The Good: Fantastic part spec. Shimano SLX is real nice. Quick, crisp, smooth shifting. Gear range is with the 11-36 cassette is great, matched with 30t ring, I can climb most anything. Deore brakes are surprisingly powerful. Even matched with 180 rotors there's tons of stopping power There's not much I can say about the Pike. It's just there doing what it's supposed to, so that's pretty good. Kore bars are stiff and flex free which is real nice when climbing. For a steel frame, it's much more stiff than I was expecting which is great for pedaling, but also makes this hardtail especially hard. However, the 29'ers and the big Nobby Nicks definitely take the edge off of the square edge impacts. Speaking about the tires, totally awesome. Climbing traction is fantastic, even out of the saddle, and braking traction is great as well. Handling is not adversely affected by the large wheels, the bike is handles quick and nimble.
The Bad: Had some troubles getting the seat post clamped tight enough. The 45mm stem was shorter than I was accustomed to, leaving the bike feeling a little twitchy at first, although it is feeling much more natural now. With the seat tube angle needed for the short chainstays, the reach can feel a little short unless you've got the seat post at full extension, but once extended, cockpit feels great.Overall Review: Love it. Climbs well, descends well. Fun to ride. Love it. Looking forward to adding a dropper in the future.