How does an ASR-SL ride?
I must admit that I'm drooooooling over an ASR-SL at the moment. My only problem is that living in Italy it is impossible to get a test ride anywhere. I live in the Dolomites and my riding is very much XC based with the occasional race and easy downhill runs. At the moment I ride a Giant NRS and I appreciate its lightness, responsiveness and most of all the lack of pedal bounce. From what I've read the Yeti should give me similar qualities being a race bike but the 4" fork and apparently sturdier frame should help a little with its downhill qualities (I repeat I only do reasonably easy stuff without any big drops!).
My only query concerns its pedaling. With the NRS there is balance where the shock absorbs when it needs too but whilst pedaling you don't feel as if there's any bouncing. I've tried some other bikes eg Spec FSR and I didn't like them cos they bounce too much.
Reading reviews of the ASR-SL I haven't been able to gather how it behaves in this respect.
Could any of you who own or tried the Yeti give me some feedback please.
I went from a Giant NRS to the ASR-SL 3 years ago. The NRS was fine, but the ASR-SL is far superior IMHO for all around performance. Yes, with a normal shock setup there will be more movement from the suspension than the NRS with standard setup, but it doesn't bother me in the least while riding or racing over any types of trail.
One thing is sure, you won´t regret it if you buy an ASR-SL. I have owned and raced one the previous year. It´s an amazing bike, you will hardly find a FS XC bike which accelerates better than this. Also, you can build it up very light. Mine is around 23 lbs. It´s a wonderful climber and very stable when descending. I love mine !!!!.
Originally Posted by Renz
I own one too and it indeed is a great bike. It is very responsive and accelerates like almost nothing else in the FS XC racer category and when it some to rough stuff, it flies where hardtails are left bouncing around desperately looking for lines where there are none. It can be considered a lightweight trailbike- that's how I use it. On the smooth straights, it's a pleasure to ride and feels hardtail-like stiff without the skippy rear. I went from a Hardtail to a 1" Softail to the ASR-SL. This is a very versatile bike and did I mention fast?
It has competition now but it's still at the head of the pack of high-quality FS XC racers or lightweight short-medium-travel trail bikes.
I am racing an ASR-SL this year. Coming from a singlespeed hardtail it's a bit of a difference, but what I am not missing is the responsiveness in climbing. You can stand and mash and climb like on a hardtail. Amazingly while doing so it still soaks up most bumps. The ones that make you bail and curse
When the trail points down it holds itself more than respectably, but don't expect the plushness of a 6" travel bike. It's not that, and it's fine by me for its intended use. The "soft" setting on the Fox RP3 shock helps a bit, but I usually leave it in the middle position.
It is a sturdy bike. I am not the finest technical rider, I tend to power through difficult stuff and hope for the best. Not disappointed in that area.
Like has been said, it's not hard to build the bike up light, another plus.
In terms of terrain I ride in the NorthEast US: rocks, roots, wet trails and decent amounts of climbing/descending (although assuredly not as long as you must be riding).
Thanks for the replies lads- you're certainly making convincing arguements!
Just another couple of questions:
Does the RP3 have a lock-out for road/flat trail use?
Occasionally I need to swing the bike onto my shoulder for some trails and when I get lost in the woods! Looking at the frame I'm not sure how easy that would be. What is it like to carry?
I don't own an ASR, but I do have the 575 with the RP3.
Originally Posted by Renz
The RP3 doesn't have a lookout per se, but it does have three different Propedal settings. Heavy or firm...I forget what they call it...is on the far right as if you were sitting on the bike and looking down...really firms it up and bobbing is hardly noticeable when mashing down on the pedals during a climb.
In my mind, I can do it!
Yes, previously on the demo's I didn't notice the settings making a difference but last night I was changing the settings and there was a very noticeable difference. The full propedal setting really firms up a lot and if feels like a much less travel bike until you hit something that uses the suspension.
Originally Posted by BelaySlave
I'm a unitard!
I've had two different Specialized Epics, and I feel the ASR-SL climbs much better than those bikes. I've come to really like the middle propedal setting on the RP3. Gives just a little over rocky sections to keep the rear wheel tracking wheel, but it's definitely not squishy. The firmest pro pedal setting is about as stiff as you can get without welding the stays to the main frame.
Oh yeah, and it descends like a dream.
I just bought a new one yesterday. It came with the new RP23 shock. In the stiff setting it is virtually locked out. The first ride says that this think hauls a$$!
Well, I'll stick my head up above the parapet and get shot at I guess...
A while back i became the happy owenr of a Yeti ARC. I'd never ridden anything that climbed as well, either on dirt or on tarmac. It became my climbing benchmark.
Recently I took a shop ASRsl out for a testride. I loved it. It soaked up most of the bumps (3.7 inches allows you to still feel what the trail is doing but gives you better handling and less back pain), was quick, handled well, felt great in the corners. I was pretty stoked.
A few weeks later I took a Giant Trance 1 out for a test ride. Arguably, this weighed a touch more than the ASRsl and (although it may have been purely down to the tyre and not having the fork set up quite right) didn't feel *quite* as nice in the corners.
It was better on the climbs than either the ARC or the ASRsl and substantially quicker than both (for me). (And with the entire bike being about 1.5 times the Yeti as a frame only, the ASRsl becomes pretty hard to justify).
Please note that I'm just a weekend (fortnight? 3weeks?) warrior, not a serious gun racer so it's quite likely that I'm not putting the ASRsl through all of its paces or using it to it's full potential.
That said, for me if I was even contemplating doing the ASRsl thing I'd at least get a test ride on a Trance (and probably an Anthem).
There is a certain *something* about the ASRsl that the Trance 1 lacks. Can't put my finger on exactly what. But for me, the Trance delivers in a few other places to make up for it and it's a bucketload cheaper.
Just to really confuse the issue and make it seem like I'm bent on contradicting myself, if somebody else was paying the bills, I reckon I'd buy the Yeti but the Trance is a stunning bike and in some areas I believe it's superior.
Last edited by Fullrange Drew; 06-10-2006 at 12:48 AM.