The bikes have been rolling into the office these past few weeks and that's showing no sign of slowing down. This week, we're going to show off Forme's Black Rocks HT1, a rather wallet-friendly bike that looks to be ideal for riders looking to dip their toe into singletrack riding and more experienced riders who are looking for a well-rounded but nicely priced hardtail.
The Black Rocks HT1 was born through Forme's love of a hardtail and a desire to offer a bike that's primed to help riders hone their off-road riding skills and line-choice, as hardtails are often so good at doing. Making the Black Rocks ideal for razzing around your local woods, trail centres, or bike parks, the brand has shaped the bike with a reasonably aggressive geometry and the designers reckon is often found on trail and enduro bikes.
2022 forme black rocks ht1 head badge.jpg, by Liam Mercer
With that in mind, the 17.5" frame we've got on test boasts a 460mm reach, a 66° head angle, and a rather steep 78.3° seat tube angle. Along with the 435mm chainstay, the brand looks to create a bike that's not only responsive and playful but confident to tackle whatever you put in front of it.
We've got the Black Rocks in its HT1 built for testing which will set you back £1,400. For the cash you get a 6061 alloy frame and a RockShox Recon fork with 130mm of travel and boost spacing. Then, the drivetrain is handled by SRAM with the SX Eagle 12-speed setup and there are Shimano's MT501 brakes slowing things down. There's a threaded bottom bracket too; nice touch Forme.
What's great to see is a long dropper post from Tranz X with 150mm of drop which should result in plenty of room over the bike when descending. The cockpit is nice and modern too, with a 780mm bar paired with 45mm stem.
The wheels come from WTB with i30 TSC 2.0 rims that are laced Forme's own sealed bearing hubs, including a 6-pawl freehub at the rear. Those are shod with WTB's Trail Boxx tyres in 2.4" widths. All of that is claimed to weigh in at 15.2kg.
If £1,400 is a little too rich for your blood, the Black Rocks is also available in a HT2 build that'll save you £200. This model gets the very same frame but benefits from an SR Suntour XCR 34 fork, a Shimano Deore 11-speed drivetrain paired with the same brakes as the HT1. The wheels, tyres and finishing kit is exactly the same too, including the dropper post which is great to see for the money.
As Forme's Monsal 1 gravel bike reviewed exceptionally well a couple of weeks ago and with the Black Rocks HT1 at a very competitive but rather saturated price point, we're excited to see how the budget-friendly hardtail stacks up to the competition. So be sure to check back in for a full review coming soon.
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