reeb sst
The full-suspension steel Reeb SST; (photo/Reeb)

Aerospace Engineering, Custom 3D-Printed Steel: The Reeb SST Mountain Bike

Custom bike-builder Reeb needed 3D-printed aerospace parts and pro enduro testing to make a full-suspension steel MTB. It says you can whip it around like a hardtail.

The Reeb SST is a steel short-travel beast. With it, the Colorado-based custom builder sought to make a bike you could play with like a hardtail but could also handle brutal descents. In contrast to its smashmouth character, the SST is anything but low-tech.

To meet the challenge, Reeb assembled a dream team. It first borrowed team rider Jeff Lenosky’s ReDikyelous custom hardtail tubes, and then brought in fabrication and abuse testing from lead frame-builder Adam “Prosauce” Prosise — who, if you didn’t know, rides rough and very fast.

But the designer needed a materials expert because the bike was a full-suspension steelie that also needed to be lightweight. The third headline member of the team? That would be James Bridge, whose designs have flown on multiple spaceflight missions during his 8-year career in aerospace.

High-Concept Suspension Design

As a result, the SST gets aerospace-grade 3D-printed frame components. And it utilizes the same thoughtfully engineered, modified four-bar suspension design as the detail-focused Sqweeb V4.

Reeb looks for the leading edge with the rear suspension setup. The rig seeks to combine the pedaling and braking benefits of a Horst-link with the simplicity and low weight of a flex-stay. As applied to the Sqweeb, Reeb told Bikerumor that tighter kinematics improved pedaling and braking control and made the platform highly tunable and predictable.

reeb sst
(Photos/Reeb)

Hardware-wise, Reeb builds the SST’s suspension with custom-formed steel stays, a hollow yoke, proprietary dropouts, and oversized enduro bearings. The idea was to increase control and lateral stiffness over a traditional steel frame.

In the field, Reeb says, the design choices make the SST sensitive to small bumps, give it a solid ramp throughout the 120mm travel, and result in a balance between stiffness and compliance it called “sublime.”

“Leverage ratio, kinematics and geometry are all tuned to create an ultra-responsive chassis that jumps off the line, crushes climbs, slaps berms, launches gaps, and floats through chunder like a much bigger bike,” Reeb said.

 

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‘Impossible’ Without 3D Printing

Interestingly, it can only happen because the brand builds it with 3D printing rather than CNC routing. Reeb said that Selective Laser Melting 3D printing allowed it to create thin-walled parts with internal structures that would be “impossible” to manufacture through subtractive CNC machining.

reeb sst
(Photo/Reeb)

“Metal additive manufacturing (3D printing) has intrigued us for a while, but until recently, it was not a cost-effective or accessible technology. Over the last couple of years, 3D printing has become much more mainstream, so we jumped at the opportunity to make some parts,” said SST and Sqweeb design engineer and REEB Cycles President Steve “Space Cowboy” Ziegler.

Like every Reeb bike, the company builds each SST by hand at its Lyons, Colo., facility. Reeb makes the frame only, plus two complete builds, available across five sizes. The frame alone runs $3,150, and the range-topping X01 AXS build fetches $9,850.

Considering everything that goes into making an SST, current lead times make for relatively short waits: Dec. 15 for frames, Jan. 1 for the X01 AXS, and Feb. 1 for the mid-range GX complete build.

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Sam Anderson
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Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.