At a glance
A classic looking frame that reveals a number of clever features the harder you look at it the Ragley mmmBop is striking in its Quick Lime finish.Buy Hard Tails on
Brant Richards has been at the forefront of common sense based design for sometime now and his latest Alumimum offering looks to be a hard hitting no nonsense bit of kit.
Custom triple butted 7046 alloy is used to make a strong lightweight frame with a 1.5’’ headset, a long 597mm top tube, an interesting three finger chain stay design that gives massive tyre clearance, chain stays are on the short side at 419mm. The seat stays are bridgeless and continue the theme of large amounts of mud clearance.
Angles are quoted in sagged numbers, which is to say with the bike weighted, to work out the unsagged angles just knock about 2º off.
Head angle 67.5º, seat angle on our 18’’ frame is 73.5º, Ragley steepen up the seat angle as the frame sizes go up to compensate for the effect of an extended seat post.
Frame weight is 3.7lbs.
We have a mixed bag of kit on our mmmBop as we use it as a kit test bike.
Up front we are running a Rockshox Revelation Team Air U-turn with 120mm to 150mm of travel and has the excellent Black Box damping.
Brakes are Avid Elixir R and the drivetrain is Shimano XT throughout.
A Nuke Proof 50mm stem keeps a firm grip on a set of 685mm lo rise bars.
Our wheelset is a set of Hope Pro 2 hubs laced to Mavic EN521Disc rims finished of with Continental Vertical 2.3 tyres.
Overall bike weight for our 18’’ bike is 27lbs without pedals.
On the trail
Pedalling round the car park to set up the fork it is obvious that this bike packs a punch, the frame feels super stiff and yet feels light and nimble.
Once on the trail it becomes clear that the long top tube and short chain stays mean that a stamp on the pedals will have you charging down the trail at great pace.
Heading up hill is a breeze as the stiff frame responds instantly to any pedal input and dropping the fork travel puts you in position to attack the climbs.
The only issue with climbing on the mmmBop is keeping the rear wheel on the ground as the rear triangle is so stiff it tends to bounce off square edged obstacles but if you can master that then it will surge up hill.
On the trail the mmmBop is an eager companion and goes pretty much exactly where you point it, the position on the bike keeps your chest opened out and encourages you to floor it and the long wheelbase helps keep things stable as speeds ramp up.
Once heading down hill things remain stable even when it gets steep but if things get fast and lumpy then you will need to be very fluid to keep the rear under control as it kicks hard off rocks and roots.
There are a multitude of good things about the mmmBop… it is fast, holds its line well, direct, light and stable at speed. There are lots of nice touches on the frame that are quite frankly excellent considering the reasonable price.
For the money there is very little not to like, the main complaint is that the mmmBop is very firm and as such lacks the suppleness to take the edge of harsh surfaces but then there is the steel Blue Pig and the Ti frames if you are looking for something with more compliance.
The other thing is that by designing the frame to be stable and predictable it is not an overly playful bike, this is only an issue if you are looking for a bike to pop and launch off every little lip and undulation.
Great value for money matched with innovative design and a determination to produce a bike that provides an excellent ride all add up to something special.
If you are after a light weight direct ride that handles superbly at high speeds and is tough enough to take a beating then take a look at an mmmBop…. Make sure you get a test ride though as its uncompromising ride will be loved by some but maybe too much for others.Buy Hard Tails on
This review was in Issue 5 of IMB.For more information visit Ragley Bikes
By Rou ChaterRou Chater is the Publishing Editor of IMB Magazine; he’s a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, but his passion for bikes knows no bounds. His first mountain bike was a Trek 820, which he bought in 1990. It didn’t take him long to earn himself a trip to the hospital on it, and he’s never looked back since. These days he’s keeping it rubber side down, riding locally and overseas as much as possible.