Lee Cougan Rampage Revamps Innova XC Rear Suspension with Short-Travel, Oil-Damped Softail

Lee Coogan aims to revive the MTB brand’s premium innovation legacy with the all-new Rampage Innova Softail XC Bike.  This unique new Rampage Innova Frame delivers 30mm tunable, oil-coated travel, making it the perfect happy medium, promising hardtail’s lightweight and efficient benefits and improved traction and comfort for full-swing.

MTB Software is back and it’s more advanced than ever!

Lee Cougan Rampage Innova 30mm Carbon XC MTB Softail

Climbing,  Lee Cougan Rampage Innova 30mm Carbon XC MTB Mountain Bike, 

Because cross-country mountain bike racing is becoming more and more technical, hardtails at the highest levels of racing are completely non-existent.  And Lee Coogan thinks it’s time to give it another tough look between the bikes.  Their rampage rises as fast as the Innova sturdy, but it is better to embrace the ground in full.  And a 30mm wetted, tunable ride will never go down like a proper full-haul bike, with plenty to offer to ease some rocks and roots, protecting riders from fatigue during long races.

The advantage is that, in the end, you only get a 1300g weight frame and a similarly priced bike than a comparable sub-10kg complete segment.

 Who is Lee Cougan again?

Lee Coogan Basso is the sister brand of road bikes, designed in a single HQ in northern Italy.  After being founded as a largely open-mould distribution company a couple decades ago, Lee Coogan has taken steps to truly innovate and leverage their growth prowess of road crossover teams over the past few years.  Now with the Asian-made Rampage Innova, the brand is setting the stage for a shake-up of XC race bikes.

Technical details

The heart of the new Lee Cougan Rampage Innova is a 30mm Pro-Shop-Tunable Rear Suspension – known as the Innova Structural Suspension.  The rear suspension is a spring carbon Flex, with the typical leaf spring bolted (but replaceable) to the seat tube with frame size-specific stiffness.  Its wetting secret hides inside the protective cover at the end of the seat, with 2 small pressure oil-pumps.

With Lee Coogan claiming that the Carbon Leaf + Micro Damper Setup is optimised for the 100kg rider, those minor shocks come pre-set with every frame size.  But oil weight / pressure can be customised for each racer or race separately, only from Lee Coogan’s official suspension service centre.

Inner micro shocks include elastomer bottom-out protection, but there is no top-out limiter on the return.

In the end, the simplified, no-pivot rear suspension with Flex Zones allows the weight to be just over 1300g (size M) and keeps the same lateral bottom bracket and drivetrain stiffness as the Lee Coogan’s lightweight carbon XC hardtail.  My size M test bike with pedals completed 9.88kg.

The Rampage Innova software uses a standard boost rear end with flat-mount rear disc brakes and uses internal cable routing through the headset.  It also uses a robust 3-bolt external seat clamp to reduce seatpost pinch strength and prevent any chance of sliding.  Although it uses a special adapter plate to install the seatpost bottle in front of the carbon leaf spring, it can accommodate two water bottles.

Race-focused XC and marathon geometry

The Rampage Innova Softail is a typical middle-ground bike suspension-wise, but when it comes to geometry, it’s a dedicated racer, albeit with a modern feel.  The 69 ยฐ headtube (with the stock 100mm fork) performs faster, but is still fairly stable through rough terrain.  Its 73 ยฐ seat tube is not particularly steep, as you already get good pedalling efficiency from the hardtail-like rear.  And the 428mm chainstays are smaller and faster.

Lee Cougan Rampage Innova – Pricing, Options and Availability

The new 30mm Travel Lee Cougan Rampage Innova is now available in super limited quantities.  It is already in the Lee Coogan stores in Europe and is already popping up on the XC Race Circuit with their longtime racing and development partners at Team Saudal Lee Coogan.  In fact, the first hundred or so bikes available are this 6800 โ‚ฌ Complete Rampage Innova Factory Replica, which competes with the same production kit, including the Fox 32 SC fork, SRAM XX1 AXS + Leonardi drivetrain, Magura brakes, and new Ursus Carbon.  Wheels, and a new 1-piece Lee Coogan x Ursus carbon bar.

These first bikes will ship to customers in just a few weeks and include a free custom suspension tune with Lee Coogan’s Gallo Moto Tuning Shop partners.  (Front custom damper tuning costs 170,, including shipping mini-shocks back and forth.)

Most bikes come later in the year with full build prices starting at 4300 โ‚ฌ.  We have been told that the frameset option is working on building custom race bikes for the next season.

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  First impressions

On the new mountain bike we had the opportunity to ride some long marathons with tight and twisty XC style racing and more technical terrain and plenty of climbing.  As an avid rider (and owner) of Softail Mountain Bikes for nearly two decades, Lee Coogan’s new impression of the Rampage Innova is that it is really a highly refined mini rear suspension, and not a boring sentiment.

One of my most lasting first impressions was that the suspension felt noticeably active while seated, but the second you woke it up, it became sturdy again.  This means that seated pedalling enjoys a big benefit from 30mm travel, but it does feel less like a full-suspension when standing on a landing on thicker lanes, perhaps even if there is some rear-end travel.

  One downside, depending on personal preference (and calf size), is that the wide-set seats and the ISS layout offer lateral stiffness, slightly rubbing with the legs while pedalling. It wasn’t sufficient to trouble me, however I’m positive a few riders could mind.

  It really climbs like a hardtail and hooks the rear wheel onto rough surfaces, taking a little buzz from bumpy rides without ever feeling like you really have a rear suspension.


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