Last December we brought a review of the Pipedream Moxie, a bike that was outlandish in both aesthetics and intent. Targeted firmly at scalping full-suspension enduro bikes downhill, we loved it! It’s now available in titanium, and well… just look at it!
For anyone who has biked for a considerable period of time, there’s still a warm nostalgia that surrounds hardtails, simple, low maintenance and in the right hands, brutally effective. A good hardtail should be just as happy grinding out a 70 km epic as it is threatening your sanity on something very steep and naughty. There’s now a host of aggressive hardtails on the market that blend cutting edge ‘big bike’ geometry and 160 mm forks with devastating effect. For many, steel is still real for hardtails, but titanium will always be the ultimate. With a distinctive bare-metal finish that is unmistakably attractive, titanium has been considered the ultimate frame material for generations. Incredibly strong, anti-corrosive and resistant to fatigue, and with energy absorbent properties, titanium is the perfect choice for those who shun rear suspension. However, titanium is a difficult material to weld and work with, this means the cost of frames spiral upwards, leaving titanium hardtails out of reach of all but those with the deepest pockets.
When we reviewed the 4130 Cro-mo steel Pipedream Moxie we were super impressed with its no-nonsense gravity credentials, with a 510 mm reach, 65.5° head angle and ultrashort 415 – 431 mm chainstays, it was a point ‘n shoot ‘n hang the f@ck on superstar. After the huge popularity of the Moxie, UK based Pipedream cycles are now going to produce a limited run of the rowdy frame in titanium. Currently, there are a small number of special edition 3AL/2.5V titanium Moxies in existence with plans to make more should demand be found. Of course, as soon as we saw one we had to get a prototype in for a quick test. The Moxie titanium will only be sold as a frame, so we will not focus on the specification, only that it was a burly build, 800 mm bars, short stem and tough components.
|Seat tube||420 mm||420 mm|
|Chainstay||431 mm||431 mm|
|BB Drop||64 mm||64 mm|
|Wheelbase||1199 mm||1239 mm|
|Reach||470 mm||510 mm|
|Stack (+10 mm)||641 mm||641 mm|
Riding the Pipedream Moxie Titanium
In steel, Pipedream’s Moxie is an eye-catching bike, in titanium, it’s dynamite. As soon as you pull it out of the car, everyone stops what they’re doing and wanders over like moths to a flame. Low slung, aggressive and in bare metal, it looks more like something that should be fired out of a gun. All the features that make the steel Moxie so enjoyable are in evidence, the radical geometry is near identical and the welds and cable routing are all beautifully executed. The chainstay length on the titanium model is not adjustable, instead, it is fixed at 431 mm, the longest option on the steel model – we think this is a good thing as the steel Moxie feels most balanced in that setting.
Given the burly build on the bike with the 150 mm DVO Diamond Fork (frame is optimised for 140-160 mm), 2.8 / 2.6 Maxxis Minion DHF tyres and super wide cockpit, the Moxie was never going to be explosive uphill, but it climbs well enough. On paper, the position should be quite central, but the long reach makes the 76.5° seat-angle feel a little slacker than it is, especially as other bikes sharing this radical geometry are moving nearer to 78° and short-torso riders may feel that the front wheel is quite far in front on steeper pitches. We did find ourselves creeping forward on the seat and perching on the nose on long hauls, running the seat slammed forward unleashed a more efficient climber.
Point the bike downhill, light the touch paper and hang on! In the attack position, the long reach and spacious cockpit open up crazy lines and fun cornering. The Moxie is perfect for charging really steep trails, even when you are near vertical, there is still plenty of room to move around the bike without that unnerving feeling of being ‘all-in’ and hanging off the back of the bike. Ploughing hard through rock gardens, like any hardtail, the Moxie kicks like a mule, but unlike most hardtails, the long cockpit boosts confidence and makes it easier to keep in command. Where we enjoyed the Moxie the most was charging through repetitive corners. The low standover and -64 mm bottom bracket drop slams your weight low for hooligan action, making it easy to lay the bike over and drive through turns, letting the rear slide easily if the corner is tighter than expected. It feels like your skills have been turned up a notch. The thin 3AL/2.5V seat stays add a small dose of compliance, a little more damped than the steel model which is already a very comfortable bike. We tested the titanium bike in 27.5+ but our experience of the Moxie showed that it was more potent with 29” wheels, especially with the latest 2.5″ WT tyres, but there’s huge clearance for tyres up to 2.8” so you can make a choice depending on your terrain.
Only a handful of Pipedream Moxie Titanium frames have been produced, but another batch will be produced very soon. Pricing is expected to be around £1800 – £1900, and those who are interested should contact Pipedream directly. For most of us, the 4130 steel version is arguably much better value, offering an almost identical ride, but for lovers of titanium, the lure of precious metal will be all consuming..
High-end titanium hardtails are emotive bikes, desired for their clean lines, sublime ride and elegant simplicity. The Pipedream Moxie Titanium takes that classic formula and adds a firm dose of hooligan, ripping down trails like it has forgotten it does not have 160 mm of travel at the back. For most, the 4130 Cro-mo model is the best value, but there’s a pull to titanium that some will not be able to ignore
– Outstanding fun on the way down
– Drop dead gorgeous
– Steady climber
– Titanium does not come cheap
More info at: pipedreamcycles.com
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Words & Photos: Trev Worsey