BH Launches New Range of More Affordable Carbon XC Hardtails

Jul 17, 2020
by Ed Spratt  
2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out

BH's new Ultimate RC hardtail uses the same geometry and look of its more expensive sibling, the Ultimate Evo, but by uses a different carbon layup that allows BH reduce significantly reduce the price. Whereas the more expensive Evo models have a claimed frame weight of just 840g the RC is still able to come in at a still-reasonable weight of 1050g for a size medium.


While the frames' carbon layup may differ from BH's more expensive offering, the World Cup-tested geometry stays the same. The Ultimate RC features a 68° head angle when using a 100mm fork and it gets short 420mm chainstays.

In terms of spec details, the bike is once again similar to the more expensive Evo with 148mm Boost spacing, flat mount rear brake mount, PressFit 92 BB and 1x only compatibility. There is also the ability to run a stealth dropper post, although the choices are limited as the frame accepts 27.2mm seatposts.

RC 7.7
2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out
RC 7.5

2020 2021 Hardtail Check Out
RC 7
RC 6.5

Currently BH is offering the Ultimate RC in four different build options. The cheapest comes in at €1700 and uses a 100mm Rockshox Judy RL fork and Shimano's 12spd Deore drivetrain. The top of the line model comes in at €2900 and for this you get a full 12spd XT drivetrain and a 100mm Fox 32 SC Performance RL fork. With the top of the range bike you can also take advantage of BH's custom paint program. This costs an extra €300 but it allows you to choose from 32 colours, match fork decal colours and put your name on the toptube.

You can find out more here.


65 Comments

  • 48 0
 I do appreciate the look of a clean XC Hardtail
  • 20 1
 I enjoy a clean BH
  • 2 0
 @racecase: i wonder what shades of brown are available in those 32 colors
  • 1 0
 @racecase: I enjoy an affordable BH
  • 2 0
 @racecase: I'm currently enjoying a clean BM.
  • 3 7
flag mtb-scotland (Jul 18, 2020 at 6:58) (Below Threshold)
 @racecase: don't you mean BJ?
  • 3 0
 @mtb-scotland: lowering the tone..
  • 13 0
 Those plastic spoke protectors behind the cassette on the lower end models give new meaning to ‘pie plate’!

Nice looking bikes.
  • 18 0
 Between 29" wheels and massive cassettes, we now have dork disks that are bigger than BMX wheels. What a world we live in!
  • 1 0
 @number44: holy shit I didn't even notice them until I saw this haha...
  • 1 1
 @number44: I’ve never understood these plastic plates. Are the derailleurs so bad they could throw the chain into the spokes??
  • 4 0
 @pourquois-pas:

It’s not really that the derailleur is poor quality. Clearly it’s easy enough to bend any derailleur inwards by dropping the bike or hitting a trail obstacle. (Thus allowing it to shift the chain into the spokes.)

A novice rider might not realize they have damaged their derailleur in such a way, (often by mishandling their bike during storage or transport) and might unwittingly power shift into their lowest cog, and jam the chain into the spokes. As you become a more experienced rider, it’s an easy situation to avoid, but clearly it is enough of a problem that most new bikes come with some form or spoke-protector since the 1970s.
  • 9 1
 Long live 27.2. Fuck the haters. Reminisce of simpler times when no idiots whined about which fork offset they need. Shut and up and I'll wait for you at the bottom.
  • 10 1
 Affordable is subjective
  • 5 0
 a sliding scale based on priorities and income and sometimes at odds with one another
  • 7 1
 Hmmm, $3,315 usd for BH XT build or $3,999 for Canyon Exceed CF SLX 9.0 XX1 with carbon wheels and Sid Ultimate?
  • 3 0
 Can someone please explain to me why 27.2 is still a thing on anything other than shitty bikes and fixes? Very few road bikes use it these days. Is it more compliant or what? It seems like it just really limits your selection for rigid and dropper posts....
  • 4 0
 Light frame tubes+flexy seatposts
  • 2 3
 @clink83: do the benefits really offset the disadvantages for most customers?

How many people really feel the minimal difference in weight and compliance, and prioritize them over having a dropper post that doesnt feel like crap after only months of use. Probably only the most perceptive or elite - which is a very small group. Additionally, this bike is marketed at the group I think would be least able to notice the *benefits* of a 27.2.

My experience is that the 27.2 droppers are horrible. All of them. The nice ones feel nice when they are new, but all of them quickly turn into sloppy binding messes - much faster and much worse than every other larger diameter.

What do you think?
  • 5 0
 I think 27.2mm introduces some compliance into an otherwise stiff as fook carbon frame. I know right, comfort on an xc bike.
  • 3 1
 @takeiteasyridehard: it's an XC bike dude, I doubt many of these are going to be fit with droppers.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: interestingly their expert and ultimate rc models have 31.6mm seat tubes.
  • 2 0
 @littleskull99: the plot thickens.
  • 2 0
 @clink83: that's sort of what I am wondering.

In my town, most of them are. I set up two of them yesterday where people ordered a dropper for their xc bikes. And we have nothing but sandy sidewalks. Our trail sanctioning body requires trails to average a 10% grade, and only a select few have anything close to 30% for the tiniest of sections.

It is rare, even here, to see a new xc bike retain its rigid post for longer than a few months. And the older xc bikes are joining the dropper party like it's the AARP.
  • 1 0
 @littleskull99: I agree. It does.

I'm interested in comparing the pros and cons for the majority of users, especially since this bike is the most affordable option in the BH line.
  • 1 0
 @takeiteasyridehard: we ride the same gravel sidewalks lol. I don't understand why so many people insist you need a long travel bike and a dropper to ride our trails..but whatever.
  • 1 0
 @clink83: That is funny.

Trends. Fashion. Bro Status.

I agree.

Maybe someday, after covid, we will be able to align people in our community (including R2R) to see the benefits of a truly diverse network of trails. One that satisfies all of the 10 year goals for R2R, and actually reduces multiple user conflict - unlike their current sandy sidewalks and $15k bridges over an inch of water plan. I think Boise can become a world class trail destination, with something for all users, definitive distinction between beginner and expert trails, and managing the environmental impact as well or better than the current model in place. R2R needs to learn from what other growing communities have done to adapt and overcome the challenges created by rapid growth and demand, and create diversity to satisfy everyone so we can coexist without conflict, and enrich the trail experience for everyone. If our mtb community doesnt learn how to engage R2R, and learn the factors which influence their biases and perspectives, we will never be able to create a new model which includes the benefits of their outdated system and the benefits of destination mtb communities around the world. I think building trust and being able to present a new model which would include the essential benefits of both sides will be the key to the future of our trails. New and innovative thinking needs to be applied at their meetings. Unfortunately, our tribe of cyclists (yes I said that) is often too consumed by our own biases and assumptions to be able to lobby R2R in an amicable fashion. We all need to come together, and discuss new possibilities rather than cling to our opposing ideas. I cant wait for covid to be over...I was planning to take steps in that direction at their meetings which have all been canceled so far this year. If you are interested in being a part of such an idea, please reach out to me. I would love to discuss your perspective sometime.
  • 1 0
 As the current owner of an XC bike with a 27.2 seatpost, I can honestly say any bike with this post diameter will be off any future “prospect” lists when new bike time comes. I have a dropper and a rigid post for it, and only the dropper stays on generally, but they’re so hard to find it’s just not worth it.
  • 2 1
 1700 Euro to USD is about $1900, so not too bad, although no mention of tire clearance, which would be my deciding factor. 2.6 tires on a lightweight XC bike this would make it a more versatile ever-day bike, along with adding a little more comfort for bikepacking adventures.
  • 1 0
 Ya, I wonder what the value is compared to DIY carbon bikes
  • 4 0
 Back of the napkin: Most of the Chinese carbon frames are about $350 landed. Even the cheapest SID will run you $600. Judy probably can be had way cheaper, but even if the fork only cost you $300, that's $650 for frame/fork, maybe another $400 for an alloy wheelset puts us at $1050, and another $400 will get you a cheap drivetrain setup. Stem/bars/post/saddle is another $200. So $1500 for lower end stuff.

So yea, you could probably undercut it by a few hundred bucks, but that'd let you upgrade the fork and wheelset to something mid-tier. Maybe even carbon wheels on Novatec hubs.
  • 5 1
 @PHeller: Novatec hubs are a no-no at any price point.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Perhaps, but what do you think Hunt and Spank are using? I'm pretty sure the cheapest BH in this lineup probably uses junky hubs too. Sure you could go for DT350, but then you're paying $600 for an alloy wheelset. Getting quality hubs laced to decent rims on a budget is a challenge, which is how Spank and Hunt and others are making their living.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: my last novatec free hub broke about every 100 miles. After the 4th warranty I just bought and laced up a different hub
  • 2 0
 @PHeller: Hunt uses Novatec and Bitex hubs. I've had a Hunt rear wheel with Novatec hubs replaced under warranty and both rear hubs had the exact same issues out of the box. People tend to favor Bitex hubs more tho.
I'd rather go with a $550-600 alloy wheelset with name brand hubs.
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: You speak the truth. Just replaced mine after it started sounding like a chainsaw. Hope or DT 370 should be bare minimum.
  • 1 0
 @DangerDavez: DT370 is a pawl based hub these days, and it sounds like they aren't nearly as reliable as Star Ratchet based hubs.
  • 1 0
 I've had decent success with Bitex.
  • 4 1
 Not stocked with a dropper... We were on the verge of greatness... we were this close
  • 4 0
 It's a budget (for carbon) XC hardtail. There are still plenty of people that don't want the weight penalty on a bike like this. Those of us who would probably have an opinion on what they run. It's like getting upset about not having an integrated stem/bar. Why would you want to pay for something stock that you're probably going to want a different brand/size?

I would LOVE if you could buy bikes without tires, seat posts, saddles, bars, stems, grips, etc. Just give me a quality frame, suspension, wheels, and maybe brakes/groupset.
  • 4 1
 27.2mm seatposts - why would you do that? It's not like it's more expensive to make 30.9
  • 7 0
 It's so the rigid post will flex more (for a more comfortable ride). It limits dropper post options, but there are still plenty of options for short travel, lightweight droppers. If you're buying this kind of bike you shouldn't be looking to put the biggest drop (and heaviest) dropper you can find on it.
  • 4 0
 Someone has to keep the flame alive for us O.G.'s out here. Fuck you man.
  • 1 0
 It's sad to see a 200 dollar Judy fork on a carbon frame. I get keeping the cost down but Judy is one step away from a Walmart fork. I don't understand why they didn't make it 32mm. The flex on them is just atrocious.
  • 2 0
 According to their site, they don't have any dealers in either the US or Canada. Bummer.
  • 2 0
 It is a bummer. I was looking at their FS bikes and found the same thing. I couldn’t even get them to answer an email.
  • 1 0
 scarily skinny carbon tubes, will be interesting to hear the lifespan of the frame as an off-road bike
  • 3 0
 It’s an XC bike with a 27.2 seatpost, you’re not supposed to do 10 foot huck to flats on it.
  • 1 0
 Superlight 840 grams. Definitely an XC race bike. Sub 20lbs.
  • 2 1
 For 1000eur, you have decent alloy or steel hardtails.
  • 1 0
 Even ti when Kingdom Bikes is having a sale
  • 2 1
 Those are creative ways of measuring head tube and seat tube angle.
  • 1 0
 I thought I was losing my mind. Probably cost themselves 1° by adding in 65mm of bb drop.
  • 1 3
 27.2mm seat post.... completely dropped the ball on that one.
  • 4 0
 It's an XC race hardtail...
  • 2 5
 27.2 seat post?? Wow, a swing and... well that's a huge miss.
  • 4 0
 It's an XC race bike so...
  • 1 1
 Beats the 34.9 seatpost Scott put on the scale????
  • 2 0
 @clink83: The Scale switched to a 31.6mm seat post because one of the biggest complaints with it was the overly stiff 34.9mm seat posts. And yes, a 27.2mm post will be even more compliant than a 31.6mm post assuming all other things are equal.
  • 2 0
 @DaneL: that and it was virtually impossible to find an affordable 0 offset 34.9 seatpost. I settled on a kcnc one that wasn't bad at all. I don't mind 27.2 at all!
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