Kickstarter: RCP Fabrication’s Handbuilt Nor’easter 29er Takes Shape

Ryan Pelletier, the man behind RCP Fabrication, has been building mountain bikes and trials bikes in Connecticut for years. Now, after more than a year of testing geometries and frame builds, he’s ready to launch a 29er made for tight, technical east coast riding.

Called the NE29R, it’s on offer through Kickstarter with funds raised used to purchase the tooling needed to make the special bends in the frame and other model-specific bits and pieces. What makes the bike unique is a dramatically bent seat tube that tucks the rear wheel very close to the cranks. The result is an insanely short chainstay length of just 410mm (16.14″). That’s short for any bike, and amazingly short for a full size 29er.

Another unique twist is the sizing. Taking a cue from BMX bikes, it’s available in either regular or long frame sizes. The regular is said to be good for folks from 5’5″ up to 6’0″. Taller riders, or those that just like a long top tube, can order the Long, which extends the effective top tube length from 588mm to 636mm.

Pics and geometry charts below…

NE29R prototypes used a straight seat tube welded further up the downtube, well in front of the bottom bracket. The actual bikes will use custom bent seat tubes.

The standard frame geometry, above, and the long frame, below. Chainstays remain the same on both.

Small pledges to his Kickstarter campaign will get their name on his website, a water bottle, t-shirts, etc. Get up to $900 and your name’s on the list for a frame. Keep going and he’s offering complete bikes built up with SRAM X7 or X9, depending on the amount.

Comments

Saris - 10/30/12 - 5:20pm

Although I was considering a Honzo frame…this looks really cool.

Skater - 10/30/12 - 5:21pm

39mm fork offset on a nimble 29″er. Is this the year 2004?

I respect what you’re trying to do here, but I don’t think it’s very current.
In fact, those front end figures were to be found on model 2002 Nishiki bikes. Which handled like pigs, if you asked the riders of that era. 71ยบ/39mm, exactly.

Maybe it’s just a trials thing. The short chainstays surely are, I won’t contest its use there. For XC I actually subscribe to not being too anal about chainstay length. Might as well use a chainstay length related to seat height rather than to wheel size. On 26″ hardtails we don’t use the shortest possible, but that would just not do XC.
One silly idea I have for short CS, came up with it for actually large wheeled bike, 29″ is just the standard adult size of one century ago in my book. Imagine a BB shell with no back side. And an old fashioned skinny solid BB axle. Let the rear tire all but rub the axle. then reinforce the BB shell as necessary. Nothing wrong with old skool cranks now is there?

I found out that simply jamming the seat down on a 29″er turned it into a capable dual slalom/4-cross bike. Yes, manual are harder, sure. The higher placed rear axle at similar wheel base makes it harder also. this disadvantage you can really design away unless you link up the rear axle and make a virtual rear axle. Need to break my head on that some time. Likely impossible or at least impractical.

bob flemming - 10/30/12 - 5:53pm

There’s nothing on that drawing that says you have to stay at 39mm rake tho, it’s just a nominal figure to give a wheelbase point.

JB - 10/30/12 - 8:15pm

Rake is based on fork, not frame geometry.

Important features for how a hardtail bike rides (geometry wise) are head tube angle, BB height, BB fore-aft position (chainstay length and BB height combined), and wheelbase.

you can tweak the fit and feel with cockpit length adjustments (seat tube angle, setback seatposts, stem length, etc.) but the frame dimensions above are the framework this is all built on.

Unravelled - 10/30/12 - 9:49pm

$900 for a frame with a size choice of long or short? Sounds like its going to be a perfect fit…. Quite expensive too.. Much better out there without the janky geometry…

Nick - 10/30/12 - 11:34pm

I’m having a custom 29er built with a bent seat tube and short stays… it did not require 30K worth of tooling. What kind of idiots donate to these things?

satisFACTORYrider - 10/31/12 - 1:08am

Just get a Canfield

EaTA - 10/31/12 - 1:51am

The collective stupidity here is breathtaking. It’s all so terribly easy to sit behind a keyboard and disparage others, isn’t it? Especially when you personally have neither the experience nor the talent to implement new ideas. That would be if you actually HAD an idea that wasn’t stuffed into your brain by some marketeer, spelling out for you what you need, why you need it, and whom to buy it from.

Frankly, it’s refreshing to see someone think outside of the XC race-oriented — as well as the run-of-the-mill, wagon-wheeled “all mountain” — 29er HT box. If you don’t get the NE29R’s design philosophy then, quite honestly it’s not for you anyhow. So go buy a “Big S” bike, or a Canfield, or a Niner and be ignorantly happy. Nothing to see here.

spokejunky - 10/31/12 - 7:21am

What is the frame material? I didn’t see what tubing will be used for the build on the Kickstarter site.

Andy - 10/31/12 - 7:56am

Looks great! Wish i could try one. But did you really need to read from a script?

Rotundo - 10/31/12 - 10:30am

I think for what he is trying to do he could just build a 650b bike and avoid all of the extreme tube manipulation.

Dude. - 10/31/12 - 11:26am

While i’ll admit this isn’t a bike im interested in, it is, for the right rider a cool concept.

However, as a frame builder on the east coast doesn’t the builder have contact with another builder or machine shop that can bend the seat tubes for him? Once the frame is proven as a desirable product then acquire the expensive ass machinery. Why raise such an obscene amount of money for something another shop could easily do already?

issacross - 10/31/12 - 11:38am

makes me think of a 29r spooky dark side. A little extreme maybe, but looks like loads of fun up here in the canadian shield. can certainly see his trials back ground.

brd - 11/02/12 - 5:48pm

71/72, 25mm BB drop, 410mm CS – looks like my road bike

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