We weren’t able to source a 2009 sample of Haro’s quirky Sonix in time for this test, but the only signiﬁcant changes over our 2008 test machine are a £100 price increase (to £1,000) and a switch to a Marzocchi fork. We really wanted to like the Sonix – it looks good and handles well – but its Jekyll-and-Hyde suspension is a stark reminder of why uniﬁed rear triangle (URT) designs fell out of favour a long time ago.
Ride & handling: URT suspension gives on/off ride quality
Great weight distribution and a relaxed front end make the Sonix ideal for long days out, while seated pedalling allows the plush RockShox rear shock to come into its own.
Despite some choppiness from rider body weight shifts, the Sonix belies its rather chunky build by chugging smoothly up technical climbs, the rear wheel tracking gamely over everything in its path.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the Sonix’s rear end also suffers badly from rider position-related schizophrenia.
Put simply, provided you sit down and pedal smoothly, everything’s ﬁne. As soon as you get your weight off the saddle, though – effectively transferring your weight from the sprung mainframe to the unsprung swingarm – all bets are off.
Sprints are bouncy, and rough descents are just rough unless you sit down. And who does that on rough descents?
Frame: Tidy and well finished construction
At ﬁrst glance the Sonix looks like a conventional single pivot bike, but a closer look from the left-hand side reveals that the bottom bracket assembly forms part of the swingarm, and is attached to the mainframe via a short linkage running on concentric bearings around the bottom bracket shell.
The RockShox Bar air shock, meanwhile, is driven by a second set of widely spaced linkage plates hidden behind one of the widest interrupted seat tube assemblies we’ve ever seen.
Haro calls this setup the Virtual Link System, but in effect it’s an old-skool URT with an extra linkage. Construction is tidy and the effect surprisingly neat. At the front is RockShox’s ubiquitous Tora fork in 100mm form – a decent, if unexceptional, budget coil-sprung unit.
Equipment: Solid Shimano kit plus brand-name kudos
Haro’s reputation for offering good value kit remains untarnished with the Sonix. Shimano Deore-based stop and go components are right on the money for this price, while ﬁnishing kit from the likes of Truvativ (Firex cranks, bar and stem) and WTB (saddle and SpeedDisc wheels) adds brand-name kudos to the overall package. However, the complete bike is no lightweight at 14.5kg (32lb).