Downcountry Hardtail? Whatever You Call it, MT-2 Does It
It seems silly that the bike industry just recently realized that cross-country bikes would be more fun with just a tad more travel and capable geometry. Also, it is odd to take a classic hardtail and water it down with comically slack angles and a too-long suspension fork.
Our MT-2 mountain bike is everything a hardtail should be — nothing more, nothing less. Dare we call it a “downcountry” hardtail? Maybe. We just think it’s fun to ride.
The MT-2 is built for the way we ride. Our summers are filled with high-Alpine epics in the Colorado mountains and after-work rips on the local trails. The simple efficiency of a hardtail is hard to beat, but it won’t shy away from a fast descent to get back to the car.
And you best believe we’ll also head out to the races from time to time. Right now, we're a week away from the Sea Otter Fuego XL, then looking ahead to the Bailey Hundo, a 60-mile marathon XC race a few hours outside Denver and, of course, the Leadville 100 in August.
With durable, straight-gauge titanium tubes, the MT-2 can handle any of these adventures. And if you lay it down in a rock garden (and we have, oh we have), it’ll stand up to the abuse.
The guiding principle behind our latest titanium mountain bike is versatility, the core of which is its geometry. Built around a 120mm travel suspension fork, the 67-degree head tube angle is plenty confident on steep drop-ins, without wandering and wallowing on the climb back up.
Similarly, we took a middle-ground approach to the seat tube angle. At about 74 degrees for most sizes, it gives riders the over-the-pedals position that’s becoming the norm without getting too extreme.
MT-2 is versatile in terms of its handling personality, but it also can shape-shift, depending on the parts you select.
We have seen MT-2 frames built into lightweight XC rigs with 100mm forks, feathery carbon fiber rims, and narrow, lighter tires. When you drop the suspension travel by 20mm, it steepens the front end by about one degree. It’s a Leadville weapon, if we’ve ever seen one.
On the other hand, the MT-2 is designed to handle forks up to 140mm of travel, so if you want to get into the enduro hardtail zone, you can bump up the suspension for slacker angles and more fork trail. This leads to a head angle that’s around 66 degrees … Plenty slack for shredding. If you go this route, the frame can accommodate up to 2.6” 29er tires.
As you can tell, this hardtail isn’t meant for purebred XC racers who want bike weight in the teens and an abusively stiff carbon frame. It’s also not for the senders who think a 140mm fork is short travel.
Some mountain bikers just want to do it all, and the MT-2 is made for it.
The MT-2 is available as a Batch Built frame only. For those of you looking for that elusive custom geometry hardtail, stay tuned, we've got something for you coming later this summer. As usual, the MT-2 is available with all of the paint and finish options that make Mosaics look so good.
Words: Spencer Powlison
Photos: Mark Currie