Bike of the Week | Pace RC295 Ultimate GX

Designed-in-UK boundary-pushing carbon 29er

Pace RC295 trail mountain bike

If you’re from the UK, chances are you have an affinity with Pace Cycles, especially if you’re rich enough in years to have seen the small brand make its mark on the sport of mountain biking from the very start, in the eighties, right through to the current day.

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The new RC295, the company’s first full-suspension bike in years (decades, in fact), is eye-catching and causing a stir — it’s quite some bike.

First for a recap on Pace’s history, just in case you are unreasonably young. Back in the early days of the sport, Pace produced the somewhat ground-breaking RC100, an unforgettable square-tubed aluminium frame, straight out of Yorkshire.

Along the timeline of mountain biking, the brand has popped up now and then with an innovation (such as its carbon fibre downhill forks) or simply a beautiful product (its hardtail frames are worth checking out). To this day, the founder and designer, Adrian Carter, is still at the helm of the family-run company.

What is Bike of the Week?

Every Tuesday, we bring you a detailed first look at one of the latest bikes (or framesets) to arrive at BikeRadar HQ – from road to commuting, gravel to enduro, and anything in between.

This is our chance to introduce the bike and everything that makes it unique before hitting the road or trails.

Head to our Bike of the Week hub for previous editions.

What is the Pace RC295 Ultimate GX?

It’s a 29in-wheeled, 135/150mm-travel (rear/front) carbon fibre bike equipped with a RockShox Pike Ultimate fork and SRAM GX drivetrain, thus the name.

The RC295 is causing a stir for its good looks and progressive numbers, and it really does push the boundaries. The bottom bracket height sits at 327mm (46mm drop), which is almost astonishingly low for a bike of this suspension travel, and Pace has equipped this Ultimate GX model with short 165mm SRAM GX cranks to minimise pedal hits.

Pace RC295 trail mountain bike
This build features SRAM’s 12-speed GX Eagle drivetrain.
Ian Linton

Likewise, a 64.5-degree head angle is relaxed for a relatively short-travel bike, but it makes perfect sense on a bike Pace says is made to be a “fun, engaging machine”.

Combine this with a short chainstay (436mm) and long reach (484mm on a size Large), and you have a bike that should be snappy and fast-accelerating while remaining stable and confidence-inspiring.

The one available colour – gloss raw – shows off the hand-laid Toray Uni Directional carbon fibre that is moulded using the “latest Latex Internal mould technology which provides a much smoother internal surface and greater layer compaction”, according to Pace.

Smart decision making has gone into the RC295 Ultimate GX full build, which costs a snip under £4,000.

Its 150mm-travel RockShox Pike Ultimate fork (42mm offset) is just what you’d hope for up front on an aggressive trail bike like this, and it’s coupled up with the equally capable and ever-popular RockShox Deluxe RT3 Debonair rear shock.

Reliable products from fellow British companies include Hope Technology (headset, seat clamp), Burgtec (handlebars), DMR (grips) and Hunt (Trail wheelset), none of which we can fault as components choices.

Pace RC295 trail mountain bike
It’s specced with Hunt wheels and Maxxis rubber.
Ian Linton

The three sizes (Medium, Large and X-Large) come with a RockShox Reverb dropper post with 150mm travel (sizes M and L) or 170mm (XL) – perhaps one area of oversight because most riders would probably prefer more travel.

You know a company has its customers in mind when it supplies a bike with inner tubes fitted but tubeless kits supplied too.

Plus, it comes with a spare derailleur hanger, Rockguardz under-frame protection and a 10-year warranty on its Enduro Max frame bearings. That’s commitment.

Pace Cycles RC295 Ultimate GX

  • Fork: RockShox Pike Ultimate 150mm travel fork with Charger RC2 damper. 42mm offset, black
  • Dropper:  RockShox C1 Reverb Stealth 150mm drop, plunger lever
  • Headset: Hope, Integral, black
  • Wheelset: Hunt Trail wide 29in, 30mm rim width
  • Tyres: Maxxis Minion DHR2 front and rear, 29in x 2.4, EXO/TR
  • Saddle: Charge Spoon Saddle, black
  • Groupset: SRAM GX Eagle 1×12, 165 crank arm, DUB BB
  • Stem: Pace RC46 35mm clamp with 32mm reach, black
  • Handlebar: Burgtec Ridewide Alloy Enduro. 800 wide with 30mm rise / Renthal Fatbar, alloy, 35mm, 800 wide with a 30mm rise, black
  • Grips: Deathgrips, black
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RS
  • Rotors: 203 front and 180 rear
  • Price: £3,999
  • Availability: Bike must be pre-ordered and will be delivered (£38 for a UK delivery) 6 to 8 weeks after ordering if they are in stock (Pace says they are selling incredibly quickly)
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A full review of the Pace RC295 is in the works, so stay tuned to see how we get on.