I came across Jonathan’s FORM Cycles Prevail custom titanium 29er hardtail on Reddit’s /MTB section. He posted up some great information with some detail shots of his beautiful bike. I contacted him immediately to get some more information on his build because I thought it would be a great [American Ride] article. Jonathan was gracious enough to fill me in with some more information about his svelte ride.
About the Owner:
What is your name?
Jon Guerdrum – MTBR Build Thread
Where do you live?
Fort Collins, CO
What type of riding do you like to do?
The stuff I ride the most qualifies as XC / trail / all mountain. I really like the trails that are a little raw and not as commonly ridden. Being disconnected from society is one of my favorite parts of the sport.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
My Favorite trail is South Boundary in Taos, NM. New Mexico is probably my favorite state to ride in as well, though I am spoiled rotten here in Colorado.
Do you race often or participate in special events?
I only participate in a couple “for fun” races every year. Often on a single speed, often involving whiskey. I raced in college quite a bit, but that was a while ago.
About the Bike:
FORM Cycles Titanium Prevail 29er
How/Why did you choose to get a custom frame made?
I have ridden enough bikes now to have a good idea how geometry and build affects riding characteristics, and wanted to create my own special brew. I also love Titanium, and since Ti frames are “for life” so to speak I wanted to have a bike built for my body and my riding style that I could keep for a very long time.
How did you go about deciding which builder you wanted to work with?
I had some experience with Titus titanium in the past, and heard that the crew who produced the Ti frames there started their own business when Titus was in a rough patch. When I saw the first few frames they had produced it was a no-brainer, the frames were elegant simplicity in a sexy package. Daryl is the owner of FORM and knows his stuff, and rides/creates what he preaches. I love to look at the pretty bikes with shapely curves and sexy lines, but I wanted to own something that was no-nonsense simple performance, FORM delivered.
What were your design goals with this frame?
I did not want some thoroughbred, uber light, fairy mobile, but at the same time I didn’t want a “all mountain” piggy. I wanted a working mans trail steed, a hardtail to do anything I wanted with, while remaining light and nimble enough to race. I was thinking of some magical combination of my Karate Monkeys feel, and my Enduro’s “toss-ability” for tight and technical terrain. I also wanted a shorter cockpit with big bars, and a nice stable downhill ride. A tall order of goldy-locks like requests of “not to heavy, not to light, not to soft, not to hard, etc…”
What were your reasons for going with this frame build material choice?
Ti is tight and firm overall, yet soft and supple where you want it. I have bikes of other flavors (steel, carbon, al) and they are all great in their own way, but Ti is my favorite hands down, it just feels right. If I could have every bike in my quiver titanium, I would.
What is your bike frame geometry and how did you and your builder determine the geometry?
The Geo he came up with looked excellent; and with a round of tweaks became exactly what I wanted.
- Headtube Angle: 70.5°
- Seattube Angle: 73°
- Chainstay Length: 17.7 “
- Wheelbase: 43.4°
- Effective Top Tube: 23.6″
- Bottom Bracket Height: 12.3″
- Stand Over: 30.4″
Unique features / color / parts?
- Paragon Hooded Sliding Dropouts
- Over-sized Head Tube for Tapered Steer Tube
- Post Mount Slider for Rear Break
- PF30 Bottom Bracket
- Dark Bead Blast “Decals”
- Copper Head Badge
Please detail your bike build (parts, total weight):
- Brakes: Shimano XT M785, 160mm rear rotor, 180mm front rotor
- Cassette: SRAM X9 11-34
- Chain: KMC X10SL Gold Chain
- Crankset: SRAM X-9, 2×10. PF30, 28×42 Crank, 175mm arm length
- Fork: 2012 Fox FIT F29, RLC, 100mm travel, Tapered, 15mm Thru Axle, Custom Gryphon Decals
- Grips: Cankbrothers Iodine Foam
- Handlebars: Answer Protaper Carbon
- Headset: Chris King IS-7
- Wheelset: Sunringle Black Flag Pro 29er, Tubeless setup
- Saddle: Specialized Phenom 145mm, Ti Rails
- Seatpost: FORM Titanium
- Stem: Thomson X4 90mm 0 deg / Custom FORM Top Cap
- Tires: Kenda Slant Six UST 2.2
Total Weight: 24lbs
Submit your own [American Ride]
I’d love to see more reader rides to feature on the site. If you have an American made mountain bike or know a friend who does, send me an email. My only request, besides being an American made frame, is that you have or are willing to take some nice photos detailing the bike. Because face it, no one wants to look at crappy pictures of an awesome bike.