When South African, World Cup champion Burry Stander suffered a tragic death on a training ride in 2013, Specialized lost not only one of their riders, but one of their family members. To honor his death, they released an S-Works Epic 29r under their Specialized Projects line.
Based on their FACT World Cup geometry, this flashy frame is covered in a sparkly orange paint, adorned with African art and features a graphic inspired by the South African flag and Stander’s unique personality. The resulting product makes for an orange blur that glows in the late-afternoon sun (and is rather hard to photograph).
As far as tech is concerned, this S-Works Epic frame features a FOX/Specialized remote Mini-Brain with AUTOSAG, pushing 95mm of travel and a Rock Shox Sid Brain. Built with Sram XO1 and rolling on Roval Control SL 29 with Maxxis Ardent gumwalls set up tubeless, this thing is ready for blast off.
While I’m sure it’d take a while to truly grasp what this frame represents, Jonathan has taken quite a liking to it. All I can say is damn, look at those chain stays!
Phil runs the finishing department at Indy Fab, where recently, he was able to design, build and design the paint for his newest bike. This steel Deluxe MTB, built around a Paragon Machine Works chainstay yoke. This allows builders to have clearance for a 3″ 29er tire, along with ensuring chainrings and cranks will fit the stays, using a 68mm wide bottom bracket shell.
This Deluxe is rolling on Industry Nine hubs, Stans Hugo rims with the new Bontrager Chucacabra tires. Drivetrain is Sram X01 1×11 groupset with gripshifts and the bike is very stoppy thanks to the Avid BB7s mechanical disc brakes. Those 3″ tires fit just fine in the Bontrager carbon 29r fork, and Phil painted the Bontrager seatpost to match, along with the stem.
The color is PPG’s liquid crystal Candy Apple Red, with black on white decals. See more below!
The history of the Humu within the Kona lineup dates back to 1992, mountain bikes were a lot different back then, which might explain its early design. Double top tube, moto-inspired handlebars and the body language of a beach cruiser, moreso than a MTB.
These days, simpler can still be better and just as fun, which is why the modern Humu comes with Kona’s original P2 fork, but gets modern upgrades like sliding dropouts, disc brakes and 29 inch wheels. Now let’s see some footage of it shredding dirt!
Check it out at Kona.
It’s hard sometimes to visualize a bike’s potential from just a frame photo, which is probably why Thomas built up one of those 29’r framesets as a complete for a photo shoot. I still think this is one of the nicer 29’r production frames I’ve seen on the market and at that price, who can complain? Lovely. See more at the Horse Cycles Flickr and pricing at Horse Cycles.
I’ve ridden my share of 29’rs and up until recently, I was sold that the Tallboy and Tallboy LTC had the market cornered as far as geometry is concerned. Now, let me say that I’m an enthusiastic reviewer and that can be a double edged sword at times. I’d also note that I don’t particularly like doing reviews, not because they’re not fun, but I couldn’t really care for technical adverbage.
That said, I can tell naunces in geometry and component groups quite well and when something’s good, it’s good. Also, believe me, when it’s bad, it’s bad.
Luckily for me – yay new review bike – I’ve been in absolute love with the new S-Works Stumpjumper FSR EVO 29 – which has been replaced by the standard FSR 29 – and who wouldn’t be? This is a 29’r fans dream bike. Once you strip away the plush, crispness of XX1, the tunability and stability of the Rock Shox PIKE and the Fox Float rear shock, you’re left with one crucial element: geometry…
I wish more of my weeks ended like this… and yes, I have to shoot that bike. I’ve just been waiting for the right time.
Tools of the trade:
Leica M7 / Zeiss 28mm
A reader sent me this just now, scoffing at it and all I could think when I saw it was “holy shit, that looks fun!” Call it a monster cross, or a dirt drop 29’r, bikepacking rig, or whatever… yes, beach racer. This bike looks like a marketing hit gone awry, turned legit trail ripper. Also, I love the bars. All it needs are some 2.5″ gumwall Ardents.
Has anyone seen one in person? See more at Koga.
Thanks for sharing, Sam!
The history of Chumba is one with a somewhat rocky past but it appears the brand has finally hit smooth trails with its recent rebranding and relaunch. When a couple of guys from Austin, Texas took over, they had one thing on their minds: steel. That and making mountain bikes in Texas, designed to thrash our local trails and still perform in the mountains of Colorado.
Earlier this year, we looked at their 29+ Ursa model and yesterday, I met the Chumba team out at Pace Bend Park, a 45 minute drive from Austin, to shred their new made in Texas Stella 29’r hard tail.
Turner’s CZAR XC Lightweight Race 29r MTB
Words by Sean Talkington, photos by John Watson
I spent the last few weeks getting to know the Turner Czar and rode it just about everyday while in Austin post-Interbike. John had invited me to fly out on his private jet – the Jetavist. Our plan was just to chill and launch water balloons at Lance Armstrong’s house from his adjacent mansion (they’re neighbors you know). This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, but when we tried to pay the pilot with “internet dollars” he declined, so we were forced to drive out in an old pickup truck instead.
David Turner has been building legit metal bikes in the USA for 20 years now. He and his wife both ride/race regularly. The fact that he has been both building and riding for so long and is actually conducting R&D on his own products is apparent in the ride quality. If you talk to anyone that owns a Turner, they will tell you how great the ride is. Now he is offering carbon models like the Czar to keep pace with the current trend of making featherweight xc bikes.
This bike was perfect for Austin, TX. The place is basically one giant rock! You don’t really “feel” the rear suspension until you need it, which is nice. That paired with the fact that this bike weighs in at less then most hardtails and has two bottle cage mounts (why are people still making xc bikes w/ one cage mount!!!) makes it a perfect bike for long days and mixed terrain combined. It goes over rough sections effortlessly, yet climbs with ease… especially in the chunky stuff.
I’m no rocket ship down the super steep technical stuff, so it was easy to become a fan of the slacker head tube that this bike offers. The 69.8 degree angle makes steep downhill sections feel noticeably more comfortable than a bike with a more aggressive set up. The Turner sizing on this model is also shorter then most other brands. The Czar I was riding was listed as a medium, but felt more like a small/medium (smedium).
This made the bike feel more maneuverable and agile for quick or technical punchy climbs and switchbacks, but I did have to ride a 100mm stem. The demo I road had some skinny pizza cutter Schwalbe tires that would be better suited for a cross bike, but if you swapped those out for something a bit meatier and maybe even throw in a dropper post I think you could ride this bike just about anywhere.
For more information, including purchasing, build options and just plain browsing, head over to Turner Bikes.
*Photographer’s note: We haven’t had much sun at “golden hour” in Austin and it was raining when we shot these photos. That said, the photos don’t do this bike’s finish justice. It really looks great in the sun!
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The story goes: guy orders Ti MTB frame from Firefly, then has his kids Linus and Kayla design the paint for it. Circle A then finishes it off. Pretty rad huh? Check out a few more photos below and the full set at the Firefly Flickr!