It doesn’t take more than a glance at Guerilla Gravity’s “Pedalhead” to quickly see that it is one of the more unique plus hardtails on the market right now. Follow this up with a look at the geo numbers, including a 65.5º head tube angle, 74º seat tube angle and 419mm chainstays, and you’ll either sit right up and take notice, scratch your head in wonder, or likely a little bit of both.
The Pedalhead is an attention-grabber for sure, with distinctive square tubing, a super-low top tube, heavy-metal inspired graphics, and an aggro stance that screams “downhill banshee.” Guerrilla Gravity makes no bones about being focused on making bikes that are designed to descend like rockets – they put “I Like to Go Fast” on the top tube of every bike that leaves their Colorado factory, and you won’t have to spend too much time in the cockpit of a GG bike to realize this isn’t an empty marketing slogan. For those unfamiliar with Guerrilla Gravity, every GG frame is handmade by craftsmen in the free state of Colorado. Yes, these are high quality, U.S. made frames priced competitively with many offshore-manufactured bikes. In addition, customers can build their bike online, with lots of different options to choose from, including frame-only or a partial build, if you already have a pile of goodies you want to add into the mix. You can then either have your bike shipped to your LBS (which gets a spiff for the deal) or shipped directly to your remote double-wide chateau on Nunya Mesa.
The Pedalhead certainly fits into the “long, low, slack” category, and sits happily at the outer edge of those boundaries. Wheelbase on the medium Pedalhead comes out to 45.9” (1165mm). Bottom bracket height on the Pedalhead with the above-mentioned Maxxis tires is 11.5” (292mm). Threaded bottom brackets are standard across the entire GG model line, and the Pedalhead includes ISCG05 mounts for a chain guide/bash guard if you so choose to protect your undercarriage. GG calls their steel “Smashmoly” and offers little more detail than that, though the ride quality definitely hints at mystical properties and probably involves a ground-up unicorn or two added to the metallurgy. Square tubing contributes to the “lateral and torsional stiffness, while remaining vertically compliant (more on this to come).” Hub spacing is Boost 15×110 up front and 12×148 rear, as one would expect from a good plus bike these days.
I made no requests from GG on this bike, figuring I’d ride whatever build they decided to send me. The build I received was solid mid/upper spec:
- MRP Ribbon 140mm fork
- SRAM GX 1×11 drivetrain
- SRAM Guide RS brakes
- Race Face Turbine Cinch cranks
- Turbine 780mm bar/Aeffect 50mm stem
- DT Swiss M1700 rims (i40)
- Maxxis DHF/DHR 2.8” tires
- Fox Transfer dropper post, internal routing (125mm) with internal routing
The bike also included GG’s “NUTS” (Necessities Under The Saddle) strap, which allows for a secure attachment of a spare tube, CO2 inflator and lever directly to the frame. Total bike weight with this build (with my Xpedo ‘Spry’ pedals) is 30.1lbs (13.65kg) – squarely in the ballpark of what I would expect for a solid, mid-level spec steel hardtail. And of course, if this bike appeals to you, but you want to lighten it up, they offer a higher-end “Race” build that comes in around 27 lbs, depending on your choices.
The first few rides have confirmed for me that the Pedalhead is a deceptive bike, happily defying assumptions and chock full of surprises. It is a bike that reinforces for me that there is only so much that can be divined from staring at numbers on paper – bikes are meant to be ridden, and the Pedalhead reveals what it really is when you get it out on steep chunk and stare into the gaping maw of the dragon. Suffice for now to say I’ve never ridden a hardtail quite like this, and you can expect that I’ll explain why in detail when the full review drops a month or so from now. Till then – keep the chubby side down.
Check out more from Guerrilla Gravity at – http://ridegg.com/