DESIGNING THE FASTFORWARD WE HAD TWO MAIN GOALS IN MIND: CREATING A FAST RIG THAT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL.
The prototypes confirmed our approach that the bike will be agile, pairing short chain stays with a slack head angle. Often it‘s overlooked that you need confidence to commit to a berm - that‘s why the slack head angle. 29 inch wheels roll fast, 650+ wheels offer great traction and some comfort.
We use 4130 steel to build the frame. The high-strength material with custom butted wall thickness allows slim tubes. The main frame features straight tubes that create a classic and timeless shape. Chain tensioners are integrated in the investment cast dropouts.
WHY ARE WE ON KICKSTARTER?
This kind of bike started to make sense with the appearance of burlier 29" components and the new 650+ wheel size. We thought that we could add some new ideas to this bike category. So we started designing in 2014 and built prototypes this year.
Being one of the smaller rider owned companies, our resources are limited. Currently we are working towards the upcoming launch of our new enduro full suspension bikes, so that our resources are focused on these. Running the campaign on Kickstarter will reduce the financial risk, as we will know how many frames we need to produce and in which sizes. We share the benefit with you by offering lower prices and more choice. Riding the prototypes and getting so much positive feedback on them (Thanks for that!), we decided it would be a shame to delay or cancel this project.
GEOMETRY AND FRAME DETAILS
When first showing the prototype frames we received a lot of comments, positive feedback and some encouragement for changes. As of today, we have reviewed these and we are looking to include some of them in the final design.
The most frequent request was to remove the reinforcement between the seat tube and the top tube for the large frame size. We fully agree that this will look cleaner and we can implement this now. In addition, we will offer a third size: x-large. For size x-large it will be necessary to use a reinforcement tube to avoid a high top tube that would be likely to hit the brake levers.
With 29 inch and 650+ wheels having less then 10 mm difference in tire size, it was possible to design one frame that can take both. At first we rode the prototypes with a 64,5° head angle. During the testing period we noticed that an even slacker head angle of 64° was advantageous as it gave more confidence.
If you want to compare the values with your own bike, please notice some hard tail specific effects: In riding position the reach will increase and the stack will decrease due to the sag of the fork. With full suspension bikes the opposite is the case due to more sag on the rear suspension. Effectively the front will feel longer compared to a full suspension bike with the same reach. The table above shows the geometry without sag.
Sizing recommendations (please check that the seat tube length is sufficient for you):
medium 166 - 178 cm
large 176 - 188 cm
x-large 186 - 198 cm
Sizing will be influenced by your individual physiognomy, riding style, the stem length you run and the back sweep of your handle bar.
The following distances between bottom bracket axle and seat rails can be realized using a 150x430 mm Reverb Stealth:
Medium 525-740 mm
Large 575-790 mm
X-large 635-850 mm
When backing our project you don´t need to choose frame size and color instantly. We will ask you for these details at the end of the project time.
The frames are TIG welded using Japanese 4130 CrMo steel, which is custom butted. The custom butting allows to concentrate material in the areas showing the highest mechanical stresses. The prototype frame weight for size medium is 2,6 kg and we don't expect it to change significantly. The frame is designed around a 140 mm long fork, and the maximum fork travel is 150 mm. The bottom bracket is BSA threaded and features an ISCG 05 mount for a chain device.
With a seat tube diameter of 31,6 mm, the FASTFORWARD is ready for common dropper posts and has a cable access port on the lower part of the seat tube. The insert will be slightly modified as it tended to scratch the cable.
The disc brake bracket is mounted discretely from the back of the seat stay. For the prototypes we used an existing component from our ICE dirt jump hard tail.
The FASTFORWARD uses an internal IS41/28.6/H9/K type top assembly (IS42 will also fit) and an external cup type EC44/40/H12/K bottom assembly. Standards are explained on the Cane Creek website. This means you can run a tapered or straight fork - the frame allows both options.
Using 29 inch tires, the maximum tire size we guarantee is 2,35 inch. During our testing we even fitted 2,5 inch Minion DHF II using a rim with 25 mm inside width. This means you have a good chance to use tires wider than 2,35 inch.
If you build the bike with 650+ tires, 2,8 inch will fit perfectly. The photos above and below show a set of 3,0 inch wide Schwalbes on rims with 45 mm inside with. In general, we feel that the 2,8 inch option is better, as it saves some weight that can be invested in the robustness of the tire side walls and offers additional clearance in the mud.
Disc brake mount
The disc brake mount bracket will be changed in order to accept bigger rotors such as 180 mm and 200 mm (with Plus20 mm adapter). The FASTFORWARD will continue to use our patented inside post mount bracket as shown in the illustration below.
All cable guides will be changed to a removable type, so that there will be no empty cable guide to disrupt the clean look.
Chain ring and tire clearance
Compared to the prototypes, the final version will have a bit more chain ring and tire clearance for 29 inch.
You can mount a bottle cage on the down tube. We have arranged 4 threaded inserts on the lower part of the down tube to serve as cable guide mounting position or bottle cage mount. This creates some flexibility of the position for the bottle and the cable for the dropper post because all 4 holes have the "bottle cage distance".
Asymmetric drive train
The FASTFORWARD will have an asymmetric positioning of the rear hub. This leads to a more symmetric spoke angle left and right. Moving the hub 6 mm towards the drive side increases the stiffness of the bigger wheels noticeably. For most wheels it will be possible to adjust the rim 6 mm to the side as the difference in required spoke length is only 0,8 mm.
It also creates a nice chain line, reducing cassette and sprocket wear. The FASTFORWARD requires a minimum of 52 mm chain line (this is Boost standard) and supports up to 30 teeth. Bigger sprockets require a wider chain line.
The hub mounting standard is 135 mm quick release type. The quick release is replaced with our axle that also keeps the derailleur eye in the right place.
Initially this frame was designed for one by drive trains only. Your questions encouraged us to see if there is a solution to make it compatible with a front derailleur. The solution is pretty easy and will not harm the clean looks for the one by riders. The cable runs on the down tube, parallel to the dropper post cable. Simply swap the singe cable guide for a double cable guide.
We can confirm that a Shimano side swing front derailleur with low clamp option (FDM8020) will be possible to install on the frame. Also the crank set FCM8000B2 (Boost version, max. 36T) will fit with the FASTFORWARD frame.
Participation on the project gives you a broader choice of colors:
- matte black powder coated
- clear powder coated*
- red transparent powder coated*
- green transparent powder coated*
- blue transparent powder coated*
* The tempering colors from the welding process will be visible.
CAN I TEST RIDE IT?
There will be test events in Germany where you can test ride the FASTFORWARD prototypes. The dates and locations are:
Oct 10th Witten Click here to sign in via Doodle
Oct 11th Witten Click here to sign in via Doodle
Oct 17th Freiburg Click here to sign in via Doodle
Oct 18th Freiburg Click here to sign in via Doodle
Oct 24th Dortmund Click here to sign in via Doodle
Signing up for the event is obligatory if you want to ride.
IS THERE A COMPLETE BIKE OPTION?
The scope of the Kickstarter project is exclusively the FASTFORWARD frame, the product we want to create.
If you want to purchase a matching build kit, feel free to do so at the LAST online shop. Please notice that you must be a backer of this project to purchase the build kit.
THE FASTFORWARD T-SHIRT
If you back our project, we are more than happy to give this FASTFORWARD T-Shirt to you.
WHAT ARE THE FUNDS USED FOR?
Progressing with this project, it will be necessary to create manufacturing tooling specific for this frame, for example welding fixtures and bending molds. The bigger part of the funding sum will be used for materials and to pay manufacturing cost. Further cost arise from logistics, quality control and managing the project. Finally, the transport to your location is included and our tax authorities collect their share.
NO CREDIT CARD?
With the funding being successful so far, we opened another payment option for everyone that prefers Paypal or wire transfer. You can buy the frame from our shop and as long as the Kickstarter campaign is running you get the same conditions. Simply follow this link.
WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH THE FRAME REWARD?
All frame reward include the frame itself, the cable guides, the derailleur hanger, the 5 mm axle that replaces the quick release axle, the Postmount 180 bracket, stickers and the T-shirt. Further details are described in the rewards section.
WHEN DO I NEED TO CHOOSE SIZES AND COLORS?
You can back our project at any time, even if you are not yet sure about your sizing or color choice. We will ask you for this information via a Kickstarter based survey when the project is finished.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT SCHEDULE?
The next steps after reaching our funding goal will be to send you a questionnaire through Kickstarter. With this questionnaire we will collect your choices for frames size, colors, T-shirt sizes and so on. After putting together this information we will arrange the frame production with our Taiwanese manufacturer. The prototypes (and our other hard tail models) were already made by them, so they know the task. As the campaign ends in late October, the welding can be completed by January. This will be followed by powder coating and sea transport to Germany. We expect the frames to be ready for shipment from our warehouse in Germany in late February 2016. The frames with custom colors will be coated in Germany and ready for shipment in March 2016.
WHO IS LAST AND WHAT IS THEIR QUALIFICATION?
LAST is a rider owned bike company based in Dortmund, Germany.
Company founder Jochen Forstmann established the company in 2000. The first product was a dirt jump frame made of steel.
Two years down the road, Jörg Heydt joins the company and the HERB downhill frame is created with joint forces. Riding on the prototype, Jörg wins several national races.
Since then the product range consists of steel hard tails and aluminum full suspension frames for the disciplines downhill, enduro, dirt, street and 4X.
In addition to more than 10 years in the bike business and running our company, we have a strong background in mechanical design. Jochen has earned a doctor‘s degree in mechanical engineering and works as a professor for the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrück.
Risks and challenges
Every new frame project has challenges, for example quality and delivery time. These challenges exist independent from the fact that this is a Kickstarter project.
At LAST we know these challenges as we have more than 10 years of experience with frame building, especially with high quality steel frames.
The quality is guaranteed by closely tracking the manufacturing process and checking the final quality before shipping the products.
The second major challenge is the delivery time. In our history we have seen a lot of things happen that have led to delays. The Japanese tube manufacturer was temporarily closed because of the nuclear desaster of Fukushima, a taifun affected the manufacturing in Taiwan. We even had a container on a burning vessel. All of these things were not under our control - and they will not be in the future. The delivery time is based on our experience and well measured.
Keeping you informed is of utmost concern. Regular updates will be provided and questions answered in a timely manner.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask or call us.
LAST International Limited
Phone +49 (0)231-53 46 15 91
- (19 days)