Matt Bowns is co-owner of 18 Bikes in Hope, and is their resident frame-builder. His latest project is something of a doozy – although he calls it Project Stupid. Why Project Stupid, you may ask? Well…
Matt’s a tall chap, to be sure – but he’s normally firmly in ‘large’ territory. But this? This thing has a reach of 525mm. Compare that to 510mm for a Mondraker. In extra large. This thing is LOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGGGG.
It’s also rocking, apparently, the rather more conservative XC head angle setting in these shots, which runs at a frankly over-the-bars inducing 62º. If you want to get your gnar on apparently 61º is possible.
But (you may ask) why? To see what’s possible, essentially. Matt’s seen the likes of the Mojo Geometron machines, and wanted to see what he could rustle up.
The carbon back end is from a Saracen Kili Flyer yielding 120mm of travel which nobly gave itself to the cause.
Because the donor bike Matt used was an aluminium one, the linkages are wide enough that joining pieces had to be brazed on. The brazing does look lovely though.
Matt has used a clear powder coat – that mottling looks pretty; it’s an 853 downtube. But of the whole front section, Matt’s most happy about the toptube…
…which he’s externally butted himself with a lathe – there are 5 degrees of butting. It’s pretty impossible to see in photos, though.
But (I hear you cry) how does it ride?? Well, not nearly as badly as perhaps the querulous would expect. Matt’s certainly rather fast on it:
Here’s a slightly better pic of Matt in action:We can’t wait to see what else he has in store. For more details on 18 bikes, click here.