the rep left a size xl R29 at the LBS for a few weeks and the shop knows i want to get on every xl demo they got, so with great fortune (xl demo's not that common) i finally got to test one of these monster bikes.

i'm 6'5" and my personal bikes are Transition Smuggler and Patrol, coastal BC riding. extreme rainfall for a month so it was utterly saturated with lots of standing and flowing water everywhere. not ideal but i had 2 days to try it so...

in short, it's a beast of a bike. huge in a good way. great fit for me. bike was half asleep on a techy xc ride but is an excellent tech climber. made every ledgy rooty grunt up on my ride, and i'm about 50/50 on many of them. it's not exactly quick though tight singletrack but not bad. when you get any kind of sustained down it has stability and security for days. the following day i took it to a steeper rougher trail network and bombed down a stunner of a trail that makes a great long enduro stage with a bit of everything, a lot of rock and some steep chutes and endless cedar root systems. this is the bikes happy place and the faster the better. very plush rear end. just awesome.

highlights: frame, fit, shock, e13 tires (exceptional) and new Code brakes (though i still prefer my Zee's) not for me: in a world dominated by Sram, i prefer Shimano drivetrains, and not Reverb posts and a bike like this needs 175+ dropper. DT swiss 350 good, 18pt engagement, a joke on a mtn bike.

i would put this bike in the far end of the enduro category with Slayers, Firebirds, Wreckonings, Reign, etc. if you've got the terrain, want to attack trails and are looking at the above bikes add this to the list.