Propain's new carbon fiber downhill bike, the 27.5" wheeled Rage CF, is entering production, and should be available for the masses by January 2017. Designed with extensive input from their World Cup racers, the bike's overall design is very close to that of the alloy version, but the geometry and suspension kinematics have been tweaked slightly based on the athletes' feedback. The Rage CF has 210mm of rear travel, a 63-degree head angle, and a claimed frame weight of 3.1 kg (6.83 lb).
One of the most interesting design elements it the use of Propain's own reach adjust system, which allows the reach of the bike to be adjusted by 10mm in either direction. Instead of using cups that need to be pressed in, Propain's design relies on notched cones that snap into place, which makes it nearly impossible for the parts to shift over time. Rather than offering four different frame sizes, Propain has a S/M and a L/XL – the reach adjust system effectively allows one frame to cover two sizes. This likely helped Propain avoid the costs of opening up more carbon molds than they needed to, but it's a completely understandable tactic.
The Rage CF is one of, if not the
first downhill bikes on the market to go with metric spacing for the rear shock, in this case a Fox Float X2 that measures 250 x 75mm. That does mean that initially the number of options will be limited, but expect that to change fairly quickly as more manufacturers update their offerings. The bike's 210mm of rear travel is delivered by Propain's distinctive dual link design, which has the shock oriented vertically, just in front of the rear wheel. A carbon fiber mud guard is in place to protect it from flying debris.
A limited number of bikes will be available this fall – the version pictured above, complete with a Fox 40 DH Factory fork, SRAM X01 drivetrain, Magura MT7 brakes, and Zelvy carbon wheels, is available for pre-order for 4999 €.