Swoop 170 review at "Mountain Biking UK 06/2016"
"Radon have been around in their native Germany for a while but it’s only recently we’ve seen their bikes in the UK. They’ve got most categories covered, including ‘Superenduro’, which is where the Swoop 170 comes in.
THE FRAME The Swoop delivers 170mm (6.7in) of rear wheel travel, controlled via a RockShox Vivid Air R2C shock, which o!ers external beginning and end stroke rebound damping adjustment along with a low-speed compression dial. The Vivid Air’s lowest anchor point is where the Swoop’s flip chip can be found. This lets you switch between Tour, Trail and Park modes, each of which alters the head angle by 0.5 degrees and the BB height by about 6mm. There’s a mix of internal and external cable routing, 12x148mm rear axle spacing and room for a bottle.
THE KIT The value on offer is impressive, with the Swoop featuring a host of SRAM kit, including their top-end RockShox Lyrik fork, 11-speed GX transmission and Guide RS brakes.
THE RIDE At 14.58kg (32lb) the Swoop is a little on the portly side but it pedals well when seated. With a relatively steep 75.5-degree seat angle (Trail setting) and little suspension bob it’ll chug up just about any climb. Out-of-the-saddle cranking on steeper inclines isn’t quite as e"cient though, with no compression lever on the rear shock to tame the pedal bob. But this isn’t a big deal – after all, the Swoop is more about the going down than the going up. Drop into a rough descent and the Swoop will happily swallow up the chunder from beneath you, with both the Lyrik fork up front and the Vivid Air shock at the rear tracking and smoothing the terrain seriously well, and the slack 64.1-degree head angle and low BB bolstering confidence when it’s most needed. While it took us just minutes to set up the Lyrik, the Vivid Air required more experimentation to find the balance we were after. Once you find that sweet spot though, it can take a hammering. On faster, mellower trails that need constant line adjustments the Swoop feels more akin to a lightweight DH bike, preferring to stay glued to the trail and guided rather than be hopped or popped from line to line like a shorter-travel trail bike might. When things got really steep we found the front end a touch low, but a switch to a higher rise bar would fix this. We didn’t get on with the Ergon grips, but our main gripe was with the Continental tyres. This bike is capable of being pushed seriously hard but the Trail Kings squirmed under heavy cornering loads and lacked enough bite to tackle any cambers that were even just semi-slimy at a decent pace and with confidence."
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