ATM
I purchased a new bike a few weeks ago and I thought I would share it with you all. It is a Noble GX5. I have a handful of rides on it and I am blown away at how comfortable,fast and stable the bike is. I have ridden thousands and thousands of gravel miles on cyclocross bikes in western Washington where I live. The Noble GX5 is a dedicated gravel bike with “forward geometry”,an excellent parts spec and beautiful paint! It is hands down the best and most fun bike on gravel I have ever ridden.C5F7B0E0-4E75-4CE5-9426-53D71757B8CD.jpeg 98DEA63A-B2B9-404B-8605-8CD87F689C0F.jpeg 5AF74E2F-ECBD-40F0-A92C-5E99753A06BE.jpeg 
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Conan
Beautiful bike and pictures! The forward geometry sounds very interesting.
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Mark_Landsaat
Twins!
Noble_GX5.jpg 

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Koyote
Forgive my ignorance: what is "forward geometry"?
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Mark_Landsaat
Hi Koyote.

Let me start with a disclaimer, I'm the owner of Noble Bikes and obviously very biased towards my own bikes. With that out of the way, let me answer the question.

Forward geometry is borrowing from what happened with mountain bikes. I'm pairing longer top tubes with shorter stems. If you do this, the fit of the bike stays the same, but the riders center of gravity in relation to the wheels is changed.

When I set out to design the GX5, the first thing we did is prototype a steel frame with forward geometry and tested the handling against a control bike with more traditional geometry. The control bike was a Raleigh Tamland (which I also designed).

After going back and forth between the two bikes I believe it results in a bike that is more stable off-road. It improves cornering and stability in loose gravel. The difference is quite subtle but can definitely be felt if going back and forth between two different bikes.

A side benefit is that especially on smaller sizes, say anything 54cm and below I can optimize the seat and head angle better and still have a bike that doesn't have toe-overlap.

Let me know if that makes sense. Thanks for asking the question.
Cheers.

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Koyote
Hi Koyote.

Let me start with a disclaimer, I'm the owner of Noble Bikes and obviously very biased towards my own bikes. With that out of the way, let me answer the question.

Forward geometry is borrowing from what happened with mountain bikes. I'm pairing longer top tubes with shorter stems. If you do this, the fit of the bike stays the same, but the riders center of gravity in relation to the wheels is changed.

When I set out to design the GX5, the first thing we did is prototype a steel frame with forward geometry and tested the handling against a control bike with more traditional geometry. The control bike was a Raleigh Tamland (which I also designed).

After going back and forth between the two bikes I believe it results in a bike that is more stable off-road. It improves cornering and stability in loose gravel. The difference is quite subtle but can definitely be felt if going back and forth between two different bikes.

A side benefit is that especially on smaller sizes, say anything 54cm and below I can optimize the seat and head angle better and still have a bike that doesn't have toe-overlap.

Let me know if that makes sense. Thanks for asking the question.
Cheers.


Hey, thanks for the detailed explanation, Mark. I appreciate it. 
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gus6464
Go GX5 is carbon, GX3 is aluminum, and GX1 will be steel of the same frame?
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Mark_Landsaat
@Koyote, no problem happy to help if there are any questions.

@gus6464. Yes you are correct. The GX1 will be steel and is still in development. But, I can share a picture of the sample bike with you. Once I get the sample bike we will have to do a review to make sure everything is OK and after this we will start production, but that is still several months away. GX1_Sample.jpg 

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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gus6464
@Koyote, no problem happy to help if there are any questions.

@gus6464. Yes you are correct. The GX1 will be steel and is still in development. But, I can share a picture of the sample bike with you. Once I get the sample bike we will have to do a review to make sure everything is OK and after this we will start production, but that is still several months away. GX1_Sample.jpg 


That looks really good. Will the steel version be offered as a frameset? Do you know what steel it will be yet? Reynolds, Tange, etc?
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Mark_Landsaat
Currently it will only be offered as a complete bike. For sure I know what the tubeset is. that is one of the first decisions that needs to be made when designing the frame. We will use Reynolds 631. I'm a pretty proud papa of the details in the dropouts as well. The bikes will have a replaceable floating derailleur hanger which makes through axle installation a breeze and the disc side is FM160. With FM160 you can run a 160mm rotor without the need for an adapter, super clean. 

Here's a 3d printed sample part picture of the dropout
Dropout.jpg 

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Renegade
Mark,

This is really fascinating that you build.  What is the time frame from Idea development, to R&D to distribution?  Is the whole process 12 months?

That steel frame looks really sharp.
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Mark_Landsaat
Hi Renegade,

Normally the process is around 12 months yes, but in my case it's much longer. I'm just about the smallest startup you can imagine. One guy with help from friends in the industry and money is really tight. I've had to delay certain steps simply because I couldn't afford the next step.

The good news is that all the major hurdles are now cleared. The tooling is payed for and ready to go and the frames have passed ISO-4210 testing. If everything is OK with the sample we can move forward with production.

Thanks for the compliment of the frame, I love the look of that bike as well. Super happy with it.👍

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Renegade
What has been your biggest challenge/cost?  I imagine building (unless you already owned that) and tools were a big outlay of funds before you could ever start.  Where did you go to find suppliers?  I see you sell on Amazon, what other outlets do you use?

I imagine a challenge is competing with what already seems to be a saturated market, especially by the big bike companies.

How did you come up with the brand name?

Fascinating stuff for me.  I applaud you for taking the leap of faith.  I wouldn't be able to do it.
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SultanWa
The CX1 is very pretty and a 2x?

Do you have a guess on the weight difference between the GX3 and the GX1?

And you should thank who ever comes up with your colors! Love them!
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Mark_Landsaat
Hi Renegade,

Yes, for sure it's challenging not only when it comes to cost, but putting everything together isn't exactly easy. 

Tools wasn't much of an issue for me. I have been working in the bike industry my entire adult life and have amassed a very large collection of tools over the years, not just tools to work on bikes, but also QC tools like a variety of calipers, three point internal micrometers, and thread gauges. CAD software is a large expense, but I have an array of programs that I use and already had those when I started Noble. 

I work out of my house and am a one person startup with a lot of help from industry friends, so no building. We do have a store front on Amazon because we utilize Amazon's logistics services for bicycle storage and delivery. But quite honestly the best way to purchase a Noble right now is through our website. We are also in the process of growing the number of Noble hubs. These are retailers that will assemble and deliver the bike to you after you make the purchase through Noble Bikes. This is just getting started and currently the only retail partner we have is Indigenous Wheel Co. in Tacoma, but we are looking to grow that number. 

The most challenging costs are tooling costs for new frame/fork developments and inventory. Tooling doesn't come cheap and buying inventory is very expensive. I'm in the very lucky position that I have worked in the industry for more than 20 years and have built up some great relations. My frame/fork/assembly partners in Asia are a huge part of why this is even possible. As an example, the owner of my assembly factory is someone I have known for more than 20 years and without his support I wouldn't be going anywhere with this new business.

For sure it's going to be a challenge, as you mention the market is saturated with lots of good products. However, I believe there is always room for additional great products. The Noble Bikes are my vision of what makes a good bike, and if people fall in love with my bikes we have a great shot at getting this going. It's been done before and I believe we can do it as well.

The brand name is a great story (in my opinion) I first started Noble in 2009, but I didn't have a name. While on a long mountain bike ride in the Seattle area I was pondering what name to use while riding up Corall Pass. At the top of Corrall pass we continued on to Noble Knob. the last pitch is really steep but at the top there's a gorgeous view of Mount Rainier. So as I was catching my breath staring at Mount Rainier, I thought Noble sounds pretty good, and it stuck. 

@SultanWA, Yes, the GX1 will be a 2x. as far as the weight difference, my guess is that it will be around 2lbs. more for the GX1. A little for the increased frame weight and a little for the fact that it's 2x vs. the GX3 1x.

My friend Gene James a long time bike industry graphics designer came up with my colors and graphics. I'm super happy with how all the bikes have turned out and will thank him for you😃

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Koyote
Mark, do you have a weight for the GX5?
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gus6464
So what made you decide to forgo offering framesets and just doing complete bikes? I would assume that offering the frames as an option would allow for easier cost of entry into a new market?
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Mark_Landsaat
Noble_GX5_Weight.jpg 

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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Mark_Landsaat
@gus6464,

Yes framesets are lower cost, but most people want to purchase a complete bike. I want to do framesets as well, but I can only spend my money once and I opted to do complete bikes first. Things are going quite well and framesets are in the near future

Guy that does a little of everything at Noble Bikes
 

https://www.noble-bikes.com/


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MIFAT
Hi Koyote.



A side benefit is that especially on smaller sizes, say anything 54cm and below I can optimize the seat and head angle better and still have a bike that doesn't have toe-overlap.

Cheers.



You say side benefit, but this has been my only issue with my 2018 Impullso Allroad frame. When you find yourself on trails not really meant for drop bar bikes, as I sometimes do this can be a huge pain. Absolutely worth consideration for my next purchase if I don't opt for a Ti frame from Quiring.
2019 Salsa Warbird
Force 1 42 x11-40
Easton ARC 24 on DT350 hubs
WTB Resolute 42 tires
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DPCX
MIFAT wrote:



You say side benefit, but this has been my only issue with my 2018 Impullso Allroad frame. When you find yourself on trails not really meant for drop bar bikes, as I sometimes do this can be a huge pain. Absolutely worth consideration for my next purchase if I don't opt for a Ti frame from Quiring.


Trails not meant for drop bars? Is there such a thing? I love it when i find myself in that situation. 😉  haha

But seriously, you are absolutely correct. It can be pretty sketchy when you find yourself in that situation and your toe hits the tire. 
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SultanWa
I got to see these bike earlier this week and to say the least, I am very impressed by Mark and the bikes! The detail and quality of the bikes is great. Here is a few pics. Oh the blue alloy CX3 is the prototype. The CX5 is ready to ride.
Nobel1.jpg  Nobel2.jpg  Nobel3.jpg  Nobel4.jpg 
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