The new Tanglefoot Moonshiner may be the biggest departure we’ll see this year from modern trail bike trends. But this mega plus-tire, rigid steel mountain bike blends a lot of classic bike style & construction with just the right dose of modern technology and hardware, creating a bike in the end that could take off-road adventure riding to new levels.

Analog’s rigid steel Tanglefoot Cycles adventure mountain bikes

Analog Cycles, VT, Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB

Let’s just start with the fact that this bike (and more in the works) were essentially born out of the back room of an off-the-grid bikeshop in rural southwestern Vermont, at the foot of endless dirt (mud?) roads and forest tracks. (That may be giving Analog Cycles a bit too much credit, as the solar-powered shop-in-a-cabin probably has just the one room.)

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike

c. Tanglefoot

Designed by mountain bikers & bike builders with a bit of retro grouch in their hearts, Tanglefoot was envisioned as a brand of solidly-built, truly off-road-capable drop bar mountain bikes for fun adventure rides and bikepacking trips. Their first offering was the made-in-the-US custom lugged steel Bull Thistle mountain touring road-fat bike, but the new Moonshiner hopes to bring a lot of that silly fun down to 1/5 the pricetag.

The bikes also happen to come out of the same shop that gave you the 0mm Discord stems, and who also alerted us to Ignite’s US-made cranks.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner 27.5+ rigid mountain touring bike

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, front views

The Moonshiner is definitely a crazy bike. Not meant to shred DH tracks or set new fastest gravel racing records, these are bikes for cyclists who want to hop on and head out into the woods to see what adventure awaits…

The Moonshiner is a fat-tire 27.5+ steel bikepacking mountain bike with a big swoopy toptube for plenty of standover, a semi-lugged tapered steel fork that fits huge tires, a long front end with no toe-overlap for even the smallest size, and geometry designed for riding off-road on dropbars mounted to a 0mm stem.

If you read that and thought these people might be nuts, you’re probably right.

But if it piqued your attention, it could be the right bike for you…

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, tiny details

Tanglefoot is a bike nerd’s bike brand, and there are plenty of details here worth a closer look, even before you dig into the ‘trust us it works’ unique geometry. The fork has a custom-developed crown mixing segmented and lugged construction elements for stiffness and good looks. The seatpost clamp slot gets a tiny, specially brazed-on washer to reinforce the frame where you’ll clamp & re-clamp the post over time (especially if you don’t mount a dropper.)

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, head badge

And there’s even a real metal head badge!

Tech details

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, complete

Tanglefoot Moonshiner custom complete bike build

The Tanglefoot Moonshiner is sold as a frameset, plus a stem, so it’s key to understand the details of what components to mount up.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, disc brakes

The made-in Taiwan, welded & gusseted steel frame has a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, Boost front & rear spacing (10×15 & 148x12mm thru-axles) and Boost chainline, flat mount disc brakes, a straight 44mm headtube for tapered steerer forks, external shift & brake routing but internal dropper post routing, and a 33.1mm seat collar to clamp a 30.9mm seatpost.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, frame

There’s all the braze-on mounts you should need, including triple mounts on each fork leg,  triple mounts above and below the downtube, a regular seattube cage mount, traditional full rack & fender mounts, plus R-10 seatstay rack tabs.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, front tire

There’s also room for 27.5×3″ tires at both ends, mounted on 35mm internal rims. When asked how much the frames & forks weigh, Tanglefoot’s response was “as much as they need to pass Enduro testing standards… They’re not light. They’re strong.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, geometry

The bike is offered in three stock sizes (S,M,L) with 0mm or 30mm stems designed to fin-tune reach for a wide range of riders. Working with drop bars for comfort but an upright riding position, the long 450mm chainstay Moonshiners also get high bottom brackets for riding “serious gnar”.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, front

While it may look a bit like some retro mountain bike from 30 years ago, the Moonshiner is built to tackle any terrain, and Tanglefoot developed and tested them to enduro standards to be sure they were up for a beating, loaded down with bikepacking bags or not.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner – Pricing, options & availability

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, frameset

Tanglefoot Moonshiner frameset

Analog Cycles officially is still listing the Tanglefoot Moonshiner frameset for pre-order on their website for $975 including frame & fork, but the bikes are actually in stock now, as of yesterday. The official retail price is $1100-1300 including frame, fork, the US-made stem, and Canadian-made seat collar.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, ride photos by C&L Cycles Montreal drop

ride photos c. C&L Cycles of Montreal

The Moonshiner is available now only as a frameset, but either Analog or one of the hand full of other global Tanglefoot retailer bikes shops will be happy to build up a complete bike for you. Reach out to any of them and they’ll sort out a custom build to suit your adventures.

Tanglefoot Moonshiner MTB, 27.5+ rigid steel dropbar adventure touring bikepacking mountain bike, ride photos by C&L Cycles Montreal logpile

ride photos c. C&L Cycles of Montreal

TanglefootCycles.com

6 comments

  1. Seraph on

    7th photo down: nothing says “I don’t know what I’m doing” like putting a rotor on backwards, and then riding it.

    Reply
    • carbonfodder on

      that’s not backwards, it’s the “alternate mount”. It looks fast even after the rotor folds underneath you.

      Reply
        • Seraph on

          Most rotors would fold in half if mounted the wrong direction. They didn’t “make” a rotor to fail, they made a rotor to work in a certain direction and they tell you straight up that it might fail if you run it backwards.

          Reply
  2. User 42 on

    ok, take about 40% off the top there Seraph. Rotors don’t fold in half. Nothing says “keyboard warrior” like coming up with some mad prophesy about rotors as opposed to saying “7th photo has the rotor backwards. Not a big issue but the nerds might get all wonky b/c we all know backwards rotor are heavier”.

    Reply
  3. Area Person on

    But really, though, that’s concerning that the rotor is mounted backwards. Is there any possible reason for that besides error?

    Reply

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