Rounding the first corner at the Cycle Show and we came face to face with this aggressive looking beast, staring us down like only a mustard yellow steel hardtail can. We were forced to shake hands and meet with the new Trillion Prime and, boy, were we glad we did!
Trillion Cycles are part of the Liberty House Group, a company that specialises in commodities, metals recycling and the manufacture of steel, aluminium and engineering products. It's no small company, last year the group bought out Tata in the UK. We've heard that the boss of this company started off in life selling bikes so it makes sense he'd want to combine two passions and pour some money into the development of a steel bike.
Trillion produces and builds all of its frames and bikes in the UK and they had their steel hardtail mountain bike at the Cycle Show for us to drool over. They describe the bike as the ultimate steel all mountain bike, but there are quite a few steel bikes all looking to claim the same title, so what does the bike from Trillion offer?
The Prime uses 160mm of travel, runs on 27.5" wheels and uses a mix of Reynolds 853 and Colombus Zona steel. The low standover and long wheelbase a dead giveaway of the trail bruiser it's designed to be.
Like all bikes, the Prime is a product of development with updates this year to the laser cut seat brace, head tube gussets and a now straight top tube.
Aside from just looking rad with that super low standover and fine yellow paint, the Prime looks to be pretty well sorted in the geometry department too. The reach on a medium/large bike comes in at a roomy 455mm alongside a seat tube length of 430mm, there looks to be plenty of room for pulling shapes aboard this steed. The short seat tube means there is loads of space for running a long dropper post and also gives riders who are shorter in the inside leg a chance to revel in the delights of a longer reach.
The slack head angle of 65 degrees and the 430-450mm chainstays (horizontal sliding dropouts) gives a wheelbase of 1202-1222mm, which even at its shortest is pretty long. These characteristics will help the bike become a good climber, only slightly hampered by a seat angle which errs on the side of slack at 74 degrees.
Trillion says there is clearance for up to 2.6" tyres (27.5") and we reckon you could squeeze 29er wheels in here too but that would compromise geometry (raising the bottom bracket) in a bike that is designed around 27.5" wheels. Down at the back, the rear end is set up for boost spaced hubs and up at the front, the headtube is compatible with a variety of headset cup, including anglesets so you can slacken this riotous animal off even more if you want.
The price for the Trillion Prime frame only is £999, with three other build kits to choose from if you'd rather have a whole bike, the cheapest being £2,599 and the most expensive being a whopping £4,249. For that sum you get Rockshox Lyrik RTC3 forks, a 170mm stealth Reverb, Mavic wheels, SRAM GX Eagle, Hope brakes and a Renthal cockpit.
Due to our penchant for steep bikes, especially long and slack ones, Trillion is now firmly on our radar. For more details head over to their website - www.trillioncycles.com
Since the CycleShow we have learnt that Trillion Cycles will be working with Shand Cycles, Seven from Shand told us:
"Shand and Trillion have agreed to collaborate in the design, manufacture and sale of bicycles. Strengthening the iconic, UK cycle industry, and harnessing the combined capabilities within each business this new collaboration is considered entirely mutually beneficial with Shand, recognised for their long standing heritage, expertise and quality while Trillion, part of Liberty Vehicle Technologies, provides a significant design and engineering technology expertise. Both brands shall continue independently, focusing on their own, individual, market sectors and operate from their respective operational headquarters in Leamington Spa and Livingston."
Check out the Tam, a new expedition bike from Shand here.