NAHBS 2011 – Engin Cycles’ Stainless 29er, New 29er, Dirt Road Bike and Brazed Steel Roadie

nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards

Before you even look at the bike (yeah, right), Check out the backdrop of Engin Cycles‘ booth…that’s their workshop, taken with a fish eye lens and blown up to create the back wall. The effect in person was really cool and gave a nice little view into the world of many custom bicycle fabricators.

OK, bikes: The gorgeous green 29er you see here is their “new” 29er and features all the latest standards, including: tapered head tube, press fit 30 (PF30) bottom bracket and 142×12 thru-axle rear. The latter standard is what Englis’ builder/designer Drew believes should be the way mountain bikes should be built moving forward.

They also had a stainless steel lugged 29er, a fillet brazed steel road bike and a light touring dirt road bike…all simply beautiful. Jump past the break to see ‘em all…

nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards

As usual, Engin’s paint was spot on. Frame set with these standards is $1895, plus $150 for PF30, $150 for tapered HT and $150 for axle. Lead time is currently just more than one year.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards

nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards nahbs 2011 engin cycles new 29er mountain bike with updated standards

nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike

The other 29er in the booth was a lugged, stainless steel model. The main tubes are KVA stainless steel, a new tubing brand that launched along with this year’s show, and chromoly lugs, stays and fork.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike engin cycles old two-bolt stem

The stem is also stainless steel, and it showed off their new 4-bolt stem design (versus the old two-bolt design on the right).

nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike

Thanks to the break in the seatstay, this frame is set up for belt drive, which is a $150 upcharge. This style has won them Best Off Road Bike in 2008 and 2010.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike

nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike nahbs 2011 engin cycles lugged stainless steel 29er mountain bike

Frame starts at $3,800. Lugged Fork is $550, stem is $450 and seat post is $250.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost

This one is their fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost (ISP). It’s $6,200 as shown, frame set starts at $2,800 with ISP, fork, stem and frame. Fancy paint like ths one is About $500 more, standard is two color which includes the painted on logo (no stickers).

nahbs 2011 engin cycles fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost nahbs 2011 engin cycles fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost

nahbs 2011 engin cycles fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost nahbs 2011 engin cycles fillet brazed steel road bike with integrated seatpost

The seatmast and gravity lets the seat post simply rest in there, and a brass-tipped set screw keeps the seat from rotating left or right.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles light touring bike and dirt road bicycle

Engin Cycles’ Dirt Road Bike, also known as their Light Touring Bike, has a chromoly frame and is built for things like the Paris-Brest-Paris where you carry minimal stuff.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles light touring bike and dirt road bicycle nahbs 2011 engin cycles light touring bike and dirt road bicycle

The front rack will carry up to 25lbs. It’s mounted by being countersunk into the brake bosses, which are then bolted in through the front of the rack. It’s also mounted into the bottom of the fork. It can be removed and show no trace of having a rack.

nahbs 2011 engin cycles light touring bike and dirt road bicycle nahbs 2011 engin cycles light touring bike and dirt road bicycle

Tubing is Deda Replica steel. Down tube is bi-ovalized, top tube is tear drop shaped. Prices start at $2,800 for frame, fork, stem, post and fenders all painted to match. As shown here with Super Record is about $8,000. The rack is a huge undertaking in terms of built time and probably not something he’ll build regularly (Drew’s words).

Comments

Jake - 03/09/11 - 8:25pm

Am I the only one who finds $3,800 for a frame, $550 for a FORK, $450 for the STEM and a whopping $250 for a F’in’ SEAT POST unthinkable???
If there was ever a case of capitalism gone awry, this would be it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making money and more power to them if they find that ONE sucker (and by ‘sucker’ I mean idiot) in this big world of ours to actually pay those prices.

It used to be that you could buy a boat for about $1,000 a foot, a house for about $75 to $80 a square foot and a bike for around $20 to $30 an inch.

Just the frame, fork, stem and seat post is running (assuming that it’s an average size of 18″) $280 + change and INCH! And that’s using the “Starting” prices.

Is this what the biking industry is coming to?

Robin - 03/09/11 - 11:53pm

Easy solution: don’t buy or read about bikes that knot your panties and that you consider too expensive. Simple. In the process, it might be worth considering what it takes to make living at building frames on your own, one at a time. Meh, who needs to use perspective when we can just use the small, parochial thoughts with which we are comfy?

Back in the real world where people know better than to price a bike by the inch, the green and yellow steed is a sharp lookin’ bike.

Luke - 03/10/11 - 3:50am

It is expensive, but it’s at the forefront of technology (stainless steel) and is a low volume, handbuilt over many tens of man hours luxury item. Some bikes are expensive, and while that does sound a lot for a rigid frame and fork someone out there will want something special and beautiful and will buy it. It’s like comparing a standard run of the mill Ford against something like a Bentley- they do the same job, but one is low volume, very high quality and luxurious while one’s “just a car”.

While I don’t like that stainless bike at all (why do al the NAHBs contributors have 29ers and no real mountain bikes? 26″ is still the standard I’m afraid) I can see the thinking behind such an expensive bike.

Sach - 03/10/11 - 7:25am

What a teabag republican! I stopped buying bikes by the inch a looooooooong time ago, don’t know why he’s still doing it! PS, Those bikes are way outta my league but more power to em if they do sell.

Mark Adam - 03/10/11 - 8:56am

Jake, would you pay more for a tailored suit when you can get one off the rack at Banana Republic for a couple hundred dollars…better yet, H&M for just barely over a hundo?

Would I pay that much for those bikes, no, because I don’t have that kind of money. Plain and simple.

But are they worthy of that dollar amount, sure.

Kovas - 03/10/11 - 10:14am

I love all these NAHBS posts and pics. So much innovation, style, form & function coming out of so few folks. Builders are half-builders, half-artists, all small-business. When you buy a custom bike, you’re not paying just for raw materials and fabrication, you’re supporting the whole creative process, start to finish, and getting something truly one-of-a-kind and tailored to you (to borrow from Mark Adam) in the process . When you figure that some of these NAHBS guys are only 1, 2, or 3 man shops… the price for entry is actually quite reasonable. Sometimes you gotta look beyond the sticker and see what you’re really paying for and what you’re supporting in the end.

Jake - 03/10/11 - 10:38am

WOW! Slam-Jake Fest here on Bike Rumor. LOL!!!

It’s all good.

First, I am not hating on the bike. It’s beautiful (although I could do without the light blue) and the craftsmanship is superb. Being built by hand does have its allure but there must be more. The article doesn’t say and I have not researched it but I would guess for that amount of money, the bike is custom fitted to you and you alone. If so, then that does raise the value in my opinion and possibly worth the money for the frame and fork alone. The stem and seat post, absolutely not.

Second, I admit, the “by the inch” example wasn’t the best example to use. I don’t buy bikes based on the inch and I doubt any of you do either. So, my bad.

Lastly, some of you bring up good examples (car and suit). I like cars and I see the difference between the Ford and the Bentley. Having driven both (I was gray-market driver years ago before Reagan put an end to that in the late 80′s) and you certainly could tell a difference. But when it comes to bikes, I believe that after a certain dollar amount (level/standard) of bikes, it is very difficult to tell the difference. I believe that there is a level of bikes (manufactured by hand or mass produced) where one isn’t really better at its job than another. Does this bike perform better than one that isn’t made of SS? Does the SS seat post make you a better rider or increase the enjoyment of riding? I think not. Same goes for the stem and fork. I know some will like the SS simply cause it is on the ‘fore-front of technology’? But I have to ask, is it? Are your azz and hands sensitive enough to tell the difference? Maybe so but I would guess that it isn’t when out on the trail. I also believe that there is a point of diminishing returns or at the very least, the percentage of increased enjoyment/benefit is far less than the cost of achieving those gains. For example, the benefits of a $2,000 bike far out way the benefits of a $500, the margin of improvement and quality is drastic. But what of the difference between the $2,000 and a $6,000 bike? Improvements? Certainly but is the margin of improvements the same as the margin from a $500 to a $2,000 bike?

I’ve been in sales and there are a few things that I learned. One is that for every feature there should be at least two benefits to justify what you are asking. Does the benefits of the tubing being SS justify the price? Second, perceived value. These are the intangibles. Like some of you said, being handmade is of intrinsic value to you and yet another places a value on the fact that the manufacturer has to make a living. Personally, it’s none of my concern how the guy makes his money but just because this is how he chose to make a living is not reason enough to buy the bike.

Like I said earlier, if he can find people to pay that, by all means, sell the hell out of ‘em. Good for Engin. All for businesses making money. I just don’t think it’s worth the money. I could buy a bike at half the cost (hand built) and have the same function and get the same enjoyment out of it.

Just my humble opinion.

charlie - 03/10/11 - 2:59pm

i don’t know if any of you know that drew builds these bikes in a pretty affluent section of philly. no shortage of rich people who ride with nothing better to do with their money than spend it on a dream bike. i’d rather them buy an awesome bike instead of another gas-guzzling suv. with that being said drew works super hard at his craft and he really does have a passion for the industry. if i could afford it i’d buy one in a minute because i know the craftsmanship is top notch. drew’s a good guy who loves bikes, works his butt off and if he can sell ‘em…more power. much harder to work with 953 than 853 also. i think it almost triples the fabrication time. anyway just my rant. happy trails all.

Carl - 03/13/11 - 3:27pm

Simple economics: the market determines the price. Clearly, a market exists for Drew’s bikes and he could probably charge more if he tried. Jake’s value system does not support spending this kind of money on a bicycle, and that’s fine. Mine does, and I have. I’m glad we’re all different. If everybody valued bicycles like I do, Drew would have a 10yr waiting list and would charge many times more than he currently does. The experience of becoming an Engin owner and riding such a bike every day feels like a relative bargain for the amount of enjoyment I’m getting.

Jed - 03/17/11 - 10:58pm

Time for an Engin owner to speak up.. I’m the guy who laid down a deposit to get on the list over a year ago to have Drew build the Team Lotus-inspired fillet brazed road bike pictured above. I’ve been riding for 30 years (started on the back of a tandem at age 4) and have owned dozens of bikes in my lifetime, mostly for racing purposes and disposable. I’ve since quit road racing and have entered the realm of enthusiast and occasional CX racer, riding daily for the love of the ride and not the counting of the kilojoules. This Engin is the third custom bike I’ve ordered (the first was a Bushnell tandem for my wife and me back in 2003, and the second a CX bike from Bilenky – also at NAHBS this year) and I couldn’t be happier with the ride quality and the fit. After picking it up post-NAHBS I made one slight adjustment to the fit (saddle height) and have been riding it daily on the roads of Hunterdon County, NJ – many of which are gnarly dirt, gravel, or chip-seal. The bike tracks very smoothly, climbing is effortless, and it accelerates as well if not more efficiently as the carbon bikes that preceded this as my daily ride rig.

I’m not writing this so that you’ll be convinced to order a bike from Drew – I’ve paid the man and he’s no doubt spent the money on diapers. My point – I’ve owned several carbon bikes at the top end of the market and none gave me the immediate positive feedback like my Engin. This bike is truly perfect. Drew also built this bike to be ridden, not to be polished with a Q-tip after a quick jaunt around the block, so I will do it justice and ride it on gravel, dirt, and pavement knowing the ride will be as solid, if not better (for those who know the lifelong ride quality of top steel) for years to come.

Why did I spend the money on a bike like this? Because I’m supporting a very practical artist who took a basic idea I had for a bike (an homage to one my father rode in the 80s) and built the finest one I’ve ever owned. Drew, in line with most in his craft, understands that some of us aren’t satisfied with plucking a bike off of the rack and getting a “proper fit” on a bike designed to fit anyone in the realm of a 55cm, whether they have long monkey arms and stubby legs (like me) or not. This bike is purpose built for the end user and if you don’t get that then why are you even interested in reading articles about handmade bikes anyway?

Flame on.

Joe R. - 04/23/11 - 8:50pm

The stem, seatpost, and fork EACH take days to fabricate. From scratch. If we’re gonna bring economics into this, then what is your daily pay rate? A customer is certainly not required to buy the stem and seatpost when ordering a frame from Drew, but most do. He’ll happily produce them, but it will take almost another week’s worth of labor, so should cost a week’s worth of pay. THIS is the formula we’re using here. No others are applicable in a custom, one-of-a-kind item scenario. Bikes or otherwise.

I’ve known Drew for 11 years and have worked for him for almost as many. He’ll slave over every facet of your bike, making it absolutely perfect. You’re paying for his vast experience, valuable time, and yeah, diapers now.

At least half of the people I saw pick up a bike would say, “I just want to hang it on my wall, I don’t want to ride it!” To which drew would say, “You BETTER @#$%ing ride it.” And upon returning, they would confirm that, yes, the SS materials do make for a better ride.

Every bike he takes to NAHBS is already paid for, with the customers chomping at the bit for the show to end so they (hello Jed) can start riding.

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