Exclusive First Look: Eric Carter’s New 650B Hyper Prototype
No one believes in love at first sight til it hits you. You’re at the right place at the right time and you see the one. That next bike you know you need. Damn the price, room, or friendly derision from your wife/husband/bf/gf/riding buddies/etc…
Today I felt that rush when I encountered a sleek new frame strewn in the grass behind a patch of tents. Jump past the break to take a closer look at my new lust crush.
The company has been working to develop a new trail bike for the past two years but this 650B prototype sled is just four days old.
The new bike is Product Manager (and all around legend) Eric Carter’s baby and he was beaming with pride as he walked us through all the details.
Details are still subject to change because the bike is still in the early prototype phases but the rough numbers have a tapered headset sitting at 66.5 H, a very low 13.2″ BB, 17″ chain stays, and a 23.5″ top tube on the medium frame. The frame is modeled around a 36T chain ring for optimal suspension performance.
The only number that will probably see a big change is the BB. Depending on how she performs when climbing up hills, the BB height may increase marginally.
The production goal for the frame is 6 lbs.
In the rear, a linkage actuated single pivot mated to a Suntour Durolux rear shock keeps things smooth. The combination of slack front end, short chain stays, and the poppy suspension characteristics of the suspension design make this bike incredibly playful. Just pedaling the new proto around quickly in the tight confines behind the pits, it was easy to feel how nimble the bike felt.
The rear shock is exposed to the elements but a spare inner tube will keep it protected from crud in the mud.
The frame has a front derailleur mount,external routing for all the things, mounts for one water bottle, and stealth routing for your dropper post.
The bike was built in conjunction with a new designer, Robert Stemen, who formally worked with both GT and Oakley. The production goal (which is rather ambitious by Eric’s own admission) is Interbike. The company is still discussing distribution options but is leaning towards a dealer direct model.
The bike will be available initially as frame only and pricing is still in the air. Stay tuned to our Sea Otter Coverage for a walk through of Cam Zink’s new prototype Hyper later this week!