Niladri’s MTB with tapered head tube and 142x12mm rear thru-axle. Destined to run the new XTR 1×11 drivetrain and I’m just a little bit envious.

The frame will be more supple than most current frames and for this I used my racing experience of old-school frame design. It’s made of tubes in a smaller diameter than is fashionable, from Columbus’ Life selection. That and the 26″ wheels were the best choice for his smaller stature and build. Zona seatstays were necessary for the tight bend around the rear tyre.

We went with the thru axle dropouts by Paragon Machineworks to the Syntace X-12 142×12 standard. It’s essentially a 135mm spacing hub with extra material on the ends to guide the wheel into place before the thru-axle is fitted. It’s a good design. There’s 3.5mm extra on each end to engage with the dropout slots. The derailleur hanger is minimalist, durable and replaceable.

Tapered head tubes have taken quite some time to be available in a format that I’m happy with and it all works and looks great now, able to take both 1-1/8″ or tapered 1.5″ steerers.