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Product Review: Lynskey MT 29 Ti Hardtail Frame – Silver Series 2014

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Titanium is truly the perfect material for a hard tail mountain bike and a 29er gets everything possible out of Lynskey titanium. The MT 29’s combination optimized stiffness and natural comfort-inducing compliance mean this bright brushed, disc-ready rock-and-rut rolling mountain goat will be getting you there and back for years to come.

Specifications:

  • Frame Material: Certified Aerospace Grade 3Al/2.5V straight gauge titanium tubing with durable Industrial Mill finish
  • Recommended Fork: Designed for 100-120mm travel suspension forks or rigid 465mm forks
  • Cable Routing: Under top tube cable routing
  • Headtube Design : 44mm oversized, accepts either 1-1/8″ or tapered 1.5 to 1 1/8″ fork steerer tubes
  • Bottom Bracket Type : 68mm Standard English
  • Seatpost Diameter : 27.2mm
  • Seat Tube Diameter (Front Derailleur Clamp Size) : 34.9
  • Wheel Size : 29″
  • Max Tyre Width : 2.3
  • Dropouts : Wright-style dropouts for 9mm QR axles w/ replaceable hanger
  • Rear Spacing : 135mm
  • Brake Type : Disc
  • Weight: 3.4 lb approx.
  • Other: Lifetime Warranty

Lynskey Mt 29 Frame Review:

 You’re on the bike, and the immediate silence is shattered by the rumbling of the rear tire. The MT is a particularly loud bike. And this is coming from a guy that just put a RST Raven full on lockout on his Diamondback Overdrive. The magic of titanium is that it’s a truly elastic alloy, and while great for carving hard and loving the corners, it’s not going to come across as particularly light and snappy like an alloy 29er would. Some may argue that it’s too harsh on the trail, and I think it needs a little set up work to tame some of the rough edges, but if you like it stiff, you’re gonna love this bike. – Lloyd ‘Gnarly’ Barnes, Emerald Mountain Stewards.

The MT 29 is Lynskey’s aluminum hardtail 29er slayer. While nothing will ever be able to compete with the ride quality of frame, Lynskey’s MT 29 aims to outperform in every conceivable way. It’s stiff, fast, good looking and built to last. The frame is constructed of Lynskey’s top-of-the-line 3Al/2.5V Aerospace Grade Titanium. It’s also available in more economical construction methods, but the all-titanium option is like none other. Through their own forging process, Lynskey controls the consistency of the material and takes the highest-grade titanium available. Other manufacturers coldwork their ti tubes which dramatically reduces the strength of the material. Forgoing coldworking allows Lynskey to make a frame that’s light and strong. Forks can be attached to the MT 29 either with a 1.5” steerer tube, or by a 1-1/8″ steerer tube with a 1-1/2″ adaptor. The beauty of the MT 29 lies in the versatility. It’s made to shred but it can also be a mountaineering beast. The MT 29 was designed with the intention of being the ultimate 29er hardtail, and in some cases, such as the single speed applications, that’s exactly what it is. -Kristy Griffin, Equinox Collective 

The Mt. 29 comes in sizes X-Small on up to XX-Large, although XS, SM and MS are steel only. The Lynskey MT. 29 comes in four colors: Burnt Orange, a Burnt Sienna with brush-polished dropouts, a Dark Grey and this Industrial Grey. It features a tapered head tube and Lynskey’s signature disc braze-ons. A simple and elegant curve draws the eye to Lynskey’s signature “Evolution” top tube, down tube and seat tube design. The heat-treated welds are swept smooth for a clean look and the orange and grey paint scheme blends together nicely without being too overwhelming.

Why titanium? They say when you buy something made from titanium, it’s an investment. After looking at the frame and fork, I’m not quite sure I agree on that one. It’s a little on the heavy side for a hardtail, especially when compared to my heavy aluminum 26er HT. But that doesn’t take away from the ride. The Lynskey MT 29 is like a tank. It’s heavy, but solid. It took a few rides to get it dialled in just right. But when it’s right, it’s ready to stick to singletrack. It bites through roots, rocks, and anything else the trail throws at it. It’s not flexy, it’s stiff. So if you’re looking for a buttery smooth ride, this isn’t it. This is a bike that will stick to the ground and put you exactly where you want to be. It tracks straight like an arrow and is incredibly predictable.

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How does it perform? I’ve been testing this bike this summer. The saddle is way too firm for my taste. I’m honestly not sure you could ever get one of these frames to ride with a leather saddle. The Lynskey tankers are notorious for having hard saddles. Lynskey recommends a nice soft saddle with lots of padding and swaybacked rails. I ended up running a big ole WTB Volt with steel rails. It made things better, but I think this is a bike that needs to have some padding. I’m not sure how far back you’d have to go to get this thing to sit right, but I think it’d be worth it, because then, the saddle would be right in the midline of the bike.

Geometry-wise, the bike felt slightly large. I’m sure if you’re into this sort of thing, there are ways you can tailor it a little more to fit the way you like, but on paper, it’s just straight up a little long. the reach, on the other hand, felt perfect, giving me a good, solid position on the bike. The head angle’s a little steep at 74.5 degrees, but it’s probably a little less than an inch. I don’t think any of this is going to affect performance, but when it comes time to hop on something else that’s a little more comfortable for cruising, you’ll notice it.

The wheels are a set of Hope Pro II Evo hubs laced to WTB i23 rims. I did a review on some WTB i23s a while back, and the hub set on these are the same. The hubs are relatively light, but with all-out disc braking, they’re going to be a little heavier than some other options. A set of rotors and these wheels should run somewhere in the 22 to 23-pound range. That’s not bad, but there are lightweight options out there. At the end of the day, this is a hardtail with 29″ wheels that under normal riding circumstance, will be plenty light enough for most riders.

What was this all about? The MT 29 was intended to be the ultimate hardtail 29er. It sticks to the ground and offers the confidence you need to take the steeps and the corners. It’s a race bike with virtually unlimited potential. And it’s all titanium, to boot. If you’re looking to build an ultimate hardtail 29er, this is the right bike for the job. It’s a little expensive, and it’s a little heavy, but what it does, it does better than anything else.

Lynskey MT 29 Best Applications: Racing, general trail riding, touring

What could be better? The handlebars are a little small, and the bar ends need some work to be comfortable.

The Lynskey MT 29 is one of the best Lynskey frames available. The frame is hand built in Duluth, Minnesota, USA by Lynskey Cycles. The larger tubing has more area than standard tube. If it were available, we would offer a custom tailored custom titanium frame.

Marzocchi provided the TST2 Coil for the suspension fork. It is an adjustable air-spring that uses an electronically controlled system, with rebound and shock adjustments. It works well on downhill bikes, but it still has some limitations.

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Written by Mark Adams

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