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  1. #101
    North Van/Whistler
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    I've had 5 rides so far on the Bandit - all self-powered. For those who are familiar with the area:

    Vedder
    Red and Mission
    Fromme
    Cypress

    Thoughts are bullet points

    • Climbs reasonably well on smoother trails or on fire roads. It's a bit tougher to dial in the small bump absorption on more rooty or bumpy trails as the back end will hang up or bounce around a bit. More on that as I will play around with the rear suspension (more on that down page)
    • Tight, compact, playful little descender. I keep throwing in little airs, whips and bar-tweaks. I'm constantly looking for rootballs to get air or humps of dirt to get cheap air. It's that kind of bike
    • Kevin and Kyle warned me that the bike would suck me into going faster and faster but that I should remember that its still basically a trail bike. They know I've got a habit of riding bikes outside the intended use and pushing it further than intended. They must know me well. I pushed it pretty hard on Vedder chasing someone; launched a smallish drop (3 - 4 feet?) into a retardedly smooth berm but with a bit of flat landing. Pancaked the bike flat. The Bandit bounced which made it a bit difficult for me to contemplate turning. By the time I could turn i was unsuccessful in my attempts to rail the berm; highsided the top and kind of exploded off the high side and nailed a tree. Bike was OK but this was my first big crash riding in a long time.
    • Second crash in this very same ride in Vedder which can be almost attributed to the Bandit sucking me into pushing harder. I'm catching my buddy who's on home turf and usually a bit faster than I. Launch a rootball into what I think is a clean tranny but its got a downhill root which I straddle with front tire. Go down in cartwheel of destruction, turtle and roll, bike lands on head, my knee goes through wheel which tacoes (don't worry Kevin I hammered it on the ground and its basically straight).
    • On that very same note, rear suspension setting in particular seems to make a lot of difference to the Bandit. I figured part of the problem was that the rear rebound setting was a tad slow so I dialed it back so rebound is only 2 clicks in (previous person had 4 clicks). Seems to help the downhill but perhaps that's a bit of the harshness in the uphill performance. I'll play with that more and go to Suspensionworx (who tunes all my test bikes) to establish optimal settings.


    Other changes I've made so far:

    Maxxis Ardent 2.2 front
    Slightly wider Truvativ bars
    Going to test some Chromag components on the bike; am going to accessorize it with gold bling to set off the green.

    I've got some video but its' all POV so far so a bit boring. Will be shooting pictures and more video at a slightly more entertaining level.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  2. #102
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    Bike all built up now. Took this today.


  3. #103
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    Wtf where are you? Why are they all the tame? haha thats nuts

    Quote Originally Posted by ashfanman View Post
    Bike all built up now. Took this today.

    6'5" 230lbs
    My Build: Vitalmtb - Bike Check

  4. #104
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    Wtf where are you? Why are they all the tame? haha thats nuts
    I was in Richmond Park - a 1,000 acre park on the outskirts of London. There's a bike trail round the outside - nothing much, but good for a quick pre-work blast as it's only a five-minute ride from my house. There are 650 deer in the park and they're pretty used to seeing people so just carry on like you're not there.

  5. #105
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    Haha oh yeah I should have know. I've been there! (I lived in London for 2 years) I do remember the masses of tame deer now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ashfanman View Post
    I was in Richmond Park - a 1,000 acre park on the outskirts of London. There's a bike trail round the outside - nothing much, but good for a quick pre-work blast as it's only a five-minute ride from my house. There are 650 deer in the park and they're pretty used to seeing people so just carry on like you're not there.
    6'5" 230lbs
    My Build: Vitalmtb - Bike Check

  6. #106
    North Van/Whistler
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    Just dressed the Bandit up with some ano gold Chromag parts. Left out the gold handlebar and seatpost as it was getting a bit ludicrous. Will take slightly better shots tomorrow

    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  7. #107
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    Got some rides in on Whistler Valley trails and will be getting more shortly.

    Some pictures

    Original Build 2



    Dressed up with gold Chromag





    Westside trails

    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  8. #108
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    What a machine !!!!!

  9. #109
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    First Ride

    Not a fabulous picture, more to come. Pre-ride, so it's all clean and bright.

    Got in the first short ride on my Bandit today. It's going to be a really fun bike!

    The build:
    Bandit Frame
    Fox RP23 Shock
    Fox 32 Float 140RLC Fork, 15QR
    Truvativ Stylo World Cup Stem
    Truvative Stylo World Cup Bar
    Chris King Headset
    SRAM XO 2x10 Crank, 39/26
    SRAM XO Front Der.
    SRAM XO Rear Der.
    SRAM XO Shifters
    Hayes Stroker Gram Brakes
    Dirty Dog Web Rotors
    Rock Shox Reverb Seat Post
    Stans No Tubes Crest ZTR Wheels
    SRAM XX 11-36 Cassette
    SRAM Chain (1090, I think)
    Schwalbe Nobby Nic Tires, Tubeless, 2.1 rear, 2.25 front
    WTB Moto Tech Grips
    Specialized Phenom Saddle
    Crank Brothers Candy Pedals
    MRP XCG Guard
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Introducing the Bandit-clean_bandit.jpg  


  10. #110
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    Weight

    Oh yeah, bike as pictures weighs in at 26.25. It's a size L.

  11. #111
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    Long time reader, first time poster. I just had to let someone that cares know that I finally decided my next bike would be a Bandit with a 650b wheel up front. (my wife won't even ACT excited.) I'm super stoked, it'll be a custom build, one of the grey/silver ones with black wheels and a few bits of red bling (hubs, bar locks, seatpost QR and pedals I think).

    I really liked reading the riding impressions btw. If anyone else has more of them please post them!

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorian.ducker View Post
    Long time reader, first time poster. I just had to let someone that cares know that I finally decided my next bike would be a Bandit with a 650b wheel up front. (my wife won't even ACT excited.) I'm super stoked, it'll be a custom build, one of the grey/silver ones with black wheels and a few bits of red bling (hubs, bar locks, seatpost QR and pedals I think).

    I really liked reading the riding impressions btw. If anyone else has more of them please post them!
    Congrats. I had an extended ride on a Bandit today. Ordered one when I got back to the shop. Doing the same thing as you minus the 650b.

  13. #113
    North Van/Whistler
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    Maybe we can share some settings. I'm booked in to see a suspension magic tweaker next week but these are the settings I have right now. Impressions before were based on settings for a much heavier guy as I decreased air spring pressure all around substantially ( minus 10 - 15% front and rear)

    I'm 160lbs. I like firm suspension so am usually set up as I am 175lbs

    Front - 70psi (was 80 psi). This confused me. Here I actually decreased weight from suggested settings. But at 75 and 80 psi for sure the fork was way too stiff. Getting 25% sag

    Rear - 120psi; 3clicks rebound in (was 145psi - 2 clicks rebound) - 30% sag

    More impressions; rode some Cypress, some Whistler valley trails and some Pemberton steep loose rocky trails with very technical steep climbs

    - More bob on fire road and road-ride sections. Now I engage platform on those sections

    - Better small bump sensitivity on climbs. Before it climbed like a hardtail. Now I am sinking a bit more into travel and can soak up small undulations, roots etc.

    - Very precise front end for downhills. Bit of brake jack on the rear end not helped by the pretty doubtful traction of the SB8 in loose sandy downhills. I don't mind the rear end wandering but the SB8 is something else. Not sure if the rear end is subsceptible to lockup; whether its me being heavy on brake; the SB8 being basically a semi-slick; or the Elixirs being a bit of an on-off brake or a combination of all.

    - Definitely reinforced my feeling that this is a hell of a playful bike. Super easy to manual, pull front -end around etc.

    - Bandit has a nice characteristic when applying power that's very useful when you get used to it. Back end will suddenly engage and rear tire will dig into ground and BB will drop lower. If you time your pedal stroke on a tight corner so the power stroke is at the correct portion of the corner you can wheelie the front end around the corner yet you can keep that rear end engaged. You have to time the power stroke so you don't bash your cranks or BB into a root or the corner apex or whatever. But its a nice little trait of the bike that can be used for tech tight climbs. Maybe its part of the shock stroke spring rate. What did Kyle call it - regressive? Ie linear to start and progressive later? Whatever it is; very useful for climbing.

    - More on the above. I'll have to confirm re spring rate. It doesn't feel like a pure falling rate. No harsh bottom out. But setup the way I had it the rear end is very small bump sensitive yet seems to have support in mid and end-stroke.





    Some gratuitous look-at-me hucking off a tiny drop in Pemberton. Remember this is just a trail bike so I'm not allowed to do anything too stupid.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  14. #114
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    Leel, thanks for the additional impressions. It makes me super antsy to get mine built.

    On a side note, something you said made me think. You said you were going to see a "suspension magic tweaker" or something to that effect. Is it just me, or do other weekend warriors feel that getting suspensions set up properly is difficult. My shop kind of explained what all adjustments on my Reba XX do, I just have the feeling that I'm not getting the most out of that fork because it isn't adjusted right. For a do it yourselfer, what's the best resource to look to to get suspensions tuned properly?

    Sorry for the tangent, I'm aware it's probably better asked in another thread.

    Leel, I weigh about 170 and will for sure use your settings as a starting point for my suspension, so thanks for sharing that. I hope other people do the same.

  15. #115
    North Van/Whistler
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    I have a basic knowledge of how to setup suspension (30% sag etc). But I have access to suspension specialists in North vancouver (Suspensionwerx.com). For a bike I am reviewing I'd like to remove my own pilot error out of the equation as I feel its respectful to the company who's providing the bike to ensure its performing up to snuff from a setup point of view.

    Plus Swerx knows my personal preferences for suspension and can usually custom tune the suspension to what I want. '

    So the answer is ... it depends. I'm not super particular about suspension on my own bikes but try to be more particular when I'm reviewing a bike. But I don't know if there's an online self-help resource so can't help you there and maybe others will chime in. I suspect that it helps to have someone walk you through it if only because so much of it is personal. Hope that helps and when I get the new settings will report back.

    Also - as you probably know the Bandit 1 and 2 have the same suspension. The price difference is in the components - not the frame; or its core - ie the front and rear shock
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  16. #116
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    Lee and others,

    I'm 170-ish lbs right now (sans gear). My first, admittedly short, ride had the fork at 80 psi and the shock at 130 psi. Those pressures gave me about 25% sag.

    The back end felt a bit soft to me, especially up hill. But, I was riding a hard tail before getting this bike, so maybe some adjustment time is necessary.

    I didn't have any real issues with the rear end tending to lock up, but I wasn't pushing it, and was riding some rolling trails that were a dry and loose rocks (it's dry here in Northern California now).

    The front felt solid and in control the whole time (Compression damping at middle setting).

    I only got about an hour on the bike so far. I'll get in some more time this weekend and see if I have any more comments.

  17. #117
    North Van/Whistler
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    Video here

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/27758863?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="800" height="450" frameborder="0"></iframe>
    Good article on tuning suspension here
    Last edited by LeeL; 08-16-2011 at 09:15 AM.
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  18. #118
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    Thanks for posting the vid Leel. The section at 3:20 looked like fun. And thanks for the link to suspension tuning. Pink Bike also has a good Tech Tuesday video about it that I just watched.

    As for your choice of music....

  19. #119
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    hahaha....your link was the same vid I just watched. Good stuff though.

  20. #120
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    Rode old new trail today



    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/27818906?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="800" height="450" frameborder="0"></iframe>

    Pictures



    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  21. #121
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    what size frames are you guys running,im 5"10" and thinking a medium,would like to run a 50mm stem to

  22. #122
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    Thanks Leel. Anything Bandit related is like crack cocaine to me right now!

    Better choice in music btw....I know you were looking for my approval, and I do approve.

  23. #123
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    haha = the deathmetal was for the Chromag guys; they like the rock
    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  24. #124
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    Lock71,

    I'm 5' 10" on a size L with a 90 mm stem and 680 mm bars. I plan to try a 70 mm stem and 720 mm bars. The bike fits me well and I feels balanced.

    FWIW, I also ride a small/regular TrailOrPark and a 56 cm road frame with a 120 mm stem.

    -brian

  25. #125
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    I have a bunch of rides on this bike. Love it. It's super efficient, super light and super fun. My full review is on my blog The Bacon Strip..

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/27834209?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;c olor=ffffff" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe>


    Transition Bandit by i am indisposed, on Flickr

    My only complaint is the low bottom bracket makes me hit my pedals on rocks.

    -M
    Last edited by wolfy; 08-19-2011 at 10:34 AM. Reason: video
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  26. #126
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    I'm running 150 now. I weigh about 175.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  27. #127
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    Thanks wolfy. At that setting for the rear suspension (150) and you weighing 175, did you get a chance to do some washboard stuff as well as medium sized drops? Did you find that setting stiff enough to pedal uphill while soaking up small bumps and still have an efficient rear end? And did you bottom out on the drops on that setting?

    Loved the video and the review. Thanks again!

  28. #128
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    oh yeah. It's super smooth. I like a little feedback, but it's not too stiff. Especially with the pro pedal off.

    -M
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  29. #129
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    More Bandit in the alpine





    Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides http://mtbtrails.ca/

  30. #130
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    Just picked it up.

    Stoked to get it out tomorrow for first ride on dirt. 5'11"'ish, went with the large. Feels good, going to need to play with stem spacer height a little bit. Many of the parts came off my 29er. At some point I'll throw a Reverb post on it.

    <a href="http://s215.photobucket.com/albums/cc149/daveyounger/?action=view&amp;current=IMG_0477.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc149/daveyounger/IMG_0477.jpg" border="0" alt="bandit"></a>

    <a href="http://s215.photobucket.com/albums/cc149/daveyounger/?action=view&amp;current=IMG_0476.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc149/daveyounger/IMG_0476.jpg" border="0" alt="bandit 2"></a>

    Large with RP23 adaptive logic shock (non-Kashima)
    Fox 32 Float 140 RLC Fit tapered fork
    Race Face SixC bar
    Easton Havoc 65mm stem
    ODI Ruffian grips / ODI bar plugs
    King headset
    SDG Bel Air saddle / Thomson post / Salsa clamp
    King bottom bracket
    Race Face Atlas AM 175mm cranks / E13 32t chain ring
    MRP G2 Mini SL iscg-05
    KMC X10L ti-n chain
    XT 11-36t 10-speed cassette
    Sram X9 med cage derailleur / X9 shifter
    Shimano XT brakes, 180 front rotor / 160 rear rotor
    Flow rIm on front / Hope Pro 2 hub on front
    DT Swiss EX500 36h rim on rear / King 36h 135x10 thru hub on rear / Hadley thru bolt
    Sapim Laser spokes, front and rear
    Trail King 2.2 rear tire
    Minion 2.5 exo 3C front tire
    *both tires run tubeless.

    That about covers it. Tomorrow can't come soon enough!

  31. #131
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    Weight?

  32. #132
    DBY
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigstr View Post
    Weight?
    Yeah sorry, forgot about that. It's 28 lbs, 10 oz.

  33. #133
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    I may need to get my eyes checked, but are you running 26 front 29 rear?

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by discodave View Post
    I may need to get my eyes checked, but are you running 26 front 29 rear?
    Nope. 26" fore and aft. Used the hubs off the 29er, relaced to 26" rims.

  35. #135
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    I thought it would be lighter but you are running a tractor tire on the front. I'm going to try and build a large in the low 27lb range this winter.

  36. #136
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    Bandit TWO9

    There's your Bandit 29er

    Transition Bikes


  37. #137
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    Rode for 3.5 hours today. Roots, some drops, some tight switch backs, some fast flow, uphill, downhill, etc. 1) TBC really nailed the geometry on this bike. It does everything well, or at least well enough that I don't have anything to complain about. 2) Feels neutral, easy to move it around. 3) Climbs well seated or standing, didn't feel like it hung up on any larger roots or ledges. 4) I love this bike.

  38. #138
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    nmtim - with the 1 degree angleset and 150mm travel forks, what does that do to the wheelbase over the stock as shown on the geo charts? I think stock is down as 44.7 inches on a large (yours looks a large) - what's your wheelbase measure up as?

  39. #139
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    I'll get an exact measurement when I get home. Its a large and a touch over 45" but I can't remember. You can use this website to get an idea... bikegeo.muha.cc

  40. #140
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    Thanks! Looking at that calculator website it should be a little over 1/2 an inch increase.

    Just been stalking your photos - was that your TNT Turner (5 Spot?)? If it was, how does the Bandit compare?

  41. #141
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    It measures at 45.25"

    That wasn't my 5-spot. I'm coming off of a Uzzi-VP.
    Last edited by nmtim; 09-12-2011 at 06:54 PM.

  42. #142
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    Some ride pics from yesterday ...



  43. #143
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    Nice shots! I want to ride there ^ ! Where are you based out of nmtim?

  44. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuch View Post
    Nice shots! I want to ride there ^ ! Where are you based out of nmtim?
    In New Mexico. That is East Fork to Battleship in Jemez.

  45. #145
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    Anyone have a TransAm also? How does the Bandit compare to the TransAm? Reason I ask is the TransAm is giving my lower back fits but I LOVE the way it pops in the corners and it's a fast, fun trail bike. Wondering if I should go the Bandit route. I have a V1 Covert but it's too pigish for me now. Thanks guy's

  46. #146
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    Question for you Bandit owners

    I have recently been able to demo a new Covert and Bandit. I had three pretty long rides on the Covert with lots of climbing (over 3K) and a short ride on the Bandit. My current stable consists of a Titus El Guapo for trail duty and a Knolly Delirium for freeride. Both are four bar/horst link designs. I have pretty much always ridden horst link bikes except for one short foray into Maestro. I have never had any time on a faux bar/single pivot. Both RP23's had a very firm propedal (almost a lockout) and in the open position (even on the firmer setting on the adaptive logic) they were cush-cush. So when you climb with the propedal on the rear kicks and stumbles on every rock/root (like a hardtail), if you open up the shock it feels like it absorbs half of my energy, kinda like i am pedaling a 40 lb FR bike uphill. I race my El Guapo at the local ski hill XC series where a 6" bike is an advantage on the downs, but at 31 lbs a bit much to sprint uphill. I was hoping to build up a Bandit in the 27 lb range as I like the Geo but honestly I think I am a faster climber on my heavier El Guapo. Am I missing something here or is this a characteristic of Transition's suspension design?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Introducing the Bandit-p1020433.jpg  

    Introducing the Bandit-p1020485.jpg  


  47. #147
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    Like Lee mentioned, the RP23 is really hard to set up and is a compromise with the rebound. Its hard to find the balance between running it slow for climbing and a little fast for DH stuff. In the end I took the same approach and run a little less pressure and use the the propedal on climbing. I'm not sure if my shock just took a little time to break in or I've got used to it, but it seems fine now. I also thought about trying the RS Monarch with the dual flow rebound.

  48. #148
    JB
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    Lee, how does the Bandit compare to the Norco Shinobi you recently reviewed? And why on earth would they give you that bike with weight weenie SB8s?

  49. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    I have a bunch of rides on this bike. Love it. It's super efficient, super light and super fun. My full review is on my blog -M
    Sweet! Good to see some local trails on here.

  50. #150
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    Made a few changes that helped me feel more comfortable on the bike. First was wider bars. Who uses 27" wide bars anymore? I put some 710mm Sunlines on, reduced the fork pressure to 70psi from 80 psi and the shock sag to 30% from 25%. With the propedal on it will now give a little on a square edged bump, with it off I put the compression setting on "3" on the dial, that helped out general climbing a bunch. I would love to try a Monarch RT3 on this bike. I have one on my El Guapo and I love having a firm, medium, an full open compression setting. I think the Bandit would benefit tremendously from this shock and its probably cheaper as well. I didnt use the last 10-15% of the travel on either end and I was trying to jump and launch everything I could find. I like the bike, it just rails the descents!

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