- Dialled Bikes Morning Glory
- £750 (frame only)
- Dialled Bikes
We tested Dialled Bikes’s Kobe Ti a little while ago. The Kobe’s a short and tight technical trail bike, but its compact style isn’t to everyone’s taste. Which is where the new Morning Glory comes in. It’s Dialled’s version of a more conventional XC hardtail. But Dialled doesn’t really do conventional…
The Kobe Ti bears a resemblance to Litespeed’s Kitsuma. The Morning Glory is an altogether more straightforward frame – no curved top tubes here. There’re a couple of design cues from other bikes. The general profile is a bit Kona and the extended seat tube and high-set seatstay junction is a smidge Rocky Mountain. But the front end gussets and stout Ti tubing are pure Dialled.
Geometry-wise the Morning Glory is another mix of the conventional and unconventional. The 73.5degree seat angle is towards the steeper end of the spectrum, the 23.5in top tube (on the Large frame – 22.9in on the Medium) is on the long side, 16.5in stays on the short side and the 70degree head angle is entirely normal. What’s a bit less normal is that the frame’s designed to take a 125mm fork.
In many ways it’s similar to the Cotic Soul, only in titanium. It’s not quite as long or as steep, but it’s along similar lines. The long in the middle, short at the ends setup is intended to give sharp handling even with the long fork combined with good climbing ability.
The back end is disc-specific, with no V bosses. Shaped stays give plenty of clearance and at the business end there are sturdy dropouts and clearance for up to 165mm brake rotors.
Detailing and finish is good, with a couple of little niggles. We’d like to see the seat clamping slot at the front of the seat tube, and if you ever have to shoulder the bike you’ll find the rear cable stops digging in to said joint. And we’ve seen neater welds but for the asking price we’re not going to complain. Overall it’s a tidily put together, good looking frame.
The Morning Glory is a frame-only deal, so we’re not going to discuss components at length. The XT/XTR mix, Fox TALAS fork, Conti tyres and Hope brakes on the test bike give you an idea of where Dialled is coming from, though. It’s all proven, reliable stuff.
There are bikes that ride as you expect them to, and bikes that don’t. The Morning Glory is one of the former, and that’s a good thing. Its most distinctive characteristic is its razor-sharp handling. Bikes with 5in travel forks just shouldn’t be able to change direction as well as this, but the Morning Glory does. A couple of our test rides were on that uniquely slippery surface that results when a dose of drizzle lands on top of hard-baked singletrack, and the Glory’s lightning reactions saved more than a couple of washouts. The relatively steep seat angle and short stem keep a healthy amount of weight over the front end, saving you the trouble of hauling yourself up front in corners to make the front wheel stick. It’s still more of a carver than a flicker, but we don’t have a problem with that.
The long cockpit and short stays make for excellent climbing, too. Even with the fairly substantial wheel package on the test bike the Morning Glory had a definite spring in its step, and it’s easy to find traction – if the back wheel starts to slip a quick and easy weight shift’ll get it biting again. And it holds an uphill line as well as any short-forked XC bike.
The only downside of the layout is that the long cockpit reduces the scope to get way over the back on really steep drops. But there’s enough composure (and fork travel) to let you stay centred and keep the speed up through most things.
It’s comfy, too. How much of that’s down to the Ti and how much is down to big tyres and a load of seatpost sticking out is debatable, but it’s certainly pretty compliant somewhere between the ground and the rider and not at the expense of effort-flattering stiffness.
The Morning Glory isn’t the first budget long-forked Ti XC frame, but it takes the concept further than most – with a 125mm travel fork it handles like most bikes with an 80mm travel fork. Like Dialled’s Kobe Ti it’s not a complete all-rounder – it’s most at home on sweeping, rolling singletrack where you can keep the speed up and lean it over in turns. We like it a lot, and at the price you can hardly go wrong…