For a mid-budget full suspension bike, the Teocali Comp is remarkably capable. It’s fun on the descents and its fork and shock are surprisingly able for the price. They both struggle to get full travel, but the feel is still tight and enjoyable, helped by the smart tyre choice.
The Teocali Comp has impressed us. Theoretically, it offers almost as much suspension travel as the Carrera Banshee Triple X that accompanied it in these tests, but it weighs 2.5lb (1.13kg) less and makes a good fist of getting up hills as well as hammering down.
Ride & handling: tight & fun, but full travel not there
While compression and rebound damping on the Epicon shock were a lot better on the Teocali than the GT, both the shock and the fork can only reach about three quarters of their claimed travel. The ride feel is reassuringly taut, acting more like a 120mm travel bike.
This is not a downside, as the suspension set up deals with most terrain like a premium 120mm travel bike and, despite its tight-pedalling cross-country character, the overall feel of the ride was the plushest of the four bikes on test in the roughest parts of our trails.
Inevitably, the 15kg (33lb) weight slightly inhibits acceleration and climbing, while the Freedrive system does result in an oddly soft feeling of ‘give’ as the cranks and shock interact.
This hardly seems to affect the amount of power you can translate into forward progress, though, and traction is great on the sort of raggedy uphill bursts that cause back wheels to spit earth on lesser bikes.
The suspension rarely felt flustered, even on the big hit stuff, just occasionally spiking on long runs of big square edges. Overall handling balance is quietly confident and, while the bike is at its best on long bumpy descents, it’s lots of fun on anything that goes even vaguely downwards.
Frame: complex but effective
It might be one of the most complex looking full sussers around, but the Teocali’s frame parts are a thoroughly practical mix of reinforced, cleverly butted tubes and machined segments that put the shock, pivots, crankset and cabling in the right locations. The best way to describe a Freedrive frame is that although the cranks hang under the mainframe and in front of the swingarm, they’re not a fixed part of either.
The cranks are mounted on a subframe that’s pivoted between the main frame and the rear suspension proper so they ‘float’ independently of the frame and swingarm as the shock compresses and rebounds. This configuration allows for a high pivot but a low centre of gravity, without any of the obvious disadvantages in the pedal to shock feedback.
The whole structure is laterally stiff, with quality pivot bearings, plenty of mud room and enough reinforcements to give you confidence in rough terrain. We were wary of the SR SunTour Epicon shock after our lukewarm experience with it on another bike, but this one was much better controlled in terms of compression and rebound damping.
Maybe the lack of a lockout has something to do with this and we certainly didn’t miss it.
The SR Suntour Epicon fork was reasonably good too, with an effective rebound damping knob at the top of the right-hand leg.
You expect component compromises on a lower budget full susser, but there are remarkably few to find on the Teocali Comp. The drivetrain mixture of Shimano cranks and front mech, with SRAM everywhere else, works really well. The Tektro brakes, while lacking a little brand kudos, are not at all lacking in stopping power.
WTB SpeedDisc rims and Kenda Nevegal treads keep wheel weight reasonable and the traction is excellent. The Mongoose finishing kit is all good stuff too, containing –a wide riser bar, twin- bolt seatpost, four-bolt stem and lock-on grips. Finally, WTB’s Pure V saddle adds a bit of extra plush in the seating department.