Back in the ring to defend its 2016 Hardtail of the Year title.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Ragley Marley

Weight:
Weight:

Pros:

  • Amazing cornering ability and handling prowess.

Cons:

  • A wider bar and dropper post would be welcome.

Product:

Ragley Marley (2017) review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£999.99

In association with Sombrio

For the 2017 Ragley Marley the biggest change is the rejigged frame sizing. Gone is the XS size option, making way for an XL.

Each frame size has increased in length too, a change that should bring the Marley in line with modern standards, while delivering added real estate for taller riders. However, the Marley still felt small compared to some of the other bikes here.

Even if a little short, the Marley maintains its incredible trail prowess, thanks to a low bottom bracket and slack head angle.

When the terrain gets rowdy, it never feels fazed, and its ability to rail corners is simply unrivalled in this category.


Watch now: Hardtail of the year 2017


With such a cool head at speed, a wider handlebar would be welcome — the 740mm was occasionally overwhelmed.

There’s no faulting Ragley’s tyre choice, though. With a potential pinch-flat around every corner, the tougher casing WTB Trail Boss rear tyre gives this bike an edge.

Up front, the lightweight Vigilante provides ample grip, and it helps too that both are tubeless ready.

>>> Should you switch to tubeless tyres?

The title fight between the Ragley and Norco Fluid HT+ 7.2 went the full 12 rounds, and was eventually decided on points… the extra comfort and the addition of a dropper post clinching it for the Norco in the red corner.

Review by Charlie Collins

ragley marley

Details

Frame:Custom butted 6061-T1 aluminium
Fork:Manitou Minute Comp, 130mm travel
Wheels:Novatec hubs, WTB STP i23 rims, WTB Vigilante/Trail Boss 27.5x2.3/2.25in tyres
Drivetrain:FSA Comet chainset, SRAM NX shifters and r-mech
Brakes:Shimano M506 Deore, 180/160mm
Weight:12.85kg (28.3lb)
Sizes:S, M, L, XL
Size tested:Large
  • Seamus Fitzpatrick

    Rode the Piglet in Innleithan and had the most fun ever on a hardtail. I imagine this is about the same. Probably slightly more forgiving since its alu and not steel. Still think that manitou’s stink. Tried most from the minute to the mattoc and there too plush or for the more expensive Mattoc is completely unresponsive. Just stick a yari on and ill pay the extra.

  • Plyphon

    I can’t think of a similar Canyon hard tail. All Canyon’s offers are traditional XC mile munchers. Not modern, slack trail rides.

  • Steve Lesson

    Spec not that great compared to Rose and Canyon. Why would you?