Trillion Unveils New Shug Steel Hardtail At Fort William

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Shown on the first day of the 2018 Fort William World Cup, the Shug is an all-new steel hardtail from Trillion Cycles. Joining the Prime hardtail (a bike we tested and reviewed last year), the Shug is also manufactured in the UK, and it’s also made from steel, but this one is purpose-built for a shorter 130mm travel fork, and your choice of 29in or 27.5+ wheels. The geometry is still long and slack (with a 64° head angle!), bringing a modern twist to the classic steel trail hardtail.

I managed to get my hands on one of the first Shug’s at Fort William, so read on below for more details and for plenty of photos of that gorgeous firetruck-red paint job!

Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
The Shug is a new mountain bike from Trillion Cycles, and it appears to take on all of the suggestions we made after testing the Prime hardtail.

Trillion Shug Features

  • Made in the UK
  • Reynolds 853 steel front triangle & Dedacciai stays
  • Clearance for up to a 29×2.6in or 27.5×3.0in tyre
  • Designed for 130mm travel forks
  • 64° head angle
  • 75° seat angle
  • 435mm chainstay length
  • Threaded bottom bracket shell
  • Boost 148x12mm thru-axle
  • External cable routing with CNC machined cable clamps
  • Stealth dropper compatible
  • Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
  • Available in 14 different colour options
  • RRP: £1,549 (frame with Cane Creek Helm Air fork)
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
Given the voluminous 29×2.6in Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres, the back end is short at 435mm – just look how close it comes to the back of the seat tube!
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
A solid steel plate connects the chainstay to the bottom bracket shell.
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
Clearance is pretty tight with those 2.6in wide tyres.

As the spec list shows, the Shug is a steel hardtail designed around 29in or 27.5+ wheels and tyres. There’s enough clearance to fit up to a 27.5×3.0in tyre in the back end, though the complete bike that Trillion had on show at Fort William was equipped with 29in wheels an huge 2.6in wide Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres. That said, it’s pretty snug in the back end with the 2.6in 29er tyres, so don’t expect a lot of mud clearance.

The frame is 1x specific, so there’s no provision for fitting a double (or triple?) chainset on there. A chunky solid steel plate is used behind the bottom bracket shell to affix the drive-side chainstay, providing the necessary room for the chainring and the rear tyre.

Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
130mm travel Cane Creek Helm fork up front.

Up front is a Cane Creek Helm fork with 130mm of travel. Like the frame, the Helm fork will also accommodate big 29er rubber, and 27.5+ wheels too.

It’s worth pointing out that to begin with, you’ll only be able to get the Shug frame as a package with the Helm fork. Trillion is taking pre-orders right now, with the frame + fork package selling at a competitive £1,595. The Helm is a great fork (it thoroughly impressed David when he tested it), and given it normally sells for £950 on its own, that certainly makes the package good value for money – particularly given the local manufacture of the frame.

Regardless, I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would prefer a different fork, so I asked Russ from Shand/Trillion whether the Shug will be available on its own. The answer is “not right now”, though I’d expect that to change in the future. Given the Prime frame currently sells for £999, that should give you a pretty good indication as to what the Shug frame could sell for on its own.

Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
The mainframe is made with Reynolds 853 steel tubing.
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
CNC machined alloy clamps keep the cable routing clean and tidy.
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
The rear brake and derailleur cabling runs underneath the top tube.

The frame itself is manufactured and painted in Scotland by Shand Cycles. In case you hadn’t heard, Shand & Trillion merged late last year, with Russ & Matt staying on as the lead designers for Trillion while Shand is taking care of frame fabrication. It’s a combination that seems to be working, with both brands finding their groove after a bumpy ride over the past 12 months or so.

Trillion shug steel hardtail
Trillion has had a bumpy ride the past 12 months, but having merged with Shand Cycles, things are starting to settle into place.
Trillion shug steel hardtail dropout shimano xt
The thru-axle dropouts are absolutely gorgeous.
Trillion shug steel hardtail dropout shimano xt bottom bracket
Threaded bottom bracket shell of course. No ISCG 05 chainguide tabs though.

The Shug also looks like it’ll be a more accessible bike compared to the Prime, which is a pretty niche-y bike with its heavy duty frame and huge 160mm travel fork. In comparison, the Shug is pitched as a more balanced all-round trail bike designed for trail centre cruising through to technical trail riding on rugged, natural singletrack. The big-tyre compatibility should give it a little more comfort and traction, while the long front centre is designed to give the bike a broad stance on the trail.

Trillion Shug frame geometry.
Trillion shug steel hardtail cane creek helm
Whereas the Prime is a hardcore hardtail, the Shug is a more all-purpose mountain bike with a shorter travel fork and big-tyre capability.

What do you guys think of the new Shug from Trillion? Do you think they’re onto a winner with that design? And would you like to see us test one?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below!

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