BTR Ranger (saved the best for last)
Testing bikes is a young man’s game. The fact is the older we get, the slower we become and health and safety becomes more of an issue. It’s just the way it is. I’m now 42, which means this spring chicken is kind of sprung. So, (a little pathetic I know) on that note I’m going to say this is the last time I’m going to bore you about bikes and how they ride, but thankfully, purely by coincidence, I’ve saved the best until last. I don’t really know much about BTR fabrications. They are not a mainstream, mass production bicycle manufacturing machine (like most bike companies), in fact they couldn’t be further from that. Think skilled bloke in his shed and you’re much more along the right lines. The company name apparently stands for Burf (who’s the welder) and Tam (who’s the designer) Racing (which is pretty boring and un-imaginative). However, thankfully the BTR ranger is absolutely, completely and utterly the absolute total opposite. B should stand for BAD, T should stand for Ty, and R should stand for RONE. Cos that’s what this bike is, bad to the bone Tyrone.
Open Gallery8 Images
IT’S ALL IN THE NUMBERS…
It is and always will be. Bikes ride the way they do because of their geometry. It’s got fuck all to do with wheel size or over priced carbon composite marketing bullshit. The BTR ranger along with its geometry is an F’in revelation. A 64 degree head angle (with a 120mm fork), low BB, long top tube (so you can run a short stem and not a fishing pole) and Reynolds 631 tubing, make the BTR an aggro hard tail riders wet dream.
LET’S GO DOWN AND GET SOME DINNER…
If you’ve looked at Tam’s geometry drawings above, you already have an inkling that the Ranger descends better than any other hardtail enduro bike on the planet. In fact it descends better than most over priced, under damped, full suspension enduro bikes. The fact that the BTR is running a relatively short travel fork means that when the fork does compress you don’t get the over the bars feeling you get on other hardtails that run a longer travel fork. Even if the fork does hit ‘rock bottom’ the Ranger never feels anything but a 64 degree head angled downhill eating machine. It simply goes down, gets the job done and licks the plate clean.
COMING BACK UP FOR AIR…
Even the best dinner lickers have to come up for air eventually and we were surprised at how well the Ranger went up. For a bike that descends unbelievably well, has a head angle similar to most full-on DH race rigs (well kind of), the BTR climbs with ease. You don’t have to piss about with fork height adjustment or flicking a shock lever (which I hate doing), your only concern is popping the dropper post back up and keeping your engine going. It’s simple, hassle free bike riding (how it should be).
SHOW ME THE REST OF YOUR MOVES…
So guys, gals and blow up dolls, we know the Ranger can go down, followed by a stint of going up, but what else it can do? It can manual, it rails turns, it jumps like a F’in kangaroo and (because it’s made out of Cro-Mo) is comfortable to boot. The BTR is like the Kama Sutra of the hardtail bike world. Whether you incorporate a blow up doll or not is entirely up to you.
THE REAL DEAL…
The lads at BTR have brought out a bike that truly is the real deal. There are no bullshit marketing vids all over the internet. There are no glossy brochures for you to look at. There’s not a single hint of over-priced carbon bollocks, and there’s no footage of pro riders making it look better than it actually is (pro’s can generally make anything look good). What you have in the BTR ranger is a revelation in hardtail bike design that can (and hopefully will) change people’s perceptions on what a hardtail can do, and how they can be ridden.
See, I told you I’d saved the best until last.