PRODUCT: FIRST RIDES ON COAST CYCLES TRAIL BIKES
OUR FIRST CONTACT WITH HOME-GROWN LABEL COAST CYCLES' TRAIL BIKES GOT US IMPRESSED
( Coast Cycles Atom [in white] and Axis [in Black] )
The Atom and Axis are a departure from Coast Cycles' usual commuter bikes genre. These are true mountain bikes! Tough yet clean, was the first impression we had when they were unveiled to us. We look beyond their clean looks to bring you the details.
TOUGH TRAIL BIKES WITH CLEAN LOOKS
Coast Cycles is a well-remembered bike label in Singapore that have been winning numerous accolades for their designs. Their brand identity and art direction have certainly crystallized with those who have been aware of the brand's products. Their early focus were on hip-looking bikes for commuting the cityscape. Then came the Atom and the Axis. According to Coast Cycles, both bikes are designed to be "Single track Trail bikes" meant for all day rides.
When Coast Cycles set out to design these bikes, they had a few objectives in mind:
- Able to flow along the narrow singletracks,
- Comfortable with tight low-speed turns,
- Maintaining efficiency and control during climbs even through rocks and/or roots,
- Sporting good maneuverability at switchbacks.
The combination of these variables would eventually shape the personality of these bikes.
(Horst Link for both the Atom and the Axis)
Coupled with both bikes' Plus Bike interchangeability, you are looking at bikes with 4 different permutations of riding feel!
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BIKES
The Coast Cycles Atom and Axis are 29 inch and 27.5 inch bikes respectively. While they ride and feel different, they also share some similarities. Think of them as siblings having similar genetic traits yet sporting different personalities.
Here's what they have in common:
- Adoption of Horst Link exhibit a lively and progressive leverage curve property that is totally competent in rough terrain.
- Contrary to current trends of long top tubes and slack head angles, Coast Cycles' trail bikes are built relatively long but with moderate angled head tubes, to cater to a wider group of riders.
- Both bikes allows for low speed turns without having to over-lean the bikes.
- With a seat tube angle of 75.2 – 76.2 deg, the rider would be at a very centered or neutral position while seated. This would mean a planted front wheel when climbing seated down.
- 148 mm boost standard and designed to fit plus-sized tyres of up to 3.0 inches.
- Flip-chip for both bikes which allows for a +/- 0.7 deg adjustment to head angle and +/- 7 mm adjustment to bottom bracket height. Coupled with both bikes' Plus Bike interchangeability, you are looking at bikes with 4 different permutations of riding feel!
- The round-butted tubing on the bikes accentuate the clean retro feel, and at the same time, allows for a more uniformed stiffness throughout the frame. According to Coast Cycles, the round tubes also damps trail chatter better.
- The pivots are joined at the downtube rather that the seat tube. This helps to isolate the vibration from the seat tube and rider.
- Quality assurance with many CNC hardwares on the frame over cost-cutting welded ones. Examples include 1 piece CNC chainstay yoke, CNC bottom bracket with main pivot.
(Uncluttered top tube and easy-to-wash frame design)
The design direction of Coast Cycle flows strong in these 2 trail bikes – clean uncluttered looks with practical solutions that enhance user experience. This philosophy's end result can be seen by these few examples:
- Neat internal routing and cable cover throughout the bike
- Bottom of the top tube kept clean and unobstructed for easy hanging onto bike rack.
- Relatively wide gaps in-between the moving parts of the linkage for easy washing.
- Pre-drilled hole under the bottom bracket for easy drainage.
(148 mm boost standard and are designed to fit plus sized tyres of up to 3.0 inches)
FIRST RIDING IMPRESSION
(Coast Cycles Atom)
The Atom is a 27.5 Plus and a 29 inch trail bike with 140 mm rear travel (Monach RT3 190X51). It is recommended to match with a 150 mm fork. Riding the Atom was fun. We started our ride feeling that it is a stable and sure-footed bike. But as we dive into turns and corners, we were surprised that it also felt nimble and agile when we put it to the task. The bike responded to our pedaling readily and was lively enough. (You may be wondering why we used the term "lively enough"? Read on and you will know why).
Looking deeper into the geometry of the bike, we concluded that the front-agile-rear stable combo feeling we got from this bike is the result from a long top tube with a comfortable angled front tube matched to a moderately lengthed rear triangle.
Descending with the Atom is as good as one can expect from a trail bike. The spacious cock pit and longish wheel base (1185 mm) really helps.
True to its objective, we are convinced that this bike is comfortable and definitely suitable for long rides.
(Coast Cycles Axis)
The Axis is a 26 Plus and 27.5 inch trail bike with 150 mm rear travel (RockShox Monach RT3 200X57). It is recommended to match to a 160 mm fork up front. As the "smaller" of the 2 bikes, it has a wheelbase of 1160mm when the chip is flipped to low head angle setting of 66.5 deg. Similar to the Atom, it has a relatively steep seat angle of 76.2 deg.
Although having many similarities in terms of design features, this bike feels distinctively different from the Atom when it comes to ride personality. It rides like an excited trail puppy diving in and out of corners with enthusiasm. It also climbs relatively well and needed less inertial effort than the Atom to move off.
One thing that we can inferred about these 2 siblings are that; while the Atom gives the riding feeling of a front active and rear stable trail bike, the Axis is somewhat the other way round – front end stable and tail happy. Thus the "playful" personality.
On the descent, its 20 mm shorted wheelbase did make it a little less sure-footed than the Atom. But that's because we have tried the Atom. If we had rode only the Axis, we would say that it is poppy and have good trail feedback.
The Axis seems to enjoy encouraging the rider to take on challenging features just to pop some air.
(Coast Cycles Atom in 27.5 Plus build)
BUYING THE BIKES
Our first contact with these 2 home-grown trail bikes was a good one. We have really good impressions of them and would be back with a full review soon. For more information or to buy these bikes, contact Coast Cycles.
(Coast Cycles Axis in 27.5 build)
Information by Coast Cycles
Photos by Bikezilla and Coast Cycles