Sycip Designs, Shimano and ENVE Created Trans Cascadia Trail Work Rigs

Trail work is tough and that is a massive understatement. For the crew that runs Trans Cascadia each year, it means loading up chainsaws, fuel, and other tools, usually on their back, as they pedal into the great unknown that is the wild Oregon backcountry. Usually, the singletrack is overgrown, with felled trees, and other obstacles the crew needs to clear. In years past, the team has utilized motos when possible, but they can be large and cumbersome, so this year, the team at Trans Cascadia worked with Jeremy at Sycip Designs to make something extra special, just in time for Sea Otter…


Shimano and Trans Cascadia trail team assembling the bikes

I’ve been hanging out at Sycip Designs’ HQ in Santa Rosa this week, and it’s been a wild experience with many last-minute projects landing quite literally on Jeremy’s lap, including three frames waiting to be built up with Shimano’s Steps platform. Typically, we see this e-motor on city or town bikes, but with the new MTB specific motor, bigger bikes can have a bit more power. Perfect for a trail tool-hauling rig. The design problem on Jeremy’s side was an interesting one for a builder to tackle. Think of part-bikepacking, part-trail shredder, all in one, and with a much heavier, unique load.

Jeremy had to design a few racks to carry a Stihl 193 arborist saw, aboard a Trail Tech holster, a few MSR fuel bottles, a spare battery bracket, and a handle, to aid in portaging these stout builds. On top of the rear rack, Jeremy also fabricated a handlebar rack, to carry extra fuel bottles. All this fuel cargo capacity frees up the team’s backpacks for water and riding essentials while leaving the bulk of the heavy, cumbersome load on the bike, powered by Shimano’s e-power assist in three modes; eco, trail, and boost. For those more intense jobs, the crew will have trailers to carry 48″ saws and other supplies.

As you might imagine, riding a bike like this on rugged terrain might lead to a few pinch flats, so the team at Trans Cascadia reached out to ENVE to supply their M Series rims, with advanced anti-pinch flat technologies.

I am well aware e-bikes are hot-button topics, and rightfully so, but in the end, these bikes are designed and built to clear trails, allowing the trail builders to save their energy for where the real work awaits; unknown and forgotten singletrack. See these bikes in person at Sea Otter this weekend!

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Follow Sycip Designs on Instagram and Trans Cascadia on Instagram.

  • auton0my

    That is a really cool idea. Yeah, e-bikes make cyclists immediately go “wharrgharbl!” but these are WORK RIGS! To me they fall into the same niche category as cargo bikes (Yuba, Xtracycles, etc. – including with e-assist), Bakfiets bikes with baskets, ‘kid-carrier’ stroller bikes (Taga). These look to be the equivalent of a F-150.

    • Yep. My feeling is, they could be on motos, but are choosing to be on bicycles.

    • Jason Ferrier

      I would rather see this out on the trails than have to breathe in 2-stroke exhaust.

      • That’s the biggest thing, IMO. And the noise. I hate riding shared trails on the weekend with motos. So loud and so smelly.

        • Chris Valente

          I see this, but there is a flip side to sharing trails. Sierra Trails Stewardship in Downieville get much of their funding through OHV grants because the trails they are servicing are multi use and allow motos. They wouldn’t be able to do that if they were bike/hike only. So while not ideal, there are benefits to trail sharing with motos in certain areas.

      • boomforeal

        totally. not an issue in some places with legal trails but on many of my favourite locales motos have “just as much right” to “access” (read: rip up) the trails as anyone else. the impact that e-bikes running multiple laps would have absolutely pales in comparison

      • Brian Simon

        What they’re missing is an electric saw…

  • boomforeal

    the how of these bikes – the design and engineering – is really neat. but i find the why a bit troubling. kona did something like this last year: an e-bike built specifically for trail builders. while i think that’s a worthy niche to serve, and a very practical tool for those folks, i can’t help wondering whether/how much such high-profile projects are motivated by a cynical effort to loam-wash electric assist mountain bike in order to create a straw man rebuttal to the objections they raise, which relate to far more likely use scenarios

  • Jason Ferrier

    “the team at Trans Cascadia reached out to ENVE and Chris King to supply their M Series wheels” – don’t I see XTR hubs? How is Chris King involved in the M Series wheels with Shimano hubs and ENVE rims?

  • KevinDurantSignatureSlushee

    Personally, I think this is one of the few instances when E-Bikes make sense.

  • Mashira

    That is wonderful! Bash guard for motor? That’s a clever detail.

  • chrismoustache

    stihl on steel.

  • Alex Boyd

    All that stuff strapped to that bike and not a Voile strap to be seen! Incredible.

    • Ha! We strapped the chaps to the rack with a Voile strap and decided it was too busy for the photos.

  • benreed

    A big fat “F” on the hotdog test though.

    • with e-bikes its the bologna test. can a slice of bologna fit in the gap between the battery and the downtube? looks like it here. F.

  • Superpilot

    Monster truck!

    • How’s the battery life on those? These guys are usually out all day long.

      • Ridiculously good. I’ve got the 7.5mah and it will cut till the cows come home. Immediate start up, quiet and as capable as the Stihl.

  • DODGERDISCIPLE

    Mr. Jeremy SyCip is da man! One thing’s for sure…he is such an innovator. His creativity in the frame building community is a powerful force. Plus, he such a good dude! My favorite builder. Always has been, always will be. #santarosamade

  • El Mundi

    If you like this trail bike you might want to check out the one built by Portus Cycles: https://www.instagram.com/p/BhzNmfXhl55/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/Bh4JIlbBIaq/

    • Jagermeister and chainsaws. What can go wrong? ;-)

  • Dexter

    Decent use of E-Bike technology!

  • Dan dB

    Needs a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket. Remote use of petrol powered machines can be dangerous for both operator and the surrounding environment.

    • Yeah, these guys are trained by the Forest Service and have a second trailer with all the emergency equipment in it.

  • STW

    You can take the battery off and rip it down the trail when you’re done doing work!