If matching pedals, cranks, and cockpit to your frame is more important than gelling your hair, then you’re going to seriously fall for the Radon Slide 150 8.0 HD, with its bright anodized components and stylish decals. But while a bike’s looks can be a bit of a marmite question, no one can argue with a bike’s performance on the trails.
Radon have always been admired for creating superbly specced bikes with unrivalled value for money – and this test bike is no exception. Looking at the wide Race Face cockpit, unwavering MAGURA MT5 brakes, RockShox suspension, and details like the E13 chainguide, it’s one giant promise of a great ride.
Despite the lack of platform damping on the budget Monarch Plus rear shock, the Slide climbs soundly, with a rear end that keeps planted no matter how much you’re grinding those pedals out of the saddle. When you finally reach the descent and plan to drop the Radon-branded dropper post, the harmony ends: dropping the post is easier said than done, requiring more than a little exertion. Once it’s down and you’re losing altitude, then expect to be surprised: despite the robust spec, the Slide doesn’t behave as you’d expect.
Direct, reactive, and engaging, it’s super-agile almost to the point of twitchiness, delivering very little stability once you’re at high speeds. There’s an absence of smoothness which can be traced back to the steep 67° head angle. You feel less a part of the bike, and more like you’re just on board the bike – and the bond of trust is glaringly missing when you’re taking corners at high speed. Both the fork and the rear shock are responsive, willingly dosing out travel with decent progression. The Motion Control damping on the Yari, however, is no match for the Charger unit on the PIKE, and gives far less ground feedback.
Details of the Radon Slide 150 8.0 HD
Effective: Despite the lack of platform damping, the Radon Slide is still a great pedaller on the climbs. Out of the saddle or on mega-steep ascents there’s little to no risk of twitchiness or losing traction.
Give it some welly: Using Radon’s own dropper seatpost demands a fair bit of exertion from the rider. Lightweight riders will struggle to lower the seatpost using just their body weight.
Powerful: The MAGURA MT5 brakes are a veritable anchor, bringing you reliably to a stop whatever the situation. They’re also easy to modulate, and are therefore arguably one of the best brakes on the market.
Too steep: The instability and nervous handling package can be traced back to the overly steep head angle and the high bottom bracket. Bikers who rides lots of technical uphills will like this setup.
Specification: Radon Slide 150 8.0 HD
- Fork: RockShox Yari RC 160 mm
- Shock: RockShox Monarch Plus R (150 mm rear wheel travel)
- Drivetrain: SRAM GX
- Brakes: Magura MT5
- Seatpost: JD Vario 100
- Stem: Race Face Turbine
- Handlebar: Race Face Turbine
- Tyres: Continental Trail King 2.4″
- Wheelsize: 27.5″
- Wheelset: DT Swiss E1900 Spline
- Weight: 13.94 kg
- Price: € 2,199
Conclusion for the Radon Slide 150 8.0 HD
Unfortunately, the Radon Slide 150 8.0 HD can’t live up to the promises made by its spec and image. When you’re faced with high speed technical sections, the bike rapidly reaches its limit; feeling more at home on tight and technical corners slower tight trails and mellow trails with plenty of opportunities for acceleration.
- Good spec
- Climbs well
- Comfortable riding position
- Not very stable or smooth
- Nervous handling
More information on the Slide 150 8.0 HD can be found on the Radon website.
This bike was part of our Group Test: Ten Trail & Enduro Bikes 2016 under €2599.
All bikes tested: Bergamont Trailster 6.0 | Canyon Spectral AL 7.0 EX | COMMENCAL Meta AM V4 | Focus SAM Ltd. | Ghost SL AMR 5 | GIANT Trance 2 Ltd | Propain Tyee Comp | Rose Uncle Jimbo 1 | Solid Magix Comp
Text & Photos: Christoph Bayer
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