Chase Warner of Trinity MTB
A Bike Brand Doing Things Their Own Way
Here at The Loam Wolf we’re suckers for bike companies who are doing something a bit different, disruptive or downright dope. Trinity MTB decidedly fills all three of these categories, and we were hooked from the first time we saw one of their prototype machines pop up on our instagram feed. Not only do their bikes look rad and ready to party, but they’re backing up the looks with some progressive engineering to seek improved performance and reliability.
We had to get the lowdown on what they were up to, and thankfully the originator of the Trinity, Chase Warner, was happy to give us some answers.
The Loam Wolf (TLW): Hey Chase, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. First up, can you give us an introduction to yourself? Where are you from, what’s your background?
Chase Warner (CW): Hi my name is Chase Warner and I am from Redding, CA. The majority of my professional background is in graphic design, marketing, and drafting. On the personal side, I have always had a passion for cars, motorcycles, go-karts, bikes, pretty much anything with wheels and can go fast. From as far back as I can remember I have always had the desire to design and create something for myself. I have sketchbooks full of cars, motors, dampers, bikes, etc. with the hope of turning at least one of them into reality someday.
TLW: When did you start riding mountain bikes?
CW: I grew up on the mountains of northern Idaho, riding my bike down our switch back gravel roads. So I guess you could say from the moment I first got a bike. But as I grew up I found other hobbies and bikes fell to the wayside. I picked up mountain biking again back in 2018 and it instantly became my one and only hobby.
TLW: What led you to starting your own bike company?
CW: Starting a company was not my original intent with the project, I just wanted to finally make one of the designs that had been floating around in my head. But as the momentum started to build and more and more people were interested in what we were doing, the guys and I decided we should take a crack at selling what we have put together. It started back in late 2019 when I began to sketch what I thought would be my ideal mountain bike frame. I started to teach myself about different suspension designs, bicycle kinematics, frame construction, etc. I’m a bit of a nerd and I love all the technical details and I love doing deep dives into my hobbies to really understand every part of whatever it is.
Most of 2020 was spent modeling the design I came up with and got to a point where my skill set ran out. So I decided to reach out to Nigel of Engineered to Slide and see if there was any interest in helping build this frame. I found Nigel via his blog back in 2010ish when he was building his drift hilux and had been following his work ever since. I noticed he started posting more and more about his mountain bike, so knowing his vast fabrication skills and his similar passion to make his own stuff I thought this might be the perfect guy to ask about building a frame. So I shot him an email and to my surprise he loved the idea and was instantly onboard. He just so happened to have an office space right next to Mic of Williams Racing Products (WRP) and he quickly became involved. By December of 2020 we had officially formed Trinity MTB with the three of us and everything just snowballed from there.
TLW: What is Trinity MTB hoping to achieve?
CW: Our current goal is to offer a unique, small batch, handcrafted riding experience to customers. Past providing a great product and great customer service we all have a passion for racing. We definitely have the goal of having our frame on the World Series circuit for both DHI and EDR.
TLW: What are your home trails like and how does that influence your bikes?
CW: The trail network here in the Redding, CA area is amazing. We pretty much have every trail type you can think of, but the trails I love the most are up in Mt. Shasta, about an hour north of me. High up on the mountain we have a good amount of steep, technical, fast trails which is my favorite kind of riding. That is pretty much exactly what this bike was designed for, getting down the steepest, most technical trails as fast as possible.
TLW: How much of your bike design is influenced by your own preferences?
CW: Pretty much the whole design. All of us have similar preferences when it comes to riding discipline, sizing, geo, etc. When we started we were just designing for us. We have our theories on what makes a bike great so we did our best to package all of those into this design.
TLW: What’s the idea behind the steel front and CNC machined rear of your bikes?
CW: We chose this combination of materials based on ride feel and manufacturing simplicity. The chromoly front end has a nice complaint feel and takes the edge off of the heavy impacts. We chose CNC alloy for the rear for a few reasons. First we can easily adjust the structural design in the stays to tune flex and compliance. Second, the rear end can get assembled and installed right off the CNC. There are no complex jigs, welding and heat treating, post weld machining, etc. so it keeps the manual fabrication down and keeps tolerance and quality high.
TLW: We’ve seen some very interesting designs coming out in collaboration with Williams Racing Products. What’s the link there?
CW: As stated before Mic is one of the Trinity three and he is our resident engineer. Mic has been designing and manufacturing mtb components on his own for a while and he has been able to incorporate some of those designs and his knowledge into the Trinity frame. One of the biggest things that has come out of this is the WRP/Trinity gearbox. Mic is the spearhead of this part of the project and it has been great to work together and it come to life alongside the frame.
TLW: What was the driver behind offering a bike that can accept multiple different drivetrain systems?
CW: Honestly, because no one has done it and the way our frame is laid out it made sense to make it an option. The frame was originally designed around a pinion gearbox, but during the pandemic it was difficult to source a box so we made a standard BB that bolted to the pinion bolt pattern so we could test the bike. As the frame evolved we came up with the modular side plate design which gave us the option to run both. Now any of our future customers have the option to switch drivetrains whenever they want and they don’t have to buy a different frame just to try something new.
TLW: What’s been the biggest challenge in developing your bikes? Was it something you anticipated being difficult or a surprise?
CW: I’d have to say the biggest challenge is dealing with all the different industry standards when building such a modular platform. There is such limited information readily available from component brands and trying to get a hold of these companies when you are a small brand isn’t the easiest. Because of this there has been a lot of trial and error getting all the frame adjustments to work correctly with all the different components a customer could install.
TLW: What are the plans with bringing Trinity mountain bikes to the market?
CW: The plan is to open up the first small batch preorder in the next few weeks. See how things progress from there and maybe open up a few more batches later in the year. Sign up on our website to get early access to the preorder and look out for our public announcement coming in the following weeks.
Head to the Trinity MTB website to learn more about their bikes and preorder your Trinity machine.
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