2021 Viral Skeptic hardtail gearbox MTB sees radical redesign, Viral Derive updated

Tips & Reviews

The 2021 Viral Skeptic and Derive bare metal beauties have arrived, and with them the chance to get your hands on a free Industry 9 wheelset valued at $1355. More on that later… The new Skeptic frame is redesigned from the ground up with a dropped top tube for additional standover and longer reach figures. The Viral Derive gets some subtle geometry updates too.

2021 Viral Skeptic

2021 viral skeptic gearbox mountain bike frame

The 2021 Viral Skeptic titanium hardtail mountain bike frame sees longer reach figures of 440mm to 500mm over the S-XL frame size range. Built around a 150-160mm travel 29er fork the Skeptic can, as always, be run with either 27.5+ or 29” wheels. With this redesign, Viral were aiming to make the new Skeptic a more aggressive version of their all-mountain hardtail.

Viral titanium mtb sliding dropouts chainstay length adjustment
Sliding dropouts allow for chainstay length adjustment

2021 Viral Derive

The Viral Derive remains the same in terms of its frame design. Viral chose to keep the Derive as a more traditional double diamond shape to ensure maximum frame bag sizes for the backpacking contingent.

viral derive small frame titanium hardtail mtb

Viral say its reach has lengthened slightly, with geometry optimised for a 120mm travel fork. No exact geometry details from Viral on either of these titanium frame hardtail mountain bikes just yet…

“The Derive is really a chameleon and works so well in so many different situations,” says Steve Domahidy, Viral Bike’s owner and designer. “I’ve built them up with rigid forks, Lauf forks, and of course suspension forks up to 130mm. It’s the perfect bike for getting into the backcountry, but it’s so much more versatile than that.”

Pricing & Availability

Frame kits for the 2021 Viral Skeptic and Derive retail at $4795. That includes a Viral triple-butted titanium frame, a Pinion C1.12 gearbox, CNC cranks, shifter, Gates Carbon Drive belt and cogs, a lockring tool, and the first year oil change for the gearbox.

With a pre-order special, that price also includes $1355 credit towards any Industry 9 wheelset. Colors for 2021 remain the same as last season: raw ti, green with yellow decals and blue with orange decals.


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