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Liked a bike check Cavalerie Anakin 10/7/2014 5:59 AM
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Liked a comment to F1234K's bike check 10/7/2014 5:58 AM
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Well, I've only been out twice since I finished building it up so the ride experience included a bit of fiddling with getting my setup just right. I am still tweaking suspension settings since I have never owned a Pike or Kirk before.

So far though:
It's a size medium, but feels on the larger side, pretty much perfect for me. It pedals really well, and from looking at suspension profiling which suggested it would be squatty I am pleasantly surprised at how well it pedals. It really execrates when you get on the cranks.

Being concentric pivot you get no pedal feedback when hitting the rough stuff so it inspires you to let go of the brakes more and more. This is why I love my Zerode G2 as well. These sort of bikes just make you want to test your limits all the time.

It's shorter travel than the G2 which I rode on similar trails and obviously isn't as forgiving on the bumps but the G2 is a monster truck DH bike. When the fun bits are over and you need to get back to the top or to the next trail the Anakin makes easy work of the uphill bits.

This is also my first 27.5 wheeled bike. I am not used to it yet I can tell you that much. It feels taller... I've got to consciously make myself get deeper into the bike when things get rowdy but I am sure as time goes by I will feel more comfortable on the bigger wheels.

The gear changes are dead quite and you need very little action to change gears. The gaps are pretty big between gears too so at the start I changed 2-3 gears at a time and soon realised this was a mistake. 1 gear at a time is usually enough, sometimes you need 2-3 if there is a drastic change in terrain. Of course I can change while coasting as well which is mainly when I do my gear changes in preparation for the upcoming bits on the trail.

Quite is almost not even a strong enough word. It is dead silent with the exception of some free hub noises (similar to most hubs out there). The free hub is in the gearbox so the rear hub is a fixxy hub and the belt turns when you coast. This is not noticed at all while riding, but when pushing the bike up you can get slapped on the shin with the pedals if you are not careful since they spin around as you push the bike.

Corning is fantastic and as I said before it likes to carry speed and accelerate when you get on the pedals out of the turns.

The gear range is spot on and I managed to climb up one of the silliest hills we have in easy gear without too much huffing going on. I've not needed 9th gear yet. I'm not sure what speed the gears will top out, but it's probably 50km/h or close to that.

The Kirk is pretty damn good so far. Really sensitive on the small bumps and feels plush on the flat drops we have sprinkled along our trails. Still tuning it though so we will see. I'm used to CCDBAir shocks.

Overall it is exactly what I was after. A trail bike that behaves in some part like my Zerode but more suited to long pedally trails.

This setup has 7 comments.

Liked a comment about video Absolutely Insane Super Burly Whistler Trail with EWS Riders 8/7/2014 5:50 PM
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Now watch Jinya rally the same trail on a hardtail. - http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Jinya-on-Trespasser,26627/bturman,109

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Liked a bike check Zerode g1 6/30/2014 9:42 AM
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Liked a comment about slideshow Zerode's Prototype Full Carbon 27.5 Gearbox Trail Bike 2/17/2014 8:02 PM
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I've heard this before, and don't get me wrong: 1x10, 1x11 are a million times better than the gear systems of 5 years ago, but once you have used a gearbox system you will never, ever want to go back to a derailleur system. Trust me. It's so much more than not dropping chains. It's so much more than not snagging your drive chain on rocks. You can change gears without pedaling - which means at the last second just before a techy rock climb or mid bombing to prepare for the uphil you can already see coming but there are too many rocks to navigate to get a pedal stroke in. You can optimized the suspension. You can centralized the weight, better balance. You can grab a handful of gears in one swift motion.

This is by the way a great benefit of grip shifters. I've only ever used a gripshift on a gearbox bike and it was fantastic. Quickly change 3-4 gears at a time, which you do surprisingly lot. Pay attention next time you ride and you go from a downhill to uphill section how many gears you actually change and how many body actions that requires.

Plus the wear on 1x10 and 1x11 systems is pretty bad. The chains and gears have all gotten thinner to cram it all into the same space and its exposed to all the mud, water and sand. Changing it all when it wears out is expensive... very expensive. Compare that to a gearbox that is sealed and needs just the occasional love to keep it running smooth and it is well worth the initial outlay to get the gearbox instead.

I've also heard some people say that a gearbox means needing a custom frame built for it, but that is true of 650b and 29ers as well.

You will also see comments from other frame manufacturers saying exactly the same thing when asked why they are not building gearbox bikes: "current derailleur systems are fine". But the honest fact is that those manufacturers have patented suspension designs that work around the derailleur shortcomings. None of those designs are really needed if you use a gearbox. That means a lot less money for them and they can no longer say "buy my bike because it has VPP or DW or DELTA" which is there current marketing strategy. I would take their opinions with the skepticism.

Really there aren't any good reason NOT to go with a gearbox.

Reasons to get a gearbox:
* Less expensive in the long run (broken derailleurs, wear on chains and gears)
* Less maintenance (isolated from elements)
* Smoother shifting
* Shifting at any time for critical moves (no pedaling required for shifting)
* Massive range that doesn't overlap
* Centralized mass
* Improved suspension designs
* It's quite
* Perfect chain line, all the time
* No dropped chains

Reasons to get a 1x11 setup:
* It removes the need for a 2x setup thus dropping weight
* Removes gear overlap from 2x system (but loses overall range)
* It's quieter than a 2x setup
* No dropped chains

This slideshow has 38 comments.

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Liked a comment about photo Rampage Pro Bike: Kyle Strait's 2014 GT Fury 10/14/2013 5:51 PM
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