Some great kit adorning the aluminium alloy frame
Sitting like a shining beacon at the top of their range is the Insync Riddick RD900. Some great kit adorning the aluminium alloy frame.
Insync Riddick RD900 need to know
- UK designed, 27.5” specific alloy frame
- RockShox Reba suspension fork provides 100mm of plush travel
The hardtail scene in the UK is a tough egg to crack if you want your bike to be the one everyone wants to ride. Insync is a pretty new face but has high hopes with its new, UK designed Riddick range. Glance at the spec sheet and it has some great kit adorning the unspecified aluminium alloy frame. There’s a complete Shimano XT M8000 1×11 groupset, brakes, bottom bracket and all. As well as a RockShox Reba suspension fork with remote lockout.
The frame, resplendent in a lush black and petrol green paintjob has a purposeful and chunky rear triangle for efficient power transfer. This is coupled with a clean looking front end thanks to internal cable routing. Curiously there is only provision for mounting one bottle cage. But this oddity doesn’t stop there. The internal routing is pretty crude, consisting of just an open port at the top with no guide and a vast chasm of a hole near the bottom bracket for the cables to come out of. I can’t help but wonder why a bike designed for the UK ended up with a design that encourages water and mud to end up sitting in the frame. For a bike costing £1599 we would expect at least a Boost and bolt thru back end, sadly this is missing from the Riddick. Instead we have a budget 135mm quick release system.
With so many great hardtails on the market, many costing less than a third of the price of the RD900, I was hoping to be blown away by the ride quality. Instead I was left with a feeling that whoever designed it has somehow been locked in a cupboard since 2005 and has had no dealings with modern mountain bikes, let alone a UK hardtail. The ride quality is harsh to the point that the rear wheel wouldn’t track in a straight line on anything other than smooth trails. This is compounded by the high and long handlebar position thanks to the positive rise 75mm stem. The grips were so thin that every rock and root was fedback to your hands despite the RockShox Reba suspension fork doing a sterling effort to stem the impacts. And let’s not get started with the severely old-fashioned and limiting geometry or the fact the seatpost was so short that I was unable to get the saddle height anywhere near my normal position (and yes, I would normally ride a large).
In fact, the only saving grace of the RD900 came in the shape of some of the components its high cost allowed it to spec. Namely the RockShox fork and the faultless Shimano XT M8000 groupset.
Insync is bankrolled by one of the largest bicycle manufacturers in the world in the form of Indian brand Hero. So here’s hoping that they go back to the drawing board, use some of that budget to find out what actually works for the UK and next year bring us a bike for the future; not one dragged up from the past.