REEB has been really busy this year. In the days leading up to the show, builder Chris “Soutrain” Sulfrain was floating images of a new, mysterious CNC project over Instagram. At the show, we learned the brand renown for their audacious steel hardtails has moved into full squish with their brand new and very ambitious aluminum Sqweeb, in all of its matchy-match green ano splendor. But that’s not all! REEB has also taken strides to flesh out their line in the skinny tire direction as well, introducing a dedicated road bike – the Road Soda – to compliment their off-road offerings…
After last year’s NAHBS, REEB did some internal reflection as to how they would extend their line-up. With a robust mountain offering, full suspension made sense and aluminum was the common sense material.
Plus, Chris appreciated the challenge that designing and crafting a full suspension system presented. “Building a hardtail is a thing, but it isn’t a system – that was the challenge I wanted. And it was a natural addition to the line; many people who have hardtails [also] have suspension bikes.”
For the first few prototypes, Chris manually machined the frame parts needed (and even resorted to hardware store square stock aluminum for the early rears).
When things really got going, however, Chris busted out his superpowers that had laid dormant since his previous life as a prototype machinist, acquired a CNC mill, and went to town with production making his own parts.
The resulting bottom bracket cluster is actually a clamshell in construction with each half machined from a solid block of aluminum down to a 3mm wall thickness.
Overall, we’ve got to say that the Sqweeb is hella put together. “We’re trying to make it look legit and modern. I want it to be able to compete on a real suspension mountain bike scale.”
On the other end of the spectrum is the REEB Road Soda – a skinny tire model to flesh out the line.
It continues the long reach fit scheme of the rest of the bikes in the REEB catalog, but is otherwise a solid standard True Temper OX Platinum road bike. It features Paragon flat mount disc dropouts, standard.
The bike that Chris seemed to be most excited about in his booth was his personal city bike, a model he designed and built around WTB Thickslick tires on Velocity Blunt 35 rims. “I’ve been wanting to build around that rim/tire combination for a long time. An then Pinion released that gearbox…”
As opposed to the Road Soda and Sqweeb models, which are both solid and relatively serious models, his city bike falls more in line with the ludicrously component-ed hardtails we’ve come to love from Chris.
It’s less about simple, straightforward logic and more about tricking a great custom bike out with some sweetly integrated kit.
Featuring the new Pinion six speed drive and a Gates belt drivetrain, “wide ass” Oddity bars, and I-9 hubs, this bike is far more in line with what we’ve come to expect from REEB.
“As cool as the mountain bikes are – a well built up city bike, even one with racks and fenders – there’s just something about those that’s so much cooler.” A little baffled by all the newness, and staring down some stray REEB striders and a branded BMX bike, we asked, “Where does it stop? Where does REEB draw the line? Would you build a track bike.”
As it turns out, Chris has already built a few – and he’s open to other things, as long as it aligns with the REEB spirit. “The big under-riding theme for us is ‘fun on the bike.’” We can get behind that as a company policy.