With its sleek frame, discreet branding and countless configuration options, the SIMPLON Rapcon is the undisputed underdog in our “Best Enduro Bike of 2022” group test. But how does it stack up against the big guns of the most established bike brands?

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2022 – 11 models in review

SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 | 170/165 mm (f/r)
15.58 kg in size L | € 7,479 | Manufacturer’s website

Austrian bike manufacturer SIMPLON has been building bikes since 1961. While the brand is still relatively unknown in the mountain biking scene, the super-sleek look and discreet branding of their bike stand for simplicity and understatement. However, in this test, the Rapcon should really put the Austrian brand on the map. The spec of the Rapcon can be customised in SIMPLON’s online configurator and the frame has an integrated storage compartment in the down tube. The matching tool pouch is included with the bike. If that’s not enough storage already, there’s also a tool strap mount on the top tube of the carbon frame, making the SIMPLON the bike with the most storage solutions in the entire test field – awesome! All the cables are bundled together and routed into the frame through the special Acros headset, allowing SIMPLON to remove any cable ports. Needless to say, this makes for a super-tidy look and underlines the svelte appearance of the Rapcon. Generously-sized seat and chainstay protectors prevent chainslap and paint chips while a big TPU plate shields the frame from stray rocks and impacts. SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger is easy to find in all shops around the globe and quick to replace. Unfortunately, the chainstay protector on our test bike fell off during testing. As usual, a zip tie did the trick!

Do it yourself – The custom spec of the SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 2022

SIMPLON’s online configurator allows you to customise the spec of your future Rapcon down to the smallest detail. While the configurator may not be the most intuitive out there, with a little patience we managed to put together the (almost) perfect spec for our test bike. Our € 7,479 Rapcon features FOX Factory suspension consisting of a 38 GRIP2 fork and FLOAT X2 shock, controlling 170/165 mm travel, front and rear respectively. Both the fork and shock offer numerous adjustment options and deliver top-end performance on the trail. SRAM RSC four-piston brakes with 220/200 mm rotors do stopping duties and rank among the most powerful brakes in the entire test field.

Storage compartment
While the integrated storage compartment is nothing new, it’s still extremely practical. With the additional tool strap mount, the Rapcon offers more storage solutions than the competition. Backpack, adieu!
The massive 220 mm brake rotor ensures powerful deceleration and a consistent bite point.
All the cables are bundled together and routed into the frame through the special headset, ensuring a super-tidy look. However, on rough trails they can occasionally rattle against the handlebars.

SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165

€ 7,479


Fork FOX 38 Factory GRIP2 170 mm
Rear Shock FOX FLOAT X2 Factory 165 mm
Seatpost Kind Shock LEV INTEGRA 200 mm
Brakes SRAM CODE RSC 220/200 mm
Drivetrain Shimano XT 1x12
Stem SIMPLON Zero 2 35 mm
Handlebar SIMPLON Carbon Riser 800 mm
Wheelset DT Swiss EX 1700 29
Tires Schwalbe Magic Mary/Big Betty 2.4/2.4

Technical Data

Size S M L XL
Weight 15.58 kg

Specific Features

online configurator
storage compartment
tool mount

Super soft and super robust
SIMPLON spec Schwalbe’s robust Super Gravity casing and Ultra Soft rubber compound at the front.
Daddy long legs
The stock Kind Shock dropper post offers a whopping 200 mm travel and can be fully inserted into the frame. Competitors, take note!
Splash guard
The small mudguard on the seat stay protects the main pivot from mud and grit.

A Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain ensures smooth shifting while the Kind Shock dropper post offers a whopping 200 mm travel and can also be inserted all the way into the frame. SIMPLON are the only manufacturer in this test to combine 2.4” Schwalbe tires with a robust DT Swiss EX1700 alloy wheelset. Both the Magic Mary at the front and Big Betty at the rear come in the robust Super Gravity casing. For additional grip, SIMPLON rely on Schwalbe’s Ultra Soft rubber compound at the front. The Rapcon tips the ENDURO scales at 15.6 kg. For the cockpit, the Austrian brand relies rely on their own 800 mm carbon handlebars. The only flaw in the configurator: there isn’t a single chain guide or bashguard option to choose from. That being said, the frame has ISCG mounts which allows you to run any compatible chain guide with a bash guard.

Bunny hop to wallride?
Easy-peasy with the playful Rapcon. If you botch the landing, that’s no problem either, because the rear suspension of the SIMPLON has more than enough reserves.

The geometry of the SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 2022

The SIMPLON Rapcon is available in four sizes, S to XL, and its geometry allows you to choose the size based on your desired reach. At 420 mm, the Rapcon has by far the shortest seat tube in the entire test field, combined with 475 mm reach in size L. On top of that, the bottom bracket is pretty low, integrating the rider deep into the frame and thus inspiring huge amounts of confidence, especially on steep descents. Chainstays are 443 mm in size L and grow with the frame, providing consistent handling across all sizes. In addition, SIMPLON adapt the kinematics and progression of the rear suspension to the respective frame size to ensure an even more consistent character across the board.

SIMPLON’s online configurator allows you to customise and personalise the spec of the Rapcon down to the smallest detail. The configurator is only missing a chain guide and a bashguard option.

Size S M L XL
Seat tube 370 mm 395 mm 420 mm 445 mm
Top tube 569 mm 590 mm 607 mm 634 mm
Head tube 91 mm 104 mm 115 mm 125 mm
Head angle 64.0° 64.0° 64.0° 64.0°
Seat angle 78.0° 78.0° 78.0° 78.0°
Chainstays 432 mm 438 mm 443 mm 447 mm
BB Drop 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm
Wheelbase 1,205 mm 1,234 mm 1,264 mm 1,290 mm
Reach 435 mm 455 mm 475 mm 495 mm
Stack 627 mm 633 mm 643 mm 650 mm
Helmet Bluegrass Rogue Core MIPS | Glasses NAKED HAWK | Jersey H&M Party Shirt
Pants Troy Lee Designs Sprint Ultra | Kneepad AMPLIFI MKX 2
Shoes Five Ten Kestrel Pro Boa | Socks Stance

Opposites attract – The SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 2022 on the trail

Going uphill, the Rapcon impresses with a very comfortable pedalling position. The suspension is very efficient and at the same time generates excellent traction. As a result, the SIMPLON keeps up with the Santa Cruz Bronson on its way to the trailhead, provided you time your pedal strokes carefully to avoid smashing into obstacles. If you don’t, the low bottom bracket and long 175 mm crank arm lead to frequent pedal strike.

Striking a perfect balance between smoothness and agility, the SIMPLON Rapcon unites apparent opposites, emerging as the winner of our group test with its superlative all-rounder qualities.

Fatigue? N/A!
Hitting the beach in style! Even after a long day in the saddle, the Rapcon is intuitive and fun to ride.

Downhill, the SIMPLON Rapcon is butter-smooth yet extremely agile, striking a fine balance between composure and liveliness that no other bike in this test can match. While the Rapcon keeps up with the Orbea Rallon and Cannondale Jekyll on fast trails, it blows them out of the water on narrow and technical ones. Thanks to its lively character, it keeps up even with the most agile bikes in this test. Unlike the Orbea, the Rapcon has extremely intuitive handling, which allows even inexperienced riders to negotiate the hairiest riding situations with extreme precision and stoic composure. Fatigue? N/A. On steep trails, the excellent freedom of movement inspires tons of confidence, while the superb suspension offers sufficient reserves, traction and support to pump through rollers and berms or to pop off ledges. As a result, the Rapcon performs extremely well in all riding situations and unites supposed opposites, proving to be the perfect all-rounder despite the rattling cables in the cockpit area. Even if only by a small margin, the SIMPLON secures a well-deserved victory in our big ”Best enduro bike of 2022” test!

Tuning tip: fit a chain guide with a bashguard

Riding Characteristics



  1. sluggish
  2. efficient


  1. cumbersome
  2. playful


  1. nervous
  2. confident


  1. demanding
  2. balanced


  1. harsh
  2. plush

Fun Factor

  1. planted
  2. poppy

Value for money

  1. terrible
  2. very good

Intended Use










SIMPLON’s online configurator allows you to spec your Rapcon almost to perfection. The short seat tube ensures plenty of freedom of movement and inspires huge amounts of confidence. On the trail, the SIMPLON is both extremely smooth and agile while offering super-intuitive handling. Together with the discreet look and excellent storage solutions, this makes the Rapcon the perfect all-rounder and the undisputed winner in our “Best enduro bike of 2022” group test!


  • sSIMPLON online configurator offers countless configuration options
  • well thought-out frame with a clean look
  • excellent suspension generates plenty of traction
  • great freedom of movement


  • cables rattle against the handlebars downhill

You can find out more about at simplon.com

The test field

For an overview of the test fleet head to the group test: The best enduro bike of 2022 – 11 models in review

All bikes in test: Cannondale Jekyll 1 (Click for review) | Canyon Torque CF 8 (Click for review) | GT Force Carbon PRO LE (Click for review) | Nukeproof Giga 290 Carbon Factory (Click for review) | Orbea Rallon M-Team (Click for review) | Pivot Firebird Pro XT/XTR – Air (Click for review) | Rocky Mountain Altitude C90 Rally Edition (Click for review) | Santa Cruz Bronson CC X01 AXS (Click for review) | SIMPLON Rapcon 170/165 | Specialized S-Works Turbo Kenevo SL (Click for review) | YT CAPRA UNCAGED 6 (Click for review)

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Words: Peter Walker Photos: Peter Walker

About the author

Peter Walker

As editor-in-chief, Peter is as much a man of action as he is of words. This expert, screw-driver-flexing two wheeled-whizz has many envy-inducing characteristics, including a background in motocross, several EWS race plates to his name, and more than 150 recorded days at Whistler Bike Park. However complex the bike and however steep the trail, he’s probably already nailed it, twice. Oh, and he can do it all on skinny tyres too. When it comes to guiding consumers, Peter cut his teeth at Vancouver’s oldest bike shop and now puts pen to paper on the daily translating this know-how into our editorial plan. When not tearing up Stuttgart’s local trails while testing bikes, he loves nothing more than loading up his self-renovated VW T5 and hitting the road. The fact that he’s a trained paramedic gives his colleagues reassurance out on the trails. So far we haven’t had to call him by his alias ‘Sani Peter’, so here’s hoping he keeps it right side up for the rest of his time here!