by Greg Evans
Matter Cycles made its first appearance in the halls of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show during last year’s event in Louisville, Kentucky. Company founder and sole employee, Collin Schaafsma, began taking the torch seriously about four years ago, and since that time, has been cranking out steel steeds from his shop in Boulder, Colorado. Matter Cycles places an emphasis on connecting with the customer and delivering a bike that will last them a lifetime, and the bikes they showed at NAHBS reflected this.
All of Matter Cycles’ bikes are built-to-order, and Collin is responsible for welding each and every frame. Since every bike is a custom build, Matter does not offer stock sizes. They do however offer a full spectrum of models for you to choose from that range from full-suspension plus bikes to dedicated commuter rigs. Each model has a clever name that plays on the bike’s intended purpose, for example the SlayRide aggressive hardtail MTB, that makes its way on to the finished frame.
Sandwiched between a rowdy looking full suspension and a rotund fat bike sat the WolfBeard, seen here. It was one of three bikes in the Matter Cycles booth, and is the company’s take on an all-road bike. The bike on display is actually a customer’s personal ride, built to his specifications. Collin felt it was important to show a bike with a more humble build to emphasize functionality and durability over all-out bling.
Made from a mix of True Temper and Columbus steel tubing, the WolfBeard comes stock with many features that make it a versatile platform. These features include rack and fender mounts on the frame and fork, a 68mm English threaded BB and three water bottle mounts. The bike also comes standard with a stainless steel head badge an Paragon Polydrops, allowing flexibility between various hub standards, although the bike as shown is set up to accept a 142x12mm thru axle.
The drivetrain is a collection of Shimano 105 5800 components. The Shimano RS-685 shift levers run hydraulic lines down to a pair of post-mount Shimano calipers which, in-turn, bite down on a set of Shimano IceTech rotors.
Bruce Gordon’s Rock N’ Road tires reemerged at NAHBS a few years ago, and have been steadily growing in popularity, making their way onto more than a few bikes at this year’s show. The WolfBeard is no exception. The tires are set up tubeless on a set of Stans ZTR Grail wheels, which work together to fill out most of the frame’s clearance.
The cockpit appears to have been selected to give the bike a more descent-friendly stance, with a short stem and the Woodchipper bars which have ample flare. To top it off this build, the bike is spec’d with an Ergon SME3 saddle and a Thomson Elite seatpost.
WolfBeard framesets start at $2300 USD, including a fork and two-color powder coat. Customers have a choice between a color-matched Enve carbon fork and Matter’s own “ForForksSake” steel fork. The latter got a good chuckle out of us. Matter also offers complete bikes, which start at $3800.00 USD.
Current lead-time on a frame is about 10 weeks.
Matter Cycles WolfBeard Custom Spec Highlights:
Frame: Matter Cycles WolfBeard
Fork: Whisky Parts Co. No.9 Carbon Thru Axle Cross Fork
Headset: Cane Creek
Shifter/Brake Levers: Shimano RS-685
Brake Calipers: Shimano RS-685
Rotors: Shimano RT-67
Rear Derailleur: Shimano 105 5800
Front Derailleur: Shimano 105 5800
Crankset: Shimano 105 5800
Chainring: Shimano 105 5800, 50/34t
Stem: Salsa Guide
Handlebar: Salsa Woodchipper
Seatpost: Thomson Elite
Saddle: Ergon SME3 Comp
Wheels: Stans ZTR Grail
Hubs: DT Swiss 350
Tires: Bruce Gordon Rock N’ Road 700x43c
More info: mattercycles.com