Ragley Marley - first ride review£1,249.99

Fun hardtail with wide bars

BikeRadar score4/5

Ragley bikes are designed in the UK, for UK riding, and their bikes have been making an impact on the hardtail scene over the past couple of years. The Marley looks set to keep that trend going, so we managed to grab one and take it out for a spin.

Ride & handling: Confident and super fun

It’s pretty obvious from the start that this bike’s all about having fun. The 67-degree head angle is massively confidence-inspiring, and the Marley is happy to be hammered down any section of trail you have the guts to point it down. Ragley’s 730mm wide bars are super comfy, and paired with the 60mm stem makes for easy handling. It feels agile enough but still very stable. 

The rear end is stiff, and although you get a fair bit of feedback coming through the frame when the going gets rough, when it comes to putting the power down, it feels like you maintain every ounce of it. The 11-32T cassette on the back worked nicely with the double ring up front – climbs were never too much of a chore, and the setup was capable enough for the downhills too.

The Marley loves getting in the air. It feels easy and confident off the ground. The short 425mm chainstay makes flicking the bike into corners easy, and also makes the Marley a master of manuals – it’s well balanced and getting the front wheel aloft is a piece of cake. We even took the yellow peril down to our local jump spot and it soared straight through the trails with ease. 

The Marley really does shine on the trails – and it’s not just because of the luminous paintjob! When we were out for a spin, every turn, obstacle and take-off became even more fun to ride than normal. We loved being aboard.

Airtime comes easily on the marley – it loves getting high!:
Airtime comes easily on the marley – it loves getting high!:

Frame & equipment: UK-specific and good value

Built from hydroformed triple-butted 7005 aluminium, the Marley features Ragley’s ‘Trail’ geometry. A 44mm head tube keeps fork steerer options open, while ISCG05 tabs show the bike’s intended use as a hard-riding, fun-orientated steed. Ragley’s three-finger bridge chainstay design gives enough mud clearance for mucky British winter rides too. 

The £1,249.99 Marley is in keeping with Ragley’s good reputation for value for money, and comes with a solid build kit. A RockShox 140mm (5.5in) travel Sektor fork with 15mm axle is on suspension duty, while shifting is taken care of by a complete SRAM X7 2x10 setup. 

Avid Elixir 1 brakes slow things down, and the Maxxis High Roller tyres are wrapped around Mavic XM319 rims. The 15mm front hub is a Formula number, while the rear is another SRAM X7 unit. 

The finishing kit comes from Ragley, and their seatpost, saddle, bar, stem, lock-on grips and Roller Guide chainguide all look the part.

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

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