October 4, 2012
The other week Stu from Pipedream Cycles popped down along with Keith from MaxBikes PR to give us a look at their new range. This trip was supposed to have happened a good while ago, but thanks to Stu breaking his arm while playing on his downhill bike at the Forest of Dean, things were thrown into disarray.
So, some time later and on an extremely rainy day, we finally gathered at ST Towers to check out what’s new from the South Walian brand. They’re well known for their love of steel in making UK specific hardtails – and the odd full susser (tested back in the mists of time, Issue 35) – as well as dabbling with titanium.
Pipedream’s stainless steel wonder – the R931 Skyline
For many in the world of bikes, the ultimate metal to build a bike from has been titanium, but lately some interesting work has gone on with steel alloys. One of the most remarkable developments has been Reynold’s 931 Stainless tubeset, which can be cold drawn to wall thicknesses of just 0.4mm, giving double the tensile strength of 3Al/2.5V titanium for the same weight.
The R-931 Skyline is actually the first production MTB to use this wonder material and combines it with the tried and tested geometry used in their other framesets. Named after the South Wales trail, just 100 have been made, though more may be created if there is sufficient demand. The frame is designed to work with forks from 80-130mm of travel, although Stu reckons sticking with 100mm will give the best balance.
It’s definitely an amazing looking bike; the welds are incredibly neat and the raw finish looks halfway between the matte lustre of unpainted Ti and the bright shine of a chrome finish.
Stu says that “the power transfer is really good – when you stick your foot down it goes…” and as we’ve got one for a Brief Blast review, we should be able to report on that shortly. It’s going to cost a not-insubstantial £1,200 for the sub 4lb frame but that’s comparable to a lot of Ti framesets.
Pipedream go hardcore with the Moxie
The Moxie is a hardcore hardtail that’s just about ready for production. Born from Stu’s desire to have a bike to ride on DH courses that could be pedalled uphill if the uplifts weren’t running, it’s designed to run forks up to 160mm travel. The frame is Reynold 631 steel with adjustable dropouts, masses of mud clearance and a slack 65.6° head angle.
ISCG05 mounts are all present and correct, as is a dropper post friendly 30.9mm seat post diameter. Production bikes may have a tapered of 44mm ID headtube to fit the current crop of hard hitting forks.
Other interesting bikes in the pipeline include the Skookum 29er, which uses the same geometry as their Ti big wheeler but 853 tubing to keep the price down. It’s going to come with sliding dropouts and a tapered headtube and will cost a very reasonable £395. Despite no frames having been seen yet, they’ve had loads of pre-orders for this bike, so it looks set to be a bit of a favourite.
Talking of Ti, It’s worth mentioning that the titanium frames all come with semi-custom geometry, meaning that head, chain and seat stay lengths can all be tweaked to suit a rider’s preference. The angles do remain the same but buyers get options for Rolhoff or Alfine guides and other small details.
The Scion hardtail is also a favourite with Pipedream. It offers the same geometry as their original Sirius hardtail but comes with fixed dropouts rather than sliding items, plus slightly skinnier seatstay tubing on the 853 frame. It’ll take forks from 90-140mm in the non-tapered headtube, the idea being to offer all the handling and feel of the Sirius but at a very affordable £349.
For all this and more, head to the Pipedream Cycles website…