Building up steel hardtails is something that we Brits seem to love doing. There is a massive choice out there, so picking the right one, with trail-friendly geometry, can be challenging, but the revised version of the Ragley Piglet 2 claims to have that covered.
It has lots of small details that keep it UK winter-friendly, like the massive mud clearance with the ‘three finger’ chainstay bridge and the very tidy cable guides under the top tube for the full-length gear cable outer to keep the gunk out.
The oversized steel tubing certainly removes most of the flex associated with the slimmer steel frames, and with the use of triple-butted 4130 tubing, the frame tries to manage its pork. At 2.5kg it’s no featherweight, but being designed around a burly 140mm fork, you wouldn’t want it to be. And with an oversized 44mm head tube, you have lots of fork steerer tube options; you can fit a 1 1/8in, tapered or 1.5in fork by simply using different headsets. Our test bike came fitted with a RockShox Sektor, which, for a mid-priced fork, performed really well.
However, the 16in bike felt a tad cramped for me at 5ft 11in, so the 18in would have been a better option, giving me some extra length in the cockpit to move around. This jump up in size would also add 20mm to the wheelbase for improved stability at speed, as the 16in felt a bit like a rollerskate on the more technical descents.