In a few years Radon have made a major impact with us. In short they’ve given us bikes that are seriously fun to ride, and as we have found ridiculously fast. The shorter travel version of this bike, Swoop 170mm mesmerised us with its insane cornering ability, a bike that remains utterly composed at speed, and, as a package is very hard to beat.
Even though the prices have gone up slightly for 2017, it’s still a very compelling package, one that is ready to take straight to the top of the hill and launched into whatever you should choose appropriate.
The Swoop 200 comes in three sizes – 16”/18”/20” and three specification packages starting with the Swoop 8.0 rising through the 9.0 to the top of the range 10.0, the bike we’d highly recommend with the superb performance of the Fox 40 RC2, Magura MT7 and DT Swiss FR 1950 wheelset in particular helping its cause.
Its in the geometry numbers however that we find one of the biggest strengths of the Swoop. Take a look at at the reach figures on this bike. For example the 20” bike at 469mm reach makes it one of the largest downhill bikes on the market, with only bikes such as the XL Canyon Sender longer at 480mm. Many riders might want to consider the 18” version of this bike as well as it is still the equivalent of many size large bikes. We are not saying reach is the be all and end all of bike fit but it’s a good starting point. So this bike is already out of the blocks sharpish.
“The Swoop is a very easy to ride bike”
The effect that the sizing has on track is noticeable. In big breakers the Radon has great composure that is partly the result of the space and balance, a bike that places the rider centrally in between the wheels. The Fox suspension still requires some careful time spent on setup but there’s certainly no strange traits in the suspension kinematic. The Swoop is a very easy bike to ride.
It’s also a very fast bike. And even though this bike is full aluminum it still weighs in as one of the lightest production bikes, holding its own against most other carbon downhill bikes often heading on for twice the price. And whilst we are certainly not saying that weight is critical on downhill runs, what we do know is that on flatter sections that weight will have a slight impact. Its very much about getting the right balance and Radon have done that.
Overall the Swoop will be a durable performer that requires no upgrading. There’s some great detail in the specification away from the most prominent features. Look at the Ergon grips, the Acros headset, the Vert Star Magic Mary rubber. Unlike carbon downhill bikes which might well score visually the aluminum Swoop will be far more able to deal with the week in week out abuse that downhill bikes are subjected to.
For 2017 we fully expect the Swoop to be more prominent with Manon Carpenter now racing the German hardware. Radon have arrived, they are producing very, very good bikes. Be sure to take a look over the Swoop 170 as well for that’s a killer bike.
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