Motorcycle Builder Makes Downhill Mountain Bike

[Allen Millyard] is a premier British motorcycle builder. In these circles he is widely regarded and his custom motorcycles are nearly world-famous. But when his son took up downhill mountain biking, he decided to put his skills building a different type of vehicle. This is the Millyard MR001, one of the most unique mountain bikes ever built thanks to some design choices that solve many problems otherwise inherent in bicycles.

Perhaps the most immediately striking design of this bike is the aluminum space frame, a lightweight but extremely strong frame necessary for the high speeds and stresses of downhill mountain biking. Upon closer inspection, however, the sealed drivetrain warrants further inspection. Unlike most mountain bikes with gears, this one eliminates the typical derailleur which hangs below the rear gears. The gears are instead above the pedals in front of the rear tire, are completely sealed eliminating the maintenance requirements of a typical bike, and are designed in such a way that they can be shifted without the bike moving.

Despite the bike being built in 2007, it still includes plenty of features that still aren’t widely adopted in mountain biking. It’s also nearly completely silent thanks to the custom drivetrain, and [Allen] reports that it still sneaks up on other mountain bikers as a result. This is essentially the opposite problem of another bike we’ve seen around.

16 thoughts on “Motorcycle Builder Makes Downhill Mountain Bike

  1. I get a good kick out of imitating Allen Millyard around the house: “hi chaps, I’m just going to nip round my shed and saw this motor in half with my hacksaw”. Very personable and his gag with ringing his friends for parts is hilarious.

  2. Downhill has been replaced by Enduro ebikes: climb with pedal assistance, go down as fait as you want. Repeat.

    Ordering a TIG welder to do my first Steel frame with 4130 tubing, any recommandation for something affordable?

    1. Downhill definitely has not been replaced with Enduro bikes. They fit different needs. If your always taking the lift up, there are a lot of design choices that optimize for only going down. DH bikes are slacker, have double crown forks, more suspension travel, … Enduro is it’s own racing discipline that requires climbing between stages, so the bikes have to at least be passably competent at pedaling.

    2. Get the MIG/TIG convertible Miller. Spend the money or cry later. Get a decent hat. Remember to budget for tanks.

      Assuming your looking for a 120V welder, you need to get an inverter based one. The cheap ones don’t put out enough power at the business end (in addition to their limited settings, suck quality and duty cycle).

      If you’re going inverter, get the best one available for a sane price. The miller shouldn’t be much over $1000.
      Don’t buy at the ‘usual places’ BTW. Miller has control of their vendors. The Miller welders on Amazon are more than those at your local weld shop, as they were bought at a local weld shop then marked up.

      You will hate the $250 welder in 3 months if you go that route.

      1. “Get a decent hat”

        I can recommend pretty much any Speedglas. If you put an ebay watch on them, sometimes you can net shockingly good deals (got a 9100XXi MP, WITH the versaflow and a few batteries for under £200 that way). Assume you will need to give it a good wipe down and replace the fabrics, and you’ll still come ahead compared to buying a brand new more basic helmet.

        Can you still do good work with a basic head-nod pipeliner? Sure. But no reason to if you don’t need to.

  3. That make makes the craziest engineering lookneasy. Moving the geared hub to the frame improves the unsprung weight of the rear wheel and moves the weight to a great spot centred in the frame. And the drive train requires a lot led maintenance. Its weird the concept never took off back them.

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