This aluminium hardtail from Scottish bike shop chain Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative is light enough for entry-level racing, sorted in singletrack and superb value for money. Only the fitted tyres let it down, so swap them for something deeper.
The three-bike Revolution Triad range is a new venture for the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative: its ﬁrst own-brand upmarket mountain bikes. Like other designed-for-the-UK mountain bikes, it’s very much an exercise in thoughtful frame and component speciﬁcation rather than roots originality.
Ride & handling: singletrack speedster
Let’s get the only adverse point out of the way: the Triad 1.0 would be a more comfortable bike if it had bigger-proﬁle tyres and a little less fancy tube proﬁling.
While the frame is undoubtedly efﬁcient in terms of drive power and handling accuracy, the ‘over-designed’ frame structures that now dominate the market tend to produce a slightly harsher ride than the good old- fashioned round(ish) tubed frames.
It’s not a big deal, and the fancy tube shapes certainly add interest and perceived shop-ﬂoor value, but the consequent harsher ride feel on bump-afﬂicted trails is the main reason many riders now choose to ride bigger-proﬁle tyres.
The Conti Speed King 2.1-inchers on the Triad have a lower proﬁle than most 2.1-inchers so you can’t simply run them soft to increase comfort. They’re not as fast-rolling as the name suggests, either, although they are grippy. Higher-proﬁle, fast-rolling treads would suit this bike better, but watch out for the limited space between the chainstays.
Otherwise, we can’t fault the ride feel. It’s a lot of fun buzzing through high-speed singletrack, with the fork doing just enough to take the edge off minor obstacles without any speed loss. You’re well centered on the bike so you can really work the fork, allowing the back end to simply skip through.
The steering is conﬁdently neutral, while the sub-27lb weight and rangy ride posture are efﬁcient and lively enough for an occasional race outing.
Frame: unusual shaping
The Triad 1.0 frame is constructed by Taiwanese frame giant Merida.
The down tube is hydro-bulge formed, almost box section in shape and indented along the underside. It’s visually unusual, but seems to make good sense from a strength and durability viewpoint, with as big a weld contact area as possible into the head tube.
The oversized head tube is ringed top and bottom for extra strength around the integral cups. The top tube proﬁle is interesting, too: it’s a slightly ovalised ﬂat-topped triangle, with gear cable routing along the top and the brake hosing beneath.
The Coop claims the ﬂattened oval ‘Flex Chainstays’ provide optimal power transfer; that may be true, but we’d dispute their ﬂex potential.
The ‘maximum tyre clearance’ claim is optimistic, too: their shorter-than-average 16.5in length is a good way of tucking the back wheel in on climbs for extra traction, but ﬁtting bigger treads than those supplied would leave very little drop-through mud room.
A forward-facing seat clamp slot is a welcome mud-friendly touch, and the understated graphics and ﬂash whiter-than-white paint job will be popular on the showroom ﬂoor.
Equipment: good value gear selection
Componentry highlights are numerous, making the Triad 1.0 look remarkably good value on paper.
RockShox Reba SL forks have been consistently excellent over the past couple of years and, while this particular 100mm travel model comes without the thumbshifter lockout lever, it has all the tuning potential most riders will need thanks to an air cartridge, Motion Control, leg top compression/lockout and effective rebound damping.
Apart from the Shimano hubs, the SRAM Corporation has scored well here. The drivetrain comprises X.7 trigger shifters, an X.9 rear mech,X.7 up front and Truvativ’s Stylo GXP crankset. All functioned ﬂawlessly.
The brakes are Avid Juicy Fives, again trouble-free operators, and the bars, stem and seat post are all middle-of-the-range offerings from Truvativ.
Summary: fantastic value but swap the tyres
This is a very nicely put-together bike. The only things we’d change are the tyres, because higher-proﬁle rubber could be run a little softer and would add some comfort, plus a little extra speed if you opted for a fast-rolling tread pattern.
The Triad deserves this. It’s well equipped and light enough to double up as an occasional race bike as well as being a great trail bike, and it’s fantastic value for money.