The problem is, it almost looks like Sick Cycles are just taking the piss.
Silly names, larger-than-life personalities and bonkers bikes would have you think this is all just a lark but don’t be fooled, there’s some serious ambition coming out of their workshop in Kent. The Gnarcissist hardtail is already out in the open and purchasable on Kickstarter (more on that later) but we nipped down to get a sneak peak of their first full-suss – the Gnarpoon.
Jordan Childs, one of the owners, says: “I believe that the combination of a very long, very slack steel bike, with large wheels and a medium/long travel is the new benchmark for a downhill bike. I feel like having a 200mm downhill bike doesn’t work.”
His vision is a a 171-175mm travel, 29+ bike with Geometron-esque numbers and we got an exclusive look at it coming together.
We saw this first mock up the very same day Tim Allen and Jordan (the owners) did and there’s an awful lot to take in. The most obvious feature is the pivot. A simple single-pivot in design but instead of bearings, you’re going to be rocking round on a second bottom bracket.
“Nobody out there is using proprietary bearings” said Jordan, “everything is just repurposed from another use.” His point being – why bother using something more complicated and less readily available than a bottom bracket (especially when a BB can be anodised)? The idea is you can do a full service of this bike with the tools that you already have – strong, simple and, they’re hoping, fast.
It should be said, they’re not quite the first to do this, with Santa Cruz’s Bullitt using a similar system in the late 2000s but home mechanics will certainly welcome its return.
We can’t decide if it has more of a Scrapheap Challenge or Mad Max vibe to it but in this world of ever increasing standards and complications it’s nice to see some real simplicity creeping back in.
Here’s a quick gallery of snaps, you’ll have to use your mind’s eye to imagine the full beast built up: