Rotwild RCC 07 bike test - Bike Magic

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Rotwild RCC 07 bike test

Rotwild RCC 07

Price: £1995 complete, £1295 frame and shock kit

Frame: 7020 T6 Aluminium

Fork: Rock Shox Judy 100 Race

Shock: Rock Shox SID XC

Stop: XT

Go: XT

Wheels: DT Onyx hubs, DT spokes, X221 rims, Wildgripper XLs tyres

Trim: Pace stem, Easton Monkey bars, Roox seatpost, Giro Nisene saddle

Total weight: 26.5lb complete

From: Iddon Racing 01663 742844, Rotwild@iddon.co.uk

Simple but supremely effective.
Test logbook

Thrash round the local test trails. Hard and dry so lots of high speed root and rut action, plus plenty of steps, dives and technical verts both up and down.

The Reason

Rotwild have been establishing a quietly respected reputation for typically teutonic handbuilt engineering efficiency for several years now, achieving performance through impeccable execution rather than any radical design. The RCC has been gradually refined and evolved throughout that time although basic frame layout has remained the same.

The Rig

It’s a simple and well proven suspension design that causes miniumum mainframe disturbance for 100mm travel. Top tube and large guage down tube are custom butted with a large throat gusset supporting the oversized, internally butted headtube that carries the integrated Cane Creek headset.

Impeccably smooth work from the neatly cradled SID

The SID shock sits in a bolted triangular cradle, mounted on a lightweight single position shoe welded to the downtube, with bottle cage bosses sat above it. The short stub of seat tube splits into two ‘legs’ to straddle the shock and join the main tube above the bottom bracket shell. The large cartridge bearing swingarm pivots sits slightly behind but level with the middle ring to produce a constantly active ride. 

Fully active ride with cartridge bearing smoothness and tracking accuracy.

Rear of a very neatly machined chainstay / main pivot section, the rear subframe uses conventional tubing, gently worked for heel and crank clearances, and large crisp cut dropouts carry replaceable gear hangers and disc brake bosses respectively. Rotwild also build a larger swingarm for the two larger sizes to make sure everything works in proportion. Cantilever bosses are fitted but there are twist and release cable / hose clips ready for disc duty. The only gripe are the cable stops for the under top tube cabling which can make shouldering painful. Luckily it’s a good enough cimber to make such instances very rare.

The Ride

German car drivers go on about the reassuring “clunk” of their doors, we suspect Rotwild owners talk about the amazing small bump suppleness of their bikes. SID shocks typically run best with the negative spring pumped to 20psi more than the positive spring but anything more than equal pressures in the RCC are just way too active, espescially under lumpy pedallers. Pedal smooth though and the Rotwild, flies, chattering over loose rocks, roots or riverbed wash with constant traction that left our chase hardtail skittering in it’s wake.

Reach on our test bike was slightly short due to an in-line post, (it’s a full length 590mm centre to centre) but with plenty of weight over the front wheel and a dirty great pair of Easton risers, the tyre could be ripped through corners well beyond the limits of the Michelin’s rather flexy outer tread. Highly accurate tracking from the rigid frame sections and large diameter pivot allies with the supple suspension to make the most of the tyres though, flowing smoothly across off-line inteference and extending immeadiately into the smallest undulations. For a relatively light bike (standard build with SIDs and flat bars is 25lb minus pedals) it’s highly placeable and even with such supple suspension early in the travel it’ll take hefty strikes – even repetitive ones – in it’s stride once you’ve settled in the right part of the wide damping range of the SID.

The XT based spec is absolutely flawless in transmission terms, though we’d spend extra and fit some lightweight disc brakes such as Hope’s new Mini system to make the most of the precision handling. Roox kit is quality Austrian gear and the Giro saddle is a fine all day perch. The tyres are a bit wayward for our tastes, with flexy tread spilling out even in bone dry conditions, but you’ll probably have a favourite rubber set up already if you’re keen enough to be shelling out £2000.

If you want anything changing, Paul will be happy to build up a bike to your exact spec. as well as fettling shocks and forks to your needs if you go and pick the bike up from him in the Peak District.

For those with a heavier wallet wanting a lighter bike, the RCC 09 uses Rotwild’s own externally and internally butted “channel tubing” in the same frame layout, with the addition of an assymetrical swingarm to shave weight as well as 15mm longer “competition” top tube. This 5.3lb frameset will set you back £1495.

Verdict:
Another light but super capable suspension bike for smooth pedalling riders. Simple suspension layout still delivers astonishingly plush travel from the smallest ripples right through to fair sized strikes, while the neatly excecuted frame tracks straight and true well after the tyres are scrabbling sideways. The all rounder ride position makes it a great choice for combative day riding and responsive handling makes it an excellent speed singletracking rig.

Performance: 4.5/5
Value: 3.5/5

For more details on this and the rest of the range check out Rotwild Website but we’ll have a write up of the bigger hitting RFR Freeride bike next week.

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