Carrera Vulcan review

The Vulcan is the entry-level hardtail in Halfords' premium own-brand Carrera range. When we requested it for test it was £250. Now it's £50 cheaper. Underneath the topcoat, the frame is superficially identical to the top-of- the-range Carrera Fury.

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
GBP £200.00 RRP
Carrera Vulcan

Our review

Great value, upgradeable, yet fork spoils singletrack poise and posing.
Skip to view product specifications

The Vulcan is the entry-level hardtail in Halfords’ premium own-brand Carrera range. When we requested it for test it was £250. Now it’s £50 cheaper.

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Underneath the topcoat, the frame is superficially identical to that of the top-of- the-range Carrera Fury. It’s a decent, disc-only 7005 aluminium frame reinforced with a head tube gusset, only here the tubing is plain gauge rather than double-butted. Dimensions are typical for an XC hardtail and the cockpit is roomy enough to get the power down.

It translates to a fairly light ‘real bike’ feel on the trail that feels fairly fast. Yet the fork is a disappointment. While it is preload adjustable, even when wound tight it dives and squashes over drop-offs. Over rapid small bumps there’s no subtlety; it just judders. Still, the wide bar helps keep you on track when the going gets really rough.

However, for £250 the level of equipment would be good: at £200 it’s astounding. Instead of the expected 21-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain, maybe with a 48/38/28 crankset, you get 24-speed SRAM SX4 with an off-road ready 42/32/22T crankset. The 8-speed rear end means a Freehub, which builds into a stronger rear wheel than a cheap threaded 7-speed hub because the bearings are closer to the end of the axle.

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You also get cable disc brakes; while little more effective than V-brakes, they’d be easy to upgrade to hydraulics. Stem and headset are threadless. And you even get a preload adjustable fork, albeit not a very good one. Still, a sound purchase.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Vulcan
Brand Carrera

Fork SR Suntour XCM
Frame Material 7005 T6 Aluminium
Rims DBM1
Weight (kg) 14.2
Available Colours Silver
Available Sizes 16 Inches 18 Inches 20 Inches 22 Inches