Lee here with a quick word on this. I thought it would be a good thing to add some comments from a “guest reviewer” who’s had time on other bikes, rides differently than myself and could add his/her impressions.
About Tyler Wilkes
I am 160 lbs. I ride uphill & downhill. I’m more aggressive descending than Lee and will huck 20 feet to sketchy landings on demand for Lee’s photography enjoyment! I split my riding about 50/50 between shuttling with the DH bike and riding all-mountain/ XC trails. Although I’m only 23 I’ve been riding for 11 years. Born and bred in Surrey I ride the Shore, Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton and have also gone on trips to the BC Interior, Canadian Rockies, Chilcotins & Idaho. My current ride is a Banshee Rune and a Specialized Demo 9.
This was the best handling bike I have ever ridden. It was very responsive to rider input and behaved exactly as expected when cornering or riding technical sections. The Lyrik fork was plush, stiff and felt very appropriate for the style of bike. Though simply designed, the rear suspension was very “tight” and predictable. For a rider such as myself, who spends the majority of my time riding the North Shore and other BC trails, this seems like a single bike that I could own and be happy with for 90% of my riding. On some smooth and fast trails in the BC interior, the bike still handled extremely well. The only weakness I noticed is that the longer feeling cockpit was not ideal for small jumps and drops when compared to other more downhill oriented all-mountain rides, such as the Banshee Rune or Rocky Slayer.
The Fluid LT 6.1 was a superb climber on all types of climbs. It climbed through a very rocky and rooty trail very easily and handled well on tight corners. The rear tire was glued to the trail and the rear suspension was perfectly active to maintain traction without robbing power and energy. It also performed well on smoother climbs and with the front fork travel reduced, the geometry is ideal for long climbs. With previous versions of the Fluid that I have tested, I noticed a slight bobbing issue; however, the 2010 edition did not seem to have a problem possibly due to the Monarch rear shock. Overall, the Fluid LT 6.1 was an excellent all-mountain climbing machine.
The Fluid is a fantastic bike for most riders out there who want to own a single bike that can handle almost any trail. For the trails of British Columbia, I am confident that I could throw the Fluid LT 6.1 on the bike rack, travel to the nearest riding town and comfortably ride 80% of the trails out there. The only downsides are a few of the specs, such as the Truvativ Hammerschmidt crankset and the Joplin seat post. The Hammerschmidt is a good idea in principal, but in practice it robs power due to friction in the big ring. Especially when considering the price of the crankset, the cons far outweigh the pros. The additional cost of the Hammerschmidt could be used to improve some of the other specs of the bike. In addition, for the average all-mountain rider, the on-the-fly adjustable seat post was not necessary. With those two issues aside, the Fluid LT 6.1 is one of the best all-mountain rides on the market.
-Excellent climbing performance
-Very responsive feeling bike that handles very well. The bike is limited only by the skills of the rider
-great all around bike for “all-mountain” trails
-Simple and attractive colours
-Cockpit length and head angle feel more oriented to climbing than descending steep trails or doing jumps/drops
-Truvativ Hammerschmidt crankset has lots of friction in big ring. It’s not worth the money for most riders in most situations
-Some components of the bike could be upgraded if the expensive crankset and seat post were omitted (eg. XO derailleurs/shifters)