You'll probably know by now that, here at off-road.cc, we like a reasonably priced trail hardtail mountain bike. The latest one to grace the dirt of our test trails is this Sonder Transmitter from UK based brand, Alpkit. We've got the SRAM NX1 specced bike with Revelation fork to give a razzing, and razz we will...
Casting thoughts back to the tail end of 2018, we crowned another of Sonder's bikes, the Camino gravel bike, as our 'Best Buy'. We thought that was a great value adventure bike that was much more capable than the price suggests, so it stands to reason that we have the same high expectations of this Transmitter. The Transmitter is an all mountain trail hardtail with 150mm fork, plus tyres and what looks like a big attitude for big fun.
The spec we opted to test is one up from the cheapest bike in the range, that's the Transmitter NX1 Recon which costs £999. Our test bike the Transmitter NX1 Revelation costs £1299 and the difference lies in a fork upgrade from, yep you guessed it, Rockshox Recons to the lager stanchioned Rockshox Revelation fork. For another £200, you can also spec a X-Fusion Manic Dropper, in fact, if there is something about the build you want to change then Sonder says simply to call them and they'll make the upgrade happen.
Our test bike comes with the aforementioned 150mm Revelation fork, a SRAM NX 11spd drivetrain and SRAM Level 2 piston brakes. The cockpit uses a lot of own brand (Love Mud) gear, there's a 780mm wide bar, a Love Mud headset, a stumpy 40mm stem, seatpost, seat clamps and saddle all from the same stable.
The wheels are Love Mud branded too, they have 650B+ rims with a 40mm internal width and own brand hubs. Fitted to this wheelset is a WTB Vigilante 27.5x2.8" up front and a 2.6" Trail Boss at the rear, a good and aggressive pairing, the Trail Boss is certainly beefier than its narrower counterparts.
Geometry wise the Transmitter got a refresh in March this year, 150mm fork is longer than has been used in the past, paired with a rather slacker 65º head angle, a lower bottom bracket, more reach and a steeper seat angle too. The aluminium tubing has also been given a good going over, with an internal headset, internal cable routing and refined dropouts - plus the chainstays are now size specific, although there is only a difference of 5m from small to XL. Sonder says they have worked on the top tube of the bike, the flattened shape adding vertical compliance and keeping lateral stiffness.
The bike comes with Boost hub spacing and can take up to a 2.8" tyre at the back if you want. Alongside that 65º head angle, our test bike gets a 75º seat tube angle, a 442mm reach, with a 603mm effective top tube. There is a 440mm seat tube length, a wheelbase of 1169mm and a bottom bracket drop of 52mm. The reach figure for the large sits at 462mm and the XL at 482mm.
The bikes come in three colours, this is the 'Tarmac' colourway, there is also a Chilli red and a Teal. There are four sizes available, Small to XL and plenty of bikes in the model range if you have more cash to splash. £1999 gets you a GX Eagle build rather than 11spd and spend £2099 and it looks like you get a bargain with GX Eagle and a Pike fork with a Charger damper rather than the Motion Control damper in the Revelation.
We've actually already ridden this bike after taking the shots for this first look, we'll be back soon with a review for you!
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