Early each year the dead of winter brings the annual North American Handmade Bike Show, better known as NAHBS. From a small start with a handful of frame builders the event has grown into an institution for the bespoke bicycle crowd.
The 2018 event was held in Connecticut, the first time NAHBS has been in New England. The logistics of transporting a commercial display and fleet of bikes that distance made a full Ti Cycles booth impractical, but we did continue our tradition of collaborating with our friends in the industry on one-off show bikes.
For our pals at Gates Carbon Drive we put together one of our XL Hyena MTBs with a bomber build kit.
This frame utilizes Dave's trademark "Fastback" design with its distinctive big bottomed side profile. The design centers around an extended, continuous, pierced top tube that creates a monostay rear trapezoid (rather than a triangle), pairing the large diameter top tube with shorter seat stays to make for a very stout rear end. Built for riders 6' and taller, the Hyena is stiff and nimble, with short chainstays and slack angles, ready to take on everything from an Enduro downhill to a freestyle run on a set of dirt jumps.
With white knuckle performance in mind, this bike was built out moto-x style with front and rear wheels sized for their distinct roles of attacking obstacles and powerful acceleration, respectively. A 2018 version of our beloved 69er. (More on that in the 69er FAQ)
To dress up the frame we went compact and clean. The Magura TS8 fork is light and smart, not to mention stiff, and is paired on the same handlebar mounted Bluetooth wireless remote switch as the Vyron dropper post for the pinnacle of clean and uncluttered cockpit tech. We also used the venerable German brand's MT8 hydraulic brakes for their wicked light hardware and reliable stopping power.
Ever faster and steeper trails call for the specially tuned Schwalbe ADDIX rubber, with a 26x2.35 Nobby Nic out back and 27.5 x 2.60 Magic Mary up front, and the rad guys at Stans No Tubes did a purpose-built Flow MK3 matching wheelset on SS Neo hubs.
FSA's MTB cockpit and their new modular Afterburnercranks with a custom 4-bolt carrier for the Gates belt ring transfer the giddyup. Local friends Chris King Precision Components and Portland Design Works make our regular go-to parts and each always has the colors we are after. And hot dang we just couldn't miss with that Selle Italia Flite saddle!
To tie the top shelf build kit and striking frame design together we dipped into the PDXTI design kit and dolled it all up with half a dozen shades of blue, including custom decals for the Magura and Stans parts. It may be pretty but make no mistake, this is one light, tight, and unmistakable trail beast!