Lone Bicycles is a new French mountain bike brand owned and operated by the same people behind HXR, those clever chaps who invented the Easy Shift system.
The Beretta is the first bike designed by Lone Bicycles, and at Eurobike we managed to take a look at the pre-production prototypes ahead of the official launch.
On first inspection, the Beretta looks like a really well sorted big travel bike, but chat to the Lone Bicycles team and you’ll learn that there are a few hidden secrets held within.
First up, the Beretta is designed to accept 27.5in wheels, 27.5+ and 29in wheels, now this is nothing all that new and there already plenty of brands offering the same thing, but Lone Bicycles has a unique way of getting around the geometry changes switching wheels makes.
Whereas some brands chose to offer just a single geometry with no adjustment when swapping wheels, see Whyte and the S-150, and other brands have built in a flip chip to handle the switch, see Scott’s Genius, Lone Bicycles uses a clever eccentric bottom bracket system instead.
Rotating the system to the top position puts the Beretta in its 27.5in wheel mode, rotate it to the lower setting sets it up to accept 29in wheels. Once in the desired setting, a couple of pitch bolts lock everything in place and prevent it moving when out on the trail.
The system relies on the main pivot also rotating around the BB so the suspension doesn’t see any chain growth and we suppose, in theory, you could build the Beretta up as a single speed.
At the back end of the bike are a set of sliding dropouts which again can be adjusted to suit wheelsize. Production versions of the Beretta will come with a chip instead of these BMX style sliders so riders can ensure that both sides line up correctly.
Lone Bicycles has designed the Beretta to be built up with internal cable and hose routing, but this is just one option. If you personally prefer to run your cables on the outside, for ease of maintenance, the option is there too.
Rear suspension travel ranges between 159mm and 163mm, the difference in travel comes down to your choice of running a metric or imperial shock. If you do choose to run an imperial shock, which would be slightly shorter than a metric one, you can use an optional alloy adapter to keep the shock eye-to-eye measurement the same thus having no affect on the geo.
Hub spacing is Boost but HXR, the component side of the company, makes boost adapters so you can still build the Beretta up using your non-Boost wheels if you wanted to.
Lone Bicycles plans to release the Beretta later in the year and hope to offer 2 build options for customers to choose from. Complete specs aren’t 100% confirmed but it sounds like DVO, Magura, Box, Production Privée and HXR components will come as standard. The top of the range version will also come with HXR’s Easy Shift chainset.
Oh, and for those of you wondering where the name Beretta comes from, we’re told that the eccentric BB looks like the barrel of a gun, we’ll let you gun nerds mull that one over.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Lone Bicycles and will bring you more news of the Beretta once it launches.