We brought you the first glimpse of Pace’s full-suspension bike last summer, at which point we were told that it’d be available in Spring 2007. Here we are in Spring 2007 and, yes, production frames are on their way – they’ll be on Pace dealers’ shop floors in about four weeks.
The development process has resulted in a few changes. Possibly the most obvious (although let’s be honest, least important) is that the name’s changed. The prototype was badged up as RC400, this final pre-production bike is a Pace RC405. The most visible changes to the actual construction are the rocker arms. There are two of these, with the DT shock mounted between them so it’s activated from both ends. The production linkages are forged and machined for minimum weight, with the lower on in particular being somewhat intricate in order to accommodate the front mech in all gear combinations and through the whole range of travel. Getting that bit right caused Pace’s Adrian Carter a few late nights…
Travel is 130mm to complement the RC41 fork up front. Beefier longer-travel and lighter shorter-travel versions are in the works, although we reckon that the 405 will fit the bill for the majority of riders. Frame weight is, apparently, a bit over 6lb including the shock.
All the pivots run on sealed bearing units, and they’re protected from the elements by additional O-rings behind the alloy bearing caps. Dropouts are replaceable on both sides, potentially giving scope for future through-axle upgrades. More importantly, having the entire dropout replaceable gives a stiffer derailleur mount than just having a replaceable hanger.
Cable routing has migrated south since the prototype, with production frames running full-length housings routed under the BB. This makes a lot of sense to us – it’s the most direct route from shifter to mechs, especially for the front derailleur, and there’ll be no top-tube mounted cable stops to bang your knees on or get in the way of your light batteries.
On the subject of batteries, there’s an additional cable guide out of harm’s way right at the front of the top tube for securing light cables to – beats wrapping them around the stem…
The price has crept up a bit from the sub-£1,000 target, but still seems entirely reasonable – a white-painted frame with DT Swiss HVR200 shock will be £1,195 or you can get the very smart pewter-anodised finish shown here for an extra £100.
We’ve no idea what it rides like, with our direct experience amounting to about 20 yards across a slightly bumpy field, but non-Pace-affiliated test riders spoke well of it, it feels like a handy kind of shape and it bounces up and down in a well-balanced manner. We’ll have a proper test soon.