ultimateweevil - I'll be interested in whether you get the tune of the CCDB on the Spitfire to be playful and poppy.
What did you demo - what did you buy?
Demo'd a Stumpy FSR in '06 > bought it
Demo'd an Orange Five in '07 > bought it
Demo'd an ASR5 in '12 > bought an ASR5c
Demo'd a Solaris in '12 > bought it
Demo'd a Stumpy Carbon Evo 29 in Feb > undecided
Never been to a demo day as I prefer to ride potential bikes on familiar routes to compare. Although I'm currently considering getting a 140mm FS 29er and it's proving difficult to arrange/source demos and compare bikes. Plus it's expensive. So a demo day might be the best option.
Spec Stumpjumper 29er
Santa Cruz Tallboy LT
Santa Cruz Blur LT
Stop reading here if you aren't interested in my views on them all!
AlexSimon here are some notes I wrote down for another forum member last year:
I'm no seasoned bike tester, all of my previous bikes have been bought unridden (currently on a 2005 Orange 5), but my I've scrawled down my impressions below. I'm an okay rider, in the faster group going down in my club (though there are no DHers in our club!), mid pack going back up, ride trail centres, peaks, long mynd, swinley etc. I'm 5'11" and rode a large in all the bikes except the Cotic which I rode in L and M.
Really liked this bike - rolled well and was chuckable for a 29er - worth a ride if you go 29er Good value too from memory. The lacquered raw finish on the Banshees looked great.
Super plush pillow of a bike, probably great if you're riding big stuff, but way too much for an 'everthing with an uphill' bike. I struggled to get it off the ground on my test ride, and found it really draggy on the flat - not for me, so I exclude the SC Nomad as too similar
This was much more like it, really snappy and fun, I just wanted a shade more capability and the SB66 was more confidence inspiring.
Spec Stumpjumper 29er
Just not for me this one, seemed quick, but not fun
Felt too on top of the bike, and thus a bit nervous, quick though.
Santa Cruz Tallboy LT
Didn't get on with this bike for some reason, it didn't seem to have very good small bump compliance, but I wonder if that was shock setup - I was going to re ride it with less air, but decided that 29ers weren't for me after demo'ing a mix.
Santa Cruz Blur LT
I like the suspension feel on this - good small bump compliance, not too much bob uphill, it was just the short TT that put me off, I felt far too cramped
This was the first bike I tested, and I immediately gel'ed with it, was the equivalent of a hot hatch - egging you on to go faster, giving you loads of confidence. The faster you went the more you got out of it. It pedalled really well up hill even with the propedal off. I re-rode it at the Leisure lakes demo day as I had some spare time and still got the same feeling coming off the other bikes. The first bike I rode had Devilles fitted and the second had fox 32's. The BOS were really nice - I'd have them if they weren't so expensive! The 32's were fine, but were a little flexy in comparison.
Similar to the 66 but not as quick to change direction, it rolled over ruts very well and could be made to go where you wanted, but was happier to just steamroller a line through the trail. Easier going on the flat though. If I were less aggressive down hill it'd be between this and the Prime.
Much like the SB66 this pedalled really well up and felt great down. The Large was spot on for me with a 60mm stem (I was riding Cy's bike). I'm not convinced the forks were working properly though, they seemed to be locking up on the bushings. Cy had the Vipr shock fitted and I probably used only 75% of the travel with the sag set right, I suspect the compression tune on it suits a more aggressive rider than me (Cy)! The medium I rode was definitely too short for me both in length and height, and made my back hurt in fairly short order. The narrower bars also didn't suit going down, I felt much less confident. The CTD shock felt better for me though - although I did pinch flat twice within 200m and didn't think I was riding harder than on the large.
And an email on the Knolly, as I hadn't ridden it when I wrote the above:
It's the first bike I've ridden that has managed to combine the plushness of an FSR design with a good 'platform'. When I first got on it I thought it was going to be another pillowy type bike as it smoothed out the trail chatter under the tyres in the same way that the Rune did. I expected that this would make it hard to get off the ground and pop, and would kill pedalling efficiency.
I rode two loops on it, the first was the Cotic demo loop, so I could get a direct comparison. Smooth climbing it's probably not as efficient as the Cotic, but not a million miles off, and a lot better than many of the bikes I've tried. Coming down the rocky chute it was much more capable of dealing with the 'chunder', smoothing the worst out so I could concentrate on picking a line rather than correcting. I turned round and rode back up the chute to test technical climbing - really good, better than the rocket, probably because of the reward axle path of the FSResq rear end, it was also fairly easy to lift the front and rear over the edge of steps. Coming down the last descent into Calver it was easy enough to pop off the little lips and bumps, probably not as poppy as the Cotic, but similar the SB66.
The ride on the Beast (Peaks) was interesting - I picked lines that's I'd never have gone for on my Orange Five (2005, so steep head angle version), it's a shame I haven't ridden the Rocket on it too. It had a very reassuring feel to the suspension coming off drops - it felt like it had a lot more travel than the Rocket - even though it's actually a 140mm bike. I didn't get close to bottoming it out either, with about ~8mm of shock travel left according to the o-ring.
Anyway long story short, it wasn't quite as poppy as the Rocket, but it did a better job of merging FSR plushness with single pivot poppyness. Good enough that I now have a dayglo yellow one sat in my house.
Cheers ndg - I think I'd read it before, but bike purchase wasn't imminent then. Useful, ta!
Any more for any more?
So first ride on the spitfire tonight and it's everything I hoped it would be. The ks suspension design is awesome, very little bob when the climb switch is turned off on the ccdb, what bob there is doesn't sap your energy like some designs. Going down though it's awesome and really shines. It's not as heavy as I thought it would be too which is great and you don't feel the weight of it going up the hill.
The ccdb is super plush and is unbelievably better than the rp23 that was on my Meta I had before this. I could do with a bit more air in the shock though as I was going through the travel a bit easily tonight, however not once did it feel like I bottomed it out or was it harsh. It was definitely playful off the jumps but not as poppy as I wanted but that I think was due to needing to put some more air in the shock.
I've stuck some x-fusion sweeps up front. Whilst a bit harsh because they're not bedded in properly, they're a great fork and so far look like they're a good pairing for the ccdb.
Sounds great ultimateweevil! Thanks for coming back (been on holiday in the highlands for a week).
So over the last few months
canyon nerve am model now replaced by spectral
SC blur tr (for about 2 minute)
Transition bandit 27.5
Picking up my new bandit frame next week!
ndg - what shock did you go for on the knolly?
CTD, kind of wish I'd gone CCBD Air though.
ta - Just been in touch with the UK Knolly guy. Wardens arriving any day.
Might not be able to deal with my preferred bike shop though, so that might put it out of contention. Planning a demo though.
S Cruz Highball Carbon
S Cruz LTc
S Cruz Tallboy
Giant TCX Advanced1 Carbon
Commencal Meta 5.5
Cube Reaction SL GTC 29er
Rockrider 5.2 (converted it to singlespeed)
Ibis Mojo HDR 650b
On One Fatty
Specialized Big Hit
Went to one shop and told that 'maybe' I could demo 1 bike for a few minutes if it was dry. Demo'd nothing.
Went to second place and was told I could try out what I liked:
Bought Scott CX Comp
Scott CX Comp
Cannondale CaadX (twice, different sizes)
Pinnacle Arkose One + Two
Bought Banshee Rune.
Awesome bike, that does everything, you have to work it but by god it's fun.
Ndg - I've got an endorphin which I love and agree with your opinion of it. I had a fox ctd and swapped it for a ccdba cs- it has transformed the bike to an even higher level.
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