The Combe

Named for the steep little valleys down my way, the Combe is my view of a trail bike, an all round mountain bike. I started this project because I wanted to see what a Clandestine mtb would look like.

I wanted a bike with a BMXy kinda poppy fun vibe, not a saggy enduro bike.

I wanted relatively short travel, but the kind of progressive geometry that makes a mtb capable in the biggest of mountains.

I wanted a bike with space for all the water and gear you need for a backcountry ride, easy maintainability and sensible gearing.

The Combe is that bike.


Includes frame, Rock Shox Deluxe shock, stem, Wizard Works frame bag.

Order your own

The Combe uses 650b wheels with up to 2.6" tyres to give the bike that playful feel. Apparently 29" are faster, but I'm not racing: bikes are for having fun. The 110mm of travel out back and 140mm up front combine with the smaller wheels to make a bike that's begging to pop over root sections and flick around corners rather than plough through. It's an engaging ride rather than a steamroller. The Combe is made from a mix of Reynolds 853, Columbus SL, Deda and T45 tubing, each tube selected for purpose.

At the heart of the Combe is the linkage actuated single pivot suspension layout. I chose this setup as it opens up the front triangle compared to more simplistic single pivots, allowing storage space, and the handmade Reynolds 853 linkage allows me to tune the leverage ratio. This gives the Combe progressive suspension, making for a sharp handling bike that resists bottoming out without giving up on sag.

A key design goal with the Combe was to make a suspension bike that would be easy to live with. I'm a bike mechanic: I hate fussing with bearing presses and extractors. All the bearings in the Combe are long lived Enduro Max. But when the time comes, the bearings can be changed with just a pair of 5mm allen keys. The bearings are retained by pinch bolts meaning they slide out with just a finger push. The anodised aluminium bearing caps keep the worst of the crud out.

The Combe has space for a Widefoot bottle cage with up to a 1.2l Klean Kanteen. This combines with the Wizard Works bolt in frame bag, which can hold everything you'd need for a proper backcountry ride without having to use a backpack. Smaller sizes obviously get smaller bags, but this "medium sized" Combe can carry a waterproof, first aid kit, pump, multi tool, banana, sandwich, and flapjack. Getting rid of the bag on big rides, while still being fully and safely equipped, is transformative. It keeps you less sweaty, less tired and more able to push the bike around and ride dynamically. No backpack is the best.

The Combe is designed around more sensible gearing for normal people. What most riders need is low range. The main pivot is in line with a 28t chainring to give the anti-squat I wanted, giving the big mountain rider the low gearing they need without having to use a massive heavy and expensive 50-52t cassette.

Sometimes it's the little things. The dropper port isn’t just a hole in the tube, it’s a short section of stainless tube, curving upwards so when you push the cable in, it doesn’t just ram the back of the seat tube, it goes up the tube where you want it.

Throughout the bike, I've used pragmatic standards: BSA bottom bracket, 44mm head tube and standard sized bearings secured with big M6 bolts, IS disk mount. The rear can be built around any axle width - I like 142mm so I can swap the wheel with my Carrier in an emergency ride situation! The tyre clearance isn't affected.

Each Combe is custom sized to the rider, with enough room to use 180mm droppers at least. All the usual Clandestine features of brazed on seat clamps, copper reinforcements, and elegant tube shaping are standard.

Each Combe comes with a custom stem. It can be any length: as short as 20mm. There is a turned detail on the stem to match the head tube reinforcements, keeping your custom bike actually custom. No off the shelf head tubes here.

BMX vibes.

Gear carrying.

Durable and maintainable.

A trail bike for us trail riders.


  • Custom sized to each rider
  • Custom geometry, 76deg ST & 64deg HT recommended
  • 650B x 2.6"mm
  • 110mm rear travel, 190x45mm metric shock
  • 140mm fork
  • Choice of 142x12mm / 148x12mm / 157x12mm through axles
  • 73mm BSA BB
  • 44mm headtube
  • 31.6mm seatpost
  • IS disk mount
  • Enduro Max bearings, stainless axles
  • 1 x triple boss mount on top of downtube
  • 1 x triple boss mount under downtube
  • Bolt in Wizard Works frame bag, in any WW colour


Includes frame, Rock Shox Deluxe shock, stem, Wizard Works frame bag.

Order your own