Guerrilla Gravity Updates the Trail Pistol with Full Carbon Rear Triangle
This is actually a really big deal
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Think about it. Giant Bicycles, who by some definitions is the largest bike manufacturer in the world, spent over five years putting aluminum rear triangles on their flagship carbon trail bike. They just didn’t think it was worth the trouble. Granted, Giant’s one-piece rear triangle is more complicated to manufacture than Guerrilla Gravity’s separate seatstay and chainstay (though not by much, it turns out), but what about Marin? Salsa? Several brands who produce 100% of their full suspension frames in Asia still have flagship bikes with an aluminum stay.
About two years ago, when Guerrilla Gravity started making carbon front triangles, you’d have been forgiven for seeing it as an experiment. Not only because they were making their frames in the U.S., but because they were making them with a process that was unheard of in modern carbon bike frame manufacturing. Revved, as Guerrilla Gravity has named their carbon, uses “normal” sheets of carbon, but bonds them with what a layman like myself would cal thermoplastic resin. There’s way more to it, but they’ll never tell. The fact that they’ve got the bandwidth to to add carbon stays is an even greater proof of concept than staying afloat for two years after the move to carbon, including one year of pandemic.
So, that’s the 10,000-foot view of why this is a big deal. Let’s talk about why it’s a big deal up close. Guerrilla Gravity’s proprietary Revved carbon produces frames that are less brittle than traditional carbon. That makes it better at surviving rock strikes, which are part of the reason several brands still spec alloy chainstays on high-end carbon bikes. It should be mentioned that, as far as we know, Revved carbon can not be repaired like traditional carbon. But the idea is that it’s less likely to have to be. And if a stay does suffer fatal damage, it can be replaced and the old one can be recycled, something that traditional carbon definitely can not do.
Now, getting even closer, the carbon rear triangle made the move to accommodate a zero-dish wheel, meaning the rim does not need to be offset from the hub’s center, making for slightly more even spoke tension and a slightly better chainline in the easier gears. It also goes to a 180-millimeter-specific brake caliper mount and both brake and derailleur lines now feed directly through the chainstays. The pivot at the dropouts has gone from ball bearings to IGUS bushings, which make for a stiffer connection and tend to have longer wear on the relatively low-mobility pivot. The design also now uses the UDH universal derailleur hanger.
Apparently, it was difficult to manufacture a chainstay with the stiffness that Guerrilla Gravity wanted, and they ended up molding the entire component as one piece, claiming it to be the most complex product they’ve ever made with Revved carbon. The end result is a 50-percent stiffer rear triangle and a remarkable 300-gram overall weight savings over aluminum.
The Trail Pistol’s front triangle also got an update with a flush-mounted cover. The technically-external routing now clips, zip-tie-free, to the frame, and the cover is bolted on over it. That, and some new stickers, are really all that’s changed about the Trail Pistol’s front triangle. That means that it is still part of Guerrilla Gravity’s modular-frame ecosystem. With a swap of fork, headset components, rear shock and/or the bike-specific Seatstay Kit, it can still be converted to any one of their other models. Those other models are each expected to get their own Revved rear triangles throughout the year, all getting the same features set forth on the new full-carbon Trail Pistol.
So, on top of all the practical and performance benefits that the Revved rear triangle is promising, it continues Guerrilla Gravity’s mission of making its domestic carbon frames affordable. Framesets start at $2,685 with a RockShox Deluxe rear shock, and completes start at $4,395 with a Pike fork and SRAM NX drivetrain, all easily customizable on Guerrilla Gravity’s website.
Find it at ridegg.com/trailpistol