We’ve been excited in the office for a long time now after seeing design and prototype snaps of Brant Richards new hardtail design… Well Brant goes back a long way to On-One fame, and as the northern correspondant at Wideopen I’m pretty interested in hardcore hardtails. This one looks a peach and has some really nice design features, the machined bottom bracket chainstay yoke, nice dropouts, clever cable guides and I love the fact you can stick the stickers where you like them… very BMX!
We’ll be building it up with a full set of Nuke Proof gear, as previously mentioned on the blog. Keep your eyes peeled in Issue 10 for a preview snap, and a full writeup in Issue 11.
Designed by award winning designer Brant Richards of Shedfire, manufactured for us in the best frameshop in Taiwan we’ve ever seen, this is a hardcore long forked trail hardtail, designed to take everything you can throw at it.
Though the word “revolutionary” is used a lot, some of the tricks Shedfire and Ragley have pulled on this custom triple internal and externally butted tubeset are right up there. The lightest long travel steel hardtail in it’s class to pass and exceed the demanding new CEN 14766 test for frame strength and durability.
Hand welded from custom drawn chromoly tubing, aligned on precision alignment table after manufacture, this is a true new-school steel hardtail with a ride that belies the strength and toughness the frame’s had built into it. Give it everything you can throw at it, and it’ll take it all. Featuring huge tyre clearances, bombproof cabling systems, and “new school” handling when coupled with contemporary long travel forks (between 130 and 150mm).
Featuring a slack 67.5deg head angle, coupled with a long top tube, these frames are designed to run a short stem (between 50 and 70mm) to give fine control but amazing stability, with the handling that will work at high and low speeds, through rock gardens and drops. A seat angle that puts the rider central on the bike, whatever their size, and a chainstay length that balances tyre clearance, traction and hill climbing ability.
“Three Finger” chainstay bridge is exclusive to Ragley. Allows massive tyre clearance so you can fit up to 2.5in rubber, massive chainring clearance which is happy with 36t middle rings, resilience to any attempted chainsuck/derailment. Bridgeless design gives better mud clearance. Bracing to non driveside stay provides high BB stiffness for stomp-and-go power input.
• Bridgeless seatstays give awesome ride and huge mud clearance.
• Chainstay mounted disc brake calliper means lighter gauge seatstays can be used to promote sublime ride quality, give a stiffer mounting for the rear brake, and a neater mounting location.
• Rear slotted seat tube provides proven extra durability over extended front slotted models.
• Bolt on cable guides give multiple options for cable routing and replaceability.
• Custom sticker kit lets your personalise your frame your way.
• Two choices of colour
• Front Derailleur: 28.6mm Top Pull
• Seat Post: 27.2mm
• Seat Collar: 29.8/30mm
• ChainLine: 50mm
• BB Shell 68mm
• Headset 1.125in standard
• Rear disc size up to 203mm
• Fork length 130-150mm optimised.
I’ve also taken a set of blingy bling bling titanium bar end caps (after losing one of my alloy ones at Lee Quarry) on test… are they worth twice the price of the alloy counterparts? Hmmm first impression is very very nice – quality machining and lovely finish. £39.99 worth? I’d stick with alloy, but hey, titanium sparks when you catch a rock! Cool. Here’s the lowdown…
Bar caps are often thought of as bike “Bling” however there have been many documented accidents resulting from uncapped bar ends, some of which have even been fatal!
The bar caps are compatible with ODI lock on style grips, as well as conventional grips. Has a recessed face to minimize graphic scraping. The Straitline logo is laser etched on the outer edge allowing customization of the prominent end face. These are roughly twice the price of the alloy version but will last 5 or more times longer. Also, they shoot sparks when you lay it down!
• Laser etched
• 6Al-4V Titanium
• Last 5 or more times longer than the average Bar Cap