BH Trail Hunter 9.6 review

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£1700

BH Trail Hunter 9.6

BikeRadar verdict

50.0 out of 5 stars

"Fundamentally sound bike, but needs livening up to appeal to technical trail riders"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 7.00am By

With 140mm of travel at each end, the Trail Hunter 9.6 is Spanish brand BH's entry in the competitive all-mountain market.

Ride and handling: Good weight and forgiving suspension, but handling's a little blunted

First impressions of the Trail Hunter are good, with a pleasingly compliant back end and a carvy feel in the turns. Start pressing on, though, and some limitations become apparent.

That comfy suspension starts to pitch and wallow, and the BH doesn’t like to be hurried in corners, tending to run wide as speeds increase. A switch to a shorter stem would help a lot.

Frame: Contemporary details mixed with old-school looks

With Specialized controlling the chainstay pivot patent in the US, European manufacturers are the biggest users of four-bar back ends. But perhaps with an eye on the US market, BH have opted to stick the rear pivot on the seatstay.

Chainstays are asymmetric, with the left-hand one taking a direct route to the forged pivot/shock mount at the bottom bracket. While the frame features some very contemporary details like the press-fit bottom bracket bearings and direct mount front mech, you’ll find a conventional 1.125in headset up front.

Top and down tubes feature neat open-ended gussets at the head tube joints. There’s little of the tube shaping that we’ve grown used to, lending the Trail Hunter a fairly conservative appearance.

Equipment: Quick-release fork feels outgunned and we'd switch to a shorter stem

With QR15 through-axle forks common on bikes in this category, it’s a slight surprise to see a conventional quick-release on the BH’s 140mm-travel Fox Float RL fork. The rest of the spec is quite a varied one. A Shimano XT Shadow rear mech draws attention away from the Deore shifters and non-series Shimano M452 crankset.

Wheels are Mavic Crossrides, which are strong on name-brand appeal but aren’t particularly light and have narrower rims than we’d like for the tyre sizes that you’d expect to use on a 140mm bike. Unusually, BH have specced a 2.4in Continental Mountain King tyre up front but a 2.2 at the back for a bit of extra mud clearance.

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Specification

Name:
TRAIL HUNTER 9.6 (10)
Brand:
BH Bikes
Price:
£1700

Frame Material:
TRAIL HUNTER Aluminium 7005 Triple butted, 140mm travel.
Fork:
RECON 140mm
Rear Shock:
FLOAT R BOOST VALVE
Rims:
XM117 / SHIMANO M475
Front Tyre:
MOUNTAIN KING 2.4 / 2.2
Rear Tyre:
MOUNTAIN KING 2.4 / 2.2
Cranks:
COMET BB Integrated
Cassette:
SRAM PG950 9sp
Chain:
X9
Front Derailleur:
SLX Direct Mount
Rear Derailleur:
SLX
Shifters:
DEORE
Brakes:
RX 180/160
Brake Levers:
FORMULA RX
Grips/Tape:
TITAN lock on
Handlebar:
TITAN LITE RISER
Stem:
TITAN LITE
Headset Type:
ORBIT Red
Seatpost:
TITAN LITE
Saddle:
VERTIGO
Weight (lb):
29.7
Weight (kg):
13.5

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