24Seven Dark Angel FR £299.99

The name 24Seven will be familiar to most UK riders largely thanks to former rider Grant 'Chopper' Fielder and current man of the moment Lance McDermott. The Dark Angel is the brand's new full susser...

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The name 24Seven will be familiar to most UK riders largely thanks to former rider Grant 'Chopper' Fielder and current man of the moment Lance McDermott. The Dark Angel is the brand's new full susser...

The frame

The two different models - the FR (freeride) and the DH (downhill) - use the same frame and angles, the only differences being a shorter shock length and an aluminium rear on the FR model. Other features of the rear include boxed chainstays, a 150mm boltthrough hub and neatly designed replaceable dropouts. The other end offers heat-treated 4130 steel tubing with a reinforced head tube gusseted into place.

Holding the two ends together is a pivot (running on a sealed bearing) above and behind the BMX bottom bracket shell, and a Manitou Swinger 4-Way shock controls the suspension. Due to its shorter shock, the FR features a small plate that provides three shock positions, which not only adjust the travel from 165mm (6.5in) to 184mm (7.25in), but also slacken the head angle and lower the bottom bracket height.

The frame is only available in one size - it measures 16in from the centre of the bottom bracket to the seat tube, so it might feel a little small if you're over 5ft 11in.

The detail

You can choose between four colour options and three levels of component package - Comp, Pro or Elite. We thrashed the Pro kit, which is the same as the Comp package apart from the Marzocchi All-Mountain 4 fork and e.13 chain device. The rest of the bike is covered in dependable 24Seven parts, including the 36-hole hubs with sealed bearings. The tyres are Maxxis Minion 2.5s and the brakes are Hayes HFX-9 models with large 203mm (8in) rotors.

The ride

The first thing you notice about the bike is its weight - at just under 21.3kg (47Ib) it's no skinny catwalk model. This means it isn't the fastest bike off the line, but once up and running it carries its speed well over rough ground and it's sure-footed on the trail. The head angle is a little slack for a freeride bike so we ran it mainly in the bottom shock position for the steepest head angle possible - 67 degrees. The head angle and weight do hold the bike back when the trail gets tight but as it opens up, the long wheelbase and low centre of gravity help it through fast turns easily.

Straight out of the box, the bike is very easy to adjust to and within minutes we were jumping off drops and over doubles like we'd been riding it for years. The components, although budget, also do their job well. This bike is built to take hard hits and that's what it does best. However, it feels more like a single-crown downhill bike than a full-blown freeride machine.

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