Introducing the beautiful Stanton Slackline Ti.
The Stanton Slackline Ti came home with us from the Steel is Real Demo and is, let’s face it, an absolute beauty.
With a titanium frame, some very modern and comfortable angles and an assortment of Stanton’s own bits it’s an absolutely glorious way to tear up the local woods.
Time for a quick walk round the bike to see what it’s all about.
Words by Jamie / Images by Callum Philpott / riding by Rich Thomas
The Stanton Slackline Ti is a fast, fun, aggressive and lightweight way to terrorise your local woods. It’s one of Stanton’s newest designs and is available currently as a frame only, for £1850.
It’s designed around a 12-140mm fork and either 27.5″ wheels with up to 2.6″ tyres or 27+ wheels with up to 2.8″ tyres. You can buy it as a frame, rolling chassis or complete bike.
It takes up the spot as the ‘middle’ bike in the Stanton Ti range and is built around a shorter fork than the Switchback but to to be more aggressive than the XC Sherpa.
- Titanium frame
- £1850 for frame, seat clamp and axle
- 27.5″ with 2.6″ or 27+ with 2.8″
- Available in 16.5″, 18″ and 19.5″
- 145mm rear end spacing
- Works with either 12 x 142 or boost spacing
Why Ti? Stanton’s designer Dan is mad passionate about titanium.
“Titanium is dead expensive so there’s only a small amount of the market that will actually go for titanium, but it’s the best material for a hardtail regardless of what anybody else says” Dan told us.
“It’s tougher, it has higher elasticity… you can be far more playful with the material to get it to feel exactly how you want it to feel… As you do you’re just making it stronger and stronger“.
It’s all about strength, weight and the mysterious ‘feeling’ of the bike.
Titanium gives, Dan believes, more flexibility over the feeling you can build into your frame.
You’re able to make it more comfortable, less stiff, more supple through rough ground. You don’t have to sacrifice weight or strength or make the frame too harsh like you would with carbon, alloy or steel.
The flip side is, obviously, that titanium aint cheap. At £1850 for the frame you’re paying the same money as you would for a very reasonable, complete full suspension bike.
The size and shape
Magical metal aside, the geometry of the Stanton is interesting.
Stanton’s philosophy is that hardtails don’t benefit from just being as long and slack as possible. They reckon that more compact reach measurements make the bike easier to control when the trails get scary.
The Slackline is the middle bike of the three Ti frames in the Stanton range. The Switchback is a little slacker and a little longer, the Sherpa is a little steeper and a bit taller.
Dan explained to us: “If you’re coming into a rock garden with a 450mm reach with a 140mm fork, by the time you slam towards the bottom of that fork when you’re at the most vulnerable position on the bike.
In the most techy, difficult situation your reach has all of a sudden pulled you another 50mm forward. So then you’re struggling to get your ass over the back wheel“.
The bike is available in 16″, 18″ and 19.5″ versions. All sizes have a slackish and confident inspiring 66.5˚head angle. 427mm chain stays give the bike a really fun, easy to whip around, easy to chuck on the back wheel feeling whilst treading a fine balance between ‘playful’ and ‘stable’.
Dan’s philosophy on sizing translates to a reach of around 430mm on 16″ version. Certainly not long in comparison to big, slack enduro bikes but it works really nice for a bike without a damper. Our 16″ version seems spot on for anyone up to about 5ft 10″ who isn’t desperately worried about lofty reach numbers.
On the trails
The Stanton is one of those bikes that’ll remind you exactly why hardtails are so fun. It’ll continue to do a bloody excellent job of proving the point on every ride.
You’ll very quickly find yourself terrorising your mates on their heavy, bouncy bikes and pushing yourself to go faster and further.
It shouldn’t really make sense. The Stanton costs the same as a very decent full suspension bike but (obviously) has no rear shock. On the trails though, it very quickly reminds you that speed isn’t just about travel – it’s about feeling confident, having fun and feeling inspired to push harder than the guy you’re chasing. You’ll either get it or you won’t.
It’ll remind you that what ‘makes sense’ is more about how much fun you’re having and how fast you’re going than what bike you feel like you should be on.
In tight twisty singletrack it’s very easy to tear around and quick changes of direction feel effortless. The light weight and short stays make it superbly easy to hop and throw on to the back wheel. The head angle means plenty of confident on steep, more technical trails.
When it’s time to pedal back up the frame is beautifully light (1.9kg for the frame) and is a breeze to spin back up the hill with composed, well behaved angles to avoid any unwanted wheel spins or wheelies.
The Stanton is buckets of fun.
Is ‘fun’ enough to justify the extra expense of Titanium? That’s up to you. You’ll have a blast on a considerably cheaper steel Stanton hardtail and the ride quality will be excellent in its own way. If you’re a die-hard lover of hardtails and you want the very best ride quality possible, a well built Titanium frame should be high up on your list of things to demo.