On steep descents when you really pulled hard on the brakes you got some mild brake jack (the XT brakes were part of the culprit), but it was minor and somewhat rare. The ASR 7 was pretty sweet on downhills, through rock gardens, and rocky technical terrain. The stability and composure the bike displayed on the down, along with the plushness of the ride, made it a pleasure to ride, especially considering that it could be used to climb back up. I have taken the bike on some pretty long rides, that have a lot of steep grunt fests, and even though the weight can be felt on occasion, the ability it has to battle its way through chossy and heinous conditions that are met on entertaining singletrack overcomes that deficient. It works perfect in Colorado, where the up are steep, long and rough, as are the down portions.
Do some slammin’ and you’ll be jammin’
The brakes were fine (wasn’t a fan of the XT’s), but I think a 203/180 set for the speeds you start to get on the bike would suit it nicely. This bike likes to roll up to Mach One speeds quickly, so it gets blazingly fast fairly regularly. The rear end of the bike is a stout puppy, and I could discern to slop nor flex. The beefy chainstays, large Carbon Dog Bone link and the 12mm x 135mm hub really holds the entire unit together. It keeps the the bike stable, composed and stuck to the tarmac, except when it is flying through the air.
I never felt any flex nor weakness from the Mavic Crossline Wheelset (nice tubeless wheelset), but they’re greatly aided by the stout 12mm rear, along with the 36mm fork legs and front 20mm thru axle. Although the Yeti saddle seemed soft when prodded with a fingertip, I found it rather uncomfortable, especially along the nose section.
I was able easily tune the RP23 to my liking (except for it bottoming out), and it gave an extremely plush ride, along with the full amount of travel. The TALAS took some effort to tune, but once I lowered the pressure and tweaked the high and low compression it started to provide better plushness. I still got a tad of fork dive (compensated with body English), and I was never able extract all the travel, but it still provided deep amounts of usable suspension. I started to use the adjustable travel (160-130-100) on the TALAS, and it was an excellent feature for climbing and doing technical moves. I did notice that I would sometimes forget to take it back out of the lowered position when I turned around to descend. Oops!