Editor’s Note: Once in awhile you see a Pro rider’s rig profiled in a magazine, or on a website. While it is always fun to see what paid professionals ride and use, we here at Twenty Nine Inches are inspired by our regular reader’s at times and by their stories. Here is one such story as told by Grannygear. Hope you all enjoy it!

Reader’s Ride Profile: Dean And His Form Cycles Prevail: by Grannygear

P7110171Most guys over 60 years old are reaching their physical limits just getting out of the house to play golf. Some guys over 60 years old are still pushing their physical limits to wherever they will take them. This is a quick look at a guy that falls into the latter group and his new ride. Meet Mean Dean, the Biking Machine.

Dean was a competitive, Olympic level kayaker, owned his own river rafting company, was an accomplished stuntman and who knows what else. Now, when he could be just cruising through life, he is racing his Mtn Bike all around So Cal as fast as he can. And, that is pretty fast indeed. He was recently featured in Mountain Bike Action Magazine in a Bio piece acknowledging his accomplishments.

Recently he felt like he was due to finally get on a new race bike, having been pedaling 26” wheeled hard tails that really never fit him properly (he is 6’2” and a bit more) and had outdated geometry, requiring stuff like 130mm+ stems, etc. At a local race venue, a bike caught his eye and the plans were made. It would have to be light with a target weight of 21lbs. It should be titanium as that appealed to Dean’s sense of value and style. Carbon is nice and all, but it seems so, so…temporary. It needed to be a solid build, no silly parts that will not make it through a race season. And, last but not least, it needed big wheels.


Enter Form Cycles, based in Arizona, USA. Risen out of the scattered ashes of employees from the company that was Titus Cycles (Titus is back now, but with a different staff/owners), they bring an impressive group of talent to the new endeavor. Form was given Dean’s measurements, his build requirements, and his weight goal and intended use of the bike and they went to work. Five months later, here it is, the Form Prevail.

This is an XL Level II frame with the major change being a head tube for a Lefty fork, set at 90mm of travel. The XLs get some oversize chain stays and the angles are stock off the charts.


P7110169The build is most striking, all dressed up in the carbon Lefty with the Project 321 mods. It is subtle, no flashy colors, just Ti and black bits of aluminum. Very business like and classic. The wheels are Stan’s 355s on a DT Swiss 240 rear hub and Maxxis Ikon tires tubeless. The drive train is 9spd XTR due to Dean’s preference for Grip Shift and 180mm cranks. The XO rear derailleur handles that nicely. Hope brakes, a carbon Truvativ Noir riser bar, a WTB Rocket V saddle and a Thompson seat post….there is nothing chancy about this build. The 355s are perhaps a bit light for a 200lb rider on a trail bike, but Dean is smooth and keeps on the ground for the most part.P7110188

The weight with SPDs? 22lbs and some fraction of an ounce. Yeah, that will do.

I grabbed the Prevail and spun around a bit, trying some hard in and out of the saddle efforts and then piloted it down a twisty, rocky creek bed. It is a very fast feeling bike and this Ti frame sure seems to NOT be a noodle. 22lbs is pretty light and the nice wheels spin up right now. It is a quick steering bike and the front wheel feels very tucked in close to me. Personally I prefer a bit slower turning bike, but overall it is certainly a racy feel, just what Dean wanted (he is a very good bike handler). He has been tearing it up too. It is funny to watch someone get on a bike that fits them well, maybe for the first time. The light weight, laser steering with that Lefty fork, tubeless tires, and big wheels have Dean knocking minutes off his lap times.


Sometimes a custom bike experience is not all that great. Dean knew what he wanted..a Ti XC 29″er race weapon….a Katana sword among a field of Carbon Fiber Foils….something he could be at his best on. Form provided just that kind of ride in the Prevail. Dean will do the rest. Let the slicing begin.

Twenty Nine Inches would like to thank Dean for letting us profile him here and for letting us abscond with his rig for a ride!