|Yes, correct saddle height. I'm a freak.|
First, the basics. Here's the bike:
The executive summary here: modern XC geometry, 100mm travel, lots of standover, pretty darn short stays, pretty darn low BB. Designed to just *barely* allow the use of a Thomson dropper post with the saddle clamped at full ~28 degree downward tilt.
I wanted a long-day go-anywhere bike that would be fun for exploring rough/undeveloped trails, as well as snappy and responsive enough to be fun on a lunch ride. It's built super beefy (all Supertherm all the time!) because 1) I wanted to be able to loan it out to buddies/customers without worrying about how big they were, and 2) I crash. Sometimes hard. There's also the fact that honestly, being a weight weenie about a 3" tire bike when you're approaching 40 and have 2 small kids is ridiculous. If I wanted to be faster I'd drink less beer and ride more. The complete bike weighs about 28 pounds with fairly nice but not crazy parts.
And, I'll be blunt: I got what I was going for. And then some (with some inevitable tradeoffs, of course). This is my favorite full suspension bike ever, and I must have owned 30 or so by now.
|Loads of Chupacabra clearance|
So, how does it ride?
In a word, it's like having a short-travel DH bike on the downhill, and a really capable (albeit not all that light) XC bike on the climbs. It has insane gobs of traction in even the worst off camber gravel type situations. It wheelies and manuals and pops around really nicely (though not as nicely as Stupidmobile, since that bike has a wheelbase that's almost 3" shorter!) It's extremely capable on steep terrain going up or down - no wander on slow techy climbs, tons of confidence on steep roll-ins and rough fast descents.
There are tradeoffs, of course:
-3" tires are pretty slow going uphill unless the terrain is really rough. You won't be getting any Strava PRs on your local dirt road climb on this bike.
-I wanted a very low bb, because I love how low bb bikes ride. In technical stuff when pedaling, pedal strikes can be pretty frequent (and potentially dangerous if you're going fast!)
-They are intact so far, but the bike demands to be ridden really fast on rough gnar, and I'm guessing I'll eventually shred my probably too-light Chupacabra tires.
-Chupacabras (and 100mm travel) aren't great for going off big drops or hitting big jumps at the bike park. To be fair, though, this bike was never intended to be a full-on DH sled and doesn't have the travel or geometry to be ridden that way.
|Curved bridge next time!|
I'm pretty excited about this bike, not just because it's a blast to ride, but also because I can now do really fun and weird stuff with full suspension bikes (FS fatbike? FS 29er with 400mm chainstays? Super low/high/long/short/fat/whatever? All doable) and let the geek flag fly. Not everyone is going to prefer 29+ (or even fit on it) but that's the nice thing here - I can do 27.5+, 26+, 24" fatbike, 20", mixed wheel sizes... anything.
I'm not about to stop riding Stupidmobile (currently set up as a rigid singlespeed with, natch, a Chupacabra on the front) since Park City has a metric ton of trails that are way too smooth for any form of suspension at all. But when I wander into the shop, this is the bike I usually grab.