Stif have been part of the UK mountain bike world for an awful long time. 30 years to be exact. The Morf is their first bike and it looks like an interesting one.

With a 65° head angle and a lengthy top tube designed around a dinky 35mm stem it’s clear that the emphasis is on speedy technical trail ripping.

>>> Hardtail of the Year 2016: £500-£1,000


Good stance there Morf

Designed in conjunction with Brant Richards – who’s done stuff for Nukeproof, On-One and Alpkit amongst other – the Morf is a nice looking execution of a thoroughly modern UK hardtail.

Chromoly tubing echoes back to classic mountain bikes over the years. From the Tushingham B52, through the Orange Clockwork and the P7.

>>> Radical head angle hardtails from Orange

With a sprinkling of spark from other Stif favourites along the years like the Santa Cruz Chameleon and the amazing artistry of Scapin.


The 12 Bore chainstay design

Perhaps the signature part of the Morf is the ’12 Bore’ chainstay, which is a cunning bit of tubework designed to enable those short chainstays to work with chunky 2.4in tyres and (up to) a 36T chainring.

Some nice Burgtec bits on the XT build

Some nice Burgtec bits on the XT build

Need to know

  • 130mm fork
  • 4130 cromoly
  • 27.5 wheels with clearance up to 2.4in tyres
  • 65° head angle
  • 35mm stem specific
  • Super short 420mm chainstays
  • Down tube bottle bosses
  • Stealth dropper routing
  • ISCG 03
  • 142 x 12 back end
  • XT full build £1,999.00

It’s available as a complete bike or frameset (£499.00) from


Nice head badge mister

Why isn’t it Plus?

Brant Richards: “”Going to a plus size and doing it justice extended the wheelbase and detuned the handling a bit, as well as needing 148/157mm rear spacing which would instantly wipe out a big sector of our customers who didn’t have the wheels or drivetrain to support that specification.”

The Morf has already been grabbing podium spots in UK enduros under the captainship of rider Matt Wright. Matt is the rider in the above video by the way. He’s achieved impressively nippy results at the ‘Ard Rock, the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series and the Red Kite Enduro Series.


Available in not-yellow too

We asked Morf designer Brant Richards for his 2p: “Morf is named after Paul Morphet, Founder of Stif, who’s been involved in mountainbiking since it’s dawn in the UK, having worked at Tushingham when the B52 (the UK’s first production mountainbike) was created.

Minty and saucy looking decals

Minty and saucy looking decals

“It’s been brilliant working with the guys at Stif on this project. Their adverts, stock and image were such a key part of mountainbiking in the early days, it’s brilliant to be able to make this their first production frame so true to their original beliefs and still applicable to now.

“It’s definitely the best steel frame I’ve ever designed, and I’m very pleased we’ve been able to work together.”