KTM Myroon Prestige 29 review£3,700.00

Austria’s Olympic top 10 racer is still blisteringly quick

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KTM lists its Shimano XTR-equipped 29er Race hardtail at 9.2kg with pedals, but our 19in sample size actually hit our scales at just under 9.1kg without pedals.

Even so it still drops weight below the psychologically super important 20lb mark for the vast number of imperial weight-calibrated veteran racers that this bike will appeal to.

Ride and handling: twitchy but forgiving racer

Given how light it is, acceleration is more muted than you expect because both back end and wheels are noticeably soft. Spin the power through the pedals rather than trying to stomp it out though and the KTM gains speed and altitude with an eerie efficiency that you’ll appreciate the further you ride.

The same extended play bonus is provided by the leaf spring profile of both the seat- and chainstays. These are specifically designed to flex and smooth out rough chatter sections that would otherwise batter your back or knock your pedalling rhythm out of kilter.

That meant the Myroon was still a relative pleasure to sit on as dawn finally broke on the second day of the legendary Strathpuffer 24hr race in northern Scotland.

Big miles on the myroon prestige are eased by its efficiency and relative compliance:
Big miles on the myroon prestige are eased by its efficiency and relative compliance:

Big miles on the Myroon Prestige are eased by its efficiency and relative compliance

One thing that took us a long time to get used to though was the handling.

Not the steep 71.5 degree steering angle, as that’s just an old 29er trick designed to shorten the wheelbase and quicken the turning behaviour. This minimises the natural stabilising effect of the bigger wheels so the bike steers more like a 26in wheeled bike through the narrow bars and keeps it keen at lower speeds.

Unsurprisingly it makes it more twitchy on descents and less suited to trail use. Considering it comes with small 160mm brake rotors and sub 500g Schwalbe Rocket Ron Liteskin tyres that are so tissue paper thin that sealant bled through them when we tried to turn them tubeless, trail riding obviously isn’t its primary purpose.

The part of the handling that foxed us was that the steep head angle didn’t help on climbs. In fact we kept continually lifting the front end, wandering off line and stalling on steep technical sections that the KTM should have monstered.

Frame and equipment: great value full-XTR setup

It was only when we took the bike’s profile shots that the reason became clear.

While KTM lists the seat tube as a perfectly normal 73.5 degrees the foot of the seat tube is ahead rather than above the bottom bracket. This gives ample mud clearance but makes the effective seat angle much slacker so the saddle is a long way back over the rear wheel and it’s no surprise that the Myroon waves its front wheel in the air under power.

It’s easily remedied by getting out of the saddle and pushing your weight forward over the bars though and the fact it power wheelies so easily makes ditches and drops a lot easier to handle.

All the Myroon options come with durably dependable Shimano gearing. Our UK testers would question is why anyone would want a gear as low as the 26 tooth inner ring on our bike for racing over here when running would be quicker than pedalling it. But given the Austrian affection for marathon races such as the 207km Salzkammergut Trophy with 7500m of climbing, no gear is too low in KTM’s homeland.

Mechanical xtr gives some alp scaling gear range:
Mechanical xtr gives some alp scaling gear range:

Mechanical XTR gives some Alp scaling gear range

The Myroon Prestige comes with the option of 2x11 or 1x11, plus Di2 electric shift XTR, with double or triple 10spd XT choices on the Myroon Master and Elite bikes. The frame is optimised for the new Side Swing derailleur standard, meaning front shifting as slick as possible if you do want it.

The rear derailleur is also direct mount for super accurate indexing. The back wheel is locked into place with a 142x12mm screw-through rear axle, not a quick release, too. The gear cables and rear brake hose run internally for clean lines that project forward past the head tube rather than looping sideways where they can catch your knees out of the saddle.

It’ll be no surprise to most weight watchers that perennial gram dodger Ritchey provides the ultralight WCS carbon seat post, stem and 710mm wide bar.

Racers will also be pleased to see a remote control lever for the Climb, Trail, Descend modes of the Fox 32 Float fork. This gives immediate lockout for sprinting, though you’ll need some skill to engage the intermediate setting as the semi open remote position is very indistinct.

It’s worth finding though as the mix of firm support with just enough movement to skim off jolts, decrease fatigue and increase traction is a great match to the overall Myroon character. If you’re into the handling and soft feel it’s a proper bargain for a full XTR bike too.

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

Guy Kesteven

Freelance Writer, UK
Guy started filling his brain with cycle stats and steaming up bike shop windows back in 1980. He worked the other side of those windows from '89 while getting a degree in “describing broken things covered in mud" (archaeology). Dug historical holes in the ground through the early '90s, then became a pro bike tester in '97. Guy has ridden thousands of bikes and even more components the world over since then and can remember them all in vivid, haunting detail. Can't remember where the car keys are, though.
  • Age: 44
  • Height: 180cm / 5' 11"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Waist: 76cm / 30in
  • Chest: 91cm / 36in
  • Discipline: Strict sadomasochist
  • Preferred Terrain: Technical off-piste singletrack and twisted back roads. Up, down, along — so long as it's faster tfhan the last time he did it he's happy.
  • Current Bikes: An ever changing herd of test machines from Tri bikes to fat bikes and everything in between.
  • Dream Bike: His Nicolai Helius AM custom tandem
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston's Old Peculier (not Peculiar)
  • Location: Yorkshire, UK

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