So, I've had a few full days rides on this bike now, and feel like I've got to know it quite well. I've done some classic Xc rides and a couple of more playful, techy, jumpy rides.
1st thing I noticed was how well the bike pedaled, very little pedal bob when seated and firm when you stand up and put the power down. I put this down to the great vpp suspension design and some careful shock set up. It was great on techy climbs, the vpp traction is impressive and you can feel it wanting to move forward over roots and small steps. I never felt the need to use the climb mode on the ctd shock.
So it climbs well and is efficient, so how does this translate on the fun stuff? ........Very well indeed. I still ride hardtails so I do tend to run my full suss bikes on the firm side and did so on this bike and it worked a treat in the single track, you could power out of corners, stay seated and pedal over the rougher stuff without being kicked about and really push it hard in the corners, and the vpp found grip and gave you boost out of them. This was starting to bring the smiles on, and going against the current trend the bike came with only 720 mmm ( I normally run 740/760 mm ) high rise bars and I ain't goner lie, they felt good in the single track.
Ok then, the ctd Fox kashima shock. I'm not the biggest lover of this shock, I tend to set it up as best I can and leave it in trail mode. I've always found the descent mode too soft and blows through it's travel, but on this bike it complemented the vpp suspension really well. As I said, I set it up firm in trail mode which was great so when I got to the rough and steep stuff (and I took it to the steepest stuff around here) I whacked it in descend mode and it felt awesome, really soaked up the hits and in fast berms it just felt sure footed and as you unweighted the bike on the exit it gave you the little vpp boost, the grins were getting bigger now.
Right the real steep steep stuff which I've ridden on various bikes but most with more travel and slacker head angles. I did notice I was slightly more forward and the bike felt a little less stable than the bigger bikes I've ridden but it got me down all of the steep techy stuff safely.
This bike is labelled as Xc / trail it has 2 travel options 130/115 mm which makes it very versatile which you want if you goner spend this kinda cash, you could find this bikes limits if you pushed it really hard all of the time.
For most riders most of the time it's more than enough bikes, the next Intense bike up in travel, would leave a lot of riders over biked.
Lastly it's got to be one of the best looking bikes around that would be happy in most situations and is sure to bring a smile to any riders face
Ride bikes stay awesome..
Behold.... The Hope HB.916 This has got to be one of the best bikes we've had in a very long time.
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Thanks to Fritz for this video of our Saturday ride, on a beautiful day in July
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