Radon Swoop 170. Top dog? - Dirt

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Trail and Enduro Bikes

Radon Swoop 170. Top dog?

Fully stunning from Radon

All–action, outrageous parts, and a tidy price. Radon take centre stage in one fell swoop

Shape and Purpose. Don’t miss this one. Don’t for one second be put off by the classification of the Swoop for ultimately it’s a brilliant all-rounder. Why? Attempting to categorize our local trails is pretty futile. It would be impossible to drop our local riding spots into one of the trail/all-mountain/enduro categories as they are populated each week on every one of such breeds. So its at times like this when I see that the Radon Swoop 170 niched at Super Enduro that I begin to think how pointless the whole business can be.

In short the Swoop is all about cutting loose in the woods. It’s multi position geometry, reasonably light 32lb weight and killer component specification make it a coveted bike before you you take into account the 170mm travel, ride characteristic and outrageous price.

 

Suspension/Chassis. Radon have opted for the hard to beat Fox 36 fork and Float X damper pairing on this bike and offering it up at 170mm travel. Cable routing is a mix of traditional external with a splash of internal, it’s all very neat, the cables are the correct length and all the fittings are of a high standard. The finish and build of the bike is excellent.

One of the Swoop’s major strengths lies in its adjustable geometry which makes it quite radical in comparison to many other bikes around the 160mm mark. With a head angle that varies between 64.8 – 65.8 degrees and a bottom bracket drop from -8 to -21 drop this bike is ripping up turns and charging downhill sections in the time you’ve spent wondering whether to hit the buy button. You mean you haven’t already? Then I suggest you do.

The bike comes in four sizes and five specifications starting at €1999 with the top of the range at €3799. This large has a 473mm reach which is spot on. Basically one of the longest, slackest, lowest 170mm bikes in existence.

Componentry. The superb Fox suspension has already been noted, but with Shimano XT shifting the gears and DT Swiss keeping everything rolling this bike is punching way above its weight on componentry terms. We were totally new to the Magura MT5 brakes but as you’ll discover we’re massively happy that we’ve now been introduced. Elsewhere the eThirteen chain device is a dream to use, especially as we had a lower link bolt work loose and the quick release action makes for super quick crank removal. The Ergon seat and grips are comfortable, the Continental tyres totally awesome all–rounders and Race Face crank and bar utterly bulletproof. Reverb Stealth. This bike has it all.

Feeling. Blown away basically. So low, so slack, so balanced, and just a hooligan through and through. Unrestrained madness. There simply can be no measured remarks about this bike when the delivery is simply so flat out in its nature. Swoop cannot be more appropriate a name, its a bike that builds in momentum, driving confidence ever upwards.

It’s been said by another publication that its 32lb weight is ‘portly’ but this shows total cluelessness as to the bike’s nature, any lighter and the bike would probably loose its poise, and the reality is that 30lb is about average even for high price plastic on the market. The bike has a light ride character, is reasonably quiet and has excellent balance between flex and stiffness.

Out of the box we went straight for the low, slack setting and headed out on a four hour enduro loop. The lock out is strong allowing for relatively easy climbing and the gearing low enough even for some serious banks. The three setting geometry is a two minute affair needing a couple of allen keys and a star head screwdriver.

The cornering quality is insane, the balance pristine and its ability in tough terrain a dream to be involved in.

Limitations. We had a lower link bolt work its way loose and we needed to get more progression out of the damper as it pretty much had zero hold/support past ninety percent. We’ll be working on getting a better damper set up in the weeks ahead.

Verdict

Its been a hell of a few weeks with some brilliant bikes. The great value Airdrop Edit, the beautiful Evil Insurgent and now this, one step on again.  Of the riders that have ridden this bike many are now attempting to get hold of one. Not one single rider has been left disappointed with the ride, the specification or indeed the price of the Radon. It is an incredible package. Radon have in one fell swoop thrown a massive spanner into the works with this bike. Lower, longer and generally more all action than nearly all current 170mm bikes.

That it pushes the seemingly unsurpassable aluminium YT Capra close is testimony to how far Radon have come. Many will feel this bike with Fox 36 over a Lyrik clad Capra has the job done but we’d need to go head to head to work that question out. It’ll be one of the year’s most interesting comparisons though that’s for certain. We really are seeing some truly great bikes at good prices.

Swoop 10.0 €2999

Check out Radon-Bikes

New to enduro bikes? Check out our buyer’s guide HERE

 

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