The RAM HT One.2 is the sort of hardtail you’d buy for weekend breaks, and maybe for racing in a couple of amateur competitions, but basicly it serves for taking the step from the mass-market bikes to something purpose-built, with a spec chart slightly different from what you’d expect. The paint job helps the HT One.2 stand out, with its blue and yellow colours nicely decorating the frame, but you’ll soon find out how well does the Eastern-European contender perform.
Frame/On the trail
Firstly, we appreciated that the HT One.2 isn’t overloaded with graphic elements that would make you think you’re dealing with a higher-placed model. The Bulgarian manufacturer went by the idea to keep things simple and clean, even more so due to the fact that we’re facing a mountain bike oriented to leisure rather than to racing. Passing on to technical details, after the paintjob you can notice the quality welds of the tubes, and the 2 places where you can fit water bottle cages, of which only 1 is actually useable, the other being obstructed by the front derailleur’s clamp. In addition, extra credits go to the dropouts, while the lack of a rack-mounting space indicates that the mountain bike isn’t designed for carrying heavy luggage.
Further more, the lab test data only confirmed what we suspected about this frame. With a stiffness of 115.4 Nm/degree and a stiffness-to-weight ratio of 54.9 Nm/degree/kg, the HT One.2’s frame places higher than XC purpose-built frames that we tested this year. RAM seems to have taken very seriously its mission to bulid quality bikes, and the fact that the power you put into pedalling doesn’t get wasted only improves the experience of riding this model.
The position on the bike is comfortable, rather compact we might say, with your back being slightly bent forward. With its 60mm, the Easton stem offers the bike good maneuverability, along with the 71 degrees of the head tube angle, and the 680mm wide handlebar. However, when riding uphill, the only help you’ll get is from the 73 degrees of the seat tube angle, things like the 14.04 kilograms weight fitting in the area of burdens.
Comparing the specifications chart with the bike’s overall price, it’s easy to figure out that we have in front of us a product of good value. The components work together in a fine manner, but do not expect high performance out of them, as you’ll get none. For example, the XC 28 TK suspension fork stands as a progress compared to previous generation RAMs, yet the 100mm travel seems to be insufficient sometimes as responsivness is missing on slightly bumpy trails. You can get some solace in the fact that you at least have a rebound adjustment, however.
SRAM’s 3×8 drivetrain sits somewhere besides Shimano’s Acera and Alivio range, as it’s comprised out of a X4 rear derailleur and a X3 front one. The two do their job rather noisy and slow, with shifting under stress being more of a tricky matter that you might want to avoid, but you do have a gear index on the shifters if that helps you in any way. The S600 PS crankset also belongs to the entry-level range, tipping the scale at 889 grams, bottom bracket not included. This latter piece adds an extra of 353 grams to the bike.
With unconvincing modulation, but a 180mm rotor that doesn’t hesitate to show it’s strength, the Avid Elixir 1 brakes are above the range to which the bikes belongs to, especially given that difficult trails that include long and steep descents won’t be present on the „menu”.
As for the wheels, the HT One.2 scores big points, featuring a set with Novatec hubs, double wall WTB rims, and a pair of Maxxis Cross Mark tires. In this configuration, the wheels weigh 4,6 kilograms, which surely doesn’t make them weight champions, but you can rely on the strength of the set, doubled by the good grip and high rolling speed of the tires.
Last, but not least, the WTB Rocket V Comp saddle offers you above-average comfort, unlike the handlebar grips which fail to do so, but thank God replacing the parts exists!
Judging by HT One.2’s price , the bike is more than a fair deal. Adding the sporty frame, nice visual look, decent components, and a stiffness that outpasses many competitors, this model almost reaches the demands of a racing bike. So, the perks that RAM brought us in the past years are still present, but the entry-level bike still has its downsides, like the front derailleur.
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