InterBIKE of the Day

Pardus Cyclone - I Swear It's Not An E-Bike

Words Cam McRae
Photos Cam McRae
Date Sep 29, 2017

Some booths catch your eye and others you stumble upon. Despite the dearth of bikes at Dirt Demo we hadn't noticed the Pardus on our lonely circuits. When we spotted it we grabbed it for photos right away. The frame looks so clean it could at first be mistaken for a hardtail and then... you begin to think e-bike. But it's a meat powered duallie that means business. 

"We want a trail/all mountain bike" was about all the direction that I got." - Steve Domahidy

We initially grabbed the bike from another photographer and the shock cover (yes - there's a shock cover) was absent. 

Pardus tapped Steve Domahidy, current proprietor of Viral Bikes, and co-founder of Niner, to design the bike. I asked Steve about the origin of the design; "My design directive was pretty broad. Pardus is a brand from Taishan, a carbon factory I've worked with before. They wanted a unique new full suspension bike that they could call their own and didn't want another 'me too' design. So they contracted with me to give them something unique but left the design parameters wide open for me."


One of the guys from Viral was quick to fit the cover for the remaining photos. 


An industrial looking headtube with internal routing space for several cables, hoses and wires. It seems we'll be seeing more wires on bikes shortly - even those without Di2.


Steve told me that hiding the rear damper came about organically: "The enclosed shock actually wasn’t my initial design directive for this frame. I was working on the kinematics of the suspension and wanting to keep the center of gravity as low as I could. When I came up with the linkage design and leverage ratio and leverage curve I wanted, with the shock in the lowest position I could get it, it just made more sense for the frame to envelop and protect the shock instead of leaving it open."


How many water bottle cages would you like? 

The bike is designed around Fox's forthcoming electronic Live Valve system and there were some other benefits to the design; "Because of this big open cavity for the shock, this bike is the EASIEST internally routed cable design on the market. Also, the part of a frame that gets hammered the most is the bottom of the underside of the downtube, and now this is a huge ABS plastic skid plate that is replaceable."


Non-drive view. One of the bolts for the enclosure is absent. Such is life with a non-rideable prototype.

Domahidy thought of some of the pitfalls of concealing the shock and engineered a window in the enclosure so a keen eyed buddy can help you set up your sag. While we didn't get geo numbers, Steve did give me some idea of the bike's shape; "In addition, the bb is super low, so much that I am building my size medium (I’m 5’11”) with 170 cranks to gain ground clearance. The chainstay length is incredibly short, head tube is super slack, front and center is super long. Needless to say, this bike will be stable at speeds." 


The industrial aesthetic may not be everyone's cup of tea. This may not be the prettiest bike out there but I think the utilitarian lines work well enough. 

"The low center of gravity is something that you’ll notice right away. The bike handles much differently when it’s that low and it’s something that you can feel. Santa Cruz caught on to this concept when they changed the shock position radically on the new Nomad."

"There’s a changeable axle position in the rear to accommodate the different wheel size and keep the chainstay length as short as it can be for both wheel sizes. 27.5+ wheel, even in 3” width, is about a 1/2” shorter in diameter than an aggressive 29” tire. The ‘swap drop’ drop out not only keeps the BB height the same for both wheel sizes, it brings the chainstay length shorter for the smaller diameter 27.5+ wheels." Note - the brake adapter you see in this photo is simply a place holder and Steve tells me the finished product will be very clean. 

The Pardus Cyclone is scheduled for retail release sometime in the spring. At first glance the bike appears to have merit. We'll start collecting water bottles and try to get our hands on a tester as soon as we can - a rideable one that is. 

On top of designing bikes for his company and others, Steve Domahidy has become a children's book author. Check out his Kickstarter for A Bike For You - here...

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+2 ExtraSpecialandBitter Endur-Bro
Vik Banerjee  - Sept. 29, 2017, 6:17 a.m.

This is just a trick by the bike industry to sell us bikes that look like e-mopeds so that it will become impossible to tell at a glance the bicycles from the mopeds. Don't be fooled! ;)

Cam McRae  - Sept. 29, 2017, 8:13 a.m.

LOL! So crafty!


Frances Barbados  - Sept. 29, 2017, 7:01 a.m.

Can you imagine going to bunny hop a big log or rock, jump and not getting it right and landing right infront the chainring, right onto that thin plate protecting the shock - bye, bye shock piggyback.


dtimms  - Sept. 29, 2017, 7:19 a.m.

In all your years of riding, have you ever had that happen? It would be bye, bye downtube on your bike. So buy a new shock or frame, your choice?

Cam McRae  - Sept. 29, 2017, 8:13 a.m.

I’m not sure if you caught it in the article Francis, but that cover is ABS plastic so it should be nice and tough and beyond that it’s replaceable. It protrudes much less than Marin’s Wolf Ridge as an example and appears to be an effective shape for deflecting rather than hanging up on obstacles. 


+1 Cam McRae
Darryl Chereshkoff  - Sept. 29, 2017, 7:19 a.m.



ankie149  - July 23, 2018, 9 a.m.

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