We spied Spanish bikemaker BH’s next generation cross-country race bike this summer on the World Cup under Carlos Coloma. Now BH have released the full details of the all-new Ultimate EVO XC hardtail – the lightest mountain bike they’ve ever built. Working with much of the same advanced carbon tech that shapes their light EVO road bikes as well, this new Ultimate EVO MTB hardtail is lighter, stiffer & more comfortable than ever…

2020 BH Ultimate EVO lightweight carbon XC mountain bike hardtail

 

The Ultimate was already a pretty solid cross-country race bike when it hit the scene back in 2015/2016, with a light carbon frame & modern for XC geometry. But BH knew they could improve creating an even more capable World Cup XC race bike. This new Ultimate Evo then is a major performance overhaul, taking advantage of significant carbon construction improvements.

Lighter carbon, shedding over 100g

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail

BH set out to build a new lightweight carbon hardtail, and ended up dropping a claimed 140g from their previous World Cup XC bike. It’s still not quite the lightest XC hardtail on the market (Specialized & Unno can argue over that one a bit), but at 840g for a medium bike, the new Ultimate Evo is definitely a lightweight.

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail

BH have gone about shedding grams across all disciplines by refining their carbon manufacturing over time – working their hollow core internal molding (HCIM) tech to get more precise control on the inside of the frame to match the precision conventional molds  shapes the outside of frames. Combined with a higher ratio of top-spec hi-mod Toray T1100G fiber in the layup, BH has been able to thin tubing walls, decrease profile diameters and even reduce the size of exaggerated joints overall – all without sacrificing strength.

In fact, BH again claims bottom bracket to headtube stiffness increases for more efficiency power transfer & handling, plus more flex in the top half of the frame for rider comfort.

Updated XC race geometry

BH Ultimate Evo 29er prototype XC hardtail, cross-country race carbon hardtail mountain bike, Carlos Coloma Nicolas, Nove Mesto XCO World Cup racing

BH says this new Ultimate EVO takes the progressive geometry of the old Ultimate one step further. Head angle is slackened just a half a degree to 68°. Then frame Reach grows out an extra 10-20mm depending on frame size for a longer front center.

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail geometry

It even drops 10mm off the rear for super short 420mm chainstays on this 29er – and uses a thin dropout design that was said to reduce overall width at the rear axle by 2cm for more clearance.

BH Ultimate EVO – Tech details

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail

Hidden inside the headtube, the new bike uses a BlockLock headset by Acros that limits handlebar rotation to 150° to protect the thin carbon tubing from impacts.

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail

The new Ultimate EVO features a flat mount rear brake on the chainstay, PressFit 92 bottom bracket, Boost 148 rear end, a still internal dropper compatible 27.2mm seatpost, and is 1x specific but includes Di2-ready routing & internal battery storage.

Pricing, availability & customization

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail

The new Ultimate EVO will soon be the first mountain bike to be added to the BH Unique offering, which allows for custom paint color choices through an online customizer.

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail
2020 BH Ultimate EVO XC 8.0

The new race-proven EVO frame is offered in five complete build specs – starting at 3000€ for the Ultimate Evo 8.0 with XT 1×12, 8.5 also with XT, then 9.0 with XTR 1×12, 9.5 with XX1 Eagle & BH carbon wheels, and climbing to the top Ultimate Evo 9.8 with wireless XX1 AXS Eagle & carbon wheels.

BH Ultimate EVO XC hardtail MTB, lightweight carbon cross country XCO mountain bike hardtail
2020 BH Ultimate EVO 9.8

The bikes are said to be available now through local dealers for pre-order, with no delivery dates set.

As the new Ultimate EVO takes over the top spot in BH’s XC racing catalog, the still capable older version gets rebadged down to Ultimate RC offering a lot of affordable-level carbon value still race-proven on the World Cup circuit.

BHbikes.com

9 COMMENTS

  1. Another MTB frame with a rear brake flat mount… Good luck finding a Level TLM/Ultimate, or XT/XTR caliper for that if You want to ditch this ugly FM-PM adapter.

    I’m all good for flat mount, but only if it becomes a main standard and PM goes away, both for frames/forks, and calipers.

  2. There are some pig hardtails out there, for example the Santa Cruz Chameleon weighs in at 4.6lbs (2100g), not much lighter than the 5010’s weight with shock of 5.5lbs (2500g). The BH carbon frame’s weight- 1.9lbs (850g). I think if there were more light hardtails like the BH out there, more people would choose them. After all, why get a hardtail if it weighs nearly as much as an FS bike?

    • Because, unless you’re racing (for cash), there’s no reason to put up with the diminished handling and feel that you get with ultralight parts. Weight-weenie bikes are only fun to ride uphill, on very predictable surfaces. Most of us don’t ride in those conditions.

      And there are still some folks out there who like the added control they get from a hardtail, especially in lower speed technical riding. We like hardtails for the same reason that that there aren’t any full-squish trials bikes.

    • What they don’t tell you is that unless you’re a 140lbs XC racer riding on groomed tracks, these ultra lightweight hardtails break a lot

  3. Tim: the Santa Cruz Chameleon is a “MTB” hardtail. You are comparing that to a XC race BH frame. Santa Cruz also makes a XC race frame: the Highball that is close to 1000g in weight.

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