The UK hardtail has a proud place in the UK MTB scene. It differs to the Europe hardtail. It is an all-rounder, a reliable rigid winter bike and a long travel trail centre bike. With the UK weather conditions spelling mud at any time, riders often run 2 bikes, one of them being the trusty hardtail.
When I set out to design a UK frame I wanted the following:
A UK hardtail frame that could be run the following:
Something that could be built up for riding at a UK trail centres or built up for a bike packing adventure.
For this it would need to fit both 27.5+ and 29x2.3" tyre options and run either rigid or long travel suspension forks.
Can I run both a derailleur or a gearbox? Yes.
The derailleur drivetrain was invented in 1928 and works perfectly fine for road bikes where precision shifting is not impaired by mud sand and more mud.
A lot of design and engineering has gone into improving the rear derailleur, but this system is still exposed to the elements and mud. The derailleur has become the mechanical Achilles heel when long distances and trail conditions turn bad.
Until the people start rejecting the derailleur, all bikes will need a hanger option.
I wanted something reliable for longer distances.
Singlespeed or belt-drive but with some gears. I have used the Rohloff speedhub before, but I wanted any extra weight to be more central for trail centre riding.
The Pinion gearbox seemed to be the obvious solution waiting to happen.
Until gearboxes become ridden and accepted by all riders, all bikes will need to fit both derailleur and a gearbox.
This gives the owner the insurance policy that a derailleur can be used.