Bergamont Revox 5.3 - first ride £799.99

Good value traditional cross-country bike

BikeRadar score 3/5

Bergamont have been making bikes for the German market for more than 20 years. Now a selected range of their more affordable hardtails are available in the UK, topping out with this Shimano-rich Revox 5.3 all-rounder.

Ride and handling: smooth and steady at pace

Big wheels, long chainstays, narrow bar and a relatively long stem immediately put the Bergamont firmly into the stable and straight-line camp. The slippery tyres and flexy fork don’t like being hurried or otherwise pushed either.

While the Revox is steady at speed, the steep frame angles, fork twist, and lack of bar leverage can make it a lurching, wandering handful when travelling at slower speeds on lumpy terrain so it naturally prefers double trails to singletrack.

The bigger wheel size and fast tyres literally go a long way when it comes to smooth fatigue reduction if you’re planning an all-day epic.

The double-butted frame, decent saddle and eager-to-please fork also combine with the extra volume of the tyres to create a much less harsh ride than most of the German hardtails we ride too.

Frame and equipment: attention to detail

While the extensive colour coding is likely to grab your attention first, there’s some neat detailing on the Revox frame – including stamped logos on the seatstay bridge and dropouts. The head-tube isn’t tapered, but it is ring-reinforced top and bottom – and the subtly shaped alloy tubes are double-butted and heat treated to variable levels.

The dropped top tube has a tubular reinforcing brace onto the extended seat tube for a relatively hardcore look, but the handling angles are definitely traditional and the fact you get rack fixtures rather than chainguide tabs will tell you what this bike is designed for.

The mixed Shimano drive spec of the Bergamont compares really well with most big brand bikes in terms of price, although you’ll want to ditch the plastic chain and spoke guides as soon as possible. The cheapest Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are OK too, if wooden in feel.

The XC28 fork is easily spring pressure and rebound adjustable and gets a metal lockout lever too, although weight and flex are high. The hard compound Rapid Rob tyres are clearly more about speed and longevity than control, but they’re fat enough to add some smoothness to the ride and SLX hubs are a real distance riding bonus.Bergamont also match crank, stem and bar dimensions to frame size too, although the 660mm bar on our sample shows the old school style handling approach.

While it’s no party animal, the Revox is a good value traditional cross-country bike for riders who are more into crossing maps than creating mayhem.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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