Well got it on wednesday and finally put it into action today, As with our autumn at the moment the weather was wet and at times raining heavily. I'm glad of that rear mudguard.
I have a Cove HJ as a winter bike/night rider and have come from a 575 where all the parts were swapped over except for the front mech. before the 575, and cannondale gemini 04/05 2000 and before that 04 s-works enduro.
It took me a few miles to tweak the position of the handlebars, I used to use a 100mm stem on the 575 and had a 70mm stem for the enduro. I had the bike in it's stock setting low bb and you really feel laid back which I like. Climbing is as good as the 575, more plusher, although as for speed fairly similar. I have a 3/4 mile sweeping rooty single track which is both loamy and rooty and heads down hill. The bike then came into its own, now I know what they meant by low centre of gravity. Theres one section where it's a little off camber with roots at 90 degrees where often the yeti would kick the rear tyre out for some reason, the enduro seemed to rail straighter over them. There is one section where theres a fast chicane through the trees, where it's tight and you need to control your braking through there. the bike even while breaking to slow down never felt anything packing up behind. The gemini would pack up if I pulled on the brakes too heavily, the yeti used to skip over the roots. That three miles was all it took to get the feel of what the bike could do. There was to finish a few down tree sloped hills where you could put yourself back over the saddle for those 45 degree slopes where with the longer stem of the yeti didnt give me the confidence. It would have been nice to try a 70 mm stem on ithe old yeti.
So to sum it all up. Great bike, love the finish and color. It's great to have full length outers. There's no quality control isues. I would like possibly to try the other shock setting out, I dont have to try the fox as I'm happy with the Pike team. So I'm comparing this bike to the Yeti 575, 04/05 gemini, 04 S-works enduro. Of all those the enduro is the better bike which suits my envelope of riding where I have the Cove for the lighter end. I get the rugged feel of the gemini with the speed of the yeti but with better suspension performance. The DHX air was spot on I only had to follow the guide for my riding weight, Rebound was in the middle propedal in middle and I'm keeping an eye out on the bottom out setting.
So for a first ride, very impressed. No negatives as yet, but if pushed its slower on the flats. which suits my riding style.
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