Claud Butler Olympus review

Good play bike package

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0
£899.99 RRP

Our review

Drop-happy play bike that wallows on the ups
Skip to view product specifications

Claud Butler often turn in well specced, well priced mid-range offerings and the Olympus is no exception. This tough trail hardtail ate up the terrain we threw it at with ease.

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Ride & handling: Fun on the descents but sluggish on the flat

With the fork set to its full 130mm travel the Olympus is rather good fun. We were pleasantly surprised by how sprightly it was on descents given the sluggishness elsewhere, and with the saddle jammed down it hoons downhill happily enough and will amiably tackle most terrain.

However, on the flat its high weight is a drag and, with the fork wound down to 90mm for climbing, the already steep front end becomes terrifyingly vertiginous.

Size is an issue too: the Olympus is only available in 18in and 20in frames, which excludes a swathe of possible owners.

Frame: Won’t win any awards for looks or originality, and head angle is unusually steep

The Olympus lags behind in the bike porn stakes. Battleship grey tubes with garish decals are far from the prettiest we’ve seen.

The frame is a tidy enough attempt at a long-travel hardtail, although the steep 71.5° head angle is far from conventional.

A hydroformed top tube is ordinary but nice touches like S-shaped seatstays and a healthy gulf of clearance around the rear end will swallow mud, big tyres or any combination of the two.

Claud Butler Olympus
Claud butler olympus: claud butler olympus
Russell Burton

Equipment: Adjustable fork plus decent drivetrain and tyres, but bar is an acquired taste

The Olympus sports an adjustable travel RockShox Tora fork. With a single air spring, setup is quick and simple, so you’ll be out on the trail with a minimum of faff. The U-Turn travel adjust takes you from a painfully steep 85mm right up to 130mm, and we rarely found ourselves running below 100mm.

A Shimano Deore/LX drivechain makes the most of the budget and the Rapid Rise rear mech is a pleasant surprise, although we’d happily lose the clunky Octalink chainset for a more up-to-date Hollowtech system.

The 2.1in Schwalbe Nobby Nic tyres are amusingly toothy on tarmac but highly effective on loose kipple and loam. The Truvativ bar is an acquired shape and lacks the sweet spot where it feels right for us.

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It’s a small quibble but a bike like this which encourages low-slung, off-piste adventures really should have a quick-release seat clamp to aid swift saddle drops.

Setting up the Tora fork is quick and easy
Setting up the tora fork is quick and easy: setting up the tora fork is quick and easy
Russell Burton

Product Specifications

Product

Name Olympus (09)
Brand Claud Butler

Available Colours Silver
Rear Tyre Nobby Nic
Seat Tube (in) 16
Chainstays (in) 16.53
Bottom Bracket Height (in) 11.75
Weight (lb) 29.1
Stem Truvativ XR alloy A-head stem
Shifters Shimano STI Shifters
Seatpost Truvativ XR alloy
Saddle Ritchey Marathon Pro saddle
Rims Ritchey Mountain Pro Disc OCR eyeletted anti pinch rims with welded seam
Rear Tyre Size 26x2.1
Rear Hub Shimano 32 hole centre lock quick release alloy 9 speed freehub
Available Sizes 18 Inches 20 Inches
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore LX 27 Speed
Handlebar Truvativ XR 31.8mm alloy 640mm riser bar
Front Tyre Size 26x2.1
Front Tyre Nobby Nic
Front Hub Shimano 32 hole centre lock quick release alloy
Front Derailleur Shimano Deore LX
Frame Material : Claud Butler MTB Hydro-Team Frame. 6061 T4-T6 Aluminium Disc Specific Frame With Hydro Formed Top Tube, Compliance Snake Stays And Semi Integrated Head Tube. CNC Disc Drop Outs
Fork Rock Shox Tora 302 U-Turn with external rebound and turnkey lockout, adjustable travel between 85mm-130mm
Cranks Shimano Octalink
Brakes Shimano Deore LX dual piston hydraulic disc 180/160mm rotors
Bottom Bracket Sealed cartridge bottom bracket
Top Tube (in) 22.08