Well I took this bike out for a ride this AM at Fantasy Island and gave it a short 60 minute thrashing around the main loop plus the christmas tree loop.
After setting the lyric at the recomended weight I took off on the trail. Initially it felt over sprung on the front and super plush on the rear. I stopped soon after and realized that the rebound was set fall fast so I dialed it in to a more appropriate setting and then decided to look at the compression settings as well. They were set full hard for low comp and full open for high comp so I reset them both to a setting that was three clicks in from full soft.
This fork has way too many settings. Makes my old fifth element seem simple, anyways I also decided to look at the propedal lever which was in the middle setting so I figured that was ballpark and hit the trail. Immediately the bike felt much better, wheww! Now I could get into really analyzing this bike.
The first thing that is apparent is that this bike fits me really well. It is a 19" by their determination but it measures out with a 22" TT length parallel to the ground. For those who are interested I am 5'-9.5" with a 30" inseam. This bike fits me really well it seems. The other thing that I notice is that this bike handles very quickly. Much quicker than my comparably equiped and intention bullit or the Santa Cruz nomad that I tested briefly. It seems to be more of a XC geometry than a DH/FR geometry of these previously mentioned bikes.
I hit the curves and turns fast, almost as fast as I hit them on my singlespeed when I do FI. The bike felt comfortable but with the lyric it would push the front end way before I could convince the rear to drift. Possibly I need more air in the rear and less in the front to better balance the suspension. I will try this for my next jaunt.
I decided through the rolling non techincal area of FI after the crossing the road for the first time to lower the lyric to its 115mm travel setting and try that for awhile. Aside from lowering the BB more than I am used to it seemed to be a nice fit to the frame. The bike pedaled well and handled even better, very much like my single speed now.
Eventually I reached the more technical areas of FI and feeling comfortable now I increased travel and began to explore the reaches of the rear suspension.
Under braking in all conditions the rear stays active. I never was able to loose the rear tire as I sent it into a corner or down a hill unless I greatly weighted the front tire. I deliberately rode hard and deep into braking bumps to see if I could unsettle the rear but to no avail even when sitting.
Under climbing, seated or standing, the rear suspension stayed active including intentionally driving off line and ascending up a rocky wash area innundated with 3-5" babyhead rocks. I managed to climb up without slipping the tire once....while standing. Pretty amazing traction.
I diddled with the propedal setting and the lowest effect setting was the most plush and the highest setting allow a lot more trail noise to filter in.
This bike loves to jump. I hit the tabletop on the christmas tree better than I ever have on other bikes with no preparation or even meaning to. Just loves to pop off the lips. Such a different experience than on my bullit which didn't like the jumps much.
This is an amazingly stiff and responsive bike on a fast swoopy single track. Once I get the suspension better balanced I can only imagine that it will be better in these conditions, drifting evenly around the turns and accelerating and deceleration with aplomb. Now i need to give it a try on something more techincal so this weekend I will really wring it out on the opposite of smooth, twisty rolling singletrack and head over to Starr pass and do the golden gate trail. More to come.
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