I’ve been watching the Hayduke from afar for the better part of this year, as a couple of my good friends and riding buddies have jumped on the Advocate Cycles train and purchased their 27.5+ hardtail. They’ve had great things to say, and I briefly pedaled around on my friend Jake’s Hayduke for a few minutes this summer, but I never got the chance to ride one in my size until the Outdoor Demo at Interbike this year.
If you caught my long term review of Advocate’s fat bike, the Watchman, last winter, you might remember that I was extremely satisfied with it. Furthermore, I am intrigued and inspired by what Advocate is doing as a company, so I’ve been following them pretty closely ever since they came onto the scene.
The Hayduke is one of Advocate’s original flagship bikes, featuring a 27.5+ (or 29-inch) platform around either a Reynolds 725 steel or double-butted titanium frame. Frames are available in either blue or white and offer Boost spacing with a Pressfit bottom bracket.
The complete Hayduke comes spec’d with a RockShox Reba 120mm fork, but the frame is designed to work well with a rigid setup as well. The drivetrain is SRAM GX 11-speed, with a 30t chainring up front and an 10-42t cassette in the rear. Brakes are Shimano SLX Trail hydraulic brakes with 180 and 160mm rotors front and rear, respectively.
The rig comes with a 27.5+ wheelset consisting of WTB Scraper 45i rims, Formula hubs, and Panaracer Fat B Nimble tires. Frame clearance is designed for 27.5 x 3″ tires or 29 x 2.3″.
The Hayduke was devised to be a versatile hardtail that can wear several different hats, from fun trail ripper to a long-haul bikepacking rig, and most everything in between. Internal routing for a dropper allows for an easy upgrade, and dropouts make for a simple singlespeed conversion.
I had a blast on my quick test ride on the Hayduke. It was the perfect bike for exploring the desert, a jack-of-all-trades rig that can handle climbing with efficiency, cornering with ease, and descending whatever gnarly terrain you want to tackle. The demo I was on also included a dropper, which doesn’t come stock, but definitely offers a boost in the fun factor, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of technical trail riding. The plus tires held traction nicely in the loose sand and rough, chunky rocks. While the stock build includes the Panaracer tires, the demo that I was riding sported Terrene Chunk Light treads. Terrene is a new tire company from the same mastermind who brought us Advocate Cycles, and all their tires are adorned with giant, meaty knobs that attacked the dry earth with gusto and provided unbelievable grip, even on steep climbs during which I was sure I’d spin out.
As with any quick ride at a demo, I wished I had more time on the bike to put it to the test, but my first impression is that the Hayduke is a comfortable, fun, capable bike, and if you’re into steel hardtails, this is certainly one to keep in mind.
MSRP: $2,699 complete, or $750 frame-only.