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.