Corratec Air Tech World Cup (2011)
Euro styling with personal flair
Looks good with top notch suspension
Rear shock hitting the rubber guard can be a bit off putting.
Corratec have been designing and manufacturing bikes for over 20 years.
Based in Germany their passion for bikes and engineering has put them into a much sort after market. Exporting to over 50 countries Corratec has a long history of supplying quality bikes. Corratec have preset spec levels but there is a provision to customise to your own taste.
The Corratec Air Tech World Cup is an interesting looking bike. The first thing that catches my eye is the unusual rear frame and shock design. Named the 2CIRCLE suspension it has been designed to minimise mechanical stresses on the shock paying attention to the twisting forces and side loading experienced in other frame designs.
They have attached a pivoting cradle to the seat tube, with the front of the shock mounted at one end while the other end is pushed by a short link which pivots on the frame below where the shock cradle is attached. This allows for the front of the shock to move freely up and down. The only downside to this design you will find is the thud you hear when you hop over a log and you lift up the shock hits a rubber bumper located on the inside of the seat tube. At first this was quite off putting but the more I rode the more I got used to it. With no visible damage on the shock the guys at Corratec must have got it right?
The Air Tech we tested came with the rear and front suspension being supplied by Fox with the rear a RP23 with 90mm of travel and with Pro pedal minimised the bobbing that comes from hard pedaling efforts.The front Fox F100 RLC with 100mm of travel performed superbly and suited the Air Tech frame design well.
The running gear was supplied by Sram with a combination of X.O and X.9 with Truvativ Noir supplying the cranks. Avid Elixir Cr Magnesium hydraulic disc brakes looked after the braking with a combination of a 180mm front rotor with a 90mm looking after the rear.
I did receive a few funny looks on the trail as I was out testing on a weekend and it was quite busy at the car park. After escaping the million and one questions I was off to explore how good this baby rides. The bike is light with the large frame weighing in at 2.7kg and an overall bike weight of 11.1 without pedals. This made for a nice climb up the first incline which is cruel when you haven't yet warmed up your legs and lungs. I flicked the lever on the rear Fox shock and the bobbing was sufficiently minimised enough to get me to the top of the first climb. I did feel that the rear end was a little flexi under load but over the bumpy stuff it came into its own providing me with a plush ride keeping my rear wheel firmly attached the ground.
The Continental Race king 2.2 tyres were exceptional. They rolled effortlessly providing a quick platform to eat away at the impending km's I had to do today. Giving me no problems sticking to corners I was very impressed with the Conti's and at light weight 460g each making it a treat to ride.
Overall the Corratec soaked up the ride leaving me with a smile on my face at the end. I can see cyclist's using this to compete in long distance events where comfort is a key. The ability to personalise and custom the bike will appeal to those who want to have a one off and you won't be disappointed.
Highlighting its LPC technology for a stronger chain under stress and its 2Circle suspension that adapts to your personal riding style, the Air Tech Worldcup pushes the limits of a fast racing hardtail. Its special features include the Tech 90mm Air Travel frame, DT Swiss XRM fork, RockShox Monarch RT shock, and Shimano XTR gears. It's the perfect all-mountain bike that will make you feel almost air-born as you glide smoothly over rocky roads.
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