New Bike: meet Slaypnir

In the last few years, we’ve seen a new type of steed surface in the mountain bike world. There are a few names for these new machines, but the simplest one seems to be the Hardcore Hardtail. These bikes are changing a lot of what we originally thought of when we think; hardtail mountain bike. They’re categorized by several things: Long travel forks, long front centers, usage of long dropper posts, and most recently; steep seat tubes.

I’ve done several builds for folks recently that reflect many of these features. I love building these kinds of bikes, partially because they appeal to a completely different client than my other bikes. There are no features intended to work for bikepacking, These are bikes for riding steep singletrack, and rip while doing it. I’ve wanted to introduce a semi-custom model like this for a long time, and finally, here it is.

Slaypnir 29er hardtail

In Norse mythology, Sleipnir was Odin’s eight-legged steed. We’ve changed up the spelling a little to make it (hopefully) easier to pronounce. This bike is progressive, modern, and LONG. It’s not the most progressive frame out there, and it isn’t trying to be. This is what I think is a nice balance, and where I think many of these types of frames will settle when the pendulum stops swinging.

A couple new things:
-Slaypnir is available down to a size Medium, but I have added a size M/L that is smack dab between a medium and a large. I think this will help dial in the fit for many of my riders, especially since you don’t have a lot of stem length options with this bike. 30 – 35 is about where you want to be.
-Stealth dropper routing is standard. This is the style that is zip tied along the down tube, and enters the seat tube on the non-drive side. This bike is designed for really long droppers, and many of the options for those are stealth routed, so this makes the most sense.

Geometry

You can visit the Slaypnir page for more info on the features of this bike, but I’ll discuss the geometry a little more in depth here.

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The main thing that excites me about this bike is it’s ability to run a 160mm 29er fork. I think running a long travel fork is loads of fun, and if your technique is good, you can stay light enough on the rear wheel to really take advantage of it. The geometry still works well for 140mm travel forks as well, if you’re looking for a lighter/less crazy option.

_MG_3931The front center is long, but not crazy long. It’s long enough that “normal” mountain bike downtubes aren’t long enough, and I have to order special XL DZB 853 tubes from Reynolds to make it happen. Where I draw the line with modern geometry is if you’re trying to make the front center so long that your cockpit is too big to ride it well. The Slaypnir’s size run is made to still fit riders like I think they should, while still having your front wheel quite a bit further out in front of you.

The high bottom bracket is something I always prefer in my bikes, and it seems like people have come to expect that of Myth. I think it’s advantages are self-evident, and the disadvantages are largely handled by dropper posts and long front centers.

Steep seat tubes are also something I’ve always liked on my bikes. It’s great to see much of the industry going that way, because I think it makes so much sense. Here in Colorado, we have long, steep climbs, often at altitude, and the difference you feel when pedaling OVER the bottom bracket instead of behind it is huge. One place where I think this is less ideal is if you’re doing many miles on flat to moderate ground. However, this bike is designed to go up, and go down, and if you’re riding less steep terrain, the Wyvern is an excellent choice.

Slaypnir is available to order right now! Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions, or are interested in placing an order.

Race Report: Sam Vickery’s Whiskey 50

Written by Sam Vickery (@slam_vick)

Spring has sprung and the race season is here! Over the next few months, I will be sharing with you some of my bike related adventures as well as giving my view into some racing that I am doing this season.

It has been a crazy spring both in my personal life and otherwise. Durango had a massive winter this year, making for great skiing but made preparation for the season a challenge. Between the commutes to and from Sedona and Moab, spending some time with one of my friends in Tucson, plus committing to some variety while at home (running and XC skiing) I am feeling amazing on the bike.

_MG_3425Speaking of the Bike, this year Eric set me up on what I would consider the perfect XC race bike. The bike has a long front center, Short stays, a slack head tube and 120mm of travel in the fork yet my position on the bike is low and racey ready to smash. Between the geometry, sliding dropouts for single speed and a build out I could have only dreamed of, it seriously does not get better for me.

Here’s some deets:
Frame: Myth Cycles Ti proto (#TiTrailSlayer)
Fork: Fox Factory 34SC touched up by Diaz Suspension Designs here in Durango.
Drivetrain: Sram XX1 Eagle OR Endless Bike Company SS Cog (usually 36×22)
Cranks: Rotor REX In/Power 36t
Brakes: Sram Level TLM
Wheels: Mismatched Rear-Stans Crest MK3- I seem to be rough on rear wheels especially so aluminum is a great choice for me. Front-Ridefast Racing Hotwire Carbon
Tires: Maxxis IKON 2.35 TR EXO front and rear
Seatpost: Fox Transfer 125mm
Saddle: Fabric Line race ti
Bars: Whiskey No9 flat 760mm wide, random Giant brand grips that I really like.


The first race of the year for me was the infamous Epic Rides Whiskey 50 in Prescott Arizona. One of the hallmark races of the year known for the heinous Skull Valley Climb and great single track, it is an amazing way to kick off a race season. This event was my first XC race back in 2016 and the beginning of reconnecting with all my bike friends from other corners of the US. To me, race weekends feel like vacation and a bike race just happens to be going on at the same time. It was great to catch up with everyone over some beer or food. Just another reason why this sport is the best.

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The first race of the year is always a toss up as far as where your fitness is at compared to others and re-entering the depths of the “pain cave” can be a shock to the system. I headed to the start line on Saturday morning with a couple of goals in mind-Finish the race, take care of myself and ride 100% whatever that may be on that day and of course that bitch Skull Valley was in the back of my mind. From my first pedal stroke of the day I could tell it was going to be a good one. The first 5 minutes of every ride I “check in” with my body, ask myself how I am feeling mentally and physically. Mentally I was motivated, excited and confident. Physically I felt rested, loose, comfortable and my standard pre-race tummy trouble decided to take the day off.

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Whiskey caters well to the single speeds since it starts up hill and gives us 1 gears something to push against to keep up with the rest of the field heading into the single track. Overall position is important in these races as you don’t want to end up losing time behind a big group trying to push your gear up a climb, So the start is always pretty all out to try and stay in the mix. I hit the first section of single track around 10 th overall with 1 other single speed in front of me (Ben Torvik from Boulder, CO). The race is made interesting early on by giving riders a fork with 2 options to get up the first single track climb. I just did what Ben did-the shorter but steeper and more technical option. While I did clean the climb, I would say I burned a match here in order to hang on to a good position. By the time we hit the top, the group I was with knew we had made the right choice and had a gap on the rest of the field.

5657_20190426_145210_152379058_originalThe course then heads downhill for the first big descent, I closed the gap to Ben and was able to make the pass for the single speed lead. We then headed back up a jeep road for about 10-15minutes and at this point it was just 4 of us off the front-3 open category racers and me. The next big section was the anticipated crux of the course, Skull Valley. The way down is a chance to take a deep breath before the 8-mile grunt back up the road. After the turnaround, you can see your time back to other riders coming down. I had a good gap and the legs were feeling great plus the plan was that my crew would greet me at the top with a couple of fresh bottles this kept me motivated to the top. The Open guys rode a good pace for the majority of the climb but with gear I was running, had to grind it out for the second half and ended up leading overall at the top. In my mind I was like “hell yeah my friends are going to be stoked that I’m leading overall at the top” …Not so. Car Traffic from the 30-mile race had stopped them from getting up the road in time to meet me and I was out of water…Sure, I could have stopped and filled up at the aid station on my own time but there was no way. I was leading and feeling good and I was determined to ride it out if I could. Luckily there was a spare water bottle for me later on. Side note-I have been doing a lot of Hot Yoga lately and I think this helped a lot with heat management for the period of time I was completely out of water.

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While I would have loved to throw things on cruise control all the way to the finish line, a little after the ½ way point is where the 50- and 30-mile courses merge and it was total chaos. It took all of my mental capacity to stay collected through the traffic and I did eventually end up getting caught by the open leaders dropping me back to 5 th overall where I would eventually finish. The final true challenge this course throws at you nicknamed “cramp hill” is a short but sharp climb sure to fire up the legs late in the race. There was a lovely group of hecklers appropriately waiting at the top with whiskey shots and bacon. I took the whiskey hand up and my body said, “hell nah” and it immediately came right back out. Hard to live that one down.

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Shortly after, I crossed the finish line in a total time of 3hrs 44min to take the single speed win by 9 minutes and 5th overall. One of my best bike friends and the most real single speed racer on the earth, Dax Massey, turned on the afterburners for 2nd and Ben Torvik in 3rd to round out a Coloradan top 3 sweep. All of us on titanium bikes as well (Myth, Roca Roja and Eriksen).

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I spent the rest of the weekend slinging water bottles for my friends in the pro race and drinking more than a few beers to celebrate. I am stoked with everything right now. I am riding better than ever and just happy as hell to ride my bike. The next event I am headed to is the 12 Hours Of Mesa Verde to take on my first solo 12 hour effort. It is sure to be a doozy.

Sam Vickery is a (the) team racer for Myth Cycles
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Chimera, L, Desert Sand

We are having an epic winter here in Durango, so I was excited to build this Chimera fat bike for my friend Brendan.

The build went great. Any details about geometry can be found at the Chimera page, but the build kit on this bike turned out really awesome. He spent money where it counted, and saved money where he could. The wheels are the awesome DT Swiss Big Rides, saving a ton of weight where you notice it most. Mated up with the Surly Bud and Lou combo, which is incredible in the snow. We went with Race Face Turbine cranks which allowed us to flip the Cinch chainring and run a narrower q-factor crank on a 197mm rear end fat bike; the best of both worlds. Then keeping it simple with Shimano Deore brakes and an 11-speed SRAM GX drivetrain really pulled it all together. Not pictured here are the ENVE carbon bars he got to help keep his hands warmer, but they didn’t come in in time for these pictures.

I was able to get this built up in time for the annual fat bike race in Silverton, the Silverton Whiteout. It’s a great route, and with on-course coffee bar, bee-bee gun range, and bacon station, it’s my favorite race of the year. The unbelievable amount of snow we’re getting this year doesn’t hurt either.

One slight difference with this Chimera over past builds is that it features Fender mounts. I believe I’ll be including this with all future Chimera builds, as it’s an incredibly useful thing to have if there is any amount of water, sand or other fluids getting on your tires.

Custom Rear Rack

Recently a client reached out to me and asked if I build custom racks. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a VERY long time, longer than custom bikes, actually. I built my first rack in Ron Andrews’ shop almost 7 years ago, and built a few more over the years just for fun. Needless to say, I was definitely keen on this project.

This client wanted a rack that was for bikepacking, with some specific design criteria. He wanted the crosspieces of the top platform to be curved down so that a stuff sack would sit in the top and move around less. He also wanted it to fit his bike specifically, and also to have triple bottle boss mounts on the vertical members. I took all his design considerations and this is what I made.

Full Custom Titanium Hardtail

It was bound to happen eventually; I built a titanium frame.

I came into framebuilding with about 6 years of professional welding experience behind me, and this is a fact I’ve always been proud of. Back when I went to trade school, I learned TIG welding with the intention to build bike frames. After getting a job, I sort of forgot about my ambitions to be a framebuilder and began learning the art of metalcraft. During this time, I welded quite a bit of titanium, and so learned the ins and outs of titanium as a material to work with. This gave me a really good basis of knowledge for delving into titanium framebuilding. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a very new project, but I felt prepared for taking on this build.

This frame is a full custom build for my friend Sam. Sam bought a Wyvern from me last year and has been riding the piss out of it, and even won a race on it! This bike is made to measure for his sizing, and we changed up to geometry to handle exactly like he wanted it. It’s got a 67 head angle, 73.5 seat angle, 416 chainstays (effective) and a bit longer reach than his Wyvern. All geo while sagged with his 120 travel Fox 34 Step Cast fork. It’s got Paragon Sliding dropouts, S-bent stays, and a plated chainstay yoke with tire clearance for 2.6, and chainring clearance for a whopping 38t chainring.

Sam is the first Myth Cycles sponsored rider, and I’m really excited to have him ripping around on the first Myth Ti bike. I’m stoked to see what trouble he gets himself into with this thing, and also excited for the possibility of more ti bikes in the future.