From our neighbors to the north comes the Mutant, a hardtail 29+ monster hell bent on global domination! Hailing from Toronto, RSD Bikes (Rubber Side Down) is showing promise with its new line-up of hardtail trail bikes and the Mutant shows the company is willing to be among the first to put a 29+ bike to market.
Initially I wondered how this bike would stack up against the Surly Krampus I reviewed previously. With similar geometry and similarly equipped, the Mutant, at least on paper, looked like it could hold its own.
Unlike most of the true fatbikes I’ve thrown a leg over, which tend to be more utilitarian tank than super fun ripper, the 29+ bikes are more all around trail bike that happens to have the added bonus of rolling like a monster truck. It’s like an infusion of awesome in what might already be a pretty fun.
The Mutant is no different (hence the name, get it?). Built up from the same frame as RSD’s 29er trail bike, The Chief, the Mutant displays characteristics not unlike any other slackish trail bike: predictable handling, an easily lofted and agile front end, and it absolutely loves to roll. The beauty behind this wheel/tire size is it’s ability to remain playful and yet steamroll everything in its way.
The SRAM X9 1×10 drivetrain continues to prove it has plenty of gears for most everything and seems a perfect match for the rolling power contained in them big wheels. It’s mounted on a 4130 chromoly frame with sliding dropouts, ISCG-05 mounts and a 142×12 rear axle. Up front is a 44mm head tube holding RSD’s own carbon fork with a unique 15mm quick release thru-axle. Though our demo model differs slightly, a similar build kit rings the register at $2,399.
So far I’ve enjoyed my time piloting this monster and I’m looking forward to many more outings in the coming weeks and months. Look for my full review in an upcoming issue of Dirt Rag!
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