Stanton Bikes Switch9er FS Ti 16.5 2022 Mountain Bike Review

Stanton Bikes Switch9er FS Ti 16.5 2022

Reviews / Enduro Bikes

Stanton Bikes 21,135

At a glance

The Stanton Switch9er FS Ti is a one of a kind piece of art. It’s not every day you come across a titanium/carbon full suspension mountain bike. Available as a frame only or with a shock included, this is the ultimate base for a one of a kind custom build. Rocking 140mm of progressive travel and modern geometry you can use this for all types of terrain.

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About the brand

Stanton is a UK Based company, founded in 2010 by Dan Stanton after being unhappy about the offering of hardtails at the time. After putting his vision of what a good bike should look like into reality, it seemed to catch on with their Slackline ending up in the famous Dirt 100.

These days they fabricate, assemble and paint their frames and bikes in their Derbyshire factory in the north of the UK. Known for their steel frames, Stanton recently ventured into other materials with titanium and carbon finding their way into their creations. One thing that has stayed is their love for custom work, either a custom paint scheme or a full custom geometry, just reach out and tell them what you’re looking for.

On the sustainability side of things, they don’t have anything listed on their website. They do tend to make all spares repairable, replaceable and of the highest quality to ensure a long life. It would be nice if they’d speak about recycling, the use of green energy and other good practices, but the company is still young.

The product

The Switch9er FS Ti is definitely a special machine. The front triangle is made of triple butted 3AL/2.5V aerospace grade titanium and the rear swingarm is a one piece carbon to ensure a stiff rear end. If you already own a steel version of the Switch9er FS, you can even order the front or rear sections separately as an upgrade.

With a titanium frame, stiffness is always an issue. Clever engineering by Stanton however, solved this problem by placing the pivot points right in the corners of the frame creating a super stiff design. To further prevent unwanted flex, the swinglinks are made of solid alloy and the pivot points are big and burly. As a final feat of engineering, they machined the bottom bracket shell and lower pivot point out of one piece of solid titanium. How cool is that?

Suspension wise, they opted for a dual pivot system with a high anti squat with 140mm of travel. This lets you run a coil setup for that smooth suspension action while not suffering from any pedal bob on the way up. Another benefit of the dual link system is the rear axle path. Instead of just moving up, it moves backwards and up creating a super smooth feel. The rear suspension kinematics are really progressive too, giving you that bottomless feeling and letting you run a big linear coil shock.

Geometry wise, Stanton went for something modern. A slack 63,7 degree head angle gives stability in the steeps and at speed and the 445mm long chainstays provide a stable ride. The stack is quite high at 622 for the 16.5’’ and 632 on the 18’’ but the frame has an incredibly low standover height. With a 76 degree seat tube angle combined with the high anti squat you know this is a decent climber.

When it comes to the finish, the frame is fabricated with attention to detail. The only gripe we had was with the grommets for the cables. They are machined and quite sharp, so need a little treatment with the file before assembling. Also we’d like to see a grommet specially to hold two cables, but when asking Stanton for it they mentioned they’re already in production.

Out on the trail

Although we love the feel of coil shocks, it’s always a pain in the bum to sort out the right spring rate and shock tune. As the kinematics of the Stanton are really progressive, it requires a 35% sag in order to use all the travel. So make sure you do the proper research on which You would think that with that much sag, it would compromise climbing, but that was totally not the case.

This bike climbs like a beast. No bob to be found even when standing on the pedals, which was a great surprise for a coil shock. The geometry favors fireroad style climbs but by throwing down some power you’ll survive the technical ups too.

When pointed down the Stanton shines. Even with only 140mm travel the kinematics perform miracles. Bashing through the rough stuff you feel it accelerate due to the rearward axle path, a crazy but great feeling. Due to the linkage the first part of the travel is buttery smooth, no doubt the EXT Storia has a big influence in that too. On hard hitting stuff the shock bottoms out nicely, as it’s really progressive.

The slack head angle is great on the steeps and high speed sections. I found myself hitting higher top speeds and totally unphased by what used to be challenging terrain. What helped with this is the super low standover height of the bike too. Being able to run a 180mm dropper on a size small while still managing to put the feet flat on the floor is a blessing for a sub 170cm rider.

Verdict

When discussing a frame like this, I think price should be left out of the equation. This is a once in a lifetime dream build frame for those who like to think out of the box. The fact that Stanton managed to turn a titanium frame into a good looking, stiff full suspension frame is unmatched in the world of mtb frames. If you want a different bike that shines at fast, steep and rough stuff the Switch9er FS Ti is your thing. The only downside is that you’ll never get decent Strava times, as there will always be people willing to chat about your ride on the trail.

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This review was in Issue 70 of IMB.

For more information visit Stanton Bikes

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By Jarno Hoogland
Jarno's life has revolved around two wheels ever since he swung a leg over his first BMX at age 4. After a BMX and DH racing career, he moved on to work for bike shops, distributors and brands before ending up in the editors seat at IMB. Based in the ultimate testing ground in the Swiss mountains, he runs his guiding operation and makes sure every IMB issue is filled with top notch content.

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