In many ways we were slow to commit to the 29er market, but we were simply taking our time, letting the hype settle down and judging the big wheel phenomenon for ourselves based, first and foremost, on ride quality. Of course geometry is king and wheel size is only one part of the equation - it has to be combined with good geometry for the bike to realise its' full potential. The Fortitude rigid 29er taught us a lot about geometry and this bike is logical progression for us in the big-wheel category. A relatively slack 69 degree head angle combined with a low bottom bracket height and short 435mm chainstays means that the bike handles best when ridden fast, inspiring confidence and urging you to push harder.
The Singlespeed frame features horizontal dropouts and a slotted disc mount. A horizontal/track end style drop out is still our preferred method of wheel tension, it’s just the most utilitarian design, with the most weight saving and the least amount to go wrong. Just grab the rear wheel, pull it backwards, tighten the axle bolts, position your brake calliper and you’re away. The frame also includes hub gear cable guides meaning it’s compatible with Alfine and Rohloff gear systems.
XX44 headtube adds tapered steerer compatability and the semi integrated top headset cup helps to keep the front end as low as possible
We chose Reynolds 520 because we wanted this great frame to be accessible to as many people as possible and for £299.99 we can assure you that you will find no other steel 29er frame with as many design features and such an engaging ride, even the big wheel sceptics among you should be tempted to give it a try.
The chainstays are 435mm (centre to centre) which is shorter than many other steel 29er frames on the market, but we haven’t compromised on tyre clearance and mud clearance. By bending the seat tube by 5 degrees the front mech sits well forward of the tyre and mud can pass by easily. We’ve used the chainstay plate from the Latitude 853 to provide plenty of mud clearance, even using 2.4 inch tyres
One thing we absolutely wanted to keep is a 27.2 seat post, there seems to be craze now for dropper posts and they are undoubtedly great, but there is a risk that the classic steel feel and ride will be lost as manufacturers seem to morph their steel hardtals into something else completely, it is a compromise too much in our eyes.
|1 - Seat tube (centre-top)||405mm||445mm||480mm||520mm|
|2 - Effective Top Tube||585mm||595mm||610mm||625mm|
|3 - Head Tube||95mm||105mm||110mm||120mm|
|4 - Head Angle||69.5°||68.8°||68.8°||68.8°|
|5 - Seat Angle||74°||73.3°||73.3°||73.3°|
|6 - Chain Stay||435mm||435mm||435mm||435mm|
|7 - BB Drop||65mm||65mm||65mm||65mm|
All angles calculated on an 80mm fork for 16" model / 100mm fork for 17.5/19/20.5" model