Ragley Piglet X7 - First ride (with video) £1075

Flat-out fun bike

BikeRadar score 4/5

Ragley's hardtails were originally only available as frames. Times are a-changing though, and there are now four complete bikes available – two Blue Pigs and two Piglets. We took the lower specced and cheapest of the lot, the Piglet X7, out for a spin.

Ride & handling: Bit of a porker but a beast at speed

Getting the Piglet up to speed in its X7 guise isn’t necessarily the sprightliest of affairs, due to its burly 12.6kg (28lb) build. But when you eventually get there, this bike is something of a beast.

The relaxed head angle helps bolster confidence on steeper terrain, and coupled with lengthy chainstays really lets you attack the trail without any of that twitchiness that can scare many riders into reaching for the brakes.

Our medium test sample offered our 5ft 8in rider the perfect top tube length for a real all-round performer – enough length to climb comfortably, and when mated with the stubby Ragley stem, plenty of control when you want to get a bit wilder.

The RockShox Recon fork is pretty basic, but does the job, with the lockout coming in handy. But, due to the Piglet's yearning for speed, a bolt-through front axle would certainly work in its favour. Our only niggle was the time it took the Hayes Stroker brakes to bed in, and even then the power wasn’t amazing.

Frame: Simple, pleasing design

The clean and crisp lines created by the hand-welded, triple-butted chromoly tubing are certainly pleasing to the eye, but add a deceptive air of simplicity to what in reality is a frame full of features. There’s strength in all the right places thanks to a reinforced head tube that maintains a straight 1.125in diameter.

The Three Finger chainstay bridge combines nicely with the bridgeless seatstays to provide that all-important stiffness required, yet allows for more mud clearance to cope with the typical gloomy UK weather, which makes a lot of sense. This frame really is well thought out.

The Piglet is designed around a 120mm (4.7in) fork with what many consider a pretty slack 67.3-degree head angle when static. The fact that the seat tube measures in at 30.9mm – so you can run most height adjustable seatposts – is a nice touch too.

Equipment: Great value own-brand kit

As the X7 is the lowest spec Piglet model, the package on offer is really all about functionality. The Ragley finishing kit is really good – better, in fact, than many bigger companies' own-brand kit. The bars offer enough width and rise, and the stem is nice and stiff.

The RockShox Recon fork does tend to twang a bit, due to the quick-release axle, but offers a useful lockout feature. We’re big fans of Maxxis High Roller tyres, so to see them come as standard is a big plus.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine.

Rob Weaver rides the Ragley Piglet X7:

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West Country translation:

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