I am 5’9″, weigh 154lbs. I have been riding since 1991. As mentioned above I come from an XC hardtail background but have moved with technology and ride a Titus RacerX for XC, a Turner 6 pack for DH and Shore riding and a Knolly Endorphin set up for more freeriding/shore/technical XC riding. My Bikes!
The Ride: The first thing you notice when you ride this bike is that it is LIGHT. At 27lbs this light bike is easy to climb and maneuver on the trail. It also makes it easy to carry over hike a bike sections. The Medium Mojo tested for this review has a 22.8 theoretical top tube, the cockpit was lengthened with the 90mm stem and laid back Thompson seatpost. The bike did seem small but this did not hamper its performance and added to its nimbleness.
Suspension designs tend to bias towards climbing or descending. The DW link biases the bike to climbing. With pro-pedal on or off the climbing platform was firm. While movement was detected with pro-pedal off it did not hamper climbing performance. The DW link is an anti squat design which reduces energy loss during mass transfer. This ensures all the pedaling energy is directed to moving the bike forward (if you don’t believe me read his patent). As the bike moves through the rear travel the amount of anti squat decreases to allow the travel to become more plush, rising again near the end of the suspension to prevent bottoming out. On slower big hits the suspension would soak up the terrain and provided a deep plush feeling, on smaller fast hits and in rough fast terrain the suspension was more firm. This shouldn’t be surprising given the compression dampening inherent in the suspension. The frame seemed flexy, but after talking to a few people and actually stepping on the bottom bracket to see how much the frame flexed it actually didn’t move much. It could be the carbon itself is the cause of the flex. I’m not sure how to explain the loose rear on some terrain, could be that the bike is so light it gets moved around more. The deflection was not due to low tire pressure or other looseness in the wheel. The movement once expected did not affect performance significantly, in fact it made for a very playfull bike. The Lopes link on this bike was introduced to add lateral stability of the frame and is a welcome addition.
The Fox Float 15mmQR15 fork was stiff, plush and well matched to this frame. Once adjusted to my weight it performed predictably and reliably.
The 2.35 Kenda Nevegal tires performed well on the terrain tested which was rocky, rooty, wet and dry hardpack. These are preferred tires for most riding in the North Shore, Squamish and Whistler area.
The Shimano XT brakes provided ample one finger braking and only showed slight fade on a sustained 30 minutes descent. The Shimano XT shifting was very indexed and abrupt.
North Shore, North Vancouver – XC and All mountain
The trails on the North Shore are characterized by rough rocks, roots, abrupt pitches both up and down. This bike shone in technical situations where nimbleness and solid stable climbing bikes have an advantage. Climbs were easily negotiated from almost a dead stop to full on momentum.
Descents on the North Shore also tend to be more technical and require many corrections in direction. This bike was very quick to maneuver and on most of the slower speed drops the suspension was plush. At higher speeds and on rougher terrain the rear of the bike would be easily deflected.
On faster smoother cross country trails the bike was very fast and still quick to maneuver. Again deflection was felt on fast or rough corners but once expecting the movement was easily compensated for. It was incredibly easy to sprint out of corners and stops.
Whistler Cross Country
Whistler cross country trails are also very technical but are more interspersed with rock faces and longer sustained climbs and descents. Again this bike shone on the climbs. The lower bottom bracket was noticable since there are a lot of rock and root obstacles on the trails to negotiate. It was often better to try to go around these then over which you can do on a bike with a higher bottom bracket. The only concern was how easy it the rear was deflected in rough variable terrain.