With a minimalist swingarm design and high-pivot idler, Tora’s mullet gravity bike is ready.
Nobody does steel singlespeed mountain bikes, with quite the same style, as British brands. But within that niche, there is a new sub-set: the singlespeed gravity bike.
The concept isn’t all-new, but a resurgence in pivot-idler design has enabled more riders to consider the idea of a singlespeed downhill rig. Starling cycles do one. And now, there is the Tora Cycles EVH.
Boost hub – but room for a 2.6″ tyre
Tora’s EVH is an uncompromised play-bike design. There is no orthodox triangle, with the rear wheel held in place by a simple swingarm. Two sprockets constitute the drivetrain, with the recommended build being as a single-speed.
The EVH is an ode to those Brooklyn Machine Works bikes of yore. A functional prototype was shown late last year, and since then, the Tora team has refined a few frame features. Such as the integrated swingarm chain protector, which is now rubber instead of aluminium.
Configured as a mullet, the EVH has 200mm of frame travel. It also runs a 148x12mm rear axle, instead of SuperBoost 157x12mm, which is the more conventional standard for a bike with 200mm of rear suspension travel. Tora says that a 27.5×2.6″ tyre will fit in the rear, without an rubbing or mud-clearance issues.
Shock position is aft of the seat tube, with a huge idler wheel positioned ahead of the chainring, to decouple some chain tension influence on the kinematics optimally.
Slack but not too long
It looks radical, and the design goal for Tora was to create a veritable park riding off-road BMX, for conquering steep terrain and boosting big features.
Geometry numbers see a 63.5-degree head angle across the sizing spectrum, while reach numbers are mildly conservative. On a large size EVH, reach measures to only 455mm.
Ardent steel bike fanatics obsess about tubing specification. The EVH is built with T45 material, instead of 4130 chromoly, which is often the default for hard-riding steel frames.
Yes – it can take a rear cassette
T45 tubing is nearly a quarter more torsionally rigid than 4130, which makes a lot of sense if you are building a bike with 200mm of travel, targeted at riders who rarely – if ever – take B-lines.
The Tora EVH is a proudly British product, with frames welded in the South West of England and linkage bits CNC-machined in Wales.
Keen on one? Frames are £2600 and if you like the idea of a T45-grade steel mullet bike with lots of travel and an idler pivot, but want to run it geared, the EVH frame can accommodate a rear mech.