First look: Corsair Marque

Innovative 5in-travel trail bike

US-based Corsair Bikes have been making a name for themselves with innovative big-hit machines like the twin-shock Crown downhill bike launched at Eurobike 2008 and the Konig slopestyle rig used by UK freerider Chris Smith.

Their latest offering, the Marque, is aimed at trail and all-mountain riders, and Corsair make the bold claim that it "out-climbs and out-descends anything else in its class".

The 5in-travel (130mm) frame has a rocker activated single pivot design, with the main pivot above and behind the bottom bracket, and the rocker pivoting around the BB shell.

A swingarm-mounted idler pulley keeps pedalling efficient, and the 2:1 leverage ratio (130mm of travel, 65mm shock stroke) should mean impressive durability and tuneability. To see how the suspension works, check out the animations on Corsair's website.

The Marque has a full-length seat tube, a low centre of gravity and a 67° head angle when fitted with a 130mm-travel fork (Corsair make an adaptor that will change this to 66° or 68°). Claimed weight is 8lb for frame and shock.

Dan Jones, from UK distributors Windwave, told BikeRadar: "I know this is what you'd expect me to say, but it really is one of the best bikes I've ridden. It belies its weight because of the way the suspension works. It doesn't feel like a 5in bike – it feels more. It's well and truly in the all-mountain camp.

"I took it to France a couple of months ago, and at the end of each day I was still attacking all the climbs and descents when everyone else had had enough, and I'm no racing whippet."

The frameset (including custom-tuned Marzocchi Roco R shock, headset, seat clamp and Maxle) is available in the UK for £1,599.95. It's available in sizes small, medium and large, in black or white.

We'll give you the full lowdown as soon as we can get one in to test.

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