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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?
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  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
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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
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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
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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

    <img src=http://www.santacruzbicycles.com/news/driver8/seat.jpg>

  10. #10
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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
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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
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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
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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.
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  18. #18
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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.
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  19. #19
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    Funky.



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

    So is Gibson...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  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
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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

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  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

  26. #26
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    What's up with with the angles?

    First I was thinking this could be the right thing for me. Less than a pure DH-rig, more than my RFX. But then I started looking at the angles and start wondering why a bike with this much travel and such a beefy construction isn't slacker and lower. Pedal that thing anywhere? Come on...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens_Fredrik
    First I was thinking this could be the right thing for me. Less than a pure DH-rig, more than my RFX. But then I started looking at the angles and start wondering why a bike with this much travel and such a beefy construction isn't slacker and lower. Pedal that thing anywhere? Come on...
    It's called "freeride". It's a new type of bike that isn't quite as slack as a DH bike with shorter wheelbase and higher BB.
    "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.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Does it come with the bearing-rebuild kit or do you have to call them 3 months later for it?
    All SC bikes come with zerk fittings for their bearings now(no joke), and the bearings have a lifetime warranty.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It's called "freeride". It's a new type of bike that isn't quite as slack as a DH bike with shorter wheelbase and higher BB.
    They should stop billing it as an "all-'rounder" then. It'd probably clear up some confusion.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    It's called "freeride". It's a new type of bike that isn't quite as slack as a DH bike with shorter wheelbase and higher BB.

    That's my point, they say its a do it all bike and even state:

    Quote Originally Posted by SC
    Anyway, itís a kickass park bike, more lively and poppable and jumpable than the V-10. 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.
    My point is that they seem to go for the DH-bike with the amount of travel and the lack of front dr, but go for a lighter freeride-bike with the angles and BB-height. It is something between the nomad and the V10, and that would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that it has the angles of the nomad, just more travel and beefier tubes.

    If I want something heavier than the nomad I can gladly sacrifice som pedaling and gain something other than travel, especially if it is meant to use a single ring setup. I'd like a bike between the nomad and the V10, not just a beefier nomad...

  31. #31
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    After reading the press release I immediately thought 'what's the point?'. SC should have tweaked the geo of the VP-Free to that a DH bike. Keep it dual ring compatible, with enough seatpost extension to be pedaled up fireroads and call it a day. Maybe add the hump on the top tube to keep the branding alive. That would have made a fun freeride bike.

    Instead they pump out a tall and steep 'park bike'? WTF. Last time I checked lower bottom brackets handle better especially in bike parks.

  32. #32
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    7 and 8 inch trail bikes are in?

    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    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
    After what I heard about the Highline sales, I'm not surprised you feel this way. But I sure hope you are wrong. As I was waiting for the DW RFX I was looking around and ended up building an 8" trail bike with the only difference in weight being the Totem vs the Float (one pound). My RFX was burly and the best bike I've ever ridden. But the new ride is stellar (no disrespect but its more fun and if you don't build it I can't buy it anyway) and I hope the that we start seeing more trail bikes with big travel.

    Maybe SC missed the mark with the 8, but I'm sure glad they are trying. Maybe they are on to something.
    Single ring could be OK with the Hammerschmidt. I love my single and pedal it just fine. Isn't VPP HS friendly?
    14.5 BB doesn't seem too bad to me when your setting up 3" of sag.
    67 degree HA may be steep for some but it seems in the range.
    The big question I have is what does the frame weigh? If it's 10lb like the highline then that a little heavy. 9? 8?
    If you can have RFX weight and Highline travel and its strong enough, WHY NOT?

  33. #33
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    67&deg; head angle... 8" travel.. 14.5bb... I realize every design is a compromise but I just don't understand this style. It may be easier to pedal long distances to the big hit stuff deep in the backwoods with a setup like that, but once you get there, will you be comfortable with the "tall and steep" bike that you'll shred hard enough to use that much travel?

    I think if they had an adjustable shock mount so you could drop the BB a half an inch and have a 65.5&deg; head angle as an option it would be super dope. But 67&deg; is too steep for a bike like this in my opinion.

    Is anyone stoked on the geometry? I sort of live in my own little bubble, perhaps there is a big market for this type of bike and I am not aware of it. Old school north shore resurgence? Bring back the monster T and 3" tires!!!!

  34. #34
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    Good input

    Im definitely not a troll although I do not know a lot about high end MTB. I will do some research and definitely seek input from this forum as its a great source of information. I would go to a local bike shop but I live in Germany cause Uncle Sam said so and the bikes here are crazy expensive with the Euro rate.


    Thanks for your input.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    After what I heard about the Highline sales, I'm not surprised you feel this way. But I sure hope you are wrong. As I was waiting for the DW RFX I was looking around and ended up building an 8" trail bike with the only difference in weight being the Totem vs the Float (one pound). My RFX was burly and the best bike I've ever ridden. But the new ride is stellar (no disrespect but its more fun and if you don't build it I can't buy it anyway) and I hope the that we start seeing more trail bikes with big travel.

    Maybe SC missed the mark with the 8, but I'm sure glad they are trying. Maybe they are on to something.
    Single ring could be OK with the Hammerschmidt. I love my single and pedal it just fine. Isn't VPP HS friendly?
    14.5 BB doesn't seem too bad to me when your setting up 3" of sag.
    67 degree HA may be steep for some but it seems in the range.
    The big question I have is what does the frame weigh? If it's 10lb like the highline then that a little heavy. 9? 8?
    If you can have RFX weight and Highline travel and its strong enough, WHY NOT?
    There are many threads about the Driver 8 right now, and in a few of them people have said that SC has actually stated in their marketing that the Driver 8 does NOT play well with Hammerschnitzel. That's a shame since it solves a major problem with the design.

    I however have not seen this qoute from SC with my own eyes.
    Global Director of Sales: Knolly Bikes

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    There are many threads about the Driver 8 right now, and in a few of them people have said that SC has actually stated in their marketing that the Driver 8 does NOT play well with Hammerschnitzel. That's a shame since it solves a major problem with the design.

    I however have not seen this qoute from SC with my own eyes.
    If you read through the write up on SC's site you will find the quote.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagaredama
    After reading the press release I immediately thought 'what's the point?'. SC should have tweaked the geo of the VP-Free to that a DH bike. Keep it dual ring compatible, with enough seatpost extension to be pedaled up fireroads and call it a day. Maybe add the hump on the top tube to keep the branding alive. That would have made a fun freeride bike.

    Instead they pump out a tall and steep 'park bike'? WTF. Last time I checked lower bottom brackets handle better especially in bike parks.

    Very well said - I thought this when the Free went off the market - they should take it, do a bit of tweaking and hydroforming - better bearings and zerk fittings - and release it. I really enjoyed my Free, my Highline I like better, but not by so much that a newly build Free wouldn't be a tempting bike.

    This bike seem appropriate for Whistler or similar lift-serviced areas, and yet as you point out, the angles don't seem all that great for a bike designed primarily for groomed runs with jumps etc.

    oh well, I'm loving my Highline right now - so what do I care? Although for DT, since you've gone to DW, an Asian-made single pivot Highline at a price point would probably do quite well
    "Cram as much pleasure into life, and rail against the pain you have to suffer as a result" - Shane MacGowan

  38. #38
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    I think this is SC's way of appealing to the beginning DH/FR rider who probably wouldn't benefit from super slack and low race bikes or the dedicated park/ FR rider who doesn't care about going super fast. I mean, 3 inches of sag puts the dynamic BB height pretty low (far lower than an 8" highline) and make the HA pretty slack without being race bike slack and low, I bet this would be really fun at whistler if you're not interested in just doing straight pinner race runs. I bet it's a pretty cool compromise but I don't understand the lack of FD compatibility, seems like it would be an easy way of appealing to several groups of riders with one platform. anyhow, i'm going to buy one when i win the lottery next week.
    Last edited by 2w4s; 02-02-2009 at 08:57 PM.
    nothing witty here...

  39. #39
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    2s4s - you still ride bikes?
    "Cram as much pleasure into life, and rail against the pain you have to suffer as a result" - Shane MacGowan

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by macrider
    2s4s - you still ride bikes?

    here's a little vid that a friend made from a ride we did on Saturday.

    Been riding quite a bit, actually. You?

    <object width="400" height="300"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3042810&amp;server=vimeo.com &amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portr ait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" /><embed src="http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=3042810&amp;server=vimeo.com &amp;show_title=1&amp;show_byline=1&amp;show_portr ait=0&amp;color=&amp;fullscreen=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" width="400" height="300"></embed></object><br /><a href="http://vimeo.com/3042810">Back on Flats</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/user1142414">Abstrakt</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.


    been going to the spot occasionally, too. Eric got some good pics, this is my favorite.

    Last edited by 2w4s; 02-03-2009 at 05:32 PM.
    nothing witty here...

  41. #41
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bottoms
    All SC bikes come with zerk fittings for their bearings now(no joke), and the bearings have a lifetime warranty.
    Yes, but does it come with a complimentry set of new bearings, or do you have to call it in?
    "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.

  42. #42
    FM
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2w4s
    here's a little vid that a friend made from a ride we did on Saturday.
    Nice video there....

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