Long-term test: Tomac Type X frame review£1,149.00

Black beauty from the big T

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I’ve had this frame for 18 months on test and I’ll admit it's been a slow-burn relationship. I struggled for a long time to find a way to make the geometry, and therefore the shape of the bike, and my specific physique and bad back issues reconcile themselves.

For a while I was close to giving up, but for the fact that I knew there was a good ride just lurking beneath the surface… I just had to figure out the key to unlocking it.

The addition of a Fizik Aliante saddle was a big part of the answer and also fitting a Syntace P6 seatpost, which enabled some detailed ‘fag paper width’ tilt adjustments. I softened up the fork and fitted some big-volume Schwalbe tyres – now we’re getting along like a house on fire.

The Tomac Type X has been independently tested in Germany as one of the stiffest carbon hardtails you can buy. Press on the pedals and the surge forward is quite remarkable.

The downside to any very stiff bike is that it can make it tough to ride for long periods, and the speccing of a big stiff 30.9mm seatpost doesn’t help where a 27.2mm might have added a little fore/aft flex comfort. You do feel quite a lot of the trail through the contact points – it’s not tooth-rattling, more the sort of experience you’d expect from a taut sports car.

As I’ve already detailed, fitting some big volume tyres and a comfy saddle dials most of this out and also widens the scope of the Type X as an ‘only bike’. Although it really isn’t designed for cruising or trail riding, it can and will obey, but deep down it really just wants to run off the lead and build a head of steam.

Most of the rides this bike has taken me on are known ‘A to B’ rides, rather than random meanders – it just seems to go better when you stand on the gas and get it to gallop along with purpose and direction.

I like – no, love – bikes with a singular purpose, which is probably why I persevered with the Type X in the early days and now find myself well and truly smitten, and looking for any opportunity to slip into some Lycra and slice up the singletrack on this bike.

If you’re a privateer cross-country racer looking for a no-holds-barred podium grabbing machine or simply want to experience the pure performance of a tuned carbon hardtail, you really couldn’t ask for more.

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