Andi gets an exclusive first ride review of the latest 120mm travel full-suspension bike from Sonder. Meet the 2020 Sonder Cortex.
Sonder, the bike brand of Alpkit, has been making waves in the British mountain bike world for a couple of seasons now, and with the recent launches of the Signal Ti hardtail, all-new Transmitter and now the 120mm travel Sonder Cortex, they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.
The Sonder Cortex is a designed from the ground up, 120mm travel full-suspension bike, but while this final production bike we have before us here is new, the Cortex has been spotted before.
The original prototype Sonder Cortex featured a swoopy hydroformed mainframe, but the final model uses straight tubes which we think actually suits the Sonder brand identity a little better.
Neil Sutton, Sonder’s bike designing wizard, has designed the Cortex with 120mm of travel and 29in wheels, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is simply a cross country whippet, the Cortex might be short on travel but it’s full of fun and packed with full-throttle beans.
Like all Sonder bikes the Cortex is available via the Alpkit website, and in Alpkit stores dotted around the country. Customers have a few build options to choose from with prices starting from around just £1500, but as each bike is built to order there are options to tweak the specifications here and there and add a few upgrades to get the bike how you want right out of the box.
Sonder Cortex Review: The Bike
The original prototype Sonder Cortex was first spotted back in January of 2018, and since then it has undergone a major makeover and now sports a tubeset that is more in line with the rest of the Sonder bike family. It’s also had a geometry tweak here and there and the final production bikes will be available in brown, green and a rather natty bone white finish.
After well over a year of development and ride time, Neil finally came to the decision to build the Cortex with a 66° head angle, 74.5° seat tube, and as we’ve witnessed before on Sonder bikes, varying chainstay lengths which increase slightly with each frame size. This makes a lot of sense, as a tall rider won’t have the same central position as a short rider and just as we need to increase reach we should really look at increasing the rear too.
In this case, reach figures range from 420-480mm across the 4 sizes, while the chainstays increase from 442-450mm.
Full geometry details for the Cortex can be found below;
|Seat tube length||400||425||465||485|
|Fork Axle to crown|
Sonder Cortex Review: The Ride
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|Tested:||by Andi Sykes for 1 day|