Regular readers may recall that a while back we had a go on a titanium full suspension prototype from Pipedream, a brand previously known for hardtails. The company sent it to us to see what we thought – it was a perfectly decent bike, but we weren’t quite sure that Ti full suspension was what the market was waiting for. Plenty of good feedback from BM members seemed to arrive at a rare consensus.
At around the same time, a rise in titanium prices meant that a production frame would have got prohibitively expensive, so Pipedream went back to the drawing board – its Japanese and US wings were very keen to get Pipedream FS frames, so clearly it was worth pursuing.
After exploring various options, including combining other people’s back ends with new front ends, Pipedream decided to return to something a little like its original concept, but in aluminium. That gave them a lot more flexibility to put material where it’s needed and take it out from where it isn’t.
The result is the Torero, a 140mm (5.5in) travel “all-mountain” frame using an FSR four-bar design. It’s a pretty tidy-looking device – there aren’t any gussets on it, with Pipedream using shaped and flared tubing instead. The downtube goes from flared to round to squarish on its journey from head tube to BB. There’s clearly some sort of law that dictates that all FS frames have a curved top tube these days, but we rather like the forged top tube/upper pivot/seat tube/shock mount strut.
The frame weighs 6.8lb with an X-Fusion PVA platform shock (other shocks will be available as extra-cost options) – the prototype as pictured came in at just under 30lb complete. Angles are around 69/72 with a Fox 130mm fork.
The best bit, though, is the price. Pipedream’s projected retail price for the Torero frame and shock is a very reasonable £699 (although that’s yet to be confirmed). Hopefully we’ll get a chance to see how it rides soon, but it certainly looks pretty smart and it’s hard to argue with the value. Production frames should be available in January – have a look at www.pipedreamcycles.com for more information.
In other Pipedream-related news, BM staffer Dave has just bought himself a smart Sirius hardtail – he’s getting parts together now, and it sounds like being rather splendid. Pics when its done…