First Look: Patrol C091 Carbon Hardtail
Andi takes a close look at the Patrol C091 carbon-framed hardtail, an economy bike with good specs and confident geometry.
We see a lot of people in the comments section and on the forum talking about the price of bikes and what they seem to be getting. There are indeed very expensive bikes on the market, and some prices have gone up, but there are some great bargains to be had.
The Patrol C091 is one of those bikes, it has a carbon frame and well-thought-out specs, but a much lower price tag than its more familiar rivals. There is a catch though, and that is the fact that the C091 is not yet available in the UK, although that should change soon.
First a little glimpse of Patrol. Patrol is an Indonesian bike brand that focuses on off-road bikes which means we’ll never see a Patrol brand road or city bike, but it allows the team to focus on the bikes of mountain and off-road products. The current lineup, which you can see here, includes alloy and carbon hardtails, e-bikes, enduro bikes, and even carbon kids’ bikes. Their bikes are available in Indonesia, Australia, Norway, North America, Hong Kong and Singapore, but they plan to launch them in Europe within the next 12 months.
The C09 is a brand new platform for 2021 with a range of three bike models. This is the C091, the premium build, the C092 and C093 feature the same carbon frame with different specs with a price tag in USD starting at just $ 1,699.
Patrol designed the C09 range to deliver modern XC / trail efficiency with geometry that inspires confidence in more aggressive situations under a rider with a bit more experience. The idea is that a beginner can hop on a C09 bike and feel comfortable right away, but as they progress the geometry won’t hold them back. This great bike has a 475mm reach with a 67 degree head angle and a 74 degree seat tube. This geo is based on a 130mm travel fork, on the C091 a RockShox Recon RL air fork features adjustable air spring rebound, compression and lockout.
The clean carbon frame features full internal cable routing, with a very premium cable entry through the helmet – a feature we’ll be seeing more of on bikes this year. Patrol’s commitment to reliable design means the C09 uses a threaded BB rather than a push-fit model, and for added peace of mind, a small compartment in the down tube can be used to store a mechanical hanger from spare parts, chain links or other small parts.
A chain guide bracket gives you that option, but the SRAM SX Eagle 1×12 drivetrain does a great job of holding the chain in place even on really rough terrain. Speaking of rough terrain, fast riders will appreciate that Patrol outfitted the C091 with Shimano MT400 4-piston brakes rather than cheaper 2-piston caps.
Another great choice of specs is the dropper post and its generous drop. Too often we test bikes with dropper posts with very low amounts of drop when a long model could be fitted. Patrol installs a 170mm dropper on the L and XL C091 out of the box, so you don’t need to think about future upgrades. It’s also a good model too, the X-Fusion Manic can be found on much more expensive bikes than this one.
Perched on the dropper is a comfortable SDG saddle and matching SDG grips are also installed in the box, although I upgraded to a pair of ODIs while they are in testing. Most of the Patrol C091’s components are branded, but Patrol installed its own handlebars, 40mm stem, and 29-inch alloy rims. They are all nicely finished and feel more than up to the task for day to day trail work.
Wrapped around these alloy rims is a pair of Vee Tire Co. Crown Gem tires with MPC compound. They look like a great all-round trail tire for hard terrain and they worked a treat on our frozen singletrack, but I’ll switch them to something else when the rain starts to fall.
As of this writing, I’ve only ridden the Patrol C091 a handful of times, but I immediately felt right at home on this budget carbon bike. The climb position is nice and roomy, while the generous reach keeps me centered on the bike on the descent. The C091 is eager to pick up speed and you’ll be glad these 4-piston brakes are equipped to keep the fun under control. When really pushed in rocky situations the fork can feel a bit linear and under-damped, but that is only to be expected on a budget model and for most trail and cross country outings it does. works surprisingly well.
I will be keeping the C091 for a while, so stay tuned for updates and a full review to come in the coming months.
C091 Patrol Specifications
- Framework: PATROL 09 carbon, 12 Ã 148 mm
- Fork: ROCKSHOX Recon RL, 130mm travel, 15 Ã 110, 51mm offset SRAM SX EagleTM, 12s
- Rear Mechanism: SRAM SX EagleTM
- Crankset: SRAM NX EagleTM, 32T
- Cassette: SRAM PG-1210 EagleTM, 12s, 11-50t
- Brakes: SHIMANO MT400
- wheels: PATROL, alloy, 32h
- Tires: VEE TIRE tire crown, 29 Ã 2.30
- Dropper station: X FUSION Manic, 31.6mm, 150mm (S / M) – 170mm (L / XL)
- Price: $ 2199
- Of: Mountain Patrol
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