It’s showtime! Jon headed out of the Valley and over to the bright lights of a conference centre in Manchester to check out what’s new in the world of distributor Hotlines UK. They’ve been running a series of shows for their massive portfolio of brands that are open to the trade and bike press.
First up we’re going to take a look at what’s new from Ragley Bikes, the handiwork of a certain Brant Richards of this very valley. We spoke about his plans for Ragley at the London Cycle Show last year, but this is the first time we’ve seen some of his latest designs in the flesh.
Ragley came about through Brant’s desire for bikes that’d let him get away with a bit of silly steep riding on steps around these parts but he’s found a much wider audience for his flavour of tough, slack and low hardtails and their popularity is on the rise with riders across Britain – and the world.
Ragley Ti Piglet
Here’s something all new – it’s a Ragley Piglet Ti prototype – but a proto that will probably be made. The original Piglet was designed as a shorter travel option for anyone who didn’t fancy something as slack and big forked as the Blue Pig. Running 120mm forks up front, using a slightly lighter tubeset and steeper headangle mean it’s more of an all rounder. This one’s handmade from aerospace grade Titanium in Chattanooga, US of A by Lynskey Performance.
As ever with the Ragley frames, it uses the clever 44mm internal diameter headtube that lets you run any fork from 1.125″, tapered to full 1.5″.
It’s got rather tidy adjustable dropouts for running as a singlespeed or for tuning your wheelbase if you like that sort of thing.
The frame also has the trademark Ragley Three Finger Bridge for extra clearance around the chainrings, loads of room for mud and big tyres, stiffness and resistance to damage from chainsuck. If you’d like to get your hands on a Ti Piglet then they’re going to cost around £1,400.
As Jack Nicholson said in a Few Good Men, “you can’t handle the truth” but we doubt he was on about Ragley’s new, long travel aluminium hardtail . The Troof is the alloy brother to the Bagger 288 and as such you can stick 160 to 180mm (really) forks on the front, which has a pleasantly slack 65.1° unsagged head angle.
That sharpens up to a positively lively 67° for the all important sagged number and the BB is kept nice and low, which should keep it nice and stable at speed and on the steep stuff rather than having the floppy feel you usually get when you stick big forks on a normal hardtail.
The full 1.5″ headtube means you can run whatever forks you like, the Fathead tubing is plenty strong, 30.9mm post means you’re got your pick of the uppy downy posts (have a look at Issue 64 for a full test) and there’s an ISCG05 mount for chaindevices – or even a Truvativ Hammerschmidt if you fancy a particularly bonkers tech riding build.
The Troof uses the CNC’d three finger bridge which looks rather neat.
Ragley have licensed DMR’s Swopout changeable dropout system, so you can run a Maxle or QR rear wheel. The Troof at all costs? There’s only one and it’s £349.99.
More on the next page, including the mighty Bagger…
Posted on: March 1, 2011