Late last year, Halford's introduced a fresh brand to its stores, 13 Bikes. The range included four hardtail mountain bikes, and here we have the range topping model, the £1,399 Incline Delta.
On paper the bike is an interesting one. It certainly makes the most of the SRAM group parts drawer. There's the well-respected RockShox Revelation fork, and Avid's much-loved guide four-pot stoppers, but the Delta's party piece is its SRAM X1 11-speed groupset.
If we are talking retail prices, then the group exceeds £600, the fork retails for more than £500 and the brakes add another £230. Take that from the overall price and you end up with a scarily small amount of money to spend on the rest of the bike – and unfortunately it shows.
The frame, despite its hydroformed lines, is dated in places – most notably that quick-release rear-end and the lack of support for an internal dropper post. Then there's the cockpit, which, with its lanky road-derived stem and narrowish bar, wouldn't look out of place on a trials bike. Honestly, there's no place for such a setup in this decade.
In better news, we measured the head angle at 67 degrees, a slack figure for a 130mm travel machine. The weight is respectable too – just a smidge over 26lb (11.8kg) for this 21in test bike.
The cockpit is unforgivably dated
All of 13's bikes feature a reversed number 13 on the seatpost, which is fine, until you try to slam said seatpost and the rubberised 13 Bikes logo bottoms out in a monumental failure of common sense.
There's internal cable routing but it isn't the neatest and the lack of a tight fitting grommet is sure to allow water in, where it's destined to end up at the press-fit bottom bracket, d'oh!
Who honestly thought that this was a good idea?
Certain design elements are carried across all of 13’s bikes, one of which is the attention to detail paid to aerodynamics. In the mountain bikes that arrives in the form of a 30mm deep section rim – an odd but distinctive choice.
For now we'll throw our preconceptions aside and will be testing the Incline Delta soon. Stay tuned for more.
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