There’s every possibility that you’ve never heard of Vario bikes. The French brand has had a UK presence best described as “sporadic”, but now it’s having another stab at the UK under its own steam rather than relying on distributors.
The bikes cover the full gamut of styles, from the Diablo XC hardtail (£749 to £1,999) to the Harissa DH bike (£2,149 or £999 for frame). En route you’ll find the 5-6in Kaktus freeride bike (from £1,399 complete/£849 frame only), Skizo dirt jumper, Tequila freeride hardtail (from £l999 complete/£339 frame only) and Ikso XC full-susser (from £1,149).
As you’ll have guessed, any bike in the Vario range can be supplied frame-only. They’re certainly a distinctive bunch of bikes to which the term “Gallic flair” will probably inevitably be applied. In fact, there it was.
Vario is currently putting together a UK dealer network, but while they sort that out you can find out more from www.vario-bikes.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s also the address to use if you’re a UK downhiller looking for a sponsored ride – if you’ve got an impressive racing CV, send it there…