Why on earth would we call this mountain bike the ‘Altitude’? Because on Earth we have a mountain called Putha Hiunchuli and in October 2022 a Guiness World Record attempt took place to scale this mountain to it’s summit 7246m. Two Vaaru titanium mountain bikes will be carried up and ridden down from its summit making them the highest bicycles ever ridden. Neil Laughton and Kevin Byrne would be taking on this incredible challenge.
Our job was to create a bike for this task and the brief was simple, here is the checklist.
1: Great for ascending when the terrain allows.
2: Strong enough to take on the unforgiving descent.
3: Superb descending control in a mixture of terrain.
The brief was set and the design started to commence.
The frame is fully double butted 3AL 2.5V titanium for maximum comfort, strength and low weight. Headtube, BB, dropouts and chainstay yoke are all CNC machined from 6AL/4V titanium for that little bit of extra weight saving.
Designed around using a 130mm to 140mm fork meant it could soak up the roughest terrain but feel well balanced as a hardtail.
A 29er wheel made sense for it’s smooth rolling capability and with a maximum tyre clearance of 2.6″ we could choose from a range of tyres. Low standover height was critical and combined with a dropper post with internal cable routing meant it could be as agile as possible on the descents when single track turned to a rock garden.
- 3Al/2.5V double butted Titanium frame.
- 6AL/4V CNC BB, Headtube, BB, Yoke, Dropouts
- Sliding dropouts for ride handling tunability, SS compatible.
- BB, English Threaded 73mm
- Minimum rear rotor size 160mm
- Designed for 130 or 140mm fork
- 148mm x 12mm rear spacing
- Max tyre size 29 x 2.6″
- Internal dropper post routing
- 31.6mm seat tube.
- 32T max front chainring.
If you’re climbing to descend one of the highest mountains in the world or you’re just out for a bit of fun at the weekend on your local trails, the Altitude will take anything you throw at it with ease. It inspires confidence through handling those tricky descents but equally loves the climb back to the top!
If you would like to donate to Kevin’s charity page please follow this link.