The Good: Geometry, Suspension and seat post
The Bad: Stand over height and hard to keep linkage area clean
The wheels and tires roll quickly and are holding up quite well. I would have preferred the wheels to accept Schrader valves over the presta, but that’s more of a personal convenience for quick fill-ups around town and my stock of tubes are Schrader type. I’m planning on converting to tubeless at some point anyway so it’s not a huge problem. I’m the type of rider that doesn’t have to have the “freshest lookin’ whip on the trail” so I’m not planning on upgrading anything until something breaks or fails, but I can see myself upgrading the wheels some time. I’m quite abusive on bikes in general, but really hard on wheels and will be getting wider rims at some point. The stock tires (Maxxis Ardent 2.25in) are quick on the trails and fairly smooth on the roads to the trails. They grip well but I’d like to see some wider rubber. The Formula RX brakes are really impressive and offer plenty of power and you can adjust the lever reach which helped my stubby little fingers quite a bit. You know what they say about guys with small hands... they have small gloves.
The X-Fusion Hilo seatpost was a huge selling point for me and I like the simplicity of it and it does exactly whatit was designed to do. My one gripe with the post is having to take one hand off the bar to adjust the height. X-Fusion makes a bar mounted lever actuated kit which I’m considering getting.
The frame is beautiful to look at and the geometry is great for trail riding. The stand over height of the bike is a bit taller than I prefer, but I’m on the shorter side at 5’6”, but once on the bike the size is not an issue. I didn’t like how different this bike was to corner compared to any of my previous bikes, so I’ve been tinkering with different settings to make it fit me better. The once change that made it ride better for me was lowering the stem height. It was about an inch drop but it made a huge impact on how the bike corners and feels. I still notice the bb height affecting the cornering but I’m assuming that’s on all rear suspended bikes compared to any dj bike with a low stance so it’s not really a problem, just a difference that I’m getting used to. Lowering the front end helped significantly to make the overall ride more efficient and familiar to me.
Overall, I am a huge fan of this bike and glad I made the purchase (45% off thru JensonUSA didn’t hurt either). The frame seems durable and when parts wear out and need replacing I have a solid and reliable frame to bolt them on that will last me many seasons.