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Kingdom Bikes the 2.0 update, part two…

…ahh, a few weeks is a long time in Internet land…

You might remember last time we were looking at the latest bikes from Kingdom and I was wondering where the Brigante hardcore hardtail had gone from the custom line up? You’ll be pleased to hear it’s alive and well in the stock frame section.

Just to confirm; the Legion and D9 are still available with custom tweaks in a variety of wheel sizes (but still with the same geometry for the different sizes!). This week I was going to mention their stock frames, the most interesting of which is their very sexy looking 140mm travel, full sus,  27.5’er:

The Hex AM, a 140mm travel full suspension 27.5'er

The Hex AM, a 140mm travel full suspension 27.5’er

The Hex AM certainly represents a huge amount of work as the guys have developed their own suspension platform. It’s a virtual pivot system with the rear triangle being suspended from the frame on two links, similar to the DW Link concept or Giant’s Maestro system (but presumably different enough to avoid any patent worries). Needless to say they think their design is the best at anti bobbing, no squatee etc. (you can read the full juju over here http://www.kingdombike.com/TheKingdom/?p=1818 )

Personally, I’ve never been able to tell the odds between the different platforms, if the rear wheel goes up and down and it rides well then job’s a good’n… The one thing for sure is that Kingdom do have a bit of a scoop with a 27.5″, all mountain, full suspension titanium frame.

I’m only just coming to terms with 29’ers being more comfy to ride then 26’ers. Given the very small difference in overall diameter can the ride really be worth it for the 27.5″ size? Marketing departments of bike companies everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief that they can sell us the same thing all over again and call it the next big thing. Here’s to the next wheel size someone discovers in a few years time when we all have to start riding something that looks like my ‘nan’s old shopper…

Standards, you can never have too many of them 😉

The rest of the line up for their stock frames are a pair of carbon hardtail 29’ers, the Tech9:

The Tech9, light, but is it too light?

The Tech9, light, but is it too light?

and the Double9:

And the Double9 - but why?

And the Double9 – but why?

Now open mould Far Eastern carbon frames are pretty easy to come by – but the Tech9 is rather interesting, an 850gram frame for £450? Blimey! Could that be too light? My carbon road bike frame weighs more than that and most 29’er frames come in around 1,200 grams. Ultimate weight freaks can look no further but I think I’ll pass.

Which brings us to the Double9 which is a more usual 1200 grams but is also nearly twice the price! I thought the Double9 might have been a left over model that they still had in stock but it’s on a 30 day delivery so they’re getting them in from somewhere. With people like On-One selling their Dirty Harry for £450 I’m not sure who’s going to be tempted by the Double9 instead.

So – plenty to get stuck into there! Reservations on the similar geometry aside, it certainly looks like Kingdom Bike have taken the 27.5″ wheel size to heart, if I blag a ride on one I’ll report back 😉

As to where they might take their suspension platform next? Well, one niche taking off at the moment is for a short travel, lightweight, slack angled full suspension machine perfectly suited to UK riding conditions. If they make one of those that looks as good as the Hex AM even I might be tempted to chase the moths off my wallet…