Ragley BigWig 29 first ride review£1,549.00

A reminder of why we love riding bikes so much

The 130mm travel BigWig 29 is the most expensive bike Ragley sells. It’s made of 4130 chromoly steel, which is strong but also cheaper and heavier compared with other steel framed bikes such as the Cotic Solaris version 2 and Stanton Sherpa 853 — which use 853 Reynolds tubing. The BigWig weighs 14.6kg.

Ragley BigWig 29 spec overview

  • Frame: Custom triple butted 4130 chromoly steel
  • Forks: Rockshox Yari RC, 130mm travel
  • Chainset: Shimano M677 SLX 2x, 175mm, 36x22T
  • Shift levers: Shimano SLX M670 2x 10 Spd
  • Front derailleur: Shimano Deore M616 Down-Swing 2Spd
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano XT M786 10Spd Shadow Plus
  • Rims: WTB STI23, TCS, 29”, 32 Hole
  • Front hub: Novatec D811SB-15 Disc 100mm x 15mm
  • Rear hub: Novatec D882SB-X12 Disc Rear 12x142mmm Thru-Axle
  • Front tyre: WTB Vigilante TCS 2.3 – 29”
  • Rear tyre: WTB Trail Boss TCS 2.25 – 29”
  • Front brake: Shimano SLX M675 180mm
  • Rear brake: Shimano SLX M675 160mm
  • Handlebars: Ragley Wiser Riser Bars — 760mm Wide, 10mm Rise
  • Stem: Ragley Stubbing Stem — 50mm Reach, 0 Deg Rise
  • Saddle: Ragley Tracker
  • Seatpost: Nukeproof OKLO AIR, 125mm Travel

Ragley BigWig 29 frame and equipment

Ragley has created a hardtail with numbers that rival many top enduro bikes. The super slack 65 degree head angle (65.5 degrees when sagged), slammed 70mm bottom bracket drop and snappy short 435mm chainstays should have the rippers frothing at the mouth.

The BigWig boasts a 35mm legged RockShox Yari fork connected though a 44mm headtube. The back end gets a 142x12mm bolt-thru-axle to keep it tracking true and the dropouts are exchangeable should you want to fit a wheel using a regular 9mm quick release. Bottle cage mounts are found on the downtube.

There’s a Nukeproof dropper on board and while it’s not great, we’re surprised there’s one at all for the price. If you’d like something more classy, the frame has stealth routing allowing you to upgrade later.

Ragley low-rise 760mm bars and a 50mm stem feature to facilitate quick handling, but with a brace of shifters and a dropper-post remote crowding the brake levers, the cockpit is a busy place and cables look annoyingly messy.

Steamroller the trails on the BigWig 29
Steamroller the trails on the BigWig 29

Ragley BigWig 29 ride impression

The numbers translate as well as you’d hope on the slopes with a ride that’s sprightly and boisterous. The Bigwig feels like it’ll steamroller anything, and laugh whilst doing so.

It’s stable yet poppy through turns and trail features, and flat out fast downhill thanks to that slack head angle. The shortish reach (435mm on a large) goads you to throw the bike around. If you do manage to break it, you’re covered by a five year warranty and lifetime crash replacement.

Hills are a weakness and while SLX 2x10 gearing helps ease the weighty feel of bike on the climbs, it still feels cumbersome and lazy when compared with the others on test.

If hills aren’t your thing anyway, ISCG 05 tabs bring 1x options if you want to rid the bike of some of its excess fat. Steep technical climbs do show just how much shorter this bike is compared with the competition.

Ragley BigWig 29 early verdict

While the BigWig isn’t going to win races, it is a lot of fun and with a decent spec sheet and low price tag well worth a look. Not all riders will like the short reach, but we think it’s a belter and reminds us of good times. The only thing we’d change would be the bars for something wider.

A bargain with old skool ‘play bike’ appeal. Portly and short but a lot of fun.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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