungs getting to me. Shorter 165mm cranks would make sense here too. The BB height is low, even with a firm shock spring and in the short chainstay setting.

On the way down though, the Machina shone. Immediately, I was impressed by the suppleness of the rear wheel traction, and of course the matching EXT Era fork that I knew well. The light action was accompanied by only the noise of the tire casing rebounding over the trail surface. Traction was plentiful and easy to come by. The ride felt chain-less. Well, it was, but there was still a usable drivetrain.

Even pointing down steep rolls and coming off abrupt transitions, the support in the rear suspension was impressive. Possibly too much though. That’s where I wondered how the softer 375-pound spring might let me seek out a touch more travel. However, I didn’t want the BB height or head angle to drop any further with more sag.

I did need to tweak the setup, and I decided to drop the bar height. The Machina gave a tall standing position and possibly caused the front wheel to come out of corners early and push my weight off the back of the bike. However, I was satisfied with how the fork reacted and decided that rearranging the steer tube spacers would be a better option.

Swapping to the softer 375 spring for a Garbanzo tech lap proved to be a catch-22 scenario. I was using more travel and could feel the hydraulic bottom out control in the shock working its magic, but I preferred how the bike stayed lighter and higher in the travel with the 400 spring. That heavier spring matched the ride height of the Era fork closely and required less effort to dance the bike through slower speed sections of trail. There could be too much progression built into the linkage for my taste, but that light-action suppleness at the top of the stroke was impossible to disregard.

And how about the grip shift? There’s a reason that came and went. At times when I least expected it, when I was somewhat relaxed on a flatter but undulating trail, the shifter rolled forward and flung my wrist to its limit. I’d prefer a pull-style thumb paddle under each side of the bar over the throttle twisting action of the grip shifter. This also made it tough for my small hands to reach the short Hayes brake levers, which otherwise felt exceptional.




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Every rider's worst nightmare - a head tube failure.


The Accident

I was really getting along with the Machina in just a short amount of time, but all of those moments of brilliance came crashing down as I got towards the bottom of an A-Line lap. The frame failed catastrophically at the head tube in the worst way possible. The steer tube pulled through the front of the headtube due to an error in the carbon layup process. Every rider’s worst nightmare just happened to me on one of the fastest straightaways in the Whistler Bike Park.

On the long and low table top jump after the infamous “moon booter” on the lower second-third of A-Line, I jumped a little deep, but not nearly as far as I normally do, remembering that this wasn’t my bike and wanted to bring it back in one piece.

I remember the whole thing; plunking my way down a Garbanzo lap, jumping into an A-Line train with friends, watching them crank out whips on the moon booter and then softly lifting off up on the next jump. If I could forget the sound of carbon, metal, and flesh violently skidding to a halt, I would. As strange as it may seem, I knew exactly what happened because everything seemed perfectly normal, until it wasn’t. I felt extremely lucky to walk out to the truck on the service road on my own, but under the watchful eye of a Whistler Bike Park patroller (thank you for your help). The result was a mild concussion, a tire mark up my chest and stem to the chin, bruising around my neck, and a lot less skin on my shoulder.

Scary shit, I know. I obviously didn’t see it coming. There were zero signs of failure leading up to that moment or any reasons for me to doubt the frame’s integrity before the accident. Sion and Tom were totally shocked and only concerned for my well being. None of us envisioned the First Ride article going down like this.

Machina Bikes
August 2022 was a rough month for me. I was plagued by G.I. troubles during our Quebec Field Test and contracted covid on my vacation the following week. The sour cherry on top of my Crankworx experience was when someone backed into my truck as I left our accommodations.




Machina Bikes
Machina Bikes

Further Testing

Over the course of the following weeks, Sion and Tom set out to reconstruct new front triangles and put them through further testing, while I worked out my kinks through physiotherapy sessions. Back in the lab, they discovered that the initial portion of the carbon headtube was wrapped incorrectly on Tom's frame. The lap in the carbon sheet faced the forward direction and when overloaded, this caused the headset cups to pull through the tube.

At FYI’s facilities, they built a vertical impact testing rig to the ISO 4210 and EN14766 industry standards.

bigquotesThis specific analysis was based on the Vertical Impact test in industry standards ISO 4210 and EN14766. We have however modified the model to correspond to our testing jig and to specifically target the failure that occurred. We have now correlated the FEA model with testing study data and can more confidently predict the failure locations of this design, be it from fatigue or impact failure. We have not yet built a fatigue cycle testing jig or a horizontal impact jig because of the cost related to it. On the other hand, we have built out FEA models for multiple scenarios to analyse the frame.

After testing the last few frames and seeing multiple failures in a consistent spot we are confident that this design and construction (carbon layup and thicknesses) can withstand a significant impact which is not only way higher than the industry testing standards, but also so high that it is extremely unlikely that this failure would occur in everyday use of the product.
Sion Gwynn, Machina Bikes

Machina Bikes
Machina Bikes

Proto 2's headtube junction layup was redesigned to wrap around and reach further along the downtube. On the test jig, the headtube failed at a very high stress load and in a non-catastrophic manner. Basically, the failure that occurred while riding will never happen again. Ironically, the first generation frame that Sion rode successfully, was tested too and actually sustained the highest load capacity. This proved that their design was correct, but the mistake was made while constructing the headtube. Since then, Sion and Tom have also brought the mandrel component on the build process to the headtube for greater and cleaner carbon compaction.

Where do we go from here then? My thoughts on the ride characteristics of the bike aren't swayed. There’s no arguing that the rear suspension's light action ate up the trails it was bred for around Whistler. The Machina is a very clever bike that suits the trails and riding style that we enjoy in our neck of the woods.

Would I ride Proto 2? Sion and Tom continue to ride their second generation frames confidently. Even though I recognize their testing methods and understand why the failure happened, I still have my reservations. There is still a feeling of uncertainty, but I do want to ride the Machina again.

Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
375 articles

248 Comments
  • 570 4
 Maybe they can strengthen the head tube by running some cables thru it.
  • 25 6
 maybe they should stick to lugs, at least for the head tube and only use carbon for tubing
  • 14 50
flag theedon FL (Dec 12, 2022 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 Tired comment of the day
  • 14 2
 Pinkbike, would it be possible to implement a "fave comment" function?
I just spit out my food laughing.
  • 3 1
 La machina... no es machina...
  • 5 1
 @theedon: go back to Vital. This is Pinkbike, we like our puns and tired comments. Wink
  • 158 0
 @Matt Beer hope you heal up quickly, sorry this has to happen to you.
  • 8 2
 this, 100%
  • 67 0
 @JSW07 I'm doing much better now, thanks!
  • 10 1
 Yeah, hope you're getting well and proper. Physically and mentally. Test pilot is a dangerous job and it is a testament to your strength and skill that you managed to walk away from that.
  • 7 0
 @Hyakian: 568% to be precise
  • 98 6
 Extremely cool bike, but I can't image the initial conversation after the crash!

"So you know your extremely expensive one of a kind prototype? I broke it........"

A-line has taken out the Machina and the Slayer in field tests so far.
  • 23 17
 That's a strange conversation to have because you can't blame the dudes who made it because its not a production bike, but on the other hand, it was still extremely expensive to make. They would probably rather have that failure in pre-production testing, or not at all, but you don't want to be the guy who it happens to.
  • 137 3
 I think the conversation would be much more along the lines of "So you know your extremely expensive one of a kind prototype? It failed and nearly killed me...."
  • 6 4
 Similar conversation a test pilot would have with design the team after the $$$ prototype fighter jet crashed and the test pilot walked away after ejected to safety with only minor injuries.
  • 211 0
 Call it the Ex Machina
  • 19 2
 My words to them would have been:

"Work backwards from "far too heavy and overbuilt" down to a "heavy and won't fail" point & then I'll test it out.
  • 4 1
 @adamszymkowicz: The real discussion i'm sure said less than more and outside inc. lawyers were in quick talks.
  • 5 6
 @ccartled: I see what you did there comparing something massively more complex than a bicycle to a bicycle
  • 11 0
 @blowmyfuse: Except it's already 37.5 lb!
  • 6 0
 I guess when you're building and riding a prototype there should be a thought somewhere in the back that maybe it could happen something like this. We used to build and race sailboats. Incredibly fast sailboats. But every winter we would have some nice quality time with angle grinders, sheets of carbon fibre and epoxy resin
  • 6 0
 @tprojosh: Probably, but that's not the point I was trying to make. I think it makes a little more sense to maybe not be testing prototypes as if they're bikes off the shelf. I mean, Beer definitely knows what he's doing, and obviously so do the guys who made this bike, but it seems a little weird to be testing a one-off that is never going to be available for consumers and reviewing it like a mass-production bike.
  • 4 13
flag skywalkdontrun (Dec 12, 2022 at 12:32) (Below Threshold)
 @blowmyfuse: Tell me you're not an engineer without telling me you're not an engineer.
  • 3 4
 @Compositepro: The idea was to emphasize that getting prototypes to work with humans as part of the testing has its dangers. Have you ever done any prototype testing?
  • 3 0
 @nickfranko: I came here for an Ex Machina reference.
  • 12 2
 @ccartled: The difference is that this bike didn't fail because it was a prototype. This wasn't a failure of some new or untested type of technology. The head tube ripped apart because of manufacturing defect.
  • 5 3
 @sino428: Partly, however early porotypes are being manufactured to early assembly instructions and methods. Getting past the prototype phase includes finding the manufacturing issues and reduce possible errors. They made a modification to their process as a result of this test.
  • 9 2
 @ccartled: The article clearly states that this was just a manufacturing mistake. It didn't have anything to do with early instructions or assembly methods as the other first generation frames were fine.

Yes they modified the design to really ensure this never happens again, the conclusion is that this one frame failed due to a manufacturing f*ck up, not a design flaw.

To use your airplane example this is more like someone forgetting to tighten a bolt than say the actual plane design not being able to handle the forces its needs to during flight.
  • 3 2
 @ccartled: define prototype?
  • 4 1
 @pakleni: bizzarre thing is I know plenty of very unknown engineers who have years and years of experience at the very top of their game who all have the tiny little nagging voice asking the question what if x or y fails because , it’s a healthy trait to have
  • 4 1
 @ccartled: in fact don’t define anything as it would be about as useful as your pointless post disguised as a mediocre attempt to make a point
  • 10 3
 @sino428: first rule of pinkbike comments don’t compare aeroplanes to bicycles they have nothing in common other than occasionally they use the word aerospace in the PR bullshit
  • 1 1
 Why are you giving credit due framebuilding errors to a B.C. resort property?
  • 6 1
 @skywalkdontrun: " Beer definitely knows what he's doing..." Beer

Just needed to take this out of context.
  • 1 1
 @skywalkdontrun: "Tell me you're not an engineer without telling me you're not an engineer."

Tell me you give a crap....without telling me you give a crap.
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: oh really? What kind of fast sailboats?
I just spent a race doing 14 knots planing on a Flying Tiger 10M.
  • 3 0
 @BarryWalstead: I helped in build of several boats between 8 and 15 meters. But since I'm born and raised in Croatian North Adriatic it was kinda standard for racers to build racing boats.

Influence of Italian Trieste and Barcolana. The center of probably the fastest sailboats around (before flying era).

Since I'm in CH for past 10 years, this is the last one:

www.vulkan-nova.hr/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Obnovljena-jedrilica-Follow-me-Vulkan-Nova-spremna-za-novu-sezonu_ca_large.jpg
  • 3 0
 @pakleni:upvoted beca i used to build TP 52s and worked on the Americas Caup a fewtimes building, well i never built them but i did the ply layups and stuff like that for them then they turned into these crazy bird of prey type hydrofoil things and ive stuck to cars and aeroplanes
  • 2 0
 @thewanderingtramp: This flying thingies appeared after I left so I don't know much about them but I am as curious as one can be. I hope I'll manage one day to try one of these boats
  • 3 1
 "...can withstand a significant impact which is not only way higher than the industry testing standards, but also so high that it is extremely unlikely that this failure would occur in everyday use of the product."

Can withstand everyday use? That doesn't sound like 'so high' to me really. Sounds like bare minimum of acceptably high right?
  • 2 0
 @wingguy: "Everyday" use doesn't mean riding it to the grocery store. It's anything that can realistically be expected.
  • 3 0
 @pakleni: the marina I worked at was delivered hull number 1 of a new line of racer/cruiser for a major US sailboat manufacturer. We did the righting tests in our marina and performed the initial rig-up and went out and did a bunch of sail tests. The designer asked us to campaign it in some local races, so we took it to the Sandusky Islands Race. We were up the first beat of about 15nm, we got hit by a Lake Erie squall which are fast powerful storms while beating to weather we hear a loud “POP” and I get sent down to investigate. The main bulkhead had pulled loose of all tabbing and was floating around in the fiberglass liner. We decide to abandon and foot off to take pressure off the boat. As we’re surfing downwind on main only, I see some expanded foam in our wake. I laugh that must of hit a cooler, the the driver says the steering has gone light and the boats starting to broach. Turns out the rudder had just tore off. We ended up anchoring the boat just before we hit a shoal. After the storm passed we were able to motor back with the tiny chunk of rudder brace.
The designer spent some significant amount of time at our yard after that.
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: awesome! That's one serious looking hull.
  • 1 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I've had some wild days in the water, but you sir beat me for the bet story. *bows*
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: “Everyday use” is a low bar for any product that can seriously injure someone. There needs to be a factor of safety that is well thought out and documented.
The factor of safety needs to address use beyond the expected use and it also must include a provision for manufacturing defects. In addition to this, physical tests must be run because computer simulation isn’t an exact science yet.
The Pinkbike team should question the engineering team about this before testing or risk personal injury.
  • 1 0
 @DavidGuerra: Yes David, that's my point. Strong enough to do what it's realistically expected to do without the headtube exploding is not a 'so high' bar. It's an average at best bar.
  • 1 0
 @skywalkdontrun: There were 4 bikes made, and Sion won Enduro Expert overall on his bike.
  • 1 1
 @bogey @wingguy: I'm not sure you understood what I meant. When I read "everyday use" in the context of a bike like this, I imagine the most hardcore use whithin what's realistically expected with this bike. It's not a low bar at all, it's just actual use of the bike vs. bench testing, which is supposed to surpass all solicitations that a frame can ever be subjected to during actual riding.
  • 2 1
 @DavidGuerra: I don't think you understand what I mean. How often do you see forks rip through headtubes on any bike on any terrain? It's not supposed to happen and almost everyone else manages to make it not happen. Celebrating that it shouldn't happen again on your bike as if it's a major achievement is still rather odd.
  • 1 1
 @wingguy: "It's not supposed to happen and almost everyone else manages to make it not happen." How do you know? What's your insight about other brand's frame development? Have been riding many pre-production frames lately? There's nothing special at all about what he said. Frames can and will be made to fail through bench testing, but the goal is to have them ready to everyday usage (which might be the usage given by a pro during competion for instance - also falls into "everyday usage").
  • 1 1
 @DavidGuerra: We're not talking about prototypes now, we're talking about testing standards for production bikes. I think the proof that you haven't understood what I mean is when you say there's 'nothing special' about what he said. That's exactly my point. There's nothing special or 'so high' about a testing standard that ensures the headtube won't fail catastrophically when the bike's being ridden hard.
  • 79 0
 inherent risk comes with riding 1 of 1 protos. I would also be reserved in riding it again, out of just lizard brain association with the crash. I get it. Transparency in the failure, making the changes in protocol and design, as well as being contrite are all the things necessary to move forward and be trusted. shit happens to good people trying their best. Good people own their mistakes and move forward. That sounds exactly like what everyone here is doing. Good luck on V2!
  • 8 1
 back in the day, when i first started riding like a boss, i had a good knockout crash. didn't ride like a boss since.
  • 2 24
flag tprojosh (Dec 12, 2022 at 10:33) (Below Threshold)
 In this environment of testing, these failures should be found without a test dummy onboard from outside magazine. Crazy bad press, they won't be getting far with the outside lawyers at their heels.
  • 2 8
flag Hyakian (Dec 12, 2022 at 11:01) (Below Threshold)
 Uhmmm, thank you for chiming in captain obvious. As far as the attorneys are concerned, anyone riding a prototype does so, accepting the risks involved, shit happens and that should be part of the consideration on the front end, not a legal reaction on the back end.
  • 16 1
 @tprojosh: the chances they let him ride this without a very long waiver of liability, is about the same chances as your comment ever being in the positive for score....
  • 5 6
 @Mtbdialed: No liability waiver is useful for injuries where the product is defective. They can and probably will squelch this with some sort of compensation for Matt. I understand it is a prototype but the idea they didn't even test the product for failure is a huge liability on its own, admitting it in the article and being so forward is another mistake. This sort of issue is a lawyers forte and will be easy to discern where that waiver ends its coverage for defective objects. Sorry to be so blunt but as someone who has been a test dummy for tech in the past I know companies have policies but it will not cover a product that is bunk. If matt had died or had very serious injuries there is no doubt in my mind Machina would be paying the bill.
  • 9 5
 @tprojosh: wrong. it's a prototype. it's different than a product that is for sale.

I have signed a lot of waivers to ride pre-production parts and bikes. you are waiving ALL your rights to sue. period.
  • 3 0
 @tprojosh: Not a product... Huge difference.
  • 1 0
 Gorgeous bike! Well done. I’m sure the next version will be great.
  • 26 0
 Deus ex machina
  • 20 0
 Machina sends you to Deus
  • 4 0
 More like Diabolus Ex Machina.
  • 19 4
 It looks amazing, but I just don't see how if the goal is to make something super durable why they chose to use all these different bonded materials etc. Kinda feels like being different to be different, but maybe I'm just a luddite. lately I've started looking at steel single pivots for a more gravity oriented bike for simplicities sake, or something lihe the RAAW Madonna. While this bike has some interesting features, once I see a bunch of new ways to solve old problems I get wary. Ok I'm a luddite.
  • 12 0
 Nothing inherently wrong with the dissimilar materials used as tube joints (similar to Atherton bikes). note that it's was conventional carbon layup that was miscalculated and failed in this case.
  • 12 3
 @mammal: I don't really understand why people like carbon so much either haha
  • 7 5
 @jesse-effing-edwards: because it’s better
  • 6 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: maybe because it’s because we are carbon based lifeforms
  • 5 5
 @Compositepro: Sure doesn't seem better based on this article hahah
  • 8 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: But if someone made a crappy weld leading to aluminum headtube failure, would you say aluminum frames are inferior? Because that's happened plenty of times in this industry.
  • 2 4
 @mammal: how often does that happen now? I know there are tonnes of amazing carbon bikes, but odd one-off catastrophic fails seem like more a carbon thing. I don't think they are inferior, but there are far more decades of bomb proof alu & steel & ti bikes that if I was going for something reliable etc., I would pick metal.
  • 3 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: how often does it happen? Every single time someone rides a certain aluminum only European bike
  • 3 0
 @tmtb999: ha, does it involve glue?
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: hahaha now that is one I forgot actually, touché !
  • 4 1
 @jesse-effing-edwards: Clearly you haven't seen a commencal... lots of cracking under the headtube - and infact in lots of places.

I've ruined 5 bike frames this year, 1 being carbon and the other were alloy. The Carbon wasnt even a failure it was a QC issue on a spectral.
1 headtube crack(commencal), Cracked downtube(TR), Cracked lower seat tube(slash) and a Cracked Chainstay(TR)

Every since i moved to carbon bikes Its been awesome and i dont regret it at all.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: to be fair i think we are all on the learning path somewhere so i can cut them some slack i remeber in the early 80s composites was learned from surfboard people , nowadays we have a million experts on youtube that are telling you they can build a stealth bomber lol
  • 1 0
 @HeatedRotor: Maybe you're the problem hahhahah Riding too hard (also sounds like a commencal problem, which sucks cause I've been interested in one). I've never known anyone to break an alu bike, but I've seen all sorts of stupid warranty stuff on carbon parts and it just really turned me off. Pedals falling out of cranks, chainslap causing broken rear triangles, that kinda thing. Obviously there are some super durable awesome carbon bikes & components, it's only cause the focus was on reliability that I found a super complicated multi-material bike a bit counter-intuitive. I'm not just being a hater.
  • 1 0
 @jesse-effing-edwards: I could be the problem but maybe its true that modern alloy bikes suck lol
  • 19 1
 Wow.... someone could have died!
  • 15 66
flag Three6ty FL (Dec 12, 2022 at 9:30) (Below Threshold)
 Speaking of almost dying PINKBIKE. How is Alyssa doing? Still mum's the word from Pinkbike/Outside! I'm sure many of us would love for Pinkbike/Outside to at least acknowledge the fact that she was severely injured or any updates on her recovery, and the "company" has been deafly quiet.
  • 45 3
 @Three6ty: it's called privacy
  • 59 2
 @Three6ty: you could also try getting the name right, since you're so chuffed about it.
  • 18 0
 @Three6ty: Alicia has posted about it on IG. @alicelego_
  • 28 0
 @Three6ty: there's a Brian Park listed on Alicia's Just Giving page as having donated $1,000 fyi. They will do/say what they can, I don't think it's helpful to point fingers at PB.
  • 2 9
flag thustlewhumber FL (Dec 12, 2022 at 12:33) (Below Threshold)
 @Three6ty: Not sure why you were downvoted, but they gave tons of updates on her GoFundMe page.

www.gofundme.com/f/alicia-and-her-family-with-medical-costs
  • 12 0
 @Three6ty: From Alicia:
"I'm feeling very thankful to have supportive
friends and family and a job that lets me take this time to heal before reappearing."
  • 3 0
 @Three6ty: One of her lastest insta posts she gives a full update - www.instagram.com/p/ClurLFgOYhP/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

And her GoFundMe has had like daily/weekly updates since the beginning - www.gofundme.com/f/alicia-and-her-family-with-medical-costs
  • 14 0
 With all of these super small brands, you get a lot of room for individual creativity and innovation that big companies can sometimes overlook....And that's great! But I was always wondering if something like this would happen due to human error/bad quality control. @mattbeer hope you recover physically but most importantly mentally. Wrecks like that one can really mess with your head. Can't wait to see you get back after it.
  • 6 1
 Also happens to the big guys as well. It was only just a few years ago that Rocky Mountain had to recall all their aluminum instinct frames because the headtubes were shearing off. Well all of them except for the XL sizes, which were apparently strong enough. They may have been strong enough at the head tube, but the chainstays weren't... good friend went through 3 rear triangles in a year (under warranty) before moving on. And we wonder why Rocky's are so expensive now... turns out having to replace most of your frames is very expensive.
  • 3 1
 Kind of agree. Do they have budget for extensive stress test machinery etc...
  • 7 0
 @jump4sho-corner4dough It's unfortunate the way things unfolded. I'm nearly back to my regular riding habits now.
  • 1 1
 @HankHank: I remember that and this it was fairly obvious that someone hadn't screwed the axle in property. Would have broken any bike. Not to make excused for Rocky as they made dangerous shit for many years... but I don't think that was on them.
  • 25 14
 FFS that is nearly inexcusable for letting someone test their bike and the head tube fails. They say any press is good press but I think that this is very bad.
  • 7 35
flag Rexuis-Twin FL (Dec 12, 2022 at 10:19) (Below Threshold)
 they shouldn't have published this article. This could hurt a small brand, when this will show up on the few google results for this name. Especially when big brands get handled with kid gloves in the reviews. But, this site is about advertising, not journalism.
  • 24 2
 @Rexuis-Twin: shouldn't have published the article? No, they shouldn't have had an extremely hazardous manufacturing fault before handing it to a reviewer.
  • 11 0
 @Rexuis-Twin: Are you serious? Brands should be protected over consumers? Doesn't matter what size they are.

If I was asked to review a car for a boutique brand and it had a nasty habit of catching fire while being used on the sort of terrain it was designed I'd feel an ethical imperative to share that experience.

Pretty confident that failures from big brands (and not so big ones) have been shared quite openly in the past- I can recall articles connected to product failures from Rocky, Pole, and Enve (735e) in particular.
  • 3 0
 @Rexuis-Twin: do you are insinuating that pinkbike has broken frames from bigger brands while testing them and just buried the review or didn’t mention it?

That’s a pretty big accusation that I doubt is true.
  • 11 0
 @Rexuis-Twin: How can you complain about PB being about "advertising, not journalism" while in the same comment suggest they shouldn't post a negative article because it could hurt the brand?
  • 2 0
 @Quinn-39, and especially @Rexuis-Twin: "...review a car for a boutique brand and it had a nasty habit of catching fire while being used on the sort of terrain it was designed..."

Imagine that actually happened, except the car wasn't boutique and it was the driving public doing the testing. I'm sure all the people who died during "testing" would have liked a published review beforehand.

Let me know if you need a Hinto. So yeah, knowing stuff about what you're buying or what you might possibly buy is probably a good thing.
  • 1 0
 @iammarkstewart: Yeah... that's what I said.
  • 11 1
 It's pretty, but the profile at first glance looks flimsy AF. I'd prefer my top tube not be thinner than my chainstay. Maybe that's just me. Given all the exotic, lightweight materials... how does this thing weigh 37.5 lbs?
  • 2 0
 Gearboxes are heavy AF, but they do concentrate all their weight in the BB so they don't ride as heavy as the numbers would say. Moving the weight off the rear hub + getting rid of a chain tensioned derailleur gives that magical chainless feeling.
  • 8 0
 Ouch! Breaking a head tube is scary, probably the worst way to break a bike. And confusing while happening, like you're landing and your hands/feet don't stop their downward trajectory when your tires hit the ground. I broke a dj that way ages ago, but luckily at fairly slow speed. Heal well Matt.
  • 7 1
 That is scary - hope you're well on the way to healing Matt. I'd want to thoroughly examine their frame strength test protocols before riding Version 2. This failure is an engineer's nightmare, and shouldn't ever happen IMO.
  • 10 1
 As an Engineer, the first thing that I'd like to double check is those FEA analyses. FEA is easiest for isotropic, homogenous structures. Carbon is orthotropic, and I am not sure how you model joints of overlapping fibers. Ofc there are accepted, reliable ways to model this but I would make sure that is what's happening here, there are a lot of "Black Box" FEA tools (cough cough Solidworks, Orcaflex, etc) that an give a false sense of security if misused, as their limitations aren't always clear.

And most importantly, testing is king. It sounds like they learned a good lesson here but still I'd want to get to know the protocols to make sure they have a culture of taking safety checks seriously.
  • 3 0
 @IsaacWislon82: Indeed testing is king.

I don't know how repeatable it is to produce carbon structures, but the large companies seem to have it well-oiled.
  • 3 1
 @njcbps: am I missing something? This isn’t a “company” per se. this is a couple dudes who had the time and financing to have a one off bike made for them.
  • 1 0
 @skywalkdontrun: I mean the process of building reliable carbon frames is established - IE it's not a new concept in prototype phase. Granted it's likely new to them.
  • 3 0
 @njcbps: i know the answer to this one but as its the comments section on pinkbike and that would be crossing over into serious answer territory i just cant bring myself to do it
  • 2 0
 @Compositepro: I had a look through your instagram account, and we share similar business activities (to be purposefully oblique). Go ahead and add a short summary if time permits, the commenting bar can always be raised here.
  • 2 0
 @njcbps: unfortunately mate that's not me anymore a relic and a hobby of time gone by I do keep tinking when the DoD terminate my contracts i will go back to having fun in a shed but theres no sign of slowing up
  • 6 1
 I had a similar failure on a Trek frame back in the day. I landed a drop and heard an odd crunch. I stopped, and noticed my headset was a tiny bit loose. I decided to push the bike back to the shop and checked it out, the lower bearing had pushed its way though the seat and begin to crack the front of the head tube. Bought a lottery ticket later that day.
  • 10 5
 I always am amazed at reviews where the product completely fails and they still fall all over themselves to try and say positive things about it. Car and Driver does the same thing...don't tell me how amazing the "info-tainment" system is but the car then gets a D in reliability.
  • 9 3
 Jesus H Christ can T.Rich take a photo! The detail shots in this story are absolutely 10/10. Put these next to the NSMB first ride article and you wouldn't even know it is the same bike.
  • 2 1
 Same bike, but different time of year, different lighting etc. So still not comparing like for like.
  • 2 0
 @wake-n-rake: A good photographer finds the light and makes the proper compositions.
  • 9 3
 This looks amazing! The failure is scary and I'm glad they were able to pinpoint the error, lessons learned I hope. Excited to see where Sion and Tom take this!
  • 8 1
 Sounds like they should have Machina head tube instead of make one out of carbon.
  • 5 1
 "Nine gears give a 1:1 ratio with a 568% range."

What does that even mean? That there is a 1:1 ratio on one of the 9 choices? That's not unusual or special: there is one (or very very close) with pretty much any normal derailleur drivetrain (except some mini-cassette DH setups, but those aren't normal). That the belt pulleys are 1:1? That literally doesn't matter unless we know the gear ratios inside the gearbox.
  • 2 0
 The belt pulleys are 1:1. It does matter because it determines the final gear reduction after the gear box, since you cant alter the gearing like with different cassettes.
  • 2 0
 @jackfunk: but they didn't tell us the ratios in the box, so knowing the final drive is 1:1 is still pointless. And it still doesn't matter because the pulleys and belt can be changed "like with different cassettes".
  • 9 6
 Amazing bike! I think of a lot of the comments here lack any perspective on what a prototype is. The failure of the frame was obviously a major one, but it’s not uncommon for any machine in its design phase to have failures.
  • 4 1
 Crazy cool bike, but that failure is scary af. Truly a worst nightmare scenario. Imagine langing a jump just for the headtube to give out under you... Stuff like this shouldn't ever happen and it's good that these guys are getting called out for not doing their homework.
  • 1 0
 I doubt it will happen again to the same guy.
  • 3 0
 " As for the price, a frame would likely land well above most other competitors due to the exclusivity, materials and construction methods."

This is cool and all but I did not see anything is the review that suggested any actual benefits to this type or construction method or these particular materials (other than that it looks cool). Its a gearbox bike which is cool, but has a relatively simple suspension layout that is similar to that used on many other bikes. So whats the point of all the fancy materials and constructions methods when it seems that the same ride characteristics could have been achieved with a more simple aluminum or carbon build?
  • 4 1
 The frame is bitchin'! Respect to Machina bike dudes to create this. Not many people can imagine how much thought, time and money was invested. Shit happens usually in the worst possible moment and big up for the transparency. Not many companies would publish their fails even though it is part of the progress and development.
  • 7 4
 Glad to hear a professional review give me some confirmation bias on grip shifters. There's no way in hell I'd buy something that required grip shifting. (Yes, I know there are other shifting options)
  • 5 0
 As an owner of a Pinion with a grip shift, it's not all that bad. I liken it to riding a motorcycle with a twist throttle. If you've done that, you're good. There's a bit of a learning curve of the shifting, just like someone starting out on a trigger shifter, but it's well worth trying before disregarding it all together.
  • 4 1
 It's funny how we use to ride carbon skid plates on aluminium bikes and now we ride carbon bikes with aluminium skid plates. For some unknown reasons you can't use the same material of the frame
  • 2 0
 I just started riding a Zerode Taniwha Pinion gearbox full suspension 140/160, it may look like a single pivot, but the suspension design is quite good. I'm at 36# with a no frills build, carbon wheels and lighter hubs should take me to 35#.
  • 3 0
 Glad you walked away, that is a nightmare, and a reminder control is an illusion when you mountain bike. Finite Element Analysis is a great tool but can't account for real life and all manufacturing scenarios.
  • 4 1
 If I'm understanding the description correctly, this was an assembly and QC failure of laying out the carbon fiber with a seam in the worst possible location? Mistakes happen, but that's really beyond the pale for me.
  • 4 2
 Carbon Fiber layup process is extremely tedious and monotonous. It's essentially like putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle except for one critical difference; the jigsaw can be put together multiple different ways but only one of these ways will be structurally correct. When the frames come out of the molds they'll all look the same, at this point it is impossible to tell to the correctly layed one up from the one that was done incorrectly, unless you test to failure. (The only NDT testing available for CFRP looks for voids). In this case even if you test to failure/industry standards the incorrectly layed up frame still passed the ISO test. Guessing this is why we are seeing the companies like Yeti and Santacruz going from pusing the limits of weight to overbuilding frames now days because it is so easy to make a mistake when laying up CRFP.
  • 5 3
 When I read the headline I guessed the frame broke at the intersection of the headtube and the top tube. That looks super WC XC and not very bike parky. I was the NORBA/WC mechanic for SRAM in the 90s when they came out with their carbon ESP derailleur. The first versions sold had teeny carbon knuckles and aluminum links. They seemed to break while just shifting under load, yet engineers confidently dismissed reports of failure. According to them they had been commuting in ice and snow in Chicago on the new rear mech with no problems, not to mention the testing rigs that had shifted the derailleurs through so many hundred thousand cycles. Then they finally came to a WC race the engineers cried like babies when they had to observe and deal with pissed off racers with broken rear mechs. After that they made progressively beefier knuckles until the things looked like a Big Mac compared to the original chicken bone derailleur. Each one of these new iterations required whatever CAD designing was being used in the 90s as well as a new $80K mold for the garbage truck sized injection molding machine designated for each part. I always wondered why they felt needed to reinvent the wheel so drastically. Back then the market was 99% Shimano and 1% Suntour. SRAM could have made a bomber derailleur out of aluminum and made people 100% happy. The market was thirsty for another component manufacturer. Ultimately I think SRAM did an incredible job of breaking into the market when and how they did. Hats off to them in so many ways for where they are today. I only tell this little story to illustrate how durability needs to be engineered at 210% and then backed off from there if designing a new product.
  • 3 0
 Yes, SRAM does have a long history of putting out shitty products to let users test them.
  • 2 0
 Do I have this right? There was a seam on the front of the head tube, they gave the proto type to pinkbike for a ride, it failed at the seam, they corrected the failure, and then built a test rig to prove their fix. Even so, they haven't built a fatigue rig because: money. Why didn't they test to the higher standard before?

It's time for brands to be more transparent on the testing they do, and for media outlets to scrutinize this information.
  • 5 0
 This article should be called "Last Ride" instead of first ride
  • 2 0
 The technician/laminator should always be wearing gloves while handling materials. One, to stop natural oils transferring to materials/components which could lead to diamonds or delaminations. Two, protection of hands.
  • 5 0
 Damn, that's some scary Sh!t
  • 2 0
 That's probably my worst nightmare, that and handlebars snapping on landing a big jump. Scary stuff, glad you got away in reltively good shape, could have been catastrophic to the bike (was) and you.
  • 7 1
 Jesus christ
  • 3 0
 Just glad Matt Beer survived this one intact. I had a front wheel failure on a sports bike once, and needless to say that even when my body healed my mind never did.
  • 2 1
 I've seen many frames fail. I'm always amazed that when carbon fails that there are no metal inserts, like an aluminum skeleton for cups, etc. Not a wrapped tube ,just some structure. They should now concentrate on the main tubes, BB area and pivot. That stress will go from the headtube to a different section next time. It is a proto though, but better safe then sorry. Awesome looking bike though.
  • 3 1
 Awesome bike Guys, looks like a beast and I bet it charges like one down the trails, congrats on this project, I can't even imagine how much effort it was to put it all together!
  • 2 0
 I had a big weird crash on a line this summer due to a failed brake. You’re just moving so fast that a failure will just wreck you. Glad you were pretty much good Matt. Nice article and cool bike
  • 2 0
 I knew you would be here. Sounds terrifying
  • 2 0
 "After testing the last few frames and seeing multiple failures in a consistent spot" did they make you aware of this? hope your all good matt, nothing takes your confidence away like a part failure!
  • 4 0
 I see the problem it is made of black denim. The classic dark blue never goes out of style.
  • 2 1
 "Basically, the failure that occurred while riding will never happen again."

A bold statement and I certainly hope so but never underestimate the damage that will occur when bikes get sold to the masses.

There are good reasons frames intended for anything more than XC racing are getting heavier. Modern terrain, geo, tires, suspension, speeds and the advancement of the sport are demanding stronger equipment.
  • 1 0
 i don't understand sh** about engineering, but...

all of the junctions and stress points seems to be reinforced with metal: seat tube junction, bottom bracket, links and etc

shouldn't it be the case for the headset as well?
  • 1 0
 Funny, one of my buddies had the exact same failure on an Intense a few years ago (serious abuse prior to the failure and not Intense' fault) and we caught the whole thing on video. Millions of views on the interwebz and a significant portion of the viewers still think it is fake and a bike head tube couldn't fail that way. It basically like tearing a t-shirt.
  • 1 0
 Wear protection!
Open face helmet, no chest and back protection, no elbow pads, skimpy little knee pads, I'm glad he's okay and he's lucky it wasn't worse based on the lack of equipment being worn. I'll never understand the open face helmet if you're riding anything more than some chill xc or trails.
A woman exploded her face at SDM in Quebec this past season, just wearing a half shell helmet.
Please wear proper protection, you'll be happy you did! Glad he's ultimately okay! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 I saw the bike a few weeks ago in Bellingham. It’s absolutely stunning. I would love to take machina out for a ride no matter what.
I had all sorts of frames and components in all kinds of materials break in the 30 years I am riding.
Also, if you develop something and not a single prototype breaks than it’s built to heavy…
  • 1 0
 If it looks right……….. we’ll in this case all the fea applied let down by hand assembly _ rtfm but I do like this bike but printed lugs all the way in this day and age and failing that some expensive cnc lug work would solve that headwork was so much easier mien my bmw TMX head started to fail - grind gusset weld - 20 years on still solid
  • 6 2
 On paper it is a transition patrol but even heavier
  • 17 0
 On dirt it is a Transition Patrol in a few heavy pieces
  • 4 0
 @kindern: _apply water to that burn_
  • 4 0
 These quick-release headsets are wild
  • 1 0
 i honestly can't wrap my head around the appeal of a carbon bike, it's just not worth the risk! no matter how well made it is, the risk of carbon failing catastrophically is too high for me! AL or Steel all the way
  • 4 4
 This bike is (was) really cool, with a lot of tech packed into it. 3D printed parts, Ti, belt driven gearbox, CNC'd parts, etc. The brand getting pushback for the HT failing is laughable IMO. "This was a project that Sion and Tom built just for themselves... built their first Machina Bikes prototype in-house and after hours at FYI Design in Squamish, where they also held day jobs." 2 dudes build a prototype bike in their spare time meant to push the needle of innovation, hand it to a tester, and then get crap for a failure? Failure is part of the process, and entirely the point of testing. That being said, I'm glad the editor is OK and hope he doesn't hold back for the V2.
  • 8 2
 If you hand it to a tester from the largest mountain bike media outlet in the world and the headtube fails catastrophically then I would say they deserve a good deal of crap for it.

If someone wants to just be a guy building one off bikes in their spare time there is nothing wrong with that. But just ride the bikes yourself. Once you are looking for recognition by handing it to a tester from a large media outlet you are (or should be) beyond the ‘possible catastrophic failure is part of the process’ stage.
  • 1 1
 "At the end of the day, it's just a cotton with super glue, spend your money wise", I know, metal frames do break as well, but seeing the recent quality in MTB industry I'm all metal, I can let it crack, at least there's less chance that it will disintegrate catastrophically without warning signs and eventually kill me, I'm talking about wheels too, now please hate me
  • 2 0
 Before riding a pre-production bike or handing it over to be ridden, what about testing it on the bench to prevent situations like this? Shouldn't this be standard practice?
  • 1 0
 Scary stuff.... I bet you never thought of yourself like Chuck Yeager before. Good on you for keeping it professional, telling it like it happened but still praising where due.
  • 4 0
 Cheap,light,strong-pick none
  • 3 0
 Was this before or after the NSMB guys?

This bike tickles my brain.
  • 3 0
 My guess based on the photos and mentioning this ride happened during Crankworx is that the NSMB ride report is more recent, snowy trails, and probably on the new bike.
  • 2 0
 Ouch. Definitely an interesting bike but not cool if the thing can’t even stay together.
  • 3 4
 In my head, I'm thinking "Duh, it should be aluminum." But then I remember that I own a 2020 Spesh Enduro with a dainty little carbon head tube, and have ridden the piss out of that bike for two years and no issues. Do I really want my 38 lb bike to get HEAVier?
  • 10 2
 Funny you should say that because exactly the current Specialized Enduro (late 2019 - present) is notorious for cracking easily. They have a design flaw that makes them crack at the bearing seat in the upper portion of the headtube. Take out the bearing and look at the bearing seat closely, yours is probably cracked too. The carbon layup in that area is just too thin. Specialized reinforced that area, but only for the 2023 model. There's a lot of fotos of that exact failure online. Funnily enough it's apparently the third revision to that frame. The first two were reinforcements in the seat tube where the main rocker link is attached and the replacement of the carbon upper link with an aluminium piece.
  • 1 0
 Lucky you! It won´t break as the above, but the upper headset bearing shell cracks on tons of these.
  • 3 0
 @Muscovir: Yeah it's a well known issue. To be fair though, I haven't heard of a single catastrophic failure related to the headtube for the enduro, and I've know a few people who've just continued riding them.

As far as this bike goes - definitely the best looking bike I've seen in a long time (failure aside). Would definitely consider a production model once the kinks are ironed out.
  • 4 0
 @Muscovir: Checking my frame has gone to the top of my to do list for the day!

You see OUTSIDE,
This is why we will riot if you get rid of the comment section,
it's where the truth is spoken!!
  • 3 1
 Amazing what can be crafted by passionate people! What a beautiful bike and concept keep it up
  • 3 0
 Headtube failure like in Sam Pilgrims last video too
  • 1 0
 Should have had Pilgs as the test pilot - he’s snapped a few bikes now so has the crash protocol rather dialed.
  • 3 0
 Sion and Tom remind me of a young Tony Ellsworth!
  • 2 0
 Looks like a Reign tweaked to perfection. I love it! Hope you're ok, Matt, so you can repair it
  • 1 0
 Reign front-triangle but no VPP rear
  • 2 0
 What's scarier, breaking through the head tube or snapping your handle bars.
  • 2 1
 I'd guess it was caused by the holes where the cables enter. If only someone could find a way to run the cables through the headset, this type of problem might be avoided.
  • 2 0
 The last podcast I th ought I heard a difference in your voice, like you had a sore jaw . I thought I was losing it
  • 2 0
 Maybe they can beef up carbon fiber mountain bike frames by making them out of aluminum.
  • 1 0
 The ghost of Otto Lilienthal lives on! “Thou shalt sacrifice…”

Glad you walked away, look forward to the next review. Gorgeous machine.
  • 1 0
 @mattbeer was this frame the same one used over the season at the BC/AB enduro series ? That could have had something to do with fatiguing the frame
  • 2 0
 @mattbeer We are all vulnerable to typos such as: "risk of smashing the venerable mechanism". I no I amSmile .
  • 1 0
 Remember that being a test pilot has always been risky. Not saying that makes it OK, but something to keep in mind when you're asked to try a prototype.
  • 1 0
 This is really terrifying. Glad you weren't seriously hurt Matt!! Bike looks nice but wow. Quality control needed on the next one...
  • 5 3
 That is one beautiful bike
  • 7 3
 It will make you less beautiful when you are missing your teeth and your brain lol. Maybe that plays into its beauty
  • 1 0
 @kokofosho: If you can afford a bike like this I'm sure you could afford a new face.
  • 2 1
 Oh dang. Not sure this one was worth writing home about if the head tube exploded on you. Fun read anyways.
  • 2 0
 I'd take a chance and ride the Ex Machina!
  • 1 0
 Jesus. Glad he’s alright. If the steerer tube impaled him it could’ve been far more serious.
  • 4 6
 I'm not fazed by this failure - because there's a stress analysis image there and that tells me this bike has engineering being done on it. Also knowing that they looked at the failure and were able to identify the problem. That means the next iteration won't fail in that way. I'm stoked to see more bikes from these guys in the future!
  • 11 0
 That is so naive. FEA of orthotropic layered materials with adhesive connection between layers is extremely difficult and basically can't be done in SolidWorks like most amateurs do. When I was doing my thesis my supervisor was at the time developing an element for this purpose with Ansys. It is still cutting edge to do it correctly. Those quick analysis tools in SolidWorks are great for showing stress concentrations, that's about it.
  • 1 0
 So glad you are okay. Having a bike fail like that at the speed you were going is literally a nightmare.
  • 2 0
 Computer (hey), Maschine (hey), Panzermensch
Geh geradeaus
Lass es raus
  • 2 0
 Hope things go better for you next year Matt Beer.
  • 2 0
 This is the best article that Pinkbike has had in a long long time
  • 2 0
 Steel is real, sexy as well... and secure. Super gorgeous bike anyway
  • 2 0
 I thought we ended era of snapping bikes, this is ridiculously awful snap
  • 2 1
 Beautiful, but shouldn’t have opened the article before work, any tips on how to hide erection?
  • 1 1
 Sounds like me walking into my local bike shop looking for warranty with something that I broke.

"I was just riding along"
  • 1 0
 Wish I could put a rubber chain on my enduro. Holy crap it’s so loud
  • 2 1
 Looks great and folds up for transportation.
  • 1 0
 Terrible, hope no one is still hurt
  • 1 0
 "although I didn’t have time to measure the sag"
  • 2 0
 Claimed weight: Yes
  • 1 0
 I can strike "prototype test rider" off my list of desired careers now!
  • 2 0
 Ex Machina.
  • 2 0
 next machina
  • 1 0
 See what happens when you ride a gearbox bike!
  • 1 0
 Don’t forget to sign the crash test dummy waiver before you buy it….
  • 1 0
 As reliable as a Reign Advanced. And same warranty service.
  • 1 0
 Can we call them belt stays now?
  • 1 0
 If Pagani made a MTB it would be similar to this.
  • 1 0
 Matt said "Hold my beer"
  • 1 0
 next machina
  • 1 0
 But who are you?
  • 1 1
 Is it pronounced Ma-China?
  • 1 0
 I still want one lol
  • 1 0
 Looks like an Ellsworth.
  • 1 0
 This is Intense
  • 3 5
 I would rather pay $10k for this than anything SC, Trek, or whatever else that has been posted up.
  • 1 4
 I guess most of the people commenting weren't around in the late 90's/early 00's,bikes snapped headtubes just by us looking at them funny.
  • 3 0
 So, what's your point? That people should just be okay with that like in the "good ol' days" ?
  • 1 0
 @Arierep: No,I just didn't expect so many people to be seeing a snapped headtube for the first time.
I don't miss 90s bikes one bit,I miss my legs and my free time.
  • 3 0
 Lots of bikes from that era still going strong- because metal..
  • 3 6
 38 lbs and no motor... next article.
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