This month was an exciting time for us, as we finally got the chance to put tyres to dirt aboard our Great British Hardtail. Our summer 2019 issue (MBUK 370, on sale now) tells the story of how we got on when we packed our steel-framed steed into the van and headed for the Steel City of Sheffield, for a proper shakedown on some proper 'ard northern trails. Did it ride as we'd hoped it would? Grab a copy of the mag to find out!


Below is a short resume of the what it's taken to get to this point – from the design of the frame to the measuring, cutting, brazing and painting that went into making it and finally building it up into a fully rideable bike...


Reach: 450mm

Chainstay: 415mm

Wheelbase: 1,159mm

Seat angle: 76 degrees

Head angle: 64 degrees

Seat tube: 440mm

Top tube (effective): 608mm

Head tube: 120mm

Bottom bracket drop: 56mm

Spec deck

Frame: Reynolds 853 front triangle, Columbus rear stays

Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3, 130mm travel

Seatpost: Ultimate USE Helix dropper, 165mm travel

Brakes: Hope Tech 3 E4, 180mm rotors

Chainset: Hope, 170mm crank arms, 32t chainring

Bottom bracket: Rideworks T47 30mm

Drivetrain: Shimano Deore XT 11-speed, 11-46t

Wheels: Rideworks hubs on Hunt Enduro Wide MTB rims, Sapim Race spokes and alloy nipples. Built in Bristol by Ryan Builds Wheels

Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHF EXO TR 3C Maxx Terra 27.5x2.5in (f), Maxxis Minion DHR II EXO TR 3C Maxx Terra 27.5x2.5in (r)

Bar: Renthal Fatbar Carbon, 30mm rise, 780mm wide

Stem: Renthal Apex, 40mm

Grips: Renthal Lock-On, UltraTacky

Headset: Superstar (UK made)

Saddle: Fabric Scoop Race Shallow

And there it is! Our Great British Hardtail on the cover of our Summer issue. Pick up a copy to read all about what happened when we finally swung a leg over the bike.
And here it is! Our Great British Hardtail on the cover of our summer issue. Pick up a copy to read all about what happened when we finally swung a leg over the bike.

If this has inspired you to have a go yourself at making your own fully-custom, one-off bike, then why not do what we did and book yourself on to one of The Bicycle Academy's courses. These Somerset-based frame builders are at the top of their game when it comes to teaching and they offer a range of courses. Click here for more info.



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Ed ThomsettContributor

Former Mountain Biking UK features editor Ed Thomsett is a downhiller at heart but has been riding bikes of all types since a young age. He's raced both nationally and internationally in downhill and enduro, and has spent several summers living in the Alps and Canada, riding, roadtripping and living the dirtbag lifestyle. Now Ed calls upon his years of experience riding bikes to the limit as a writer and reviewer for MBUK and BikeRadar. He's also an avid trail builder and has scraped out numerous steep and technical lines in the woodlands of his native North Yorkshire. These days Ed will happily turn his hand to any discipline and believes the sign of a good week is when every bike in his shed ends up muddy by the end of it.