Clocking in over 2000 kilometres on 155 rides, the Nordest Bardino 2.0 steel hardtail has been put through its paces by El Yari…
Nordest Bardino 2.0 Details
- Frame: Nordest Bardino 2
- Fork: Lyrik RC Debon Air 150mm
- Wheels: 29″ R/ RideAlpha rims on Hope Pro4 hub F/ Ride Alpha
- Droppost: KS 150mm
- Tires: F/ Maxxis Miniond DHF Exo 2.5 R: Maxxis Assegai 2.4
- Drivetrain: SRAM Eagle NX 12v 11-50 front ring 32t
- Brakes: Shimano Zee 200/180
- Cockpit: Ride Alpha 800mm stem 40mm
- Size: L (pretty big)
- Weight: 13.8kg with pedals
- More info: Nordest Cycles
Calling the Canary Island their home, Nordest Cycles specialise in hardtails. The Bardino 2.0 is their second generation of steel frame. Before production began, Yari has been riding one of their final prototypes models since June 14th.
With over 2000km on the clock, mostly in Ireland, here’s his take on it…
Big Wheels Rolling
Without going into much details, the Bardino is a 29” long-travel 4130 chromoly frame with modern geometry – 64.5˚ head angle, 1244 wheelbase on size L and 75˚ seat tube angle that can take up to 170mm fork, yes 170!
The 29” size wheel helps to roll over obstacles and increases the ability to smooth out the trails.
With those numbers it’s not unusual to find yourself tackling the steepest and gnarliest trails without much hassle.
Naturally, the limiting factor is the rider and being an average one, I always felt more than confident with this bike on any condition. Riding all trails possible in Ireland and in all weather conditions, I never hesitated to hit any feature.
Steel Is Real
The general idea of a hardtail is to have a do-it all bike and the Nordest Bardino 2 meets the goal without problem. Coming from riding for 3 months (approx 1000km) an alloy Commencal Meta HT AM 29er, the first day on the Bardino felt like having an extra inch of suspension. That’s what steel does for you.
Living in Dublin, Ticknock and Ballinastoe trail centres are my backyard and so flying on the flowing and loamy turns feels like heaven.
With each pedal stroke transmitting its full force to the rear wheel, it sometimes feels like cheating compared to a full suspension that soaks part of the energy.
Of course once you hit the natural trails you realise that there is no suspension on the back so line choice becomes critical and mistakes should be managed with your own skills rather than with suspension.
In general riding the Bardino made me more aware of the trail and the different features, trying to take advantage of any possible jump or smoother line instead of just smashing through everything.
Following that slacker, longer mantra, riding the Bardino feels familiar to any modern enduro bike. The body position is centred on the bike and it feels stable and planted regardless of the speed.
As with many 29ers the bike really feels on its terrain on less twisty trails, straight sections is just a matter of letting it go and enjoy the hardtail sensations.
The short 425mm chain stay helps to have a lively feeling every moment and a playful bike under all circumstances.
Climbing is not a problem, the 75-degree seat angle helps to keep the front wheel on the ground and even on technical climbs or tight switchbacks it felt nimble and easy to manage.
And goes without saying that no bearings were damaged during this 2000km on the harsh, wet and muddy Irish weather.
The Nordest Bardino 2 feels like a hardcore hardtail should be – fun and easy to handle. A bike that you will take to a trail centre, hit some jumps, session some DH tracks and still leave you with a big smile on your face.
Balanced and stable, it sometimes makes you forget you are riding a hardtail and ride some lines as if you were with your full-sus. It is indeed a do-it all bike.
+ Steel, that feeling of having an extra inch of suspension
+ 64.5 head angle and up to 170mm fork, bikeparks you said?
+ Good balance climbing with plenty of traction
+ Doesn’t feel like a 29er on twisty sections
– You will spend less time with wife and kids