Spotted: Another prototype high pivot bike in North Vancouver

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Vancouver’s North Shore is the infamous proving ground for prototype bikes with its relentless and steep technical trails. In the late ’90s, The Shore opened the eyes of brands in the bike industry to how Weekend Warriors tortured frames and components in those dark, deep woods, so it’s not surprising that unmarked bikes always hide at the start of the trails.

North Shore local shredder Trail.mole posted a 2021 recap video to their Instagram account and in the foreground you can see a high pivot aluminum bare prototype frame, complete with an idler pulley and low coil driven damper. by linkage. The bike surely has two 29 “wheels and a sturdy fork, but it’s not a downhill bike due to the cassette size, at least in this setup.

From the pixelated mess, it’s not clear if the bike is a High Single Pivot (HSP) or a Virtual High Pivot, like the Norco lineup. However, we can notice a small black dot adjacent to the rear axle, which leads us to believe that there is more to this proto than just a simple HSP design.

Our best guess is that this is a Pacific Northwest related brand that has the manufacturing resources to tinker with such theories, especially Rocky Mountain. The Slayer is in its third year of production – a typical time for executives to see an overhaul. Trail Mole also tags Rocky Mountain Bicycles in their Instagram posts, which leads us to believe it could be a creation of their R&D team. In addition, Transition, Norco, Devinci and Evil have recently released new long-travel bikes, which would rule out any immediate changes to their ranges.

It could also be the reincarnation of the Commencal Supreme SX, since their Canadian office is located just up the street in Squamish. Commencal’s latest Supreme DH prototype uses a virtual high steerer, but does not allow full insertion of a dropper post due to the steerer passing through the seat tube. Similar to the Norco lineup, this could be a way to bypass seat tube interference while still allowing braking forces to be set independently on a high pivot design.

We’ve reached out to the last three brands to ask if they can give us any information on a potential new frame design and will update this space with answers.

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