On the descents, the Slide it’s a well-balanced bike that provides predictable handling with good agility in tighter trails, although it isn’t quite as composed in the super steep stuff as longer and slacker bikes in this class. That firm and progressive suspension mean it’s not a bike that you can point at a jangle of roots and expect it to steamroller over. It’s not super active and plush like some bikes; which means it won’t soak up every trail obstacle - there’s a lot more feedback.
There were times when I wanted a bit more compliance when dealing with rough sections as the Radon can feel a bit edgy, and isn't always the most forgiving when you just want the bike to flatten the trail. It’s not a bike for cruising trails, it needs full attack mode all the time. On the flip-side, it’s a fun, playful and responsive ride. There’s plenty of pop and you can generate air from even the smallest lip. It moves around the trail with ease thanks to the geometry and stiff frame.
If you prefer a bike to squash everything and keep the wheels glued to the ground at all times, there might be better options. The Slide Trail, though, proved to be a playful bike with predictability but going fast does requirement 100% involvement and commitment. Where the suspension does work well is in handling bigger impacts, it’s well controlled on hard landings and takes drops with ease. It’s just not a magic carpet ride, it’s much more communicative of trail features. What it lacks in small bump absorption it makes up for with big hit capability, good mid-stroke support, and a playful manner on the descents.
Geometry is a compromise, and although the Radon isn’t pushing the limits, the numbers do make for a very good all-round trail bike rather than an enduro race bike. Where super slack bikes can be a handful on anything but the steepest tracks, the Radon is agile and nimble on mellower trails and easy to hustle through the turns. The geometry doesn’t give you Sam Hill levels of confidence to really attack steep and technical trails, but on the upside, it’s agile and easy to turn on flatter and less steep tracks.
Through rapidly twisting singletrack the Radon pinballs from apex to apex with great accuracy. The excellent Schwalbe tires provide tenacious grip in all the trail conditions I experienced, from magical loam to fruity gloop, and the Fox 36 fork is a real highlight of the package with stunning ability to manage repeated impacts at high speed, though getting full travel out of it with my light build took some tuning.