This bike came to us because of the wheels – they’re Sixth Element’s latest XC race wheel, the Pro XC, launched today. But we got a bit distracted by the bike. So here’s a full run down of the bike, and if it’s the fancy new wheels you’re interested in, hop on over here.
This bike is made by Kingdom, so of course it’s titanium. We’ve tested one before, but this one is a little different to any others out there. Graham of Sixth Element asked for something to ride the 2020 BC Bike Race on. Chris from Kingdom said that in the time available (funnily enough, Graham wants to practice before he rides a very long way across Canada…) a new full suspension bike wasn’t an option, but he could make Graham a hardtail. So they did, and this is the result.
It was made specially for Graham, but will be available as the ‘XCRace29’.
This one here is a size Large, with 68° Head Angle, 75° Seat Angle, 445m chain stays and 625mm Effective Top Tube.
Graham’s not sure that he’s up to racing the BC Bike Race on a hardtail, but this hardtail is certainly up for racing, so team rider Molly Pearson has been giving this a good thrashing as she tries turning her enduro legs to XC.
When we put the bike together the build was all about handling and speed: I race in both national and regional XC, and intend to focus on national exclusively next year.
We didn’t have an unlimited budget so we had to think carefully about where to spend the money.
I know that races are won (and lost!) through a combination of light weight and dependability. The build reflects this.
First thing to say is that the Ti frame is sublime – I don’t think that I’ve ever ridden a bike like it. All that hype around ‘zingy’ titanium is true!
In terms of components, to be honest, you need to slightly unplug your brain from looking down at the Lefty fork all the time and just concentrate on the ride – it is so precise through corners. And of course light. The Sixth Element wheels do their job as you’d expect: fast, predictable and true. The new Sixth Pro XC 29er wheels’ rim width (25mm internal, 30mm external) is spot on for the race tyres. The dropper is a Revive from TF Tuned. Unbeatable.
As budget allows I’d look at upgrading the chainset and splash out on some new pedals (Ti there too)”
As built, the bike is around £4,400. If you wanted a frame like (or similar to) this one, it’s £1,699 for a frame. This includes the customer’s ability to change the Head Angle, Seat Tube Angle and rear brake mount (PM or IS) with three choices on Head Angle and Seat Tube Angle, similar to the approach that is on the Kingdom website for the Vendetta hardtail.
Buyers can choose a choice of raw Ti or polished Ti finish, and literally any colour frame decal (match your wheels if you like!).
If you want, sliding drop-outs are also available as an option for an additional £189.
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The bike will be available in Sm, Med, Large and XL sizes, and comes with a lifetime frame warranty.
The bike is available with internal or external cable and hose routing – it’s the customer’s choice as to which, and no extra cost on either option.
If you think this bike is what you need, it will be available through EMC in Manchester, UK, (Tel 0800 880 6136) or direct from Kingdom in Copenhagen, with a five to seven week deliver time.
If you want something with more bounce, why not check out this Kingdom full suspension titanium creation?
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