With its distinctive look, the new UNNO Dash is a real head turner. While the futuristic frame silhouette with the deep-drawn top tube may be a matter of taste, it undoubtedly makes for an exciting new design language. But did the Spaniards compromise on functionality merely for the sake of design? Read the full review to find out.
With the new Dash, UNNO are updating their portfolio for the third time in under eight months. After launching their first eMTB, the BOÖS and the latest iteration of their enduro rig, the Burn, the Spaniards have unveiled an updated version of their short-travel trail bruiser, the Dash. While the three bikes look uncannily similar, the Dash rolls on 29″ wheels and combines 150/140 mm travel at the front and rear, respectively. Moreover, it tips the scales at 14.4 kg, retails at € 7,795 and, like all UNNO models, gets its name from a mountain – the Ethiopian Ras Dashen in this case. But is the new Dash just about looks or can it also impress on the trail?
The UNNO Dash Race 2022 in detail
Not only does the new UNNO Dash look a lot like its two bigger siblings, but it also shares many of their frame details. The cables are routed into the frame through UNNO’s proprietary DEUX cockpit, which emphasizes the clean look of the bike but doesn’t allow for fine-tuning, except for the stem height that can be changed using spacers. In addition, the Dash develops an annoying rattling noise on rough terrain. However, UNNO are aware of the problem and assured us that they’ll solve it with the production bike. Both the seat and chainstay protector as well as the chain guide are neatly integrated into the frame.
A thin TPU plate protects the down tube from impacts and stray rocks, while a spacious storage compartment in the down tube allows you to stow all your trail essentials. This can be accessed through a sliding plastic cover, which requires a bit of strength to open but closes the compartment securely. The cover doubles as a bottle cage mount, allowing you to carry water bottles of up to 600 ml, albeit bigger bidons are a tight squeeze.
Spec variants of the 2022 UNNO Dash
The UNNO Dash is available in two versions called Race Spec and Factory Spec, which retail at € 7,795 and € 10,495, respectively – we tested the former. Both models share the same suspension and brake setup but rely on different drivetrains, dropper posts and wheelsets.
The spec of our UNNO Dash Race 2022 test bikes
The UNNO Dash Race comes equipped with high-end FOX Factory suspension consisting of a 36 GRIP2 fork and X2 shock. Both offer countless adjustment options, allowing you to fine-tune your suspension to suit your preferences and riding style. And even though the shock is deeply integrated into the frame, the adjusters are easy to reach, only the high-speed rebound is somewhat hidden. Formula Cura 4 four-piston brakes with a 200 mm rotor at the front and 180 mm disc at the rear provide reliable and powerful deceleration. However, a bigger rear rotor would suit the character and intended use of the Dash better, especially with heavy riders and on long descents. We also recommend replacing the standard 150 mm FOX Transfer dropper post with a model with more travel, as this will improve freedom of movement on the bike significantly.
Shifting is taken care of by a wireless SRAM GX AXS drivetrain. UNNO’s in-house component brand DEUX supplies the handlebar-stem unit while Crankbrothers provide the Synthesis aluminium wheelset. For the tires, the Spaniards combine a MAXXIS ASSEGAI with EXO+ casing and soft MaxxGrip rubber compound at the front and MAXXIS DHR II with thin EXO casing and harder MaxxTerra rubber compound at the rear. We recommend upgrading the stock tires to a more robust model with tougher casing, like MAXXIS’ Doubledown, which is less susceptible to pinch flats and also protects the rims from nasty impacts.
UNNO Dash Race 2022
Fork FOX 36 Factory GRIP2 150 mm
Rear Shock FOX X2 Factory 140 mm
Seatpost FOX Transfer 150 mm
Brakes Formula Cura 4 200/180 mm
Drivetrain SRAM GX AXS 1x12
Stem DEUX Enduro Bars 40 mm
Handlebar DEUX Enduro Bars 800 mm
Wheelset Crankbrothers Synthesis Enduro 29"
Tires MAXXIS ASSEGAI MaxxGrip EXO+/Minion DHRll MaxxTerra EXO 2.5"/2.4"
Size S1 S2 S3
The geometry of the 2022 UNNO Dash
Although the UNNO Dash is only available in three sizes, S1 to S3, there should be a suitable option for all riders between 165 cm and 195 tall. At 435, 470 and 510 mm in S1, S2 and S3, respectively, the reach grows in rather big intervals, making it hard to pick the right size if you’re on the fence. The seat tube is relatively long across all sizes, restricting freedom of movement together with the short-travel dropper post. Chainstays are 445 mm across all sizes and the 64.8° head angle reflects the standard of modern trail bikes.
|Seat stay||440 mm||460 mm||490 mm|
|Head tube||105 mm||120 mm||145 mm|
|BB Drop||35 mm||35 mm||35 mm|
|Chainstay||445 mm||445 mm||445 mm|
|Wheelbase||1208 mm||1255 mm||1300 mm|
|Reach||435 mm||470 mm||510 mm|
|Stack||623 mm||633 mm||659 mm|
The UNNO Dash Race 2022 on the trail
According to UNNO’s own statement, the Dash performs best with a 30-40% sag, which is significantly more than most manufacturers recommend. Accordingly, the suspension feels very plush as soon as you swing your leg over the saddle. However, once you start pedalling, the rear end is surprisingly efficient. Overall, the riding position is comfortable, but if you ride lots of steep climbs we recommend pushing the saddle far forward, as this will position you more centrally on the bike.
The plush rear suspension works sensitively while ensuring plenty of traction, especially on natural trails.
When gravity takes over, the Dash is nimble and easy to ride, making it easy to shred your way into the valley, leaning from one corner into the next. The plush rear suspension literally sucks itself into the ground, skilfully absorbing small chatter while at the same time providing tons of traction and still providing sufficient feedback from the ground. This inspires huge amounts of confidence, encouraging you to keep your fingers off the brakes for a few more seconds before hitting a tight corner.
On the other hand, the twin-link system doesn’t offer as much support in nasty compressions and on flowing trails, requiring more effort to pump through rollers and berms to generate speed. However, the UNNO is great fun on natural trails and still offers enough pop to take off from ledges and gap over nasty root carpets.
With its innovative design and polarising look, the UNNO Dash stands out from the crowd of modern trail bikes. Particularly striking is the clean frame with its many beautifully designed details. At the same time, the Spanish carbon ripper knows how to impress on the trail with its plush and sensitive rear suspension, generating tons of traction but, unfortunately, also lacking support in nasty compressions. The Dash is in its element on natural trails, where it maintains its composure and inspires tons of confidence.
- clean, modern and unusual look
- rear suspension works sensitively and generates tons of traction
- confidence inspiring
- rear suspension setup can be finicky
- rear suspension swallows up energy when pumping on the trail
You can find more information about the bike on the website of UNNO-Bikes.
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Words: Simon Kohler Photos: Peter Walker