2021 Philly Bike Expo: Relstone Cycles “New Trix” Custom Singlespeed

Jarrod Bunk referred to Guy Stone as a “bike superhero” following his time photographing Guy’s “New Trix” singlespeed mountain bike at the 2021 Philly Bike Expo. A tax accountant by day and framebuilder by night (and afternoon, early morning, lunch brakes, etc), Guy fabricates his own handmade lugs (sometimes handmade bottom brackets as well) and free-brazes frames without the use of a traditional fixture or jig. He also isn’t opposed to eschewing industry trends to achieve the perfect fit for his riders, allowing form to follow function. Below, we take a detailed look at Guy’s personal New Trix singlespeed, along with insights into his design process.

Nearly six years ago, Guy incorporated his life-long passion for cycling, background in machining, and business acumen to begin building mountain bikes as Relstone Cycles in Cincinnati, OH. His trajectory to becoming a builder started with a week-long TIG welding course at BREW Bikes in Boone, NC, which was a 40th birthday gift from his wife. But it was Guy’s appreciation for brazed frames of the 80s that led him to Joseph Bringheli to learn the art of fillet-brazing tubes into hand-mitered steel lugs. While honing his craft, Guy built an average of one frame per month for a few years. Through trial and error, he determined the aspects of fit and feel that were most important and that would come to define his framebuilding style and method.

Early Relstone mountain bikes were simple rigid singlespeeds called “Old Dawgs.” The “New Trix” are Guy’s current mountain bike incarnations, which strive to achieve the utmost in versatility. They can be built up with gears or as singlespeeds, rigid or with front suspension.

The first thing you likely notice about Guy’s personal New Trix frame is its tall stack height and short wheelbase. Guy designed the bike this way, very intentionally, to achieve a specific fit, handling and ride quality. He claims the appearance of a high head tube is essentially an optical illusion and, when paired with a similarly sized modern bike, the saddle and bars will be in exactly the same position. The difference is that Guy’s stem is slammed using a Cane Creek SlamSet, which enables the flat handlebar to be positioned exactly where it needs to be without the use of spacers or a riser bar. Additionally, the axle-crown height on the 100 mm travel, 27.5″ wheel-specific, Rock Shox SID is shorter than comparable, longer travel, forks or those designed to fit a 29″ wheel.

The stainless sliding dropouts from Paragon Machine Works, paired with Zipp Moto wheelset, make quick work of geared-to-singlespeed conversion. Without the use of special tools, Guy can swap out the standard driver with singlespeed cog for a XD driver with 12-speed cassette and derailleur in under five minutes. Using the SRAM XX1 AXS derailleur with the two-bolt hangar for the Paragon dropouts, Guy ensures the shifting is dialed with each swap.

Tubing selection and placement for the New Trix is integral to achieving a strong yet responsive ride quality. Visually, this comes across in the downtube’s shallow intersection with the headtube, while also being spaced further apart from the toptube, than is typically seen on similarly-sized mountain bikes. Smaller diameter main tubes and seatstays contribute to a snappy and smooth ride quality. Carefully selected butt lengths, Reynolds 853 DZB down tube and heavy duty chainstays contribute strength and stability. These tubes are low temp silver brazed into handmade 4130 steel bronze brazed lugs.

Guy also fabricated the suspension-corrected rigid fork accompanying the New Trix at PBE. Its elegant construction consists of a handmade lugged segmented crown and is corrected to the approximate level of sag that Guy’s suspension fork would have. And, like the bike’s ease of conversion from geared to singlespeed, the rigid fork can be simply swapped with the suspension fork and the conversion can be accomplished in less than five minutes. The hose guide on the rigid fork even emulates that of the suspension alternative. Paint and color-matching was done by Dark Matter Finishing.

Not one to sit still, Guy is always looking toward future projects. He’s currently collaborating with the VA in Chillicothe to design custom adaptive frames for riders associated with their bike share program. We’ve enjoyed following along with the progress of  Project VA on Guy’s Instagram and look forward to seeing where this project and his general passion for building frames takes him.