Chances are we might be facing an important moment in the bicycle industry, as Eastern Europe realized that its lower cost of labor combined with the possibility to transfer manufacturing technologies and know-how used by big producers makes for an option worth investigating. So, with all these assets behind it, one of the most important Romanian players from the local bicycle market launched the Devron brand, with the Riddle H6.7 as one of its hallmarks, and main contender in the lower 27.5 inch mountain bike segment.
Frame/On the trail
Even for an untrained eye, it’s obvious from the first moment that Riddle H6.7 scores a lot of points in regard of visual appearance, even if there can be found different small painting flaws every here and there. However, the manufacturer payed a lot of attention to the various finishings of the frame, such as the welds, and for a bike that sets you back around 600 euros, we reckon they hardly could have done a better job.
Despite its lack of a tapered head tube, the stiffness level is of 87.2 Nm/degree, which secures a middle place in the frame ranking for the central component of the Riddle H6.7. Now pair this up with the 1.73-kilogram weight, and we get a mountain bike that provides optimum performance for persons that don’t exceed a body mass of 90 kilograms.
Well, if figures built the Riddle H6.7 a good image, the on-trail testing revealed the bike’s full calling. It’s not the most responsive mountain bike out there, but it excels in terms of comfort, even if the position it provides tends to be closer to a sporty one. Trail-ripping isn’t recommended, and probably not even possible with it, as the head and seat tube angles have stability in mind, and neither does the 14-kilogram overall weight of the bike encourage such behaviour. However, justice is served downhill, where the higher stability it features kicks in, and, together with the 680mm handlebar and 75mm stem, offers outstanding handling.
Actually, the strongest asset of this bike is the components’ list, that stars an interesting, yet functional 3×9 drivetrain. On one hand you have the SRAM components, an X7 front derailleur, and a pair of X5 shifters, on the other a Shimano Altus rear derailleur, although the bike could have used a higher-level one, and rounding-up the ensemble, a Suntour XCM crankset. While shifting has its flaws, like the lack of speed or accuracy, the crankset definitely is a drag only by its weight, since it and the bottom bracket add a substantial 1.251 grams to the overall weight.
Not a surprise for this level, the fork also comes from Suntour, but this time it belongs to the decent XCR range, that knows what a lock-out remote is, and features a useful 120mm travel. However, you’ll have to adjust your expectations in terms of rebound speed, since a succession of bumps on the trail will prove to be too much for this fork. Also, when you’ll be asking yourself why is this bike so hard to push forward uphill, remember the 2.48 kilograms the fork alone weighs.
The brakes provide good performance and stop the bike in time even when it’s ridden by heavier blokes, this feat being accomplished thanks to the 180mm front rotor, and to the 160mm rear one, that you can swap with an 180mm one at any moment you feel it’s not enough.
Last but not least, WTB’s Wolverine SS tires help you pedal faster thanks to their good rolling speed, and grip on climbs, but there is the price to pay, and in this case it’s the cornering grip, which isn’t that reliable…
Devron Riddle H6.7 deserves our respect mainly for the good value offer it represents. There’s hardly any other better deal than this around-600-euro-priced bike out there, and you should bear in mind that it also bridges the recreational/entry-level and the mid-level. That means some upgrade, namely in what regards the fork or crankset, will turn this bike into something you’ll enjoy for a long period to come.
Purpose: Recreational, entry-level XC