I am thinking of moving into AM side of things, and maybe racing enduro.
I know the Cadabra is raced by the Kona Enduro team, but there is also now the 2013 Process which is billed for enduro. Clearly the Process is burlier and has a slacker HTA, but there still seems to be a lot of overlap between the two bikes. The Magic Link is appealing to me because I really enjoy climbing, but I can only have one FS bike and I'd like something that I could do some light DH/Freeride with on occasion. Does anyone with a Cadabra ever feel limited by the bike? I know the 2013 builds have moved up to 34 160mm forks, and I'm assuming the HTA drops a degree or so when the bike is in slack mode. The only downside I see on a Cadabra is the lack of ISCG tabs.
I was wondering what others thoughts were on the differences in capability/emphasis of each bike. Are they really significantly different?
I'm lucky to be in Kona Grassroots Enduro team in Finland. Seasons 2011 and 2012 I've been racing with Abracadabra. About month ago I got to test next next years bikes for two days at Laajavuori Bike Park in central Finland. Here is some thoughts from that test. It's not my native language, so sorry about the mistakes in writing.
Process, Cadabra and Satori were the bikes chosen for the test . I also got to time one of the Enduro Special stages on all of those bikes. Results at the bottom.
Before testing I was anticipating that I'd be choosing Abracadabra also for next year. I really liked the 2011/2012 models, and expected that it will be even better with new 160mm fork and 3gen of magic link. I thought that Process might be little too burly for the enduro in Finland and never really rode 29" mountain bike before, so didn't have much expectations for Satori.
Started the test with Process. I'm 185cm tall and size 19"/large felt just perfect. Didn't take long at all to set it up. One thing surprised me was that it had dual-ply tyres on. Maybe that's with Process, and Process DL comes with single ply EXO sidewall tyres. Nothing against dual-ply tyres when riding in bike park, but Cadabra and Satori had single-ply tyres, which would make comparing bikes harder.
First ride of the day, so I started with free riding trail with lots of jumps. Process felt incredibly stable and playful at the same time. So much fun riding it! That trail has few jumps that I've been little scared of, and just second round on Process and cleared those jumps with grin on my face.
I moved to ride on one of the special stages used for endure racing. This one is really rocky and rooty, with lot's of tight corners and bit of pedalling at the end. Rear suspension felt really plush and everything on the bike worked well. This video about Enduro race in Laajavuori last summer, should give some idea about those trails.
Process felt fast and fun. BB is lower than on Abracadabra, and that combined with plush suspension gave me one surprise when hitting the crank to root where i'm sure Abracadabra would have cleared it.
Excluding the dual-ply tyres, spec on Process is spot on. After two seasons of using Reverb, Cronolog remote needs little more push, but that is something I could easily get used to.
Next bike was Cadabra. It took little more time to set up, due to magic link. I don't mind that, I like testing different settings. Cadabra felt surprisingly different from Process. It is not as playful as process, but feels more sensitive. Of course it felt really familiar, but at the same time more stable than last years model. New fox 34 160mm forks are really nice, and CTD adjustments seems really good.
Guys from Kona asked me to join filming with UK Kona rider Grant Fielder and DH team rider Mikko Hänninen. Actually ended up riding Cadabra for almost all day. I really enjoyed riding Cadabra, and got to time the same Special Stage ridden with Process. To my surprise felt that it actually was Process that was faster in pedally section at the end. That section is really rocky and rather slow speed and there it felt that Process rear suspension did better job carrying speed. This surprised me since I've been amazed how well magic link suspension normally carries speed on similar conditions. I think that is depends in speed. Magic link suspension really shows it best sides on high speeds.
That's me going up and Grant landing.
Last bike to test was Satori. It was one size too small for me so left the 90mm stock stem on for the testing. This bike really surprised me. I thought that 29" bike would be clumsy and heavy to work on. Instead Satori has tons of same playfulness as Process. I did clear all the same free ride stuff as I did in the beginning with Process. Then took it to the enduro special stages, and was really blown away, bike rolls so well and feels really confidence inspiring. It felt like half of the roots and rocks would have been taken away from the trail. Had just 40min on Satori before ending the first test day, and ended up just more confused than before the test, but lots of thoughts for the next day.
As a first thing next day timed that same Special stage with Satori as on two other bikes. Satori was for sure the easiest to ride there, and felt really fast. In the end next day did not bring much more new light, and I rode all to those bikes little bit more.
Times on that stage:
Process 2min 50sec. Satori 2min 53sec and Cadabra 3min 5sec. I felt that i did biggest mistake on Satori, and similar one on Cadabra.
So what to choose. It really depends on the terrain that you ride. I was really surprised and convoked about this 29" thing. It made me sure that not many of us will have 26" AM bike on three years time. It will be 650b or 29". I'd put Process and Cadabra in this kind of order: Process is Enduro/bikepark/trail, and Cadabra is Enduro/trail/bikepark. I think Cadabra is better all-arounder. In past two years I've really enjoyed how well Abra/cadabra climbs when I need to pedal up and is cabaple of all the same things as Process on Downhill. Process is more fun on when trail points down. With Satori I don't know. I've had Satori as test bike with me now for a month. It's shockingly fast. It feels so stable and rolls so well that sometimes it makes you feel like riding is too easy, then you know that you can add some speed.
Which bike do you think I chose for next season?
Last edited by Prestige; 11-17-2012 at 12:05 AM.