First Look Review : Pete’s Radical Bike Co. Grim Ripper.

The smaller brother of the Radical Bike Co. Chili Dog is the Grim Ripper, and Pete gives his opening thoughts on this trail slayer.

Offering a more wallet-friendly option, the Radical Bike Co. Grim Ripper also offers up a more trail-orientated ride with a keen focus on the downhills.

Key features:

  • Max front travel: 140mm 27.5″/130mm 29″
  • 29 wheel only usable with sliding dropout in extended position
  • Max rear rotor size: 180mm
  • Seat Post: 31.6mmm internal routing only
  • Seat Post Clamp: 34.9mm
  • Bottom Bracket: standard 73mm threaded BSA/English
  • 44mm headtube. Tapered fork headset sizes: ZS44/28.6 top headset cup, EC44/40 lower headset cup. Purchase here.
  • Brake Mount: 160mm Post
  • Rear Wheel spacing: Boost (148mm x 12mm)
  • Chain guide devices: To suit ISCG05
  • Front chain ring clearance: Max 34T 
  • Tire Clearance: 2.5inch (Clearance may be +/- dependant on wheel size/dropout position/tyre brand)
  • £695.00 RRP
  • RadicalBicycleCo.com

Geometry

The Grim Ripper is available in Regular and Long.

Reach on the Regular is 455mm with a seat tube length of 400mm. Head angle is 63.5 degrees with a seat tube angle of 77 degrees. Chainstays are adjustable between 420 and 435mm, with a wheelbase of between 1197 and 1212mm.

Opening moves

Like the Chili Dog, the Grim Ripper is not available as a full build but the bike I rode was indicative of what the bike’s intended use is. An SR Suntour Zeron fork handled the damping, SRAM GX Eagle drive, Halo wheels, Michelin Wild Enduro tyres, Magura 4-pots… Not the lightest of builds but one aimed at getting you to the bottom of the hill quickly.

I will caveat this first look with the fact that I was tired enough that it felt like my brain had been replaced by slurry. That said, the Grim Ripper made me feel right at home. On the fast, straight top section of our chosen Shropshire gold, regular haunt of one Marc ‘Slugger’ Beaumont, the bike under my addled self didn’t seem up to much.

SDG Tellis V2 Dropper Leaderboard

As the ground pointed ever steeper down, the bike made plenty of sense, guiding me neatly down some rather sporty trails with no sighting runs on offer. The more compliant back end of the Grim Ripper seemingly smoothing out the rough in a manner I was unfamiliar with on a hardtail. The fat Michelin rubber also improving the feel of the back end as the Suntour fork did an admirable job of keeping the front wheel in check.

On the ups, the steep seat tube angle helped keep the front down and the weight in the right place for some winching away. The short hill meaning that we were soon back up the top for another go, as Tom and Kieran vanished down the hill as I just tried to make sense of what was in front of me.

The steeper and tighter the trails got, the happier the Grim Ripper was. The 27.5″ build being a snappy delight when it came to quick direction changes, the front wheel was more than happy to come off the deck when required and the slack head angle meant that the bike felt controlled on the real steep stuff.

Any additional forward momentum was likely stymied by the fact that the brainpower wasn’t available to do so. I am more than confident that this bike had more in the tank even if I didn’t. It made what I did ride feel very straightforward, and I didn’t have any wild moments, despite the lack of computing power on offer.

You can check out the Radical Bike Co. Grim Ripper here.


css.php