Some of you might have seen me mention that I had a new bike on order. Well the green machine is no longer an only child! The Bionicon Edison I've had for four years finally has a stable-mate.
I got one of the first batch of the new Bionicon 170mm Double Agent Fork. I've been waiting to post until after I put a few miles on it. In three weeks I've done over 400 miles.
The bike is a small Bionicon Supershuttle with 160mm rear travel. The new 170mm fork is a little different to the regular Double Agent Bionicon fork (150mm) in that it has a rebound adjusting cartridge, and the suspension is a combination of coil, air and elastomer bottom-out bumper. It's also a leading 20mm through axle design. The crowns are therefore pulled back slightly, and the bike has a shorter stem feel to it.
After my first week, I was still getting used to the extra plushness of both the fork and the rear. I rode it on Cannell Trail and up in the Southern Sierra, and have since ridden five days at Mammoth, and lots of local riding in the San Gabriels, the Merrills, Brown/Prieto, and Mt. Lukens.
I'm finding that with the extra travel I'm using the Bionicon's travel/geometry adjustability more on this bike than I did on the Edison for climbing. The extra plushness makes rocky technical climbs a little easier, offset slightly by the extra weight.
I'm not sure of the exact angles on the bike yet (the specs on the 2009 models won't be out until their new catalog is printed in time for Interbike) but it feels slightly slacker than the Edision (67 deg HT), and is probably around 66 deg. With the adjustment it goes up to around 71 degrees,
I went with a triple ring because I usually ride my bike from home to the local trailheads (4 - 14 miles), and that would suck without a big ring. I have also mounted up a Heim 3-Guide and it worked perfectly, even with five days of Mammoth, not one dropped chain.
The bike came with Nevegal 2.35's, and I wasn't sold on them at all. I pinch flatted three times in the first week running more pressure (30 pounds) than I used to run in my Big Bettys (20-22 pounds). They also seem to drift a little less predictably (could be the extra pressure). I've since switched back to Big Bettys with Stans tubeless.
As is the bike weighs exactly 33 pounds with pedals, GPS and gravity dropper, and isn't a lightweight build (one of our OTB riders has a Supershuttle with Gravity dropper and the 150mm fork built up at 29 pounds). It has DP20 rims, X9 shifters, x9 rear derailleur, XT front derailleur, Formula K24 brakes, DT Swiss 370 hubs, 3" gravity dropper, WTB Devo seat.
I plan to mix it up and keep riding the my old green machine at least until I get it up to 10,000 miles (I'm about 500 miles shy of 10K right now).
So overall, I'm really happy with the bike. I do feel the exta poundage (all two of them) over my old bike on the climbs and pavement sprints, but it's a small price to pay for the comfort level. This past weekend I did 98 miles of riding with just shy of 13,000' of climbing in two days, compared the weekend before which was 5 days of lift access at Mammoth.
Here's the goods:
Showing the difference between climbing and descending modes (extremes, you can stop anywhere in between):
And a few action shots:
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Thread: New Bike - Supershuttle 170mm