by Wil Barrett
February 27, 2017
We’ll admit that Trillion Cycles isn’t a brand we were familiar with before heading to the London Bike Show, but it most certainly is on our radar now. With a number of new bikes on display, UK company Trillion Cycles used the London Bike Show as it’s official launch. And judging by the response those bikes received from the public during the four day bike expo, the new brand will be set to kick things off with a bang.
One of those show bikes was the Trillion Prime hardtail; a UK-made steel hardtail designed for 160mm travel forks and 27.5in wheels up to 2.8in wide. We’ll go into more detail about the prototype ‘ardcore ‘ardtail below, but before we go any further; where has Trillion Cycles itself come from?
A new name to the cycling market, Trillion Cycles was conceived mid-way through 2016 as a small division of the Liberty House Group – a huge steel conglomerate owned by Sanjeev Gupta. How huge? Liberty House Group has business operations in London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore, and has a reported annual income of £3.5 billion. While Gupta resides in the UK having first moved here to study at Cambridge university, he was originally born in Punjab in India. As a son of an Indian business tycoon, Gupta grew up in Punjab where his father owned several manufacturing businesses, including Victor Cycles.
The Liberty House Group’s name is well-known throughout the UK, where the Gupta family has expressed an ongoing desire to revive and rejuvenate the steel manufacturing sector. Gupta has made headlines on multiple occasions, including in November of 2015, after his company bought out the Welsh steel tube maker, Caparo. Then in September last of 2017, Liberty Steel also re-opened Britain’s largest steel plate mill in Scotland after it had been closed less than a year before. Also currently on the cards for the Liberty House Group is a potential purchase the Port Talbot steelworks factory (also in Wales), with the goal of saving up to four thousand local jobs.
That’s all good and well, but what does big business have to do with a small cycling company? Well, reading between the lines, it would seem that Gupta’s keen interest in the British steel industry and in local manufacturing would play well alongside a new British bike brand. And given that Gupta’s father previously owned Victor Cycles back in India, then the whole thing starts to make a lot more sense.
According to an interview by the Daily Telegraph, Gupta has had a keen interest in launching his own bike company for quite some time. “My first job was my gap year in 1990 was selling Victor bikes internationally which my father’s company made,” Gupta told the Telegraph. “Because of my father’s business I was practically born with a bike in my hands – this is me coming full circle.”
Needless to say, while Trillion Cycles may be a newcomer to the cycling market, there are certainly big plans for the future.
Trillion Cycles itself is rather small – just three people make up the team. One of those team members is Matt Granger, who is the Product Creation Leader, and the one responsible for the Prime hardtail we’re looking at here. Matt joined the Trillion Cycles team back in November, and immediately got to work on this intriguing hardtail.
The frame itself is made in the UK, and it’s been collated with a number of Reynolds 853 and Colombus steel tubes, along with some striking gusset work. Check out some of the basic details below, and scroll all the way down to our video interview with Matt Granger during the London Bike Show.
“Designed from scratch and throwing the rule book right out of the window of a moving train, we have come up with what we think is one of the best Steel AM bikes around. Using Reynolds 853 super strong tubing, we’ve brought to life a beast that is ready to tackle any AM trail you dare to ride. 853 gives you a super strong but light frame and we’ve added some serious detail to where it’s needed, with a slack head angle, up to 160mm forks up front, boost front and rear axles and clearance for 2.8in tyres we think it’s pretty close to the ultimate hardtail.” – Trillion Cycles.
Trillion Prime Specifications
- Made in the UK
- Reynolds 853 steel front triangle
- Colombus steel rear end
- 44mm head tube
- Designed for 160mm travel forks
- 65° head angle
- 428mm chain stay length
- Paragon Machine Works modular dropouts
- Boost 148x12mm thru-axle
- Semi-internal cable routing
Built as a hardcore hardtail, the Prime is designed to accommodate a 160mm travel fork to deliver a 65° head angle. It’s got a short back end complete with Boost rear hub spacing, and there’s a hefty bottom bracket drop to keep the centre of gravity low.
Internal cable routing through the downtube, including a stealth dropper post line that exits the lower downtube, and re-enters at the base of the seat tube. No press-fit bottom bracket cups though, as a threaded steel shell accommodates regular external BB cups.
Paragon Machine Works modular dropouts allow for multiple rear hub configurations to be had. This Prime was built up with 148x12mm Boost rear hub spacing, with a neat threaded axle and a replaceable derailleur hanger.
The Trillion Prime on display at the London Bike Show was a prototype model, and featured an eclectic build kit to give it a snazzy eye-grabbing look. That included a Kashima-gold Fox fork and a Transfer dropper post, a SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrain, and UK-made components from Hope Technology. A Mavic Crossmax Pro wheelset keeps the black ‘n’ bling theme going, as does some ENVE finishing bits.
While this Prime is looking pretty close to production, Trillion is still putting in the finishing touches. There may be some aesthetic changes and alterations to geometry to come, though the current plan is to have production models available by mid-year. If you want to know more about the Prime, then stay up to date via the Trillion Cycles website.
What do you think of the new Trillion Prime? Is this a hardtail you’d love to razz about on the trails?