I bought a used 04 Gemini 3000 frame last summer and finally finished building it last week. First off it is a very fun bike to pedal. As currently configured it is by far my heaviest bike - the 2.7 Kendas have alot to do with that. I'll spare you the gorry spec details and post a picture tomorrow. For now, to give you the flavor of the build and why its heavy - a few components: Saint cranks, a 180mm Marz 66 eta/rc2, avid codes w/ 203mm rotors.
The rear shock is a marz roco with tst. The original 450 rate spring was way to soft for my weight - around 210 with gear. It never bottomed out and was fun but just felt like it over reacted to rocks - bounced to much.
The bike as a whole was a blast to ride. There was certainly some work involved in getting the crate(I say 'crate' lovingly) up hills but it was very shore footed and well balanced. Surprisingly pedal bob was not an issue but then it only has a 32t ring up front. Going down hills it, picked up speed amazingly well. Road the bike over,between, around rocks roots etc. It always felt balanced and tracked well.
This evening I put a 550 rate spring on it and took it for a short test drive in the hood. So far, it is beyond my expectations. I was hitting short sharp edges and drops at speed without lifting my butt at all and pedaling through. That is when I felt the Marzocchi 'buttery' shock experiance for the first time. With the 450 rate spring it would have been to bouncy - with a hard tail you could never sit through it.
I'm really excited to try it on some real trails in morning if its not raining.
Which FS bikes do I have sufficient time and experiance on to compare it with? I've spent a lot of time on an 07 Rush 3 and on a late 07 model Santa Cruz Nomad. (I've demoed others but won't go there now) The Rush was a good bike but it was not me in to many ways. The Nomad is a blast to ride and is set up pretty much the same as the Gemini but with skinny fast tires and nice quick engage hubs. I wouldn't want to give up either. Each has its own feel both in handling, and especially in how the rear sus feels. I need to spend some more time riding for a better description. Both share a high fun factor. The Gemini was an underrated bike I think.
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