Strengths: Tough and exceptionally well tought out frame.
Weaknesses: Steep head angle, but that is only by todays standards. So in essence, none! :-)
I dig this bike. It's look is pure 53x and it's behavior is just stellar. Even the Fifth Element shock, which a lot of people don't like, actually gets the job done if you spend some time tweaking. I have 0 preload on the spring, which is a little light for my weight, but I've taken advantage of the air reservoir to aid in compression control, which this shock provides tons of control over.
The frame makes a fantastic stable suspension for the platform. Some don't like that it's a single pivot design, but being a high single pivot, there is still some rearward motion in the early part of it's travel.
The bike is very well behaved everywhere. It seems to read your thoughts in the air, remains stable under hard braking, is solid when powering through the chop, and feels awesome when blasting through big berms. Go in hot and let the
de-compressing rear suspension give a boost out while you get on the pedals.
Lastly, it's easily the plushest of the plush. I landed way backside on a couple of different occasions on my last trip to Snowshoe. It feels like touching down in a stack of 50 down pillows.
Favorite Trail: Blue Velvet, Crank it Up, Missing Link, Ninja Bob
Duration Product Used: 1 year
Purchased At: Pinkbike
Similar Products Used: 2008 Mongoose Khyber Elite All Mountain rig.
Bike Setup: White Brothers Groove 200. Answer adjustable length direct mount stem. Kore Torsion 800mm bar. Mavic DeeTrax. Avid Code R, Fifth Element rear shock, FSA head set, Race Face BB and Cranks, Nukeproof Nuetron flat pedals, Kendal Nevegal front, Maxxion Minnion DHF rear. SRAM PG970 DH. SRAM X9 short cage.
a Weekend Warrior
from Atlanta, Ga, USA
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2011
Strengths: Wicked design, very strong, pedals very well for a DH bike.
Weaknesses: They don't make it anymore.
If you can find one buy it. These are not only great dh bike but great all around bike. You will get a lot of attention where ever you ride because of their unique motocross design. Love it!
from South Yorkshire
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2011
Strengths: The plushest bike I've ever had the joy of riding. They may be a little dated now, but I've just had mine powder coated green & black and added monster energy decals and put all new parts on it, and it looks like a 2011 bike. The 9.5" of rear travel will get you out of any trouble and the monocoque frame keeps the bike tracking better than most. The wheel base is quite long which makes the steepest descents a breeze.
Weaknesses: Can look dated if not kept upto date with new parts.
If you can find a Shockwave 9.5 then you should buy it, they are getting very thin on the ground.
If your lucky enough to get one, put some new parts on it and and you'll never look back plus everybody who see's it will ask all about it. I feel lucky to have one!
Strengths: very well made, beatiful lines, rigid frame, loads of travel, tracks very well, not many in wour local spot, high BB for freeride.I love this bike
Weaknesses: Needs some work to get it dialed for being superfast.
Got a 230mm rear shock. It helps to get much better head angle 1 or 2 degrees slacker. A lower BB and the rear travel keeps the same.The bike is beautifully crafted, so many details, BB machined alum. monochoque frame.
Similar Products Used: racebike dragster, intense m1, yeti 8, gt dhi, marin quake xlt, giant dh, etc. etc.
Bike Setup: RShox WC, manitou swinger 4 internal shims modified, saint, formula mega, easton, hadley hubs mavic, michelin dh 16
a Weekend Warrior
from stg ut usa
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2009
Strengths: very strong, aesthetic, high quality, tons of travel, geo (with the sag run correctly this bike has race angles), handling in the tech especially, floating brake, makes you feel like you're awesome!
Weaknesses: The rear shock is tough to get at through the linkage, but the linkage is what makes it ride so well, so nothing really.
The bike is beautifully crafted, the welds are gorgeous, and the huge monocoque frame is practically artwork and truly unique......people will definitely ask about your bike. Nimble and quick in the rough stuff and actually pedals ok when you stand up and cranks, loves rock gardens and roots, manuals well making it easy to jump and drop. The rear suspension is great in the rough and corners due to the floating brake, which is very solid and well thought out. The bike just exudes strength and durability which gives the rider the peace of mind to let it rip! This is the most underrated dh bike out there, ride one and learn for yourself!
Similar Products Used: Nicolai Helius ST, SC Bullit, tons of other AM bikes
Bike Setup: 888 RC 203mm, Sun Ringle hubs and rims, Holzefeller Cranks, Hayes Brakes 203mm, Progressive 5th Element Rear Shock, E13 Bashguard, and Guide.
from Holliston, Ma, US
Date Reviewed: August 12, 2009
Strengths: One of the beefiest frames i've ever seen. Every part on the bike is extra reinforced. This bike is awesome for DH. I have the new Shockwave so its 8" of travel but it rides so smooth. It eats the bumps and I don't have to worry about breaking the frame and I'm a hard rider.
Weaknesses: There arent many weaknesses other than because of the thickness of everything makes the frame heavy, but id rather that then a skinny brittle frame. Also a lot some of the pivot bolts come loose so every so often you need to tighten them but thats just standard maintenance. Lastly, Make sure you leave the fork stop on because i had a bad fall in a race and didn't have it on and the fork, even with rubber stops on the stantions put a dent in the frame. Even with that dent, the frames still wider than most bikes lol
This bike is great for racers and huckers, especially if your going to be rough on the bike. The frame will withstand anything you trow at it. The frame design is killer and looks awesome. The swingarm is as big as they come. Everything is to perfection. Geometrically this bike is perfect.
Bike Setup: shockwave w/ Roco R, shermans, azonic outlaw Wheelset, Big Earl Crank, Crank Bros 5050xx pedals, raceface diabolus stem, FSA Platinum BB, FSA Pig Headset, Big Earl Bars, Hayes Stroker Ryde Brakes, Kenda Kenetics
Date Reviewed: May 22, 2009
Strengths: Lots of travel, works perfectly, original looks, floating brake kit, light downhill frame......
Weaknesses: None so far. Just perfect
This frame is just perfect for Downhill.
Lots of travel, looks like it never ends, super plush, works perfect with the DHX5 and the Boxxer, super light Downhill rig overall (mine´s 17.3kg), pedals very well for this kind of travel beast and it looks WOW!!
The Downhill racer #1 choice, works perfect against the clock!
The Bottom line is: buy it if you see one for sale.
Similar Products Used: Spec Demo, Giant Glory DH, Spec Big Hit 2008, Trek Session 88, Transition Gran Mal...
Bike Setup: 2009 Boxxer, 2008 Fox DHX5, Sun Rims MTX29, Hayes Nine V8 200mm rotors, Truvativ Ruktion cranks, 50-50 flats, Continental and Maxxis Highroller, Sunline integrated stem, Truvativ Hussefelt WC bar...
from Walnut Creek, California
Date Reviewed: August 10, 2008
Strengths: This bike is amazing at high speeds, it can plow through anything and still has the subtle touch to smooth out the little things. When standing alone it does have a some what high BB but when sitting on it, the sag drops the bb to about 13 inches which is pretty damn low. Bike Corners like a dream One of the best cornering bike i have ever ridden. A real point and shoot bike.Real easy to handle and in the control of some one with some real skill its an absolute blast to ride
Weaknesses: Sound.... monocok....... haha
a fun a hell bike to ride, I have a feeling i willl be riding this bike for a LONG time
Similar Products Used: Orange 224, Turner DHR, SWD
Bike Setup: Rock Shox Boxxer race, garage works 5th element, Mavic 321 rims laced to Hope bulb hubs, Holzfeller cranks and gigapipe ti bb, Funn full on handle bar, Point one thomspon stem.
from Chicoutimi, Québec,Canada
Date Reviewed: July 1, 2008
Strengths: Super stiff and strong, great rear suspension, stable at speed end easy to turn in thight spot. It looks great and attrack looks because that they are rare where I am from.
Weaknesses: The floating brake did not work as good as expected but is easy to fix. BB might be too high for some and could be a litle more slack for DH racing but it is all good on the 09 model
This is one of the best bikes that I ever ridden and it is so fun to ride on. It is super plush and progressive and the end of its travel. I just can’t say enough about the rear suspension. It is easy to play with it in the air or on the ground and just plow trough anything like it was a rocket. It is very stable at high speed run. The frame is extremely stiff and there is no flex at all. It loves speed and steep trail. The price was very good at the time of purchase. Mine is setup about 41 lbs and could be a little lighter but I don’t want to run lighter wheels and I want to keep the brake floater on the bike.
My only concern is the floating disk brake that did not work as good as other bike I had but it was a very simple fix. Now my floater works at 100% and my rear end is stuck to the ground. With the stock set up, the floater does not work right a way and you may experience a little brake jacking. All I did is relocated the front rode higher on the bracket above the 3 holes and use some shim so that it does not contact the rear linkage. This simple change makes the floater work all the 100% of the time. The other thing is that for some, the BB height is a bit high and the HA not slack enough, this was all address in 09 as you can get it with 8 inch of travel with a lower BB and slacker HA. I recommend this bike to any body that wants a solid and fun bike.
Similar Products Used: Norco VPS 1 and team, Santa cruz super 8, Intense M1, Giant Comp, Devinci Wilson.
Bike Setup: 06 frame with fox DHX 5 with RCS TI spring, Boxxer world cup, Juicy 7 brake with Goodridge hose, X9 short cage and X9 shifter, e 13 LG1 chain gide, SDG I beam post and sadle, Easton monkey lite DH handle bar, E 13 ali steam, Intinse grip, Ringlé hub with Mavic 823 tubles rims, Holzfeller OCT crank, DMR flat pedal.
from Granada Hills, CA
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2008
Strengths: It looks like a DH bike on steroids that makes my friends V10's look like toothpicks! It exudes a certain exoticness due to it's rarity and full monocoque construction. The frame looks extremly overbuilt with thick monocoque skin while the linkages are forged and cnc'd. It comes equipped with a leverage ratio manipulating link that ramps up the feel as it moves through it's travel that is why it can be tuned for supple small bump compliance and has enough progression for the big hits. It's also equipped with a floating brake the aids alot during high speed braking.
This monster loves plowing thru the gnarliest lines with speed as it has the geometry needed for extreme DH runs.
Weaknesses: The rider is normally the weak link. I've never had problems with the bearings cuz it rarely gets wet her in SOCAL.
This is my ULTIMATE WEAPON and the big daddy of my Mountain Cycle stable (Sin & San Andreas DNA). It floats over the crazziest lines and it gives you the extra confidence of hunting for more tech. stuff. It works best when it's steep and gnarly. It corners nice but I tuned it more for the steeps.
Similar Products Used: SC V10's & VP FRee, Spec. Demo, RM RMX, IH 7point, MC Sin & DNA
Bike Setup: '04 Black / Pewter frame, '04 Zoke 888R WORKS fork, retuned Romic D Shock, Magura Gustav Brakes, Azonic Rims, Zoke QR20mm hub, DT Swiss Hugi FR 12x135 hubs, DT Champion spokes, Maxxis Minion DHF/High Roller 2.7 Super Tacky, Intense DH tubes, Truvativ Holzfeller 34T, Evil SRS chainguide, Shimano XT Shifter & rear Der., Shimano Dura Ace 11-26 cassette, Shimano XTR Chain, Azonic A Frame pedals, Truvativ XR Double seatpost, Azonic high rise x 28 inch handlebar, ODI Ruffian Grips, SDG Gravity saddle.
from Auckland, New Zealand
Date Reviewed: November 22, 2007
Strengths: What can I say, 1 year of absolute abuse and it handles like a champ. Rock solid, high stand over, corners like it's on rails, accelerates like a couger on crack and hucks absolutely anything. Better looking and with nicer curves than the entire Miss America pagent with extra style points coz there's not too many of them around! Seat and standover height can be left really hight - much higher than other DH rigs) and still ride it like there's no seat at all, super nimble and responsive for a bike of its size and weight. Can't fault it.
Weaknesses: As a few people have said, the bearings tend not to last. I've had mine a year and a half and the main swingarm bearings have just given up. Apart from that, it's faultless.
You can't go past it. This bike is the be all and end all. It's so damn sexy and rides like an absolute dream. Super aggressive but amazingly forgiving. People bag it coz they know they're not cool enough. Once you ride one or sit on it, everything else just feels like junk. So solid and burly it will eat anything you throw at it, anything.
Similar Products Used: Stinky Deelux, Glory, VP Free, Stab
Bike Setup: Boxxer WC, XTR, Hayes, Race Face, Scud, Mavic, Selle Italia, Funn
Marco van der Wilk
from Vernon, BC, Canada
Date Reviewed: October 9, 2007
Strengths: This is a update from my last review. I beat the snot out of this frame all of this season racing and freeriding and have not had one problem with the frame yet.
Weaknesses: Still the only real weakness is the bearings (as on most bikes). I've tried many different bearings companies and they still don't last. The seals on the bearings are one of the main problems, water still gets in. The stock floating brake also does'nt work as good as it could. I made a different one that works much better through the whole travel.
This bike is amazing. I have'nt ridden anything that comes close to it. MC has something good here and it just needs too be noticed. Ride one you won't be a changed person....
Similar Products Used: The list would be too big, but a few are Giant, Divinci, Kona, Rocky, and on and on......
Bike Setup: I got my race bike sitting a little under 36.5lbs. And the freerider around 42lbs. Hope Brakes, White Brother forks Groove Race,Groove200, Shimano Shifting, etc...
from Mission Viejo, CA, USA
Date Reviewed: October 24, 2006
Strengths: All of the strengths from my previous review still stand, however, I must say the bike is even better with the changes I have made. With those changes, the weight of the bike is also a strength. This machine can be made very light with the right kit.
Weaknesses: It's still a little noisy when it gets "dry", but that's not a biggy. I thought the weight was a weakness before, but now it is not.
This bike could not be more perfect [in my opinion].
I saw pictures of the SL from Interbike 2005 and that gave me the idea for the air shock. I used to run an MRP Bones crankset and that thing was so damn heavy (I just didn't realize). Those two changes alone had dramatic effects on the weight. When the changes in componentry and the fork are factored in, the bike is a radical departure from the previous build that I once had in terms of agility and quickness. I can flick the thing around and pedal it like crazy.
I am extremely pleased with the performance thus far, but I am looking to make a few more mods: Ti hardware, lighter hoops (the Singles vs. the Mag 30), and perhaps upgraded bearings. Also, I have been running the Slime tubes so I think I can run a lighter tire (single ply, non-dh casing...the jury's out on that one though).
If you already have one of these machines, then you are probably already stoked, but do bear in mind that you can make tremendous changes that can really transform its performance characteristics (for example you may try a shorter stroke shock if your style has become more smooth over time).
If you are considering one of these, then my previous review stands in addition to this one. Place an order at Adrenaline Bikes (Mountain Cycle is NOT dead and looks to be coming back stronger than ever).
Note: The $5000 takes into account the additional investments I made since I first purchased the bike (at $2500).
Similar Products Used: San Andreas (classic and DNA), Giant Team DH, Iron Horse (SGS and Sunday), Azonic Eliminator, Foes DHS Tube, Turner DHR, Intense M3, Kona Stinky 9, GT IT1 (read my review on that)
Bike Setup: Large Frame (custom powder coated in pearl white), Fox 40RC2, Fox DHX Air (9.5x3.0), SRAM X0 Black Box R. Der. and shifter pod (Gucci!), Truvativ Holzfeller Cranks (38t), MRP System 3 Fusion Guide, SRAM Road Cassette, SRAM Chain, Hayes Mag 9, Goodridge Brake Lines, Flak Jacket Cable Housing, Easton Carbon DH Bars, Azonic Stem, Intense Mag 30 Wheels (soon to be Urban Camo SingleTracks) on Hadley Hubs, SDG Stem and Saddle, Kenda Nevegal 2.35 (fr. & rr.)
from Ontario, Canada