Whipshot Al first impresions- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Whipshot Al first impresions

    Light, stiff and responsive.

    After looking for months decided on the aluminum Whipshot Force. It's a good build for the money. The short steep geo seemed good for 90 degree paved turns. It is.

    I ordered on Sunday got it on Thursday. First impression when picking up the box, this is light. The 61cm with old clipless pedals is 20.8lbs. A nice surprise.

    Unpacked it all and looked at the instructions. They were generic for a different bike. Bikes Direct is NOT for beginners as some people asked. I've been working on bikes for over 45 years. In some regards the newer parts are new for me but youtube helped fill in the gaps.

    It took a careful hour to get the bike rideable. The only stress came from the front brake mount bolts didn't turn nice at first. I removed the brake and carefully turned the screws in by themselves and the brake mounted with ease. The brakes centered up and the wheels spun clean a quiet and true. Everything needs adjusted.

    On the first short ride the next thing I noticed is that it is stiff. Very stiff. The frame is made by Kinesis and has a truncated triangle top tube with concave on the bottom. A very stiff shape. The down tube is large and round. There are no transitions or shape changes. A classic design. It's computer welded with unfinished welds. If you're looking for a hand build frame with custom tuned ride this isn't it.

    On a very positive note: my heals don't hit the chain stays. I test rode big name bikes and my heals hit on those. That's important to me.

    Parts build is as advertised. If you like SRAM you'll like the build. If you like something else, then not. A quick search on the Whipshot TI has owners listing common problems with brake hoses being too long and pad springs to weak. That's true with the AL version too. The handlebars and seat post look about right for a bike under $2K. Tires are surprisingly decent and lite but I did order Panaracer gravel king slicks in 38mm.

    With the gravel kings the bike rolls very nicely and is very responsive. It's a fun ride for an hour or two of quick. punchy suburban loops.

  2. #2
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    Bombing down the neighborhood hills is like sled riding, 40mph without trying.

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