The 13 Incline Alpha is an impressive stride into high end bikes from the Halfords-exclusive brand
The 13 range of bikes sees Halfords take its in-house products higher end. This pretty Incline frame is a perfect example of the new direction, with a curved top tube that blends seamlessly into the rear triangle.
Our size 19.5in test bike looked like a big ol’ girl, but she’s far from a barge in the saddle, actually proving surprisingly nimble. So while it looks like there’s a lot of metal on show, the scales don’t lie, and with an all-up weight of 14kg this is a very light sub-£500 bike when you take sizing into account.
Best of all, the 13 offers a really enjoyable ride, with a tightly controlled front end helped no doubt by the impressive 120mm Suntour Raidon fork. Frame stiffness is good, too. Special mention should also go to the excellent WTB Trail Boss Comp tyres that cope well with a variety of conditions.
Even with the extra cushioning of the fat 2.25in tyres, the relatively large, solid frame, allied with that responsive rear end, means that this is one of the harshest bikes on test — your backside really does get a bit of a pounding.
While that’s a fair trade-off, less acceptable is a spec-related issue. The Clarks Exo disc brakes offer passable modulation but absolute stopping power is underwhelming. The diddy two-finger levers don’t help, either. Meanwhile the inclusion of a Suntour rather than Shimano chainset is an obvious cost-cutting measure.
Those blemishes aside, this is a really positive debut from 13. The Incline Alpha is a very assured machine that, with a bit of tweaking, could be not just different, but top dog in this test.