The rear suspension action is very smooth and plush. The new, proprietary rear shock allows the rear suspension to be very smooth and linear throughout the entire travel. So taking drops or landing jumps is a joy. It’s very similar to a spring shock where it doesn’t ramp up unlike normal air shocks. This is accomplished by having two air chambers. The first air chamber is used in the first 40% of travel. At that point, a plunger rod is engaged, opening the second air chamber. With the two air chambers available for the rest of the travel, the action is more plush and linear.
Climbing is superb with traction always readily when climbing over obstacles. And it seems to scoot up the hills with its light weight and efficient pedaling action. On smooth, extended climbs, the rider can: a) lock out the rear shock b)lock out the front shock c) drop the front fork to 120mm or 100mm of travel.
Braking is great and the unique thing is the rear suspension is very active during heavy braking. The have a nice dropout technology called the Active Braking System (ABP) that avoids brake jack and it works. Normally, under heavy braking, the braking forces compress the rear shock making the rear suspension less active. The ABP system prevents this and allows the suspension to move more freely under heavy braking.
The tires are 2.4 Bontrager tires that have a rounded profile and low knobs. It’s my kind of tire and will work perfect in the forests of Norcal. Here in Durango, I liked them as well because they climbed good and they suited my style. But we had a few flats and a few washouts so other riders might prefer a tire with bigger side knobs or thicker sidewalls if they are on harsher conditions.
Also, the saddle didn’t agree with me too much since it was a bit flat so I swapped it out for the test rides.
Otherwise, the spec is dialed on this bike specially the Fox QR15 fork with the bigger 46 mm offset.
But bottom line, this bike handles and carves like a dream. It feels so light and the geometry makes it so easy to turn and lean. I dove into so many blind singletrack corners at high speed, not knowing what was on the other side. A few times, there were obstacles I had to steer away from quickly. Other times I just plowed into a bed of rocks with no problem.
I will follow with more details, videos and photos but as first impressions go, the Roscoe delivered the goods.