DunCon Cane Corso £1119

Latest downhill rig disappoints

BikeRadar score 2/5

DunCon are a relatively unheard-of bike company based in Poland. But world renowned brand Karpiel is actually owned by DunCon, and Jan Karpiel, Karpiel’s chief designer, oversees many of the DunCon design projects.

Ride & handling: Great parts fail to disguise a flawed frame design

Out on the hill, the Cane Corso made us work for speed. It pedalled well when the gradient mellowed and covered ground competently, but as soon as we hit rougher or steeper terrain, we were in for a white knuckle ride.

The rear end is very progressive. It doesn’t feel like a bike with 209mm of travel and didn’t bottom-out once, no matter how hard we pushed it on the jumps. This produced a rough ride that pitched us right over the front when the bump frequency increased, giving the fork – and our arms – a tough workout.

Combine this with the relatively steep head angle and on rougher, steeper terrain, the bike feels unpleasant to say the least. It was a battle to stay central on the bike and focus on the task in hand.

The 65.8-degree head angle meant the bike was snappy in slower and tighter turns, but when the speed increased, the stability decreased and cornering had to be handled with caution. Hitting the jumps was odd. It took some time to get used to, with the fork compressing and the rear end remaining firm.

Frame: Progressive virtual pivot design with unique styling

The sweeping bends in the top tube and rear triangle give this frame an unusual look. Crafted from 7005 T6 aluminium, the front triangle is well put together and reinforced in all the essential areas. The wiry back end needs bulking up, or at least additional bracing, because it does suffer from flex under load.

The virtual pivot design or ‘DunCon Dual Linkage System’ (D2LS) delivers 209mm (8.2in) of rear wheel travel in a very progressive way. Marzocchi’s Roco World Cup rear shock boasts rebound and high speed compression adjustment.

The small 15.5in frame, with its 20.5in (520mm) top tube, felt spacious and comfortable, with plenty of standover height thanks to the dipped top tube.

Equipment: Downhill-friendly component list

The Marzocchi 888 RC3 fork is certainly worth a mention – it’s helping to re-establish the Marzocchi brand. It worked consistently and soaked up all the hits the hills could throw our way.

The dependable e*thirteen LG1 chain device is always welcome, as are the Maxxis High Roller tyres, but the Hayes Stroker Ace brakes felt wooden and were very much on or off, yet still lacked in outright power when it came to slowing down in faster sections.

Our test bike had the rear brake bolted on using two mounts, which caused it to flex and actually limited how much the pad made contact with the rotor.

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