A few months ago, Matt Macduff set out to build and ride the largest full loop ever attempted on a bicycle. His dream involved a forty foot wooden monstrosity, balls of steel and a one off slopestyle frame to help him maintain control at the high speeds required for this stunt (which unfortunately did not go as planned).
To build this custom frame, Macduff reached out to Gabriel Lang of Altruiste bikes, who was once the production manager at legendary east coast brand Dobermann Bikes. Together they created a prototype from True Temper tubing that has 3” of travel and weighs 7 lbs flat with shocks and bearings, although Gabriel is hoping a production version would weigh as little as 6.5 lbs.
According to Matt, the final product “rides unlike anything I’ve ever ridden before. I have so much extra ‘pop’ in my take off and extra ‘cush’ in the landing. On the ground it feels just like my hard tail.”
To learn a little more about this unique bike, we reached out to its builder Gabriel Lang. He may be better known these days for his custom track and road frames, but he knows his way around a mountain bike.
Mtbr: Who are you and what do you do?
Gabo: I’m Gabriel Lang. They call me Gabo in this industry! I own and run the Altruiste bicycle company in Notre-Dame, New-Brunswick, Canada. Every morning I wake up and try to build the best bicycle frames I can.
Mtbr: If you had to describe your brand in seven words or less, what would they be?
Gabo: Purpose-driven, honest, accessible, uncompromising, trend-setting. And sexy.
Mtbr: How does being located in New Brunswick influence your bike design?
Gabo: It allows me to be creative without being influenced by the criteria and standards of a more bike-dense area of the world. I’m free to develop my frame-building style.
Also. This is where I grew up. There is a way of life here, a certain beat, that permeates the Acadian culture. You can feel it in our art and our music as well as our work ethic, and I think that shows in my product. I try to build efficient and clean frames that are first and foremost very fun to ride.
Mtbr: You’ve traditionally specialized in road and track frames (which we’ve covered before on our sister site, RoadBikeReview), so how did you get mixed up with Matt Macduff?
Gabo: I’ve known Matt since my days as production manager over at Dobermann Bikes. I cut my frame building teeth on dirt/street/park frames, and even though when I started Altruiste things organically flowed towards road and track, it was a no-brainer to get together with the boys from The-Rise, and work on developing their frame. It was great to work with Matt again, and with his input I think we built a great frame. (Check it out here).
Matt contacted me one night and pitched his mega-loop idea. He wanted not just a slope bike, but a bike to allow him to push the sport further. Something to allow him to go higher and do it for a longer period of time without getting beat up or tired. I knew exactly what he needed and got to work!