First thoughts on this bike centred around where the competition is coming from? For under the £3K marker the Norco Aurum comes with a less potent component package but great geometry, whilst Canyon offer the Strive with a RockShox BoXXer World Cup fork and Vivid air to keep the weight down. The Kona Operator is a strong performer at this price point too, but all eyes are on the Specialized Status at £2500…
From Dirt Issue 134 – April 2013
Words by Steve Jones. Photo by Ben Winder.
The second reaction to low priced downhill bikes is weight. At a shade under 40lb the Bergamont Straitline Team does a grand job in that department and competes well with bikes the wrong side of four grand that’s for sure. All the angles are good, the paintjob solid, styling a matter of taste, components, well lets take a look.
The BoXXer Teams for many are a better product than the higher priced air WC, and with a Vivid rear shock this Bergamont comes suspended exceptionally well, there’s certainly no room to upgrade much further here. Avid Elixir 9 brakes have a simple activation that leaves no doubt where you are in the stroke. Good size discs, E13 chain retention, and Truvativ Descendant cranks are tough, proven and come as standard on bikes such as the £8500 carbon Santa Cruz V10 to put this bike into some perspective.
The tyres are a standard choice and of Maxxis variety, with Minion up front and a Minion 2 on the rear. One of the most striking components is the choice of DT EX 1750 wheels – lightweight and again well proven. All in all a pretty expensive build at a decent price.
On track the suspension of this bike is simple and effective, the steering precise, angles balanced – the basics have been done well. It’s an easy thing to say but Thomas Marquardt and his small team at Bergamont have done a solid job here. The rear suspension is particularly easy to fine tune and the action is consistent through the entire range. It’s certainly a bike that is ready for action.
It’s worth noting that the Straitline comes in a lower spec with a mix of RockShox RS Kage and Sram X7, but at this price the Team is pretty competitive.