Corratec 29er One review

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£1199

Paul Smith skids into action on the Corratec, a bike he liked much more than he expected to

BikeRadar verdict

90.0 out of 5 stars

"Versatile bike with great handling"

Friday, July 24, 2009 7.00am By

The Corratec is a great bike for hucking loads locally in maximum comfort. The big wheels and big tyres are heavy, but they add comfort and bump absorption, which is particularly handy if you’re riding in an area pockmarked with potholes.

  • Frame & forks: All-aluminium frame and forks, all strong, all tough. Capable of carrying a week’s shopping too, without grumbling (8/10)
  • Handling: Stable but quick enough for an experienced rider to really flick it around. The frame figures suggest it should be twitchy but those big 29er tyres keep any hint of twitchiness firmly in check (9/10)
  • Equipment: There’s a lot of very good kit on this bike and the dynamo lighting is first rate (9/10)
  • Wheels: Tyres are fantastic. Though the spoke tension was even, we did have to tighten the spokes on the rear wheel slightly (7/10)

We've never been big fans of of shopping-style bikes with racks, hub gears and stems aimed at the moon, but the Corratec pulled us into this world as it looked a bit different.

A quick glance at the 29er One's geometry panel on Corratec's website was even more tantalising – everything was listed as NULL. If the makers don’t know the geometry, what hope the rest of us?

The images on the site also showed a bike with a hugely steep head angle, incredibly short fork and a bottom bracket height that suggested the pedals would hit the ground with the slightest cornering lean.

And then we did the maths regarding the ‘moment of inertia’ on 29in wheels (it’s the energy an object needs to get it accelerating, decelerating, turning...) and found that it makes no sense to have wheels this big. All of which got us worried that this was going to be one of those reviews where we would lay into a bike and moan about every aspect of it.

The thing is… we love this bike. In fact, it’s brilliant. The geometry is not NULL (so presumably it isn’t void either...), and the bike we pulled out of a box one sunny afternoon had angles that bore no resemblance to the one on the website.

More excited than we expected to be, we jumped on and soon realised that the 29er has that certain ‘something’ about it – that difficult-to-quantify feeling that you get from a good bike. And, to our surprise, still has it every time we ride it. If we measured how good bikes were by using a ‘smiles per mile’ scale, this would go right up to 11 with ease.

The 29in wheels and Vredestein Perfect Moiree tyres provide a ride quality that has a good balance of smooth rolling comfort, excellent grip levels, easy acceleration and direction changes. On the road they make fast flowing and comfortable sense that leads to tons of fun and bags of confidence.

The Shimano Alfine hub gear is excellent, and the double chainring setup makes this bike very adaptable to both going up and tearing down hills.

Busch and Muller dynamo lighting as standard is top-notch, and the rear rack is stiff and sturdy enough for a week’s shopping in panniers. Though that did make wheelies even easier…

There is one problem though. The rubber flap on the rear of the front mudguard is hopeless. It should be straight, not angled backwards. It lets water spray out from the edges in the rain and over your feet.

The odd thing is though, even soaking wet feet weren’t going to wipe the smiles this bike caused from our faces.

Corratec 29er one: corratec 29er one

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Specification

Name:
29er One (09)
Brand:
Corratec
Price:
£1199

Available Sizes:
48 52 54 57 61cm
Bottom Bracket:
Shimano external type, alloy cups, sealed cartridges
Brakes:
Shimano Alfine hydraulic discs, 160mm rotors
Cassette:
Shimano steel cog, 20t
Cranks:
Shimano Tiagra two-piece splined compact, alloy 175 mm arms with 50/34t rings, 110 bcd
Fork:
6061 alloy fork blades, forged dropouts, cro-mo 1 1/8in steerer
Fork Weight:
965
Frame Material:
Tig-welded 6061 alu, forged dropouts, replaceable gear hanger, reinforced head tube;
Frame Weight:
2062
Front Derailleur:
Shimano Clamp On
Front Hub:
Shimano Alfine alloy dynamo
Front Wheel Weight:
2900
Handlebar:
Corratec North Road style alloy, standard clamp size, 60cm width
Head Angle:
69
Rear Hub:
Shimano Alfine 8 spd hub, Alfine chain tensioner,
Rear Wheel Weight:
3900
Rims:
DRC ST 16, machined box section rims with eyelets and wear indicator,
Saddle:
Corratec padded vinyl with steel rails
Seat Angle:
72.5
Seatpost:
ZZYZX suspension post, alloy 27.2, single bolt alloy clamp, 350mm length
Shifters:
Shimano Alfine STI Rapidfire f / r
Stem:
Corratec forged alloy, twin bolt 1 1/8in steerer clamp, twin bolt standard bar clamp
Weight (kg):
16.3
Year:
2009
Weight (lb):
35.9
Bottom Bracket Height (cm):
30
Chainstays (cm):
47
Seat Tube (cm):
46
Standover Height (cm):
79
Top Tube (cm):
57
Wheelbase (cm):
110

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