I visited the demo day at cannock over the weekend, tried a few bikes as I've no idea what im going to get. So aimed to try a big travel bike, a trail bike and a XC bike.
Giant Reign X
Tried the large size as its all that was left, absolute hooligan, annoyed the whole "you only need a cotic soul/O-O inbread/Dialled PA" clique of which im normaly a member, by overtaking them both uphill and on the singletrack
And as for sily stuff, within 20 seconds of getting the pedals fitted (big flats) i was wheelying across the car park (bearing in mind i couldnt wheelie before!) . Within 20 meters of riding i was launching off every tree stump, and on the fire road i couldn't resist flying it off a nice big drop down the side, I'd not do that normaly! So unbelievably good fun!
Felt very high, long and nervous. Tried a medium which was better, but stil not quite right. Put it down to a bad setup, despite a guy from the spesh stand setting the sag. Suspension just didnt feel like it was doing anything usefull (i was convinced it was locked out TBH, the o-ring showed it was being used).
Giant anthem, medium
Fast as FU** It's so fast, unbelieveably fast, so fast it scares people as you chase them down in the woods. Didn't feel "stable" but it never felt steep in a bad way, just fly by wire kinda on a knife edge cotroll. Raceing ralphs in the mud were slippy, but good fun.
Ok, now for the bit i didnt get. My last and only full sussers were a proflex (the ones with the carbon swingarm) and a yeti asr-sl. Both setup to be fairly springy. So you'd be costantly using the travel and bottoming out fairly regularly (say over anything that could be described as a drop), bouncing on the pedals would shift it through about 2/3 of the travel.
None of the mechanics set up the bikes to feel anything like this. As cannock has no rocks i couldnt say if they got it right. But how "wollowy" is your suspension set up?
And all the fox forks (vox Van36 R and a 140mm talas RL) felt like they were partialy locked out. Now as i said cannock has no real lumps (just the occasional braking bumps, hidden by the mud last weekend unfrtunately) so cant say if they were just doing their job very well. The anthem had SID's, which were better (no bob, but did move a bit when you bashed them into things) but still felt over sprung and damped despite the mechanic setting them up to my eight. On my bikes ive been from Z1's which i loved, to manitou minutes, which i hated, back to the z1's, and now ride magura menja's which feel like the old z1's just much much stiffer and lighter.
So am i alone in riding my suspension soft, are fox forks that bad, and is the FSR system realy that much different to the maestro?