Coyote Ultralite HT3
Cost: £350 (frame only)
Frame: Easton Elite
Fork: Rock Shox SID
Stop: Hope Pro disc
Go: XTR throughout
Wheels: Hope Ti on Mavic X317 disc, with Continental CC 1.9 tyres
Stuff: Profile carbon bar and Stiffee stem, Uno seatpost, WTB saddle and grips
From: Coyote 0161 727 8508
If you’re trying to go fast, then less weight is generally a good thing. Case in point, this Coyote Ultralight HT3. It’s available as a frame only, and our sample bike came built up with what we’ve become to think of as British race kit. Sitting comfortably alongside the Profile carbon bar and stem are a set of Hope levers, pushing fluid through to the Hope calipers by the hubs. It all works in such a clean and simple way that it makes V-brakes look fiddly and complicated by comparison.
The HT3 is a light tubular aluminium frame, built in a no-frills manner with standout points being the extruded (though it looks like CNC) chainstay and seatstay bridges. Hefty amounts of material have been, er, left out of the design of these, and if you squint and think a bit, you can imagine them flexing slightly over lumps and bumps. It works too — even with a good pressure in the rear tyre, the back of the bike feels smooth over the rough stuff, yet sprints up climbs nicely. It could be down to the sidewall construction of the tyres and the spring that comes from the saddle, but all these tiny fractions add up here to make an aluminium bike that doesn’t beat you up. Good.
Though there’s a temptation to fit a dirty great set of riser bars and a high stem, and go lofting the HT3 off every jump in site, that’d be wandering rapidly away from its design brief. It’s meant to be a bike to race or ride fast, and as that it works as well as any we’ve seen. Push the pedals round and you go — fast. Steer into corners and it happens. It gets on and does it right — exactly what you want for race- or day-long comfort.
Getting specific, our bike worked superbly. The XTR rear mech danced across the 11-34 MegaRange cassette, though for once, the light weight of the bike meant that we didn’t need that bale-out gear any where near as much as we have before. This was a bike to stand up and sprint up hills on, but one that would still descend excellently, tracking surely, braking perfectly and with the SID forks doing a perfect balancing act of suspending yet not nodding under sprints. For a while you truly believe you’re capable of making it as a top racer. It’s that good.
A top quality, well executed frame from a supplier that you might not have considered before. Worth seeking out for people wanting to build their own low-weight dream bike. Don’t jump it, just ride it. Easton Elite’s plenty strong, but think breadstick rather than baguette.