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OptOut Hooky alloy hardtail swaps drops to fit any mountain bike axle standard

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed
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If on the fence about ditching your current mountain bike wheels, but would really like to Boost your trail riding with a new more capable hardtail, the OptOut Hooky might be for you. Using a modular sliding set of dropouts, the Hooky can swap from QR to thru-axles, regular to Boost spacing, and geared to single speed setups – all in a trail-ready aluminum hardtail that won’t break the bank.

OptOut Hooky hardtail mountain bike w/ modular dropouts

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed
courtesy OptOut

OptOut Cycles is a relatively new bike maker based in Lawrence, Kansas, but has origins in another company we knew well. A few years ago the current owners of OptOut bought out the old Soul Cycles which made the Dillinger – a 29er we tested back in the day. What carried over to the new brand was experience designing & sourcing adaptable mountain bikes. Now that evolves again with the new Hooky – a hardtail to ease you decision on how to build up an affordable trail hardtail.

Hooky Tech Details

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed

The OptOut Hooky is maybe the ultimate hardtail for the indecisive, offering more flexibility than you’re likely to find elsewhere. The key to the success of the Taiwanese produced 6061 Aluminum frame is its modular sliding SwitchBack dropouts.

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed

With five different CNC machined dropout sets available, the Hooky can be built up with a traditional QR rear axle, 12mm thru-axle with old 142mm spacing, 12mm with Boost 148mm spacing, or either 12mm standard or Boost singlespeed. You pick how you want to put the bike together, and down the road you can always swap in a different set of dropouts if you change your mind.

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed

Another benefit of the sliding setup is the ability to fine tune chainstay length. Beyond letting you pick geared or single speed setups (or internally geared hubs) it also let’s you play with wheelsize. The Hooky has room for up to 29″ x 2.4″ tires, or you could go as big as 27.5+ with a 3″ tire.

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed geometry

The aluminum Hooky is built as a modern trail-capable hardtail with a slack 68° headtube, designed to be built up with a 120mm travel 29er fork. It features a mix of internal rear shift routing in the top tube, stealth dropper routing via the downtube, and fully external rear brake routing. The frame features a 31.6mm seatpost, a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, and includes bottle cage mounts both on top of and below the downtube. A 34.9mm front derailleur will add two chainring compatibility, or you can build it up 1x.

Pricing & Availability

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed

It’s not a completely revolutionary thing to put interchangeable dropouts on a mountain bike, but there are frames you’ll find at just $695 that offer such choice.

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeedThe alloy Hooky hardtail frame can be bought with or without OptOut’s $350 tapered steerer, full carbon rigid fork, or you can build it up with your choice of suspension fork (geometry optimized for 120mm fork travel).

Future replacement/upgrade SwitchBack dropout pairs sell for another $46 in a few different color options. OptOut already promises future-proofing for the Hooky and will keep adding more options when “the wheel geniuses try the next thing” in standards.

OptOut Hooky hardtail affordable aluminum alloy mountain bike with modular dropouts thru-axle Boost singlespeed

The frame comes in three stock sizes (M-XL) and either matte black or gloss blue. Get it direct from OptOut, or from a growing network of independent dealer shops.

OptOutcycles.com

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11 Comments
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reer
reer
5 years ago

Great idea! Maybe a dumb question but are 2 bolts on each side holding the dropouts in place strong enough to hold everything steady?

Tom in MN
Tom in MN
5 years ago
Reply to  reer

Looks the same as the Paragon sliding dropouts, which have been around for quite a while. So basic idea should be ok, but getting Paragon themselves to make the dropouts would have given even more confidence (both for design and long term availability).

Simon
Simon
5 years ago

good job OptOut for doing something Salsa has been doing for NINE years and has on FIVE models. and offer on frames from $450 alloy mountain, $800 for chromoly, and carbon mountain bikes, fat bikes.

Jason Rides Bikes
Jason Rides Bikes
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon

this IS a good idea, and who gives a rats buns if Salsa has been doing it. Canfield has some models that are capable of this, Surly has the GnotBoost system or the good ole’ MDS chips.
MORE companies should embrace this, 135/142 was around for far long than 148 and as such there are still plenty of worthy wheelsets that need frames, not more of this throw away slight changes that we see in newer bikes (and phones, and cars, and computers, etc. etc. etc)

kimbo305
kimbo305
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon

Does Salsa’s Alternator system handle 142 vs 148 on the same bike? I can’t find literature that clears that up.

Simon
Simon
5 years ago
Reply to  kimbo305

yes kimbo, on any frame that accommodates 148 spacing, there are reduction plates that will let you run 135/142 wheels, as it’s only a matter of 3mm spacers on both sides that are braced enough to take the strain.
obviously you’re not going to take a model like the old El Mariachi and give it 148 wheels, but that’s how it is sometimes.

Ol' Shel'
Ol' Shel'
5 years ago

The long cantilever, combined with the thin sections at the two slots makes a perfect failure point. as the vertical loads and brake forces cause a torque at the attachment points. I’d be concerned about longer-term durability.

Yukon
Yukon
5 years ago

Banshee has also been doing this for years on their mountain bikes.

Ant'ney
Ant'ney
5 years ago

Simon is right. Why would anyone buy this over a Timberjack?

offrhodes
5 years ago

No size small, WTF.

Cryogenii
Cryogenii
5 years ago

The built in chain tugs are a thoughtful detail. I’d like to see replaceable threaded inserts though, just in case of damage.

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