When we talked to Triton Bike’s Dmitry Nechaev in our pre-show interview series, he was very, very excited to tell us about his bikes and why he got into the custom frame building business. In person at the show, he was just as exuberant, and the stories made us want to hop on a plane to Russia and go for a ride with him! The gorgeous titanium bikes didn’t hurt either.
Above, one of two 29er hardtails and his son’s balance bike. Check them out in more detail, along with more fantastic two wheeled examples from Bixxis and Soulcraft, below…
Despite differences like a seatmast versus dropper post and Lefty versus traditional suspension fork, the two mountain bikes shared some specs.
Their chainstay yoke not only looks nice, but it creates plenty of clearance for both the chainring and the tire.
Sliding dropouts on both let you run any drivetrain you want, whether it’s singlespeed or geared.
His kid’s titanium balance bike was built up nicer than most of our adult bikes. Chris King hubs and headset, leather saddle and grips and Schwalbe Big Apple tires!
Their road bike had a few nice touches, too, showing that they’re just as adept at building pavement pounders as all the mountain and fat bikes they showed off in our interview.
Clean entry points for the internally routed cables and heavily shaped seat and chain stays were very well executed. All of the tube bends were done in house.
Where some builders (and major brands) rely on a cheap plastic cable guide bolted to the downtube to position the front derailleur cable, they used a traditional cable stop to get the cable housing as close to the mech as possible.
Their logo, in Russian, and very nicely anodized (click to enlarge).
For more urban pursuits, this flat bar road bike spared no expense with ENVE carbon rims, fork and cockpit, and Shimano Dura-Ace.
The bigger version of their logo, shown on shirts that were likely selling briskly. In hindsight, totally should have bought one. Next year, right guys?
Bixxis Cycles, out of Italy, are built by Doriana De Rosa, and they exemplify why it pays to take a little time at each booth. At first glance, the Prima looks like any other standard steel road bike, but there are some unique features hidden in plain sight.
Up front, that boxy looking fork crown seems out of place on a straight steerer steel frame. The fork is by Dario Pegoretti, an interesting custom builder who wasn’t at this year’s show. Called Falz, the fork uses massive leg diameters to achieve very high lateral stiffness to match Pegoretti’s oversized tubing both visually and functionally. The flattened crown of the fork gives it the appropriate compliance so the stiff legs to beat your hands to a pulp.
Out back, Bixxis uses large diameter steel tubes to make the frame stiff…
…with a unique design called X-Stays on the bottom. The X-Stays are shaped to improve tire clearance on the inside, but their real secret is that, just in front of that indent, they bend to aim straight forward. This way, they mate with the BB shell at its outer edges, making a wider platform for better lateral and torsional stiffness under power. Yet another way small builders are keeping steel relevant – very cool.
Soulcraft showed off various versions of the same frame, highlighting their versatility and the ways you can have your stuff custom built. Above is Mitch’s Dirtbomb gravel bike, decked out with bags from Porcelain Rocket and racks by Pass & Stow.
Aaron’s Dirtbomb takes a more minimalist approach.
Similar but different is the new Treehorn, built around larger 650c road tires so it can attain the same speeds and rollover benefits of 700c, but with fatter, more comfortable tires.
Credit (or blame) WTB for introducing the “Road Plus” standard with the debut of their Horizon tires, but it’s really just a name for something many touring cyclists have been doing for ages.
The Option B+ is a new mountain bike option that’s designed to handle 27.5×3.0 or an equally massive 29×2.5.
Lanie’s Option B shows is another build showing it with the 29×2.5 tires.
Indeed, there’s a ton of tire clearance…
…but chainring tooth clearance was a bit tight with this 32-tooth ring. Best to stick with a 30-tooth or less, or try a Boost chainring that pushes the chainline out a bit.