If you happen to visit a show on the east coast where Shimano is present, there’s a good chance that The Highland Sports Group will be there as well. Serving as the sales and technical rep group for Shimano in NY, NJ, E.PA, OH, IN, KY, and MI, THSG’s tech rep Chris Denoma usually has some incredible builds to show off the latest Shimano parts and the Philly Bike Expo was no exception.
This time, to serve as a platform for the latest Dura Ace R9150 Di2 group, Denoma built up this sweet Tonic Fabrications Crusher soft tail in army green – with Shimano blue logos of course. And no, that is not the stock head badge, but Denoma had just seen the original Misfits perform in New Jersey and was inspired to add a custom touch to the front of the bike.
The Crusher soft tail is all about this crazy rear end. While many soft tails rely on small elastomers for a bit of give, the Crusher uses a small 4130 chromoly ring that is mounted on its side so it flexes a bit under compression. Certainly an eye catching way of making the back end more compliant.
The rest of the frame features tidy lines with internal routing for the flat mount disc brakes and Di2 wiring.
I’ve known Denoma long enough to know he sweats the details, so the Pro Stealth Evo bar/stem was painted to match, and the bar tape is finished by gluing down the edges, rather than using tape. An f-stop/focus ring inspired spacer kit finishes things off.
Obligatory shot of the drool worthy Shimano Dura Ace R9150 Di2 drivetrain. Quite the build.
THSG also had an Alchemy Arktos on display that was just as crush worthy. This one was fitted with the new XTR M9100 group. You still can’t buy it, but we’re getting closer (probably).