This carbon framed bike is light, smooth and effortlessly rapid, even on rough trails. Add a Shimano XT transmission, that would be remarkable value even on a basic alloy frame, and it’s a total bargain if racing or distance riding is what lights your fire.
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The Gran Turismo Composite frame is a twin mould monocoque complete with well supported tapered head tube, bottom bracket and 142x12mm thru-axle at the end of the carefully sculpted stays.
Add the super stiff crank arms and carbon and steel chainrings of the XT chainset and that makes for a fitness flattering direct drive connection.
The super wide 2x11 gearset and 12.28kg weight reinforce the fact that climbs are a place to attack and drive home its advantage. Acceleration is amplified by the lightweight 28 spoke Atac wheelset, and while the hard compound ‘Active Line’ Schwalbe tyres aren’t great for grip, they certainly roll fast.
While it might look like an out and out racer, that would be underselling what a versatile and enjoyable ride the Reaction is. Despite transferring power keenly, the 29in wheels, slim rear stays, 27.2mm seatpost and flattened main tubes help the Reaction flow over rough ground rather than clattering and choking on stutter bumps.
The tapered top, remote lockout, thru-axle Recon fork adds precision to the responsive geometry, while a 720mm bar means ruts can’t bully you.
The Deore brakes even get a 180mm front rotor for more muscle, confirming its price conscious, podium topping position for racers or flat out trail warriors.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine.