That sweet, snappy feedback of a hardtail frame combined with the organic responsiveness of steel is hard to beat. Those of us who love a steel hardtail know it well. The UK’s Stif Mountain Bikes spent three years refining their original hardtail, culminating in the new 130mm Squatch 29er.
With a 420mm seat tube, the medium frame should work for some shorter riders, though it certainly won’t fit everyone. With a 78° seat tube angle, before fork sag, and stumpy 430mm chainstays keeping the rear wheel under tucked the rider, this bike should climb almost anything without complaint. While the bike’s deep 80mm of BB drop might have a lot of folks pondering the over-fork-it possibilities of the Squatch frame, the slack 64° head tube angle will likely grow unruly with additional travel.
Thanks to some creative chainstay designs with their proprietary 4130 Chromoly tubing Stif managed to fit 2.6″ tires in the new bike with space for mud.
The Squatch frame is available for €649 in teal, bone, or silver colorways, or you can choose from two burly complete-build options that start at €2,099. The base build includes a 130mm RockShox Pike Select+, SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain, a 175mm KS dropper, DT Swiss hubs laced to WTB KOM i30 rims, Burgtec cockpit, saddle, and pedals, all rolling on a set of Maxxis DHF and Recon tread with EXO+ casings. The Pro Build receives a Pike Ultimate upgrade, Hope hubs, and a lighter SRAM GX drivetrain.
Head over to the Stif website for further details.