The Tor Abrade Synchro Build

2021 was a bit grim for drivetrains! The combination of a global component shortage and higher than average rainfall meant chains, cassettes, sprockets and pulleys were being consumed well past their use by date. “Have you got an XT Derailleur?” was the question sending a shudder down the spine bike shop staff around the nation. That got us thinking…

Q- What can be done?

A-Ditch the conventional drivetrain!

The Drivetrain

The Tor Abrade Synchro is a progression of the Abrade hardtail. An aggressive hardtail with modern geometry coupled with a low maintenance and robust Pinion C1.12 gearbox and Carbon Gates belt drive. Nothing to lubricate, no hanger to bend, no cage to twist and beautifully smooth shifting. The C1.12 also offers a massive 600% range which is significant when compared to a regular 12 speed Sram or Shimano drivetrain.


The TIG welded frame is constructed of a combination of Columbus Zona butted steel tubing and straight gauge 4130 steel tubing. Stainless steel horizontal dropouts allow for accurate belt tensioning and interchangeable sliding dropouts . Fully external cable and hose routing with the exception of the dropper post cable.

The finish on this frame is as impressive as the drivetrain. Mitch at 74Works  created this tri-coloured scheme from H-series Cerakote ceramic coating. Cerakote is an ultra thin and extremely durable industrial coating typically used in automotive, aerospace and military applications. Perfect for mountain bikes! Unlike paint, Cerakote can’t be fully cured between colour changes so must be handled hot and completed in one go. Mitch is meticulous with his work and planned this one out in detail before picking up the gun. This stunning finish is the result.


The geometry on this bike has been custom designed for a customer who rides a medium dual suspension trail bike. The smaller cockpit allowed for a BMX or DJ bike inspired straight line from the headtube to dropouts through the top tube and seat stays. This feature may require a seat tube brace on larger frames.


Fork- RockShox Lyric Ultimate, 150mm

Headset- Chris King i7, limited edition

Stem- Thomson X4, 40mm

Handlebars- Thompson Elite, 800mm

Shifter- Pinion Gripshift

Grips- Oury V2

Brakes- Shimano Saint

Rotors- Shimano,  160mm rear and 180mm front

Rims- DT Swiss EX 471, 29″

Hubs- DT Swiss 240

Tyres- Specialized Butcher 2.35″ front, Specialized 2.35″ Eliminator rear

Pedals- Shimano XTR Trail

Cranks- Pinion

Belt and Sprockets- Gates Carbon Drive, 32T front and 26T rear

Seatpost- One Up, 210mm

Saddle- Specialized


We are now offering custom Abrade Synchro framesets including single colour powdercoated frame, Pinion C1.12 gearbox, Pinion gripshift, belt or chain drivetrain and cranks for $6000incGST. Drop us an email with any questions or to get the ball rolling on your custom build.


Images- Matt Rousu Photography

Handmade Bicycle Show Australia 2021

An amazing show! Thanks to all who stopped by for a chat. Below are some articles featuring our bikes.

Gallery: The best of the 2021 Handmade Bicycle Show Australia, part three – CyclingTips

Tig welders and titanium: Handmade Bicycle Show 2021 – Flow Mountain Bike – Flow Mountain Bike

FYXO Interview



Tor Zenith

Introducing the Tor Zenith!

On show for the first time at the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia in Melbourne on May 7-9.  

A Trail Bike

 The design of the Zenith was inspired by the lengthy group chat discussion preceding our regular Wednesday night group ride. Where are we riding? How long are we heading out for? What bike should I ride? These rides can be anything from an XC loop , a climb up to a summit for a view, DH laps or sometimes all of it! We think this bike allows you to ignore the pre ride banter and pick up the same bike week in, week out and have a blast!       

The Basics (custom show bike)

29″ wheels front and back

130mm rear travel with a 140mm fork

66° head angle

75.5° seat angle

175mm dropper post

Handmade steel frame using a mix of Reynolds and Columbus tubing

Custom Large Sizing

Suspension Design

Yep, it’s a single pivot. Simple, reliable and easy to maintain. At the beginning we had some goals in terms of kinematics and were prepared to try different suspension platforms but were able to achieve our goals with the humble single pivot. There are no standards when reporting MTB suspension kinematics so we’ve kept terminology and methods simple and inline with what we believe is industry standard. 


With 0.9% progression at an average of 2.2 the leverage ratio is very linear. This provides a predictable feel throughout the range of travel and allows for a straightforward tune. Volume spacers in the Fox DPX2 shock can provide a range progression and firm up the bottom end.   



Contrary to internet stereotypes, a single pivot can pedal really well! With a 32T front chainring and 46T rear cog the anti squat is 110% at 0mm of travel, 104% at sag (30%) and finishes at about 87%. Keeping that number above 100% through the pedaling zone means you always have support from the bike. Keeping anti squat close to 100% means suspension isn’t compromised when it gets chunky and won’t stiffen up and skip around. On long flat climbs the pedal platform switch is useful and will ramp up compression and help increase efficiency.


Our goal with anti rise was to keep the number around 100% through the range of travel. At 0mm travel the figure is at 110% and at bottom out it is just below 90%. At mid travel anti rise hovers around 100% so under braking there is very little pitching or diving caused by braking and weight transfer.


Pedal Kick Back is a pretty polarising topic and single pivot suspension systems can often be criticised for having high levels because of the elevated pivot location on older designs. Modern single pivot designs have much lower pivots and low levels of kick back. We’ve chosen a 32T/19T chain combination which shows about 8.5° of kick back at full travel. It’s often argued that pedal kick back is irrelevant and isn’t noticeable at low levels which we think is the case with our design.  

The Frame

Made from a selection of Columbus Zona, Reynolds 853 tubing and 1/8″ 4130 plate, this frame displays the compliance and grip that steel frames are known for. The pivot bush and hardware contact points are made from stainless steel to prevent corrosion and ensure ease of maintenance. A straight 44mm headtube, 73mm wide English threaded BB and full external hose and cable routing will keep bike mechanics happy and prioritise reliability. Dropper post routing is internal to the Ø31.6mm seat tube and exits neatly on to the downtube. The suspension and geometry is designed around the Fox Float DPX2 shock and Fox 34, 140mm forks. Rear post mount brakes with  8” rotor compatibility, 29” x 2.5” tyre capacity and boost hub spacing front and back.

Availability and Customisation

The Zenith will be offered as a tig welded frame in 4 standard sizes with a powdercoat finish. Sizing and geometry charts will be available soon. Custom builds will also be offered as a premium product with options a such as fillet brazed construction, custom sizing, custom geometry, varied frame finishes and customised componentry. All frames are built to order in our workshop in Beechworth, Victoria.


Framesets (frame and shock) will be available for $5800inc GST. Current lead times are at approximately 3 months. Complete bikes well also be on offer so please get in touch to discuss options.           


The Chrome One

There’s always a surface catching the sun

This frame looks amazing! The chrome finish is a throwback to an 80’s era BMX but somehow perfectly suits a modern MTB .

Silky smooth lines

27.5 x 2.8 Nobby Nics provide incredible traction

SR Suntour Zeron 35 140mm up front

The spec on this build was pretty low key allowing Stewart to gradually upgrade while still being able to throw it around on the weekend.

Geometry is modern but not over the top. Descends like we know a hardcore hardtail should but can also zip along any XC trail.

The OG

The original Tor Hardcore Hardtail. It has seen nearly 7000km of dirt, a colour change and a few component upgrades since it was built for the inaugural Handmade Bicycle Show Australia in 2018. Filet brazed Columbus Zona construction provides that sublime steel feel and compliance. This is Shane’s regular ride and typically rolls on 27.5″ x 2.8″ rubber but is occasionally transformed into a 29er for some XC racing or longer gravelish outings. It’s rarely washed and probably needs more regular maintenance but it’s amazing to ride and perfectly fulfils its role as a reliable “do it all” machine.

The cockpit

780mm Spank Spike 35 Vibrocore bars, 42.5mm Burgtec Enduro Mk 2 Stem, Race Face Half Nelson grips and a Mango Chris King Inset 7 headset

The back end

11spd Shimano XT Drivetrain and XT brakes. The rear Flat Mount brake was a bit of a trial and sits the caliper neatly between the chainstay and seatstay. The DT Swiss XM551 rims are expertly handbuilt on DT 240 hubs by Trav at Beechworth Cyclery.

Integrated seatpost clamp

150mm Fox Factory Transfer Dropper post, the best

The front end

140mm Fox Factory 34 Fork providing a buttery smooth front and ultimate performance


The Tor Abrade hardcore hardtail was born from the geometry chosen for this frame. Though the bike is extremely capable it could do with a steeper seat tube for pinchy climbs and a longer headtube to increase stack height and help shift more weight to the back wheel on steep techy descents.

Original fade paint scheme

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