Last isn’t a brand we hear a lot about here in North America, but the brand has been selling their own unique bikes in Germany since the year 2000. When we last checked in with the brand, it was for their radical Fastforward V2 hardtail which combined a very slack head angle and a ton of options to make for a very interesting ride. The new Clay isn’t quite as wild (or slack), but it does offer something with a little less travel than their current Coal enduro bike.
Designed around a 150mm travel fork and 140mm of rear travel, like the Fastforward, the Clay looks like a very well thought out bike with a few clever features…
Using the same linkage driven single pivot suspension design as the Coal, Last claims the Clay strikes a balance between playfulness and durability with stainless sealed Enduro bearings throughout. The linkage is tuned so that the suspension rate is said to be linear through the first half of the travel then ramps up dramatically towards the end of the 140mm. Sized for Metric shocks, frames can be purchased with the RockShox Deluxe, Super Deluxe, or Cane Creek DB Inline or DB Air IL in 210 x 55mm.
The clever rear end is designed in a way that will accept both 142 x 12 or 148 x 12 Boost hubs. Dropout spacers are used to accommodate the difference in hub widths, but the 180mm post mount brake tabs are spaced for Boost hubs – so if you’re running a 142 x 12 hub you’ll need to use a 3mm spacer under the rotor for proper brake alignment. The post mounts themselves are also noteworthy in that they are light weight with the threads cut directly into the aluminum. However, if you manage to strip the threads you can fit a barrel nut to the underside instead.
Unlike a lot of bikes pupping up recently, the Clay is for standard 27.5″ wheels and tires only. The frame seems to check a lot of boxes for ease of use and durability with mostly external cable and hose routing (internal dropper compatible), a 73mm threaded bottom bracket, ISCG05 tabs, 44/56 semi integrated headset, and a 1x specific design that will work with both Boost and non Boost crankset.
Sold in four sizes, the Clay is based around a 65.2°head tube angle and 75.3° seat tube angle for efficient climbing but more control up front especially with shorter stems and wider bars. Complete builds start with the SRAM NX/GX Clay Flow at €2,999 and go up to the SRAM X01 Eagle equipped Clay SL at €5,679. Framesets are also available starting at €1,599.