UNNO Burn first ride review

Is this beast ready to rip or will it go up in flames?

The buzz around UNNO, the new brand from Cesar Rojo (the former World Cup racer and designer of Mondraker’s Forward Geometry bikes) has been humming away for some time, but it’s only now that I’ve been able to get on one of these high-priced, properly boutique bikes, to see for myself if they live up to the hype.

UNNO Burn frame and sizing

Every UNNO is handcrafted, painted and assembled at the company’s base in Barcelona
Every UNNO is handcrafted, painted and assembled at the company’s base in Barcelona

After 500 design hours and 12 prototypes, the final result looks stunning with its clean, crisp lines. There’s one point I need to address immediately, though, and that's the sizing. 

UNNO has taken a different approach and is currently producing its bikes (including this enduro model) in just one frame size, though a longer option is likely to appear later down the line.

The Burn sports a 455mm reach, 438mm chainstays, a 63.9-degree head angle, 75-degree seat angle (measured with the dropper post at its lowest position in the frame) and 440mm seat tube. There’s 15mm of bottom-bracket drop, which sits it 334mm off the floor. 

Why just one size though? The reach figure sits somewhere between most brands’ Medium and Large frames, which, according to UNNO, means it should suit most riders who’d usually pick either of those sizes (though they may need to experiment with stem length to get things feeling just right). At 5ft 8in (172cm), I felt at home aboard the Burn.

As you’d expect from Rojo and his design team, the 160mm (6.3in) of rear-wheel travel has been meticulously tuned. It’s designed to work with an air shock, in this case an Öhlins STX 22 damper. 

The Burn has some neat features, including a rubber lip on the seat clamp to help with weatherproofing, along with a beautifully designed rear brake mount and reinforced dropouts.

UNNO Burn kit

My test bike was delivered before UNNO began offering full builds, but had a similar spec to the Factory bike, including a SRAM XX1 Eagle drivetrain and Guide RSC stoppers. 

I’d have preferred to see UNNO's bigger Code brakes on a bike designed for enduro racing and fitted with burly DH-spec Maxxis tyres. The Fox 36 fork used a 2018 air spring too, not the updated 2019 version, so it topped out occasionally.

Cables/hoses are routed through guides co-moulded into the interior of the frame
Cables/hoses are routed through guides co-moulded into the interior of the frame

UNNO Burn ride impressions

At just 13.36kg, there’s no shortage of spring in the Burn’s step when you get on the gas. Despite those super-grippy tyres, if you flick the shock into the platform position, climbs are dispensed with in an efficient enough fashion. 

As soon as the gradient steepens and the trail gets rowdy, you’re met with almost complete silence as well as an impressive level of suspension balance and control. 

UNNO has done a great job when it comes to the geometry (provided the single size works for you). Coupled with the composed feel of the rear suspension, the Burn’s proportions and angles instil confidence at higher speeds and when tackling steep sections of trail.

While the Öhlins damper doesn’t feel quite as lively as some of its competitors, it had no issues soaking up heavy, successive hits, remaining controlled throughout its stroke and never bottoming out harshly, even on really hefty impacts. 

If I'm being picky (as I think I should with a frame of this price), the Burn doesn’t feel quite as steadfast in really roughed-up sections of trail as some of its burlier, heavier and less nimble counterparts — this isn’t a point-and-plough downhill bomber, after all. Instead, it rewards those who take a more calculated approach to line choice.

Every UNNO is handcrafted, painted and assembled at the company’s base in Barcelona
Every UNNO is handcrafted, painted and assembled at the company’s base in Barcelona

I was worried that the carbon wheels and frame might make for a harsh ride, but even on long rocky runs I never felt beaten-up or battered, thanks in part to the well-measured compliance of the frame and those superbly damped DH tyres. 

Add the low bottom bracket into the mix, and it doesn’t take long to realise that the Burn is devilishly adept at carving a turn, slicing across a tricky off-camber or making an inside line stick.

UNNO Burn build kits

Although my bike was tested prior to UNNO offering full build kits, the parts package seen here is almost identical to that of the Factory build, (€8650), though the full bike comes with slightly different tyres — in this case, Maxxis Minion DHR II 3C MaxxTerra EXO TR 2.4in numbers. 

For a couple of grand less (€6350 to be precise), there's always the Elite build to consider. This uses a Fox Performance 36 (rather than Factory) fork, SRAM's GX Eagle transmission, the more basic SRAM Guide R brakes and a host of e*thirteen kit, including wheels, tyres and dropper post. 

You do still get a Renthal cockpit, though the bar is an alloy rather than carbon bar found on the Factory build. While it's a lot of cash for the kit on offer, that beautifully made frame is the same, and you get the same Ohlins rear shock too.

UNNO Burn specifications

  • Frame: Carbon fibre, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Fork: Fox 36 Factory FIT GRIP2, 160mm (6.3in) travel
  • Shock: Öhlins STX 22
  • Drivetrain: SRAM XX1 Eagle (1x12)
  • Wheelset: ENVE M7 rims on DT Swiss 240 hubs
  • Tyres: Maxxis High Roller II Super Tacky DH 27.5x2.4in tyres
  • Brakes: SRAM Guide RSC, 180mm rotors
  • Bar: Renthal Fatbar Carbon, 780mm
  • Stem: Renthal Apex, 40mm
  • Seatpost: RockShox Reverb Stealth 125mm dropper
  • Saddle: fi’zi:k Tundra
  • Weight: 13.36kg (29.45lb), without pedals

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 34
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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