A really easy riding, efficient, lightweight all-rounder for more conservative than crazy riders
Buy if, You want a superbly equipped, top value, do-it-all blank canvas for painting whatever ride picture you want
Pros: Lightweight carbon frame with super smooth and sensitive suspension; wide range 2x11 gearing with naturally fast wheels and tyres; efficient all-round performance with excellent kit package from tyres to grips
Cons: Combined wheel, fork and frame flex can get unsettling if you’re really ripping
Radon is a relatively recent addition to the increasing number of German direct-buy bargains appearing on UK trails. The Radon Slide Carbon is impressively specced, lightweight and versatile — so long as you don’t push too hard.
The full carbon frame uses a classically neutral four-bar suspension design with internal gear-cable routing for the direct-mount rear mech and Side Swing front mech, and no less than five bolted mainframe hose guides for the rear brake.
The Fox EVOL rear shock and 34 fork are Performance Elite, not just Performance models, which means they get a more sophisticated, significantly smoother and more reactive damper. They’re both very linear unless you add extra volume spacers, though, so be prepared to fettle or leave the compression dampers in middle mode to feel firm enough for aggressive pedalling and berm detonation.
Shimano provides the XT drivetrain, a 36/26t chainset with 11-40t gearsRussell Burton / Immedite Media
Mavic XA Elite wheels are wrapped in a Schwalbe intermediate grip/speed Nobby Nic Trailstar Evo front and flat-out fast Rock Razor Pacestar Evo rear, which gives easy speed but retains a surprising amount of grip through the fluid rear end.
The carbon frame also makes it light for a twin chainring bike with a turn of speed that made me think it was a 29er in terms of speed sustain.
Ergon Ergo grips are a comfortable way to hold onto the wide 780mm bar, complemented by the RaceFace Turbine 60mm stem, although the Reverb button sits really awkwardly over the XT brakes.
Easy riding, efficient and lightweightRussell Burton / Immedite Media
The 67.5-degree steering angle is all-rounder appropriate and the 450mm reach and 1,180mm wheelbase are OK if not an obvious bonus in terms of stability and surefooted feel.
Even with the dampers tuned, more progressive fork, wheel and frame flex mean the Slide can start to feel slightly vague and unpredictable between the big bars and the trail when things get tasty.
That’s enough to keep the Radon out of the top ranks in our Trail Bike of the Year testing, but if you’re more big miles than all out in your riding tastes then it’s still well worth a look.