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a Cross Country Rider
from Denver CODate Reviewed:
March 4, 2012Strengths: Great Handling, very nimble for either a 29er or a 26er, liked the snappy feel of the short chainstays, easy to change direction, bike did really well on singletrack.Weaknesses: It's a pricey bike for and AL frame, but you get what you pay for, well I hope you do.Bottom Line:
I must admit I've never been taken w/ Lenz Bikes but maybe I'm a touch superficial they're somewhat funky looking with the dramatically curved toptube and overbuilt headtube gusset 1980s graphics maybe and the single pivot suspension but overall I was really impressed just short of blown away by how this bike rode. Afterward I described the bike to a riding buddy who's known me for the last 8 years and based on his impression of my reaction he recommended I go out and buy the beast as he'd never seen me that complimentary or juiced about the ride qualities of a bike before.
So I took the mammoth for a couple of rides in the Denver front range, my first ride we took the Lenz out to Buffalo Creek and I really didn't have any expectations the GBS happened to have the demo in stock and I thought what the hell I'll give it a try but I was pretty much sold on the SC Tallboy (sexy, carbon, light, sophisticated suspension, I really only wanted 100mm of travel, they're available). We started out at the Ranger Station trolled up the double track while I messed about w/ shock pressure (I kept adding air to the shock throughout the ride) and climbed up Shinglemill and descended down the Morrison Trail just getting used to the bike, I think the shock pressure was a bit soft as she wasn't feeling exactly sprightly on the climbs but not a slug either then I messed about w/ the saddle height and pumped up the shock pressure s'more. We trolled up the road and starting climbing the Gashouse Trail towards Charlie's, I should point out that my riding bud was mounted on a carbon 26er single speed w/ a 32x16 gear ratio and as I spun up the climb on the Moth every time I took a look behind me he had dropped outa sight, (now if you don't know these trails they're a single speeding paradise, flowing mostly non tech single track, so a 29lb 140mm suspension bike shouldn't be dropping a 24 lb hard tail w/ that kind've gearing, I was in the little ring most of the way but hey maybe I was having a good day and he wasn't) anyway didn't seem like the bike was a slouch on the climbs. I also caught up w/ this woman who had totally gobbled me up earlier that summer on Kenosha pass when I was riding it on my 5 spot, just casually spun up on her and rolled her up, actually nobody passed me the whole day, go figure...but it was when we got to Charlie's cut off and started to roll w/ gravity that this bike really boggled me. Charlie's and Sandy Wash are sustained fast twisty dipping and diving single track rolling over a kitty liter like trail surface for something like 6+ miles or more and this bike just carved! I was really impressed by how well I could rock it from a hard left turn over to a sweeping right and back again, just intuitive this puppy grooved with that twisty single track dunno if it's the geo, the short chain stays, the wheel base the suspension or just the whole package but a bike that big has no business riding like this but the Mammoth just gelled on that terrain and I could still kick it out've the saddle to accelerates out've a turn or punch it up a short steep climb without the feeling of it bogging down, really impressive, I felt it handled better than my GF Superfly hardtail on this type of trail pretty cool I was taken and more than a bit surprised. Riding that last section of Sandy Wash that parallels the road I was flying on this beast probably the fastest and most controlled I've ever ridden, not even having to use the brakes the bike just swept the curves and stuck to the banks plus when I hit the road and locked up the rear brake this baby just scribed a smooth 180 degree arc w/ the rear tire super cool.
Sooo I was so impressed w/ this Sunday ride on the Mammoth I decided to take Monday morning off from work and run the bike over some truly tech terrain. So I rode it over Dakota Ridge starting at the Green Mountain trail head and climbing up the Zorro Trail I typically ride Dakota Ridge from North to South along the hogback, I was able to get it around the switch backs no prob and was really hoping that I could get this baby to perform on the series of log ramps that sit in the saddle on a few occasions I've been able to clean this section on my 5 Spot but for me it's really dependent on alot of factors e.g. how much sand is on the ramps, conditioning, what kind've day I'm having, the bike, whether I've got new tires, tire pressure around the mid to low 20s, tubeless for sure. Anyway I was hoping the 29" wheels and the short stays were gonna make the Moth a silver bullet, I gave it three attempts but was never able to get it father than the 4th ramp after the switch back, the lower ramps up to the switch were no prob but I have to stop and catch my breath at the switch back before attempting the upper set (I'm like 42 years old and have a full time job but no kids) all in all a respectable performance for a bike I'd just started riding and who knows maybe w/ some stickier wider tires I could workit, or maybe a stronger rider could clean it for sure. The rest of the ridge was good the bike had no problem cleaning the rest of the steeps and was stable enough on the descents though I would expect a bike w/ a 45.4" wheelbase and 29" wheels to be something of a battleship in this environment, but damn it handles nice. I took the bike around through red rocks and up Mathew Winters and it cleaned it all really posh.
So the wrap, as I said before I was really impressed by how well this bike handled it was intuitive it just followed my eyes down the trail, the short stays made it easy to pop the front wheel up, yet it tracked and didn't seem to want to hover or wander on steep steep climbs, I'd like to try this bike w/ and adjustable travel front fork so I could crank it down on some of the steep stuff but really a sweet riding bike I can't think of anything I have ever ridden that could thread single track better. I'm not so so sure how I feel about the rear suspension, I never felt the bike slip, spin out or anything like that and maybe I'm just overthinking it ya know after riding horst links, vpp, and dw links you kind've start thinking that a suspension has to be complex in order to deliver the goods but what do I know I mean I can clean tech climbs on my 29er hardtail that befuddle me on my 26" full suspension...but then I have to say the Pivot 429 w/ that dw link was an amazing bike on tech climbs just cleaned em all or course you had to fold the thing around a sharp turn. I wish I was big enough to ride a large as the medium seems to have funky proportions but I'm just 5'-9" so the medium was probably the bike for me, the red ano finish and subtle ano graphics on the mammoth are pretty cool, the bike felt grounded on tech terrain, not idiot proof but no bike suffers fools gladly, I would feel totally confident taking this bike up and down Amasa back or blasting down Porcupine on it and would also have no problem taking to Crested Butte and riding the 401 or Doctors Park really one bike to rule them all. It's pricey for an AL frame but it's boutique and made right hear in CO by a totally grounded dude (not that I know him but I read the article in Bike Mag) now if you can just get your hands on one.
Favorite Trail: Indian Creek Trail
Duration Product Used: Tested or demo'ed only
Purchased At: Golden Bike Shop
Similar Products Used: Gary Fisher Suprefly, Pivot Mach 429, Santa Cruz Tallboy, Niner Jet 9, Redline Monocog, Turner 5 Spot
Bike Setup: Medium Red Ano Frame, X.9 Gruppo 2x10 w/ 36 cassette, White Bros Loop fork 140mm, Fox RP3, Sun Ringle Charger Pro Wheelset, Ritchie Cockpit 100mm stem and 27" bars, Bontrager Jones ACX 2.25 tires overall build not all that light probably something around 29lbs
Reviews 1 - 1 (1 Reviews Total)
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