Since building his first "Mountain Bike" in 1983 (when most people had no idea what a mountain bike was) Dave has been involved with the development of the A.T.B in the United Kingdom for 28 years. Sponsorship of, and involvement with, various top riders like Deb Murrell (who rode one of Dave's bikes at the Atlanta olympics) over the years has produced much feedback from the "sharp end" of the racing world. Dave has also worked closely with A.T.B. journalist and author Carlton Reid, producing bikes for his many trips around Africa and various inhospitable parts of the world. Dave produced one of, if not the first, raised chainstay frames in this country - The Vulcan, which the "wrecking crew" from MBUK Magazine described as a bike "to boldly go where no bike has gone before". The Diabolo model introduced in 1988 was an instant hit among the discerning.
In 1990 Dave was voted "best UK Custom Mountain Bike Frame Builder" by the readers of MBUK.
The result of all this experience is to be seen in our range of A.T.B. frames. The Dave Yates custom models cover any variation possible or required in a hard tail A.T.B. frame. From racing in top class events to touring the far reaches of the Hindu Kush Dave can produce a frame to suit your purpose. If he hasn't already done it he is prepared to listen to your ideas and translate your dream into reality.
With the introduction of full suspension and cheap aluminium frames the demand for custom frames fell right off, but recently there has been a distinct revival of interest in the qualities of a well built custom steel frame.
First presented in 1993 is the ultimate custom machine, the D.O.N.K.I.S.N.O.B (Dave's Oversize No Kompromise Interactive System. Never Obviously Beaten!!!) This must be said with the tongue very firmly in the cheek! The basic design of this frame is the peak of a developmental sequence of prototype frames running back to 1983. It combines a long top tube, 23½ on an 18 inch frame, with a short rear end, 15¾ using 2. 1 tyres, and geometry revised to make the best use of front suspension. However this is a custom frame so you tell Dave what you want! Reynolds 853 is Dave’s current favourite and by selecting the correct tubes a sub 4lb frame can be built which compares very favourably with aluminium. It also has the added advantage over aluminium of repairability. The trick to good ATB frame design is getting the balance of the rider positioned correctly between the wheels. Many modern frame designs have gone too short in the top tube. This tends to push the rider more upright and further back thus lightening the front of the bike. A slightly longer top tube and slightly steeper seat angle compensate for this and keep the riders weight balanced between the wheels. Dave would normally fillet braze these frames but if you want it TIG welded he can accommodate this request. Disc mount on the rear or vee brake pivots are standard.
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"First things first, the frame that Dave built was absolutely spot-on. After discussing what I wanted out of the frame he went ahead and made it reality…a bike that would comfortably take me and a load of kit several hundred kilometres through remote parts of the globe yet still have the geometry to allow proper, un-laden off-road riding along the way. A third requirement was for it to look good. Taste may be a fickle thing but I feel that in this he also succeeded."