NFE is an acronym for “National Forest Explorer.” Read about the stock NFE here.
The custom version of the NFE has inched up the pack to nearly tie with the CX bike as the most popular Elephant bike. It’s a time-consuming bike to build, so it’s an expensive custom bike. This is why Glen wanted to do a run of stock bikes: to drive down the cost as much as he could so more people can ride this bike. The “stock” part of the name refers to the fact that he’s is building a batch of frames all at once in three standardized sizes.
The price for this first batch is $1085 for the frame and fork. The price will not be that low again.
We had to use a CAD drawing on the stock NFE page because we don’t have a perfect stock speciman yet. You can see loads of real NFE pictures on our blog. Those bikes are good representations of what the stock bike is all about – it’s a bike optimized for all-day riding on rough roads with a moderate load. With slicks and fenders, the bike is an ideal commuter. The biggest difference between most of the pictures on our blog and the stock NFE, is that the stock bike will have disc brakes, which makes it an even better winter commuter.
As you look at the pictures of our previous custom NFE’s, you’ll see all sorts of different details (cable routing, braze-ons, crazy paint jobs, etc) that may not be the same as our stock NFE. The official stock NFE page should describe everything you need to know with respect to these details. If it doesn’t: contact us and we’ll update it.
Speaking of details, there are some bikes out there that are similar to the NFE – but there are a handful of details that make the NFE special:
- The fork is excellent. In the next week or so I’ll do blog post just on the forks for the NFE. The fork is what makes this bike fairly time-consuming to build: a beautiful bend with a properly aligned disc tab is a tricky bit of work.
- Many of the stock NFE details are informed by feedback from a number of experienced riders and from riding hundreds of miles of National Forest roads in Washington and Idaho. The bike has braze-ons for full cable housing for the brakes and rear derailleur. Load is optimized for small rack above the front wheel. Haulin’ Colin’s stock rack will fit this bike. The stock NFE will also take a Tubus Tara or Duo front rack. It fits Quasi Motos or Thunder Burts while allowing reasonable tread with a compact double or a triple. Stay bridges are placed and drilled for perfect fender mounting.
- The steel is high quality – American-made True Temper 858 front triangle. The rear triangle is 4130. About 90% of the custom NFE’s that go out are made with this same tubing. There’s no skimping for the stock bike. Note the obvious: that is a red bike. The stock NFE will not be red. But it will have that sweet sweet mono stay.
- It has the rear mono stay. Glen’s mono stay is neither appreciably heavier nor lighter than traditional stays. It is neither more nor less flexy or stiff. The bi-plane mono stay is just cool and it makes the bike an Elephant.
- Everything is done by Glen. Well, powdercoat is by a different local place, but Glen is the only one cutting, mitering, bending, welding, brazing, etc. He does it all here in Spokane, WA, USA. And he’s good. The welds are pretty. The finish is good. Given Glen’s experience, and expertise, I don’t think there is a better value frame/fork out there.
Bikes must be pre-ordered to make this project work out. Deposit is $500. See the stock NFE page for more info on that. We hope to do other small runs in the future, perhaps a small 26”-wheeled fast commuter, or a CX bike, or a fat bike? Watch this space for more info on the stock NFE.