from Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Date Reviewed: December 24, 2003
Strengths: a great 'do everything bike' super strong frame (headtube) fast riding suspension design FoX RC low Center of gravity CHROMOLY rear end is too stiff
Weaknesses: the bolts on the swing linkages loosen up, as do all multi-linkage suspension systems. but i just tighten them with an allen key tool.
i bought my frame used and built it up. best bike ive ever ridden! pedals like an XC, drops like a DH, handles like a DS/HT. what more can one ask for from one bike. i have to admit, id love to be able to afford a small travel bike and a big hit bike, but its just not in the cards. i have never bottomed out the rear, due to a 650 rear spring and balfa's rising rate travel. i ride my balfa everywhere and im not affraid to push my limits on it. i feel this bike a under-estimated by others. mines built up like a freeride/DH bike, but i know how to finesse it. balfa made me one tough puppy. thank-you Balfa
Strengths: Tight Tolerences: Seat tube, stays, headtube. 4130 rear end great customer service The travel dosen't respond to braking. Good color. 5-6in of linear then progressive travel. Great shock, fox rc Good Warranty Tire Clearence is great. 2.6 rear (Gazzi)
Weaknesses: Difficult to set up the first time. You'll need a chain guide. No ISCG mounts. International Standard Chain Guide.
The bike is great. Had it for a week and 4ft feel like 1ft. Needs a MRP or Black Spire. Wrap the Chainstay or suffer the wrath of NOISE!(Chain-Slap) The Stronger the Derailleur, the less problems. I'm still finding proper cable lengths and routing. The bike is solid! If you diddn't know, you'd swear you were on a DH SLED!(Trave feels so good)! Mine Weighs 40lbs; It's a little slow gaining speed. Drops aren't a problem. East Coast Love!! Bang my knees on the Stantions. Stancions. while climbing, but with a single crown shouldn't be a problem. Look into the LRP from MRP. The bike is tough, as is every product from Balfa. The Folks are great and the riding is good. The best part of the Balfa Line is that the suspension designs are Brilliant! Look carefully and you will understand.
Similar Products Used: Bullet, TMX, Sugar(fsxc is cool too), Minuteman, Thick, Gack...
Bike Setup: Aircorps Wheelset and pedals, Jr.T., XT drivetrain, Easton Bars, BMW stem, Hopes, NorthShore, Beserker upon Thomson, ...
Date Reviewed: April 28, 2002
Strengths: bomb proof, easy to pedel, i have a mrp on it and it took some adjusting but it works great now. very easy to get the front end up. beefy joints and solid steel swing arm. cant wait to get it to a down hill coarse. has a very low center of gravity. great race bike. only have ridden urban and some drops. awesome so far. couldnt be happier
Weaknesses: bottom linkege is below the MRP bash ring. not worried about it.
give um a try. i have been dealing w/ Balfa since my first rig, a 00' bb7, i have nothing but good experence's w/ them. they are always cool about u calling and asking set up ques. also i wasent planning on selling my bb7 this year but they got a east coast u.s. team together and decided to include me. not to mention, the price of them are beyond reasonable. as a frame or a complete u cant go wrong. we will have kawi green frames. come to our tent to check out the bikes first hand. i will be at east coast races personally but the team will be traviling everywhere. ride on, www.balfa.com
Bike Setup: 02'boXXer, MRP, atom lab trail pimp wheels, michelin, azonic, fox.
from West Greenwich, RI
Date Reviewed: January 8, 2002
Strengths: 6" of travel - first 1/2 of stroke is linear then it ramps up (progressive) very plus for fast and slow technical trail riding. Fun to lean it over fast in corners. Very tortionally stiff - (probably due to cromoly rear triangle) The big surprise: GREAT CLIMBER. Extreamly well made with very tight headset and rear wheel fit. Very strong for sub 9 lb. frame.
Weaknesses: It was hard to set up the MRP mini-me with lower linkage - still requires occasional adjustment. Lower links do occasionally get scratched on rocks - not really a problem
This is a fast turning big hit trail bike for big drops that is actually fun to climb hills on - I just use lighter tires and tubes and I can climb all day! I don't know why it climbs better than my uzzi sl (29lbs). I bought it as a "free-ride" bike - But I love it on long trail rides and will probably race it DH this year on the faster courses. I own 4 high-end bikes and this by far my favorite. The frame is the best quality (and least expensive) I have ever had. I have 12 2+ hour rides so far. If you ride very technical terrain and like (or would like) to do drops - this bike is it.
All are around the same price range - $400 for the BAlfa with seatpost, seatpost collar front derailleur and bottom bracket, $500 for the Bullit with Thomson post, salsa seatpost collar, and RF Headset, Or $400 for the Uzzi with etype derailleur (or $500 for Uzzi, KIng HS, and 2000 X-VERT DC fork, ... Read More »