June 9, 2023

Tech Week 2023: Ministry Cycling Psalm 150 Prototype – Pinkbike

If we’re talking about high-end frames, we’re usually also talking about carbon fiber… but that could change in the near future. Founded by industry vet Chris Currie, Ministry Cycles is one of a handful of brands working with frames machined from solid aluminum blocks, with the two halves of the Psalm 150 glued together with aerospace-grade glue. 150mm of travel The Psalm uses the latest version of Currie’s 3VO suspension and was designed around a 160mm fork, but owners can bump up to 170mm if they’re looking for more.

Ministry Cycles is still in its early stages, and the Psalm 150 frame pictured here is the first prototype to be driven, but Currie has plans for a limited run of twenty production frames to be made available in the near future.

Psalm 150 Details
• Intended use: Trail / enduro
• Travel: 150 mm rear / 160 mm front
• Body material: CNC aluminum
• Wheel size 29″
• 3VO suspension
• Replaceable interrupters
• Head angle: 65°
• Seat angle: 77.7°
• reach: 480 / 490 mm (adjustable)
• For more information: www.ministrycycles.com

Psalm 150 Frame details

Why not welded tubes or molded carbon fibers? “I’m looking for a manufacturing method that can scale and still allow for customization, flexibility and agility,” Currie replied, before saying it also gives him more control over how he builds his bike, especially compared to tracking his bike. The same route for others eventually leads to “big bike factories”. The Ministry aims to make more frames than most small builders could weld, but the move to carbon fiber creates all sorts of​​​​​​challenges, especially when it comes to schedules and, God forbid, the desire to make a fast mid. production cycle update to design.

All of this led Currie to look into CNC machining, but he explained that it required outside help and a lot of homework: “When your goal is to make more than a handful of frames a year, you have to build a team and systems. I found a great engineer, Jordan Jackson of Certa Design and Engineering from the UK, to design shapes and do FEA, so we were confident we had a solid foundation. Then we researched the best way to glue and different glues and finally found a factory that could machine the frames – at a time when the price of aluminum was at an all time high – it was one heck of a learning experience. I’ve been in the bike business for a long time, but almost nothing has worked out. Making this frame meant tearing up the playbook and looking for new ways.”

Currie actually put the two halves of his one and only prototype together in Vancouver himself in his Washington garage and told me the process is pretty simple. “I built myself a simple jig to keep the swingarm aligned while gluing, and the front triangle has several self-aligning hip joints, so it just requires a prep process and then applying the glue in a specific pattern.”

“I went through a checklist I created as a series of slides on my laptop because I’m pretty compulsive that way, but as long as you’re careful and deliberate, the process has all the drama of gluing two Lego blocks together. -only with industrial-grade glue similar to what they use in airplanes and cars. There are a few Henkel products that have really excellent and almost identical numbers for aluminum. I’m still researching, but the prototype has been bombproof, so I’ll probably keep everything exactly as I have it now.”

I would argue that the end result is one of the most stunning frames around, with angular lines and a machined finish that sets the Psalm 150 apart from almost anything else on the trails.
3VO suspension

The 150mm travel Psalm features a double link setup called 3VO, which is an evolved and modified version of what Jamis has had on a full suspension bike for years. “The new 3VO suspension is simpler and has a flat, progressive leverage ratio,” Currie told me. “It actually goes back to my original, original design from years ago, which only uses two links, but was a little too progressive for the old-school air strikes.” Currie had been using a prototype version of a highly progressive switching system called the Prog Rocker on his personal Jamis Portal for a few years, and the Psalm uses this layout combined with a high volume air shock.

This iteration of the 3VO suspension is also simpler than previous versions, with two links instead of three, and Currie has stressed the importance of pedaling well on his bike. ”Unlike many models that cheat on the center of gravity location or gearing, the 3VO suspension has well over 100% squat prevention, even if you’re on the biggest rear sprocket, and even if you decide to run a 34 engine. -tooth chain ring,” he explained on the ministry’s website. “In climbing, very few systems can match the efficiency of a 3VO bike. When it comes to balancing sensitivity, responsiveness and efficiency, nothing comes close.” ‘


Some riders want a 150mm, but that can be enough for a lot of people’s enduro bikes, especially if they put a 170mm travel fork on it like you can on the psalm. This relaxes the steering from 65 degrees with a 160mm fork to 64.5 degrees. There are also earcups that can be flipped to allow Currie to set the reach to either 480mm or 490mm on his medium/large prototype, and Ministry can also add the option to steepen or relax the head angle even further.

Interchangeable dropouts at one end of the bike allow him to choose between a 435mm or 445mm rear end. The latter offers a 37mm bottom bracket drop, at least on the first prototype, while the former raises the bike by 7mm.

The seat angle is 77.7 degrees, and Currie has been pleasantly surprised by the prototype’s uphill performance, especially considering it’s still a few pounds heavier than the final bike: “From the faster, steeper 130mm carbon XC bike to this beefier 150mm: n bike with a 65° head tube angle, I was prepared to lose some climbing ability, but this thing goes up walls. I’m 77.7° on this bike, and it climbs so much better it’s ridiculous.”

What next?

If you want your own Psalm 150, there’s a pre-order link on the Ministry Cycles website to make a deposit, but Currie is limiting the first run to just 20 bikes and admits they’re going to be expensive: “I hope I can get around to it, and eventually I think we can , but right now they’re incredibly expensive to make. We’re working on a revised frame now, and a lot of things can also delay production, so we’re talking a deposit that’s fully refundable at any time.”

“The mission is really to make things for people based on what they want, not to make a bunch of things and then try to convince people that they want them. I have really strong opinions about geometry and how a bike should be ridden, but it really comes back to connecting with people and listening. That’s what I want Ministry Cycles to really be about.”

Want to know more? I sat down with veteran and Ministry Cycles founder Chris Currie to talk about Psalm 150’s revival, public development and lifecycle, design flexibility and more. Chris also founded Speedgoat, one of the earliest online stores back in the 1990s, and has spent over a decade in the Stans marketing trenches, giving him a unique perspective on the cycling industry and its future.

22 September 2022

Aluminum, adhesive and online sales.

Tech Week 2023 offers an opportunity to explore the latest mountain bike components, clothing and accessories. Click here to see all related content.

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