Ragley TD:1 Titanium - First look

Enticingly unconventional frame from Brant Richards

Brant Richards, one time design driver behind On-One, has spent the past year or so working on his Ragley brand with UK distribution powerhouse Hotlines.

The TD:1 is his latest frame. Built by US titanium meisters Lynskey, it’s designed to be ridden 29in wheels and a rigid fork. That’s a brave move.

The TD:1 is a logical evolution of Richard’s previous design work with On-One. Its sliding dropouts, offering around an inch of chainstay and wheelbase adjustment, allow you to run it as either a multi-geared or single-geared bike.

Recommended fork length is 440mm, more usual as a fixed blade 26er fork length: this avoids a lanky looking front end and keeps handling as tight and lively as on most 26ers.

Ragley will soon be launching a unique looking carbon fixed blade fork in 440, 455 and 470mm lengths, designed for this or for any other frame, but for the time being we’ve fitted the Nuke Proof 445mm fork, which made for a 70-degree head angle.

Our test frame is an 18in model with a 24in top tube reach. On its own it tips the scales at 1,775g (3.95lb). Interesting detail features include the curved seat tube, which allows a shorter back end than on many 29ers, the threaded cable clamp bosses, the big biaxially ovalised down tube, masses of mud room around even the biggest treads and Ragley’s unique three-finger Ti plate that joins the right hand chainstay to the bottom bracket.

Ragley’s unique three-finger Ti plate joins the right hand chainstay to the bottom bracket

We’ve just started putting the trail miles in and there’ll be a full test report in What Mountain Bike issue 112, on sale 28 July. We’ve been experimenting with all manner of different drivetrain configurations, including 1x10 and 2x10. At time of writing we’ve just finished assembling it with Shimano’s new Deore XT Dynasys 30-speed drivetrain and a new TX29er wheelset from Novatec.

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