Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

Pronghorn 29er review; n=n+1+1

Posted by Tony | June 12, 2014 | 10 comments so far


Despite having a few bikes in the garage, there is always the place for a new niche bike. So whilst I really enjoy riding my Camber 29er full sus I did have the itch for a 29er hardtail that I had to scratch. Of course it was all Dave’s fault that I ended up with a new bike.

Dave’s fault? Well when he PSA’d the Moles to let us know about some cheap carbon bars, it started me thinking that I had enough parts in the garage to build a new bike. Of course all of this “make use of what I’ve got” got out of hand and I ended up with an almost completely new bike. I did use the Bontrager carbon bars, but not much else in the garage.

First thing required to go with the bars was a frame. After looking for a while for a Chinese 29er frame to put my parts on, I came across Pronghorn and decided that after reading some good reviews it would the good basis of lightweight 29er hardtail. I also came across the Light Bicycle wheels, which seemed to be too good not to go for. The final parts were a Manitou Tower Pro, a complete clearance sale bargain from Chain Reaction, and a 2×10 set up.

Pronghorn PH Carbon 29 build

Frame Pronghorn PH Carbon 29
Fork Manitou Tower Pro (20mm through axle) 120mm travel
Wheels Light Bicycle 30mm Hookless Carbon, tubeless with Specialised Captain tyres
Bars Bontrager Carbon
Grips Hope lock on
Stem Easton
Seatpost Joplin Dropper
Seat Fizik Gobi XM
Drivetrain FSA 2×10 BB30 chainset,
10 speed XT cassette,
XT front and rear mechs,
KMC chain,
XT gear levers
Brakes Shimano SLX
Pedals Shimano XT

Pronghorn PH Carbon 29 hardtail

So what does it ride like? In one word – fast. Well that might be due to all the road miles I’ve been doing lately but the combination of one light bike, very light wheels and extra fitness has meant a blizzard of Strava PRs and smiles. I spent a happy Sunday morning hammering round the Surrey hills seeming to ease up all the hills.

I did also worry that the bike would be too “twitchy XC” on the steering front but after studying the Pronghorn website, I was happy that the steerer angle would be sufficiently relaxed. Maybe running the longest fork recommended – 120mm – helps, but the handling was super neutral and just encouraged more speed! Hopefully it’s going to be a good companion for many hot dry dusty summer rides.

Filed under Bikes, Bikes, Reviews in June 2014


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  1. Dandy says:

    I can confirm it’s a fast bike. I followed Tony back from Leith Hill tower, and despite having a knackered hip from riding into a tree earlier that morning, I still set a load of Strava PRs trying to keep up with him on the way home.

  2. tony says:

    Anyway D’Andy I’m surprised you didn’t comment on the “Cannondale spec” cable lengths?

  3. Matt says:

    That Pronghorn sounds like it has similar angles to my Scandium Kona Big Unit which has turned out to be a pretty enjoyable trail tool despite being relatively steep for 29ers these days. The large volume Butcher/Purgatory combo tyres seem to help for me.

    Of course, the Pronghorn is lighter and the rider is fitter, but I do my best!

    I’m not a fan of black bikes so expect to see the Kona dressed up in a fetching white/black/pink Rapha-esque colour-scheme when you next see me.

  4. Karl says:

    Nice One Tony.

    Powerful engine and light machine = Fun


  5. KevS says:

    Those cables are a disgrace! You have already had a verbal warning about this at Peaslake stores a few weeks ago! 😉

  6. Related: Pace Cycles RC529 steel hardtail review | Bikes, Reviews | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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