Radio Bikes’ new MTB, dirt jumping & slopestyle division looks set to adapt some uniquely BMX & freestyle tech up to bigger wheels, teaching mountain bikes some new tricks. Mostly centered around 26″ hardtail & full-suspension dirt jumpers, as well as bigger wheeled urban assault bikes, the tech that drew us in was a prototype lightweight MTB Freecoaster hub that allows Radio team rider Niklas Tilk to do some wild street riding on a big-wheeled bike…
Radio MTB Freecoaster, freestyle tricks on a mountain bikes
We kind of always knew Cologne’s Radio Bikes as a Freestyle BMX company before they more recently expanded also into proper BMX racing. But the rider-owned company always like to play on the trails too, so it isn’t a big surprise that their dirt jump & trail riding habits started to bleed over in to bike development, too.
As to that video, like Radio’s head of Product Development Dave Paterson says, “it’s not often you see a guy on a 26″ bike riding like this!”
This MTB Freecoaster project that Tilk is riding, opens up interesting possibilities for riding urban freestyle on a full-sized bike, but also has a lot of potential when you think about the type of tricks riders are laying down at big slopestyle competitions, or even eventually bigger events like Rampage. Imagine someone dropping in off a cliff in the Utah desert to land backwards!
MTB Freecoaster tech details
For those any less initiated in the Freestyle culture than I am, a freecoaster basically is a freehub that disengages its clutch mechanism in both directions so that you can roll, coasting both forwards & backwards without any kickback at the pedals. It then still will re-engage when you pedal forward again. Most variations allow some kind of adjustment of the slack to control how much you have to pedal forward before it engages again.
Now besides already making all manner of BMX bikes, Radio is also part of the We Make Things collective of bike companies that stretches from all-terrain Bombtrack to We The People & Salt BMX, where they’ve already refined the WTB BMX Helix Freecoaster hub (above). But it’s not as simple as respacing a BMX Freecoaster, Radio wanted something more appropriate for a mountain bike.
Radio MTB Freecoaster prototype
And that’s where you get this prototype MTB Freecoaster that Radio has been developing and that Niklas Tilk has been thrashing around town. They say it is significantly lighter and more adjustable than the Helix, which makes it more suitable for mountain bike slopestyle & dirt jump riding.
Inside it has an all-new freecoaster mechanism that Radio has developed that they claim functions more “like a regular cassette hub but with a much larger (but adjustable) slack setting than other freecoasters”. Presumably using pawls vs. a BMX-style clutch mechanism, Radio claims the new, lighter MTB Freecoaster is actually much stronger, which was necessary with the additional forces from the larger diameter wheel.
The hub Tilk is riding is still a prototype, but Radio says the production version, as well as the 26″ Griffin Pro frameset he’s riding (above) will be available to consumers in early 2020. What kind of new tricks will you be bringing to the local skate park, dirt jumps, or even bikepark in the new year?
More 2020 Radio mountain bikes coming soon!
Beyond the new MTB Freecoaster that Tilk has been shredding on the 26″ alloy Griffin Pro dirt jumping bike, Radio has a bunch more new 2020 mountain bikes starting to drop. This one in the air (above) is their concentric pivot, single speed 26″ full-suspension alloy slopestyle & dirt jump bike called the Siren, with 100mm travel front & rear.
We don’t have that much more detail about Radio’s expansion deeper into mountain bikes for 2020 – like spec, pricing & consumer availability. But our attention has been piqued, so rest assured we’re going to find out more, and share…