With all of the affordable 120-140mm hardtails to choose between, how do brands differentiate themselves from the pack? Montana-based Esker Cycles has found a few ways to make their new Japhy steel 120mm hardtail special.
The clear standout element of the Japhy frame is its Boost-spaced sliding dropout. Riders can easily change drivetrains between single-speed or geared depending on the coming adventure. The dropouts also allow for chainstay length adjustments between 425mm and 437mm and they can be swapped out for a set of 142x12mm spaced Portage dropouts if desired. Those same dropout chips include rack mounts to accompany the frame’s many braze-ons and adapters for attaching bikepacking bags and rerouting cables accordingly.
Another standout feature is the ability to run up to 2.8-inch-wide, 29+ tires. All three builds feature 29×2.8 Terrene McFlys.
These steel tubes take a fairly modern shape with the bike’s 66° head tube angle, 75° seat tube angle, and deep 65mm BB drop. Reach measurements across the small-XL size run are 420, 450, 470, 490mm to match the relatively short seat tubes at 380, 410, 450, and 490mm respectively.
The threaded 73mm BB and external cables attach to custom drawn tubes that Esker Cycles says were designed specifically for each size. “The custom drawn Japhy tubeset is made from externally tapered, seamless, quadruple butted, heat-treated 4130 cromoly that is specific to each frame size—making for a better quality frame while reducing weight and cost for the rider.”
This new 120mm hardtail frame will sell for $750 with an axle, seat post collar, and a Wolf Tooth headset. Complete builds will be available in limited quantities, with a range of components starting at $2000. Visit the Esker Cycles site for additional details and build specs.