Be your own brand.

Catching up with H-Bicycles and Skyde…

I thought the other day that we’d not caught up with our favorite French microbrands recently – so here we are. Even if their frames might not be to your taste there are often examples of finishes and other options that you might not have considered before.

 

H-Bicycles – Horton

First off let’s check out H-Bicycles. Their new Horton enduro model caught my eye, it’s a development of the newsboy inspired design they were working with before. It looks very together; nice frame curves and an interesting chainstay fitting using plate and a short tube. Probably no practical advantage but as always good to see what’s possible.

It’s got elements of the Brodie Holeshot with the seat tube support. For me though it could do with a slightly beefier down tube as it looks slightly out of proportion (maybe?). The overall look is pretty slick though, as with their other frames all the angles and dimensions are tweakable and it’s yours from 1500 Euro’s depending on options.

 

This is a detail shot showing the plate and tube chainstay bridge similar to the Ragley ‘3 finger’ approach. Could add a little weight perhaps but good for getting plenty of chainring clearance, and it looks smart 😉

 

Skyde – SoloTomillo

Over at Skyde things are looking pretty good, they seem to really crank out the frame designs – either someone’s got loads of cash or they’re doing OK on the sales front. I’ve also included some real left field stuff from their experimental days.

The new SoloTomillo frame has their trademark extreme dropped top tube as well as some very neat finishing details that I thought were worth highlighting. Check out the panels of sandblast finish on the brushed frame, bendy seat stays, eccentric bottom bracket, post disk mounts and machined head tube:

SKYDE SoloTomillo

 

They’ve resisted going for a ‘bell end’! Standard headtube with external butting and riveted head badge.

SKYDE SoloTomillo

 

Funky looking Niner eccentric bottom bracket set:

SKYDE SoloTomillo

 

OK, yes, I know I’m cheating as this dropout shot isn’t from the singlespeed above but it shows off some Breezer style, replaceable hanger, dropouts rather nicely. Neat looking post mounts for the disk too, although I can’t tell if they would be a direct mount or need an adapter to space the caliper out a little.

SKYDE 2011

 

And from the Skyde Mad Lab!

You’ve got to love some of the ‘out there’ prototypes that Skye have tried out. This bar/stem combo is rather ace, even though it’s likely to end up weighing  a ton and doesn’t offer any additional hand positions like the Jones bar they were no doubt inspired by.

Combo SKYDE

 

…and here we have a similarly Jones like pair of truss forks. They look a bit strange with the rear blades being a smaller diameter than the front pair – I’d have done them the other way around. But they do look a bit more trustworthy than the standard single bladed titanium forks I’ve seen on offer. Don’t let me catch you doing anything similar though, otherwise the men in white coats will be making a visit. 😉

Prototype SKYDE fork