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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! 2013 Interbike Dirt Demo

    Two days, ten bikes ridden. Not one 26er.



    Reports are now posted. Scroll down to page three for the goods.
    Last edited by KRob; 09-25-2013 at 12:09 AM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Reports to come.
    I am green with envy!
    Just one quick question: Warden?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    One day down, five or six bikes ridden. Not one 26er.

    Reports to come.
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.

  7. #7
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    Subscribed. The wait is agony.
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  8. #8
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    Ah sweet.. any new Lyriks, or 36 type forks you're liking there?
    ...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    I am green with envy!
    Just one quick question: Warden?
    No warden
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.
    Both on my list but have been extremely hard to get. I'm just going to have to stay and wait.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Ah sweet.. any new Lyriks, or 36 type forks you're liking there?
    Mostly trail 650b and short travel 29ers so haven't ridden any 6" forks yet.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  12. #12
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    Subscribed - cant wait :-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    No warden
    Bummer for sure

    I'm in on this little freight train as well. Looking forward to reports

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  15. #15
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    Interbike Dirt Demo

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    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    One day down, five or six bikes ridden. Not one 26er.

    Reports to come.
    Which bikes have you ridden so far?

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    Maybe you can also ride the BMC Trailfox 29 and compare it to the 650b Enduros?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design. Great, now I'm still "undecided" between those two and the Bronson (which I was lucky enough to try and really enjoyed)!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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  20. #20
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    Try to get time on the new Instigator too if you can.

  21. #21
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    BIKE mag's take on the Troy: Video: First Impressions, 2014 Devinci Troy XP

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design.
    I'd think if the Mach 6 was the best DW-Link he's ridden that it would trump the Troy in "fun" category. 160mm+carbon+DWLink+27.5=what can be better?
    GIS/GPS Pro using ArcFM for Utility Mapping - Always willing to connect with other MTBers in the industry.

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    Tell us more please.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design. Great, now I'm still "undecided" between those two and the Bronson (which I was lucky enough to try and really enjoyed)!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Never got to the Tory, but the Mach 6 was brilliant. Favorite bike of the show.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  26. #26
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    Subscribed. I'm in the market and saw/threw a leg over a Mach6 last weekend at my LBS; it looked really well thought out, and the parking lot test on a med (need large) was very promising. Looking forward to your ride reports, and an upcoming dirt demo!

  27. #27
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    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  28. #28
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Mostly trail 650b and short travel 29ers so haven't ridden any 6" forks yet.
    Interesting, was wondering about that and also UST, seems there are a couple frames right at that 6" spec
    ...

  30. #30
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  31. #31
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    Just a reminder...you can subscribe to a thread without posting. Click on the Thread Tools menu at the top and choose subscribe to this thread.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    Extra $700?
    I thought the Mach6 and Bronson were within 100 bucks of each other. 2899 for the Bronson c and 3000 for the Mach 6?
    Unless your talking about the al Bronson I guess.

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    No misprint; let's just say I'm WAY more connected with Santa Cruz than I am with Pivot...

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    I'd think if the Mach 6 was the best DW-Link he's ridden that it would trump the Troy in "fun" category. 160mm+carbon+DWLink+27.5=what can be better?
    That's a good question. Both bikes were really nice, but I edge the Troy as my favorite for the subtle differences.

    Body position, and slightly lower BB were big for me. I felt like my weight was a little farther back on the Pivot, so it wasn't as comfy on the climbs. (The Pivot had a much longer stem too.) Both bikes descended in a similar manner. Controlled, and stable. Even though the Troy has 15mm less rear travel, both bikes felt the same on the hucks I did. (O rings told me I was using full travel.) I felt like I could throw the Troy around a little easier for whatever reason, and I got to try a large, and XL Troy. Might be the differences in the rear suspension, but I concentrated on the feel of the frame and their handling instead of turning dials.

    Best DW bike? Yes. This is in comparison to a couple old Iron Horses, and a Mojo HD I demoed last year. Small bump performance was great. Both of these bikes would serve their owners well.
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    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  35. #35
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    Can't thank enough for spending time to visit Interbike and conclude it in a -must be- usual great write up, KRob.
    Subscribed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today .
    My friend just got a Bronson and she's jumped to the next level of riding overnight. Looks like a great bike. It's too small for me to test properly, but having ridden with her a bunch it's pretty easy to gauge how much better she is riding.

    I'm sure you'll love it.
    Safe riding,

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    Yes, the Bronson is a good ride. I liked it almost as much as the Mach 6.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  38. #38
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    Is your report posted somewhere?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Is your report posted somewhere?
    If it is, I can't find it. I submitted the write-ups to mtbr last friday night because they wanted to feature them. I'm sure things have been crazy with I-bike and being gone all last week, but I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    If it is, I can't find it. I submitted the write-ups to mtbr last friday night because they wanted to feature them. I'm sure things have been crazy with I-bike and being gone all last week, but I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    Isn't the reason you started this thread is to post information to us? MTBR control over this deviates from the basic premise of these forums to post useful information by riders. Oh well, I removed myself from this thread of nothing.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude! View Post
    Isn't the reason you started this thread is to post information to us? MTBR control over this deviates from the basic premise of these forums to post useful information by riders. Oh well, I removed myself from this thread of nothing.
    hu? i post previews all the time then write the formal review then discuss the review via the front page or via the forums. "MTBR control" means that the article gets put on the front page. The premise of the forums is to provide rider information but it reaches a limited audience compared to the front page. Lots of people go to the front page and not to the forums -- which they find intimidating. Krob is a big boy and can speak for himself but just giving my pov
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    Go ahead and post them up. I find the MTBR main page a visual cluster F anyway.
    - -benja- -

  43. #43
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    I'd be curious if you threw a Giant Trance or Trance SX into this mix, and if so, how did it compare to these rides that you are liking such as the Devinci and the Mach?
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    I'd be curious if you threw a Giant Trance or Trance SX into this mix, and if so, how did it compare to these rides that you are liking such as the Devinci and the Mach?
    Hoping to ride the Giant Tracnce or Trance SX at Outerbike. Wasn't impressed with the Anthem but I think the Trance should be better suited to 27.5.
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  45. #45
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    My wife always told me never to share any of my intellectual property as it was extremely limited. J

  46. #46
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    Love to see you post your stuff here.

  47. #47
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    First reviews are up on the homepage. Thanks KRob.

  48. #48
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    Krob, nice reviews. We should have more reviews like this.
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  49. #49
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    So, was the Solo your favorite of the bunch?
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  50. #50
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    Day 1

    2013 Interbike Dirt Demo

    I always like to preface my Interbike reviews/impressions with a disclaimer.
    -These are not full out comprehensive reviews. They’re just first impressions from brief rides on some really cool bikes, on some really fun, tough trails. Take them for what they’re worth. Set up, bars, tires, adjustments, not to mention my state of dehydration at any given time during the ride can and does affect my impression of a bike. If you’re dumb enough to base a $5000+ bike purchase solely on my semi-coherent ramblings then you deserve what you get. Having said that, I’ve ridden a ton of bikes in a lot of locations over many years and I think I’m a pretty good seat-of-pants judge of whether a bike is good or not. So listen up….. or not.

    Who am I: Just a guy who likes to ride bikes. I’m 52 years old. I’ve been riding mountain bikes for 16 years. I love all kinds of trails from fast and flowy to steep and chunky to jumpy and droppy. I’ve ridden mostly in the Western USA but have covered a lot of territory and trails in that region from Moab to Tahoe to St. George to Park Cit to Oregon to Fruita/Grand Junction to Sedona to Tucson to Phoenix to Flagstaff to Sun Valley but I call home Ely, NV. I’m 5’ 11.5” and weigh 160 lbs. I ride 5-6 days a week year round. I value the ride more than the bike and in the end I’m not that clued in to details but I think I know what makes for a good ride…and a good bike.

    General observations:
    27.5/650b is the new 26er. Everyone (except Specialized) has one and going back and forth between these and the 29er offerings it was easy to feel the differences between these two sizes… but I soon forgot how a 26er would feel any different the 27.5. It was just the bigger wheels and the smaller wheels at this demo.... no 26".

    Fat bikes. They were everywhere. It was like an invasion I didn’t see coming.

    One x Eleven drivetrains: They are the real deal. Most bikes were sporting this set up and we dug it. Shifts were snickety snick accurate and the overall range of ratios was sufficient. Do we still need front derailleurs?

    Fox forks are much improved this year. That is good.

    Some companies came back (Niner), some had a bigger presence than ever (Devinci), some didn’t show at all (Trek, Cannondale).

    Bikes I wanted to ride but either they weren’t present or I just ran out of time and didn’t get to:
    Divinci Troy, Niner WFO, Ibis Ripley, Ibis Mojo HDR, Cannondale Trigger, Transition Covert 29, Knolly Warden, Giant Trance 27.5, Trek Remedy 29, Pivot Mach 429, Banshee Spitfire 650b, Turner Flux 650b…

    It was hot (again), it was crowded (again), but it’s still just like a free day in Disneyland for this bike geek (even had strollers, freaks and geeks of all sorts to weave through to get to the good rides just like Disneyland).

    I teamed up with Craigstr for the first day of demos so want to thank him for his help in securing some bikes and for his valuable input. I hope he opts to chime in on add his comments to these first impressions.

    Santa Cruz Solo (5010) C

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813601613/" title="SAM_0506 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3741/9813601613_56873b9754_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0506"></a>
    I’ve been looking for a nice short travel 650b or 29” as a complement for my Knolly Chilcotin so the 125mm Solo was high on my Interbike demo list. First thing Monday morning I headed straight for the Santa Cruz tent and stood there patiently waiting for them to open. The guys from Santa Cruz were friendly and helpful and got me set up and out the door in short order. First thought? Wow this bike is gorgeous! Love the Mountain Rescue Orange and beautiful, well proportioned, carbon swoopy lines. Second thought? Wow this thing is light. Next thought? This thing pedals incredibly well.

    As I climbed the road to the start of the trails I assessed the fit and determined that a large is just about right for me. At 5’11” I’m a bit of a tweener and some large frames feel a bit big but I knew from experience that SC tends to run a bit shorter so there was no question which bike to choose.

    As we got on to the trail and started climbing over some of the rocky outcroppings I was trying to sense any of the dreaded pedal kick back that the v.1 VPP was famous for but was unsuccessful in detecting any. The wheel would hang up just a tad on some of the slower, squarer edges but not worse than most other bikes. Generally the rear suspension worked really well on this climb,, staying bob-free and efficient when the trail was smooth and smoothly absorbing most rocks and ledges on the way. I was a bit disappointed to see the Fox 32 fork up front because I’ve had less than stellar experiences with it in the past but this 2014 version is a sweetheart. It responded well to small and medium sized edges, rocks, and ledges on the way up and tracked very well.

    This was also my first experience with a 1x11 drivetrain set up and was immediately won over. Very slick shifting even up onto the gigantic 42 tooth cog and plenty of range for most any riding you’d do on this kind of bike. Having ridden double shifting bikes for the better part of 40 years (yes I’m that old) I never gave much thought to the what it takes to coordinate shifts and gear combos between the front and rear derailleurs, but having only one lever to deal with all of that was noticeably easier on the brain. I’ll be even more interested when the 1 x 11 set ups start becoming available in the lower and mid-range groups.

    When we arrived at the top of our climb and started down the back side into the caldera I was kind of expecting the thin-legged Fox and short travel rear (remember when 125mm was considered long travel?) to show their stripes but not so: This thing just flew and the fork did not hold it back. It displayed very little flex and the action was controlled and well damped only falling behind a tiny bit on some of the rougher sections. Steering was sharp, and tight switch backs took some getting used to after stepping off my 65.5 deg head angled 170mm forked Chili, but once reacquainted with what accurate, playful steering can do to a tight trail it was great . With a relatively slack 68 deg head angle, low bottom bracket, and biggish wheels, the straight line stability was still very good as well. Despite that low bottom bracket number and rocky terrain, I did not get any unusual or excessive pedal strikes.

    The Solo … er 5010 (awkward name) was very easy to get comfortable on and gain confidence in quickly---Way more than I would’ve previously expected of a bike with these “travel” numbers. Yes there may have been some visions of Peaty bombing the Scottish Highlands running through my head as I swerved, popped, flowed, and threaded my way down the trail…. But delusions of grandeur aside, the 5010 felt really good. And I gotta say, I didn’t notice the wheel size one way or the other. The bike as a whole just felt incredibly well-balanced, fast, and fun.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813600803/" title="SAM_0507 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/9813600803_d9e0246eec_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0507"></a>
    Trademark issues may have forced a name change but I’m still going to call it the Solo.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509875/" title="SAM_0514 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2838/9813509875_a3f32eeb20_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0514"></a>
    One by eleven: It’s the real deal
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813545226/" title="SAM_0511 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7386/9813545226_4b211dbe00_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0511"></a>
    Beefy tires….
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813599273/" title="SAM_0508 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7370/9813599273_c5fc22447f_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0508"></a>
    And wide bars go a long way in making a shorter travel bike feel All-mountain capable, but there’s more to this bike than that. It’s the whole package.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813543756/" title="SAM_0512 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2830/9813543756_fc93731890_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0512"></a>

    Giant Anthem 27.5

    Two years ago we rode the Giant Anthem 29 and liked it a lot. This year Giant is going all in with 27.5 for their short and mid-travel full suspension bikes and has gone to great marketing and “scientific” lengths to justify the change. Is it all that? We wanted to find out so checked out this light weight four inch Anthem.

    I thought the Solo (there I go again) climbed really well but the Anthem practically levitated up the climbs. It was extremely light and the Maestro tuned mini ink suspension provided acceptable bump absorption while staying steady and bob-free. The only problem was it felt too XC to me…. Even old school XC, meaning longish stem, narrow bars, short front center, and steep head angle. You know, like a short travel 29er should feel, but the 29er had more wheel sticking out in front to help roll over the rough stuff and keep you feeling more centered “in” the bike. I just could never shake the feeling that the Anthem felt better as a 29er. I mean it did fine on the less techy climbs and descents but when things morphed into chunky mode it felt sketch. I was begging for the Solo back at this point (but Craig wouldn't give it to me). And to make matters worse, it didn’t display enough of the big wheel magic that makes a 29er great on the smoother stuff either.

    Otherwise, overall fit and finish were acceptable, lateral stiffness was good enough, and its pedaling efficiency was good. I suppose with a 120mm fork, wider bars, and bigger tires it might gain some “trail” cred but as it was it just didn’t do it for us. A 27.5 Trance and Reign make sense…. This didn’t (to me).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590863/" title="SAM_0516 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7281/9813590863_be30b18e92_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0516"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509484/" title="SAM_0519 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3752/9813509484_925df1d054_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0519"></a>

    Maestro works.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813507984/" title="SAM_0520 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3700/9813507984_08b6ebeabc_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0520"></a>
    These Avid brakes had more engagement and hissed and squeaked when applied. The XT’s on the 5010 were much better.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813507805/" title="SAM_0518 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5535/9813507805_6edd5496d9_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0518"></a>

    This 1x11 drivetrain had some adjustment/set up issues and didn’t shift as cleanly as the 5010 either.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590513/" title="SAM_0517 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3746/9813590513_201bddf85d_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0517"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590743/" title="SAM_0515 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3822/9813590743_cba875415c_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0515"></a>

    Niner Rip 9

    It was good to see Niner back at the Dirt Demo after a two or three year absence. I was really interested in trying the Jet 9 RDO and the Rip 9 has always been one of my favorites so we grabbed both of them. I hadn't ridden the Rip 9 since v. 2 first came out so was interested to see how this newest iteration compared.

    We checked out a size large which felt big and tall but not overly long in the top tube so not sure how the medium would've compared. The tall stack height, wide bars, and big rolling rubber gave me a "monster truck" sensation while sitting on top of the Rip 9 and I expected it to totally flatten the trail, but for all its bigness I didn't find it overly plush or smoothing. Something about the all Rock Shox suspension just felt stiff. I didn't play with the tech adjusted settings on this bike but if I had thought about it I would've tried less air front and back. It did climb fairly efficiently but wasn't nimble in tighter spots or working its way through boulder fields.

    I did like the upright seating position, the fit and finish was good, and the Licorice and white paint scheme was sharp. Overall this is a very good bike. Perhaps with more suspension set up time (or perhaps with the excellent new TALAS 34 140/110 fork or Pike ) I could've gotten the Rip 9 feeling more like the playful trail/am monster I was expecting, but as it was it fell a bit short for me.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509004/" title="SAM_0521 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2872/9813509004_9cd8f8a444_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0521"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813582913/" title="SAM_0523 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/9813582913_f2e1ea8e73_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0523"></a>

    Wide bars and dropper posts are becoming requirements for me. Points were deducted from any bike lacking either. The big Rip scores points here. I also liked these minimal Ergon AM grips. Don't like the ones with the wings.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813498765/" title="SAM_0524 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7310/9813498765_f44ffb103b_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0524"></a>

    This Revelation fork was a bit of a weak link in this set up which is surprising because I've had good experiences with Revs in the past.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813499994/" title="SAM_0529 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5484/9813499994_a8ed1669ab_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0529"></a>

    WTB AM 29er rims and Nobby Nicks are a good solid wheel/tire combo. More 1 x 11 = more points won.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813499905/" title="SAM_0525 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7426/9813499905_16f10664dc_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0525"></a>

    Beautifully crafted pivots, rockers, and curvaceous stays. This demo's name was Jordan. The ghost of JMH still at Niner?
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813527056/" title="SAM_0526 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/9813527056_fd8dcb858c_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0526"></a>


    Niner Jet 9 RDO

    The Jet 9 was another bike that was high on my list as a possible Chilcotin complement so I was keen to give it a whirl. The RDO is the all carbon version of the XC/race Jet 9 recently updated to incorporate all the latest design features including 100mm of travel, 142mm rear spacing, and carbon upper rocker arm. Niner really prides itself in designing beautiful bikes whose form follows function derived from combining data for strength, weight, stiffness, and damping characteristics into an aesthetically appealing final shape. I liked the looks of the Jet 9 alright but wasn't totally won over by the curvy lines. The front "triangle" and rear seem a little disjointed to my eye. Maybe it was just the two-tone paint scheme.

    Despite what it looks like, it works. They definitely got the function part right. It is amazing how light they are building bikes these days and the Jet is no exception. This one felt a bit heavier than the Anthem but I'll bet it was still under 25 lbs. The sizing felt good and component selection was top shelf. I think they went a bit too XC (for me) on the bars, tires, and post so it lost a couple points for narrow barrows and no dropper. Other than that, the spec was good.

    Once on the swoopy, sometimes rocky Lakes loops it seemed to fly. It railed berms well, flew down through the steep g-outs and up the other side effortlessly, and floated over rocky sections and the occasional booter with pizazz and little drama. It felt like it could pop and play well. Seated climbing and standing sprints yeilded the same efficient power transfer I've come to expect from the excellent CVA rear suspension linkage while soaking up edges and bumps with a firm yet controlled short travel plushness. For a short travel race bike, this bike seemed to exceed it's expected trail cred as opposed to the Rip 9 which fell a bit short of what I expected. With "proper" 120mm fork, wider bars, and fatter rubber I think it could give the Czar and Solo a run for their money in what I want for a bike of this sort.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813489875/" title="SAM_0534 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7331/9813489875_2b43e14c5a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0534"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813568833/" title="SAM_0536 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/9813568833_f36220b64f_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0536"></a>

    Points off for sporting a front derailleur. That is so last year. Arched stays and top tube.... ummm, the jury is still out for me on the aesthetics.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813567213/" title="SAM_0537 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5494/9813567213_c2be5f3d66_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0537"></a>

    "Pedal Dammit"..... then go "Drink Beer"? I know it's very unhip of me to say, but I can't get behind either one of those directives.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813494675/" title="SAM_0531 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5472/9813494675_84487c89f4_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0531"></a>

    Yeti SB 75

    Yeti recently unveiled their all new 27.5" bikes, the SB 75 and the 575. I got a chance to ride the switch link SB at the Dirt Demo which is designed to fill the 650b marketing nitche that every bike manufacturer (except Specialized) has rushed to fill. With five inches of rear travel, low bottom bracket, and slackish head angle and longish top tube, I expected this to be a trail ripper. I promptly took it up the shuttle, strapped on a a number plate and timing chip from InnovativeTiming Systems and tore off down a very techy Skyline trail. It wasn't long before the bike was feeling out gunned. The tires were a bit skinny for this application, the suspension was a bit stiff and the HA a bit steep. It just felt out of sorts. As I pounded down through the rough sharp edges strung up high on a very steep, cliffy side hill, I kept thinking to myself that I should slow down before I went off the edge or pinch flatted.
    Thankfully the latter happened before the former and after one more pinch flat and three total tube changes I had to give up and roll down the road on a flat (hanging head in shame as I always mentally berated the morons who came to interbike unprepared enough that they had to walk or limp back to the paddock on their rims).

    Still wanting to give the SB 75 a fair shake I went to my car and found another new tube, replaced it and pumped it up to 35-40 lbs (that's a lot for me) and grabbed the next shuttle back up to the top. This time I took the more tame but still rollicking fun Boy Scout trail down which I assumed would be a better match for the bike's capabilities and intended purpose. It did better on this one but there was still something that just didn't feel right for me. The rear suspension was a bit dead feeling and the fork got overwhelmed easily in the chunk. Climbing up smoother sections while seated it pedaled without bobbing but almost felt like there was too much anti-squat and the bike was plowing or stink-bugging into the hill. The frame is nearly 7.75 lbs which is porky compared to its carbon competition so this may have added to this not-so lively feeling.

    On my first ride up the hill the bar and stack height felt too low and head angle seemed steep. Maybe it was because I'd just stepped off the two Niners which had quite tall stack heights but it just felt odd. The second time up I switched some spacers from above the stem to below (while riding the shuttle truck I might add), raising the bars another half inch or so and that improved some of the stink bug feeling and gave me a better, more balanced attitude. On the plus side, lateral stiffness was very good and overall, on more flowy, rocky terrain the suspension was reasonably plush though I'd still call it a firm plush and not as well controlled as some. I suspect that additional suspension set up and bigger tires would've helped this feeling although overall I liked the grip of this HR II front/Ardent rear combo. I just liked them better in the bigger size. Overall impression was a disappointing for me. I know it's outgunned in travel by a couple of the contenders, but given the numbers, I expected it to be right up there with the Bronson, Solo, and Mach Six for best 5-6" 27.5 do everything, fun, fast, enduro, trail slayer title but it landed at the bottom of that very impressive heap.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813566113/" title="SAM_0538 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7422/9813566113_83d70f1cf5_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0538"></a>

    The seat tube was quite long on this size large and it made me wonder if I should've been on a medium. Even with the excellent Thomson adjustable seat post all the way down in the seat tube, the seat was too high with the post fully extended. I had to adjust it down with the remote to get the right pedaling height. Take not if you're under 6'.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831592976/" title="SAM_0543 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5536/9831592976_4df97bcddb_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0543"></a>

    Beefy boxed rear triangle and short stout links added to lateral stiffness.
    And a word about CTD. There's been much talk about this and some people like it and some hate it, but I'm sort of ambivalent. To be honest I only rode the bikes in the Descend mode. None of them bobbed unacceptably while pedaling in that setting and none were too plush while descending (if there is such a thing) so I never bothered changing them. I like active suspension.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831653903/" title="SAM_0544 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5528/9831653903_9721fc0216_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0544"></a>

    This Fox shock felt less good then some of the others I tested but it may just've needed some further tuning.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831578435/" title="SAM_0541 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2827/9831578435_ae59e629c5_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0541"></a>

    The heart of the Switch. Fully sealed eccentric "link" system with oversized pivot pins and Enduro Max bearings. A splined BB shell accepts a removeable ISCG tabs.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831656113/" title="SAM_0542 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2854/9831656113_627e87c616_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0542"></a>
    Last edited by KRob; 09-25-2013 at 11:42 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

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