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BFS 2016: Custom titanium for every trail and road adventure from Hilite

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BFS_Hilite_titanium-XC-trail-full-suspension-prototype_complete

Starting with this prototype full suspension 29er with pivots only at the linkage driven shock, Hilite is expanding their premium titanium offerings to cover everything from road and touring to all manner of trail riding. The Swiss custom titanium bike builder leans heavily on simple drivetrains and spec’ed most of their bikes at the Berlin Bike Show with Gates belt drives and either Rohloff hubs or Pinion gearboxes. Click past the break for a closeup look at this trail prototype, plus a couple of Pinion solutions and a fat tire tourer…

BFS_Hilite_titanium-XC-trail-full-suspension-prototype_rear-end BFS_Hilite_titanium-XC-trail-full-suspension-prototype_chainstay-flex-plate

The prototype XC full suspension bike adds to a more conventional 4-bar 27.5 design already in Hilite’s catalog. Getting rid of the pivots let the builders use a belt drive setup, with claims of having a constant enough chainstay length to maintain belt tension. As is the case with most ti flex rear ends, this prototype uses a wide flexing plate at the bottom bracket. The seatstays then drive the shock through two independent rocker arms attached to the toptube for a bit of added stiffness. Hilite uses a driveside seatstay break about 15cm from the dropout that is so smooth, it’s easy to wonder how they would have gotten the belt in place. The bike is still in development, so no word of pricing or availability.

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Like several other companies on hand in Berlin, Hilite is invested heavily in alternative transmission bikes. This Lefty-equipped 29er hardtail gets a Pinion P1.12 gearbox. Together with paragon slider drops and a split seatstay for Gates belt drive.

BFS_Hilite_titanium_Pinion-machined-bridge BFS_Hilite_titanium_Pinion-forged-bridge

Hilite has been building with Pinions for years in titanium in 9, 12 & 18 speed gearbox options. They had developed a nicely finished plate-style machined bracket to mount the gear box (left), but now have an exclusive, all-new forged ti Pinion bridge (right) that will be used on all future Pinion bikes. They tell us the new part boosts bottom bracket stiffness and gives them more flexibility at the chainstay to accommodate both road and trail oriented bikes.

BFS_Hilite_titanium-XC-trail_Pinion-hardtail_complete BFS_Hilite_titanium-XC-trail_Pinion-hardtail_Tune-seatpost-clamp

This bike uses the tiny 27g Tune Würger quick release seatpost clamp, whose curved ti lever nicely matches the all grey build. While Hilite only sells complete bikes, the build can have a huge impact in overall pricing. But to get an idea, this frameset including the P1.12 gearbox and crank sells for ~4000€.

BFS_Hilite_titanium-fat-tire-light-trekking_complete

For another premium option, Hilite had this titanium belt drive adventure bike. Built up on Enve M60 wheels wrapped in fat 235″ Schwalbe Super Moto balloon tires. With the lightweight set of Apidura touring bags we tested last fall, this bike was made to handle everything from beach racing to hardpack dirt, and every bit of road in between.

BFS_Hilite_titanium-fat-tire-light-trekking_drivetrain BFS_Hilite_titanium-fat-tire-light-trekking_rear-end

Definitely a premium build, it’s driven by a THM Clavicula crankset and Gates Centertrack to a Roholff rear hub. It also uses SRAM Red controls paired with the Gebla Rohbox to shift the internally geared rear hub. This compete bike would probably set you back close to 10,000€ with those components, but the base frame would only be around 2300€ + 650€ for the ti fork.

And if these bike don’t scratch your itch, Hilite has titanium in plenty of other options, including a full-on randonneur, a cross racer, fully-rigid 27.5+ or 29+ with a segmented ti fork, city riding mixte, or even a proper touring tandem, and more… pretty much all available with the same simple drivetrains. They even do full custom carbon bikes that are made-in-Switzerland at their HQ in Basel.

Hilite-Bikes.com/titan

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MIrwin
MIrwin
8 years ago

Is it just me or does that FS frame’s HA look crazy steep?

Tim
Tim
8 years ago

Yeah, that HTA looks like it’s around 76 degrees.

Antoine
Antoine
8 years ago

It’s slightly pitched downward but still that’s a weird geo, especially by 2016 standard. All bikes looks to have supershort wheelbase too. Finally those pivots !!! Man they look soooo weak. My old stumpy look oversized compare to this and still was eating bearing in 15 rides and was flexy as hell. Those german should learn a few tricks from taiwanese engineering i feel 🙂

Mike D
Mike D
8 years ago

Those Ti pivots = all the laughs. Noooooooo way.

Matt
8 years ago

“Hilite uses a driveside seatstay break about 15cm from the dropout that is so smooth, it’s easy to wonder how they would have gotten the belt in place.”

Why not just use the shock linkage?

Barbar
Barbar
8 years ago
Reply to  Matt

Excellent point … I imagine they don’t want to disappoint the clientele by making the thing too cheap.

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