Field Test: RSD Wildcat V3 - Purrfectly Capable Descender

Oct 27, 2022 at 16:01
by Sarah Moore  

PINKBIKE FIELD TEST

RSD Wildcat V3



Words by Sarah Moore; photography by Tom Richards


RSD Bikes are a brand based in Toronto, Canada, and while they are best known for a range of hardtails, fat bikes and plus bikes, they also make a full suspension bike, which we got our hands on for the Quebec Field Test.

While we had a lot of expensive carbon machines this time around, at $3,999 USD, the aluminum Wildcat V3 wasn't one of them. Don't mistake that price tag to mean that it's not interesting, though. There are adjustable dropouts that let you run either a 29” or 27.5” rear wheel, DVO suspension on both ends, and a solid spec that does a good job of prioritizing fun on the descents.
RSD Wildcat V3 Details
• Travel: 125mm rear, 140mm fork
• Aluminum frame
• 65° head-tube angle
• Reach: 462mm (med)
• 76º seat tube angle
• 425-440mm chainstays
• Sizes: S, M (tested), L, XL
• Weight: 34.2 lb / 15.5 kg
• Price: $3,999 USD
rsdbikes.com

There were two models of Wildcat V3 available at the time of testing, although they recently released a longer-travel Wildcat 150 with the same name. The shorter travel 125mm version is available in the Deore build that our test bike came with, or an SX build that retails for $3,249 USD. Each is available with either a 27.5+ or a 29er version, with or without a dropper post, and there’s a frame-only option for $1,799 USD.




Trailforks Regions Where We Tested

We were lucky enough to ride the natural, technical network of trails at the Vallée Bras-du-Nord during the Downcountry Field Test. The network was the furthest for us to get to from our home base in Mont-Sainte-Anne, but it was well worth the drive and we had a blast filming amidst the wet roots and on the interesting lines that wound alongside the Neilson River. Unfortunately, while we avoided the July thunderstorms for the most part, our drone didn't have quite such a good day after it was swallowed up by the gorgeous river. RIP beautiful drone shots!


VBN Secteur Saint-Raymond mountain biking trails






Climbing

We had some of the best climbing bikes that are available to buy in this Field Test, but the RSD Wildcat V3 wasn’t among them. It's not a terrible climber, it’s just more of an all-rounder so it doesn't make you feel like a superhero when the trails points upwards in the way that the race-focused Ibis Exie and the BMC Four Stoke LT do.

Nowhere does RSD claim that the Wildcat is going to be winning cross-country races, however, and while it might not be comparable to a bike that’s built to race elbow-to-elbow in spandex, it’s a perfectly confident climber if you’re just looking to cover a lot of ground without the pressure of the clock. It has great traction and feels stable on awkward technical climbs, although it does not feel spritely or lively by any means.

As for your position on the bike, it's much more relaxed and comfortable than conducive to all-out speed. In addition to a riding position that is closer to that of a trail bike than a cross-country bike, the size medium we rode weighs 34 pounds 4 ounces. While it might cost less than half the price of some of the carbon bikes that are almost 10 pounds lighter, there's no doubt that extra weight holds the Wildcat V3 back on the climbs.

The Wildcat V3's weight isn't helped by the fact that it has adjustable seatstays, and we did have to wonder how many people are asking for 27.5+ bikes. The hardware required to make the adjustments to the chainstays definitely contributes to the frame's overall hefty weight.




Descending


Descending is where the Wildcat shines, and I would go so far as to say it was probably the most confident of all the bikes we tested in Quebec on the downhills. It held traction on the off-camber rocks and slippery root sections post-thunderstorm with ease and there was a lot less trepidation when approaching steep and technical descents than on the race-oriented bikes.

RSD stands for Rubber Side Down and that felt aptly named since the Wildcat V3 definitely required less energy, both mental and physical, to keep upright than a bike like the BMC Four Stoke LT. The Wildcat V3 was the bike that was easiest to turn your brain off on the descents and you could allow the bike to charge more instead of picking your line carefully.

The Wildcat V3 was the longest and the slackest of the bikes we rode in Quebec with its 65-degree head tube angle and it also had the most travel with 125mm of rear travel paired with a 140mm fork, so it's not entirely surprising that it was such a monster on the descents. However, it was nice to see how well it held up when compared to bikes that were more than double its price. The DVO suspension worked well on small bumps and on bigger hits, smoothing out the terrain beneath it, and the spec was well selected to prioritize fun and confidence on the downhills with 200mm/180mm rotors, a 150mm dropper on size medium, a short stem and wide bars.




Pros

+ Entire bike costs less than a frame and shock from most of the other brands we tested
+ Stable and confident on the descents.


Cons

- Not lightweight with the adjustable chainstays, 7.6 lb frame
- Not going to win any competitions for all-out climbing speed or liveliness
- Aesthetics









The 2022 Downcountry Field Test is presented by Quebec City Mountain Bike, Sweet Protection and Specialized Ground Control Tires





168 Comments

  • 276 7
 What’s wrong with the aesthetics? I think it’s a nice looking bike!
  • 27 0
 Agreed. Looks like a Reeb but that’s not a bad thing I don’t think. I like it.
  • 26 1
 Old school chain stay protection is the only thing I don't like the looks of. Otherwise pretty nice looking.
  • 3 0
 Ditto, but I guess that's personal
  • 24 1
 Top tube is 90 degrees to the fork/head tub, and theres a straight line all the way to the rear axle. That looks perfect.
Unless it means the fit and finish quality and the cable routing - which I'm happy to ignore when the bike cost less than most of the frames in this test.
  • 5 2
 Looks great with those Specialized Ground Control Tires
  • 17 0
 got the opinion from the video that the main knock on the aesthetic was the cable routing (looks a mess) and lots of stainless steel bolts. May not look as good as the other test bikes but its a completely different bike than the others...so its hard to compare apples and oranges
  • 3 0
 Exactly what i was thinking
  • 5 0
 And it's good ole basic black, hard to go wrong with that.
  • 6 0
 @MillerReid: Reeb's are Beautiful Bikes.
  • 8 0
 RSD doesn't go nuts with the packaging, which is fine by me.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. Clean lines on the frame.
  • 5 0
 doesn't look like a 10 thousand dollar bike I guess...??
  • 1 0
 PB's staff probably prefers trout or rattlesnake paint jobs...
  • 2 0
 I think if they just got a bit more graphic design going on, the RSD logo somehow all alone feels like a kid just stuck a sticker on there but I really like the look of the bike overall.
  • 2 1
 Such judgemental apartheid commentary from PB editor... Leave this carnage to the comments.
  • 3 0
 Tire logos misaligned, can't buy it!
  • 2 0
 Came to say that.. I'd get one.. it is also more suitable to my wallet =)
  • 77 2
 So, I'm hearing $3,999.00 for a fun bike. It will put a smile on my face. I'm sold. Fun, riding with your friends, and getting tacos after. That's right, I'm buying, cause I still have money in my pocket.
  • 30 1
 That’s what I got from this review. Sounds like the bike for the 95% of us who just ride for fun and not winning any races!
  • 5 0
 @MillerReid: That's exactly why it's on this test. Many more people are going to have experience with a bike like this than most others in this test, which allows the testers to compare the other bikes to it. Average climber+average descender=Something we can relate to.
  • 3 0
 At that price, you can now afford mahi mahi tacos with Bill Murray and John McLaughlin.
  • 8 0
 I had the v2 and it put a smile on my face more than just about any other FS I've ridden. Tons of value, great ride quality, and just a lot of fun to ride.
  • 4 0
 This bike makes me think so much about my beloved Transition Smuggler: not made for race but made for fun. Excellent compromise IMO.
  • 2 0
 @danstonQ: My first thought- very much reminded me of an updated Smuggler, a bike I very much miss to this day.
  • 3 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: updated mine (201Cool with a minus 1.5 degrees angleset and a 160mm Lyrik Ultimate and I've found the kind of "little big bike" I wanted. Still a pretty good climber (former ST and BB numbers unchanged) but with the fronthead of the Sentinel. Much more confident in the steep, much better in the corners, in brief: not the perfect bike but the one that suits me... and I love this super progressive 120mm rear suspension. I'm a hardtailer and I'm good with that. Cheers mates! Enjoy your ride. Fun above all, always Wink
  • 57 1
 I like it, but it seems very out of place in this test. If you just wanted to throw an aluminum bike in the mix you should have gone with the alloy version of the Scott Spark or Orbea Oiz
  • 8 0
 True. The Scott Spark is really incredibly executed in alloy. Great looking frame, and a much more appropriate entry into this test.
  • 38 0
 its nice to see a smaller company getting some air time here in the field test. There website went down due to increased traffic after the Field Test announcement video so it seems like a major win for them.
  • 8 1
 Yeah, this was a pretty good review of the bike, but what I was really hoping for was a 15 minute debate on whether it's "downcountry" or not.
  • 2 3
 @Lokirides: Did you not realize how I never even mentioned any category? Completely besides what you may call these bikes, this one does definitley not fit in with the rest. Doesn't make for a good comparison test, does it.
  • 8 0
 They seem to do something like this in every test. Trail bike in with the enduro's, weird sized frame, some weird spec, something...

How many people would really be deciding between buying a 4 grand short travel trail bike OR an 11 thousand dollar downcountry bike? Comparing the two just doesn't make any sense...

But glad RSD is getting press out of it even if it makes no sense.
  • 5 0
 @mtmc99: Their hardtail frame the "Middlechild" has such great reviews everywhere I've been seriously considering one as a party bike. They seem to nail the geo numbers for the intended job across their lineup + quality components.
  • 4 0
 @GorgesIthacan: can confirm, the middlechild absolutely rocks. Got an Alloy frame, gave into temptation to build it up a bit burlier than really necessary, and slapped some 29er wheels on it from another rig. OMG, it is a blast to ride.
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: Well it couldn't be more of a trail bike if it tried, so... I agree it's a bit out of place here.
  • 2 0
 Its kinda weird that the industry is pushing light duty trail bikes into the category of downcountry. IMO downcountry is a lightweight RACE bike that utilizes progressive geometry to still be a capable descender. Not to say light duty trail bikes don't have their place, but they simply don't compare climbing wise to a true downcountry bike.
  • 3 0
 True, this is clearly in the trailbike category with 125/140. Would've been nice to see an affordable bike in this downcountry category.
  • 42 0
 love this bike but seems like an outlier in the field test, lol. Like comparing rally cars and throwing Jeep wrangler in there for the hell of it.
  • 43 3
 7 Lbs 10 ounce frame weight. What the hell is an ounce really? Use grams please and thank you.
  • 68 0
 It's easy, that's approximately 2 US wet spoons and 3 3/8 imperial squirrel testicles
  • 9 0
 Just saying 7.6 lbs would have been best, imho.
  • 27 0
 An ounce is 28.3495 grams or 1/208000th the weight of the average African Elephant. Therefore the frame weighs 122 ounces or 3458.64 grams or 1/1704.91 of the average African Elephant.
  • 11 0
 It's easy, it's just half of a half of a half of a half of a pound.
  • 42 14
 An ounce is actually a base unit derived from the weight of the tears of people from nations who don't have a flag on the moon
  • 14 5
 @Bro-LanDog: I'm ok with not littering outer space further
  • 8 6
 There's a little-known American-made tool called Google that can do unit conversions. Check it out sometime.
  • 3 4
 @johnthewolf: then I'd suggest holding your breath
  • 12 1
 @bocomtb: If you're on a linux or OSX machine, you can enter "units -v" in a terminal window and you can do your conversions. The built in calculator in MS Windows can also do unit conversions. That takes the amount of energy your computer uses for that. You could ask Google, but that's going to waste a whole lot more energy. Maybe not as much as we're doing here discussing unit systems for the millionth time, but definitely more than just using the unit convertors already built into your computer.
  • 7 0
 @Bro-LanDog: The ironic part is, because of all the radiation exposure, that flag is now all white.
  • 4 0
 @bocomtb: Ok, here you have the output from units:

"
[vinay@dennenappel ~]$ units -v
Currency exchange rates from FloatRates (USD base) on 2022-09-05
3753 units, 113 prefixes, 120 nonlinear units

You have: 7lbs + 10oz
You want: kg
7lbs + 10oz = 3.4586418 kg
7lbs + 10oz = (1 / 0.28913084) kg
You have:
"
  • 13 4
 @Bro-LanDog: The nation who put a flag on a moon didn't use imperial to get there
  • 5 0
 @Xyphota: yes we did, in the Apollo tapes you can hear Houston and Armstrong describing temperature in Frankensteins and distances in Miles. All the specs of the Lunar Lander & EVA suits were designed and assembled in imperial
  • 7 0
 @sjma: how much is 1 Frankenstein? Personally if we are going to invent a new measurement of temperature I'm all for basing it on an electrically reanimated corpse.
  • 1 0
 @Bro-LanDog: you’re killing me!
  • 5 8
 @Xyphota: I've worked for a company that made parts for the perseverance rover, guess what units we used during manufacture. You have a 50/50 chance, I believe in you.

Why do euros and Canadians always brag about how many languages they know, but when they have to think about literally 1 of the 2 units of measure on the planet they have a meltdown
  • 2 0
 @vinay: nice. I did not know that units app existed.

Now what the world really needs is an HTML tag…something like localize>7lbs 6oz/localize> that will render as 7lbs 6oz or 3.4 kg depending on your system locale. I believe that will convey the information in desired form with minimal flow of electrons.

(This nerding out is a helluva lot more interesting than downcountry bikes)
  • 3 1
 @Bro-LanDog: It doesn't matter if the parts are metric or imperial, the flight controller was in metric. And imperial is just metric with extra steps anyways as that's how it's defined.
  • 1 0
 @bocomtb: that’s a great idea. You could build one with a Web Component. Use of those will take off soon, the time is nigh.
  • 4 4
 @Xyphota: you're right it doesn't matter, you finally got it, nice job!
  • 2 0
 @JSTootell: I did not know this. Up'd for interesting fact.
  • 1 0
 @Mac1987: comment of the year, made my day
  • 2 0
 1ounce =28.375 grams
1 lb. = 454 grams
A simple conversion and you are well on your way. Basic math that a grade school student could do
  • 35 0
 Great to see the positive press for RSD! They make some really well thought out bikes (check out their hardtails), you can tell when you speak to Alex ( the owner of RSD) that he is passionate about his company, the industry and making a quality product that isn't going to break the bank. Really good to see RSD bikes actually being tested and reviewed!
  • 9 0
 Alex is also great with customer service. My old Mayor fatbike came with a defective rear dropout and Alex had one couriered to me.
  • 7 0
 @ratedgg13: He basically doesn't sleep, haha. Can't stop talking with customers.
  • 8 1
 100% agree
  • 5 0
  RSD is great to deal with! Alex has a passion for this company that is easy to see every time you speak with home! I love My Steel Middlechild, and every time I take it out I get compliments on it! People can say what they want about the external cable routing, but it makes maintenance a breeze! These bikes are perfect for Southern Ontario, where RSD is based. I'm currently on my second RSD (also had a Mayor!), and the next addition to the stable will likely come from them too! Tbh, it will probably be a Wildcat!
  • 2 1
 Him*
  • 28 1
 How do we disable the PB video player autoplay?
  • 2 20
flag SATN-XC (Oct 28, 2022 at 10:03) (Below Threshold)
 it auto plays on mute so it shouldn't be an issue
  • 18 0
 @SATN-XC: mute still uses up all your LTE data. Auto-play is the devil.
  • 2 0
 Ublock item picker (pipette tool).
  • 22 0
 With the weight and 140 fork I would say this is just a short-travel trail bike vs something like the Rocky Mountain Element or Transition Spur BUT it's cool to see as it may be a good option for folks on a budget that want a similar style bike on the downs.
  • 8 9
 This has the exact same numbers as a Cotic FlareMax, with a worse pedaling platform. The Flaremax is a trail bike. This is a trail bike. However, this is the bike people should buy for 99% of everyday riding in every part of the world. It's got great value and is easy to upgrade over time, while also supporting North American business.
  • 4 0
 @cgreaseman: worse pedaling platform?
  • 5 0
 100% short-travel trail bike.
  • 8 5
 “Short travel trail bike”? Do we need to have another category?

100 mm: Rigid
100-110 mm: XC race
120-130 mm: Downcounty
130 mm: short travel trail bike
140 mm: standard trail bike
150 mm: long travel trail bike
160 mm: all mountain
170 mm: light enduro
180 mm: enduro
190 mm: freeride/heavy enduro
200 mm+: downhill/freeride

this is exhausting
  • 8 0
 @sjma: damn, I thought I had a big rig but it's only light enduro. Best get shopping for something more capable!
  • 2 0
 @chazmann: 170mm = upduro, do you feel better now?
  • 2 0
 @sjma: 170mm light enduro/ 180mm enduro is totally wrong. According to your classification, most of the bikes raced in EWS are 'long travel trail' and 'all mountain bikes'
  • 2 0
 @sjma: what about 165mm rear travel???
  • 2 0
 @sjma: needs more Venn.
  • 1 0
 @sjma:
Thanks I’m going to print this and stick it over my bed to review my lesson before I sleep
  • 20 2
 DVO!
  • 2 4
 the reason behind it being a great decender
  • 9 1
 @Whataboutism: I LOVE A GOOD DECANTER
  • 8 0
 @TEAM-ROBOT: Deciding on a couple deciliters of decanted distilled spirits and a decent Descendents album to begin my descent into Friday evening as we speak!
  • 12 0
 The frame should weigh about 8 pounds if it's a durable aluminum frame . It's not heavy. Adjustable drop outs ? That's awesome.
Suspension leans towards DH verses climbing? Well the DH is the fun part.
Must cheap out on suspension. Nope DVO front and back .
All for 4k $ sweet deal .
  • 1 0
 Sounds a lot like the Ripmo AF with the coil shock option but without adjustable dropouts
  • 18 2
 Not downcountry
  • 11 0
 The 140mm fork on your downcountry bike perfectly complements your 170mm on your light duty trail bike.
  • 3 0
 Neither is the Exie. It is literally called “XC”, should have been a dead giveaway.
  • 15 1
 @mikekazimer borderline headline lol
  • 10 0
 missed opportunity to go full Super Trooper and throw as many "meows" into the video as possible
"meow we're going to discuss the RSD, a capable short travel meow-tain bike..."
  • 9 0
 @SATN-XC: "The bike is jumping around all nimbly-bimbly from feature to feature"
  • 11 1
 What is downcountry about this bike? Is the Norco Optic a downcountry bike now too?
  • 5 5
 Yes.
  • 4 2
 No, the Optic is still very definitley not "downcountry".
  • 8 1
 Couple things: aesthetics isn't a con, because it's entirely subjective. Personally I think it looks awesome. Classic looking frame. Second thing: almost 35 lbs with a 140mm fork up front? Yeah this isn't a downcountry bike. It's a mid-travel trail bike. By your logic the Stumpjumper is a downcountry bike. And so is the 5010.
  • 7 0
 I have ridden this bike for 3 seasons, built up from the frame with SRSuntour suspension. Everything in this review is extremely accurate all the way down to the cable routing. even with some of the imperfections (that don't affect performance), it is the best all round bike I have every owned. Pedals efficiently enough for huge days in the saddle, also an amazing technical climber. Raced national enduro races on it. Many days in the bike park. The bike is savage.
  • 3 0
 You had a V3 for 3 seasons?
  • 2 0
 @greener1: his seasons are only a month long.
  • 1 0
 @greener1: I have the V2 which is almost identical. Didn't switch to the V3 because there was just a refinement of cable routing and an upgrade in shock. I had already swapped to a Suntour Triair so I pretty much riding the same bike.
  • 9 0
 The placement of the shifter cable helps it double as a chain slap suppressor
  • 3 2
 I don ´ t think that's a good thing
  • 15 1
 @justanotherhuman1: I don’t think you got the sarcasm.
  • 3 0
 The VHS 2.0 slapper would work well here. Run the cable to the side & at the base of the humps, zip tie between the humps.
  • 6 0
 'it’s a perfectly confident climber if you’re just looking to cover a lot of ground', 'Descending is where the Wildcat shines' 'Entire bike costs less than a frame and shock from most of the other brands we tested'.
To me that's a winner! And with money left over for beers what else could you ask for.
  • 6 0
 I think Matt’s comments on the DVO shock were selling it short. Why when discussing tuning the rear shock was there no mention of using the positive and negative air can volume reducers or the bladder pressure to tune the spring rate? That shock is extremely tuneable and all that they did was add more psi to main spring.
  • 8 0
 Happy to see a review for a well-specced, well-priced bike from a small manufacturer like RSD!
  • 6 0
 I'm glad they included this bike. It's the only one of the group I'd ever be interested in. XC bikes are fine, they're just not for me.
  • 5 1
 Climbing isn't just sitting down and stomping pedals. How does it hop and rock and work itself over those steep and loose sections of climb? More than enduro bikes, these should be good for some trials-based moves on the trail, shouldn't they? There isn't that much fun in only rolling up the hill. If you're getting an XC or DC bike, climbing fun should be one of the bigger priorities. Or maybe they're saving this for the impossible climb session.
  • 2 0
 I have the Wildcat v2 and the biggest difference with the v3 is the external cable routing vs internal. It's a good 8lbs (3.6kg) heavier than my previous bike and I can feel the difference when going up smooth sections. it's a bit slower in those situations and same goes on the flat sections. Where it shines is uphill when things get loose and steep. The front stays on the ground and you get a lot of traction on the rear.
  • 2 0
 @lRaphl: Thanks, that sounds like a very effective climber. I was curious whether it is also a fun one, to pop and hop on the climbs. Or is it more of a good one to quickly and efficiently be done with the climb?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: Clearly more on the "effeciently be done" side of the thing. It feels more like glued to the ground. Not that you can't get it of the ground to clear a section but there are bikes that let you do that more easily. I think it's the compromise between having a ton of traction or spinning off in those situations. Both types are fun in their respective ways. It's the first time I'm having a bike that I'm not thinking about changing after a season or two. It's my 3rd season on it right now and I still enjoy it every ride.
  • 3 0
 Is climbing fun on XC bikes? Fast yes, but fun?
  • 2 0
 @vinay: I had a v2 and it was extremely fun to pop and hop on. It loved trialsy boulders. Suspension was plush for how short the travel is. I had a blast on it in Moab.
  • 5 1
 @jdejace: and why is getting to the top in a hurry so important anyhow?

If I was in a hurry, I’d run a shuttle, but when I’m riding uphill it’s about having a good ride.

I’d rather ride slowly up a technical climb than ride quickly up a mild grade.

Riding uphill on boring terrain is boring!
  • 3 1
 @sanchofula: to be clear I like climbing. The techy singletrack stuff anyway. I would ride mountain bikes for exercise even if there was no descent as a payoff. I count my dabs. I have a little stopwatch on the bars (but not that Strava bullshit, I don't care how fast anyone else is).

But XC bikes aren't fun. They get bounced around more over every root, low stacks, no grip in the tech, I just don't enjoy it. And that's before you even get to the descent where they really start to suck. Maybe the PB testers can make do with an 80mm dropper and come out smiling but I'm 6'2" and that will not do. It's kind of interesting to see the comment section wanting downcountry bikes to be more XC than trail.

I enjoy having a shorter travel trail bike with light-ish wheels, fast rolling tires, no inserts, bit shorter wheelbase, for days when I'm not on my big bike doing silly things. But nothing on the XC end of the spectrum. Their diet doesn't make the ride better either up or down unless you're racing.
  • 4 0
 I had a v2 and loved that thing aside from the limited dropper insertion. I was so short that I had to run a 125mm dropper. It was a little heavy compared to carbon wonderbikes, but it was so much fun to ride just about everywhere. It loved to pop off every root and rock. I'm a big fan. Those 120mm of travel felt like 140. Took it to Moab and had a blast on it. I'm excited to see the new v3 has more room for a longer dropper.
  • 6 1
 4K cdn for a decent spec is nice. This bike would work fine for a ton of people. If the customer service and availability is there this bike could do well.
  • 7 0
 Can confirm, RSD has some of the best customer service ever.
  • 3 0
 @mikelevy is a great moderator for these videos. Love the different questions. At a time when there isn't too much to say about a bike since they're all so good, it's great to have some more detailed questions being asked of the testers. Since the test is being supported by some trail systems, I'd love to hear about what trails you liked the most.
  • 7 0
 Super nice for the price honestly.
  • 3 0
 Looks like a very nice affordable bike for the everyday rider. Love what they are going for. I think I like the fact they tried something completely different within the field test. Sometimes those little surprises outline how capable another bike pushing into another category really is Also the like the piece about were they were riding and shown on trailforks. That helps me put the entire puzzle together about capabilities of the bike. Awesome job PB.
  • 5 0
 I feel like "Wild Boar" is a much better name for a bike that rolls through the dirt.
  • 4 1
 Fits the weight,to.
  • 5 1
 I know our bike industry overlords have decided weight doesn't matter for bikes anymore... but 34lbs for a 125mm trail ripper... really??
  • 4 0
 In this case, you’re sacrificing a few pounds for several thousand dollars.
  • 1 0
 That's acceptable for a trail bike IMO
It's waaaay over what might qualify for "downcountry" though.
  • 4 0
 Come on.... this is an reasonably priced trail bike. Of course it didn't climb as well and out descended a bunch xc bikes with 10mm extra travel.
  • 2 0
 That 'brain off' comment from Levy deserves a little more attention. There are some bikes that are capable of very fast riding but they suck the mental energy out of you. On the other end, there are bikes that dead on predictable and you can place your attention on what fun you are having. It's a 'know thyself' moment for what you really prefer.
  • 3 1
 This thing looks and sounds sick! That said, I wish companies making alloy frames would stop with internal cable routing. It's always a pain in the ass to deal with, is rarely stable enough to stay quiet, and is never elegant—always adding a lot of ugly welds/ports. Aluminum should not try to mimic carbon IMO—it's a simpler material and should be treated/designed as such. RAAW does a good job and I hear Privateer's is decent, but man, my Banshee is so loud and such a pain to route.
  • 3 1
 Pinkbike needs to spend some money on the set for the test crew. They seem to pick the dreariest place to all sit in a row and give their feedback. Sit around a table, get a couple more cameras. Have a nice background. Get rid of the lap top. Talk to each other and not the camera. The content of what they’re saying is always really good, but the format and setting is boring.
  • 3 1
 I would like if they had the bike in front of them. And some beer cans on their hands. Actually no,skip the beer cans.
  • 3 0
 The only downside if the cable routing? I think the mention of weigh should have been there. Anyway looks like a good deal overall.
  • 5 0
 It sure does look a lot like a Marin Rift Zone (besides graphics)
  • 4 0
 Yeah it sure does...but which a much higher sticker price..yikes!!!
  • 4 0
 I believe RSD is now also offering the Wildcat as 150 front and rear, which is cool!!
  • 1 0
 I liked my Wildcat V2. I did end up breaking a sliding dropout on a trip though (no crash). Also, was kinda bummed I could only fit a 160 (OneUp shimmed 180) dropper on a medium. Wasn't a big deal until I started riding Braille (Demo Forest) and felt the saddle up in my guts. Welds/tubing were gorgeous.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy really love these reviews, and have one small suggestion for the videos. Possibly go with a round table so the presenters can look at each other more and talk to each other. Looks pretty awkward when the presenters blankly stare at the camera.
Also, side note. Where is Christina Chappetta these days?
Thanks again for the great reviews!
  • 1 0
 So it is descent oriented shorter travel bike. Does it make sense over a longer travel trail bike (something in the 140-150mm range)? I am wanting to get a full sus in the not to distant future and I haven't had the chance to demo something in this style. Do they climb better then a longer travel trail bike? I'd love to see an article comparing some of the short travel trail bike versus longer travel ones.
  • 4 2
 Small critique with these: Levy- when you ask about the models or the components, and then do this "Oh really" face, or the fake "I'm processing that" expression, it's silly.
  • 1 0
 Na I'm going to give young Michael a pass. I mean, he's still going to have to work on his 'surprised happy' look to get close to Tupac in Nothing But Trouble, but I'm buying what he's selling for the most part.
  • 4 0
 Super nice short travel trail bike.
  • 2 1
 That thing is sweet. I bought a 2022 Element after the last Fieldtest, and sold it,. now riding a bike similar to the RSD... its the better downcountry, called a trail bike Smile
  • 1 1
 Yea this bike will not make any of the, added since the outside+ crap, weight weenies happy. It's too affordable, it's too durable, it's not made of brittle ass carbon for weight savings. The weight weenies done pushed the sport of mtb over the edge of the precipice and only $10k carbon crap 29er bikes will do now. Outside + and discovery has f*cked this website up. Ok carry on weight weenies, carry on. Or maybe go back to road biking and then carry on, in traffic.
  • 3 0
 For a non-racer who doesn't need 150mm or more of rear wheel travel, this looks like the perfect daily driver.
  • 1 0
 I may be very old, but I remember a time where that amount of money bought you the best of the best, full xtr, xmax wheels, world cup version forks, race face cockpit. It's considered affordable now...
  • 1 0
 Sure it's decent value by today's standards but I'm not exactly blown away by the pricing, it wasn't that long ago really where you could get a YT Capra full carbon with Kashima everything for that money...
  • 3 0
 adjustable chainstays is not why that frame is 7 pounds
  • 4 1
 Pounds and ounces, seriously?
  • 3 2
 Type that shit into Google and blam within seconds you’ll have exactly what you’re looking for.
  • 1 0
 I thought the "downcountry" bikes were just xc bikes with a longer fork and a more aggressive front tires. When did they become short travel enduro bikes?
  • 3 0
 Really Sick Deal
  • 2 0
 I think I'd take the ripley af.
  • 2 0
 I’ve got one, and it’s pretty great at most things! The end of year sales were too hard to pass up.
  • 1 0
 How do I turn off the damn autoplay for these videos?

Nice bike, but the Ripley AF exists.
  • 1 0
 Comparing the specs, geo, etc the Wildcats seems just a bit more aggressive so there's enough differentiation imo.
  • 3 6
 Love that PB chooses some smaller manufacturers but could not be less interested in this bike . Just too heavy and lazy for it to be a DC bike. Short travel trail for non dentists I get, but otherwise about as bland as it gets. Contra doesn’t make a DC bike lol?
  • 7 0
 Is this serious? I'm happy to see a relatively "normal" small manufacturer. Seems like PB either picks very standard bikes, or something that's handmade in a garage in Lichtenstein.
  • 2 0
 @TheRamma: probably true lol. I should not have cast shade. It is nice to see bikes that are actually buyable!!!!
  • 1 0
 @mockit: right? just looking at the number of hard tails RSD offers, they've got some serious passion for MTB. I'm all about companies like that, especially when they're making bikes with a reasonable value. No hate on Contra, but this RSD build is cheaper than their frame.
  • 2 0
 Looks pretty good to me
  • 1 0
 Funny, to me it is the best looking bike of the test.
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