More Cushion For The Pushin’: The Pace RC127+

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Like many British mountain bikers, we love a good steel hardtail. Carbon fibre is great and all, and intricate suspension linkages on long-travel enduro bikes certainly earn their fare share of attention, but there’s just something to be said for the elegance and simplicity that comes along with a series of slender steel tubes welded together in a compact double-diamond hardtail frame. Maybe it’s the toughness and durability of steel, or the all-weather practicality of owning a bike without a rear shock and suspension pivots. Whatever it is, we just can’t get enough of the new school steel hardtails currently hitting the market.

One such example is the Pace RC127. Pace Cycles is a British mountain bike company that knows a thing or two about making lovely steel frames. In fact, the brand’s RC127 steel trail hardtail impressed us so much, that it even earned a ‘Singletrack Recommended’ label when we tested it. New for 2017 is a new version of the RC127 hardtail, though this one can fit MUCH bigger rubber…

pace rc127 plus hardtail steel 27.5 650b
The new Pace RC127+ is designed around the latest 27.5×2.6in tyre size.

“A whole new class of bike – a whole new bundle of fun. With all the pedigree of the proven RC127 but designed around the very latest 27.5 x 2.6” Plus tyre size the RC127+ has a raft of performance benefits including diesel like grip, drive and rollover but without the overweight over blown drawbacks of monster truck tyre sizes. Plus we’ve built these features into the very latest progressive geometry package blending a gravity defying slack headtube angle with long toptube and low BB giving you insane levels of grip and control.” – Pace Cycles

The Pace RC127+ Features:

  • Reynolds 853 steel chassis
  • Built around 27.5×2.6in wheels, though will also accommodate 29er wheels
  • Max 27.5in tyre clearance: 2.8in
  • Tapered head tube
  • Designed for 130-150mm travel forks
  • 65° Head tube angle
  • 73.5° Seat tube angle
  • 435mm Chainstay length
  • 148x12mm rear thru-axle
  • Adjustable Slideout dropouts
  • Colours: Tangy Gloss Orange or Grumpy Carbon Black
  • 6 decal colourways options
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Includes DT Swiss RWS rear thru axle and Pace CNC machined seat clamp
  • Claimed weight: 2.65kg
  • RRP: £499
pace rc127 plus hardtail steel 27.5 650b
Tangy Gloss Orange FTW!

Just like the existing RC127, the RC127+ is built from lovely Reynolds 853 tubing, which is custom butted and shaped into the final form you see here. The RC127+ frame is loaded with modern features, including a tapered head tube, ISCG05 chainguide tabs, Stealth internal dropper routing, and sliding dropouts. However, there’s still plenty of British practicality to be found, with a threaded bottom bracket and external routing for the gears and brakes that’ll keep home mechanics happy. Even the exit port for the dropper post cable is reinforced to keep it sealed from the elements.

pace rc127 plus hardtail steel 27.5 650b
Threaded bottom bracket, ISCG 05 tabs, and stealth dropper routing.

Out back, you can fit up to a 2.8in tyre with 27.5in wheels. However, Pace has designed the RC127+ around the emerging 27.5×2.6in tyre size, which we’ve previously predicted will be one of the more popular tyre standards of the future. Given the generous tyre clearance, you’ll even be able to fit a 29in wheelset into the RC127+ frame, though we don’t have confirmation for the maximum tyre clearance when using 29in wheels. Guess we’ll just have to get one to test…

pace rc127 plus hardtail steel 27.5 650b
There’s a 12mm thru-axle out back with the latest 148mm Boost standard.

The adjustable Slideouts mean you can tweak the overall chainstay length of the RC127+ by 13mm. That means you can run it as a singlespeed without need for a tensioner device, or if you’re running gears, it gives you the ability to adjust the handling by changing the rear centre geometry. The RC127+ also uses a 148x12mm DT Swiss RWS screw-in axle.

pace rc127 plus hardtail steel 27.5 650b
The RC127+ is slack! 65° head angle and a long top tube kicks the front wheel way out in front.

In terms of geometry, the RC127+ goes thoroughly into the future with a slack 65° head angle that’s exactly the same as the Stif Morf hardtail that we’ve reviewed for Issue #110. However, the RC127+ is capable of fitting a bigger fork, with Pace recommending 130-150mm of travel up front. Reach measurements are fairly conservative across the three frame sizes, even if the RC127+ has been designed to run a compact stem and nicely wide ape-hanger bars.

pace geometry chart
Frame geometry for the Pace RC127+ (measured with a 140mm travel fork).

With all of those ingredients, it looks like Pace has cooked up a very tasty little muffin with the RC127+. Chubby tyres make a lot of sense for a trail hardtail, and with the slightly tougher 2.6in tyres currently hitting the market, there’s certainly a lot of appeal for trail riders who like to rip hard.

Comments (10)

    Looks great fun. But the reach? I’d need at least an 80mm stem to be comfortable on a bike with a 635mm effective top tube and I’m only 6ft 2in tall, which isn’t gigantic these days. Shame as it looks a lot of fun.

    6’2″ sounds pretty tall to me….

    Not according to the current STW poll. Apparently 35% of us on here are 6′-6’3″ tall and Pace have really limited this frame to riders up to 6′. It’s actually quite a problem for small manufacturers. In the past they could get away with three frame sizes because riders would fit stems up to 120mm to get the fit they needed. With 50mm becoming the longest acceptable stem size and anything less than 35mm being tricky, the frames need to come in a wider range of sizes, which adds cost and makes modelling demand for each frame size quite challenging.

    As that other thread shows amongst that 35% are a load of people who are 5′ 11″!

    LOL, I hadn’t seen that thread!

    Still, the poll shows that 42% of respondents are 6’+, some very plus. So, even if we reduce that to, say, 32% to take out the folks who are undecided about their height, that’s a lot of riders who’re being left out.

    TIL that Pace still exists…

    That is a beautiful orange!

    You say it’s not boost hubs, but on the site it says “Out back there’s room for a 148mm boosted hub, 12mm Thru Axle and our own and original Slideout system so you can tweak the wheelbase, singlespeed her or replace if damaged.”
    Any confirmation?

    Can confirm that it is indeed Boost 148x12mm spacing @AlexSimon!

    The Pace website looks to have been updated over the weekend, and the description has changed from 142x12mm to 148x12mm dropouts.

    I’ve updated the article accordingly, and have also included Pace’s claimed frame weight of 2.65kg.

    We’ve also had confirmation from Pace about Reach & Stack measurements for the RC127+ frame, which were initially missing from the geometry chart on the website. I’ve added that into the article too, but FYI, those measurements are:

    Small: 625mm (Stack) & 404mm (Reach)
    Medium: 643mm (Stack) & 418mm (Reach)
    Large: 652mm (Stack) & 435mm (Reach)

    Those measurements are based on a 140mm travel fork (unsagged), so expect the Reach to lengthen with a shorter fork and vice versa. That said, it’s not super long compared to what else is out there at the moment.

    To give some perspective of where those measurements sit relative to Pace’s competitors, here are the dimensions for a couple of other ‘Medium’ sized frames;

    Stif Morf w/130mm fork: 605mm (Stack) & 435mm (Reach)
    Cotic BFE w/140mm fork: 589mm (Stack) & 418mm (Reach)
    Stanton Slackline w/120mm fork: 610mm (Stack) & 430mm (Reach)
    Orange Clockwork w/130mm fork: 618mm (Stack) & 453mm (Reach)
    Specialized Fuse w/120mm fork: 610mm (Stack) & 420mm (Reach)

    However, numbers are one thing. Real-world ride quality is a whole other kettle of fish. With the 140mm fork, 65-degree head angle and plus tyres, it certainly appears that it’s setup to enjoy the rougher side of trail riding.

    I guess we’ll just have to get one in to test 🙂

    Loving that, but; hey Pace, wth is “diesel like grip”? When I’m after grip, diesel is the last thing I’m thinking of …

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