#1 pedal switch on and its as great as any full sus xc bike, I bet the drag comes mainly from tires. Its roomy compared to other bikes...I remember when new giant reign came out and thought it was ridiculosly long..now this firebird its even longer, I have it with a 40mm stem so Im not that streched out. #2 rips out downhills...comming from the latest v10 and a nomad, first thing I thought was damnn same as the v10 on the descents (new bike syndrome I guess)...but definitely feels like a dh bike. I remember using the nomad on a slow speed but very roguht trail thats close to home, it felt like bike wasnt helping because getting more speed was getting more into trouble...with firebird I was able to give full throttle #3 very nice finish (black) #4 very quiet (once I made some wrapping in chainstay) #5 the bike looks much better in real than in your screen
#1 putting bike together was at least more difficult that santa cruz´s (lots of holes and no internal tubes for routing) #2 I have a nice build and still its heavier than nomad (31.5lb with pedals 2.4tires) wich is not bad at all.
#3 rear link definitely gets some dirt, wich I can easily clean after every ride day ( with a brush) but I forsee the situation in the rainy season