VF2 in Downieville - Ride Report/Bike Review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! VF2 in Downieville - Ride Report/Bike Review

    So, last weekend I went with a group to our annual Downieville short-weekend trip. Our plan was to get there Thursday, do a shuttle ride Friday, trail ride Friday, shuttle Saturday, and leave Saturday evening. This was going to be the first big ride on my new VF2, so needless to say, I was super stoked.

    The details of everything else isn't important, so I'll just skip to why you're here: how did the bike do? Note that before this bike I had a blur lt1 and before that a 07 stumpjumper expert with the brain - both with the same build as the chumba. For climbing I threw it into propedal 3 and the shock was @ 160psi; I weigh maybe 175-180 loaded up.

    Climbing/Pedaling
    Unfortunately, I didn't get to do any crazy climbing on the thing. However, there are some pedaling spots on the downhill (notably the short climb before third divide) that did require a lower gear. The FSR reminds me on my old stumpjumper in which the granny is not the best gear to spin in, but every other gear is solid. The power transfer is very noticeable, and unlike my stumpjumper, the bike didn't squat under my pedaling/weight which I was stoked about.

    On the Yuba trail, it was ALL rocks at the beginning, so I needed a suspension that bounce me all around the place. The VF2 delivered. I was able to really power through the river bed of rocks, and did not lose my ground. In the tight switchbacks, the front end didn't lift or lose it tracking, which really surprised me with that head angle and a 140mm fork.

    Descending
    So, the fun part. What downieville is known for - it's amazing downhill shuttle run. We did the butcher to 3rd divide, which still remains to be one of the fastest and funnest downhills ever in my book. The bike really shines at fast, swoopy descents which is my favorite. The geometry screams to go faster, and feels more stable than anything I've ever ridden going downhill. When it gets sketchy, I just put more weight on the rear wheel, loosen my grip, and allow the bike to dictate where I'm heading a bit more than usual. The rear suspension is very active, and keeps the descent supple and fast.

    One thing about this bike I noticed is that I don't need to drop the post to feel comfortable descending. During the entire trip I didn't need to touch my post at all, and after realizing that, I raised it back up to my climbing position. The switchbacks were incredibly easy for me, and that says a lot because I have terrible balance and have never been able to do them before. I was able to ride through much faster and more fluid through every single switchback.


    Overall, the bike deserved 5/5 stars. It was at home in downieville, as I felt I didn't need much more travel with 2.3 tires but still remained 29lb to climb well. The perfect trailbike for the rider who enjoys the fast descent more than the slow climb, but can't afford a pig, either. Unfortunately, at the end of the Yuba trail, I knocked a rock with my rear der and sheared the hanger. So while the group went out for a second shuttle ride on Saturday, I chilled @ the cabin in Sierra City and watched "7 Conspiracies to Princess Diana's Death." Yay. Alan & team already have two hangers coming out to me, and I'll have it up and running for next weekend. The only pictures I have are two before the 3rd divide climb and my sheared hanger.
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  2. #2
    BrassBalled DropbarNinja
    Reputation: mrpercussive's Avatar
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    nice write up... glad you're enjoying the rig... XD

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy_Steve
    So, last weekend I went with a group to our annual Downieville short-weekend trip. Our plan was to get there Thursday, do a shuttle ride Friday, trail ride Friday, shuttle Saturday, and leave Saturday evening. This was going to be the first big ride on my new VF2, so needless to say, I was super stoked.

    The details of everything else isn't important, so I'll just skip to why you're here: how did the bike do? Note that before this bike I had a blur lt1 and before that a 07 stumpjumper expert with the brain - both with the same build as the chumba. For climbing I threw it into propedal 3 and the shock was @ 160psi; I weigh maybe 175-180 loaded up.

    Climbing/Pedaling
    Unfortunately, I didn't get to do any crazy climbing on the thing. However, there are some pedaling spots on the downhill (notably the short climb before third divide) that did require a lower gear. The FSR reminds me on my old stumpjumper in which the granny is not the best gear to spin in, but every other gear is solid. The power transfer is very noticeable, and unlike my stumpjumper, the bike didn't squat under my pedaling/weight which I was stoked about.

    On the Yuba trail, it was ALL rocks at the beginning, so I needed a suspension that bounce me all around the place. The VF2 delivered. I was able to really power through the river bed of rocks, and did not lose my ground. In the tight switchbacks, the front end didn't lift or lose it tracking, which really surprised me with that head angle and a 140mm fork.

    Descending
    So, the fun part. What downieville is known for - it's amazing downhill shuttle run. We did the butcher to 3rd divide, which still remains to be one of the fastest and funnest downhills ever in my book. The bike really shines at fast, swoopy descents which is my favorite. The geometry screams to go faster, and feels more stable than anything I've ever ridden going downhill. When it gets sketchy, I just put more weight on the rear wheel, loosen my grip, and allow the bike to dictate where I'm heading a bit more than usual. The rear suspension is very active, and keeps the descent supple and fast.

    One thing about this bike I noticed is that I don't need to drop the post to feel comfortable descending. During the entire trip I didn't need to touch my post at all, and after realizing that, I raised it back up to my climbing position. The switchbacks were incredibly easy for me, and that says a lot because I have terrible balance and have never been able to do them before. I was able to ride through much faster and more fluid through every single switchback.


    Overall, the bike deserved 5/5 stars. It was at home in downieville, as I felt I didn't need much more travel with 2.3 tires but still remained 29lb to climb well. The perfect trailbike for the rider who enjoys the fast descent more than the slow climb, but can't afford a pig, either. Unfortunately, at the end of the Yuba trail, I knocked a rock with my rear der and sheared the hanger. So while the group went out for a second shuttle ride on Saturday, I chilled @ the cabin in Sierra City and watched "7 Conspiracies to Princess Diana's Death." Yay. Alan & team already have two hangers coming out to me, and I'll have it up and running for next weekend. The only pictures I have are two before the 3rd divide climb and my sheared hanger.
    Nice write-up. Your statement about granny gear climbing was interesting. I ride a Titus ML and find the granny gear climbing the best of any bike I have ridden. Firm, but plush at the same time. Perfect for those tough climbs. I demoed a blur LT1 before I bought the ML and hated the peddle feedback in the granny.

    Again great bike!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus
    Nice write-up. Your statement about granny gear climbing was interesting. I ride a Titus ML and find the granny gear climbing the best of any bike I have ridden. Firm, but plush at the same time. Perfect for those tough climbs. I demoed a blur LT1 before I bought the ML and hated the peddle feedback in the granny.

    Again great bike!
    I just feel the granny in the FSR linkage is sluggish. Nothing crazy against it, but that's why I try to stay out of it anyway. Still loving the bike.

  5. #5
    Proud bike-o-holic
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    Excellent! I hope youre enjoying your VF2 as much as Im enjoying mine.
    Great bike.
    I have one question, why did you install a green headset?
    Regards

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Marco
    I have one question, why did you install a green headset?
    Regards
    Because everyone and their mom has a black king headset, some silver, some blue, occasionally red, occasionally pewter, and rarely green or mango. I like that. Also, I bought green king hubs 4 years ago and can't ride the green hubs without a matching headset! Come on, now!

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