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  1. #1
    Bite Me.
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    Sultan First Impressions

    The new Sultan arrived Friday. That night I put it together and on Saturday my tester and I took it for spin. My local ride is a mixed bag of a little bit of everything - a mile and a half of sustained technical climbing with Pennsylvania Sandstone rock ledges, switchbacks, and embedded babyheads. You get pretty toasted by the time you reach the top. Once up on the plateau it's a mixture of buff singletrack, more embedded basalt babyheads, and a few swoopy banked curves through the drainages. The descent back the car throws the ledges back at you. It's a perfect testing ground for the new bike.

    The intial impression is that the bike just feels more truck-like than the Spot. You really feel as though you're sitting inside it rather then on top of it. I definitely felt the heft of the bike and bigger gearing on the climbs - it's not as nimble as the Spot on the uphills, but also not as sketchy feeling in the really technical sections. It steers more deliberately. What everyone has said about the bigger wheels being easier to roll over obstacles is absolutely true. The Sultan rolled right over the chunk and step ledges with barely a flutter. There are a couple of sections that I routinely struggle with on the Spot that I cleaned on the first go with the Sultan. It's a little heftier to get moving, but once you do, it tractors over things.

    On the single track, it cruised nicely, very stable, again, the word that kept coming ot mind was deliberate. The bike's momentum just carried me along through tight curves and corners. My riding partner had a tough time keeping up in places. On the descents, the bike rocked. I didn't (and don't) get too much air, but the bike inspired confidence. It's not as flickable as the Spot in the ledge drops, but lands firmly and feels super smooth. I did notice the inch and half less travel, but not in a bad way. The bike just felt planted on the landings.

    I rode again on Sunday with my daughter and the different ride quality began to sink in even more. Tonight I'm headed out to Fruita to play some hooky tomorrow on the Kokpelli loops - the Sultan is going and the Spot is staying home. More reporting to follow, but the initial rides are very positive - Dave seems to have dialed in the geometry on the bike beautifully.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  2. #2
    Bodhisattva
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    another Spot bites the dust....

    BTW, cute kid !
    Life....the original terminal illness

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel
    another Spot bites the dust....

    BTW, cute kid !
    Not too sure about giving up the Spot yet -
    My daughter is 12 and has caught the mountain biking bug in a big way - the best riding I've ever done has been with the kids, and she is starting to ask for more technical challenge. Real fun stuff.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  4. #4
    Bodhisattva
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Not too sure about giving up the Spot yet
    "Yet" is the operative word.

    It's just a matter of time
    Life....the original terminal illness

  5. #5
    tg
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    Wow!

    Great looking bike ! Nice write up.. sounds like a fun bike. Have fun in Fruita

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg
    Great looking bike ! Nice write up.. sounds like a fun bike. Have fun in Fruita
    Sorry you couldn't get over here yesterday - the riding is really prime right now.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  7. #7
    not so super...
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    I've really gotta stop reading these posts!
    Nothing to see here.

  8. #8
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Gorgeous scooter. Looks like fun.

    Unsolicited ramblings: I've tried Sultans with the following forks now: Reba 100mm, Mav DUC 115mm, Manitou Minute 120mm, and WB F135. I have not tried the Fox yet. I gotta say, for me the bike handles the best with the tallest fork. Caveat: I don't really relish xc-leaning handling much.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  9. #9
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    I expect that I will be experimenting with some longer travel options, but for now I plan to ride the bike as is until I have the new feel dialed in. The white fork is kind of ugly IMO too. I think the Manitou 120 sounds pretty nice, but I would really like a travel adjust option.

    On a totally different tangent - how do you insert photos into a thread with text in between the shots? All I seem to be able to do is type the text then upload all the images.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  10. #10
    not so super...
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    On a totally different tangent - how do you insert photos into a thread with text in between the shots? All I seem to be able to do is type the text then upload all the images.
    Use photobucket (or similar site), add text, paste in the link - repeat
    Nothing to see here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    I expect that I will be experimenting with some longer travel options, but for now I plan to ride the bike as is until I have the new feel dialed in. The white fork is kind of ugly IMO too. I think the Manitou 120 sounds pretty nice, but I would really like a travel adjust option.
    I'd recommend waiting for the new Reba (80-100-120mm) w/ maxle light due out in the next month or 2.


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jncarpenter
    I'd recommend waiting for the new Reba (80-100-120mm) w/ maxle light due out in the next month or 2.
    Who's the dewd who does the 36 mods for 29'r use?
    Nothing to see here.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSINGA
    Who's the dewd who does the 36 mods for 29'r use?
    Alex "BCD" Morgan



  14. #14
    tg
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    Sorry you couldn't get over here yesterday - the riding is really prime right now.
    Sorry I could not get it together yesterday, I ended up riding around Eagle for almost 4 hours ( my kid was golfing ) The trails are pretty nice right now Hope to make it over there soon.

  15. #15
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    Don't wait for the reba, wait for the fox F29 120mm version

    Cutthroat where in CO are those trails you are riding? I went to Golden on Sat and it kinda sucked, you know riding in a snowstorm and all... Nice write up BTW. I love mine..
    High Ho Sultan, Lets GO

  16. #16
    No, that's not phonetic
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    Another area to mess with is the wheels. I have 2 sets of wheels for my Sultan:
    • I9 Enduro, Stans Flows, WTB Stouts... 11 pounds complete
    • Hope Pro 2 front and Am Classic rear, Stans 355, Bonty Jones Xr... 8.7 pounds complete

    If I were going to hit 18 Road, I'd put on the light wheels, Kokopelli the heavy ones. I have the rotors shimmed so I can swap them without messing with the position of the calipers. They really make the bike feel different depending on which I have mounted.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29or6to4
    Don't wait for the reba, wait for the fox F29 120mm version
    Only if you like QR forks. Or perhaps you prefer the 15mm standard that will likely appear next year on the Fox (pretty sure the QR 120mm is available now). I prefer the feel of the reba's damping to the fox & the 20mm Maxle-light is a no brainer.


  18. #18
    No, that's not phonetic
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    CT- are those the I9 Enduros or AMs? The Enduros can be converted to 20mm TA.
    My video techniques can be found in this thread.

  19. #19
    heckler
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    interesting reading... i also got my sultan last week and rode it properly on saturday around the marin trail (did two 25km laps) in north wales for its first outing



    i've never been a great fan of fox forks and the f29 did not feel right somehow, i've got the 100mm version fitted with a +5mm crown race to raise the front end nearer the recommended 508mm height, i used to own a 100mm reba 29er on a Scandal HT but i've never felt as beaten up like i did at the weekend - guess i'm running too little pressure, so will keep playing with the set up - they sure tracked well though, and the bike flew along with a racing ralph 2.4 on the rear end!

    i can see me getting the 120mm reba TA the moment they become available in the UK though
    Mythic Spitfire/Lynskey 29er/Orange 5/Turner Sultan/Cotic Soul/Brodie Ti Holeshot/GF Ferrous/Cotic Roadrat

  20. #20
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    A few answers - the trails are outside Carbondale - Red Hill aka Mushroom Rock - tons of fun riding there.

    The wheels are I9 Enduros laced to Stan's Flow rims - currently outfitted with tubes and Rampage 2.35s. I don't think they are too heavy, but the bike is almost a pound heftier than the Spot (29.2 vs 28.5lbs) I could save some rolling weight going tubeless.

    The TA option is there, but currently the bike is set up with the DT RWS system front and rear. The bike's front end definitely felt solid, so I think I could go either way, the TA, the QR with RWS or the Maxle light, although I suspect the Maxle Light and RWS would have about the same stiffness.

    The RP23 was Pushed and really feels dialed in already - just as smooth and plush as the Spot's. I'm still tinkering with the front end settings, but like my Talas on the Spot, so I expect the Fox 29 will be equally smooth. 120mm does sound really nice though, assuming I can drop it to 100 if I want - I can't ever see running 80mm. If RS would wise up and go the 100 - 115 - 130 route, I'd swap out for a new Reba U-turn today.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  21. #21
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    THanks

    The riding looks good, I might have to drive your way for a ride.
    High Ho Sultan, Lets GO

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cutthroat
    If RS would wise up and go the 100 - 115 - 130 route, I'd swap out for a new Reba U-turn today.
    Amen to that, brother!

    FWIW, the F29 that came on my hardtail never felt quite right, either. I sent it back to Fox while gone skiing for a few days, they replaced the damping cartridge, and it is a totally different fork. Very near the damping performance of the Pushed Reba on my Sultan. I suspect a bad production run of cartridges found their way into the F29s.

    Stout tires rocked the Koko trails on my Sultan last week. Plush, no rim bangs at 30r/26f, and stick, stick, stick.

    Have fun!
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  23. #23
    rr
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    I third that notion and would enjoy a UTurn Reba

    Nice ride John, I have the Rampage's setup tubeless and they have worked fine except for a sidewall tear, decided to try the Stout cause I didn't like the Rampage up front too much, better traction in the loose for sure.

    The Manitou is the shortest travel fork I've tried with a thru axle and you still get that solid, no deflection, plow thru feeling like on bigger forks, I likey a lot. I know the DT is a step up in stiffness to a QR but I bet the 20mm Reba will be just as stiff as the Manitou(as in stiffer than the 9mm DT). Looking forward to not having to breakout the tools to transport the bike too, my order is already in when they get here.
    Last edited by rr; 04-28-2008 at 04:59 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo
    Amen to that, brother!

    FWIW, the F29 that came on my hardtail never felt quite right, either. I sent it back to Fox while gone skiing for a few days, they replaced the damping cartridge, and it is a totally different fork. Very near the damping performance of the Pushed Reba on my Sultan. I suspect a bad production run of cartridges found their way into the F29s.

    Stout tires rocked the Koko trails on my Sultan last week. Plush, no rim bangs at 30r/26f, and stick, stick, stick.

    Have fun!
    interesting. i test-rode a bontrager hardtail w/ the F29 G2 29er, and it felt like garbage. poor damping, much more flexy in all directions than my manitou minute 100 mm / 20 mm thru axle fork.

    so at least your post might explain why the damping was so poor.

  25. #25
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    snow?

    Seeing those pics and hearing TG whine makes me not miss the mud season at all, I like more than 6 months of warm weather, although I will be missing Colorado in a few more weeks when we hit 8000 degrees and your trails are dry.......

    Glad you are digging the Sultan, keep the 5 Spot for your daughter, with the little wheels it is the perfect kiddie bike, Right Squeek!!????

    DT

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