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Awesome!! I just may take you up on that!!
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Oh, and as far as sizing, you'll be happy on a large.
Its a marked improvement in a few ways. One, you'll have gobs more traction. Two, I do believe Niner's system works very well as far as pedaling goes. However, what really made it a climbing machine was the traction increase.
Remember though, turning over a larger wheel can be a bummer on really long-steep climbs where you never get the bike "up to speed" to take advantage of the inertia a 29er creates in climbing situations.
Overall, I never found the WFO to be a bad climber but never found the VPP stuff to be all that bad either. I run a pretty firm setup to begin with...
Having ridden the Enduro briefly I can say they are similar animals through and through. However, as Brandon noted, the WFO seems to pedal slightly better whereas the Enduro felt slightly plusher. Really, we are splitting hairs however. In the end I'd go with what fits best and what makes you most excited. Can't go wrong either way IMO.
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It has been brought to my attention that my concluding paragraph may be confusing. Let me attempt to clarify. In my eyes, the WFO can mix it up with the best of enduro rigs. It is a very strong performer and I'd wager under the right pilot capable of winning at the sport's top level.
Deciding whether the bike is for you has more to do with *fit*, *riding style* and the *type of terrain* you want the rig to excel in more than it does "good" or "bad". Taller riders looking to carry as much speed through open bits and able to deal with a larger bike through corners will be hard to keep up with no matter what the chase rider is riding.
Clear as mud? Good.
Naw. Tucker is FAST.
In all seriousness, it's a concern but it's pretty dead up there in the late fall. Also, if you do come across him and he's in your way the command "BEHIND" (or a front wheel to the arse) will move him no problem. He's a good (great) trail dog. Hits some of the jumps even...
Overall, I'd agree with this jacek.kij. However, there were times when I wanted to completely dump most of my compression damping (mud race) and other times when I wanted to add a significant amount (jumping). Would have been nice to be able to tune for these situations more fully. Realize however, this is a very small percentage of the time. Say, 2-5%? Hence, likely isn't too big of a deal for 95% of the riders out there. Just worth mentioning when there is a product on the market that would allow the rider to tune for these outliers.
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I was running a Pike up front for the majority of this test. To say the Pike wasn't "up to par" would be misleading. It was the best trail fork I'd ever ridden. However, the Vivid Air is a DH shock yielding true top-notch DH performance. In my opinion, only a true DH fork could have kept up with the shocks performance. That said, the Pike was still very very good. Only inhibited by bushing bind really!
Teton Pass WY - Its actually on Nat Forest. Its under snow now but usually dries out sometime in late May/early June.
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Seems like you figured out the secret. Its about the ride. Not about the swankiest new product. But hey, for guys like me that are trying to compensate for something (being slow, get your head out of the gutter), new product like the Pike is certainly a help!
And by the time your old-but-good Pike dies, maybe you'll be able to score the new one for next to nothing!
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I didn't test the dual position Pike all that extensively (only on the WFO I'm currently testing). I can say, from my limited experience, it works well but the fork does lack a bit of the "refined feel" the non-dual adjust has. Put another way, it isn't as stictionless. That said, its the best travel adjust fork I've ever ridden. But again, I hardly have enough time on it to constitute a true "review".
Hope that helps a little bit!
I apologize for this. Although I can *promise* the fork was hammered through far more than a mini-bike-park or an XC trail (as pictured above) I couldn't convince my photog to bring his gear on the really fun rides. (one wanted to ride, not shoot the other just had dual knee replacement surgery!) In any case, all I can offer is a silly video cataloging one (mellow) weekend on the fork http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/One-Weekend-in-Jackson,22244/jeff-brines,4240 and the promise that I didn't baby it!
Again, I apologize!
Hammerballs -- Seems like you'd be someone who could benefit from the "bottomless tokens". Are you familiar with these? Essentially, this could allow you to run the same pressure yet keep the fork from using as much travel, which seems to be the problem you are having no?
Let me try and help. The Pike features low speed compression adjustment with ~10 clicks of "tuning". This is how a rider can tune the fork to their preference when in "wide open" mode.
In addition the fork features a three position lever (open, trail, lock out) that allows the rider to greatly increase the compression damping past that of the above-mentioned adjustment for situations where less fork movement is advantageous.
In real world riding experience, the low speed compression adjuster is great for fine tuning your fork's suspension performance whereas the three position "lever" is more similar to a "lockout" with two different settings (sort of locked out, really locked out)
This is similar to CTD in that the fork features three settings that vastly change the ride quality. It is different in that it also offers the more-subtle tuning of the low speed compression adjustment that effects the "descend" mode. This is proved adventagous to a rider such as myself that may want to alter the amount of compression damping in "wide open" mode.
There are additional differences between the two forks including spring curve rates, spring curve tuning, chassis "stoutness" and overall feel. However, both are similar in weight and travel making either hard to ignore when considering a fork for an enduro style bike. So yes, I'd say they are a fair apples to apples comparison.
Clear as mud?
Let me know if I can further help illustrate how this works.
I did ride the fork at a variety of different pressure settings. Although the fork "felt" better at lower settings, my riding suffered. Through a bunch of objective testing, I've found I ride faster and more consistent at slightly higher pressures. The fork stays higher in its travel and responds better to "aggressive" riding.
Furthermore, when pressure was lowered to the 80-90psi range, I actually exhibited more arm fatigue as my suspension was sitting too low in its travel and over-reacting to rider input.
My preference for higher pressures and spring rates is not something exclusive to the Pike. Nearly all my suspension is setup on the stiffer side.
As with anything, personal preference has a lot to do with suspension setup. However, I did want to chime in and mention I did in fact try the fork at a number of different settings!
Hope that helps!
Jeff here - In case anyone is wondering, I figured I too should add the settings I settled on.
*Weight 200lbs (plus or minus a few M&Ms)
*Air Spring 105 psi
*LSC 3-5 clicks from full out
*Rebound 3-5 clicks from full out
Mick Hannah 3:26.10
Rachel Atherton 3:49.09
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DId Gwin not even show?
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Personally, hate the colors, love the idea.
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Sick job Matty.
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