The Corratec is a great bike for hucking loads locally in maximum comfort. The big wheels and big tyres are heavy, but they add comfort and bump absorption, which is particularly handy if you’re riding in an area pockmarked with potholes.
Frame & forks: All-aluminium frame and forks, all strong, all tough. Capable of carrying a week’s shopping too, without grumbling (8/10)
Handling: Stable but quick enough for an experienced rider to really ﬂick it around. The frame ﬁgures suggest it should be twitchy but those big 29er tyres keep any hint of twitchiness ﬁrmly in check (9/10)
Equipment: There’s a lot of very good kit on this bike and the dynamo lighting is ﬁrst rate (9/10)
Wheels: Tyres are fantastic. Though the spoke tension was even, we did have to tighten the spokes on the rear wheel slightly (7/10)
We’ve never been big fans of of shopping-style bikes with racks, hub gears and stems aimed at the moon, but the Corratec pulled us into this world as it looked a bit different.
A quick glance at the 29er One’s geometry panel on Corratec’s website was even more tantalising – everything was listed as NULL. If the makers don’t know the geometry, what hope the rest of us?
The images on the site also showed a bike with a hugely steep head angle, incredibly short fork and a bottom bracket height that suggested the pedals would hit the ground with the slightest cornering lean.
And then we did the maths regarding the ‘moment of inertia’ on 29in wheels (it’s the energy an object needs to get it accelerating, decelerating, turning…) and found that it makes no sense to have wheels this big. All of which got us worried that this was going to be one of those reviews where we would lay into a bike and moan about every aspect of it.
The thing is… we love this bike. In fact, it’s brilliant. The geometry is not NULL (so presumably it isn’t void either…), and the bike we pulled out of a box one sunny afternoon had angles that bore no resemblance to the one on the website.
More excited than we expected to be, we jumped on and soon realised that the 29er has that certain ‘something’ about it – that difﬁcult-to-quantify feeling that you get from a good bike. And, to our surprise, still has it every time we ride it. If we measured how good bikes were by using a ‘smiles per mile’ scale, this would go right up to 11 with ease.
The 29in wheels and Vredestein Perfect Moiree tyres provide a ride quality that has a good balance of smooth rolling comfort, excellent grip levels, easy acceleration and direction changes. On the road they make fast ﬂowing and comfortable sense that leads to tons of fun and bags of conﬁdence.
The Shimano Alﬁne hub gear is excellent, and the double chainring setup makes this bike very adaptable to both going up and tearing down hills.
Busch and Muller dynamo lighting as standard is top-notch, and the rear rack is stiff and sturdy enough for a week’s shopping in panniers. Though that did make wheelies even easier…
There is one problem though. The rubber ﬂap on the rear of the front mudguard is hopeless. It should be straight, not angled backwards. It lets water spray out from the edges in the rain and over your feet.
The odd thing is though, even soaking wet feet weren’t going to wipe the smiles this bike caused from our faces.
Corratec 29er one: corratec 29er one www.robertsmithphotography.co.uk