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Found: Madnes Bicycles Stellar 27.5″ and Atlas 29er Steel Enduro Bikes made in France

madnes stellar 275 steel enduro mtb
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Madnes Bicycles is a new steel mountain bike manufacturer emerging from the Herault region in the South of France. The brand debuted earlier this year with the 160mm-170mm travel Stellar 27.5 running a virtual pivot point suspension platform, due to be adapted to the Atlas 29er coming in April 2022. Here’s a quick introduction to Madnes Bicycles and their beautiful steel enduro frames designed, fabricated and finished in France.

Madnes Bicycles

madnes bicycles french steel mountain bike frame fabricator

Sylvain Fusillier is the man behind the new French mountain bike brand, Madnes Bicycles, designing the frames, their kinematic and geometry, carrying out strength analyses, creating technical drawings, and machining the parts. Everything is done in-house at the Madnes workshop just outside Montpellier in the South of France. They are even painted in-house, with the frames finished by business partner Jordan Colin who designs the graphics and paints the frames with solvent-free epoxy powder paint.

madnes bicycles frame painting

Madnes’ debuted with the steel frame Stellar 27.5″ enduro bike earlier this year, shortly to be followed by the Atlas 29er enduro bike which will also be fabricated from steel. In addition to the handling qualities of a steel frame and its durability, Madnes quote the eco-friendliness of the material as another reason for working with it, stating that the environmental impact of steel is much lower than that of aluminum and carbon.

madnes stellar 26" freeride mtb french steel

You may have heard of Madnes around six years ago when they released shots of their Stardust 26″ freeride bike. This one never made it to market, but it was their proof of concept bike that gave them the confidence to take the brand onwards to the fabrication of production-worthy enduro frames.

madnes bicycles headbadge chamois
Madnes Bicycles chose the Chamois as their logo “because it is agile on all types of rugged terrain, whether in positive or negative elevation”.

The Madnes downtube and rear swing arms are fabricated from single-butted Chromoly steel, while the top tube and seat tube are double-butted Reynolds 725. The tapered headtube is a fully homemade machined Chromoly part, as are the dropouts.

madnes stellar steel enduro mtb vpp linkage
The VPP linkage (made of S500 Steel) employed on the Madnes Stellar 27.5″ and Atlas 29er enduro bikes runs on polymer bushings instead of sealed cartridge bearings. Madnes quote “no maintenance, resistance, durability, price for the consumer, and the sleek frame design” as their reasoning for this.

Madnes aren’t selling complete bikes yet, just a frame and shock. Let’s take a look at the currently available Stellar 27.5″ and the Atlas 29er that’s to come…

Madnes Stellar 27.5″ Enduro Bike

madnes steallar 27.5" enduro bike steel french

The Stellar 27.5″ is designed around 160-170mm of rear-wheel travel, paired with a 160-170mm travel fork. It is simply the shock stroke length that allows for the adjustment of rear-wheel travel; choose a 57.5mm stroke for 160mm, a 60mm stroke for 165mm, or a 62.5mm stroke for 170mm.

madnes stellar steel mtb frame

The Stellar’s geometry puts it firmly in the enduro category with a 65° head angle and a 75° seat tube angle. There are two frame sizes only, with reach coming up at 440mm in medium and 468mm in large. The bottom bracket sits at 344mm with 430mm chainstays permitting clearance for a 2.5″ wide tire at most.

madnes stellar 27.5" geometry chart steel enduro mtb frame

madnes stellar vitual pivot point suspension 275 steel frame enduro mtb french
Madnes Bicycles offer customization of colorway and decals; choose from Polar White, Matte Black, Orange Tangerine, Racing Green, Midnight Blue, and Racing Red stock colors, or pay an extra 150 for Chromium or Chameleon Blue. An extra €200 allows you to tailor the colorway and graphics further.
Leverage Curve (left) and Rear Axle Path of the Madnes Stellar 27.5" Steel Enduro Bike
Leverage Curve (left) and Rear Axle Path (right) of the Madnes Stellar 27.5″ Steel Enduro Bike

The Madnes Stellar is available now, retailing at 1,900. That cash gets you the frame only, though you can pay an extra 550 to have the frame shipped with an Ohlins TTX Air Shock.

Madnes Atlas 29er

The Madnes Atlas 29er is still under prototyping, with no frame to show us pictures of just yet. However, we can confirm that it will run the same VPP linkage seen on the Stellar 27.5″. It is designed around 150-160mm rear wheel travel to be paired with a 150-160mm travel fork.

madnes atlas geometry chart 29er enduro steel frame

Madnes have shared a preview of the Atlas geometry, which comes up a little more conservative than that of the Stellar. The HA is a little steeper at 65.5°, while the SA is a little more upright at 76°. Reach measurements are identical, at 440mm on the medium frame and 468mm on the large. Chainstays measure up at 438mm.

The Madnes Atlas 29er prototype is due to be finished in January, with production frames due on the market in March/April 2022.


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2 years ago

Worst looking welds I’ve ever seen on a steel bike at this price.

2 years ago

Those welds are horrible. What is going on around the lower pivot??

Bram Kerckhofs
Bram Kerckhofs
2 years ago

As a welder my eyes are bleeding. Some welds are not even welds. I like the frames but the workmanship is horrible. Those welds on the pivot point have barely penetrated. That’s a failure waiting to happen

2 years ago

It’s just the reflections of this chrome paint that seem to reverse the curve of the weld. In reality the welds are perfect, look under the bottom bracket.

2 years ago

@Davis, the weld between the down tube and BB shell is fine. I agree with the others, the other welds in the BB cluster/pivot look bad. It isn’t the paint (silver, not chrome), they’re just sloppy welds. No sale.

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