After all the excitement of testing our new full susser The Hex in Ireland, we almost forgot about it’s little rigid brother The Brigante.
The Brigante is a long travel hard tail built to take on anything and designed around 140 to 160mm forks. As the sun was out in force today we decided to do a bit of XC trail ragging so we built up a Brigante Lite with some X-Fusion velvet forks 140mm and as the X-Fusion has a lower axle to crown we threw on an Cane Creek angleset on as well to slacken the head angle back to around 67.5 degrees.
Lightweight Kingdom Celstre carbon wheelset, XX1 and some of our favourite e-Thirteen pedals and we had a 26.5lb (12kg) trail killer on the loose, for a great afternoon in the sun.
My wish for 2013 is for Schwalbe to make Hans Dampf tyres better at shedding mud.
The snow has finally melted just in time to test the first new Kingdom bike of 2013 and she’s a beauty. The Hex AM. All Mountain. All Titanium.
This film is a rough edit shot on location around the woods of Copenhagen last month. It covers the first few test rides on some out of the way trails and a little test track we made ourselves designed to put Kingdom Bikes through their paces.
A full write up will be coming soon, in the meantime here’s 1.22 seconds of The Hex AM.
But for now here’s a bit more background on The Hex AM.
Spring is in the air, well it feels like it is anyway. It certainly was a good day to ride in the sun and think about bikes.
I did so much thinking about bikes today that I had what can only be described as an epiphany. Possibly due to being on the fastest and definitely one of the lightest bikes I’ve ever ridden, but probably more to do with Spring being in the air.
Being an ‘old un’ I started racing way back, 1989 to be precise. In those days fully rigid was not a quirky label applied to riders who shun suspension, it was MTB’s or All Terrain Bikes (as they were also called briefly).
I raced XC in the UK for about 6 years, 5 of those on various fully rigid bikes, until things started to get a bit more serious and I picked up a sponsored ride with Specialized who through in some front suspension. That’s when it all went wrong after a year of being almost a pro rider, I dropped out of racing completely and vowed, never to race or wear lycra again.
What’s all this got to do with my 13th March ride?
Well fast forward to 2012 and there I was riding through the woods, 20 years on riding a fully rigid bike on XC trails and absolutely loving it. Marveling at the speed and acceleration of rigid forks, enjoying the feeling of being rattled down rooty trails…a flashback but without the bright spandex leggings…
What a funny thing life really is. I guess there’s no difference between the emotion of riding a bike in 1992 or 2012, except the technology; carbon forks, frame and cranks, gears that work, tubeless wheels and clipless pedals. All weighing in at 20lbs.
It looks like I’ve gone full circle, maybe I’ll start doing some XC races again…except this time it will be on a Double9.
Tomorrow’s the start of our Brigante on tour in the UK. 10 riders will have the bike on loan for extended test ride of this 29er titanium beauty.
In return for loaning out our new baby, we’ll be gathering feedback and reviews on The Brigante from all the test riders which we’ll upload verbatim on our blog throughout the next few months. Verbatim is a word we like at Kingdom Bike so expect all the details you’ll ever need to know about The Brigante, the good, the bad and even the ugly
As an Apéritif to the main tour, Danny Sørensen, you may remember him from winning The Swedish 4 Cross series on a Kingdom Vendetta last year, took The Brigante and his full face lid out yesterday and gave it a damn good thrashing in the woods.
…BUT if we did they’d look something like this, The Chumba HX1.
We’re always being asked ‘when we will start making frames like The Vendetta and The Foia in alloy or steel.’ It’s not that we haven’t wanted to or even tried to, but finding a factory that can deliver quality in low numbers is very hard indeed. We know we’ve tried.
After spending most of 2011 on a 29er the idea of a 26″ alloy Foia/Brigante hybrid had been brewing again in my mind, so whilst on a recent internet intel gathering mission, I stumbled upon a little gem, the HX1 from Chumba.
The HX1 instantly stopped my mouse fingers clicking; the lines of the frame, the flow everything looked just right. Digging deeper into the specifications and geometry I realised this is almost exactly how a alloy Kingdom Bike long travel hardtail would look.
Cue sound of penny dropping. I suddenly realised ‘Why bother making an alloy frame when there’s already a damn good one out there that I want to ride.’
So, I contacted Simon from Progressive bikes in the UK and found that not only did he have HX1′s in stock, but this frame is currently retailing for a ridiculously low price of £299.
So there it is, not only do we not make alloy frames, but we won’t be making any long travel alloy hardtail frames in the future, at least not while we can hoon about on the rather excellent Chumba HX1.We salute you Chumba…
Anyone interested in getting their hands on a long-travel hardtail and titanium is out of your price range, then I would recommend taking a look at Chumba’s HX1 and get your mouse finger over to the Progressive Bikes website asap.
2012 will be the year of demo rides for Kingdom Bikes, starting with The Double9 Titanium.
The Double9 will be in the UK and Ireland on tour from the start of March and is availble for anyone who fancies riding her.
It’ll be fully rigid, with Kingdom Ti forks and a 2×10 xo groupset.
To book a demo slot this year email us with the dates you would like to have the bike, and if it’s available we’ll let you know and then you just need to send us proof identity/address and then we’ll arrange for the bike to be dropped off to you.
You can do whatever you want on the bike during the loan even use it for racing if you like, the only caveat is that we require a write up about how the bike rides and maybe some of the experiences you had. If you feel really keen you can takes some pictures and even a movie. It’s up to you. Oh and return the bike clean and not trashed.
To request a test on The Double9 email here and we’ll see if we can arrange a date.