by Hannah Dobson
March 23, 2017
Adrian at Swarf Cycles is keeping quiet on the details, but there’s been a steady stream of clues over on the Swarf Instagram feed, and he’s clearly up to something. More specifically, that something he’s up to seems to be a full-sus 29er…and of course, being a Swarf, it’s made from steel. Interested? We certainly are.
Let’s follow that trail of breadcrumbs…
First up, there was an earlier prototype, way back last summer…
…but testing seems to have revealed some niggles. Which is the point of a prototype, surely? Discover issues before you start selling them? Whatever the niggles were discovered in the first prototype, that sent Adrian back at the drawing board in September…
Looking at the two frames, the suspension design changed significantly. Instead of a link driving the rear shock, the new prototype is employing a rocker link. It’s still a single pivot, but the arrangement is quite different. At this stage he was talking 120mm rear travel, but wait until we get further down this tale. Next, there was a delivery of bounce…
And then shiny bits of CNC’d loveliness started appearing:
And then shiny bits got joined to bouncy bits…
And then lots of bits got joined together into things that look suspiciously like two bikes.
Now, he’s not letting on all the details until he’s happy he’s got things right. He has however told us the geometry is based on the Spline hardtail (much loved by our Barney). And there are a few clues in the comments on these Instagram posts – 115mm rear travel, 130mm up front.
And what about all the other numbers? 67° head angle, 445mm chainstay, 465mm reach (on a large) as seen here. But will the final model have these numbers? Do we need to know, or are we content to just gaze at them, drooling gently?
It’s almost too good to paint, right? Then all that prettiness got rather spoiled by some electrical tape, while Adrian tried to figure out the cable routing.
Sorted! And looking good…
Oh golly gosh, be still our beating hearts. Behold, actual moving pictures.
Let’s take another look at that linkage. Compared to the first prototype, the new frame doesn’t have a solid one-piece swingarm. Instead, the seatstay assembly is designed to flex throughout the length of the tube as the rocker link compresses the rear shock.
There’s short video of a prototype in action too. Are any of you sharp eyed enough to sport whether this has that DB Inline or DB Coil shock on it?
Purely from the colour, we’re guessing that bike had the DB Inline air shock, because this turquoise (Petrol? Azure? Hebridean Sea?) beauty clearly has the DB Coil fitted.
And there the trail runs cold. Though we’re sure there’ll be more on Adrian’s Instagram feed soon, so if this has whet your appetite as much as ours, give him a follow – or check back with us because we’ll bring you more information just as soon as Adrian is prepared to tell us more…