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  1. #1
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    SL Ride reports ONLY!

    Figured I would start a thread for reviews on this bike only.
    Not about, weight, where can I get one, should I get one, I heard this, I heard that.
    JUST A THREAD ABOUT THE RIDE QUALITY, good or bad.

    Thought this was a good idea because there seems to be a lot of gibberish about this new release and though I am not a fan of big companies... I believe it is unfair to have staggered info about a new design. That kind of thinking KILLS invention.

    Forgive my rant.

    I'll start.

    Rode the bike for about the 20th time today and I think they may have to cut the saddle from my butt at this point. By that I mean it has become part of me. Roots, logs, stutters, loose sand, rock, downhill and ESPECIALLY climbing! I am amazed at the performance. Mind you I am far from a racer but have ridden dirt for 20 years and learned a bit in the process.

    No leaks, No squeaks, No stuck down, No complaints.

    Cheers to a big company that can still innovate, set new standards and not quiver in the face of chance and uncertainty. I truly am impressed.

    Ken

  2. #2
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    I would like to hear how it compares to your previous ride and if there is any ride difference between the carbon and aluminum versions

  3. #3
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    Previous Ride?

    My previous was an 04 FSR. Great bike but nothing like this.
    I have the expert.

    Carbon? I have no idea... too expensive for me.

  4. #4
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    3 or 4 more rides...

    No problems.
    All off road, riding harder and hitting root and rock sections harder.
    2 footers, logs, climbs... still great.

    Love this bike.
    Hope my luck holds.

    K

  5. #5
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    Reputation: wayneosdias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goingleft
    My previous was an 04 FSR. Great bike but nothing like this.
    I have the expert.

    Carbon? I have no idea... too expensive for me.
    Where do you ride?

    Im in socal and rode an 04 sj, but went to 05 enduro and its too much of a pig.

    wayne
    89 Univega HT -???-
    92 Specd SJ HT M2 -stolen-
    92 Specd SJ HT M2 -sold-
    94 Specd SJ HT M2 -sold-
    97 Klien Mantra -sold-
    01 Specd enduro FSR
    02 Specd enduro FSR -sold-
    04 Specd stumpjumper FSR
    05 Specd enduro FSR Sworks

  6. #6
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    I'm 3 rides in on my Expert SL.

    This is hands down the best bike I've ever owned and probably ever ridden. Compared to my previous IH MK3 it climbs better, it descends better, it's lighter, it's stiffer....it just seems better in every way. The fork is amazing, it's noticeably more rigid than the pike I had on my MK3 and much more plush.

  7. #7
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    I've converted from an 05 Giant Trance, and I don't feel like I've lost much with respect to efficiency, but I've gained a great deal in terms of stability and downhill ability. Some local trails have been totally new experiences since I purchased my SL. I'm riding a small Expert and although it feels a bit small when climbing and on tight switchbacks, it's still far better than my Trance. I'd recommend the SL to anyone who can afford it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneosdias
    Where do you ride?

    Im in socal and rode an 04 sj, but went to 05 enduro and its too much of a pig.

    wayne

    I ride in the northeast. Rocky, rooty, ledges climbs. I don't do DH but it bombs down nasty rutted trails.

    ps: Rode the bike more and I swear it is getting better. I am taking on stuff I couldn't 10 years ago!

    K

  9. #9
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    Had my first ride with the maverick speedball post today.... WOW! I love this thing, major upgrade! I know it's pricey, but man is it well worth it. Very glad I went with the remote option too, I didn't think it would be a big deal to grab the handle with the original version, but with the remote I found myself totally "shifting" the speedball on the trail quite often. I hope this speedball doesn't wear out, cause I used it ALLOT! Lever works great on the left side for me, less confusion with the shifters. I really noticed less fatigue in my legs and knees too, seemed like I had extra energy during the ride because I was able to give my leg muscles some variety with the slight height adjustments, really felt good. At full extension the post is slightly higher than I would normally ride it at, which is good for steep climbs and sections of road. I discovered I could just "tap" the lever real quick to lower it just a wee bit for normal trail riding. And of course the biggest benefit of the speedball is the ability to just drop it down for downhills, switchbacks, tech, whatever nasty sweetness comes your way. My fricken baggies didn't get hung up on the seat all day! During pit stops and waiting for stragglers and intersections it was super cool to just drop the seat and sit on the bike comfortably with one foot on the ground. Installing the remote setup was easy (if you do your own shifter cables). Two slightly annoying things about the post... little bit of side to side play in the saddle, but I didn't notice it riding and I also have to retrain my brain not to grab the seat when lifting the bike while the post is lowered because it kind of pulls out, no biggies. Add me to the list of riders that say "I can't imagine riding a bike anymore without one." Well that's not true, no need for a speedball on my single speed.. but on an "All Mountain" rig.. uugggh I hate that term... on a FS bike that you ride hard, a speedball kicks butt!

    As far as the actually "ride report" of the SL, probably have about a 100 miles on it so far, also bear in mind that I go to Interbike and ride as many different bikes as I can each year. The enduro sl does indeed climb extremely well and for sure I'm cleaning and making tough climbs on my old local trails that I never had before, it truly feels like a "super bike" and my friends can see that difference. I can' t quite explain why, I'm not one of those protractor pocket protector types that can dissect the SL's rear suspension design, but compared to my Cdale (single pivot) prophet, the SL just seems to plow though everything effortlessly while keeping the rear tire, well ...both tires planted firmly on the ground. Settings on the shocks work great, and I like them way better than any Fox I've own. Pedal power just seems to go directly into the drivetrain making it go forward with out the "bob", seriously despite the 6" of travel and 31 pounds of my ride I feel like I'm climbing on my HT single speed sometimes, really it's that good! Now on the flip side, the SL can handle some really tough terrain and bombs down the gnar with ease, that's what makes it's climbing ability so special. There are certainly other bikes that climb better, but it's the sl's downhill prowess and burly attitude that sets it apart from all the rest. It's not a hardcore DH bike and I think some constant hard hitting freeriding would kill it over time, but for sure I'm going bigger on the sl and getting way more crazy with taking risks on this bike, the confidence is there and the SL is solid enough for some serious high speed adrenalin fun. I suppose that is why I like this bike so much, it has perfect Ying and Yang. The SL has taken my riding up to another level thanks to it's mechanics and design, the bi product of that is better fitness, improved skills, and stronger confidence which I put back into the way I ride the SL, it all comes around full circle, the rider and bike work effortlessly together as one... ok that sounds goofy, let's just say the sl's ride keeps me totally stoked all the time. Best bike I've ever ridden over the last fifteen years hands down.


    Been there, done that... don't remember it.
    Bronson, Tallboy & Highball

  10. #10
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    Hey Toddski

    I agree with all you said.
    Only diff for me is that I'd say the orange bike is better!
    That speedball sounds NICE!
    Too steep for me on price though.

    Love this bike.

    K

  11. #11
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    Good job! Omg What A Bike

    I've had my Enduro SL Pro Frameset for about a month now and have enjoyed every minuite with it. I say this because I cant help but get this huge goofy smile on my face every time I look at it. It's presently built up about halfway between the pro and expert levels with an xt cassette, thompson elite, x9 drivetrain, blackspire stinger, BBG bashguard, heavy/cheap EA 50 bar, juicy 7's, xt crank, and the DT swiss XR 4.2D wheels and rear hub the pro frameset came with. Sorry, I do not know the weight.
    Going out for the first time to Dupont State forest in western north carolina was the first eye-opener. Right off the bat I cleaned 2 technical climbs I had NEVER been able to get through without putting a foot down, then I realized I hadn't even botherd to lower the frok to the 110mm position!!!! Now when I go out with my normal group I feel like i'm cheating, I stay fresh all day and absolutely FLY downhill.
    Another plus is the range of seat adjustability, with my thompson trimed down I can drop the seat as far down as the post itself permits, in this position dh is a dream. The 25mm through axels is also sweet, who cares if the double crown weighs a half pound more than a comparable single, IT IS SO STIFF! It also feels quite foxy and has yet to give me any problems. The same goes for the AFR rear shock, I just leave it in the #2 setting and forget about it, letting the bike eat up the waterbars uphill. A couple weeks ago I even entered the very mild Clemson Freeride Downhill Race with a bunch of sweet berms, a giant wallride, and a couple of nice drops - what a blast!
    I do feel the Resolution 2.3 is a little weak up front, adding a wtb weirwolf race 2.5 (but a very narrow and light 2.5 at 736grams according to weight weenies) really boosted cornering and completed the bike. I have absolutely no regrets with this machine, it is amazing.

    profile enduro sl.jpg

  12. #12
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    My last post for a while on this topic.

    Rode for 4 hours today. I have nothing further to say than this bike has made me get more into cycling than ever before. Truly an amazing machine. I keep waiting for the downside and it never happens. I had some really sketchy terrain to climb today and the rear tire never spun out at all no matter what was underneath it. I am speechless...

    My 20 plus years of average riding skills are finally paying off. Amazing.
    If they stop making this bike I will most likely just get a cruiser and ride on the local boardwalk eating icecream...never to touch dirt again. If I can't ride this, I'd rather walk.

    ps: No offense to anyone. There are many, MANY great manufacturers. I just found the bike I wanted when I was 25 years old.

    K

  13. #13
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    I've had my expert for three weeks now - made a few upgrades - rear wheel/cassette, tyres, tubeless, seatpost, bars - now down to under 28lb for less than the price of the pro. The real test is however the ride...

    THIS BIKE CAN CLIMB!

    My previous bike was an 06 Heckler with DHX5 air shock, and a respectable 28.5lb build weight - loved the bike but unfortunately was stolen. The SL easlily out climbs the Heckler and anything else I have ridden. I have found myself climbing technical trails and switchbacks faster and in middle chainring when I used to use the granny ring. Most importantly I can now clear some technical steep terrain - often standing - and not losing traction, that I would not have cleared in the previous bike! The bike just stays planted! I am also experiencing less pedal strike.

    The Heckler was a fantastic bike downhill - and I have still to fully bed in the forks, however am already finding the SL as fast downhill. I am deliberately hitting rock and drops that I would have previously avoided.

    Big thumbs up

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