The guys at Bionicon have been developing the radical adjustable geometry design on this Bavarian belter for some time now, and it all operates at the push of a button. The upshot is a great all-rounder that’d make a perfect Alpine rocket.
Ride & handling: confident & stable at speed
The offset fork crowns give the illusion of a longer bike and provide a much better steering lock than most other dual crown forks. With the fork at full extension of 170mm (6.5in) travel, the geometry feels very natural (with its head angle of 67 degrees) and you can throw the bike conﬁdently into any trail or jump in front of you. The only downside was the lack of compression adjustment on the fork, which resulted in a tendency to dive under braking.
The suspension set-up and length of the wheelbase make the bike feel stable in fast descents, yet nimble in tighter turns or on slower sections of track. The rear end is laterally stiff, giving plenty of feedback, and the rear wheel tracks well but lacks some small bump sensitivity.
The bike weighs just 13.6kg (30lb), which combines well with the adjustable frame to create a superb climber. A press of the button lowers the fork and raises the rear, instantly turning the bike into a cross-country machine. Having the ability to adjust your riding position like this makes for a great trail bike and certainly one to consider for any avid all-rounders. It wouldn’t be out of place in somewhere like the Alps.
Frame: simple & serviceable
Bionicon keeps things simple with a single pivot design that’s similar to their freeride-speciﬁc Ironwood, but not quite as burly. The frame is one of the most adjustable on the market, yet still easy to maintain.
The two-piece swingarm pivots elegantly around two easily replaceable 1.125in headset bearings, while the rearward shock mount features three points of adjustment, which allows for up to 10mm of movement on the bottom bracket height and enables you to create one extra degree of head angle adjustment.
But the excitement all lies in a handlebar-mounted button that controls an additional air slave unit located on the rear shock. Pressing the button makes the shock shaft increase in length – changing the bike’s fork travel, height, head and seat angles – without altering bottom bracket height. The adjustable stem looks likely to divide opinion because, when the reach is adjusted, you automatically gain or loose height on the bars.
Equipment: well controlled
Up front a set of Bionicon Double Agent forks, adjustable from 70 to 170mm travel, are equipped with a bolt-through 20mm axle.
The X Fusion shock controls things at the rear and braking is looked after by Formula K18s.
The SRAM drivetrain was reasonably reliable, but skipped a little in the rough.