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The Best Ragley Mountain Bike?

Ragley, a dedicated hardtail brand has it all. The Ragley Blue Pig entry-level 27.5in Steel offering comes with regular-size Tyres.
Ragley Blue Pig Race has a higher specification. If you prefer 29in wheels, the Big Wigs offer the same build options and price structure as the Big Wigs but with dedicated 29in stainless steel frames. Ragley also offers the Piglet which comes with 27.5in wheels & 2.6in-tyres.

Each bike has a similar profile regardless of its wheel size or tyre type. The choice of material is 4130cromo. All three bikes share a similar profile. The sleek rear triangle and clean triangle at the front give them a modern look. All models share other common features, such as the bridge between the top and seat tubes, and the narrow head tube. All frames come with ISCG tabs that allow for the mounting of a chain device. This is an excellent thing for any bike with geometry that mirrors modern full suspension mountain bikes at sag. The numbers give a slack 63.5deg head angles, low 305mmBB height, and short 425mm Chainstays on Blue Pig. Although the Blue Pig’s reach at 452mm is short by full suspension standards, it’s still quite impressive. We also need to keep in mind that the Ragley has a shorter reach than the Ragley.

Suspension

The Blue Pig has a 150mm travel RockShox Yari RC spoon. The Yari, although heavier than that of the Revelation on Ribble has a smooth, stiction free action and does a great deal at removing trail chatter. You will notice the fork’s dive on steep trails. This can be due to it having more travel, but a simpler damper. Running a few extra clicks to compress helps prop up the front end. But, the best way we found to fix this was to run it firmer and forgo the last 10mm.

Components

Ragley uses size specific handlebars. This means that the medium and small bikes get 780mm wide bars and the large and larger models have 800mm. We were able to get a width of 810mm bars on our large size test bike thanks to the lock-on gloves. The drop in the seatpost is dependent on the frame size. Small has a drop that measures 125mm; medium has 150mm; large and XL have 170mm. We are impressed with the smooth operation and ease of adjustment that the Brand-X Ascend post provides.

The SLX drivetrain ran flawlessly. While the Deore Deore chainsset does not have the hollow arms of Shimano’s expensive units, there was no loss in stiffness while sprinting. Although we noticed the Shimano Deore fourpiston disc brakes slipping continuously, there was no denying that the Shimano Deore fourpiston disc brakes were causing the bite-point shifting. Rumours have circulated that Shimano brake fluid is viscous in cold temperatures. Could that have caused the problems we encountered? It is unlikely that it was, as we experienced similar issues with other Shimano 4-piston brakes in cooler times.

Performance

We were expecting the Ragley Bikes Blue Pig would offer a comfortable ride with its slim stays. We were disappointed to find that the Ragley Blue Pig felt less like the Ribble HT 275’s alloy Canyon Stoic. It proves that it is impossible to make blanket statements regarding any frame material.

The Ragley is capable of riding to the limits of Maxxis tyres thanks to its best geometry. You can feel the Ragley’s stability and control on fresh, bumpy trails. If you venture into steeper or more rugged terrain, however the geometry will scream go but the rear end’s jarring will tell you no. It doesn’t have the same compliance as steel, so why would you use it?


Verdict

The Ragley Blue Pig has the attitude and geometry to rival the most hardcore hardtails. The price is just one pound below two million dollars. We say most as the variable bite on the Shimano Deore brakings was a significant distraction. The 4130 steel frame also had a relatively harsh ride quality. The extra roll-over on the 29in Big Wig could provide a superior ride and still send it. Another option is to increase the tyre diameter from 2.4in down to 2.6in using the Blue Pig.
Details

Frame:4130 triple-butted cro-mo

Fork:RockShox Yari RC, 150mm travel

Wheels:Nukeproof Neutron 110/148mm wheels, Nukeproof Neutron tires, Maxxis Minion DHF/DHRI II 27.5×2.5/2.4in.

Drivetrain:Shimano Deore ML6100 32t 170mm ringset, SLX7100 r-mech & shifter

Brakes:Shimano Deore M6120 four-piston, 200/180mm

Components

Sizes:S, M, L, XL

Weight:14.78kg (32.58lb)

Contact:ragleybikes.com

Size: L

Head angle:63.5deg

Actual seat angle:73.6deg

Effective seat angle:73.6deg

BB height is 306mm

Chainstay:425mm

Front centre 799mm

Wheelbase:1224mm

Down tube 738mm

Top tube: 635mm

Reach:452mm