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Prototype, unique and random mountain bikes

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10/27/2014 2:31 PM

Over the years, I've been lucky to see some really interesting mountain bikes. Some in brand headquarters that never left the prototype stage, some were unique pro rider bikes and some not-so-unique-but-still-drool-worthy steeds. I figured it was time to put them all in one place. I'll add to this thread over time and hope you do the same with bikes that caught your attention for one reason or another.

This Yeti 303 7 prototype that I featured on littermag back in 2008 is what got me into this forum idea. This bike obviously never went to production, but it sure is interesting. It was created when they were also working out the 303 RDH frame. They wanted to create a race-specific bike for "lighter DH courses" in which they could control the rear wheel's path. The wheel path was "completely rearward." The rail controlled the wheel path and the link in the down tube controlled the leverage ratio. That zone in the downtube is just a slot and nothing touches there, even though it may look like it. It features a 65-degree head angle, just under 17" chainstays and about 13.75" bb height.

These photos were taken in the spring of 2008
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10/27/2014 2:57 PM

Did someone say prototype?!

[LINK TO IMAGE]

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10/27/2014 3:21 PM

Ha!! that is my toolbox in the corner! if you look closely on the table there is one of the first 303 RDH prototype frames. Likely the one that Leov raced at MSA and Bromont that year!

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10/28/2014 1:52 AM

Brand should always show prototypes behind a new bike, it could help to understand the choices they made. But maybe they can't due to some patent problem.
Anyway, we, bike tech geek, love prototypes.

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10/28/2014 6:52 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2014 6:53 AM

As a follow up, here's what the 303rdh ended up as. This is Aaron Gwins 2009 World Champs frame that I recently acquired. Photo




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10/28/2014 8:22 AM

krisrayner wrote:

As a follow up, here's what the 303rdh ended up as. This is Aaron Gwins 2009 World Champs frame that I recently acquired. Photo



...more

that's rad you got gwin's old frame. the 303 rdh proto was there on that trip to the factory and here's the 303ss that never made it anywhere either. i thought this looked rad. it was a 5" travel frame IIRC.

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then gwin w/ this 303 DH in 2009
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10/28/2014 8:29 AM

Yeah Spomer, that was about a 5" bike. Zeigman raced it for years as his "4x" bike. That thing got the piss ridden out of it. It had the rear end from a stock Yeti 4x added on to the prototype front end with a rail.... was a fun bike!

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10/28/2014 8:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/28/2014 8:47 AM

The SS is HOT !
The same on vital w/ Graves?
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10/28/2014 8:55 AM

mamath7 wrote:

The SS is HOT !
The same on vital w/ Graves?
link

yeah looks like it. that graves pic is 2012, too. #mileage haha.

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10/28/2014 12:45 PM

Hyperpower! wrote:

Did someone say prototype?!

[LINK TO IMAGE]

Looks better from this angle:
[LINK TO IMAGE]

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10/30/2014 1:56 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2014 2:06 PM

2009 World Champs in Canberra was rad because the mellow track brought out some different builds and ideas. (photos by Sven and Gary)

Fabien's Mondraker (crazy setup with his oblong chainring) - original slideshow in flash
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Gee's Commencal (remote lock-out on the air shock) - original slideshow in flash
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Mick's GT - original slideshow in flash
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Rennie's Morewood - original slideshow in flash
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Stevie Smith's Evil - original slideshow in flash
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Trek's aero option (i don't think they ran the aero bits for racing, but i'm not positive) - original slideshow in flash
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10/30/2014 2:07 PM

Syndicate's V10's from 2009 World Champs - Peaty took the win, Greg 2nd - original slideshow in flash
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10/30/2014 2:17 PM

I swear to god I thought that Trek aero bike was something that a PinkBike user had photoshopped.

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10/30/2014 2:59 PM

fabdemaere wrote:

I swear to god I thought that Trek aero bike was something that a PinkBike user had photoshopped.

the shadow og the wheel could be a clue. I'm not an xpert but seems weird.

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10/30/2014 3:03 PM

fabdemaere wrote:

I swear to god I thought that Trek aero bike was something that a PinkBike user had photoshopped.

mamath7 wrote:

the shadow og the wheel could be a clue. I'm not an xpert but seems weird.

LOL, the trek is not photoshopped - view the full feature (it's flash though).

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10/30/2014 3:03 PM

fabdemaere wrote:

I swear to god I thought that Trek aero bike was something that a PinkBike user had photoshopped.

mamath7 wrote:

the shadow og the wheel could be a clue. I'm not an xpert but seems weird.

No, Leov and Moseley were actually using this at worlds in 2009.
This makes me laugh so much

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10/30/2014 3:18 PM

Sam Hill's modified Sx for Canberra 09

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10/30/2014 3:23 PM

The VProcess NV00 bike that never went into production that I feel should of or even in this day and age should be remade Nico should start and team and rebuild this bike with modern material.
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10/30/2014 3:25 PM

VProcess NV01
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10/30/2014 3:26 PM

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10/30/2014 3:27 PM

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10/30/2014 3:41 PM

fabdemaere wrote:

I swear to god I thought that Trek aero bike was something that a PinkBike user had photoshopped.

mamath7 wrote:

the shadow og the wheel could be a clue. I'm not an xpert but seems weird.

sspomer wrote:

LOL, the trek is not photoshopped - view the full feature (it's flash though).

Photo

I just read an interview with Bodie Miller where he found research that said switching from rubber goggle straps to plastic straps saves 1/1000th of a second. He won the bronze medal by 1/1000th of a second.

Fashion or finish placement. Which is more important? It's a weird answer in MTB.

P

I love it when they go balls out to engineer an advantage. Sometimes it is kooky, then 5 years later we are all riding it.

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10/30/2014 4:32 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2014 4:35 PM

Mr. P wrote:

I just read an interview with Bodie Miller where he found research that said switching from rubber goggle straps to plastic ...more

Probably in many sports, but for downhill, there is, since this year, a word that can answer this kind of question....


NEKO

But, for this particular race (god please, never again) the Neko don't work.

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10/30/2014 4:39 PM
Edited Date/Time: 10/30/2014 4:40 PM

Hyperpower! wrote:

Sam Hill's modified Sx for Canberra 09

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Photo 5 years later...

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10/31/2014 4:56 AM

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10/31/2014 5:08 AM

Brazilian budget frames from 1998-2002 or something like this...

These frames were made from old steel/cr-mo frames with motorcycles sampers.

Troitiño/Colombo DH Cycles
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[LINK TO IMAGE]
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FSR prototype...
[LINK TO IMAGE]

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10/31/2014 9:25 AM

Hyperpower! wrote:

Did someone say prototype?!

[LINK TO IMAGE]

fabdemaere wrote:

Looks better from this angle:
[LINK TO IMAGE]

IH made a couple of those frames, 4-5, one popped up on ebay a couple years ago and I missed out on it by 10 bucks. Probably would have been a killer bike.

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10/31/2014 9:43 AM

mamath7 wrote:

the shadow og the wheel could be a clue. I'm not an xpert but seems weird.

sspomer wrote:

LOL, the trek is not photoshopped - view the full feature (it's flash though).

Photo

Mr. P wrote:

I just read an interview with Bodie Miller where he found research that said switching from rubber goggle straps to plastic ...more

One of those is hanging up somewhere in Trek HQ... I heard the fairings and a skinsuit on the rider made a significant difference in the wind tunnel, but added weight and weird looks caused the team not to use it. Interesting for sure.

I'd like to see skinsuits come back...

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10/31/2014 10:04 AM

Dave_Camp wrote:

One of those is hanging up somewhere in Trek HQ... I heard the fairings and a skinsuit on the rider made a significant ...more

it's so interesting how the mental factor of how a rider looks and feels on the bike can be just as important as the tech features of a bike.

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10/31/2014 10:13 AM

Hyperpower! wrote:

Did someone say prototype?!

[LINK TO IMAGE]

fabdemaere wrote:

Looks better from this angle:
[LINK TO IMAGE]

matmattmatthew wrote:

IH made a couple of those frames, 4-5, one popped up on ebay a couple years ago and I missed out on it by 10 bucks. Probably ...more

Definitely, Dave Weagle tweeted about it a few weeks ago, saying that it would still be a killer enduro bike

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