Corratec Air Tech Mutant £1999.99

Fresh thinking full-susser

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

Corratec have always ploughed their own design furrow and, while the Mutant is definitely a Euro bike, this distinctive short travel racer is a naturally fun and fast ride.

Ride & handling: Decent old-skool straightline racer with surprisingly effective rear suspension

The Corratec is a classic Euro marathon setup, with skinny bars on the end of a relatively long stem giving a very steady steering sensation.

This is great for stopping wasteful wandering on climbs, but start trying to dive round trees quick or catch sliding traction and you’ll be in trouble.

Given its steep angles and short wheelbase, a shorter stem and wider bar is all it would need to sharpen up its woodworking skills.

The Twin Circle suspension works really well, producing a more supple, traction-rich feel than we generally get from a RockShox Monarch shock while still sucking up square edges.

Despite loads of visual nod from the cradle – even when locked out – the Mutant pedals well. The RockShox Reba SL is a decent, tight-tracking fork too.

It’s worth noting that the frames come up very small, and with a medium we felt pretty cramped and right on the limit with seatpost extension. Despite the small sizing, it’s not that light either.

Frame: Classic-looking chassis with unique suspension design, but beware of small sizing

Slightly shaped sections on dead straight tubes give the frame a classic look, with a small throat gusset, reinforcing pipe for the extended seat tube and a triangular filler gusset by the bottom bracket.

Corratec’s unique Twin Circle take on the FSR suspension design sits in a big loophole piece halfway up the seat tube, where a small driver link from the seatstays compresses a pivoting shock cradle.

Neat red anodised caps cover the main bearings with plastic Corratec logo insets on the shoulders above the shock. However, tyre room will be tight with knobblier 2.2in rubber and there’s only one bottle mount.

Equipment: Good value for money, but we'd fit wider bars for singletrack work

Shimano XT transmission is good value for money, and the Avid Juicy brakes are good – if slightly out of date.

We haven’t seen Zzyzx kit for a while either but, apart from a weird twisted centre profile on flat bars, the wheels and other kit are tidy enough.

The blue anodised bolt converters for the Centerlock wheels are totally out of place though.

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