Former Niner Bikes co-founder Steve Domahidy’s eponymous bike brand debuts on Kickstarter- by Guitar Ted


Twenty Nine Inches has learned that former Niner Bikes co-founder and bike designer, Steve Domahidy has announced his own bike brand which will feature titanium and steel hard tails, (for now), in 29″er wheel sizes and possibly some 27.5″ sizes in the future. Following is a bit of the press release we have received about the new venture which is to be funded through a Kickstarter program.

Using Kickstarter as the platform for launch, the brand will start with two different offerings: hardtails in Reynolds 853 and triple butted 3/2.5 Titanium. The bikes are designed to be single speed or geared with sliding dropouts and a split for belt drive compatibility. “I walk around the booths of NAHBS and marvel at the products,” Domahidy continues, “I wanted to launch a line of production bikes with the same level of quality and attention to detail as those found at NAHBS, just without the wait and price tag.” The first bikes are 29” wheels, although Domahidy already has plans for more wheel size options. Once the Kickstarter campaign has been completed, Domahidy will add an Extra Small and Small size of both models, but based around 650b. “I don’t agree with forcing shorter people onto a larger wheel and making some crazy frame and geometry compromises,” Domahidy states. Those frame sizes will be available later in the year.


Tapered head tube with "engraved" head tube livery

Tapered head tube with “engraved” head tube livery

Domahidy Designs will offer a special paint scheme only available through the Kickstarter program on the 853 Reynolds tubed steel hard tail with XX-1 drive train.  There also will be some limited edition, customized titanium and steel hard tails available only through the Kickstarter campaign. The press release explains this…

For the Kickstarter campaign, Domahidy is offering a limited number of custom painted frames in both Reynolds 853 and Titanium. “I’ve worked with Liz and Mark and the team down at Spectrum Powder Works with the IMBA Niner Bikes and I love their work,” Domahidy says, “5 frames each of the Reynolds and Ti bikes will be custom painted to the exact color the customer wants, and each design will be unique to that customer only.”

Twenty Nine inches caught up with Steve Domahidy via e-mail to ask him some more detailed questions about his newest venture.

TNI: On the sizing: It is interesting that you see the 27.5 size as something for the smaller riders, Where do you see that being best suited? Riders under a certain height, or is it about offering a different type of handling? Is it correct to say only smaller sizes will be offered in 27.5″?
Steve: For hard tails, I still fully believe in the 29” wheel, it’s absolutely the way to go, and if you’re over 5’4” (say 5’4”-5’6”) there is no reason, in my opinion, to use a wheel size smaller than 29”.  If you’re under that height range, however, geometry starts getting really funky and difficult.  You can only lower the front end so much (without doing inverted stems and negative rise handlebars) and the top tube length can only get so short before you start worrying about toe overlap.  There’s just a lot of issues with fit as well as function, on a frame that small, so I see no reason to force the issue.  So for Domahidy Designs (after the Kickstarter campaign) the small will be a choice between 650b and 29er and the extra small will only come in 650b.  
The limited "Kickstarter Only" light green 853 steel hard tail

The limited “Kickstarter Only” light green 853 steel hard tail

TNI: Geometry: Were there any specifics you were looking for in terms of handling for your bikes? What is the “rider profile” for these rigs, (if there is one)?

Steve: I feel like I nailed the 29er XC geometry I liked while at Niner, so if you like the way a Niner rides, you’ll like the way these ride.  For the steel bike, however, I’ve improved the ride (in my opinion) over the Niner by using larger diameter tubing for the front triangle.  This allowed for better tracking and a stiffer BB which really improves the bikes ‘flick ability’.  

TNI: In terms of versatility, you seem to have the single speed/geared/rigid fork/belt drive things all covered. What are the cable guides like? Fixed or removable?

Steve: The bikes have full housing from shifter to derailleur, no interruptions, so they’ll stay muck free.  There are three removable cable guides on the down tube, and one welded on cable stop for the front derailleur, but it’s in between the chain stays so even when you’re not using it, you don’t know it’s there.  The chain stay is void of all cable guides, as the housing for the rear derailleur goes through a separate ‘channel’ on the velcro chain stay protector which keeps the housing running along the chain stay correctly.  

TNI: Titanium: When you were with Niner yet, there was a titanium experiment and then that disappeared in favor of carbon frames. Were you then a fan of titanium and is that where we can look back and say “Aha!”, or where does the titanium choice have its genesis?

Steve: It’s funny, for the Kickstarter campaign, I went over this a bit (on Kickstarter).  I designed two ti frames for the 2007 Interbike show that were awesome.  I love ti, and I love the way ti rides, but for Niner I abandoned the ti projects because the carbon ones took precedent.  It was just me back then (designing), and there was only so much of me to go around, so the carbon projects put the ti bikes on the back burner.  

TNI: Can you divulge the country of origin on these?

Steve: They are built in Taiwan, at the best titanium and steel maker on the island.  One of the advantages of being the co-founder of Niner and having the experience that I have in the industry is that I have a great opportunity to work with partners that I really want to work with.  These guys are the best, hands down, and it’s not always that a start-up company can choose which vendors they get to work with, sometimes it comes down to only vendors that will take your case.  Me, and the brand, were lucky enough to get the vendor I wanted.  

TNI: When can we expect to see the Kickstarter deal happen?

Steve: The kickstarter campaign goes live on Feb. 21 as well, and I’m trying to raise $80,000 for the campaign.  Every little bit helps, so whether people want to donate $10 just because they believe in the company and want to see it happen, or they donate $5800 and get the first complete Titanium Domahidy Designs built with XX1, a Sid, and Industry 9 trail wheels, all of it helps IMMENSELY! The way Kickstarter works is if I don’t hit the $80,000 mark by the end of my 30 day campaign, I don’t get anything, but it’s okay (and even encouraged) to OVER fund!


Domahidy 853 steel single speed

Domahidy 853 steel single speed

As Steve told us in the interview, the Kickstarter campaign starts today and runs for 30 days. To learn more about that and Domahidy designs in general, see the web site;

For the Kickstarter campaign, see HERE.

Twenty Nine Inches would like to thank Steve Domahidy and Domahidy Designs for the information, images, and for the interview used in this post.