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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Calibre Beastnut – First Look

The Bossnut taken up to another level...

First there was the boss, now there’s the beast. The Calibre Bossnut hit the spot from the start and at an amazing price. Now with the Beastnut they take the concept and give you a bike with more ability and attitude but keep the great value for money.

Words: Sean White  Images: Ieuan Williams

The Bossstnut was a breath of fresh air to riders looking for an up-to-date and dialled in trail bike at a truly affordable price. With ‘top of the range’ cutting edge carbon bikes nudging the £8K price bracket at times it did seem at one point that you needed at least a budget of £2,500 to get a full suspension trail bike that would fit the bill.

As the cheapest bike in the 2017 Dirt 100 line up, the Calibre Bossnut had a ticket price of £1300 but was only £999 with the Go Outdoors discount card. That was the original model (in white/black/yellow) and things have move on since then. It was soon followed by a women’s version and then with the Bossnut V2 in red, a bike with a touch more reach in the frame and a stiffer one piece rocker linkage. We referred to it as a ‘hugely important bike’ and a definite move in the right direction for Calibre.

Now we see the next evolution – the limited edition Beastnut – taking the Bossnut formula of performance, spec, ride quality and value and adding some more attitude to the ride.

FRAME AND SUSPENSION

As you would expect at this price point the Beastnut is aluminium, both the mainframe and swingarm. The 6061 aluminium tubing is hydroformed on the main frame with a tapered head tube and a threaded bottom bracket shell. The swingarm has an asymmetric layout to the lower stays and uses a standard 135mm Q/R dropout rather than the bolt through 142mm/148mm options. The stays are a box section construction with a suspension pivot on the seatstays. Cable routing is all external, giving ease of maintenance for the home mechanic but Calibre have routed the rear brake hose above the frame’s downtube to keep it away from damage. This does however mean that there are no bottle cage mounts on the bike. Routing for the external dropper post is there but there are no internal hose ports.

As with the Bossnut bikes, the Beastnut rolls on 27.5″/650b wheels and now has frame clearance for larger 2.35″ rubber.

The suspension layout is the now familiar ‘Four bar’ style layout albeit with a seatstay pivot. The taller, longer travel 140mm RockShox Revelation fork up front gives more clout and should still work well with the 130mm rear travel. The Beastnut uses the stiffer one-piece rocker that we first saw on the Bossnut V2. The RockShox Monarch rear shock remains, with adjustable rebound damping but no lockout switch.

GEOMETRY AND SIZING

As with the Bossnut this limited edition Beastnut is available in three frame sizes – M, L and XL. There is no women’s version but with the stock air sprung fork and rear shock it should be easy to set up this bike for a lighter weight rider. Maybe a trim of the 760mm bar width and a switch of the saddle? It’s good to see a short 45mm stem as standard on this bike too (the 21.5″/XL gets a 60mm), a real plus point.

With many sub £2K full suspension bikes sitting firmly in the ‘traditional XC’ camp, the Beastnut and Bossnut frame design is really on the money and up-to-date. A slack 66° head angle and 436mm chainstay lengths are constants on all three frame sizes. Reach measurements are roomy without being extreme and should please both experienced and newcomers alike – especially as this bike has been designed with a short stem as standard. Reach numbers are 429mm (M), 446mm (L) and 463mm (XL).

The only downside for some riders may be the tall seat tubes. They are ‘true to size’ and as such the L measures a 19.5″/495mm and the XL is a lofty 21.5″/546mm. A longer travel dropper post may not work for you if you’ve ‘up-sized’ to benefit from the longer reach of a larger frame.

‘Take the revised Bossnut frame, add a 1x drivetrain, a longer travel fork, four pot brakes and a dropper post and you have the Beastnut…’

 

SPECIFICATION

When we rode the first Bossnut we had to get our heads around what a brand could offer when it comes to spec on a frame at this price. A double chainset, no dropper post and a modest fork are compromises you must expect – otherwise you’ll be on a hardtail if a higher specification was the key buying motive. On the Beastnut we see a longer travel burlier fork, a 1×11 SRAM NX drivetrain as well as a pair of four-piston SRAM Guide RE brakes (another dirt 100 pick). Oh, and a dropper post too.

FRAME: 6061 Aluminium, 130mm rear travel

FORK: RockShox Revelation RL 140mm, tapered steerer

REAR SHOCK: RockShox Monarch R

TRANSMISSION: SRAM NX 1×11 speed

CRANKSET: Aluminium, 4 bolt, 32T, Shimano b/bkt

BRAKES: SRAM Guide RE (180mm/160mm rotors)

WHEELSET: Formula/WTB

TYRES: WTB Vigilante 2.3″ (F), Ranger 2.25″ (R)

HANDLEBAR: Ritchey Trail 760mm

STEM: Calibre 45/60mm

SADDLE: WTB Volt

SEATPOST: Trans-X 120mm dropper

PRICE: £1299

gooutdoors.co.uk

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