Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate something special, the 30th anniversary of Paul Component Engineering. Paul is a close friend, and when asked to come down for the weekend, tickets were booked quickly and preparations began in good faith.
NAHBS is here and already on setup day, it’s evident what bike has dominated the show: the 27.5+ hardtail. While this bike isn’t currently built as one, it can be. Thanks to a new project… Sean from Soulcraft, Cameron from Falconer and a machine shop called E13 have developed a yoke that gives ample clearance for a 27.5+ tire, while still accommodating various crank setups. While you can run a frame such as this as a dedicated 27.5+ bike, Sean wanted people to be able to throw their 29r wheels on it as well.
This detail, along with a stealth dropper, curved seat tube, slack n low geometry provide more than enough opportunities for a highly shredable bike.
Oh and those White Industries cranks… More on those later!
The Soulcraft Dirtbomb is an incredibly versatile bike and a worthy tool to tackle an event like Grinduro. It’ll eat up dirt roads, singletrack and pavement alike but most importantly, it’s strong enough to withstand the after party. Which at events like last weekend, tend to go on ’til dawn.
Sean from Soulcraft knows a thing or two about handmade bikes. He learned the trade from legends like Bruce Gordon and Salsa Cycles, so it’s fitting to see his framesets carrying on many of these ideologies, just in an updated, modern form.
Like I said, it’ll take on anything you throw at it and still party ’til dawn.
With all this talk about “adventure” bikes, or “gravel grinders”, all I want to do it move back to old school rigs. Away from talks of hydraulic discs or 1×10 drivetrains and onto cantis, with MTB drivetrains. While it’s easy to overlook brands like Soulcraft in the modern age, they have been killing it for over 10 years with bikes like the Dirtbomb.
Don’t think cantis are a feasible option? Ride more. Learn to control your bike. Focus less on the details of what the industry sells you and more on the experience. This bike will rip apart your trails and potentially win MTB races.
I’m not sure what spawned this post, because honestly, the Dirtbomb has been around for a while. Actually, that’s a lie, I do know what spawned this, but more on that later…