The National Forest Explorer

photos courtesy of bentography unless otherwise credited

Due to covid supply issues, the NFE project is paused right now. Check out the FAQ for more information.

The National Forest Explorer (NFE) is the ideal bike for long days of spirited riding on dirt roads. While designed to carry a small load over the wheel for day supplies, the NFE also handles well with low-riders and a rear saddle bag for overnighting. Unlike many heavy "adventure bikes" or "gravel grinders" sold by larger manufacturers, the NFE is light and responsive, built with a double-butted front triangle and 4130 rear triangle.

The geometry is optimized for experienced riders who prefer nimble handling and a light steering input. The fork is unicrown construction with a handmade direct-mount disc tab and a beautiful bend.

For more information about the history of this bike, check out this article in Out There Monthly.

Frame details

clearance: 650b x 2.1" knobbies OR 42 mm slicks w/ fenders; 135 mm OLD (QR) or 142 x 12 mm (thru)
disc rotors: 160 mm recommended
seatpost: 27.2 mm, seat collar included
front rack mounts: Nitto Mini standard rando; Tubus low-riders.
rear rack mounts: Wishbone seat stay shoulders.
derailleur cables & housing: housing on top-tube for top-pull front derailleur, full housing on top-tube and seatstay for rear derailleur
brake cables & housing: braze-ons for full housing on top-tube for rear brake
other braze-ons: three water bottles, top-tube pump peg, front derailleur pulley boss
fork: Unicrown, smooth bend, drilled for internal wiring, IS-mount disc caliper. 1.125" steerer, 100 x 12mm thru axle.
dropouts: front: Paragon flanged thru axle; rear: Paragon dropouts -- choose traditional QR insert or 142 x 12 thru axle. Paragon M12 x 1.5 thread axles included.
steel: 28.6mm & 31.8mm diameter, .8/.5/.8 profile (front triangle); 4130 (rear triangle)

Geometry and sizing info (all lengths in mm)

stack 564 587 607 645
reach 362 386 400 413
seat angle 73° 73° 73° 73°
head angle 72.5° 73° 73° 73°
chainstay length 435 435 435 435
effective top tube 530 560 580 605
top tube slope 8.5° 5.7°
fork rake 70 65 65 65
axle-to-crown distance 387
front-center 596 616 631 655
head tube 150 170 190 230
bottom bracket drop 70 70 70 70
wheelbase 1021 1041 1056 1081
standover (approx.) 770 800 835 860
frame weight 4 lb, 2 oz. 4 lb, 5 oz. 4 lb, 8 oz. 4 lb, 10 oz.
fork weight (w/ 290mm steerer) 2 lb, 1 oz.
color: National Forest green (RAL 6021)
Grand Fondu (RAL 1005)


Cost: $1800 (frame/fork) (Washington State residents must pay state sales tax of 8.7%)

Wait time: 4-6 weeks.

Shipping (USA): $20 + UPS delivery charge.

Shipping (International): We use the shipping agent,, which has a proxy shipping hub in Nevada, USA. We ship to the Nevada hub for a cost of $20+ UPS delivery charge. bills separately for shipment from Nevada to international destinations. See for rate information.

Box dimensions: 39 x 9 x 28 inches; shipping weight is about 16 pounds.

Get One

Due to covid supply issues, the NFE project is paused right now. Check out the FAQ.

Glen builds the NFE framesets individually and sometimes in small batches.

Want wheels? Check out the NFE-specific wheels from Matthew Larsen.