Recently, Esker burst onto the scenes with their impressive new Elkat. That bike is a modern marvel with an all new Orion suspension system, carbon frame, and aggressive geometry to tackle the gnarliest trails. But Esker hasn’t forgotten their roots. Before Tim Krueger started Esker Cycles, he offered steel and titanium bikes through Advocate Cycles. Then, the Hayduke was one of their most popular models.
Well, the Hayduke is back – with new badging that reads Esker instead of Advocate. Don’t be fooled though. This is not just the same frame with a new coat of paint. Instead, the Hayduke has gotten a number of noteworthy updates to make it better than ever.
With even more tributes to the Monkey Wrench Gang, the Hayduke continues with a steel frame but one that is a good bit lighter. Esker points out that the original Hayduke used an off the shelf high end steel tubeset, but the new Hayduke kicks things up a notch with a set of custom drawn, externally tapered, seamless, quadruple butted and heat treated 4130 cromoly tubes that are size specific. Whew. Just in tubes alone, the new frame loses half of a pound – but it’s also less expensive.
The Hayduke keeps the smart Portage dropout system which allows riders to choose from 142 or 148mm thru axles with fixed or sliding dropouts for geared or single speed use (or to adjust wheelbase and CS length). Once again, the frame is capable of running 27.5 x 2.3-3.0″ or 29 x 2.3″ tires.
Given the bike’s popularity with bikepackers, the new frame has a few new braze ons to make carrying gear easier than ever. More importantly, the frame has moved from a press fit BB to a threaded 73mm bottom bracket.
The geometry has also been updated to create a more lively ride out on the trail. The new bike features a 67.6° head tube angle, 74° seat tube angle, and 425-437mm chainstays.
Hayduke will be offered in one of three colors – Sub-lime, Caterpillar (yellow), and Ranchera (red-ish). Sold as a frame kit for $675 with the rear axle, seat collar, Wolf Tooth Components Headset, and choice of dropouts, complete bikes will also be available starting at $2,000. Bikes are currently available through a pre-order with shipping expected in November.