Thumbs up for a bad ass edit, two thumbs up for The Sword content.
Added a product review for Guerrilla Gravity GG/DH Frame 11/12/2015 12:18 PM
The Good: Fantastic geometry, stiff as hell, pretty light, simple to maintain, easy to set up according to rider taste, you get to support a truly good company made up of really cool guys and gals, great perks including free T-shirt and access to discounted component purchasing
The Bad: My hopes of smoking Loic Bruni on the WC circuit remain unrealized.
Zee drivetrain and brakes
823s on Hadleys (26)
'Woo approved G5 rubbers
Mandatory Thompson post, WTB saddle and Renthal bars
Just to give some context, I am coming off a 2012 V10.4 and an IH Sunday before that and have spent a good bit of time on a demo some years ago. I liked a lot about the V10, but as my trail bikes grew longer, the (large) V10 really started to feel small and did not give me the same sense of security I love about a DH bike. I found myself wishing that my DH bike could just be a bigger, badder version of my Banshee Spitfire in terms of fit and feel. After several helpful conversations with Will at GG, I was convinced that the GG/DH would fit the bill (and my budget) so I pulled the trigger on a large GG/DH. Being 6'2" but with T-rex arms, I debated on size but Will steered me onto a large and I'm so glad he did. 4-5 weeks later the frame arrived. Build up was completely uneventful and I have to say this frame is a work of art. Perfect welds everywhere you look and everything clean and well finished. Nice. My only niggle is with the flip chips for adjusting CS length. When I go to push the axle through, it pushes the chip out of its little seat which means I need to hold it in place while guiding the axle and lining up the rear wheel. It's just a bit awkward. No biggie, but I kinda wish there was a little screw to hold the chip in place or something.
Anyhow, getting suspension set was ridiculously easy, I just started at the recommended base tune, added a quarter turn more HSC/HSR and 2 clicks of LSC/LSR as recommended for my weight. I ended up adding another quarter turn of HSR and one more click of LSR as I felt I was getting a tiny bit bucked on some jumps. Super happy with how it feels now--I don't think I've ever got a bike dialed that quickly. Everything else was a carry over from the V10 so things felt familiar. The dorado is set to 18% sag, 2 clicks from full closed HSC and 9 clicks from closed TPC.
As for the ride, I really feel like GG hit it out of the park in accomplishing their stated mission objective. The frame is pretty light, real stiff, easy to set up, and presumably easy to maintain given the single pivot. The bike wants to go fast (as it says on the top tube) and feels better the more you push it. The rear end eats up chatter but really ramps up nicely--never felt it bottom hard and never felt out of sorts no matter what pile of garbage I was landing on. It's a really balanced bike--I could run shit over with abandon (Beech is pretty rocky and loose at the moment), but I could still pick up and hop over things when I wanted to. I think that someone wanting to plow could be happy with this bike but a finesse rider could find a set up he wanted as well. Cornering is predictable and it was easy to load up and pop out of berms. I'm just OK at jumping and I felt really comfortable in the air as soon as I got suspension set. Honestly, I couldn't be more pleased with the entire experience from ordering to build up to first ride. I see a lot of fun days aboard this rig in my future.
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Added a comment about video The Backwoods | Logan Peat 10/1/2015 8:50 AM
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Added reply in a thread When Being Semenuk Goes Wrong 8/24/2015 2:18 PM
70 feet to flat landing into a dust puddle and holding it together...manly.
Added a comment about video Vital RAW - Wicked in Windham 8/8/2015 5:02 AM
Them is some sad bicycle noises.
This video has 4 comments.
Added a comment about photo Aaron Gwin's Specialized Demo Linkage 6/5/2015 2:35 AM
Beautiful. Effectively diverts the eye from the play doh seat tube buttress.
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Liked a bike check Guerrilla Gravity MEGATRAIL (raw n' red) 9/16/2014 4:29 AM
Added a product review for Banshee Spitfire V2 Frame 7/10/2014 6:30 AM
The Good: Descends like a bigger bike than it is, durable, excellent frame stiffness
The Bad: A bit heavier than some similar carbon options
I've had my 2013 Spitfire for about 16 months now during which time it has been my primary bike for all sorts of riding. It is still going strong and remains my favorite bike ever. I had a V1 spitfire and experienced the known bushing issues (although that was also a really fun bike). Banshee took care of me with a heavily discounted V2 frame which has more than addressed shortcomings with the prior frame. It had been ridden in a wide variety of conditions from my mellow non-mountainous local trails in NC to our jump trails to the roughest stuff in the mountains of western NC. Essentially, I agree with the other reviews with a few exceptions you'll see below. The bottom line is that if you want a bike that will get you up the hill efficiently and with enough energy to really get after it on the way down, the spitfire is a great choice. If you're in the market for a "play bike", think about the spitfire. I think the spitfire is somewhat unique in that it sports a little less travel than most of its direct competition (SC Nomad, Spec Enduro, Giant Reign, etc). I personally feel like this allows the bike to ride less demanding terrain without feeling like way too much bike while its outstanding geometry and suspension design allow it to retain the ability to push hard on more demanding trails.
The longer review below mentions the rear end being overwhelmed in more "DH" type situations with the stock Fox CTD shock and I'd tend to agree here. I will, however, add that when I upgraded to a Cane Creek Double Barrel air, there was a night and day difference and with a Pike up front, the bike really is extremely capable in essentially any terrain. Obviously there are limits to what a 140mm travel bike will do, and it's not going to ride like a real DH bike. But the spitfire really does punch above its weight in terms of handling terrain and speed that would cause many 140mm bikes to flounder.
I have no intentions of "upgrading" my frame until the next major Spitfire revision. Can't wait to see what happens next.
This product has 4 reviews
Liked a bike check LAVA™ (banshee spitfire v2) 5/28/2014 4:07 AM
Added a comment about video Lily the Trail Dog is Back! This Pup Flies Down Mountains 5/20/2014 4:07 AM
Cool that his pup has sponzers...
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Added a comment about product review Tested: Manitou Mattoc Pro Fork 5/16/2014 7:25 AM
Liked a comment on the item Tested: Manitou Mattoc Pro Fork 5/15/2014 3:17 AM
Wish this was a little more comprehensive. No mention of how it compares to other offerings in the market (Pike)?
Added a comment about feature Win a SRAM X01 DH Drivetrain - Vital OTB 2014 Cairns World Cup 4/25/2014 9:38 AM
Added a comment about video Vital RAW: World Cup Redux 4/7/2014 12:57 PM
All the wins are yours.
This video has 26 comments.
Added a comment about video Daniel Jahn Gets His Shred On with the New BoXXer 4/5/2014 4:54 AM
I was going to say something similar--I'm dubious of how much you can tell about suspension function from a video, but it did look like it stayed up in its travel very nicely through the little rock gardens.
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Added a comment about feature It's Official! Specialized Goes 650B with Stumpjumper EVO Models 3/29/2014 6:51 AM
Added a comment about product review 2014 Test Sessions: Niner ROS 9 2/27/2014 2:42 AM
Added a comment to Lex Steel's bike check 2/13/2014 5:14 AM
What wheel size is that? Is the vintage "Fine Pilsner Beer" included?
This setup has 1 comment.
Added a comment to Aftermarket's bike check 2/13/2014 5:08 AM
Always wanted one of those. Super nice rig!
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Added a comment about video Aaron Gwin's Winning GoPro Run from Fontana 1/27/2014 4:34 PM
Crazy. Parts look sped up....
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