The spec sheet for lesser-known German brand Radon's 27.5in Slide 150 8.0 is certainly an impressive read for the price, with almost every part proudly carrying a label of excellence.
In addition, it also boasts a natty fashion sense with its smartly matching orange anodised outfit. At first glance, it’s perhaps a little too easy to assume its position as a class leader. But is it?
Svelte but familiar looks
A sleek, hydroformed alloy frame is easy on the eye, though it's aesthetically familiar to a handful of popular trail bikes. Welds are clean and bottle cage mounts are on the down tube, but high volume Continental tyres ask questions about clearance under a low seatstay brace.
The 14.06kg Slide is geared with an 11-speed SRAM GX groupset. As we've experienced before, performance from the cheaper system is impressive throughout, with little noticeable difference from SRAM’s pricier offerings. A 30 tooth chainring on the Race Face Turbine cranks makes light of difficult climbs with a 42 tooth low gear at the back.
SRAM's GX group is difficult to tell apart from its pricier siblings, performance wise
A RockShox Monarch Plus rear shock controls 150mm of travel well with little pedal bob in or out of the saddle and is a great match for the 160mm Yari up front.
The wide Race Face cockpit is fitted with soft Ergon rubber and powerful yet wooden Magura MT5 brakes.
Our larger testers found the Radon to have a slightly cramped feel, due to a short front centre. That said, it’s an impressive bike and once set up, the suspension felt beautifully balanced and excitable.
The cockpit is wide, but taller testers found reach a little cramped
Stiff and smooth rolling DT Swiss wheels matched with a love-it or hate-it Continental Trail King tyre helped the bike to stick at speed and it handled everything we threw at it with reassuring confidence.
We liked the Ergon seat, bolted to Radon’s JD Vario dropper post, which was somewhat stubborn and often required a hard compression from your back end to shift. The return action was better and the lever quite manageable.
Our biggest disappointment and concern with the Radon was finding ourselves regularly tightening the upper shock mounting after a ride. At worst, we were a few threads away from completely losing the 3mm bolt altogether. At best, we had a couple of hassle free rides before lock tightening the offender. In the long term, these issues could prove costly.
We found the Slide to be a capable all-round performer
While it's a little short for a modern day size large, and despite all our issues with the loosening bolt, we'd still advise you not to ignore this bike. It has a knockout spec and performs well on all areas of the trail.
If you’re someone who likes a label as much as a bargain, the Slide 150 should be getting you excited.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.