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Sea Otter 2024

Metal Part 1: Ministry Cycles

Photos Deniz Merdano
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There are many trends in the mountain bike industry that are troubling and frustrating: planned obsolescence, rapidly changing standards and the presence of mega corporations and even private equity are but a few. Fortunately there are some positive trends as well and my favourite is the design and manufacturing technology that was once accessible only to large concerns.

sea otter apogee ministry digit bronson 1

The completely CNC-macined Ministry Psalm 150 was the favourite Sea Otter bike of many who laid eyes on it at the EXT suspension booth.

One of my favourite examples is We Are One, who started as a very small shop and then dove in by manufacturing carbon rims that could go toe to toe with the very best, despite being made in Canada and having a more reasonable price tag.

Carbon out of a small shop is less common but small builders of steel hardtails have of course been around for as long as there have been mountain bikes. Today a solo operator can come up with a sophisticated and great looking dual suspension bike with modern geometry and complex suspension kinematics, without major corporate backers. Thankfully there were lots of positive trends like this on display at Sea Otter.

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This image may give you an idea of what's going on with Ministry's 3V0.

Ministry Cycles Psalm 150

If you think this bike brand in waiting sounds a little evangelical, that may not actually be the case. Chris Currie, the man behind Ministry, suggests the name came from the 80s industrial metal band of the same name, and I don't think those dudes are regular church goers.

Chris is a mild-mannered guy who loves mountain bikes. He isn't an engineer (he studied English Lit) but his 3V0 dual-link suspension design has been well-received since Jamis licensed it for their Portal and Hardline frames, which you can still buy today. Ministry's interpretation of the design is much more polished and impressive to behold, but the suspension is configured similarly.

Chris started out as an early internet adopter with the online retailer Speedgoat in 1997, after spending three years working as an English professor. Speedgoat was sold to a private investor in 2010 when Chris was hired as Stan's NoTubes creative director, a job he held until March of 2022.

Adam Prosise who does Reeb bikes in Colorado is working on a really beautiful, welded aluminum front triangle where the whole bottom bracket section is two CNC machined halves. - Chris Currie of Ministry Cycles
sea otter apogee ministry digit bronson 3

This CNC'ed frame is a pre-production sample but it may not be the first bike to go into production. Chris has been looking at other options and he made it clear that this would be a very expensive way to make these bikes. Despite that proviso, one of the options is titanium.

The design of the Psalm 150 claims to keep anti-squat decreasing at a relatively linear rate through the suspension travel while placing the instant centre behind the seat tube and in line with the chain. The leverage ratio is said to be 3.1 before sag and it increases at a relatively linear rate to arrive at 2.1 at bottom out, making it suitable for coil shocks or higher volume air shocks.

Deniz and I rode it on the flat earth of the Sea Otter expo area and for what it's worth, it felt great.

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The heart of Ministry's V30 dual-link suspension system.

The traditional factory method is great for mass-producing bicycles at the lowest possible cost, but my goal is to produce only what I need, as needed, and my priorities are design freedom, precision, consistency, and sustainability. - Chris Currie

Everybody loves the CNC machined frame but it's an expensive process that may not be practical if the goal is to sell more than bikes than you can fit in a sprinter. Chris has been talking to Adam Prosise of Reeb Cycles about building the main triangle out of more conventional welded aluminum tubes with a machined structure at the bottom bracket. These frames are likely to see production before the full CNC frame but both bikes will have something similar to the current machined rear end.

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The main triangle is constructed by machining two halves of a frame and then bonding them together with an aerospace weld. You can see the seam at the head tube. This is the same technique Pole used for their most recent bikes (RIP - for now at least).

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The display bike with the black front end was my favourite.

Ministry Psalm 150 Features (from Ministry)

  • 7075-T6 aluminum construction bonded with aerospace adhesive
  • Full perimeter lap joints
  • 360° sleeve joining bonds reinforce high stress areas
  • Interlocking interior shapes for added bonded reinforcement and perfect alignment
  • Bonded swingarm brace
  • 15mm suspension shafts and mechanical fasteners for additional strength
  • Modular dropouts for future changes
  • Modular, adjustable head tube with reach adjustment
  • SRAM UDH derailleur hanger, standard BSA 73mm threaded bottom bracket and room for up to 210mm dropper post

Frame Details

  • Rear Travel: 150mm
  • Recommended Fork: 160mm
  • Wheel size: 29" 
  • Bottom Bracket: 73mm BSA Threaded
  • Rear Hub Spacing: 12x148mm
  • Headset: IS 41/52
  • Seat Post Diameter: 31.6mm
  • Seat Post Collar Size: 35mm
  • Derailleur Hanger: SRAM UDH
  • Minimum Rear Rotor Size: 180mm
  • All Bearings: 8 x 6902 (28x15x7mm), 2 x 6900 (22x10x6mm)
  • Recommended Fork Rake: 44mm
  • Recommended Fork Axle to Crown: 571mm
  • Shock Specifications: 205x60mm Trunnion
  • Recommended Crank Arm Length: 160-170mm 
ministry psalm 150 details

If you are interested in a Ministry, you may already be pre-selected. Or pre-disqualified. Only one size will be produced to begin with, but with an adjustable head tube.

Geometry Notes

If you are a relatively tall human, but not too tall, you may be the ideal candidate for a Ministry. The first production run will be one size only. Fortunately an adjustable head tube will slice that one more time to allow for reach numbers of either 480 or 490. More sizes are "on the way," according to Chris

More adjustments are possible as well with modular dropouts for future compatibility, a mullet setup and the option to modify your rear centre measurement.

In its current dual 29 guise, the P150's head tube measures 64.5º while the seat tube (which accepts a full-length dropper) is 78º virtual and 75º actual. The chain stays measure 435mm while the front centre is 810 and the wheelbase is 1245.

What's Next for Ministry?

Chris enjoys working with other people in the bike industry so there may be future partnerships to help float this boat. With some luck, the first frames may be available for purchase this summer or perhaps in the fall. Chris is very concerned about getting this right, however, so there will be no shortage of small hurdles.

For our part, we're keen to get some time on a Ministry. Chris lives just across the river from Portland in Vancouver, Washington, so it seems obvious he will make the trek up to Whistler for Crankworx. If he does, we'll be lying in wait.

If you'd like to keep track of Ministry's progress, Chris is very active and forthcoming on Instagram and so polite he apologizes when he posts too late in the evening.

For even more info, hit up

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+12 Cr4w Deniz Merdano Kapolczer pedalhound Ryan Pete Roggeman Curveball hotlapz DanL BarryW Konrad ohio

I think Chris is working with some BC engineering students who are doing FEA as his first prototypes failed testing. He originally thought the CNC front triangle was dead until they stepped up to help him out. The students are doing it as a capstone project for their degrees. It’s pretty awesome.

I thought I heard was that he would be ditching the adjustable reach cups to lighten and strengthen the head tube area. That was a few weeks back and I haven’t followed his most recent posts as I that could be totally wrong.

+1 BarryW

We did talk about the collab with B.C. students and I should have included that tidbit. We didn't talk about the ditching of the adjustable reach via the headset placement though so you are probably correct about that.  Which means the reach is 490 or bust. That possibly came out of the analysis from the students as well. It would be interesting to talk to some of them, particularly if some of them ride mountain bikes. 

Thanks for the additions!


+5 Mammal Luix Konrad ohio DadStillRides

Hey Cam, I’m one of the students that worked with Chris on the CNC frame. It was a super cool project to work on and Chris was incredible to work with. We did end up dropping the adjustable reach to reduce weight and strengthen the headtube area, so now it’s just the 480mm reach. Most of us are mountain bikers and would be super interested in having a chat! Chris has all our personal contact info.


Thanks for the clarification and congratulations for getting involved in such a cool project.

It might be easiest if you send me an email. [email protected]

Looking forward to it!


+4 DanL BarryW Jerry Willows ohio

First thing I thought when I saw the name  Ministry. 

Jesus built my hot rod .

How appropriate.


+2 Chris D GB

ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long


+2 Cam McRae GB

It's a love affair, mainly Jesus and my enduro bike.


+3 Deniz Merdano Jotegir Ryan

A short video of the suspension cycling would be awesome.


+2 BarryW Fat_Tony_NJ

Coming today, on here or on our Instagram





+1 Ryan

I wasn't able to embed the YouTube short here


+2 Ryan Cam McRae

I've always thought 3VO was particularly compelling but felt that it was too bad it was attached to bikes that weren't exactly at the cutting edge of geometry when they were released six years ago.


+3 humdishum Cam McRae ohio

Chris may not be a trained engineer, but there is nobody who can figure out practical solutions like him.  Speedgoat was by a multiple the coolest bike shop around.  Who has a shop with high-end custom builds in rural PA?  While the bikes were cool, it was always the detail that would blow your mind.  There were a couple of years where Chris was combining different brand's parts to make some really amazing stuff.  If memory serves me there were some Hope / Hayes brakes that just felt 1 billion times better than anything available at the time.  

The other thing that always got me about Chris was he had a way of asking questions to figure out what you liked or didn't about a bike.  I spent a day shopping for a bike and after each test he would ask a couple of questions then grab another bike and send me back out.  

Super stoked to see his new venture getting some attention!


+2 Ryan Cam McRae

Saw one of these at the 2023 Sedona MTB Fest.

An absolute work of art.


+2 Cam McRae dhr999

Agreed, I see him riding the local trails occasionally and it looks even better in person. Super nice guy too FWIW.



I live in Camas and see Chris riding in the park here pretty often. I keep meaning to get in touch, as I manufacturing engineer and machinist it’s right up my alley.


+2 Ryan Cam McRae

That's such a great case of synchronicity, I read the caption to the second photo thinking to myself "they should name one of their bikes the Psalm 69" and then I read the following sentence " the name came from the 80s industrial metal band of the same name"


+1 DanL

(as a former rivethead bith) neat to hear that tidbit. 

random: ministry were in town last month; sold out quickly, alas, & missed out. 

also: really neat bikes. been following chris' IG for a bit; fun watching the development process.


+1 GB

I know, right! I would have gone (especially as Gary Numan was support) but not at Ticketmaster prices and not for the lineup that's missing Paul Barker - especially since I saw Paul Barker a few months back with Skinny Pupp which was magnificent.


+1 DanL

i saw SP here as well - great show! rumor has it barker is getting back together w/ ministry for their "final" album.


+1 Cam McRae

Ha! NSMB delivers on so many levels for me now. Interesting news, let's hope Hermes makes them good again


+1 DanL

ah yes, the classic luxa / pan productions days. crosses fingers & hopes for the best.

+1 Cam McRae

I love this project and have been following Chris' Instagram....and to hear he's working with Reeb has me excited...that should be a sexy bike!


+1 RG

Would look so sick to have a 50/50 anodizing (ie anodizing only one side, or both sides different colors).


+1 Cam McRae

Worked for Chris at the Goat, and he's a really genuine and nice fella.  He was working on this suspension platform back then in his spare time, so I am really looking forward to riding one of his bikes!

Really love the YZ250 style rear stays


+1 Cam McRae

It's rad that leadership/ownership at Reeb has allowed Adam to get his geek on. I'm sure a lot of other companies have similar kinds of skunkworx happening behind the scenes, but Reeb has really been cranking out new products and revisions, built right here in the USA. We need more tinkerers like Chris who aren't afraid to collaborate and share the stoke with the next generation of bike geeks.


Chris is all about collaboration and spreading the love. He was given out samples for Whistler Performance Lube while walking around the show and talking to people as well.


+1 Cam McRae

Kind of reminds me of my Ellsworth Dares (2000 and 2001 models).   Lots of CNC'ed parts and high quality manufacture.  But the devil is in the details.  Warranty, replacement parts (and commensurate cost thereof), and availability to test one before purchase.  As someone whom has always loved the high end of bikes (and ridden such) there is still a long way to go until mainstream acceptance.  Look at Pole for example.....


+1 Cam McRae

Chris and Tim Lane make perhaps the best examples for small indy guys doing things right. Compelling designs, compelling personalities.



Ok I love this. 

Two questions: what is a reliable way to engineer that head tube seam? On the Pole bikes it seemed an obvious point of failure which I specifically asked them when I was considering buying a Machine and Leo said "it's literally impossible to tear through those M5 bolts". But that was before they had ridden in BC and the exact thing I described happened to multiple bikes. 

Two: What is the point of all those spacers and then a high rise bar? Why not just make the head tube a bit taller and adjust the reach accordingly for a tidy finish that matches the rest of the bike?



Absolutely my top pick dream bike. Loved Speedgoat when it was around. 

For your headtube question, as a non-engineer (actually, I like to say armchair engineer. Not least of all because I build furniture), but as a longtime fabricator:

I would feel good about it, if using #1) some basic bolts through the teardrop section aft of the headtube, and #2) a dovetailed plate set into the seam at the very front. Could be a cool basis for a head badge, I’ve never seen it before, and I think it would add a lot of strength. Chris, if you use it let me have a test ride at least.

+2 Cr4w Sandy James Oates

As I recall, the low stack relates to the one-size-to-start strategy. While having several spacers and a riser bar may be unsightly, at least there is possible adjustment there while compressing the head tube is somewhat impractical.


+1 Cam McRae

Re: head tube seam

I'm not an engineer either, but it says "aerospace weld" which may be a friction stir weld, which ULA uses to assembly rocket bodies. So possibly very reliable.


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