Pace's new RC429 looks great as a 120mm or 130mm mountain bike, but you can also get it as a "G-Pack" rigid fork gravel bike if you must

Do-it-all bikes are a big trend at the moment, across mountain bikes, e-bikes and beyond. That one singular bike that you can do ‘anything’ on. Whether it exists or is marketing fluff is for you to decide, but North Yorkshire-based Pace Cycles is convinced its new RC429 ‘Unicorn’ hardtail covers at least some of the ‘anything’. The brand is offering several build options, depending on what you fancy doing – trail riding, bikepacking, or even sticking some curly bars on and going for a gravel ride…whether that means it’ll compete with the best hardtail mountain bikes or lean towards bikepacking and gravel territory remains to be seen. Let’s dive into what we know so far.

Pace Cycles RC429 need to know:

  • Steel hardtail made from Reynold 853 tubing, with modern geometry
  • Three variations available: our pick is T Pack with a 130mm RockShox Pike
  • Or get the RC429 in D Pack with a DT Swiss 120mm XC fork or G Pack for gravel
  • 29in boost wheels with 148mm hub for stiffness, and multilple build options
  • 100-130mm travel across the range, ideal for a hardtail
  • Plenty of mounting options on frame and fork, for bikepacking trips
  • Slack and progressive geometry and £899 for frame only package
Pace RC429

Curly bars?! Yes…a bikepacking/gravel option for those of use who dabble in that sort of stuff.

The Pace Cycles RC429

The Yorkshire folk know their off-road. North Yorkshire may not be famed for the most technical trails in the world, but it’s got plenty of moorland, long swoopy trails at Dalby and lots of terrain that makes a hardtail a great choice in that part of the country. Pace Cycles is based in Thornton-Dale, and if you head to Dalby Forest you’ll probably pass them on the way in. The RC429 is the brand’s newest steel hardtail, with versatility seemingly at the forefront of its design.

The brand is offering three build variations to suit more riders: T Pack, which is a trail build, D Pack, for down-country, and G Pack for gravel. Within each of these there are also three build options, with different spec levels to suit more budgets and types of riders. That being said, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, Pace Cycles is happy to offer custom builds.

So what exactly is the RC429?

Pace RC429

Three variations on the RC429 make it accessible to more types of riders, including trail, downcountry, gravel and bikepackers.

Pace claim that it is, “designed to redefine what’s possible within this segment this model has a range of applications and builds from trail to bikepacking, flat bar to drops.”

It has its roots firmly in hardtail trail riding, but it’s being marketed as something more than just the lively short travel bike you take out on the weekends. The RC429 is the shorter travel sibling to their RC529 steel hardtail, and uses Reynold 853 steel tubing. It uses a progressive geometry, which changes depending on your build options. For example, a 130mm fork provides a 75° seat tube angle, compared to 75.5° for a 120mm fork.

It would take too long to go through all the spec options here, (and they’re listed on the website anyway), but it looks like the gravel build gives you the option to use flat or drop bars, the down-country build uses old-school XC inspiration combined with modern geometry, and the trail build optimises playfulness and agile handling. And if curly bars weren’t enough, you can also choose between rigid or suspension forks.

The prices start from £899 for the frameset alone, £1,734 for a rolling chassis, £3,279 for the T Pack, £3,229 for the D Pack, and £4,199 for the G Pack.

If aesthetics are important, then you’ve got three colours to choose from: Olive Green, Rioja Red and Sid Blue. All come with black decals under a gloss lacquer.

The bikes are expected to be available from March 2024 for the medium and large frames, and June 2024 for th small and XL sizes. Pre-orders are open now, and you can place a refundable deposit.