Funk Cycles was born in 1988 as the brainchild of Darryl Funk, whose passion lies in rethinking the status quo and creating bikes that are outside of the box. Starting out in aluminum when most of the industry was still using exclusively steel, and then moving on to titanium, Funk’s flagship design deviates from the norm even today.
The La Ruta is a softtail mountain bike that uses a titanium flex plate rather than pivots to activate the rear shock. While there have been minor tweaks over the years and Craig Sata, welder and fabricator at Funk, is always working on ways to improve the design, the premise has remained the same since 2001, when this model first launched.
The flex plate that has become a staple on Funk’s bikes acts like a leaf spring on a car. Titanium’s properties allow it to act as an excellent shock absorber without compromising the strength of the metal, and by eliminating pivot points, it provides a lighter, simpler, more durable and easier to maintain suspension setup for cross-country-oriented riders who don’t need a lot of rear squish.
On this La Ruta that we saw at NAHBS, the flex plate combined with a Fox Float shock provides 80mm of rear travel.
While Funk has standard sizing and geometry available on all their bikes, they only build one frame at a time. The Funk team prides themselves on creating an experience and a journey for the customer, not just a product. They enjoy working to create the perfect bike for each rider, from geometry and frame tweaks to well-thought-out build kits and decorative customization such as brushed artwork. Custom geometry is offered at no extra charge, and only about one in every ten customers orders a stock bike.
While Funk started out in mountain bikes, they’ve expanded to cross/gravel and road bikes as well. The gravel bike pictured below uses the same titanium flex plate technology as on the mountain bikes, and also features a Lauf Grit fork, providing just enough vibration dampening to make for a comfortable day in the saddle.
This build also features a SRAM Force 1 x 11 drivetrain, Easton cranks, stem and seatpost and Stans Avion carbon rims. The frame is finished with flowers brushed onto the top tube for a personalized and subtly-beautiful touch.
Funk also sponsors their own racing team, whose mission is to bring people together to share the passion of cycling in a friendly and spirited environment, support and encourage one another on and off the bike, give back to their communities and spread the stoke for the Funk brand.
More information on Funk and their bikes, including geometry, specs and pricing, can be found on their website.
Check out some of our other posts from the 2017 show here.