Well this was a bike that had slipped under my radar for a while. The Calibre Line 29 hard tail. I must admit that the bikes spec list takes me by surprise. This is a pretty fine line up and this is also a bike that receives rave reviews from the cycle press. It actually makes me wonder how Calibre do it. Their hugely popular Bossnut took the budget full suspension market by storm and this bike should be no different really.
Calibre Line 29
The line 29 was designed for fast flowing single-track and big mountain riding. The geometry of this frame is quite interesting because, it is basically a slack XC set up so it is somewhere in between XC and Trail in my mind. To me this seems like a pretty good idea for an all round bike for the kind of person who wants one quality machine to do all jobs. The slacker geometry and wider wheel base are going to give good control over the rough stuff. The 29-inch wheels are really going to get you going as well.
The specification on this bike is very good especially when you consider the price point of £899 (with discount card) the list price is a more understandable £1200 but for the sake of the membership to GO Outdoors you can get it for the amazing £899. There are some really stand out features on this bike alongside the general overall quality specification and I would like to detail some for you here.
The chosen stopper for this machine is the SRAM Guide T. This is an excellent 4 piston stoppers with great modulation. These brakes test very well and are great for the heavier rider. As the extra pistons give it more bang for the buck. The Guide T is a high specification brake. This is not a brake normally found on lower end models.
A great choice here to go with the Rockshox Recon 130mm travel boost fork. The boost option is going to give you that great wide front wheel stance and extra control with them big wheels.
This is another stand out as Calibre have Given you the SRAM NX 11 Speed setup. The NX is very popular and very reliable. Up front, we have the Samox Alloy 2 piece crank which is very robust and of course it is a 1×11 setup for more reliability on the rough. At the rear of the bike we have the Sunrace 11-46T cassette. The 46 Tooth cog will give you that extra boost when hitting the big climbs on the trail.
I love the way that Calibre have done their homework on this setup and gone for the WTB Vigilante up front with a very chunky 2.6 width. On the back we have the very grippy WTB Trail Boss with a 3.3 setup.
Well this was a big surprise for me as I don’t recall a bike at this price point that comes pre installed with a dropper post. This is the most upgraded part on mountain bikes today. The dropper post has become the must have accessory. The ability to get the seat out of the way when hitting the trail is great. Then when you need the seat you just hit the lever and it pops back up. (for people who do not know). Calibre has given us the KS Rage- Stealth dropper with 125mm of drop. This is a budget end dropper post but, it has performed well when reviewed on other sites.
Here is the complete spec list for you.
|Brakes – Details||SRAM Guide T brakes with 180mm front and 160mm rear rotors|
|Brakes – Type||Hydraulic Disc|
|Cassette/Freewheel||Sunrace 11 speed 11T-46T Black|
|Chainset||Samox Alloy forged 2 piece|
|Fork||Rock Shox Recon RL 130mm Boost – 42mm offset, Alloy tapered steerer|
|Frame||6061 Alloy, 148 x 12mm Boost bolt through|
|Front Hub||Formula 15mm bolt through 32H (110mm x 15mm – Boost)|
|Gear Details||SRAM NX 11 speed|
|Gear Shifters||SRAM NX 11 speed|
|Handlebar||Calibre Trail 760mm width, 30mm rise – 31.8mm|
|Head Set||FSA Orbit tapered No. 57E|
|Pedals||Resin platform pedal (test pedals)|
|Rear Derailleur||SRAM NX 11 speed|
|Rear Hub||Formula 12mm bolt through (148mm x 12mm – Boost)|
|Recommended Use||Cycling, Everyday Use, Weekend|
|Rims||Calibre Trail 32H i26|
|Seatpost||KS Rage-I stealth – 125mm drop 30.9mm|
|Stem||Calibre Trail 45mm|
|Tyres||WTB Vigilante TCS Light High Grip 2.6″ front and WTB Trail Boss Comp 2.3″ rear|
|Weight (kg)||14.9kg (Large without pedals)|
On top of this great spec package Calibre have put together a great frame. The stealth black paint over the 6061 Hydroformed Alloy frame make this bike look like it is going 100 miles and hour when standing still and to my mind this makes it a great head turner.
There are many 29ers on the market now and the popularity of the newer stronger versions are getting more and more popular due to rolling speeds and the control doubts of the past seem to have disappeared as the technology develops. There are still some riders who do not entertain the 29-inch wheel but this is now on the change.
Calibre have put a lot of time and effort in to this latest version of the Line 29. Long and slack up front for a quick, controlled ride with a low BB for a planted feel in the corners and as you would expect it comes complete with a spec that you won’t find on any other bike at this price point. The stealth paint and sorted geometry makes this one of the sickest looking and fastest bikes in the Calibre range.
It is important to consider that not all bikes are created even and some people compare this bike to the Voodoo Bizango and it really is not in the same bracket. The Line 29 has a much slacker geometry, a much better braking system as the Bizango use the lower end Shimano M315 which is a two piston low end stopper. The Tyres on the Bizango are thinner and not end specific and to my mind the Line 29 has a much more robust boost fork. The Line 29 also has a wider gear ratio. Of course none of this really matters as the fact that the Line 29 comes with a stealth dropper should really settle the argument.
The Line 29 is a much better investment and a more modern machine. It should be stated that the Bizango is actually a very good bike for it’s £650 price point but that is for another review.
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