Since buying it the build has had a few changes. The forks (Rockshox Lyriks) were converted from air to coil, and while this adds more weight to the build they feel much nicer. The rear shock (Rockshox Monarch) has also had a small tune to speed up the rebound and decrease the air volume of the can, to try help it feel a little nicer through it's midstroke.
The old dmr v12 pedals were switched out for the newer vaults which I must say feel amazing, the large platform really helps keeps your foot in place, just beware that if they do slip and catch your leg they will eat it up.
|Somewhere in Wales|
I've been running the Maxxis Ardent tyre out back and a Schwalbe Hans Dampf at the front. The Ardent is certainly looking worn now but has performed incredibly well, the Hans Dampf still looks in great condition and really is a great all round tyre. It's massive size (the 2.35 looks more like a 2.5) and softer compound certainly helps with grip and the only time it's struggled has been in very muddy conditions.
It's taken me some time to get used to how this bike rides, but it's starting to feel more like my own now. With the shock in lockout mode it provides a very stable platform when climbing smoother trails or roads, it can feel a little wandery with a longer fork up front but this is easily remedied with a travel adjust fork. On the rougher stuff the middle setting of the shock feels nice, taking hits and soaking up the worse bumps while not stealing all your energy through excess bobbing. It must be mentioned that if you are using a travel adjust fork in shorter mode the bottom bracket is quite low so pedal strikes can be an issue, I'm considering switching the cranks to 170mm length to reduce this.
Once the bike is pointing downhill you really can have a lot of fun. The relaxed head angle and downhill orientated geometry help you feel safe and planted, and if you are willing to let go and attack the trail the bike comes alive underneath you. It does struggle in the tighter technical stuff as the chainstays are pretty long but that could be down to not enough rider skill on my part.
|At home in the Lakeland Fells|