Dartmoor Hornet 2013 Review

May 21, 2013 at 8:26
by Tom Parker  
Dartmoor Hornet

Price £189

Material: Aluminium

Manufactured in: Taiwan

Sizes: 14/16/18

Size tested: 18

The Dartmoor Hornet is the latest revamp to the Dartmoor lineup for 2013 having changed its design from the previous years with a new BB shell and better paintwork. Dartmoor proclaims this frame to slot into the Freeride/All mountain category, which follows suit of their other frames as each fits into a different section of bike disciplines. The hornet comes in at a phenomenal £189 which compared to it’s competitors is a no brainer, seriously good price frontier that caps the competition completely. If you’re looking to build a pro spec bike at a budget price, look no further than the Dartmoor Hornet.

Dartmoor hornet 2013

Dartmoor hornet 2013

We tested the 18” version of the frame, which has a much higher standover height than the other sizes, making our model more suited to XC/trail use. We used a 170mm X-Fusion vengeance fork on ours instead of changing the cockpit which included the Dartmoor Funky stem and Dartmoor Swing-Lo bars, originally we used a 150mm Revelation fork but found it was not suited to our needs.

Dartmoor hornet 2013

The build quality of the frame is unreal for the price you pay. Dartmoor has focused upon minor details such as the rear wishbones and the rear dropouts, making them differentiate from the other frames found on the market whilst remaining at a high quality level, especially within the welds on the tubing’s joints. The hydroformed downtube and shapes of the tubing in the rear end also define what Dartmoor are about, innovation and new designs. Paint wise the Hornet comes in three colours; Black, Blue, Red, each with a solid layer of paint, we’ve had no issues with paint chips or wear, despite not even using a chainstay guard to prevent chain slap.

As an aluminium frame, we expected this to be stiff and rigid, which it is. There’s no noticeable flex within the frame and holds well when climbing hills. The ride was used as a recovery bike whilst our test rider was out with a ruptured ACL and torn cartilage, we fully recommend one if you’re looking for a traditional MTB and suffer from getting back on the bike too early. Alongside the insane build quality, as a hardtail its hassle-free maintenance following our favorite motto of ‘Fit it, forget it’. Not once have we had any issues with the frame at all over the 4-month test period. As a ride it’s extremely fast making it perfect for XC competitions.

Dartmoor hornet 2013

Dartmoor hornet 2013

Despite the benefit of not featuring a shock, we would have liked to see Dartmoor venture into this route of an All-mountain/XC/Enduro frame as we feel the basis of the Hornet could provide this opportunity. When cycling on the roads of Britain, it took a while to get used to the bumps, as there wasn’t a ‘give’ as much as we were used to.

Out of the full time of owning the Hornet, we feel that is the only point to mention; yet if you’re a hardcore hardtail fan this is the frame for you. Out in the street/trails it turns eyes and stands out within a crowd of cyclists. We’ve seen an increase in popularity of these frames this year, and urge you to purchase one from you’re local dealer (Voidbikeshop/Slam69 in the UK). The price point, build quality and geometry make this frame a must have.



Tested by VoidBikeshop team rider Tom Parker


  • + 3
 Good review. Thank you for the read. I can totally agree with it. I paid 229€ and the quality is indeed very nice. It has nice features and, as you said, the geometry and wide range you can use it for is very satisfiying. I had absolutely no issues building it up. Everything fitted perfectly and clean. I love it already.
  • + 2
 I've had the 2011, 2012 and now the 2013 hornet frame and the way this thing feels on the trail is just perfect for me. I do prefer a 160mm travel fork and a 50mm stem because it makes the bike more playfull. I had the rs lyrik at 130mm on it and it felt too much like an xc bike. You can really use this frame/bike for everything from xc to dh. The only limitation is the riders skill Smile
  • + 1
 What about the standover height? A 18´´ frame is between a Commencal SX HT medium/large. Can´t see that as an issue. I am 179 cm (5.10) and went for a 18´´ frame.
  • + 1
 I really need to buy one of these frames...I'm 5'10 but I want a ride all day hardcore hard tail...can't decide between sizes.can you help. Cheers
  • + 1
 Same...the 18" will climb better but the 16" will be so much for flickable and fun....such a difficult decision..
  • + 1
 Iv ordered mine today,got an 18" in the met blue on the way.cant wait to build it up.
  • + 1
 Awesome Smile can't wait to get mine
  • + 2
 That's the worst test ever, why 170 travel with road tyres on
  • + 0
 Lol, do me a favour. They're not road tyres.
  • + 1
 got a 150 fork and mud tyres on my hornet . proper.

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