The British-designed and built Olympus is the latest in a line of good-looking, mid-range hardtails from Claud Butler.
Head up the first climb on the Olympus and everything works as it should. Wide riser bars give a powerful stance for muscling up short, steep sections, while the widely spaced tyre knobs grip well in the wet or dry. The RockShox J2 fork’s on the firm side, but at this price it’s to be expected, and it still patters over minor trails willingly and matches the solid, implacable feel of the rear. To be fair though, it’s no rocket on the climbs, but the Olympus will get you to the top in its own time.
The rigid frame structure may be great for power delivery, but it demands great tyres and an efficient fork to avoid battering the rider into a pulp at speed in the rough. While the Olympus has the former, it’s debatable whether the budget RockShox J2 is really up to the job on high speed descents. We’ve got used to Claud Butlers being well designed, temptingly priced and surprisingly good to ride. Maybe we’ve been spoiled.
The Olympus isn’t a bad bike for £600, but it’s certainly no class leader. With a frame and component setup that’s begging to be ridden hard, it’s mainly the mediocre performance of RockShox’s budget J2 fork that lets the side down. On paper, this is one of the best.