Photos: Ben Winder
The Bluepig hardtail from Ragley has always been a solid ‘hardcore’ rider’s frame and the 2013 updated version is every bit as good as the original. This is about as capable, and also bombproof, as hardtail trail bikes come.
Earlier this year we introduced the Bluepig from Ragley Bikes, a frame that begs to be thrashed and that’ll serve the needs of even the hardest of hardcore trail riders. Since then we’ve had a fair amount of time on a variety of terrain and in differing conditions.
Triple-butted 4130 cromoly steel tubes and a slack 66.5º head angle hint at the bike’s intentions, but how does it ride on the trails?
Our revised Bluepig 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!
Ragley’s own description of the 2013 Bluepig makes the bike’s desired rider quite clear. This is a frame aimed at those with an aggressive slant to their time on the bike – and therefore a competent one who is used to riding at higher speeds – who wants to absolutely thrash the trails on a dependable frame.
Ragley Bluepig vitals
Head angle: 66.5º
Seat tube angle: 72º
Sizes: 14, 16, 18, 20”
Wheels: 26” only
Wheelbase: 1084mm (14”) – 1146mm (20”)
Reach: 369mm (14”) – 423mm (20”)
Colours: Black/Blue or Yellow/Blue
Brake: Post mount, max size disc 180mm
Fork: Recommended 130/140mm with external headset, 150/160mm with internal headset
Clearance: Maximum 2.5” rear tyre
Features: ISCG 05 chainguide tabs, bolt on cable guides
Out on the trails, the Bluepig proved to be every bit as confidence inspiring as claimed. Solid yet reasonably forgiving thanks to the frame’s materials and construction, we were able to throw the bike around and hit the highest of speeds and hardest of turns.
When out of the seat and hitting the pedals hard, the Bluepig is thriving. It’s a bike that likes to be up to speed. Just as it enjoys going fast, tip the trail and head downward and turns are a dream, as far as hardtails go this one certainly works. The forgiving nature of the cromoly tubes also takes the edge off slippery roots and rocks, increasing grip and of course the bike’s appeal to UK riders. It’s not an incredibly light beast but that really shouldn’t be too much of a consideration when the main priority is hitting a ride hard.
Aesthetically is perhaps where the Bluepig falls down, in our opinion at least. The main frame looks good with its neat tubing and dipped top tube for increased standover, but the curvy seat and chain stays are a matter of taste.
It’s not necessarily a bike for everyone either. At lower speeds the Bluepig feels a little cumbersome, and equally on the pedal up it certainly isn’t a bounding with enthusiasm. If you are all about the overall ride experience – that is, you enjoy the pedal up and flatter mellow rides just as much as the descents – then you will be better off going for the Bluepig’s sibling, the Piglet. If you are all about the fast, punchy rides out of the saddle and flinging yourself downhills, then you will absolutely love the 2013 Bluepig.
At £350 for the frame, it is neither dear nor bargain for a frame built in the far-east, but being built on the solid side and from every hardcore rider’s favourite material, the Bluepig should stand up to every bit of abuse you can throw at it, making it a long-term investment worth consideration. Each Ragley frame comes with a five-year warranty as well, which is good to know.
The Bluepig does what it is intended for very well. It’s a capable and confident hardcore trail bike that will serve faster, descent-hungry riders very well.