Our very own internet legend Al, yes he is that guy from the MBR videos, had a very specific criteria in mind when looking for his new bike.

Unfortunately, nobody produced what he wanted.

With most bikes being too short in reach or seat tubes too long, Al set about designing a bike for his proportions- just over 6ft 2” but with fairly short legs. Wanting a bike that’d be perfect for the South Downs Way and general XC fun whilst handling nicely like a modern trail bike, AL based his geometry around a 40mm stem. 

Al's frame in the makingFrom this starting point, reach is the same as his Mondraker Foxy at 501mm (so pretty darn long) yet the seat tube is a measly 430mm so it can fit a 150mm dropper and also have plenty of clearance. The geo has made the bike way more capable than anticipated and unless he’s riding somewhere gnarly, it’s become  his go to MTB. Just like the frame, he's been constantly surprised by our XC Wide wheels. "As a big guy and after cracking a previous set of carbon XC wheels I was a little hesitant, but they've taken everything and more".

Al was left really impressed with Adrian from Swarf saying he was able to accommodate everything he wanted unlike some other custom builders whose custom geo was very limited. The attention to detail and fabrication skills are amazing. Most of the tubes on the frame are sealed at either end and the bosses are blind so there’s no chance of water ingress and corrosion, even the internal dropper routing is designed so you would have to try pretty hard to get water inside the frame.

A bit of JPS inspired gold bling sets the frame off nicely making this Al’s dream 29er HT.

Al's black and gold custom Swarf


Swarf Custom Reynolds 853/631 & Deda Tubing


Rockshox Sid World Cup


Chris King


Thomson X4 40mm


PRO Tharsis 780mm


Ergon G1 Factory


SRAM Level Ultimate

Drivetrain SRAM XX1 Eagle




Hutchinson Toro 2.15

Front end shot of Al's custom build Swarf

Rear end shot of Al's custom build Swarf

For more on Adrian and Swarf Cycles click here

April 11, 2019 — James Finch
Tags: Mountain