Robot R-Zero

R-ZERO Day: Robot Bike Co. Unveil New Customisable Hardtail

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We reviewed the Robot R160 earlier this year, got an exclusive first look at the R130 29er too, and wondered what they’d be planning next. The answer, as they teased last week on their Instagram, is a hardtail. Natually, like the others it’s named after the amount of travel in the frame, so it’s the R-Zero. Here’s the whole uncropped picture, but we have a little more than that for you:

Robot R-ZERO
Here’s the full sketch they showed a cropped version of on Instagram.

It turns out the first one is being put together as we write this, and Andy Hawkins sent over a few photos and some renders. He says: “For info, this first prototype is to my spec, which is 29” wheels, boost, with 66 degree HA, 74 degree SA, 435mm reach, 420mm chain stays and a 65mm BB drop (so basically fun!), but as you will see from the overview we can make these frames to any spec for aggressive riding.”


Robot R-ZERO
The lugs are all additively manufactured out of titanium.

Robot don’t use traditional frame manufacturing processes. Instead, they use additive manufacturing, in which layers of titanium are laser sintered to make complete parts (additive manufacturing is a layer based process like 3D printing, but machine vendors and users are very specific about the terminology. If you want to read about the difference, there’s a good explanation here).

Because of that process, each set of frame parts can be made to create custom geometry to suit any riders preferences. Buy from Robot and you’re getting more than just a frame, but the chance to design your perfect geometry too. Keep scrolling for a few more images and the full Robot release.

Robot R-ZERO
Threaded bottom bracket shell, some of you will be very pleased to know.
Robot R-ZERO
Additive manufacturing means they can do custom geometry for each rider.
Robot R-ZERO
The titanium lugs are bonded to carbon fibre frame tubes.
Robot R-ZERO
The mech hanger isn’t laser sintered, but the dropouts are.

“Introducing the R-ZERO Platform: To accompany our acclaimed range of bespoke full suspension mountain bikes, Robot Bike Co. will be launching the R-ZERO Platform in early 2018. Fundamentally an aggressive hardtail frame, the R-ZERO Platform takes our custom frame design to a new level – providing a blank canvas for you to create your dream custom fit hardtail. Any wheel size, Any geometry, Any hub standard.

Robot R-ZERO
These renders are dark, but they’ve evidently stuck with the exact same Robot aesthetic of black carbon fibre tubes and raw titanium lugs.

“The R-ZERO has been designed, engineered and built using our proven methods, driven by our parametric 3D CAD model and coupling titanium additive manufactured lugs equipped with double lap shear Pi joints and carbon tubing. The construction method and material combination comes together to allow the R-ZERO to provide the comfortable and compliant feel of a titanium hardtail coupled with the pedalling efficiency of a carbon fibre frame.

Robot R-ZERO
The titanium has a textured, matt finish, as you can see in our closeups of the R-160.

“With the frame weighing in under 2kg, the R-ZERO Platform is suited to any kind of aggressive trail riding and can be configured to exactly fit your riding needs. Whether that’s covering miles on all day or bike-packing epics, downhill runs on uplift days, Enduro racing or simply good old trail riding. The team will work closely with you to configure your R-ZERO, selecting wheel size, fork travel, geometry and component standards. And of course as with all Robot frames, custom fit to you. Set for release in early 2018, final pricing to be confirmed. Contact us at for more information or to register your interest in pre order.”

Robot R-ZERO
They really are teasing, these are the moodiest, sneakiest teaser images of a bike we’ve ever seen.

It’ll be launching in the new year, but for now you can go to the Robot Bike Co. website and drool over their full suspension frames.

David started mountain biking in the 90’s, by which he means “Ineptly jumping a Saracen Kili Racer off anything available in a nearby industrial estate”. After growing up and living in some extremely flat places, David moved to Yorkshire specifically for the mountain biking. This felt like a horrible mistake at first, because the hills are so steep, but you get used to them pretty quickly. Previously, David trifled with road and BMX, but mountain bikes always won. He’s most at peace battering down a rough trail, quietly fixing everything that does to a bike, or trying to figure out if that one click of compression damping has made things marginally better or worse. The inept jumping continues to this day.

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