Philipp’s Radon Slide Carbon 27.5 9.0 has not had an easy run of it this year; mistreated in the home woods, and caned along Scottish trails in the kind of filthy wet conditions that the bonnie Scots are used to. But how has it fared? And has the launch of the Slide Carbon 27.5 9.0 brought Radon closer to the holy grail of bike design? Long-term tester Philipp has drawn his own conclusion to save you the job – here’s his verdict.

Das Radon Slide Carbon 27,5 9.0 kostet 3.599 €.
The Radon Slide Carbon 27.5 9.0 retails at 3,599 €.

Radon aren’t a revelation to me; even since I started riding I’ve been a fan of their classic-looking bike designs. In 2014 I had the luxury of riding a Radon Swoop downhiller for a long while, and now I’ve been riding the Slide for a good five months already.

Die klassische Form begeistert Phillip auch noch nach knapp einem halben Jahr.
Even after six months Philipp is yet to tire of the classic style.

The spec

At 177 cm, I almost always choose a medium-sized frame, so there was no agonizing over frame sizes when it came to the Slide. As I’m quite a dynamic rider, I prefer a short reach, and the Slide’s 425 mm reach suits the frame unlike many other models. Unfortunately the fork shaft has been shortened so much that you can’t use spacers to alter the stack to suit your riding style. This meant that I then added bars with more rise to counteract the slack front end. Fortunately, Radon’s choice of bar width and stem definitely suit the bike’s intended use, so that steep climbs don’t give that sense of being tipped back.

Um den Stack auf eine für Philipp komfortable Höhe zu vergrößern, hat er einen Syntace Vector-Lenker mit mehr Rise montiert.
To get the stack to be as high as Philipp wants it, he’s fixed Syntace Vector bars with more rise.
Ein RockShox Monarch RT3-Dämpfer gibt die 150 mm Federweg frei.
The RockShox Monarch RT3 rear shock gives 150 mm travel.

Even though saddle choice is definitely a personal matter, the narrow design of the Selle Italia Flite MG saddle is a standout highlight on the bike for me – no discomfort and no weary ass at the end of a ride, brill! Wheel choice is another factor where Radon have nailed it too, as the Mavic Crossmax XL are more than worthy on this carbon beauty. After around 25 rides and at least 100 hours on local trails in the Deister in Northern Germany, UK and Scandinavia’s rocky terrain, there are still no signs of damage to the rims and they’ve only once been slightly tweaked to make them true again. Teamed with the X.12 rear axle, there’s ample torsional rigidity at the rear end too.

The Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres weren’t on the bike for long before they were scrapped in favour of a pair of MAXXIS Ardent. However, the precise manufacturing of the Mavic wheelset was successful in making me break out in a sweat as I moaned my way through the tricky tyre swap.

Den Antrieb stellt ein Mix aus Sram X0 und X9-Komponenten.
The drivetrain is a mix of Sram X0 and X9 parts.

The suspension

RockShox parts have managed to keep their slate clean recently, and it’s the same case for the faultless forks and rear shock on this long-term test Slide. On climbs I switch the RockShox Monarch RT3 into the pedal position to keep the efficiency at a high level – so effective in fact that I never have use the firm mode. The forks are ridden in my own personal ‘do-it-all’ setting that nails my jump-heavy riding style while giving me a sense of confidence. The secret is two clicks of compression and three clicks open on the rebound. The front SAG is around 20% and the rear hovers around 30%. As a result, the PIKE forks handle any situation I throw at them.

On climbs

As soon as the gradient tips upwards the Radon knows exactly what to do. Its slack front end, 27.5” wheels and platform damping at the rear render it a serious workhouse when it comes to long rides. No matter how tight the turn, or steep the climb, the front never breaks away.

Klettern liegt dem Slide besonders.
The Slide likes to climb.

On descents

Surely if something is that fun to ride on the ups, then it can only get better on the downs, right? Exactly! The Slide loves to sprint, and it’s as keen as kids chasing an ice cream van with a flashing neon ‘free’ sign – but there is a little flex in the wheels to combat. On high-speed sections the bike’s super short frame (and overly steep head angle as I discovered) renders the riding a little twitchy. But having ridden its predecessor previously, I can confirm that this model is still significantly calmer. Faced with giant braking bumps and big hits, the rear shock and forks hold their own majestically, and willingly gobble up trail chatter.

Das Slide lässt sich sehr gut beschleunigen und sprintet willig voran.
The Slide is responsive to accelerations – hello Strava!

The perfect-for-uphills slack front end is the weakest link on steep downhills, as the stack is just too low. My attempts at balancing out the issue by shifting my weight on the bike did go some way to easing the problem, but I just couldn’t get enough weight over the front end and it all went a bit Bugs Bunny. With the PIKE set up so progressively, you end up reaching the limit earlier and braking is your own option. The bike does feel super at home in the air and on berms, keeping me on my toes with its incredible amount of pop and ability to keep agile when off the ground.

Wird der Trail steiler, bringt man das Radon an sein Limit.
As the trails get the steeper, the Radon inches closer to the dreaded limit.
Radon bietet mit dem Slide Carbon eine solide Ausstattung gepaart mit einer guten Fahrperformance zum Schnäppchenpreis!
The Radon Slide Carbon is a serious bargain, coming with a solid spec and great riding performance!


Dishing out a mere 3,599 € for a full carbon bike can’t be seen as anything BUT a serious bargain. Add in the solid spec and great performance, then the Slide’s is a lovely, fun bike to ride. If you’re after an agile speed demon of a bike then you’ll have to forgive the Slide for its relatively slack front end – it does deserve your forgiveness. Full-blooded racers and riders who have their gaze set on farflung shores away from their local trails are probably better choosing a bike with a slacker head angle and a longer top tube.

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Words & photos: Philipp Gerken

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