If someone told you they took to a mountain bike website’s forum dwellers to design a mountain bike, our guess is eyes would roll hard and jokes would pour forth faster than the trolls could attack the very notion itself.
But that’s just what MTB-News.de, one of the top German mountain bike websites, did in partnership with Alutech, a German frame builder, and designer Stefan Stark. The result it the ICB 2.0, a 130mm trail bike with all the features you’re likely to want and nothing you don’t.
The reality of the project’s contributors was less the passive aggressive smart asses and naysayers and more of an enthusiastic and supportive community that included industry folks, mechanical and other engineers, 3D designers and avid riders. With thousands of eyeballs on the project, good ideas surfaced quickly and the best ones were voted up and up until they became mandatory design considerations. Chief among them was keeping it simple and user friendly, focused more on being ridable day in and day out than having all the latest whiz-bang standards and features. That said, it’s got a few treats some of the big brands should pay attention to…
A tapered head tube with internal bearing races is fairly standard these days, but the svelte oversized hydroformed downtube gusset is rare on small batch frames. The bike is as much a showpiece for Alutech’s capabilities as anything. Readers wanted internal cable routing to keep everything clean and protected. The ports bolt on and hold the cable housing and hoses snug to prevent rattling.
While most readers wanted 1x, enough folks still liked the idea of having a front derailleur that they built in threaded tabs for a low-mount mech. ISCG tabs allow for a chain guide and/or bash guard, too.
The shock extension yoke gave them some control over the leverage ratio (they made it slightly progressive with 110% anti-squat) without complicating the single pivot design. Putting aside patent concerns, the crowd really just wanted it to be simple and serviceable. Thus, minimal pivot points for low friction, with the main pivot having preload-adjustable angular contact bearings.
A standard threaded bottom bracket was also tops on the list. Note the clever brake hose tunnel just above the main pivot, keeping it from flailing around and out of the way of heel rub.
Ample tire clearance for a 27.5 x 2.35 gives you plenty of meat for ripping through the trails.
They stuck with 12×142 rear thru axle spacing because there’s just not enough out there for Boost…and because the project was underway before Boost really became a thing. But mainly, people just wanted to be able to use use their existing parts and wheels but upgrade their frame.
As for the name, ICB means Internet Community Bike, and it’s available for order now. Put your name on the list with no deposit for just the frame. Put down a 50% deposit and you’ll get your choice of a Rockshox Monarch+ Debonair. Put down 75% of the €1,399 price and it’ll ship with a Fox Float X rear shock. Orders are being taken now with delivery expected in February 2016.