Thoughts I'd share my experience thus far after riding my Eastern for a month or so now. It's being run as a 1x9 and has been working great! Sorry no pics of the bike alone so the action shots will have to work.
(yes there's a front derailleur here... but it's history)
Full spec list:
Frame: Large Eastern Slash Air 5"
Fork: Sherman Flick
Rear shock: Fox Float R
Rims: Ditch Witch
Crankset: RaceFace XC w/ Kona Bash Guard
Pedals: Kona Platforms
Headset: FSA Pig
Stem: Azonic Shorty
Bars: Azonic Risers
Brakes: Hayes DX-9
Saddle: Bontrager Race Lux
Seatpost: Easton EA30
Derailleurs: XT Rear (no front)
Tyres: Nokian NBX 2.3 (sweetness)
On the fit: The geometry is really that of a DJ/FR bike. I am 5'11" with a 32" inseam and the large TT length is perfect. With a crazy long seatpost I don't get full leg extension. It's worth it to me but may not be to others. The angles also put your seat a ways behind the BB so you will feel like you are pushing forward into the pedals.
Full leg extension on large frame.
On the ride: This is so ridiculously subjective that it's hard to write anything useful. Climbing? it does as well as can be expected and never seems to lose traction (even when standing). The weight isn't too much of an issue but the lack of extension in the legs really makes it tough. The length on the top tube and the slack angles really keep the front end down well on climbs. Downhill? Sweeeeet.... you just have to love the single pivot. The bike is really stable with no noticeable flex. Once you are behind the seat the bike holds a line great. The rear doesn't dive as badly as the fork does so it works out well. It really seems to shine on tighter technical riding and jumps... this thing loves to be in the air.
I've slogged the Eastern up Poison Spider and rocked it down the Portal. Up Amasa Back and down Jackson. Shuttle downhills. Durango climbs. This has become my do-it-all frame (but as far as I am concerned the descent makes up for the grind)
Not bad for a $400 frame.
Hope this helps... if anyone wants to know about anything else let me know.
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Thread: Eastern Slash Build