Home Cycling RSD Wildcat 125 V3 Evaluate: A Little Heavy, however Extraordinarily Succesful

RSD Wildcat 125 V3 Evaluate: A Little Heavy, however Extraordinarily Succesful

RSD Wildcat 125 V3 Evaluate: A Little Heavy, however Extraordinarily Succesful


RSD (Rubber Aspect Down) is a small Toronto model recognized for its no-nonsense steel bikes. Since 2012, RSD has been promoting hardtails and fats bikes constituted of aluminum, titanium, and metal. And extra not too long ago the complete suspension Wildcat.

I’ve wished to strive a Wildcat for the reason that first mannequin was launched in 2017. Its progressive geometry was forward of the pattern of slacker path and downcountry bikes. The Wildcat 125 V3 is the present iteration, and like its V2 predecessor, it has an adjustable alloy body for 27.5 or 29 wheels, or mixed-wheel mad science. The V3 enhancements embrace 5mm extra rear journey, room for longer dropper posts, and inside cable routing.

Driving DVO suspension was additionally on my to-do listing, with its popularity for adjustability and low upkeep. After a summer time on the Wildcat V3 I can report it met my expectations for worth, high quality, and enjoyable wheel-size tinkering. With the 140mm fork, 65º headtube, and a protracted and low body, it’s an excellent descender regardless of solely having 125mm or rear journey.

Worth and High quality

RSD Wildcat V3 rear end

Our Wildcat 125 V3 take a look at bike was arrange with SRAM GX and DVO 2 suspension, and is at present promoting at $3,599 USD ($4,299 CAD). There’s a increased priced DEORE spec at $3,749 USD ($4,499.00 CAD), and a body solely possibility is accessible for $1,599.00 USD ($1949.00 CAD).

RSD sells on to riders, which helps the small firm keep worth aggressive. The construct was easy, however was extra DIY than bikes from larger direct to client manufacturers. It took me a couple-few hours of cable routing trial and error, and dropper submit cable fishing, however no particular instruments or expertise have been required. Whereas setup directions have been imprecise, Alex was on-line and responded instantly (FYI the rotors are within the field, taped to the facet of 1 the cardboard wheel sleeves).

The Wildcat is an efficient worth, with a novel body and glorious components spec. The Horst-link body is 7000 collection aluminum alloy, designed by RSD in Ontario and manufactured in Taiwan. The practically 8lb body is beefy and industrial wanting, with stainless {hardware}, stack-of-dimes welds, an ISCG05 BB shell, and different CNC items just like the adjustable dropouts. The Wildcat is a distinct animal, an adjustable bike that’s additionally budget-friendly and may rail techy trails. I can see it interesting to each experty bike nerds and aggro path rippers.

However per Keith Bontrager’s pick-two restrict of sturdy, mild, or low cost, one thing needed to give, and it’s a heavy bike. The scale Giant take a look at bike is 35.5lbs. That is noticeably heavier than the carbon downcountry rigs on the market, however the alloy Wildcat prices so much much less.

RSD Wildcat V3 suspension

29er RSD Wildcat V3 Construct

  • Solar Ringlé Düroc alloy wheelset with 35mm rims (with 15x110mm & 12x148mm hub spacing)
  • Maxxis 2.5 tires (Minion DHF 3C Maxx Terra EXO entrance and Aggressor 3C Maxx Terra rear),
  • SRAM GX Eagle 12 spd drivetrain (11-50t, 30t entrance ring)
  • 175mm GX cranks
  • SRAM G2 RSC brakes (180mm rotors)
  • DVO Diamond D2 140mm Fork
  • DVO Topaz T2 125mm shock
  • KS LEV 175mm dropper
  • Race Face 35mm Aeffect 780mm bars
  • FSA Comet 35 50mm stem
  • Cane Creek headset
  • Cionlli saddle

Construct Particulars

DVO offers the Diamond D2 140mm fork and Topaz T2 125mm shock, which I hadn’t ridden beforehand. I skimmed some on-line boards whereas trying to find a setup information, and noticed feedback about finicky settings. However I adopted the information for my weight and was driving fortunately instantly and all through the take a look at. I’d regulate stress within the fork later, however usually stored the shock per the setup information, which was comparatively comfortable at 30% sag. With solely 125mm to work with, I favored the supple setup.

More often than not, I left the compression swap open, though it bottomed-out a bit extra usually than I’d usually enable. I didn’t have an opportunity to strive it out, however the Topaz will be tuned with quantity spacers which might have made it extra progressive to keep away from bottoming out. The agency setting was seldom used, however I’d flip the lever for a protracted hearth highway climb.

The KS LEV 175mm dropper, Cionlli saddle, Race Face 35mm Aeffect 780mm bars, Cane Creek headset, and FSA Comet 35 50mm stem spherical off the construct. My solely grievance is the awkward cable routing, particularly across the backside bracket, the place tolerances between cables and shifting cranks are very tight. I’m a worrier, so I zip tied them in a dozen spots, which appears a bit tacky however nothing ever rubbed or caught.

Geometry, Experience, and Wheel Measurement Tinkering

RSD Wildcat V3 geometry

That 65º headtube is on the slack finish for a path bike, and as a big 29er the longish attain (481mm) and 440mm chainstays all add as much as lengthy 1246mm wheelbase. Physique place is comparatively upright and felt balanced between the wheels and even a bit rear wheel biased with the handlebar set virtually as excessive because it might go.

The Wildcat is an efficient climber, with a comparatively steep 76º seat tube angle and good traction. The general bike weight is noticeable although, particularly on stop-and-go techy climbs. However as soon as shifting, the Wildcat feels environment friendly to pedal and is straightforward to take care of pace. I’ve lengthy legs for my peak, so regardless of the steep seat tube angle, I nonetheless had the saddle railed all the best way ahead. The supple however brief rear journey helped on the technical climbs, however I discovered it to be lots of bike to activate slow-speed tight and twisting climbs. Nonetheless, for the straight-line ups, I might slide approach as much as the intimate little bit of the saddle and hold the entrance finish down. I cleared my take a look at loop tremendous steep “1 in 10” climb on the primary strive. 

MX Too?

As a fan of 27.5+, I used to be psyched to mix-wheel (MX) the Wildcat. My neighborhood trails are dominated by granite slabs and boulders. So whereas I really like 27.5+ bikes for rear wheel grip, the extensive entrance tire and low stress usually creates a counter-steering wrestling match. The entrance wheel on my plus bike likes to achieve out and seize each passing boulder. MX appeared the right answer, so I slapped on a 3.0 clad 27.5+ rear wheel and slid the adjustable dropouts ahead.

riding RSD Wildcat V3

The path bike MX was genius in concept, however my outcomes have been, effectively, combined. A 3.0 tire on a 27.5” rim is considerably shorter than the two.5in 29er. A clue ought to have been the 15mm accessible inward slide of the dropout. The smaller diameter rear wheel drops the rear of the bike by 1/2″ or so, and appeared to lighten the entrance noticeably on climbs.

Loop outs and pedal strikes have been simple in charge on the MX setup, deserved or not. And steep rock slab climbs had extra entrance wheel flop. Nonetheless, descents nonetheless felt nice ala MX. I would like to check extra, together with making an attempt MX with out the adjusting the chain stays in. Particularly in moist or free circumstances, the improved rear tire traction would possibly but win me over. I additionally plan to convey the shorter wheel as much as the bike park, the place it might probably solely assist my “leaping”. Science is difficult, however enjoyable.

Experience Notes

  • Rider: John Herron
  • Rider Age: 51
  • Rider Top: 5′ 11″
  • Rider Weight: 170lb
  • Measurement Examined: Giant
  • Location: Gloucester, MA

Pointed downward or on rolling flowy terrain was pure pleasure on the RSD. I ran the stem fairly excessive and let this huge, small-travel bike free. I by no means felt under-biked, even on quick and chunky descents. On path bike trails, every thing was in play, together with scrappy bike park blue trails with waist excessive drops and sketchy rock gardens. My coastal trial course neighborhood trails have been positive, however the hillier trails and precise mountains are the place the Wildcat shined. It held pace down rocky and rooty trails, however nonetheless felt linked with the terrain in order that even actually small options might be popped. Nevertheless it’s secure and squishy sufficient so I might carry the bike confidently over messy sections, even when the touchdown strip appeared questionable.

RSD Wildcat V3


The RSD Wildcat 125 V3 is a brief journey path bike with the progressive geometry as soon as reserved for enduro bikes. The burly alloy body has adjustable dropouts, leaving choices open for 29 or 27.5+ wheels. With DVO’s D2 140mm fork and easy T2 shock providing 125mm of rear journey, it excels in tough terrain prefer it had extra journey. At below $4,000 USD it’s worth, however don’t confuse it for a light-weight downcountry or XC racer. The Wildcat is concentrated on quick and secure descending, whereas conserving the rubber facet down on the roughest of trails.


  • Good worth
  • Progressive geometry
  • Rowdy path bike enjoyable
  • Adjustable dropouts


  • Heavy
  • Awkward cable routing

Value: $3,599 USD ($3,949 as examined with dropper)

Try a Wildcat should you’re a motorcycle nerd or path ripper, or one of many fortunate ones like Alex (and Keith) who’re each. It’s a confidence inspiring path machine with a novel design, burly hand-made appears, and a luscious paint job. And a fantastic components spec for the worth. I totally loved the Wildcat 125 this summer time, and have extra experiments deliberate. There’s additionally a 150mm model accessible for pre-sale on the RSD web site. I wish to do the analysis, however it’s a secure speculation that the 150 model can be a quick all-mountain descender.




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