Overall suspension action was controlled and quite plush, and I fell in love with the MRP Stage fork that had already impressed me last year at Outerbike. It didn’t quite match the awesomeness of RockShox’s Pike, but, dang it was close. I really like this fork. I love that you can control the ramp up with a twist of a knob out on the trail, rather than adding tokens internally. This will likely be the first upgrade on my new bike.
The excellent DB Inline shock handled damping duties out back without me even noticing it. Canfield had the tune dialed in just right for me as well. I was really kind of torn between the DB Inline and the new Fox EVOL shock when I ordered my most recent bike because of trickier set up, a few reports of seal failure, and slightly higher weight with the Inline, but this experience confirmed to me that I made the right decision in ordering the Inline.
Extended climbing is the one thing I didn’t get to do a lot of other than short steep grade reversals on the trails we rode. But from that experience, I don’t have any reason to believe this bike can’t handle the uphills, too. Smoother climbs feel surprisingly efficient. Just not a lot of squat or bob for a bike that is this plush on the descents. The Brothers patented Balance Formula double link suspension is impressive. It feels plush and controlled on the rough nasties, crawls up techy loose climbs while tenaciously sticking to the ground, yet still has a sufficiently firm platform for longer fire road climbs without the need of a lock out or climb switch.
You may want to reach down and flip that switch if you like to hammer out of the saddle, but even that did not induce the kind of monkey motion you might expect for a bike this plush and active.
Handling was not cumbersome like many 29ers tend to be. I assume this was due to the short chainstays and generous bottom bracket drop. I was never really aware of being on big wagon wheels except when it mattered: bombing over fast chundery, blown out terrain, and crawling over square edges, holes and wheel stoppers on slower technical sections.
This bike is nimble enough to crossover into trail duty but still climbs with great acumen. It’s plush on rough fast descents. Capable on super steep sketchy chutes. Hugs the ground on rough pedally climbs. Tracks well. Efficient on smoother climbs. I can’t think of anything it didn’t do well. I even loved the looks.
For more information visit canfieldbrothers.com.