Last August I went on a week away in the highlands of Scotland with Go-where Scotland. In the emails back and forth leading up to the trip, Andy (Go-where's main man) jokingly mentioned that I should have a chat to Huw (our guide for the week) as he's a connoisseur of the bike and also partial to some pretty amazing adventures on two wheels, Andy reckoned if I played it right I might get a sale!
Well that's pretty much what happened, turned out that Huw's girlfriend, Annie is as mad for all things cycling as he is and she has a soft spot for a nice custom steel frame (she's a class lady!). Huw and Annie's outlook on mountain biking is a good one, they're more concerned about fun, durability and practicality than fancy bling.... With that in mind, one afternoon with bikes on our backs halfway up a heather covered highland mountainside, I offered Huw an option . How about I make a couple of TIG welded bikepacking frames at a reduced price in order for me to hone my developing TIG skills.... Well he obviously took the offer seriously and after a few months the email came through, and we started planning the frames. This is what we ended up with
B+/ 29er compatible
2.4" 29er tyre clearance, 3.0" B+ tyre clearance
100mm suspension fork or rigid fork
148 boost rear axle and crankset
30.9 seat tube
44mm head tube
Lots of bosses for bottle cages in various places
Powdercoat finish (Huw's RAL5021, Annies RAL4010)
68.5 degree head angle
74 degree seat angle
60mm bb drop
We had an ambitious plan to have the bikes done for the Strathpuffer in Jan (in which Annie finished 1st and Huw finished 2nd in their respective solo categories!), sadly some issues with powdercoating prevented this from happening. Various other holds up's have meant that the bikes have only just been built up and ridden. They look amazing and the timing is perfect for some Scottish summer adventures... Hopefully we'll be seeing plenty of photos with them in some wild surroundings.
Check out Huw's antics on Instagram @topofests
Annie has some truly stunning images on her Instagram feed @a_girl_outside