Top Ten Euro 29″er Products of 2011: 2SoulCycles Quarterhorse 29″er: by c_g

Editor’s Note: Yes…..more Top Ten Lists! This time from our European contributor, c_g. His unique perspective on 29?er products has been tapped to give us a look at what he felt were the best products he tested in 2011. Keep in mind that some of these products are available in Europe only.

1. The product had to be in the review process during the time period of December 2010 through to the end of November 2011. Reviews that are currently in process were not included and will be eligible for a 2011 Top Ten list.

2. They had to be products or bicycles that c_g personally used during this period. Nothing any of the other Twenty Nine Inches staff reviewed on their own could be considered for this list. This list doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone but c_g.

3. The reviewed products were provided to Twenty Nine Inches at no charge for review. We were not paid or bribed for these reviews. We will give/gave our honest opinion or thoughts through out.

That said, let’s get on with this……


Number 3: 2SOULSCYCLES Quarterhorse: What may have been called the “Year of the Carbon 29″er hardtail” (proof lays in the multiple introductions in 2011), took a surprising turn later this year with the introduction of several interesting new steel bikes. Many of them are what would be considered long travel bikes. And the 2SOULSCYCLES Quarterhorse belongs into that category.

21_QHWhy It Made The List: The first one of this new breed of long travel hard tails I had ever ridden was the ON-ONE Ti LT back in 2010, and it has been fun to ride. But the 2SOULSCYCLES took that approach a whole lot further and with a lot more consistency resulting in the Quarterhorse. With that they created a bike that combines two properties that I felt competing (if not rivaling) before – AGILITY and CONTROL. I cannot name another hard tail that so willingly tackles tough terrain and will take you through safely. It was a blast to ride!!

My Two Cents: The Quarterhorse dares to be different. With its slack angles (67.5° head angle and ~71° seat angle all with a 140 mm fork), the really short rear end (in production 419 to 433 mm) the Quaterhorse rides like no bike I have ever tested before. The frame details are a custom tube set with large diameters (customized for each size), a smart angled 2-piece seat tube (with an open bottom end and fully insert-able seat post), a PF92 bottom bracket with a plate style front part of the right CS for incredible tire clearance and beautifully sculptured sliding dropouts …. only to name the most important ones. Oh, and not to forget the super cool branded leather sleeve on the DT and the ultra durable ceramic coating (upgrade option).

23  QH

On their website 2SOULSCYCLES claim they “want to put a smile on the riders´ face with the bike” – and they did!! The Quarterhorse is surprisingly agile handling bike. It steers quicker than any 29″er I have ridden before, but under an experienced rider its capacity to rip the trails is breathtaking. I can hardly remember taking corners at such speeds and tackling
nasty terrain with that much confidence before (on a hard tail that is). By the sliding dropouts one can tune the handling from ultra quick to moderately agile. With the rear wheel tucked
in all the way it climbs better than expected but in the long position It even climbs decent for the super short rear end. When put into “long mode” (438 mm on my rig), it actually climbed
rather nicely. When going uphill the bike always felt … well … it felt like the bike was bored by such profane action as going uphill . When pointed downhill or in technical sections it sprang to life BIG time – that is what the Quarterhorse lives for. I could tell that this bike is made for technical sections, tough alpine trails (where it matters little if you take a little longer to get there) or simply for ripping your home single trails.

22 QH

The bike requires a riding style with a central riding position and responds nervously when unweighting the front too much but that is what the 140 mm fork is for. I did try the
Quarterhorse with shorter fork and lighter wheels but felt the bike was lacking control then.

The 2SOULSCYCLES is a very interesting bike that loves hard riding and technical sections and is a better overall bike than anticipated. This bike provides superior agility and a very high level of control. In technical sections it is one of the funnest hard tails I have ridden. In my opinion it is not a bike that will allow a novice to ride its full potential, but in some experienced hands it will take the rider to levels formerly unknown.

Note: The 2SOULCYCLES Quarterhorse (ridden in a near production sample) is already produced and only requires finishing touches before becoming available very early next year.

For the corresponding posts see: here and here

Stay tuned to find out our other picks as we continue our countdown of our two Top Picks for 2011!