Rule the Woods with the All-City Cycles Electric Queen

It was inevitable. Some might even call it destiny. All-City Cycles needs no introduction here on this website, and neither does the benefit of riding a steel hardtail mountain bike in an era of plastic full squish bikes. In fact, I’d argue that All-City’s latest offering, the Electric Queen, will not only please the readers of this site but could be the bike they’ve been looking for. Well, warriors, your search for a shreddable steel hardtail ends here.

Hardtails

If there’s one thing I can say I admire about the cycling industry, it is its ability to take such a simple vehicle and push its capabilities more and more with each bit of technological advancement. Say what you will about boost, and plus tires, but they’re paramount to the survival of this vehicle, plus, they make it even more shredable. To the naked eye a hardtail might look simple, but there are a number of factors that need to be addressed to make the bike worth your time, and most importantly, your hard-earned money, especially around the Holidays! The angles have to be right, they have to have the right clearances and yeah, they gotta have style. Most importantly, however, is the sizing. The Electric Queen comes in X-Small through X-Large.

Break Out Your Protractor

Angles, angles, angles. Slacker isn’t always better, longer and lower doesn’t necessarily make a better bike and if the bottom bracket drops too much, you’re in for a bummer ride. The Electric Queen plays it safe with all the above areas, avoiding the tendency to push the head tube angle too much. Instead, the designers at All-City landed on a 67.5º and 67.6º HTA across the size run, with a 120mm fork. I’ve found the slacker you go with this measurement, the better it is going straight down, at speed, but you lose a lot of the responsive handling most people’s trails are best suited for. The same can be said for bottom bracket drop. Lower it too much and it’ll make things like airs and hops a bit more difficult, or you’ll be smashing your pedals on rocks all the time. For that dimension, the bike hangs around 38.8mm for the medium, and shifts slightly throughout the sizes. Not too low and not too high. Perfect? For this bike, I’d say so.

Since the 27.5+ platform accommodates 29er wheels as well, the chainstays had to be prepared for the riders who will always try to cram the biggest 29er tire into the rear end. While I’ve ridden a fair amount of 420mm chainstay 29er hardtails, I always feel like 425mm is the way to go. Coincidentally, that’s where the Electric Queen lies. This results in a wheelbase that’s still tight with extra room, without venturing into XC territory. Kinda like sweatpants. Tight when you need them, but with room to spare for when you hit that technical and steep descent, or a plate full of stuffing and turkey. Other riders look to various other dimensions, but for me, those three areas quickly weed out look-alikes and wannabes. They’re the difference between a MTB company that has to have a hardtail in their lineup, and a company that wants the only MTB in their lineup to be a veritable singletrack slayer.

That Paint Tho

Ombré, splatter, and neon. What could go wrong? All-City is known for great color combinations, or should I say polarizing paint designs. People either love it or hate it and will always make their opinion known in the comments. Let me tell ya when people complain, you know you’re doing something right. As for the Electric Queen, I’d call this paint job a win. The rear half of the bike is black and the front half is loud and ready to party. It’s almost like the bike was baked during supersonic travel and then covered in splatters. The decals on the Reba fork even match.

Specs

Building a complete MTB is something new for All-City and I’d go out on a limb and say, they did a great job, knowing what is currently being offered in the industry. SRAM’s GX group is a no-brainer. It offers all the functionality of their other platforms, at a fraction of the cost of XX1 Eagle. All-City kept the rest of the specs loyal to SRAM, too. With a RockShox Reba RL 120mm fork and SRAM Level brakes with 160mm Centerline Rotors. Over the years, SRAM’s Guide brakes have had some issues, ok, a lot of issues, but the latest run has seemingly resolved them and even if something does happen to your new MTB’s brakes, SRAM’s warranty department is ON IT.

While the model I rode and reviewed came with a dropper, the Electric Queen comes spec’d with a Promax post. Nothing special by any means and one thing that is a fortunate by-product of All-City removing their fancy seat tube cluster lug from the Electric Queen is the ability to run a QR seatpost collar. Smart thinkin’, team! For those who will be putting a dropper in, there’s even an internal routing port.

Wheels can make or break a complete build and while the Electric Queen can take either 27.5 or 29er wheels, they come stocked with the smaller diameter option. Why? Because a 27.5+ tire on a hardtail is just better, IMO. Sure, people have opinions on either side, but having tried both wheel sizes on my personal bikes, I always come back around to a higher-volume, lower-pressure tire for my trails. Now, if you’re planning on racing the Electric Queen, you might be swapping out the trail wheels for a lighter 29er race wheelset and tire package, but that’s all on you. For those of you concerned with dropping extra dough on a new wheelset right out of the gate, hold your horses. The Electric Queen comes spec’d with Novatec hubs to WTB Scraper i40, 27.5, 32h rims. I’ve had good luck with the Scrapers and found them to be more dent resilient than other wide rim options. Plus, the bigger tires help in the dent-free longevity of your bike’s wheels. Of course, if you case something hard, don’t go crying to the warranty department. That’s all on you, pardner.

Tubing is a defining factor in what separates All-City from a Surly and that’s not meant as a dig. All-City just puts a value on making a strong, safe and light tubeset. Making a mountain bike is tough when it comes to passing consumer safety testing. They have to run even their cyclocross frames through this rigorous exercise, so when it came to their new mountain bike, All-City made sure to utilize their new 612 Select tubeset. Is the bike heavy? Not at all. Is it light? Not at all. It’s right there in the middle, like all of All-City’s products. There are always lighter options out there, with any bike, but you’ll pay for it.

Other Details worth mentioning include the chainstay yoke, head tube lugs, polished head tube badge, cable routing, dropout design and we already talked about the hair-metal inspired paint.

The Ride

I’m a bad person to review hardtail mountain bikes. I usually take a look at the geo sheet and formulate my opinion before even throwing a leg over the bike. While I was stoked to see the Electric Queen’s unveiling, I’ll admit, even I thought I knew how it’d ride. To be honest, I was really surprised, even stacking this bike’s capabilities against my other, longer travel hardtails. 120mm ain’t a lot for 27.5 wheels, but I never felt like I needed more travel. In fact, I kinda preferred it at the end of the run in NorthStar and at my home trails. I’m also the guy that can have fun on a rigid though, hence my apprehension when reviewing bikes. Just because I had fun on something, doesn’t mean everyone will. Yet, I’d throw it in there and say the Electric Queen will impress first-time mountain bike riders, along with seasoned shred heads.

THE PRICE

FUN doesn’t have a price! Fuck that. We all know your money is the by-product of long hours and stress. So spend it wisely. The complete Electric Queen is $2299 for the X-Small, $2299 for the Small, $2299 for the Medium, $2299 for the Large, and $2299 for the X-Large. Or if you’ve got a kit of MTB parts, the frameset comes in at $750.

Not bad, even a stoner trail wizard could afford it. See more specs, numbers and charts at All-City.

Head to your local All-City dealer to pre-order and if you have any questions, holler in the comments!

  • Willy Don Gouda

    I just bought the new model Surly Krampus last month. I love it, but this thing looks fun as helllll. A rigid steel fork to match the paint would be killer

  • BendORWildcat

    Love the paint scheme, it’s like a reverse mullet! Party in the front, business out back.

  • I’m no fan of ultra-low BBs, but this is very, very high. Those geo numbers are for a sagged fork! Combine that with the insanely slack seat tube angle and I’m left with the impression All City took a rigid-specific frame (probably with cookie-cutter 69.5°/73° geo) and slapped a 120mm fork on it. I’ve owned/ridden bikes like this is it’s terrible to pedal up a hill and in tight corners. So unwieldy.

    • boomforeal

      agreed. by the numbers this bike looks like it was designed in the early 2000’s by someone without much interest in or experience with hardtails

      • Jeffrey Frane

        This is Jeff from All-City. Honestly when our engineer showed us the initial geometry charts, I was a bit skeptical too. But I’ve been riding this for over a year and my other mtb’s are gathering dust. The Geo works, and it works really well. I hope you get the chance to ride one for yourself when they drop in January. Best,

        • boomforeal

          hi jeff. is all-city planning an extensive demo program for 2018? based on what i see here and your website i certainly won’t be going out of my way to track one of these down. but if you guys are making a push to get these out for people to try, i promise to keep my ears open

          • benreed

            Bro, you don’t need a demo. You have a spreadsheet.

          • boomforeal

            i’m not your bro, guy

          • Scott Felter

            This is only made funnier, knowing that you have a flappy head. Well played.

          • Fred flintstone

            brah, when i read your responses i always think “thats someone i would never want to ride with / get a beer with / talk about anything with / etc. every heckin’ time.

          • Fred flintstone

            now i feel bad. you should be less annoying. :)

          • Bil Thorne

            They made 190 of these. What kind of extensive demo program do you think will happen before they’re all purchased by QBP/shop employees?

          • Alexander Hongo

            This shop employee already has an inventory alert set up so he doesn’t miss his shot (my shop isn’t a “stocking dealer,” so I can’t pre-order.).

          • boomforeal

            honestly, i never gave it a moment’s thought

            jeff expressed a hope that i would get the chance to ride an electric queen for myself

            given that he’s the brand’s manager, i hoped he would be working to facilitate such an experience, not just issuing a corporate platitude. call me optimistic

        • barry mcwilliams

          Hey Jeff,
          I’ve had my eyes on a Log Lady frame to build up for a while now.

          Obviously the biggest difference is gears, but riding-wise, any thoughts on how they differ? I don’t grok frame angles & numbers at all.

          Regardless, I’m stoked to find one of these at GSC & give it a spin.

      • Ehhhhh I’d be mindful of judging something before you try it.

        • boomforeal

          i’m generally in agreement with you john

          but, while i haven’t ridden this particular bike, i have ridden a lot of aggressive hardtails. 10+ years ago, slapping a longer travel fork on a “standard” geometry hardtail was very common in BC, and would produce pretty much the same geometry you’ve got here: slack sta, high bb, etc. go have a look at a 2007 norco catalogue, for example – you’ll find the geometry numbers for their “hardcore” hardtails are strikingly similar to this bike’s

          we rode bikes like this, and we loved bikes likes this. and then designers started playing with geometry numbers: bb’s got lower, sta’s got steeper; the bikes got better

          i’m not saying that you can’t have fun on bikes like this. or that, as you contend, a “first timer” wouldn’t be impressed (though as you’ve recently come to realize, novices will have more fun and a less-steep learning curve on a full suspension mountain bike)

          what i’m saying is that the design is dated

          i know because i’ve ridden bikes just like it, and many that were designed since

    • mrbiggs

      I’ll be curious to ride it and see if my preconceived notions hold water, but I felt the same way. I unloaded my Ros9 this year for the new Karate Monkey, and when I first saw the photo I kinda went “aw, damn.” But when I saw that 71° seat tube and then that bottom bracket drop, and thought about how much like I like the KM, I breathed easier. The Ros had that insane 67.5° seat tube, so 71° is way better than that. So, call me curious, but I’m not gonna spend the winter kicking myself. (The colorway is a treat, BTW. Love.)

    • This bike definitely didn’t suck climbing. That being said, the Electric Queen shreds! On my first descent with the bike I was immediately smitten. If I had the budget this year, I would definitely own an Electric Queen, I may even throw a 130 fork on it just to make the internet’s collective head explode.

      • Adem Rudin

        Curious what you mean by “didn’t suck climbing”, if you don’t mind expanding on that? Is it a genuinely good climber, or more along the lines of “not bad enough to detract from the fun of descending”? Most of the riding I do involves some long and/or steep climbs, so climbing efficiency/comfort is just as important to me as downhill shredability.

        • I rode it up a dirt road climb, it didn’t peak up too much, fairly mellow. It wasn’t a rocket, but it sure felt as fast, if not faster than a Timberjack, or even the newest generation KM. My second time on the bike, I only rode a slightly technical spot up and it wasn’t bad at all. My favorite spot to ride is full of slow speed super technical rock gardens and I would hands down own this bike. I’m in Central PA for reference.

          Back to the rear end of the bike, it’s stiff under pedaling seated or standing, and I’m not a small guy. When pointing down hill the bike felt great, it handled well, and didn’t leave me wishing I had suspension.

          • Ah, you mentioned the Monkey! I was surprised at how good the KM climbed the time I got to ride it (though, to be fair, it was full rigid). I’d love to see / read a comparison of the two, steel QBP beasts in 120 mm mode. Dumb question because I’m too lazy to Google … which is lighter?

          • I built a custom KMonkey with most of the parts much lighter than the stock KM build, that being said that KM was around 31.8-32lbs, stock build as shown is right around 31lbs for the All City Electric queen. I would love to ride both bikes and see what’s up back to back.

          • Adem Rudin

            Frankly I’d love to read a comparison between a *bunch* of 27.5+ hardtails. Salsa Woodsmoke/Timberjack, Surly KM, All City Electric Queen, Kona Big Honzo, Santa Cruz Chameleon, Spot Rocker, Chromag Rootdown, etc… tell us each bike’s strong points and weak points so we can make informed decisions about which bikes will suit our individual riding styles and local terrain the best.

          • Workin’ through that list. Santa Cruz is next!

          • barry mcwilliams

            Chameleon is next? I’ve also been considering a SS Chameleon. Consider me very intrigued.

          • Andreas

            Ohye, and add Genesis Tarn and Pole Pika to that list.

    • Kai

      This isn’t a mountain bike, it’s got road bike geometry with a shorter seat tube, Sram Level brakes with 160 rotors, spindly Reba fork instead of a Revelation or Yari and a long cage GX derailleur for an 11-42 cassette, nothing makes sense at all with this build.
      It doesn’t have geo that translate to good climbing or descending, and it’s component specs will definitely not allow for any fun shenanigans without severe risk of injury.

      Only a hipster would buy this for some extra cred at his local vegan coffee shop.

  • boomforeal

    jesus john, did you even spellcheck this?

    • trololo

      piggybacking on this (and don’t take this as a cheap shot, John) but your comma usage here and elsewhere is way overkill and it breaks the flow of your writing. I feel like a turd writing this in a comments section but it’s just my $0.02

      • I use Grammarly for spelling, grammar and comma usage. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/comma/

        Commas get the back-burner, but I prefer to do them “by the books,” because if I don’t, I get even more people complaining about not using them correctly.

        Grammarly usually catches most mistakes and I proof-read everything. Sometimes I miss things, but that’s the nature of the content. It’s not a magazine, it’s a website and one that updates with a lot of content, oftentimes written in the midst of other things happening at once. It’s not perfect, by any means.

        • boomforeal

          i’d be interested to see a before and after shot

          based on the results though, i’d say your faith in grammarly is misplaced

          • Jim Watkinson

            I’m a former sub-editor and unless it’s a glaring error, or one of my pet-hates (you instead of your et cetera), I’m happy to roll with content over 100% correctness. Keep up the good work John.

          • Are you Grammar Yoda?

          • multisportscott

            That’s gold right there, maybe

          • GNARdina

            Boy oh boy, I’ll bet you’re a blast at parties.

        • Adem Rudin

          For an example of comma madness, try re-reading the 3rd sentence under the “Hardtail” heading – the one starting with “To the naked eye…”

          That said, I 100% sympathize with running a one-person blog that has to update on a schedule; iid it myself for a while and it was frankly exhausting. Keep the content coming, and don’t worry about the nitpickers!

      • Chris Valente

        the internet: where what you are about to write makes you feel like a turd, but you write it anyway.

      • benreed

        What, the, fuck, are, you, guys, talking-about;

  • benreed

    Take this with a grain of salt (’cause I really don’t know what I’m talking about), but one number that seems off to me is the 71.something seat tube angle. Every time I’ve put a bigger than spec’d fork on a bike (and, as a result, slackened the seat tube), the bike felt weird on seated climbs. Looks like a great bike, that number just jumped out at me.

    • Kai

      I have 75 SA on my hardtail, and if I were to buy another custom build, I would go even steeper.
      71 SA is for roadies, it’s got nothing to do on a mountain bike.

      Love the paint on it though, but geo is outdated by 10 years, there’s a reason for today’s geo numbers, they work better for riding off road.

      • benreed

        My Honzo has a 75 degree seat tube angle and it’s great. That said, I’ve owned three All-City bikes and they all ride (rode) great so I’m curious as to how this bike rides.

        • Kai

          It might be a great bike for commuting or riding gravel, but it’s got geo that was normal 10 years ago, and having ridden bikes from that era back to back with modern bikes, it’s just not efficient, it will have some more agility in the air, but the components on it will not stand up to jumping, so that’s clearly not what it was designed to do.
          Compare this to a longer reach bike with steeper STA to keep the same ETT scaling for sizes, you will lose out on seated climbing by a wide margin, while at the same time losing stability for descending.

          • White Mike

            What road or gravel bike has a slack SA? Curious where that comment is coming from. I personally prefer a slacker seat angle on my mountain bikes. Slide forward or stand up if you want to. No biggie. Everybody has their preferences though.

          • co-sign.

          • Jared Jerome

            That was my first thought too. 71 seat tube on a road bike?

            In other news, I have no idea why this post has stirred up drama. Geometry, commas, spelling, old mountain bikes, requesting demos…it’s just some tubes welded together with wheels bolted on that you pedal around in the dirt.

          • benreed

            “I personally prefer a slacker seat angle on my mountain bikes.”

            Right. It looks better and (since you don’t actually ride bikes) the way it handles is irrelevant.

          • White Mike

            If riding bikes was judged by how many comments you post on The Radavist you got me beat Ben.

          • benreed

            It’s like internet Strava.

          • White Mike

            True. While we’re throwing salt did you and the rest of the Velo Plus chocolatiers sign up for the 50 mile children’s Dirty Kanza AGAIN this year?

          • benreed

            Nah, brah. Gravel is dead. Thought you knew. I’m doing Ouachita in March. (hope everyone is enjoying us talking shit on each other)

          • White Mike

            Too true. RIP gravel. Good luck dude-bro. I might be down there. Need to sign up for something to motivate me.

          • I signed up for TV Guide for motivation.

          • benreed

            Aren’t you doing Land Run?

          • Kai

            There are zero purpose built bike trails where I live, our climbs are steep, rutted and rooty, you have to be seated to climb them, as you aren’t realistically going to stand and pedal up a long technical uphill, you just won’t. Of course I’m quite ok with having to hike-a-bike quite often, as some places you literally can’t ride up, but I’m going to pedal up the parts that are rideable on the way up, and geometry is everything when it comes to doing this comfortably. STA is pretty much the single most important number for the uphill bit (even before weight).

          • White Mike

            Different strokes for different folks. I think a steeper SA makes more sense for shorter riders. With my long legs I could never get comfortable on a 73 degree SA mtb. My bikes always had layback posts and seats pushed back on the rails. Looking at my bike Moonman #23 (pictured on this site for reference) the seat is almost directly over the rear hub (71.5 SA) which allows (in my mind) for greater traction going uphill as you’re weighting the rear tire more while seated. For reference Jeff Jones bikes have a slacker SA 72 (last time I checked) and he gets pretty rad on those bikes. I don’t think a few degrees here or there makes a huge difference. Whether 71 to 73 to 75 when you consider the variable positions of a ride (scooting forward or back, standing or sitting) with the fixed items (layback posts or straight, fore and aft position of seat rails) the net average is that they can all be very similar and all fun bikes in some way. You will/should adjust accordingly to be comfortable and clear the climb or descent and PARTY HARD AF.

          • boomforeal

            a steeper ST angle makes more sense for taller riders, as they’re going to be running more seatpost, too, which pushes them even further off the back of the bike; a slacker angle is going to exacerbate that

            that assumes that chainstay lengths stay the same throughout the size range, though. some companies (norco springs to mind) spec longer chainstays on their larger models, which somewhat mitigates the dynamic i mentioned above

            jeff jones does indeed spec very slack ST angles. on his plus bikes, he also specs crazy long chainstays and crazy short reach numbers. there’s a direct relationship there in terms of keeping weight over the back wheel for traction while still allowing the rider to keep weight on the handlebars and keep the front wheel down, especially on steep climbs

            if you don’t ride much or hard, geometry isn’t going to make much of a difference to you. at the margins/edge, it’s arguably more important than any other aspect of a bike. if you’re happy riding any ol’ bike and PARTYING HARD AF LOL WTF, that’s great – but to claim “a few degrees here or there” doesn’t make a huge difference is just ignorant, sorry

          • White Mike

            I’m thinking about the “knee over pedal” sizing mentality with regards to a steep SA and taller riders with longer femurs not making sense fit wise. You put them in a time trial bike position which IN MY OPINION is not optimal for taller riders or at least not my personal preference. If you want to weight the front why not go back to a longer stem? I don’t think the current “modern geometry” has fully shaken out. Companies are pushing the front end out and using a steep SA to compensate but not considering the full picture. Transition SBG is headed in the right direction I think, moving the fork offset inward to keep wheelbase and front center in check. Still a steeper SA than I’d prefer at 75ish. Not even going to comment on your last paragraph because I don’t do E-Beef unless you’re Ben Reed or I know you in person.

          • boomforeal

            you’re conflating road bikes and mountain bikes. they’re not the same, and applicable geometry conventions (rightly) diverge greatly. keith b debunked the myth of kops many years ago, but he was thinking about road bikes, and perhaps norba (road) geometry mountain bikes.

            for actual/modern, non-racing mountain bikes, where your knee is in relation to your pedal spindle doesn’t matter nearly as much how a bike handles when you are out of the saddle. steeper STA’s allow for shorter back ends and longer reach figures while keeping overall wheelbase lengths in check. this makes for more stable descending without compromising maneuverability

            when it comes to pedalling/climbing a mountain bike, steeper STA’s allow the rider to put more power down from seated position (which keeps weight over the back wheel for traction) and maintain weight on the front wheel to both keep it tracking on the ground counteract a slack HTA (better for descending)’s impact on wheel flop and wandering

            SBG reduces wheelbase and F/C very slightly, but it also increases trail. the two factors are meant to counteract one another, making the bike more agile in situations were the rider has more control (i.e. at low speeds) and more stable where the rider does not (i.e. at heigh speeds). it’s an interesting concept for sure, i’d love to ride one of their new bikes to see how it works out in practice

          • White Mike

            When you’re out of the saddle, seat angles don’t matter at all. Curved seat tubes allow for the rear end to be as short as possible. Steepening the SA to accomplish this is the easy way #str8tubez (better for mass manufacturers) not necessarily the right way. Reach is measured from a virtual line up from the bb center to the headtube center, SA has no relation to this measurement.

            There are plenty of studies on the effects of SA (Google search provides several) and power/fit etc. and ALL of them mention a few degrees of difference can be mitigated by post offset and saddle position #pythagoreantheorem as well as mentioning the need to consider femur length, hip rotation, muscle length and several other factors.

            PS I’m positive the goal of this bike is not to MAXIMIZE POWER OUTPUT, it’s not a triathlon bike, it’s a steel mountain bike with + tires.

          • boomforeal

            jesus, it’s like playing chess with a pigeon

      • AaronBenjamin

        I thought I wanted a a 74º seat angle on my HT and it’s too steep. I have VERY short femurs, but 73.5º would have been perfect. On zero-offset posts my saddles are slammed all the way back. Oh well.

        75º and up on a hardtail is madness. Weight balance is in all the wrong places.

        • Kai

          And I have to run my saddle slammed forwards on all my bikes, and I run 75° on 3 of them, short legs too, any slacker and I would have my weight bias too much over the rear for my local tech climbs. When it’s steep, rooty and rocky you really want some weight on your front wheel so it doesn’t wander all over the place.
          My Trek Farley is 73°, and that makes the short chainstay position useless, as the front wanders too much, and it doesn’t work in the snow with that much weight over the rear.

  • DODGERDISCIPLE

    This bike to me, makes all the sense in the world. Just ride your damn bike. Spend more time having fun and shred this thing. Great job Jeff Frane and crew! I am hoping to get one!

  • Thaddeus Graham

    I read the headline and thought “great, all city is getting into the e bike game “. Nope … As cyclists, I feel we are overdue for a steel e bike.
    Hope I used my commas correctly.

    • Smithhammer

      “As cyclists, I feel we are overdue for a steel e bike.”

      Jeezus, I’m not even sure where to begin with this statement.

      • Thaddeus Graham

        After owning 2 way too stiff Ebikes , both aluminum . One is a trek /Bosch center drive (Unreliable) the other a Raleigh/ shimano steps ( great). I would begin by noting that the massive increase in average speed just makes the stiffness of cheap aluminum frames that much more apparent

  • Justin

    I love this bike! Now I have to decide between this and the Soma Val Hallen for a shreddy hardtail.
    I really feel like this bike would be so much cooler with grip shifting though. So close.

  • Nick

    Nice looking bike. All City always hits my buttons. I understand the no dropper post, but a pike upgrade option would really help elevate the build. Regardless, sweet ride.

    • AaronBenjamin

      Having owned a Pike, they’re overrated. In the same price range you can get into the MRP Ribbon which is a superior fork in my opinion – and hand-assembled in USA!

      • Nick

        Fair enough, I meant Pike as a catch all reasonable trail fork. The bike is spec’d all sram, so the pike is an easy OEM choice. The pike is also not overrated compared to, say, that motion-control damper 32mm stantioned Reba.

        • A Pike would have driven this bike’s retail up considerably. Everyone wants an “affordable” hardtail. Personally, a Yari would have been great too.

          • Nick

            True, but the reba is the most expensive choice of them all, as you then have a bike with a reba. I’ve never actually ridden a Yari but agree it would be a much better spec. Everyone has their own riding styles though, my values are influenced by my local trail systems and my sensitivity to price point. Others will see it differently, thats fine.

          • Andy Belcher

            The Reba is the cheap end of the spectrum, pricepoint is below Yari and Pike. It’s definitely an odd spec on a rowdy hardtail… it’s a 32mm stanchion fork that is better suited to a racy XC bike. The Revelation would have been more appropriate as it’s built off of the Pike’s 35mm chassis with a cheaper damper (much like the Yari is built off of the pricier Lyrik) and more inline with the Reba pricepoint.

  • Andreas

    John: Have you tested the Genesis Tarn? These two should be in the same category of use, how do they compare?

    As others here I am also a bit sceptical to the very low sta (on both bikes to be honest) for the bike to perform well on flat and up-hill trails. I trust the downhill capabilities, but thats only half the game. How did it climb on trail (not just easy pedaling up the fire road..)?

    • I have not. In terms of the slack STA and climbing singletrack, I didn’t find it to be difficult and truthfully, it never even crossed my mind about being an issue. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

      • Andreas

        When climbing, don’t you want to have your weight moved forward as far as possible up to the point where you lose traction on the rear wheel? All other things equal, that argues for high/steep effective STA (as long as you are seated, when climbing standing up you also move your weight forward but then of course the STA doesn’t matter anymore). You can also move your seated weight forward by moving the seat forward by either shortening the seat-post setback or the position of the seat on the post rails, however what you actually are doing then is manipulating the effective STA. The chainstay length will also affect the STA: given the same seat position a shorter chainstay length will give you a steeper sta as you move the BB closer to the rear wheel.
        So if you combine a short chainstay length with a slack sta (as for the Electric Queen), you place your weight further back then with a steep sta/long chain stay which in my head gives you worse climbing abilities.
        I haven’t tested the bike of course and it might climb very well. I also don’t have much experience from HTs, I ride FS on the trails. But by looking at the geo, I would guess it’s a great HT going downhill and flat, but not a great climber. If you say it’s a great climber nothing is better than that, because the rest of the bike looks really great! :)
        (If the bike is focused on descending rather than all-round purpose then the climbing abilities doesn’t matter, but that should somehow be stated as it would rule out the bike from many potential buyers including myself as the terrain I ride one use the trails both ascending and descending).

        • I understand how it works. You don’t have to explain it to me. I’m saying I didn’t run into an issue with this bike and our trails are also not MTB-specific and are very steep and rutted. The San Gabriel mountains are decomposed granite, so there isn’t much traction either.

          • Andreas

            Ok sounds good :)

            I didn’t mean to be rude or anything if the above was misunderstood (if so I blame my Norwegian-English), I just find the topic and how geo evolves on trail bikes interesting. Great site and great reviews so keep up the good work! ;)

          • Your English is wayyyy better than my Norwegian! ;-)

  • Pascal K

    Looks really good, especially the XL sizing is awesome.
    At 6’4″ I had trouble to find a stock steel hardtail. This would probably be for me if I didn’t went custom this year. Although for my weird body proportions custom was the way to go anyway. But this is certainly a great option for taller guys! Also, the paint job is just insane!

  • Chris Buck

    It looks like Karate Monkey and Instigator 2.0 got together and had a baby, and named it Electric Queen.

  • What´s wrong w/ the slack seat angle? Fat Chances had those angles when they ruled technical singletrack. Steep climbs included. I can climb fine on a 72 degr. seat angle. The slack is good when you don´t want every bump to catapult you over bars.

    • Andreas

      And what was the chainstay length on the Fat Chances?

      • 17.15 and 17.25in

        • Andreas

          Which moves your weight forward compared to 425mm and gives you, in theory, a better climber (and of course there are many others factors affecting this, sta alone doesn’t give you much…)

  • Sebastian Schwägele

    The seat angle does not make sense to me. Un-ride-able for me!

  • nothingfuture

    I’m late to the party on this geometry talk here, but i had to track down the numbers on what I’m currently riding (so I could see how similar/different they were).
    I dunno- I’m riding a steel hardtail with a 71 STA, and with a no-setback post, I felt pretty far forward over the pedals until I moved the seat back considerably on the rails…
    I’ve got chainstays that are 412mm long (26 ain’t dead, yo. It just walks with a limp), so maybe that’s helping (hurting?), and I ride technical New England singletrack.
    Geometry like this is pretty much what I’ve always ridden, I suppose, so maybe it’s just what I’m used to and I need to take a new-school ride out and see how that feels.

  • Ace Metric Cycles

    Totally nailed this review man! Really, really good job, IMHO.

  • DODGERDISCIPLE

    I just ordered one and all I can say that I’m super excited to build this up and ride the heck out of it.

  • Since I don’t own or ride these kind of bikes, I don’t feel any place to comment on the bike in any technical sense like the rest of you fine folks. But I will say it’s a decently good looking bike. BUT, in all honesty, I remember in the early 90’s when the fluorescent and spatter paint themes first became trendy, when I was a kid, I thought it was ugly. As an adult, I still think it’s ugly. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • trololo

    the geo looks similar to the Ritchey Timberwolf, albeit designed around a shorter fork. Can anyone that’s ridden both chime in with a comparison?

  • Fades always look fresh. Fully feeling the black splatter.