First look: Land Rover 2010 mountain bikes
By Matthew Cole | Thursday, December 24, 2009 11.10am
Land Rover are famous for their 4x4s, used by farmers and off-roaders across the world, but they also make a range of mountain, urban, kids' and folding bikes which are designed, specced and built in conjunction with UK cycle specialists 2x2.
We were invited to a press launch at EastnorCastle in Herefordshire, where we got to ride the new mountain bikes, and had a taste of what Land Rover's vehicles – both two-wheeled and four-wheeled – were capable of off-road.
The 7005 series aluminium-framed mountain bikes have been created with the British rider in mind, with extended rear gear cable outer and trail centre-ready geometry.
2x2 head designer Tim Higgins says: “Riders will find them fast and responsive on the trails, and they offer a great introduction to good quality mountain bike riding.”
They range from the £229.99 Experience Trail (with 21-speed Shimano drivetrain, Suntour suspension fork and XCC chainset, and Tektro V-brakes) to the £999.99 Experience Team Pro, which has a scandium frame, 27-speed Shimano gearing with SLX rear mech, 100mm-travel Marzocchi 33 RLO forks with lockout and Tektro Auriga Pro hydraulic disc brakes.
Continental’s Mountain King tyres are a new addition, and have been chosen because of their mixed-use appeal – something Land Rover riders apparently want. We can attest to the tyres’ mud-shedding abilities – the conditions in the EastnorCastle grounds were somewhere between mudbath and sludge-fest, and the tyres cleared with ease.
We spent most of our saddle time on the £299.99 Experience Pro, which has a decent spec for the price with a 7005 series aluminium frame, 21-speed Shimano drivetrain with Acera shifters, Suntour suspension fork with lockout, and mechanical disc brakes. It's an attractive proposition for anyone wanting to dip a toe in the mountain bike pool.
Land Rover’s mountain bikes, primarily available through independent bike shops, aren’t simply re-badged imports from the Far East, Tim Higgins and his team have clearly thought about what Land Rover riders want.
He says: “The bikes are specified with leading brand components – Shimano drivetrain, Tektro brakes, WTB saddles and rims, Continental tyres and Marzocchi forks. The specification is at least comparable to all the major competitors, and in many details it is better.”
Given that Land Rover riders generally want bikes to just ‘get out and ride’, we think that Higgins and 2x2 have done a good job of offering a range for the beginner and intermediate off-roader who wants a taste of dirt minus the engine.
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