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STANTON SWITCH9ER

Price: £699.00 (frame only) From: Stanton, stantonbikes.com

Dan Stanton launched his namesake company back in 2012, with the aim of making hardtails fun again. Taking design cues from 4X and dirt jump frames, the original Stanton Slackline was well received, particularly by downhillers who wanted a simple, tough bike that could crank out some miles. Wheel sizes grew, and Stanton in 2015 followed the Slackline up with the Switchback, which boasted the sort of progressive geometry that was only just starting to catch on back then. I still remember seeing my mate piloting his through the big set of doubles at our local downhill trails, and feeling decidedly impressed that he was bossing them on what looked, to the untrained eye anyway, like a skinny steel cross-country bike.

At this point, Stanton was still following the tried and tested UK bike company model of designing the frames in the UK and getting them made in the Far East. Then the EU referendum happened, the value of the pound nosedived, and Dan saw his business model starting to unravel. So he brought in a business advisor, and began developing the capacity to manufacture frames in the UK. Fast forward a couple of years, and Stanton is now able to offer a full range of hardtails, and its first full suspension model, all fabricated and painted in Derbyshire. What’s more, UK and Taiwan-made frames are currently the same price, making the base model of Switch9er the most affordable frame in the test by quite some margin.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Wear Sunscreen Chipps lifts the veil on the uneconomic world of newsagent magazine sales. UK Adventure: Going Over To The Dark Side Shorter winter days mean you can do a dawn raid without having to get up too early. Classic Ride: The South Downs Blue skies, chalky trails and endless riding make for a perfect combination. Tom Hutton takes on the trails around Cissbury Ring. Column: Jason Miles It’s not all about chafing and suffering in Jason’s endurance racing world. Sometimes it’s about haunted helmets… International Adventure: Letting Go And Finding Flow Some journeys aren’t about the miles ridden. Amanda explores the trails of Denmark, while unwinding some of the twisty singletrack in her head. UK Adventure: My Grandad’s Head In A Jar Adam Batty gets rad with his dad and his dad’s dad. And all thanks to some electric bicycle help. Keeping Track Of Time At The Trans-Provence 2019 saw the final Trans Provence. Tom Hill looks back on what made the event so special, from the unique view of those riders not racing, but working the course every day. Column: Still Going After a mere 20 years, Chipps reckons his SPD pedals are just about needing a service. UK Adventure: Making It Up In The Lake District Drawing a line on a map and following it over the roof of the Lake District is certainly one way to see the Lakes. Follow Chipps and Nigel Page to see if it’s actually a good one. Bike Test: British Steel Not just designed in the UK, but cut, mitred and welded here too. Three aggressive hardtails on test from 18 Bikes, Shand and Stanton are put to the test. International Adventure: Verbier By Train Can we really appreciate the places we ride if we’re helping to destroy them by getting there? Mark took a low carbon approach.