My mountain biking background has been dominated by downhill. Though as I’ve grown older and acquired more responsibilities, 20ft step downs and riding hell bent over nasty rock gardens just doesn’t have the same thrill that it used to. So I’ve been on a hunt to find a bike that will allow me a bit of the DH fun while reducing the pain and agony of hill climbs. The Slayer caught my attention for many reasons, but mostly I hoped the relaxed downhill geometry would allow me to ride all the local DH trails as well as the XC/All Mountain ones. For those bikers in the Bay Area, being able to go from Demo to Tamarancho to Pacifica, all on the same bike.
I’m 6’4” and am fairly comfortable with a smaller cockpit, so I asked to test the 19-inch frame. And while it works, I’m not too cramped and have ample legroom, if I had the option to have re-asked for the 20.5-inch frame, I should have. Being spread out another 1.5-inches would make hill climbs slightly more comfortable, but on the downhill the smaller frame is just that much more maneuverable.
The spec’d components on the top of the line Slayer 70 are fantastic. Formula The One disc brakes, SRAM X9 derailleur and 10 speed gearing, Fox 36 Float RLC Fit with Kashima coating, Fox RP23 XV with custom valuing and Kashima coating, DT Swiss EX 500 Tubeless compatible rims, and the ‘never-going-back-to-a-standard-seatpost’ RockShox Reverb. The 19-inch frame weighed in at just about 30lbs, and if one was inclined, there were some obvious weight saving options. For instance a 203mm rear rotor is a bit over kill, and if you have the legs for it, converting to a single ring up front would shed more weight. One could easily have a 28lbs, 160mm trail destroying machine. The only thing I found I would change out immediately is the 28-inch handlebars. 30-inch bars are a much better fit for this bike.