Proudfoot Cycles came on the scene in 2015 with a hardtail fat bike engineered for performance. After having moved from Los Angeles to Golden, Colorado, aerospace engineer Jon Acuff and his wife Erin shifted their skill sets to bike building. Their mission was simple, to build performance-based steel bikes with unmatched strength to weight ratios. Was bikepacking on their radar when they conceptualized Proudfoot? Not necessarily, but do their bikes fit the bill? Absolutely.
After having perfected their hard tail fat bike, the Jest, Jon began building hard tail cross country mountain bikes, such as the Resolve, with the goal of creating a bike that’s efficient on the climbs, but one with the ability to also descend with confidence. Once the hard tail models were standardized, Jon entered the world of full suspension with his thoughtful design of the Primed and the Proudfat full suspension fat bike. Now they make everything from rigid gravel bikes to cross bikes, to full suspension fats.
As with many brands, I feel that the people behind the company stamp their passion onto the final product. This feeling is strong with Proudfoot, and as a consumer, that makes me more excited to support their mission. I have been riding and bikepacking on the Proudfoot Resolve for 4 months, and it has quickly become a favorite for many reasons – so much so that I’ve decided to purchase it.
The Resolve is built for comfort and performance. The shorter chain stays and semi-aggressive head tube angle allow for efficiency on climbs and confidence while descending. I can truly say that this bike can do it all, and on those long days in the saddle, it gives you the power to keep spinning. The Resolve that I tested is close to their performance package, which is stocked with a Fox 34 Performance 130mm Boost fork, Industry Nine Trail 29” wheels (with the option to opt for a 27.5” wheelset if you fancy), XT 1×11 shifter and drivetrain, RaceFace Turbine crankset, SLX brakes (mine came with Guide R), Fox Transfer 125mm dropper, and RaceFace Turbine stem and bars. All Proudfoot bikes are made to order, so if your wishes don’t fall within their specifications, just ask. And for the most part, your dream is their command.
I have put nearly 700 miles on the Resolve since June, including a 200 mile bikepack outside of Moab, the 100 mile White Rim, a bikepack in the high altitude desert of Gunnison and plenty of miles of sweet CB singletrack. There were times when I would be planning a ride in Crested Butte where I would be hesitant not to take my full suspension to maximize fun on the descents, but every time I took the Resolve I was beyond happy that I did. The dropper post and 130mm of travel up front are plenty to be playful on the descents, and it’s one of those bikes you can really just settle into on the climbs. As their website states, “comfort in the saddle and solid handling are the chief design goals of the Proudfoot Resolve Hardtail Mountain Bike,” I cannot stress enough how well they’ve accomplished both.
For bikepacking, the Resolve lends itself well to being loaded. On the size medium frame you have plenty of space for carrying your necessities. Even with the dropper post you can accommodate a compact saddlebag like the Porcelain Rocket Charlene, and still have a little over an inch of travel to work with. The only loaded issue I encountered, and one that can easily be avoided if you pay attention and plan ahead, was compatibility with handlebar bags. I used an Alpamayo harness system on my first trip with the Resolve, and ended up unknowingly pinching my brake cable when repacking on day two. About 50 miles into the day I realized that I had lost all of my hydraulic fluid and was left with only a rear brake for the rest of the trip. While this scenario was purely user error, it is worth noting that I have had minor issues finding handlebar bags that are compatible with the brakes and cables. This can be improved by getting wider bars and adjusting the angle of the brakes, or shopping for a handlebar bag that has enough reach out from the bars, such as the Salsa EXP Series Anything Cradle. The Resolve is a very comfortable and capable bike, and it has proven to be an excellent tool for bikepacking.
There is something to be said about the beauty of bikes that are handmade and custom built to order in the US. Each and every bike that comes out of the Proudfoot shop is built with an attention to detail that you can see in the welds, material choices, intention in design and overall aesthetics. “We use high-strength, American-sourced steel tubes and personally handle all facets of the design and manufacturing process in-house at our production facility in Golden, Colorado.” You can’t really beat that…
The Proudfoot Resolve is available in three different complete bike packages, with the option to purchase the frame only if you wish. With all bikes created to order, Proudfoot truly has the capability of making your dream a reality with their performance steel bikes and excellence in engineering.
Resolve frames for $1,895. Complete Build Packages range from $4,325 – $6,195 depending on components. Frame weight ranges from 4.5 – 5 lbs depending on size. www.proudfootcycles.com