Cycle Show 2016: Ragley Bikes

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Ever since Ragley first launched back in 2008, the small British brand has done a damn fine job of capturing the wants and needs of UK based mountain bikers. With an emphasis on durability and simplicity, Ragley’s hardtails offer heaps of mud clearance, slack angles, compatibility with short stems, and outstanding value for money.

In amongst the crowd of expensive carbon superbikes at the Cycle Show in Birmingham, Ragley’s clean hardtails stuck out like a sore thumb, and particularly that fluoro yellow Bluepig. We took a look at the 2017 models to see what’s changed on Ragley’s four key models.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

The Bigwig is a 29in hardtail that is built around a 120-140mm travel fork. We first got a ride on the Bigwig last year, where its slack and low geometry impressed us. The new Bigwig retains the same geometry as the outgoing model, but goes BOOST on the rear dropouts to allow for added tyre clearance. As such, the new Bigwig is now dual-wheelsize compatible. You can fit in up to 29×2.4in wide rubber, or 27.5×3.0in plus tyres.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Essentially the big wheeled version of the Piglet, the Bigwig is a trail-oriented 29in hardtail that can take up to a 140mm travel fork.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Neat dropouts on the back of the Bigwig that are locked down via the 148mm wide 12mm thru-axle.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
The signature three-finger chainstay bridge on the Bigwig. Increased tyre clearance allows you to fit up to 3.0in wide tyres when running 27.5in diameter hoops.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Threaded bottom bracket shell, ISCG tabs and external cable routing.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
A wee seat stay bridge with the ‘R’ logo cut through.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
There’s oodles of standover clearance on the Bigwig thanks to a seat tube brace that keeps the downtube nice and low.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Ragley head tube badge. With three crowns no less!
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
The Bigwig runs a 65-degree head angle, which pushes the front wheel way out in front for descending stability.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
However, a 74-degree seat angle and short 435mm chain stays aim to keep the rear wheel right underneath the rider for cornering agility.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

The bike that started it all for Ragley; the Bluepig. Not so blue in fluoro yellow though. This is the complete bike, but Ragley also offers a Bluepig frame on its own if you’d prefer a more understated colourway. On that note, every Ragley model is available in both a complete bike option and as a standalone frame too.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

The Bluepig is built around 27.5in wheels and is designed to be run with a 150mm travel fork. Its got beefier tubing to cope with the heftier loads being applied, and as such it weighs in at a decent 6.6lbs (3kg) for the frame on its own.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

The new Bluepig updates to a 142x12mm thru-axle on the back. No BOOST here like the Bigwig, presumably because it wasn’t required. Even without the BOOST spacing, Ragley has been able to open up tyre clearance to 2.8in when running the Bluepig with 27.5+ wheels.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Neat bolt-on cable guides to keep the hydraulic hoses and shifter cable in place.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

The Piglet is the baby brother to the Bluepig, and is offered as more of a trail bike than a super-slack Enduro hardtail. It’s designed for you to fit a 120-140mm travel fork on the front, though features a 65.5-degree head angle when fitted with a 130mm travel fork. Like the new Bluepig and the Bigwig, the 2017 Piglet frame is now plus compatible.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
44mm head tube on the Piglet allows for compatibility with tapered fork steerer tubes.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

Like the Bluepig and Bigwig, the Piglet features triple butted 4130 chromoly tubing for durability. It’s marginally lighter than the Bluepig, coming in at a claimed 6.4lbs (2.9kg) for the frame.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Run the Piglet with 27.5×2.4in wide tyres, or fit up to a 2.8in wide ‘plus’ tyre like the complete bike shown here.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

In addition to Ragley’s steel hardtails, the brand also offers two alloy frames as well. The MmmBop is essentially the alloy version of the Bluepig. Like the Bluepig, the MmmBop is built around 27.5in wheels, is compatible with 140-160mm travel forks, and features a 64-degree head angle when paired to a 150mm travel fork.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

Beefy alloy tubing offers up a different ride characteristic to the steel Bluepig. It also drops significant weight: the alloy MmmBop weighs in at 4.59lbs (2kgs) for the medium frame.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Neat bolt-on dropouts for the 142x12mm thru-axle.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox

And last, but not least, is the Ragley Marley. The Marley is essentially the alloy version of the Piglet, so it’s a beefy alloy trail bike that’ll fit a 120-140mm travel fork on the front. Frame tubing is oversized like the MmmBop, with enormous junctions at the head tube and bottom bracket to maximise stiffness.

ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Unlike the steel frames, the alloy Ragley frames get a shapely tapered headtube that tucks the lower headset cup inside the frame.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Still gets that fancy head tube badge. How regal!
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
And the three-finger chainstay bridge. But while Ragley’s 2017 steel frames offer plus tyre clearance, the alloy Marley and MmmBop frames are limited to 2.4in wide rubber.
ragley steel hardtail bluepig piglet 29er 27.5 plus slack rockshox
Another difference between the Marley and MmmBop framesets is the use of a quick release for the rear of the Marley frame.

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