The Ramones 1 is Commencal’s take on the long-forked, aggressive hardtail. If versatility is what you’re after, then you can’t go far wrong – this bike will do just about everything you could want a hardtail to do.
There has to be an element of compromise somewhere, though, and in this case the Ramones' excellent descending ability comes at the expense of some climbing prowess.
Ride & handling: A real bad-ass that's in its element on the descents
This is hardcore hardtail that’s begging to be ragged about the countryside. Point it uphill and, thanks to the sufﬁcient gearing, you can climb up almost anything, but you may ﬁnd the cockpit a little cramped due to the stubby 60mm Race Face stem.
On steep climbs it can be a bit of a battle trying to keep the front wheel weighted and planted on the ground, because of the stem and relaxed 66.5° head angle. But things do start to improve if you dial the RockShox Recon fork's travel down with the U-Turn adjuster.
Weighing in at a pretty hefty 13.65kg (30.1lb), the Ramones 1 isn’t exactly a lightweight hill climb champion, but the fun really begins when the speed picks up and the downhill gradient increases.
With the fork fully extended to 140mm (5.5in), the Ramones is ready to be thrashed. It’ll take a while to adjust to such a slack head angle on ﬂatter trails, because the steering isn’t quite as snappy, but point the bike downwards and its stability speaks volumes. The Ramones feels solid and happy to be pushed from trail centres to downhill runs.
The 20mm through-axle on the fork makes steering a more controlled affair, and the Maxxis High Roller front tyre ampliﬁes this, with its ability to be pummelled into the rough stuff. We had no issues rattling through multiple stutterbumps and keeping the chain in place. The shifting was precise and the brakes anchor-like, which further added to the hardcore appeal.
Frame & equipment: Tough, sturdy finishing kit is perfect for this chassis
The Ramones frame is built to be thrashed everywhere, from the BMX track to the trail centre. It’s sturdy, with relaxed angles. Straight away you notice the acres of standover room, the slack 66.5° head angle and the snappily short back end. The monster tyre clearance also ensures it won’t mind getting its feet mucky come winter.
As with its frame, the Ramones’ ﬁnishing kit is built to take whatever knocks are thrown at it. The travel of the Recon 327 U-Turn fork is easily adjustable, and offers a supple action with the stiff chassis we’ve come to expect.
The Mavic 321 rims might not be the lightest rolling stock around, but they are among the toughest trail rims, although you may want to bin the heavily-treaded 2.35in High Roller front tyre if cross-country ragging is more your thing.
Although not especially wide, the Commencal bar and RaceFace stem combo is a good one, and Avid Juicy 3 brakes are powerful and reliable. The dual ring and bashguard setup means the Ramones can take a hammering.