Review | Ti Hard – Kingdom Vendetta X2

by 5

Our very own Bruce Willis lookalike, Andi Sykes, tested out three titanium hardtails from Kingdom, Nordest and Sonder for Issue 122 of Singletrack Magazine. Here is his review of the Kingdom Vendetta X2.

Ti Hard
Doesn’t look like a Christmas movie to us.

Kingdom Bike is based in Copenhagen and like many other brands from around the world, it designs and develops bikes at its HQ, then has frames manufactured elsewhere in the world. In this case, China.

While some bike manufacturers might offer steel, alloy, and even carbon frames, Kingdom only uses titanium for all of its bikes, even the full-suspension models. Part of this decision is simply down to the brand’s love of titanium frames, and how high-quality Ti frames make the Kingdom team feel. Looking over the brand’s website you’ll learn that they are all quite nostalgic about some of the original titanium frames, so when the company formed in 2013 this is the material that they decided to use.

kingdom Vendetta X2
‘Yippee-ti-yay’

The Bike

Titanium also has characteristics that make it perfect for building a hardcore hardtail frame. Its ability to dampen vibrations and shock make it perfect for a bike without bouncy bits. Corrosion or rust isn’t an issue either, not to mention the fact that its resistance to fatigue is legendary – just what you need from a bike you’re likely to chuck about.
For our Ti Hard review, Kingdom sent over the Vendetta X2 built up with a collection of rather tasty titanium and carbon parts. The X2 is the most affordable frame in the Kingdom range and costs just €999; however, it gets the same geometry and design as the more expensive €1,899 Vendetta frame.

kingdom Vendetta X2
Straight headtube

To bring the cost of the Vendetta X2 down by such a huge amount, Kingdom took a long look at its flagship hardtail and identified the areas that absorb most of the manufacturing cost. For example, a top Vendetta frame uses a CNC machined titanium headtube, a beautifully made piece of engineering that takes hours upon hours to manufacture. However, as we all know ‘time means money’, so the Vendetta X2 sacrifices this indulgence in favour of a straight headtube – it does the same job, and allows you to run a tapered steerer, but it costs a lot less.

kingdom Vendetta X2
External routing.

Other areas where the Vendetta X2 has been adapted to cost less is the lack of internal tubing for routing cables and hoses, instead tabs are tacked on to the outside of the frame and hoses or cables are zip-tied in place. It might not be as neat as internal routing, but it’s a much more cost-effective solution, and it’s also going to win you a lot of friends at the local bike shop if you need to take it in for a cable swap.

kingdom Vendetta X2
Breezer style dropouts

The Vendetta X2 also uses round ‘Breezer’ style dropouts, rather than custom CNC options, again saving time and money, but performing just as good a job. Kingdom has also removed its ‘custom’ option from the X2, meaning that all frames use the same off-the-shelf geometry, and it’s only available in sizes medium, large and X-large.

kingdom Vendetta X2
Seriously sloping top tube.

For our review we asked for a large frame to be supplied, but in the end we were only able to get our hands on a medium-sized bike. Thankfully, Kingdom has done a pretty good job of its stock geometry and the medium gets a roomy, if not progressive, 442mm reach, matched to a slack 64.5° head angle and well-thought-out 74° seatpost angle.
If you’re between sizes, or just prefer a longer frame without sacrificing standover, then you’re going to love the Vendetta X2’s design. The radically sloping top tube matches the angle of the seatstays, it’s extremely pleasing to the eye and, practically, it means that our medium frame has a standover of just 735mm.

The 423mm chainstay length of our medium frame is mirrored on the large and X-large models too, but thanks to the generous reach and slack front end the wheelbase of our bike is a roomy 1194mm. This suggests an agile ride, with ‘loves back wheel’ attitude for ‘jibbing’ in the woods while retaining stability to hit warp speed on gnarly rocky descents.
For the build, Kingdom really pulled out all of the stops for our test bike. Up front we have a 150mm travel Cane Creek Helm air fork. We’re seeing these forks more and more often, and due to a recent price reduction I expect more manufacturers will start speccing it over a Pike or Fox 34. The Helm offers plenty of adjustments, has a really solid chassis, looks great, and is a solid performer too.

kingdom Vendetta X2
Cane Creek Helm Air fork.

Keeping a Burgtec Ride Wide handlebar in check is a prototype Kingdom titanium stem. At the time of writing these are still in the testing phases, but Kingdom is planning on offering this 135g Ti stem on builds in the future. We had no issues with it during our time, but my eyes do water sometimes when I look at those rear-facing clamp bolts. Burgtec features elsewhere with a set of Bartender lock-on grips, Burgtec Cloud saddle and Burgtec chainring.
Helping to get the most out of that low standover is a 150mm BikeYoke Revive dropper post. We’re absolutely loving these posts at the moment. They’re reliable, sturdy and smoother than a cashmere codpiece. Honestly, what else could you want from a dropper?

kingdom Vendetta X2
Oooh prototype Ti stem

We have a feeling that if titanium rims were available, Kingdom would be the first to use them but, as they aren’t, they’ve gone for something that looks just as swanky – a set of Sixth Element carbon 29er wheels, built on Hope Pro 4 hubs with orange decals to match the frame. Between the carbon hoops and the Maxxis rubber, a CushCore tyre protection system had been fitted. SRAM might have lucked out in the fork, dropper and wheel departments, but makes a comeback with a 1×11 SRAM GX drivetrain and powerful SRAM Guide RS 4 piston brakes.


Latest member deals

Our members get the best deals on our merchandise. Join us and become a member for free today.

Our merchandise sales are a vital source of revenue for us at Singletrack and every sale helps keep people employed and creating the content that you love. Support us by browsing through all our merch in our shop here.


The Ride

Sorry, but the rest of this article is for members only. If you have an account, please Login here. If not, you can get access by registering here for free.

Members get access to exclusive content like this but they also get..

  • Fewer ads
  • Post comments to stories
  • Join in forum discussions
  • Sell unwanted kit for free in our Classifieds
  • Automatic shop discount on Singletrack merchandise
  • Access more members only content

Premier members get more

  • Magazine content in print 6x/year post free
  • App access to every new issue of Singletrack
  • Ad free website
  • Big discounts on shop merchandise
  • Access downloads like GPX files, PDFs and even iBooks
  • Full mag archive access to all Singletrack back issues

Premier membership starts at just £2.50

Why do you ask for registration to view some articles?

We get asked this a lot. The simple reason is that content is increasingly expensive to commission, create and publish and where once the cost of this process was mostly covered by advertising revenues, now that’s no longer the case. We increasingly rely on our paying members to keep Singletrack going and we’d love you to become one of our supporters. however, that’s not we are asking right now. You can read the rest of this feature simply by registering an account on our site.

How does being a free, registered user help you?

It’s NOT so we can sell your email details. It’s not so we can show you more ads either – in fact when you register we show you fewer ads. The reason is actually because registered users come back and look at more of our content. They start interacting with us and posting comments of their own and joining in forum discussion. That level of interaction is what eventually feeds our new subscriber numbers and so for us the journey to gaining new subscribers is to start by encouraging you to simply register an account. We hope that the benefits that will bring to you will be the first step in you joining us as a Singletrack Premier supporter.

Kingdom Vendetta X2 Specification

Price // £3999.00 as tested
Frame // Kingdom Vendetta X2
Fork // Cane Creek Helm Air, 150mm travel
Hubs // Hope Pro 4
Rims // Sixth Element Carbon
Tyres // Maxxis DHF 29×2.3 F, Maxxis DHR 29×2.3 R
Chainset // SRAM GX
Rear Mech // SRAM GX 11-speed
Shifters // SRAM GX 11-speed
Brakes // SRAM Guide RS
Stem // Prototype Kingdom Titanium
Bars // Burgtec RW
Grips // Burgtec Bartender
Seatpost // BikeYoke Revive Dropper
Saddle // Burgtec Cloud
Size Tested // M
Sizes Available // S, M, L, XL
Weight // 29.02lbs/13.23kg

Today’s Deal Picks

Singletrack may earn a commission from sales on this page

Review Info

Brand:Kingdom
Product:Vendetta X2
From:kingdombike.com
Price:Price: £3999.00 (as tested)
Tested:by Andi for

Comments (5)

    Recent STW reviews often comment on wanting more front centre length to weight the front wheel more.
    Can you explain this thinking?

    I think it would have entirely the opposite effect, and a dramatic one when seated as even more weight will be through the BB area. Longer reaches are great in many ways but front end grip is not one of them.
    Geometron and Pole have addressed this primarily through longer CS to re-balance weight distribution.

    CALLING STW: WE NEED AN ANSWER ON THIS!

    “I think it would have entirely the opposite effect, and a dramatic one when seated as even more weight will be through the BB area. Longer reaches are great in many ways but front end grip is not one of them.”

    Seated, sure, but who worries about front end grip when they’re seated?

    Longer front centre means your riding position is naturally further forward, which puts more weight on the front. Don’t think of it as pushing the front wheel away from you, think of it as pulling you towards the front

    “seated, sure, but who worries about front end grip when they’re seated?”
    This reviewer talked about a wandery front end on the climbs then stated they would like to get more weight through the front. I used the term front end grip because it’s the same issue of lack of force through the front wheel.

    “Longer front centre means your riding position is naturally further forward, which puts more weight on the front. Don’t think of it as pushing the front wheel away from you, think of it as pulling you towards the front”
    Pushing things further away from your centre of mass (which you are doing even if it does also move your centre of mass forward, but by less) makes it harder to apply force.
    Add to that the fact that regardless of your body position, most of your weight is still through the pedals, extending the front centre will I expect bias the rear wheel force distribution even more.

    I’ve only seen bike manufacturers and other reviewers agree with this hence raising it.

    “Pushing things further away from your centre of mass (which you are doing even if it does also move your centre of mass forward, but by less) makes it harder to apply force.”

    Why do you think it moves your centre of mass forward by less?

Leave a Reply