With plenty of efficient, bump-eating travel, a solid, good value Shimano drivetrain and gobs of climbing traction, this Canadian marathon bike will take you up as well as down with equal prowess – and keep you going all day.
Ride & handling: more than just a marathon cross-country stroller
The problem with labels is that some bikes defy categorization. As much as it comes in a little heavy for a typical marathon machine, we loved the way the Brodie Loki lapped up the kind of trails we chose to ride. Only our legs limited what it would climb and its uphill behaviour was much improved by setting the fork to 120mm.
Admittedly, fireroad climbs and long, level spins were a drag thanks to the hefty hoops, but the Loki excelled at technical ascents.
The Roco Air 3PL shock and its many adjustments took some getting used to. We preferred the compression adjusted setting to the heavy, wooden feel of full lockout and we’d have used it more if we’d been able to ﬁnd the lever in a hurry.
Torquing the rear wheel down into the ground and perching on the saddle sent it rocketing straight up the steepest of test ascents, with rewards waiting at the top in the form of conﬁdent descending.
Slower, technical drops were a simple case of point the nose downhill and hold on tight.
Frame: mandrel formed tubes of the future
Brodie claim to have leap-frogged the manufacturing technique of the moment, hydroforming, and plumped their development dollars into mandrel forming. By forming the 7005 tube sections around a mandrel (former), accurately-shaped and lightweight tubes can be made.
These retain a lot of strength despite their complex sections. Sealed cartridge bearings, a CNC-machined rocker link and low top tube for clearance complete this functional design.
Equipment: tough kit & beefy wheels
Tough Sun 32-hole Sun DS2-XC rims are laced to Shimano’s Deore hubs, making a wheel package that comes in on the heavy side of marathon.
WTB’s Prowler XT tyres roll well on hardpack and really dig in on loose loam, and at 2.3in, they give plenty of volume for protection and stability.
Shimano M535 brakes provide adequate if unexciting stopping power, and Center Lock rotors are always a neat touch.
Shimano Deore XT two-way shifters allow quick gear changes when the trail rears skywards.
A Shadow rear mech tucks vulnerable bits under cover of the burly chainstays.
The pennies scrimped on the LX front mech afford an 11-34-tooth Deore XT cassette, which saves a few grams and gives a spinny low gear for ultra-steep climbs.
The Truvativ Stylo chainset spins on a Giga X Pipe bottom bracket and WTB’s Pure V Race saddle is a favourite.
The oversize forged Syncros stem is burly and obscures the front tyre from above.
There’s also a bottle cage mount under the down tube, but it’s more useful for storing spare batteries for lights than juice.