Patrol 472 - First Ride
Screaming. That was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw the neon green Patrol 472. After more than 20 years of riding a hardtail bike, my quest to find a 650b XC dual suspension bike had brought me to this sturdy looking dual suspension bike. Exciting.
The Indonesian brand Patrol is an offshoot of United Bike, which has been designing and producing bicycles since 1991. In the past, I would had never considered buying from local brands. I was heavily influenced by the international cycling scene. If the top professionals didn’t ride them, they weren’t good enough for me.
Fast forward today, there are now several bike manufacturers in Indonesia that have built up their brands through good products and marketing. When I was in the market to get a dual suspension 27.5 bike, Patrol appeared to offer a solid line of products at reasonable prices. It also helped that a good cycling buddy rides a Patrol and he has never doubted the quality of his ride.
The 472 is part of Patrol’s XC dual suspension series. Designed with a short chainstay of 435mm, the bike should be lively on bendy trails. A 70 degree head angle and 73.5 degree seat angle makes the 472 relaxed enough to tackle downhills while still maintaining its ability to climb well.
Upon inspection, the build quality is top notch. The welding is very smooth and the paint job is immaculate. Suspension is handled by a RockShox Recon Gold with a Fox Float CTD BV.
The bike came fitted with a 10-speed Shimano SLX drivetrain mixed with a Deore triple crankset, but since running a 1x system on 2 previous bikes, I am completely spoiled by the simplicity of not having a front derailleur. I took this as the reason to upgrade to a 11 speed 1x system, outfitting a Shimano SLX single crank with a 34 tooth chainring along with Shimano’s massive XT 11-46 cassette dinner plate and topping it off with an XT 11 speed rear derailleur and and XTR shifter known for its precise shifting. I used a KMC X11.93 chain to connect everything.
For wheels, the 472 came with DT Swiss 444d Alloy rims laced to Novatec D881 and D882 hubs, my first time with this combination. The 444d rims measured at 18mm inner width, narrower that I would like, especially when going with tires that are 2.2 and up in width. It’s too early to tell how the Novatec hubs will do but for now, the spin is quiet and smooth.
There aren’t many 27.5 XC dual suspension bikes now in the market as brands are going back to 29er models for cross country and marathon racing. However, based on my riding style and the courses that I tend to ride, the 27.5 looks to be a great fit. Plus, I wanted a bike that I can break down into 2 parts for travelling. More on this later.
Getting ready to hit my favorite trail in the neighborhood, the Maxxis Crossmark 27.5 x 2.1 stock tires needed to go. The Crossmark will probably be good for hardpack use but the rainy season has just begun so I will be relying on a beefy Maxxis Forekaster 2.35 on the front and a Maxxis Beaver 2.0 on the back. I might have an issue running with the Forekaster on the narrow DT Swiss 444d rims since Maxxis recommends 30-35 mm inner width rims - I’ll soon find out.
Slippery When Wet
My test ride on my favorite trail at the University of Indonesia forest was wet and muddy. A bike is as good as its tires and pressure, and the Forekaster and Beaver combination performed extremely well. As advertised, the Forekaster shed mud easily while the 2.35 size provided ample amount of grip and the slim 2.0 Beaver felt right at home in the mud.
With the right tires on, the 472 was agile as I had predicted. The geometry was spot on, letting the bike accelerate, manage turns and take on slopes without any hesitation on a muddy wet day. It was also one of the easiest bikes to lift up the front wheel, making it easier to go over roots and rocks.
Since it was wet, I had to take it easy through the turns. I will have to wait for the track to dry out to really compare against my carbon hardtail 29er but judging from the way the bike was able to slither through the windy trails, there is a good chance that this bike will live up to my expectations.