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EB17: Bionicon teases Byke alloy trail 29er & do-it-all Mashup gravel bikes

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Bionicon reaches beyond their on-the-fly adjustable enduro rides with a couple of affordable prototype bikes targeted at their own riding style. The Byke is a playful coil spring all-mountain trail 29er ready for long days pedalling singletrack and bombing descents. The Mashup on the other hand is a mountain bikers drop bar bike. Or as we can them now – gravel bikes. Ready to head out on an adventure or just spin up and over some unpaved mountain passes.

Bionicon made their name developing their own unique pneumatically linked suspension concept – most recently redubbed ClimbAir – that let a long travel enduro bike truly climb like a billy-goat. But even Bionicon realizes that unless you live on the edge of steep mountains like them next to the Alps on the Tegensee, not everyone needs that type of trail bike. At their heart Bionicon is a group of passionate cyclists & engineers, and they are expanding out in the type of bikes they actually like to ride themselves.

Bionicon Byke coil-sprung aluminum trail 29er mountain bike

That first means a plush mid-travel 29er trail bike. Bionicon built the 130mm Byke as a big wheeled all-mountain ride that shouldn’t break the bank.

With a beefy Horst link four-bar suspension setup designed around modern coil shocks, the Byke is a long & slack trail bike built for technical trail riding. Bionicon says it can also be setup with the recent crop of large volume air shocks to get that familiar bottomless coil feel.

Paired with tapered 140mm forks, the Boost spaced bike uses widely spaced suspension pivots and oversized bearing pivots throughout to create stiff, predictable handling. Those bearings are also all the same size making it easy to the bike running smoothly.

Available in four frames sizes S-XL, the bike gets a 65.5° headangle and short 435mm chainstays across all sizes to still fit some meaty 2.4″ tires. The alloy bike is about keeping it simple and opts for a 73mm threaded BB, full external routing, except for the last bit of the internal dropper post, and even gets water bottle cage mounts inside of all frame sizes.

Bionicon Mashup aluminum adventure gravel bike

The Mashup looks like a gravel bike aimed at making it easier for a mountain biker to hit some drop bars. The bike is designed to be both affordable with it aluminum frame & full carbon fork, and flexible to run either 700c wheel or the 650b road plus.

Tire clearance is set at 42mm for the larger road wheels, or 1.95″/49mm at 27.5″. That should clear pretty much any gravel tire, or those popular 650b tires like WTB’s road plus lineup.

The frame gets a 12×142 rear thru-axle, and in an off-road nod the fork opts for a 15mm thru-axle. Another mountain bike inspiration, the Mashup is dropper post ready with a 30.9mm post, integrated seatpost clamp, and stealth dropper routing. It does still stick with drivetrain flexibility. A round seatpost lets Bionicon spec a band clamp front derailleur or go for wide range 1x setups.

While it gets a tapered fork and internal headset, it sticks with a standard 68mm threaded BSA bottom bracket to avoid any creaks. The disc brake only frame & fork get flat mounts, plus two standard sets of bottle bosses. Bionicon is still working out the final details, including continuing to refine the geometry. These prototype bikes also feature rack & fender mounts, but they might drop the rear rack mount since they see most gravel riders opting for lightweight, rack-free bikepacking bags.

Availability of both bikes is still quite a ways off, with delivery dates expected closer to summer 2018.


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