Sanderson Soloist (frame) - First ride review£329.00

Steel trail singlespeed

BikeRadar score3/5Find prices on Bicycle Blue Book

Sanderson design frames in the UK and have them built overseas. As such, the singlespeed-specific Soloist frame is well suited to all-weather trail use, with lots of mud room and geometry to suit 100mm-travel forks.

There are plenty of singlespeed frames on offer out there; some are cheaper than this and ride just as well. The advantage here is the lockringed eccentric bottom bracket setup. It’s a tidy solution to an area that’s often a problem in the long term. Apart from that, you’ll probably only choose the Sanderson over others for relative rarity value and based on whether you like the way it looks or not.

Ride & handling: Relaxed to the point of laziness, but comes to life on the downs

The ride feel of any bike is down to the componentry as much as the frame. Most riders will probably buy the Soloist frame on its own but you can order it through Sanderson’s dealer network and get it built up with whatever kit you like.

Our test bike is a costly build because of the RockShox SID Race fork, Mavic Ride wheels and Avid Juicy Seven brakes but you could manage a decent spec on a £600-700 budget.

Our bike weighed in at just over 24lb and was finished with Panaracer’s Fire 2.1in treads, Blackspire seatpost and stem, Xero 26.5in riser bar, Shimano’s SLX cranks and a comfy SDG saddle.

Handling is fairly relaxed with the 100mm fork fitted. Flat trail and uphill steering felt almost lazy but the Soloist really came to life on any terrain that pointed even slightly downwards. The chromoly steel tubes are good enough to take the edge off trail chatter while still offering a fairly tight ride feel when you put the power down.

Frame: Sturdy and well built, with simple but attractive styling

The Soloist’s tube configurations are practical, with double-butted pipes in the main triangle, gussets under the down tube behind the machined head tube, plenty of standover height and a forward-facing seat clamp slot that’s out of the spray.

There’s plenty of room for big treads and the one-gear-specific Ritchey dropouts are tidy, cowled affairs. We particularly like the unique eccentric bottom bracket setup, which has a threaded shell with large lockrings on each side to prevent the creep, slip and creak problems that afflict some other eccentric units designed to take up chain slack.

White paintwork and basic red graphics are offset by a laser-cut stainless steel head badge and frame weight is just under 5lb. Stated frame geometry is 71° at the head tube and 73° at the seat – presumably that’s with a well sagged fork, since our 18in test model with a 100mm SID Race fork gave us static angles of 68.5° and 70.5° and a 12.5in BB height. With its 22.5in top tube, these are still decent ballpark figures for a fairly casual cross-country trail bike, though.

The eccentric bottom bracket is the main selling point of the soloist: the eccentric bottom bracket is the main selling point of the soloist
The eccentric bottom bracket is the main selling point of the soloist: the eccentric bottom bracket is the main selling point of the soloist

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