The Good: Just a great ride all around. I had previously always ridden freeride bikes SC Bullit, Iron horse 7 point, this bike not only blows them away on the long rides, flats and climbs like I had expected, but even with the RP23 it blows them away on the decents. I did a parts swap from the older bikes so all the credit really goes to the frame Im starting to feel slow again because I cant get the bike to a speed where it feels like its out of control. It even manuals and 3 hops/drops as well as my old set ups which I built more for that.
The Bad: The 11 frame has the old 135x10mm rear axle and the wheel I had was quick release which I couldnt get tight enough to get the stiffness I wanted ( low end sram hub) out of the rear end. I converted the wheel to bolt on a now problem is solved.
The Setup is 11' Pivot Firebird Frame w/ RP23
RockShox Totem Solo air
WTB Dual duty wheels
Geax Datura 2.2 tires
Holzfeller Cranks/Bottem bracket
Boobar/ hussfelt stem 55mm
Hayes Nines 208mm
Sram x7 group w/ shimano xt front(had to be e type)
Blackspire stinger chainguide
This frame really does defy logic, being a winter build project it was ready for spring before a lot of the more burly trails in the area were. So I got to take it on some long hilly rides on atv trails. First thing that stood out immediatly was how well the bike held speed and pedaled, and climbing was no longer a granny gear affair I can push as hard as I want while seated with no penalty, stand up to get the pace a little quicker and only a little pedal bob is noticable. At this point I was assuming that all these more XCish benifits would make the bike not as enjoyable when the going gets fast. This is not the case so far I'v done all but one of my benchmark sort of practice downhill trails and this bike is just plain faster by a lot. Straight line speed is better and more stable, air time predictable and smooth, and in the corners I cant seem to get it slide out, it just keeps traction and speed , as long as I keep good form. All in all this is a great bike real fast real fun, Im no pro, but I been riding for a long time and this bike is really taking my all around speed to another level.