First Look: Pace Cycles' RC529 Hardtail

Jan 16, 2024 at 8:24
by Jessie-May Morgan  
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All photos by Nick Hill - NM Design

Hot on the heels of the RC429 flat-bar or drop-bar do-it-all is a longer travel hardtail from Pace Cycles; the RC529. For 2024, it goes slacker than its predecessor with a 64.5° head angle, but with a more modern, steep seat tube angle of 77° that keeps it relevant against the backdrop of its "hardcore" competitors.

Designed and tested in North Yorkshire, the RC529 is the very latest, rather capable-looking steel hardtail to come out of the UK.

RC529 Details

• Steel frame
• 29" or MX wheels
• 140-150mm fork
• 64.5° head angle, 77° seat angle
• Reach: 478mm, 497mm or 521mm
• 430mm chainstays
• Frameset price: £789
www.pacecycles.com

Frame Details

The front triangle is composed of a Reynolds 853 custom-butted tubeset, with gusset reinforcement at the downtube-headtube interface. The stays are custom chromoly, shaped to permit tire clearance up to 29" x 2.5" or 27.5" x 2.8". Cable routing runs external, with a port into the seat tube for stealth routing of a dropper seat post.

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The RC529 frame in size large weighs a claimed 2.7 kg

The rear-end has boost spacing, and the dropouts are modular. A sliding dropout option allows for chainstay length adjustment between 430mm and 443mm. The main reason for that is to allow for chain tension adjustment, especially for those who want to run it single-speed, though Pace do say that it can also be used to lengthen the wheelbase a touch for those who feel the handling could benefit. There's a non-adjustable dropout option for the drive-side, for use with a custom hanger for mounting of a T-Type derailleur - the dropout itself is not a UDH, as it is on the RC429.

There are ISCG tabs for the mounting of a chain guide and bash guard, and eyelets on each end to accommodate fenders.


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Geometry

The RC529 is available in medium, large and extra large, and can be run as a complete 29" affair, or in an MX configuration. With a 150mm fork at sag, the bike has a pretty slack 64.5° head tube angle. Seat tubes are reasonably short, with some very, very generous reach figures (478mm on smallest option) delivering what I imagine will be a cavernous cockpit.

Though the rear-center is adjustable between 430mm and 443mm, Pace recommend keeping it short to give the bike the intended ride feel. Pace publish a reasonably steep seat tube angle of 77° for all sizes, based on a specified effective top tube length.

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In addition to the £789 frameset, the RC529 is also available as a rolling chassis at £2165.34 with a 150mm Rockshox Lyrik Ultimate and a Hope Fortus 30 wheelset with PR0 5 hubs.

Complete builds start from £3369; that cash secures you a 140mm Rockshox Pike Ultimate, Shimano MT620 wheels with Maxxis Ardent tires, a Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain and SRAM Guide G2 RS, finished with components from Hope and Burgtec.

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The RC529 frameset retails at £789, supplied with chainstay protector, cable clips, Hope seat clamp, and Burgtec thru-axle


Author Info:
jessiemaymorgan avatar

Member since Oct 26, 2023
54 articles

95 Comments
  • 28 5
 Hell yeah. Looks good. I specifically looked for the adjustable dropouts and there they are for the exact reasons I want 'em. I can't see myself ever buying an HT without 'em and believe they should be a standard on hard tails.
  • 4 0
 totally agree. The thing is they are hard to do correctly. I know REEB has either been working on some or has some that hold up better than the paragons (which are good but even myself at 175lbs can feel them squirming if I start doing trials moves or scrub a lip super hard.)

Really solid adjustable dropouts SHOULD definitely be standard. These look good; would love to see a review from someone.
  • 8 5
 Nah, why SHOULD adjustable dropouts be standard on hardtails whilst people accept that it may be too much of a hassle (for the designers) on a full susser? I'm happy with my fixed rearcenter on my hardtail so I feel that adding adjustability would add all kinds of vulnerabilities. It may be worth the trade-off for those who really appreciate the adjustability but I personally appreciate the simplicity.
  • 9 2
 2024 - The Year of the Hardtail!!!
  • 7 3
 It's always the sliding/adjustable dropouts that creak. Noisy HT's suck. Just pick a HT with short chainstays and don't think about it too much.
  • 3 1
 @fartymarty: The Chinese always have great names for years (whereas we just have numbers). But if this is the Year of the Hardtail, it should be a good one!
  • 4 0
 @trialsracer: "scrub a lip super hard"

Bro thinks he's James Stewart
  • 1 0
 @mosierman: So true, man. Right there with you on that point.
  • 27 6
 Needs square tubes
  • 3 9
flag GTscoob (Jan 16, 2024 at 11:24) (Below Threshold)
 Why? So it looks like you made it out of Home Depot supplies?
  • 12 0
 @GTscoob: because Pace
  • 4 0
 @el-nombre: Then just install a Manitou fork so that at least you're getting the rearwards facing fork arch. To at least give you a bit of that Pace feeling as DT Swiss seems to have dropped this concept.
  • 1 0
 @el-nombre: good call, I forgot about those having square tubing. The other hardtails I've seen with square tubes are always ugly and look homemade.
  • 4 0
 @vinay: it features s-bent chainstays to cure that '90s nostalgia though.
  • 1 2
 I was thinking exactly that. With nice milled details.
I still wouldn’t buy it though!
  • 14 0
 Great that it comes with eyelets on the rear for a rack. Always welcome if you wanna make a long trip with your bike Smile
  • 4 0
 Absolutely! Rack mounts are awesome!
  • 1 0
 Agree, i musta had at least 3 hardcore hardtail frames i’ve had to ponder the optimum spot to drill holes for some bolts to hold the rack on.
  • 12 1
 Wow. That’s actually killer price for a UK made frame made with Reynolds and it comes with a seat collar…. Which is still alll cheaper than a mass produced Santa Cruz Chameleon Alu frame.
  • 8 0
 I may have written that in error. Pace used to manufacture steel frames in the UK years ago, but i'm not 100% sure that is still the case. The RC429 is made in Europe - i'm waiting to find out if that is also true of the RC529.
  • 16 1
 Website says Taiwan, no complaint from me, Taiwan is awesome.
  • 2 0
 @jessiemaymorgan: Ah gotcha, well that better explains the price then. I know they have some fantastic welders in Taiwan though so still well worth it I imagine.
  • 12 0
 Holy Reach numbers batman. Knock 20mm off those surely. Or am I missing how much it being at sag effects it.
  • 4 0
 Sag will actually make the reach even longer
  • 2 0
 Correct - the sagged figures increase the reach but we think they're the only figures that matter as sagged shows true geometry/numbers for when you're riding/sat on it. Thanks
  • 1 0
 I'd be after a 430 reach. I'm just not 6ft tall. Is everyone in Yorkshire 6ft tall?
  • 1 0
 @littleskull99: is 430 reach sagged or with unsagged geometry?
  • 1 0
 @pacecycles: 430 unsagged
  • 5 0
 @pacecycles:

Can you not publish both as that would allow for an easier comparison for customers.
  • 1 0
 Yeah, I persevered for a year with my Pipedream Moxie but I just can't get on with being so stretched out. Check out ebay if you have gorilla arms and are in the market for a new frame!
  • 10 0
 Sick
  • 6 1
 Looks good but why the bent seat tube? Also, I don't understand the why some geo mesurments mention its at sag. so is all at sag? @jessiemaymorgan you mention the 64.5 is with a 150mm for at sag, how do you know that? It wasn't mention in the chart. I much prefer static measurements.
  • 21 0
 It has a bent seat tube to create more clearance without altering the chainstay length. All the geometry shown is with a 150mm fork, sagged. Cheers, Pace
  • 3 1
 @pacecycles: Why so far up the seat tube though? Could make it lower for bigger dropper clearance
  • 1 1
 @DaveRobinson81: It really isn't that far up the tube, I have to contend with way worse with my Trek Remedy...
  • 3 0
 Sagged geometry makes more sense to me when comparing between bikes, but it is uncommon indeed. Cotic springs to mind thinking of another brand who gives you sagged geometry.
  • 1 0
 i'd imagine the bike sitting into sag makes more of a difference on a hardtail than a full suspension bike.
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Esker as well. Sagged geo makes more sense with a hardtail. Unsagged makes more sense with a FS since they largely preserve geo under sag.
  • 3 0
 @GTscoob: Yeah, for angles, reach and stack it may be more important for hardtails. But when looking at bb-drop, CS-length etc I would say the effect of sag is actually more prominent there. And let's not forget that many full suspension bikes have more travel up front than rear yet set more sag rear than front so when sagged, angles slacken, reach shortens and stack increases. Sagged geometry makes most sense to me regardless of whether it is a hardtail or full suspension bike.
  • 2 0
 @DaveRobinson81: It's opposite the correct radius of the rear wheel. In addition to which the seatube is extremely short for really low standover and to get the correct flex of the frame - even so you can still run a minimum of 185mm right into the frame on a smaller size frame. Thanks
  • 3 0
 @vinay: Yes we agree, geo figures mean nothing when your not on/riding the bike - hence why we like to show sagged as there the only figures which matters...Unless your planning on not riding the bike. Thanks!
  • 7 0
 I hate new bikes... take my money!!
  • 3 0
 Both of these look awesome! Just a bit too late for my buy, ended up with Bird Forge which i love as well but these will be high on list when it's time to change it up again.
  • 2 0
 I was looking at the geo numbers and they are actually really close the Forge.
  • 2 0
 only thing here I see as negative would be the placement of the cables right where I would pick up the bike on the down tube when hike a biking or walking up my front stairs. The ride looks killer and the price seems fair I think it has flair..
  • 4 0
 I bought the first gen RC529 about 5 years ago, and it's been the best MTB-related purchase I've ever done. Such a fun bike to ride.
  • 1 1
 If I lived in Finland I would buy a Pole Taiga!
  • 2 0
 I spend too much time on the pace website! One day I will be able to pull the trigger on an RC295... I've recently built up a Marino frame I picked up cheap, with similar geo to this RC529, except for the reach. It's 465mm (unsagged) and feel it's at the limit of sizing for me at 5'8. I'm not sure I could ride an RC529 now with those reach figures.
  • 4 0
 Bring back the big square tubes with external butting! Looks like it'll rip though!
  • 3 0
 Really nice features and sizing, appreciate the sagged geo chart since most manufacturers don't and things change quite a bit on hardtail under sag.
  • 1 0
 Was all set to buy a 529 a couple of years ago but Pace wasn’t really prepared for my request to have it shipped to USA. Eventually they figured out a shipping charge ($150 as I recall? Not sure) but by then I’d already ordered a Ragley. Hope Pace has this figured out by now, the frames are nice.
  • 4 3
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  • 11 0
 Thank Heavens; it’s good to know that tricky situation had a happy resolution. I’m sure I’m not alone in having sleepless nights about it all.

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  • 5 0
 Wowzers! What do you think of the frame though?
Could your mate magic me one please?
  • 3 0
 Can Baba Wale help unblock the toilet from my Baba Whale just now?
  • 2 0
 @Corinthian: Brilliant response Big Grin
  • 1 0
 The only thing I don't like is the rear caliper, there should be enough room inside the triangle for the caliper to be on the chainstays with that design. For that, the reinforcement tube needs to go, obviously. But I think it would also not be needed anymore and it would look way better.
  • 4 0
 If we did that then you wouldn't be able to adjust the sliding dropouts. Thanks, Pace
  • 2 0
 I have a custom built previous iteration, brilliant bike. climbs very well, descends, very well, stable at speed. a great all round bike to be honest.
  • 4 0
 Looks nice, could you get a pair of RC35s on one? Wink
  • 2 0
 Haha think you already know the answer to that one ;-)
  • 4 0
 Thank you for the externally-routed cables!
  • 5 1
 But why are they routed on the BOTTOM of the downtube and BB shell?? In the most exposed place on the bike? I have a few-years-old Scott Scale with the rear brake hose mounted externally on the downtube. Even gentle casing smashed the hose (twice). So I rerouted it to the top of the downtube and all is good.
  • 2 1
 @Marquis: It's the shortest route to the rear axle and it allows the dropper to be collected into the same array of cables. It frees up the top tube when picking the bike up and we just think it gives a lot cleaner lines to the bike. Thanks, Pace
  • 1 0
 @pacecycles: Hmm, just measuring the frame picture here and from my own experience, the shortest route to the axle, rear brake and derailleur is along the top tube and then down the seat stays. That also puts the derailleur cable on a straight route to derailleur. Not trying to be nit-picky, but cables/hoses running under the bottom bracket shell are a reason I would not buy this bike, even though I like everything else about it.
  • 4 0
 Yes please.
  • 3 0
 I'm loving all these hardtails lately, future s***!
  • 2 0
 @pacecycles how much is shipping to Continental Europe and do you remove UK VAT? I only want to pay one country's VAT Smile
  • 3 0
 50 GBP to Continental Europe. VAT is removed from all Pace products, the RC529 frame would be 657.50. Thanks for your interest
  • 1 0
 @pacecycles: Thanks for the answer Smile
  • 3 0
 Haro could learn a thing or two
  • 3 0
 Looks good.
  • 3 1
 That blue is Hubba Hubba!
  • 2 0
 Gonna needs some longer arms. That's a beautiful bike.
  • 1 1
 我很喜欢这款山地车的几何车架,如果这款车在中国销售的话我肯定会去购买。
  • 1 3
 It's a very pretty frame but why lie to people, or force them onto something too big for them? Call it Large, XL and XXL like it truly is.
  • 4 0
 Thanks for your comment, we have a size chart which shows what size people should be on - we wouldn't call that lying or forcing. It's neither here nor there what the sizing is named as its the geometry and size chart dictates what size frame people would need to be on should they choose to buy a Pace, thanks.
  • 2 0
 @pacecycles: Kinda difficult to equate heights with bike sizes these days it seems. At 6'2" your chart would suggest I need an XL but based on the numbers I would be much better off with a M. (the XL is absurdly long!)
  • 1 1
 MOXIE MX3 FOR THE HARDTAIL LOVE ‍☠️
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