Two Very Different Beasts Part 2: Ragley Blue Pig 2013

It’s been several weeks now (well, probably more than that) since we introduced the Pipedream Sirius Ti that forms one half of our experiment into the world of hardtails and the traits that can make them so very different. This time we bring you a glance at the Ragley Blue Pig, more of a ‘hardcore hardtail’ than the fast and nimble titanium Pipedream and a bike that begs to be thrashed, jumped and muscled around.

Ragley Blue Pig 2013. Photo © Ben Winder
Ragley Blue Pig 2013.
Photo © Ben Winder

Firstly we will recap on the basis of this comparison, and remember that these are only two of the many different hardtails with equally as many applications that are out there. With an abundance of efficient and cheap full suspension bikes out there we thought it time to recap on the strengths and also the limits of the humble hardtail. 

The experiment – order of proceedings

We have these two hardtails in to compare their ride characters and see just how much difference there can be between two different rigid frames.

We started by introducing you to the Sirius, now we’ll move onto the Blue Pig. Once we’ve given them a good testing we’ll compare the two. Finally, we’ll finish by making a comparison against a full-suspension trail bike of similar price.

Ragley Blue Pig – the introduction

What is it?

It’s a hardcore hardtail. Steel framed, low-slung and with the capabilities to take a long-travel fork up front. As Ragley puts it, “The slack head angle and inclusion of ISCG 05 tabs hint at this bike’s true intentions for getting lairy on the trails and hammering the descents”.

1.5 headtube allows for all headset combinations and is burly enough for long travel forks to be fitted. Photo © Ben Winder
1.5 headtube allows for all headset combinations and is burly enough for long travel forks to be fitted.
Photo © Ben Winder

Who’d ride it? 

The Blue Pig is aimed at a rider who thrashes the downhills, hits all the jumps and makes their way to the top at a steady pace. It isn’t light, nor does it specify a particular riding bracket. It does it all.

The best bits

-       It’s ‘real in steel’
-       It’ll take all headset combinations (1.125, tapered or 1.5)
-       It’ll take all the thrashings you can throw at it and with a longer travel-adjust fork fitted it becomes quite a versatile beast
-       Although it won’t get you up the hills particularly fast, you’ll get there eventually and once there you’ll be able to fly downhill carefree
-       British roots in the company, although these are manufactured in the Far East, just as the Pipedream is. Not a bad thing
-       The steel tubes are forgiving across rough ground compared to aluminium and cheaper than titanium
-       Large clearance at the rear wheel allows for bigger tyres to be used and there’s space for either a chain device or front derailleur

Plenty of tyre clearance here and at the chainstays, thanks in part to Ragley's 'Three Finger' chainstay bridge. More on that in the full test. Photo © Ben Winder
Plenty of tyre clearance here and lower down at the chainstays, thanks in part to Ragley’s ‘Three Finger’ chainstay bridge. More on that in the full test.
Photo © Ben Winder

Blue Pig stats

Price: £349.99
Made of: 4130 Chromoly steel
Recommended fork travel:130mm – 160mm (dependent on whether you opt for an external or internal lower headset cup)
Four sizes: 14, 16, 18 and 20″
Vitals: 66.5º head angle, 72º seat angle, max tyre size 2.5”, ISCG 05 chain device tabs
Weight: 2.64kg/5.82lb (size 16”)

Post brake mount with room for a 180mm disc. Photo © Ben Winder
Post brake mount with room for a 180mm disc.
Photo © Ben Winder

What Ragley say about their Blue Pig

“Our revised Blue Pig geometry retains a slack head angle of 66.5deg yet drops the bottom bracket height to lower your centre of gravity and inspire confidence through the rough stuff. When coupled with a mid to long travel fork, the improved geometry results in impeccable trail manners, handling and stability which should see you go up, along and down faster than ever before!”

More information: Ragley Blue Pig

Look out for the full tests coming soon (honest) and our comparison between the Two Very Different Beasts.

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