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  1. #1
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    Unsure of Firebird

    Demo-ed a Firebird yesterday. I really wanted to be able to order one after my ride, but a couple things popped up that maybe others know more about than me. My previous bike was a Titus Motolite, so my experience on a bike like a FB is none.

    The first thing was it felt really soft...softer than I thought it should, mostly climbing, as the descent it felt great. It wasn't pedal bob, it just felt soft. I weigh 185 and there was 200 psi in the rear shock. I also kept hitting the pedals going over rocks which was very frustrating from what I am used to.

    The next thing was I couldn't clear obstacles I know I could have with my Titus. Simple technical short climbs over rocks threw me to the point I gave up trying.

    I know a lot has to do with getting used to the way the bike rides, but does anyone have similar experiences or suggestions?

  2. #2
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    First thing you have to do is learn to forget about pressure-settings and your weight being relative to getting the most ride from dw-link. Go back, ride it again, buy it even. Learn how to thrust your own weight within your pedal cadence, because your riding of other bikes has not let you figure on your momentum at your BB, as this (a Bottom Bracket) becomes your bike's own pivot-point--once you see how to distribute your weight even more. The dw-link becomes re-active and then you'll sense the whole of the dw-link as 'active'. Trust me it is awesome and, well, more awesome.
    I ride an Iron Horse 6POINT from the bikes first run, 2007. I am actually running much less air pressure in my FOX shock than I started with. 50PSI less, with no compression added other than the open-default. That can be attributed to my bodies weight, how it is distributed on my body itself, and how my cockpit it placed.
    So get another ride, turn off rebound untill you do long runs and it progressively gets quicker, but learn to find all the bikes pivot points...
    I had thought the same thing as you; I felt as though I ride in the travel too much. Get it to pedal-wheelie, find how long you can change to a coast-wheelie in the same motion. Your legs and calves will take a burning, but that's where your bike takes the most control-leverage from--your core to the pedals through both legs. Your waist and your head are ballast with leverage.
    Better good?

  3. #3
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    Man this reminds me of my first time on my FB! I felt really frustrated because I couldnt go over obstacle I regularly cleared with my trailbike. Despite that I decided to buy a FB thinking I'll get use to it for sure. And I did... or kinda.

    After a few ride I was getting much more comfortable with the bike and started to feel much more comfortable with how the FB rides. However, there are a couple of things that I didnt like during my first ride that I never ended up getting use to. Long headtube (Large size), low BB and the damn DHX 5! What did I end up doing? I sold the bike a few months ago.

    Is the FB a great bike? This is an amazing ride for sure! But you did the right thing by taking the bike for a ride and now you have a couple of question mark. Fair enough. Go and demo other bike and buy the one you'll really like and feel the most comfortable with your riding style, body size and personal preferences....

    Simply put there is no such a thing as a one bike fits all... you may end up buying something completely different than what you originally thought. Do not try to hard to like a bike because after all it's just a bike!
    Go luck!
    Lp

  4. #4
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    I think you are comparing apples to oranges. I replaced my motolite with a Mach 5 and my Supermoto with a FB. Both hugely superior to their predecessors. Maybe you ought to demo a 5.7...

  5. #5
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    I guess the big question is what do you want from your next bike? If you're looking for something that is closer to the Motolite you may want to check out a Mach 5 or the new 5.7. The Firebird is a very different riding bike than your current ride and it's going to feel a bit strange to someone who hasn't ridden longer travel bikes (not just a 'Bird but ANY long travel). Longer travel requires a different body position and pedaling cadence and some riders have a harder time adjusting (or decide it's not really what they want). I'd test ride a few other bikes and get a feel for what you like/dislike about them, then give the Firebird another try. I know firsthand what the bike is capable of but I also know it's not the right bike for everyone.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  6. #6
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    I agree with Ken about needing to get used to a longer travel bike.... and riding a VPP or DW link suspension instead of a Horst Link will take some getting used to. I'll compare a Porsche to a Ferrari. Both are fantastic track cars, both can win races, but each one takes a very different driving style to get the most out of it. A Porsche is rear engine, rear wheel drive (in this example), a Ferrari is rear wheel drive, mid engine. They don't brake the same, they don't corner the same, they don't drift the same... but if you are used to how each one drives, they sure can perform.

    It took me some time to get used to how the VPP and DW bikes ride, but now that I'm used to them, I'm very happy with how they work.
    "It looks flexy"

  7. #7
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    i owned a ML and an EG, and now own a FB... i actually like climbing steeper and bumpier stuff on the EG and the FB much more than with the ML.

    having said that, the FB does have a different feel because of the rear suspension design, as you'd expect... i do like the FB the best out of the three. I demoed a Mach 5 and (as others said), it's much more comparable to the ML...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  8. #8
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    One of the things I love about my Bird is how the DW link seems to push you forward with aggressive pedaling, the only other bike that created that type of feel was my Canfield Balance. Uncle Jemina is right on about bike setup, seat fore-aft slight changes made a HUGE difference on how my FB feels and now that I am familiar with the geo of the pivot points I am able to run less pressure in my rear shock with better feel and traction. The more you "work" the FB, the more it works for you-this may just be a riding style thing....

  9. #9
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    I wouldn't go as far and say dw-link favors a particular riding style, but the logic involved in it and the movement of it do invite a racer-mentality--one where all effort put to the pedals is for propulsion. I thought a bit more, and perhaps the way in which the FireBird is set-up is not a readily accessible feel to 'SD'. My Iron Horse, I just did not like it with 5x9 handlebars. 3x9 (AZONIC) and a 0 deg stem have it very happy. This though reverts back to frame builders and intent upon not needing a 6,8,10 deg specific stem in order to damp the steerer. But without painting the dw-link into a corner as generic (which it just is not), a bike with it will have the rider adapt to their own body-mass having a location be made-center on the bike. I for one am a fan.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Jemima
    First thing you have to do is learn to forget about pressure-settings and your weight being relative to getting the most ride from dw-link. Go back, ride it again, buy it even. Learn how to thrust your own weight within your pedal cadence, because your riding of other bikes has not let you figure on your momentum at your BB, as this (a Bottom Bracket) becomes your bike's own pivot-point--once you see how to distribute your weight even more. The dw-link becomes re-active and then you'll sense the whole of the dw-link as 'active'. Trust me it is awesome and, well, more awesome.
    I ride an Iron Horse 6POINT from the bikes first run, 2007. I am actually running much less air pressure in my FOX shock than I started with. 50PSI less, with no compression added other than the open-default. That can be attributed to my bodies weight, how it is distributed on my body itself, and how my cockpit it placed.
    So get another ride, turn off rebound untill you do long runs and it progressively gets quicker, but learn to find all the bikes pivot points...
    I had thought the same thing as you; I felt as though I ride in the travel too much. Get it to pedal-wheelie, find how long you can change to a coast-wheelie in the same motion. Your legs and calves will take a burning, but that's where your bike takes the most control-leverage from--your core to the pedals through both legs. Your waist and your head are ballast with leverage.
    Better good?
    Hi

    After reading your post, could you rephrase the initial section in an easier manner? Do correct me if I am wrong, but does that mean that as I ride the bike I should learn to 'pivot' my mass about the bikes BB while clearing obstacles? In essence, how would knowledge of my bikes pivot points when riding contribute to me being a better rider?

    Secondly, what do you mean by 'turn off rebound until you do long runs and it progressively gets quicker, but learn to find all the bikes pivot points' ? Do i remove all rebound damping on the rear and front shock and just ride? Also how does that help me identify the bikes 'pivot' points.

    I apologize if some of the questions raised here seem obvious but I've only started MTB a few months ago so I'm V new to this sport . I'm currently having issues setting my my shock settings on my 5.7, and it seems like your post could do alot to help me with my situation if I could just understand it While I do realize that it can be rather difficult to clearly illustrate some of the ideas that you speak of if the reader has never experienced it himself, but some pointers may be useful so that i can know if im heading in the right direction

  11. #11
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    I'd suggest taking a shock pump with you if you can demo it again, and try some different pressures in the rear shock. If you have too much sag it will feel soft and you will get more pedal strikes, although with the DW link it will still be pretty rideable.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all the great posts. Once we get nice weather again, I'll be demo-ing a Mojo HD and the Firebird again. Maybe even a 5.7. Too bad one shop doesn't carry all the bikes I want to demo as you end up paying each time from different shops. Oh well, I want to make the best decision I can.

    Thanks again for the info...

  13. #13
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    I'd highly recommend trying out the 5.7. It's a great mix of the snappiness of an XC bike and the plushness of a long travel without too much of either one. I'm still trying to talk myself out of adding one to my stable
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  14. #14
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    A Pivot for every occassion

    off topic - any chance of new colors for the bird?
    Life in every breath

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mt.Biker E
    A Pivot for every occassion

    off topic - any chance of new colors for the bird?
    Salmon ano?
    "It looks flexy"

  16. #16
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    The 5.7 looks great. I loved my Motolite for most of the riding I do. I had never been to a Downhill park until last summer when I hit Winterpark. I have to admit I had a blast, but beat the hell out of my Titus. Would the 5.7 be the same, or maybe beefier for a one or two days of bashing a year at a resort? Could it be made to stand up to that? Or should I stick with the 6 inch travel bikes??? Decisions, decisions!!!

  17. #17
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    Which bike really depends on how much park riding you plan to do (and how big you want to go). The 5.7 would do OK for most of the stuff but if you're planning to really be charging the rock gardens and stunts then I'd go with a bit more appropriate bike. Not that the 5.7 won't handle a couple of days there but I'd really want a bit slacker HA for park riding. The suspension is very capable so you wouldn't get as beat up but slacker geo. is nice too...
    As for new 'Bird colors; none that I'm aware of. Yet
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit
    Not that the 5.7 won't handle a couple of days there but I'd really want a bit slacker HA for park riding. The suspension is very capable so you wouldn't get as beat up but slacker geo. is nice too...
    speaking of which... i thought you were gonna let us know if the CC angle set would affect the warranty on the 5.7...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rei_Ikari
    Hi

    After reading your post, could you rephrase the initial section in an easier manner? Do correct me if I am wrong, but does that mean that as I ride the bike I should learn to 'pivot' my mass about the bikes BB while clearing obstacles? In essence, how would knowledge of my bikes pivot points when riding contribute to me being a better rider?
    Ride a pedal-wheelie and you find you have just as much input with your legs as your arms in as much as keeping the bike's front wheel in the air. What you are doing is using a pivot point created only when you are riding that is centered with the Bottom Bracket.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rei_Ikari
    Secondly, what do you mean by 'turn off rebound until you do long runs and it progressively gets quicker, but learn to find all the bikes pivot points' ? Do i remove all rebound damping on the rear and front shock and just ride? Also how does that help me identify the bikes 'pivot' points.
    dw-link is very much naturally damped. Aside from altering compression for varied terrain, it is not needed in large amounts. Too much rebound damping makes the bikes very sluggish and gives a ride like 'SD' noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rei_Ikari
    I apologize if some of the questions raised here seem obvious but I've only started MTB a few months ago so I'm V new to this sport . I'm currently having issues setting my my shock settings on my 5.7, and it seems like your post could do alot to help me with my situation if I could just understand it While I do realize that it can be rather difficult to clearly illustrate some of the ideas that you speak of if the reader has never experienced it himself, but some pointers may be useful so that i can know if im heading in the right direction
    Avoiding disecting your entire post, as you learn to keep your bike moving efficiently over obstacles, you'll see that your legs-to-pedals will make adjustments seperate from your arms and the handlebars.
    When you are leaning over the rear tire, soaking up terrian, your legs and the BB form an 'artificial pivot point'. Keeping your bike centered under you at the BB is the greatest way to become a more efficient rider.

  20. #20
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    A Bird in the 429's silver ano would look pretty sweet!
    Life in every breath

  21. #21
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    dog; I totally forgot about that part! I'll try to get some clarification this week (got inventory tomorrow though...Ugh)
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenbentit
    dog; I totally forgot about that part! I'll try to get some clarification this week (got inventory tomorrow though...Ugh)
    inventory sounds fun...
    well, if you find any extras... I'll be glad to take 'em if it makes it any easier...
    i need to develop my crashing skills...

  23. #23
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    The first time I rode my bird the rear suspension felt terrible - I was really disappointed.
    It took me a good month of regular riding and tweaking of the DHX Air to get it right.
    It's perfect now and by far the favourite bike of my stable. I don't imagine a brief demo ride will do this superb machine justice.
    Its a high pressure system so I needed close to 300kpa to get the sag right (I weigh just under 100kgs), and I switched the suspension to linear mode. Even the tiny gush of air as you remove the shock pump was enough to mess with the sag, so I had to overinflate it to get it right.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugor
    The first time I rode my bird the rear suspension felt terrible - I was really disappointed.
    It took me a good month of regular riding and tweaking of the DHX Air to get it right.
    It's perfect now and by far the favourite bike of my stable. I don't imagine a brief demo ride will do this superb machine justice.
    Its a high pressure system so I needed close to 300kpa to get the sag right (I weigh just under 100kgs), and I switched the suspension to linear mode. Even the tiny gush of air as you remove the shock pump was enough to mess with the sag, so I had to overinflate it to get it right.

    Hey Hugor what's the linear mode?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jodd
    Hey Hugor what's the linear mode?
    I'm guessing he means he turned the Bottom Out knob all the way out so it ramps up less.
    "It looks flexy"

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