Shortly after the bike arrived I enjoyed the easiest build session I have ever had. In less than an hour I was out on my local streets spinning around. The first two things I noticed were that the handlebars and gearing just wouldn’t work. The largest size was able to fit my 6’2″ frame with a slightly taller bar and a faster gear is in the works.
The craftsmanship and details on the bike are very pleasing. I really like the flying buttress style gusset between the top and seat tubes. Not only does it look cool, it adds rigidity and about an extra three inches of stand over clearance. The frame utilizes an integrated headset that helps shed a few grams and keeps things looking clean and simple. The rear dropouts, which can be swapped between single speed and geared, are a flex-free area cupped between the seat and chain stays. I do not possess the geared inserts for the bike, but I’m hoping I get to experience the bike with gears as well. There are a bunch of Transition parts, accompanied by a host of other capable components. I am surprised the bike came with a standard quick release Fox 32 Vanilla Fit RLC fork. I had expected a 15QR dropout, because the bike will accept up to a 160mm thru axle fork. I assume it is a price point thing.
My first real test of riding the bike took place at my first day at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland, Ohio. I can’t think of a better place to test a bike like this. Bridges, ladders, teeter totters, jumps, pump tracks and foam pits all cry out for this bike to come play. After a few loops around I found myself gravitating towards the foam pit. Two things became very apparent. I need a stiffer spring for the Fox fork and the bigger gear is necessary for park style riding. I was pedaling in, as fast as possible, without enough speed to comfortably try a backflip and could still feel the fork bottoming out in the foam pit.
The bike is going into the woods hard, as soon as the trails recover from two feet of snow. Until then the skateparks and urban situations are all fair game for this very adaptable mountain bike.
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