Bulgaria's RAM Bikes have been a fixture on the UK four-cross scene for several years, with Martin Ogden notably flying their colours, but they also make trail, downhill and even road bikes. They popped into our UK office in Bath to show us two new models – the Four.X race bike and 4130 dirt jumper – and give us a sneak peek at some upcoming machines.
The Four.X is a true four-cross bike, not just a modified dirt jumper, with a long top tube, short back end, race-ready spec and low weight (1.6kg/3.5lb, claimed). Two sizes are available, which differ only by way of top tube (573 vs 597mm) and wheelbase (1,049 vs 1,073mm) length. Frames cost £359 and are available in a load of custom colours.
When it comes to complete bikes, RAM only spec name-brand parts – even in areas where other companies save money, like inner tubes (Maxxis Welter Weights) and spokes (DT Swiss). The Four.X1 build shown here costs £1,299 and includes a 120mm-travel RockShox Sektor fork, Funn Fatboy bar, Avid Elixir 3 discs, SRAM X7/X5 gearing and Truvativ Hussefelt kit. Claimed weight is 13.4kg/29.5lb.
There are plans to introduce a second complete bike later in the year, built around the same frame but with downgraded components, including an SR Suntour XCR MLO fork, Truvativ Ruktion cranks and Avid Juicy 3 brakes.
Also new for 2012 is the second generation 4130 dirt jump frame which, at 2.3kg (claimed), is 500g lighter than the original, with a super-short (390mm) back end and a choice of two graffiti-style graphics packages (Tag, seen here, or Spray). As the name suggests, it's made from 4130 chromoly, in this case triple butted. You can buy the frame on its own for £259 or there's a choice of two complete bikes.
The 4130.1 build pictured below includes a RockShox Argyle fork, Funn bar and stem, Truvativ Hussefelt cranks, Avid Elixir 3 brakes and Maxxis DTH tyres for £1,159. Claimed weight is 12.5kg/27.6lb. The cheaper .2 subs in a Suntour Duro fork, Truvativ Ruktion cranks and Avid BB5 mechanical disc brake but comes in at the same claimed weight. RRP is £759.
RAM showed us a camera phone picture of a new downhill frame, which is still at the design stage but looks very promising. They also revealed that they're planning to release their first 29ers next year. We'll bring you more on these new bikes as and when we get it. Visit www.ram-bikes.co.uk for more information.