Released December 8
Hardtail / 120mm front
For 2023 the Solaris loses the MAX and goes back to its roots, reducing weight and fork travel, whilst building on everything that made the current SolarisMAX such a hit. A slightly more XC sensibility, but still crazy capable on rowdier terrain. Over 20 years of hardtail heritage, development and character has distilled the Solaris into your downcountry tool of choice.
The advent of amazing 120mm forks such as the latest Rockshox SID and Fox 34 allowed us to reassess the Solaris. By focusing the fork travel range on 100-120mm, we have been able to refine and revise the Reynolds 853 tubeset to reduce the weight of the frame by around 100grams (depending on size).
Photo Credit: Cotic
The highs and lows of this model family
|Fork||RockShox Revelation RC||RockShox SID Ultimate||RockShox SID Ultimate||RockShox SID Ultimate|
|Groupset||SLX||XT||GX Eagle||GX Eagle AXS|
|Drivetrain||1 × 12||1 × 12||1 × 12||Electronic|
Based on build material and quality level of the frame, fork, wheelset, groupset, suspension system, and more. Learn more →
|Top Tube Length||609||629||650||670||688|
|Seat Tube Length||390||417||444||471||495|
|Seat Tube Angle||75.0||75.0||75.0||75.0||75.0|
|Head Tube Length||100||110||120||130||130|
|Head Tube Angle||66.0||66.0||66.0||66.0||66.0|
🐐 Measurements listed in millimeters and degrees
In the fine details, the frame adopts the dropout from the Escapade/Cascade which gave us space to bring a post mount rear brake fitting inside the rear triangle. This does make the bike 180mm rotor only, but we felt it suited the style of the new approach. You can fit 4pot brakes in there if you want more power.
It also means we move away from the Syntace hanger to our Escapade/Cascade hanger. We did think hard about this, but during Covid keeping you all in Syntace spares proved trying at times (we ended up getting a batch made in the UK at one point), but we were always able to get these hangers from our supplier. We currently have over 400 in stock, so as we always try to do, we've got your back with spares. All part of the service.
We have added our 5 step C-sizing, which reduces steps between sizes and seat tube lengths, giving more precise rider fit and comfort. The full geometry table is on the product page, so have a look and see what will work for you.
The brilliant Longshot SolarisMAX geometry is mostly carried over, retaining the 66/75 angles, but with a lower BB for ripping through those singletrack corners.
Development and Prototyping
The lower BB idea came to me as I noticed I didn't have clearance trouble when riding my Cascade. The 70mm BB drop on that bike never once bothered me offroad, even using 175mm cranks on some fairly proper terrain with SID suspension forks. As you might expect, gravel/lanes escalates into mountain biking quite quickly around here, which is why I like my Cascade so much.
Translated onto the new Solaris, the lower BB improves the cornering grip and feel when between the trees, whilst still having enough room under the pedals on tech climbs to clear those crux moves that are so good to nail on a great hardtail.
Forgive the uninspiring backdrop - this is my C5 size Solaris prototype
The theory was proved out in practice. I had one of my favourite rides of the year whizzing this prototype through the Nottingham forest singletrack with Paul.
The prototypes were made for us by Five Land in the UK. It's such a boon to be able to get them to build test frames up so quickly. Once I had completed the drawings we were riding bikes within 2 months. We wouldn't have been able to deliver this project by now if we had been reliant on Taiwan for samples.
It is worth pointing out that the dropouts and stays and colour aren't representative of the production frame.
The colour was the production (at the time) RocketMAX navy blue for speed.
The frame fittings were simply parts that were easily available in the UK to prove out the concept when Five Land made us the prototype. Production frames will be much neater, and closer to how the Cascade looks in this picture.
The frame price for the new Solaris is £849, bikes at £2,499, and a (refundable) 20% deposit will guarantee you a frame or bike from the first batch, which is due in Spring 2023.
Our best selling SolarisMAX is still in stock in some sizes and colours, but not everything by any stretch, hence opening orders for the new bike.
It's held at the current price, and obviously no change to the maximum 140mm fork capability.
However, once these are sold through they're gone, so you'll need to get on the list for a new Solaris. If you want a 130-140 fork, you'll need to get on the BFeMAX.
Order your in stock SolarisMAX here
It's been a fun project this. I hope you like it.