The latest Merida One-Twenty boosts the travel to 130mm and uses P-FLEX suspension system for simple…
Pipedream Cycles The Full Moxie is a 4130 CroMo, single pivot, full suspension bike that can be run as a 29er, 650b or mullet.
This review first appeared in Singletrack World Magazine issue 133
- Bike: Pipedream Cycles The Full Moxie
- Tested by: Amanda for Singletrack Issue 133
- Price: £1,449 frame only
- From: Pipedream Cycles
Pipedream Cycles fans have been waiting a long time for a full suspension offering from the British frame maker, but it’s not something they wanted to rush. Priding itself on being a steel and titanium brand, if it couldn’t be built from steel then it wasn’t going to be built. The Full Moxie is all steel, and such a landmark in the brand’s history it earns a ‘The’ in its name.
Speaking with Alan Finlay, the mastermind behind Pipedream Cycles, he explained that the tubeset developed for the Moxie hardtail back in 2016/17 was the turning point for working on a steel full suspension. Having achieved the long, low, slack, long travel hardtail with no gussets or reinforcements, they now had a tubeset capable of taking on the stress and strength requirements of full suspension. In order to have a complete steel frame with no alloy rear triangles in sight, 150mm rear travel was determined as the limit for a trail-friendly, all-mountain bike. Any more than this and it would need to be strengthened, adding stiffness and weight.
For us here in the UK, a tidy single pivot design with plenty of clearance is extremely practical. The clean lines, neat welds and fantastic colour choices will draw your eye to look closer to find small details that make this bike stand out. The X-brace is a very satisfying piece of CNC machining, the cable routing is far from an afterthought.
TFM (The Full Moxie) is billed as a playful all-rounder trail bike, and the name itself commands it to be energetic, aggressive and confidence inspiring. That’s a big name to live up to!
The Full Moxie is a 4130 CroMo, single pivot, full suspension bike that can be run as a 29er, 650b or mullet. The frame travel is 140mm and fork optimised for 140-160mm travel.
The straight seat tube allows you to fit a long dropper post and as the two frame options (Long and Longer) accommodate 5ft 5in to 6ft 3in riders, this will please the tall customer base. This does undermine the progression with the use of the yoke, or X-brace, around the seat tube, resulting in a fairly linear shock layout.
When ordering a TFM you can go frame only, frame and shock or full build. Suspension choices are limited to DVO Diamond forks coupled with a DVO Topaz T3 or Jade X as the coil option. I’m running a Topaz T3, which given the single pivot design seems the better option for adding some progression to the system, as a coil would likely increase the linear character of the bike.
The build I have isn’t actually available to order, it was a case of ‘this is what’s available’ from the bike shop, but that is mostly regarding the finishing kit.
So, my custom build comes with Shimano Deore XT shifting and braking. Starting with the positives, this 10-51T set-up is a treat for a big day out. I’ve found myself surprised to have a couple of gears left on climbs when I just start to notice some leg burn.
The brakes are all or nothing, which for me has been a real struggle to get used to. I like modulation. I’d rather knock a little bit of speed off and control my pace throughout a descent as opposed to feeling like I’ve had a stick thrown in my spokes – but brakes are a personal preference and easy to swap out. I do wonder if the XTs may have been chosen due to the speeds this bike can take you. There is certainly some safety in knowing you can stop with urgency when needed.
My build features a OneUp 180mm dropper post, which is excellent. I haven’t used one before but I highly recommend this option based on my experience with it. It’s cable actuated for easy installation and maintenance, and has a short overall length given the 180mm drop. It just works, every time, and feels super smooth with not much resistance.
The wheelset is 29er Chromag Phase 30 rims with DT Swiss hubs. Tyre choice is not one I would make given the option: Minion DHF front and DHR rear. The front tyre is quite uninspiring and doesn’t sit well in these rims… it bulges out and makes ruts extremely difficult to claw out of.
Finishing kit consists of OneUp Carbon bars, Ergon grips and saddle, Hope headset, top cap, spacers and seat clamp. All of the brands.
It took me quite some time to get familiar with the DVO suspension; my main hurdle being that I got my weight wrong for the base tune. Having slimmed off the extra 20kg I had assumed I gained during lockdown, the recommended settings from the DVO tuning guide were spot on for getting me rolling. It’s not a platform I have any experience with, and it seems that the more time you’re willing to spend really fine-tuning the suspension, the more this bike makes sense. Initially, I complained of the bike feeling dead, and I was really disappointed that what I had hoped would be a spritely, playful ride was rather muted. Having read up on the DVO Topaz shock I found that the piggyback pressure is there mostly to counteract pedal bob and, therefore, doesn’t needs tweaking once you have it right for your weight. The main body pressure is also based on weight, and when I had achieved a recommended sag of 20–25% I was left with two areas to address – the rebound, and the rider.
Running with 12 clicks out of a possible 20 of rebound I’ve managed to get a bit of bounce without buckarooing. However, I’ve found that once TFM gets up to high speeds it really comes to life. Skipping down fast flow trails, finding air on the smallest of bumps in the trail yet keeping you pinned when you need it. I don’t find it to be so playful at low speeds, but I’m not exactly an aggressive rider and I lack upper body strength. This also seems to be a characteristic of longer travel 29ers, in my experience. It matches the input from the rider, so a more experienced rider who can muscle a bike around would no doubt have a great time on TFM. It’s stable, predictable and doesn’t have me doubting if I’m going to lose traction or feel under-biked.
I’ve found myself boosting out of berms when I’m generally not great at cornering. Not only that, but a skill I have never possessed seems to have been handed to me with little to no progression towards it – linking steep switchbacks. Tight sections of trail that can often feel clumsy on a long 29er have been my happy place on this bike. TFM is so responsive to body position that I’m generally getting through trails a lot more fluidly than normal. Manoeuvring it through technical sections can have me feeling like a pro, snaking my hips to match the trail and the bike coming along with me.
Another point worth mentioning is how great TFM climbs. The 10-51T gearing gives me a great range for spinning my legs on longer climbs, and the big wheels paired with the 1250mm wheelbase eat up technical sections of a climb effortlessly. I haven’t been striking rocks thanks to the BB being a sensible height, and the control I have on this bike along with the generous 180mm dropper post has made climbing a breeze.
A month ago I would have said this is too much bike for me, but the confidence it gives and the improvement to my bike handling is putting me on steeper, faster trails that I have yet to find my limit on. It’s a lively, speedy little thing that has given me a skill upgrade and shown me what it’s like to ride a bike that feels like an extension of your body.
It cuts into steep loamy trails and fills me with confidence on loose sections I’d often find myself dragging the brakes down. The 64° head angle has me supported on steep trails while being suitable for long days out in the saddle. I’d be interested to try The Full Moxie with a more familiar suspension platform, and with my trusty SRAM brakes to make minor speed adjustments on a bike that has me feeling like I have a constant tailwind.
Pipedream Cycles The Full Moxie Specification
Frame // Custom-butted, heat-treated 4130 CroMo
Fork // DVO Diamond D1 160mm
Shock // DVO Topaz T3
Hubs // DT Swiss 350
Rims // Chromag Phase 30
Tyres // Maxxis Minion DHR 2.4in WT / DHF 2.6in
Chainset // Shimano Deore XT
Rear Mech // Shimano Deore XT
Shifters // Shimano Deore XT
Cassette // Shimano Deore XT Microspline 10-51T
Brakes // Shimano Deore XT 4-piston, 180mm rotors
Stem // OneUp 40mm
Bars // OneUp Carbon 760mm
Grips // Ergon GA2
Seatpost // OneUp 180mm
Saddle // Ergon
Size Tested // Long
Sizes Available // Long, Longer
Weight // 16.5kg / 36.4lb
This review first appeared in Singletrack World Magazine issue 133
|Product:||The Full Moxie|
|Price:||£1,449 frame only|
|Tested:||by Amanda for Singletrack World Magazine Issue 133|
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