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  1. #1
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    New Santa Cruz Driver 8: VPP Highline?

    Anyone else see this press release on Santa Cruz' new 8" travel "gravity hauler"? I guess it's supposed to be a stand in/replacement for the VP Free. A couple things I thought would be of particular interest on this forum:

    -Does this thing remind anyone else of the Highline? I realize Turner didn't invent bikes like this, but I think the similarities are striking. Put a 8.75x2.75 shock on the Highline (keeping a ~565mm A2C fork) and the geometry comes out pretty close to this bike.

    -Although Santa Cruz does sound almost apologetic about it not being front derailleur capable (and comes right out and says it won't pedal well with Hammerschimdt), it seems somewhat high and steep (as opposed to low and slack) for riding predoimantly (exclusively?) downhill.

    Despite this, Santa Cruz goes so far as to say "And it is also a very handy downhill race bike, probably a better race choice for most riders who arenít World Cup pros on most courses that arenít World Cup courses." Any thoughts on this, especially from DH racers?
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

  2. #2
    AW_
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    Looks pretty sick - the seatpost extension issue is nice. Plenty of room for a gravity dropper! I think now that the Highline is gone, this is pretty much the most ideal XC/AM bike out there.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW_
    Looks pretty sick - the seatpost extension issue is nice. Plenty of room for a gravity dropper! I think now that the Highline is gone, this is pretty much the most ideal XC/AM bike out there.
    ?
    How do you get xc/am out of an heavy 8" bike that won't take a FD or work well w/ Hammershmidt?
    Maybe I missed the sarcasm....
    A bit tall and steep for my tastes in a gravity bike, kinda like they took dh numbers from 4 or 5 years ago and applied them to this bike.

  4. #4
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    XC-AM is more RFX imo, but all my homes roll their HL's for XC as well as FR, I think the name is lame....Driver 8.......I think if you're going to design a do-it-all bike I'd definitely lean towards slacker angles........the majority of people, once again imo, who ride these type of bikes aren't going to be that bugged about not making the most steep tech climbs.......they will be bugged when it doesn't jump, descend, drop, or corner well. Basically build me a DH/FR that can be climbed but may not be great at climbing......having said that I still don't think I like the Driver 8........what's up with massive chainring too?!
    I like bikes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    -Does this thing remind anyone else of the Highline? I realize Turner didn't invent bikes like this, but I think the similarities are striking. Put a 8.75x2.75 shock on the Highline (keeping a ~565mm A2C fork) and the geometry comes out pretty close to this bike.
    It looks more like it is competing with the Yeti 303R. Very similar bikes. They have the same geometry and sizing, except for the HA.

    There are a lot of similar bikes to the Highline but I don't think this is one of them. Azonic, Kona, Devinchi, Ellsworth Rogue ....... there are a dozen more. I think the true freeride bikes are such a small niche I think most companies are giving up. The longer travel trail bikes have come so far and are very capable. With more bike parks popping up all the time, I think companies are going to start making these lower travel DH bikes. Makes sense to me.

    TG

  6. #6
    Living the Dream
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    Reminds me more of a big hit than a highline

    I would rather have a beefy nomad than that bike. I like the new Uzzi and the current VP Free better. Of course none of these compare to the current Highline.
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  7. #7
    Build More = Ride More
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    What makes the Highline bad-ass is exactly what is missing from that bike.

    Needle bearings with grease ports? Fail.
    Single Pivot? Fail. I hate how VPP feels. TNT, FTW, IMO.
    No stickers? Fail
    Full seat tube? Fail
    Straight tubes? Fail
    Heavy? Fail

    Geometry and amount of travel are the bottom of a long list of what makes a Highline, just that much better.

    The only close-to-Highline bikes are the Versus bikes in terms of said failures above.

  8. #8
    Captain Underpants
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    Wow, $2500 . . . what a bargain.

    I do like the mud flap tho.

  9. #9
    jrm
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    Damn

    Man that thing is badass


  10. #10
    NOT Team Sanchez
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    I agree with JRM though, it's a gorgeous bike!!!!
    I like bikes.

  11. #11
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    Doesn't do it for me, just doesn't look "right" (of course IMO). I dig my RFX, probably don't (yet?) have the skills to warrant a HL but from time to time kick myself for passing up the opportunity to snag one. I'm far more interested in the new Uzzi than the Driver 8, but only if it's not a noddle like the 6.6.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  12. #12
    Lay off the Levers
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    You people are crazy.
    It's GOLD that's all that matters.

    Curious, Isn't the Transition Blindside more Highline like?

    Seems a shame the HL is gone. There seems to be several other brands targeting that niche. The 6 Pack was strong enough for me but the HL feels more stable and inspires more confidence. I doubt I would have stepped up to the the things I did if I stayed on the Pack. I seriously miss that bike but I'm Glad I got the HL when I did. If I could I'd own both.

    As for the SC... like everyting else time will tell if it's the shizzle or not. We all know one of the things many of us love about Turners are the geometry, so naturally if something has different geo it's starting off with a strike.
    Faster is better, even when it's not.

  13. #13
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    I don't care for the look of the hydro formed top tube and the more standard looking down tube of the Santa Cruz bikes.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  14. #14
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    looks cool but definitely not a vp free replacement. seems more like a 'mini' v10 to me in form and function.

  15. #15
    Knomer
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    This is proof positive that the freeride market is alive and well, and that DT should have been pumping out Highlines(or dw highlines) the last 1.5 years while SC was sold out of vp-free's. Now instead, he will watch SC stoke the flames on the freeride market, he will drop in too late on the sales wave, and sell .333 the number of frames he could have.

    On the flipside, these frames keep getting more and more expensive, and further out of the reach of it's intended user(16-30). If DT would giddy-up on his taiwanese operation, he could bang out Highlines for $1500 and corner the market.

    The frame is good looking, and the glossy pics work. It's obvious SC knows their rolling the dice with an interrupted seattube by the way they plaster the seatpost adjustability on all their marketing. But, if that's what they had to do to get the suspension right, good on them. No front derailleur also hurts(likely again to get the suspension dialed), but they could have spun that one in their favor by adding a cable taco on the downtube for hammerschnitzel.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  16. #16
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    Nice Bike

    I like this bike.

    I currently have a Trek 4500, 2007. Nice bike. Im looking at getting a FS bike and have a $2500 budget.

    I want to get a MTB to hit the trails and do some XC trail races in the future. I want a MTB that I can upgrade anything and evrything on and one that is from a good company and has good reviews.

    Any suggestions?

    I do like the Driver 8 but can I do all that I listed above with it?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-AIR
    It looks more like it is competing with the Yeti 303R. Very similar bikes. They have the same geometry and sizing, except for the HA.
    I guess it depends on your point of reference. The Yeti appears to be a straight up DH bike and this Driver 8 is clearly not, single front ring limitation not withstanding.

    I'm more inclined to agree with Dusty ( ) that the riders who would buy this bike are the same ones DT was targeting with the Highline. It will be interesting to see how well this does for SC.

    With more bike parks popping up all the time, I think companies are going to start making these lower travel DH bikes.
    You might have a point there. At first glance this doesn't appear to be "lower travel" (still 8") or a "DH bike". If you compare it to the V10 though, you see that it does share the same head tube angle and have a (slightly) lower BB, so in that sense maybe it is SC's take on a "mini" DH bike. I guess these VPP bikes are intended to be used with less travel up front than in the rear, so the sagged geometry would end up lower/slacker than a bike that had more equally matched front/rear travel.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonsleoni
    I do like the Driver 8 but can I do all that I listed above with it?
    I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're not a troll- I've been getting into skiing recently, and have probably asked equally ridiculous questions.

    First, the Driver 8 is $2,500 for a frame. Figure $5k easily for a full bike.

    Second, it is hardly a "do it all" bike, but is geared towards lift serviced riding. A typical, middle of the road trail bike will have ~5" travel and weigh under 30 lbs. (this one has 8" and would weigh around 40 lbs.).

    Since this is the Turner forum, I would suggest you look for a used 5 Spot, which should be doable for under $2,500. Then again, you might be better off getting something from a good local bike shop that can help you through the learning curve. Kona, Trek, Giant, etc. all make nice bikes that would suit what you're looking for and meet your budget.
    A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

  19. #19
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    Funky.



  20. #20
    Moosehead
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    Trek is gonna be pissed...

    So is Gibson...
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  21. #21
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    It looks like a great bike

    More than a few people ride/walk their 8" travel bikes up hills so they can rip back down, so three cheers for the seat-post working as a seat post, rather than just offering something to sit on when the rider is stopped. Their knees will thank SC.

    Having owned three VPP bikes and ridden many others, and owning a DW link bike and ridden a few others, I would not go back to a VPP bike. I think VPP can be very good, but the DW is better.

    The DW system simply creates a pattern of bike behaviour works better braking and accelerating, and riding up or down hills. It is not a huge difference, but given the choice, I would always jump the DW direction.

  22. #22
    Build More = Ride More
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    Dave Turner could never compete with Santa Cruz for frame sales. Impossible.

    If you took the Turner Highline, slapped a SC sticker on it, it would have sold like hot cakes. At full price.

    For some strange reason, SC has a image of being "the best" regardless of the relative truth.

    A lot of people forget how large of a role marketing plays in sales, often many times more than quality.

  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Does it come with the bearing-rebuild kit or do you have to call them 3 months later for it?
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  24. #24
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Isn't that just a rebadged Jamis Diablo?
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  25. #25
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    As usual...

    many of you are right. But I will put my money in a dw-link Nitrous before I build a FR bike again and 'specially a single ringer.

    Pedal on

    DT

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