by Marc Basiliere
July 25, 2014
From stealthy to… not so much, direct to you!
Now 25 years old, Bonn-based Radon and its parent company have been selling bikes and components consumer-direct since before there was 3D Violet. Not often seen in the UK, it’s hard not to love a company that calls their carbon hardtail the “Black Sin” and still welds frames in Germany. Reportedly highly-rated at home, Radon uses a proved four-bar design for their full suspension models, which range from racer fast to full-on downhill. Below we have a couple of models redesigned for 2015 – the trail/enduro oriented Slide 650b and the fast-but-fun Skeen 29er – as well as a big-wheeled trail bike – the updated Slide 130 29er.
Slide 150 – 650B
The Slide 150, that multiple magazine test and award winning All Mountain, now rolls on 650B wheels. A completely new designed alloy frame completes the wheelsize-range now and the bike fits perfectly into the middle price range. With its 650B-optimized geometry the new Slide 150 works perfectly with top suspension forks like Fox 34 or RockShox Pike that offer 150-160mm of travel. Even compared to the 26er Slide the new bike is the distinctly better trail weapon that acts superior on all trails and masters every obstacle.
Slide 130 – 29
The kinematics of the Slide 150 bikes was combined perfectly with the bigger wheels with a priority on handling. We made a conscious decision in favour of the exact same bottom bracket height as with the [since replaced] 26″ models, whereby the centre of gravity was lowered without impairing agility on difficult trails, realising a balanced seat position. The big wheels, which offer a marked increase of traction in uphill and curved passages, also allowed us to reduce suspension travel due to the better suitability for running over obstacles. As a result, drive economy raises to a level well beyond that of many fully suspended endurance bikes with 120mm fork travel.
Skeen 100 – 29
The Skeen comes with totally new „clothes“ but still remains our first choice for marathon races and sportive trail rides. A totally new frame comes with shapely slight tubes and a sportive geometry. Compact, one piece carbon fiber levers show a nice connection between the 100mm travel rear end and the now upright positioned shock. The hydroformed alloy frame plays among the lightest marathon alloy frames and with its Syntace X-12 thru axle and its tapered steerer it offers a great amount of stiffness. [Designer] Bodo Probst just didn´t stop at some changed optics – he really insisted on a sporty marathon race ready kinematics. With a 100mm travel and 29er wheels the new Skeen still offers way enough resources to leave the crowd behind on descents as well.
The company also sent details on a 650b/26in freeride model but, sadly, no images of the mixed-wheel beast. Radon Bikes are sold through Bike-Discount.de and do ship to the UK. More details available shortly here.