Last year we saw the Swiss & German carbon specialist from Bike Ahead Composites sprout up in their own bike brand named Stoll Bikes after previously building one-off frame prototypes for the likes of Stöckli and others. head of engineering Thomas Stoll & creative director Jan Bhalla actually started off building a race-ready, super light 120mm full suspension bike last year, and now are getting back to basics with an XC race carbon hardtail.
The new made-in-Europe R1 aims to set a new benchmark for a cross-country race hardtail. Using a new construction method the R1 is unique in that it is made in one piece. Most frames are constructed as separate front ends, seatstay & chainstay assemblies and then assembled in a final step.
But every fiber of the new Stoll R1 hardtail is laid up at one time over the flexible internal mold/mandrels and then pressed into the single complete external mold. Without the need for extra material to join several pieces together, the result is a frame that Stoll are able to pare down to just 780g for a bare medium bike, with a rider weight limit of 85kg. (Aluminum bits like the derailleur hanger 18.5g, seatclamp 9.0g, cable routing bits 4.5g, and rear axle 21.5g add a bit more weight to that.)
That’s pretty light for a lot of riders, but Stoll says that with just about 70g more up to an 850g frame weight and they can for the most part get rid of the rider weight limit. The one piece construction of the bike makes for a fairly unique look. In order to shape all of the tubes at the same time (and be able to get the bike out of the mold at the end), the R1 uses a fairly complicated multi-part mold. And doing that leaves a lot of mold seams that can be seen all over the bike, since the frame requires very little finish work out of the mold.
We don’t have a lot of tech details on the 1x-specific 29″ hardtail yet, but we can see that it shares the same modular internal routing of the M1 (that will work with a dropper post), plus the same PressFit bottom bracket, internal tapered headset, and Boost 12x148mm rear end. Stoll tells us geometry is inspired by the trail bike as well, getting a long toptube (428mm reach for a M) and slack 68.8° head angle.
The angular look of the tube shaping plays a big part in this bike claiming very high stiffness, even with its low weight. At the same time the R1 gets strongly tapering chainstays that combine with the pre-bent kink in the seastays to maximize grip of the rear wheel by building in a bit of rear end flex. Comfort comes with that as well, working together with the small 27.2mm seatpost.
Continuing the idea of individually adapting bikes for their buyers, the new R1 can get a custom carbon layup tailored to each rider. Stoll likes to work with buyers and do a test ride together before finalizing goals for the laminate structure of the frames and for example what kind of fork & drivetrain it will be paired with, getting a chance to discuss goals while out on the bike.
The R1 is made to order with a delivery time estimated of around three weeks. It is available in four main complete bike builds or alone as a frameset for 4000 Swiss Francs/CHF (~$4175/3500€). All of the bike builds get a healthy dose of Bike Ahead carbon components too from the 8.35kg/18.4lb 7370CHF (~$7690/6460€) R1 Bronze with SRAM Eagle GX up to the 7.20kg/15.9lb, 10,880CHF (~$11,350/9530€) R1 Platinum with Eagle XX1 Biturbo RS wheels, and Trickstuff Picocla brakes.
The Stoll R1 is available now for preorder in three frame sizes S-L, with production of the bikes to start on the first of October 2017.