First up, props to PedalABikeway in the Forest who let me queue jump, and then hid the bike from me as they performed BB shell surgery with a variety of tools. I'm sure at one point there were three of them leaning on a t-bar
So how does it go? Well based on three hours in a very muddy forest, not quite as expected. Coming off 29er (FS and HT) for the last nine months I expected the Mega to be a pig on the climbs and a nutball on the descents, it's about half that.
It's actually a reasonable climber. The forest isn't steep so 34T/36T is fine even in deep mud. It's a bit wallow-y with the shock open, but stick it in the mid point and it sits up a bit and climbs like a goat. Quite a heavy goat I would admit. I didm't really notice the weight until near the end where 33lbs (my guess) starts to makes itself felt.
Downhill it's bonkers. Some of this has to be that fork. Buttery Smooth isn't even close. But it doesn't dive (and I have the high/low compression setting firmly dialled to 'BOS Default') yet seems to be awesome on small bumps and the big old holes on the DH run we did. I have to admit to feeling a bit tense hitting a line of scooped out holes, followed by massive breaking bumps interspersed with damp roots. Not a flicker of off-line behaviour. Think the DHF 2.5 helps as well.
The rear shock is very good indeed. As long as you remember to take the pro-pedal off (ahem). The whole bike is properly stiff, can't feel any flex at all. Zee brakes are essentially like taking your own personal wall to the trail and the rest of the kit just worked. That thin/thick ring is clearly elven magic.
Going back to 26inch wheels was odd. It's definitely different but not in a bad way. Forgot how quick you can change direction. Although I did spend the first 10 minutes asking 'why is the front wheel so far away and how come it is so small?'
Having cleaned it, I've found exactly where I missed with the Helitape. Still paint is over-rated eh?
Too early to tell much other than it rides like a very nice bike. It's climbs way better than a 7/6 inch travel bike has any right too. It goes round corners with adequate briskness and descends - even with me on board - as if it's as desperate for tea and cake as I was.
I didn't expect to pedal this much in the UK. Hmm. Might have to reconsider that.