Founded in 2007, and offering bikes directly to the customer, means that companies such as Propain are able to cancel out the dealer margin. It’s a different business model but whether you like it or not there are now a number of German companies doing similar. What’s the quality like?
From Dirt Issue 118 – December 2011
Words by Steve Jones. Photos by Steve Jones.
Available in a short or a long (size) I can imagine most riders opting for the 47.5” wheelbase long bike as their raging weapon of choice. With a rear axle of 150 mm (157 mm when using the Syntace X12 System), tapered headset and ISCG 05 mounts the frame weighs in at 3.9kg but that’s without the shock (the complete bike is just over 40lb). Much of the weight appears around and rearwards of the bottom bracket, and the Rage came with a neat carbon rear fender and some homemade protection of the chainstay. Cable routing is tidy and the overall finish of the bike of a good standard. Decals are stuck on.
In terms of suspension design the Propain Rage 3 doesn’t appear to have a specific brand name for the rear, but essentially (and virtually) it has pivots above and below via two substantial one–piece castings. There are no protrusions, although care is needed not to push down when adjusting the seat as it gets jammed in the frame.
|Size||Wheelbase||Headangle||Bottom Bracket||Chainstay||Front Centre||Standover||Bar||Seatangle||Weight|
Propain have gone for a rare old mix of sense and quality in their build kit for this bike. An assortment of Sixpack components dominates the build, all workmanlike and up to the task, along with the Truvativ Descendant cranks and MRP device, although we have had a few issues with the latter this year. The build is finished with the high end Avid Elixir 9 and SRAM X0 derailleur. Of note are the Ardent tyres. In UK conditions where you need an edge we have found this particular Maxxis rubber outstanding.SUSPENSION
The Rage is going to win no end of friends with the Marzocchi/Cane Creek combo and the company have gone down the road of imbalance in spring rates to give riders at least a fifty percent chance of a rider getting the correct rate. For me the 500lb spring was too hard on the rear and the fork undersprung. Easy to get the match correct I guess, just check when ordering.
Out of the box the Marzocchi is peerless but we usually have found a need for an oil change after a week of riding on them. Adjusting the Cane Creek is a hugely time consuming experience, we’d like to see a base setting of some kind for the bike and also found the high speed rebound a bit of a faff to access with a Cane Creek tool. We were certainly eager to find out how the Rage suspension design complemented the CCDB characteristics as we have not found many to date.RIDING
And so it was a positive experience with the Rage suspension design complementing the CCDB well. With the Marzocchi up front the grip–finding was excellent and it was easy to feel your way into and through terrain at speed. Steering and balance was precise with no surprises. On deep fast braking bumps the Rage carried good ground speed although on occasion there is some clatter from the rear. The bike could possibly do with losing some weight out the rear to clear this up, also lighten the ride characteristic and would benefit from a bit more frame protection too. Still it’s relatively early days for Propain and the Rage will only improve. In terms of componentry never did the bike feel underpowered in any area, the bike is fully ready for action.
However, most of all it was good to ride a bike that allowed the CCDB to breathe and flow oil. There were certain occasions on roots where I felt the superb pliability that only this shock offers, like I said, not many bike designs have got the most out of the CCDB, the Rage is certainly on the right track as the control on the rear was excellent.CONCLUSION
For three thousand Euros you can’t go wrong really, the Rage offers a sensible build with a high quality damper specification. The ride was balanced, although slightly heavy at times. The only negatives were shock access that needs improving and the occasional rear clatter. Our test bike is superb value and the Rage 1 also appears to be good value at €2499.
RAGE 3 COMPLETE: €3299
RAGE frame with RockShox Vivid Coil R2C: €1.599,00
RAGE frame with RockShox Vivid Air R2C: €1.799,00
RAGE frame with Cane Creek Double Barrel: €1.949,00
Tel: 07789 723 621
|Shock||Cane Creek Double Barrel|
|Fork||Marzocchi Evo RC-3 Ti|
|Brakes||Avid Elixir 9 200mm/200m|
|Bottom||Bracket Truvativ GXP83mm|
|Crank||Truvativ Descendant 165mm|
|Chainring||Truvativ Descendant 36t|
|Tyres||Maxxis Ardent 2.4|