The good folks at Ribble have sent us another of their bikes to take a look at - and this time it's something a little different...
The HT 725 and its sister the HT Ti are the only mountain bikes in Ribble's current range.
Launched in 2019 to some acclaim - the HT 725 took "Best in Show" at the London Cycle Show - it's a low-slung, trail-ready hardtail built around a Reynolds steel frame, SRAM groupset, Rockshox forks and 27.5" wheels.
The frame features a host of neat details; check out the CNC seatbridge, curved seatstays and internal cable routing (including for a dropper post).
It's available in three stock builds, each using SRAM Eagle 1x12 gearing, or you can buy the standalone frameset and build up with your chosen spec.
As ever with Ribble, you can customise your build using the online Bike Builder tool. One really nice touch is the option to choose your own colour pack: this includes the downtube "Ribble" lettering, head badge, headset and seat clamp in a choice of seven shiny anodized colours.
Our test bike has the red colour pack; the pack even includes matching Level decals for the wheel rims.
We're testing the entry-level Sport edition, which features a SRAM SX 1x12 groupset with wheels and finishing kit from Ribble's own Level brand.
Here's a rundown of the full spec:
- SRAM SX Eagle 1x12 Speed
- SRAM 32T x 11-50T Gearing
- Rockshox Recon RL Forks
- SRAM Level T Hydraulic Discs
- LEVEL 35 650B Wheelset
- Maxxis Minion 2.6" Tyres
- LEVEL XI Alloy Riser Bars (800mm) & 3D Forged Stem
- LEVEL MT1 6061 Alloy, 30.9mm, Seatpost
- WTB Koda Race 142mm Saddle
It's a real head turner, and at £1,199 looks a bit of a steal. Unsurprisingly, there is a waiting list for this bike - current orders are expected to ship 1 December.
I've ridden a fair amount of gravel and off-road but am a complete novice at mountain biking, so I'll try not to break this (or myself) on the local trails.
Time to reacquaint myself with James' tips for roadies new to mountain-biking:
Coming off a 'cross bike, first impressions are the HT feels like a monster-truck! The massive 2.6" tyres roll over anything, ably assisted by that 32-50 bottom gear.
Time to give it a thrash - we'll be back with a full review soon.
Find out more at www.ribblecycles.co.uk.