4 Hardcore Hardtails - Core Bike 2019


A British trade show means one thing, a glut of hardcore hardtails. The Brits have a love of rigid rear ends, and there was no shortage of options on offer at Core this year.The original hardcore hardtails were designed to keep the fun characteristics of a dirt jump bike in a package capable of smashing harder trails than traditional XC hardtails. Hardcore hardtails of the past offered 160mm or more of travel (some even fitted dual crown forks) but 150mm seems to be about the maximum travel nowadays - any bigger and the geometry fluctuations make them too difficult to ride. Here are four of the most interesting we found at Core.

Lynskey Bootleg

US based Ti frame builders Lysnkey teamed up with UK distro Hotlines for this hardcore hardtail with a sprinkling of British attitude. Based around a 140-150mm fork with a 64° head angle, it's the most aggressive bike here, but also the most expensive at £1,600 for the frame alone. The bike is for 27.5inch wheels and can apparently be built up as a light weight trail bike but this red themed, aggro build is also a cracker.

Wheel Size 27.5"
Recommended fork 140-150mm
Head angle 64°
Price £1,600 (frame)
Website hotlines-uk.com

Identiti AKAThe Identiti AKA enters its second generation in 2019 with the option to run it as a 140mm 27.5 bike or a 120mm 29er. The geometry was based on Identiti's Mettle enduro bike and the Adjustable Drop Out System means that the angles stay pretty consistent between wheel sizes. The same system also allows the bike to be easily run as a singlespeed.

Wheel Size 29" or 27.5"
Recommended fork 120mm or 140mm
Head angle 64.7˚ or 64.5°
Price £499.99 (frame), full builds also available
Website identitibikes.com

Ragley Big Al
Ragley relaunched after a year's hiatus at Core and brought along this new platform. The Big Al was designed to bring the hardcore geometry to a more affordable price point, nudging in at under a grand for a complete bike. Based around a 130mm fork, it shares the geometry of Ragley's Big Wig but with a more price conscious spec and a lighter alloy frame.

It's great to see Ragley back in action after a year away

Wheel Size 29"
Recommended fork 130mm
Head angle 65˚Static
Price £999.99 (complete), £299.99 (frame)
Website ragleybikes.com

NS Eccentric Alu 29NS offers the Eccentric in both steel and alloy, we got our hands on the alloy version here at Core. It's another great value bike, coming in at under £1,500.

Wheel Size 29"
Recommended fork 140mm
Head angle 65°
Price £1,450
Website ns-bikes.com