a Cross Country Rider
from edmonton, alberta, canada
Date Reviewed: June 21, 2003
Strengths: geometry is great, especially for shorter people. it climbs better than any bike i have been on. it is pretty light, i built mine up with a mix of mid range components and the bike is coming in at only about 25 pounds, not bad considering i only put about $300 (canadian) into this bike, including the frame. what else....the bike looks great, love the fish decals.
Weaknesses: none so far, besides the kinda screwy sizing. the sticker on the top tube says 12" but it is bigger than my 14" kona....whatever, not a big deal.
when i saw this frame on ebay i knew i had to buy it. it is new old stock, im guessing 1998-ish but im not sure. this frame is awesome, if you find one anywhere buy it.
Strengths: Very Light (3.2lbs) responsive forgiving, for aluminum Price!!!!
Weaknesses: some flex, especially in the seat stays paint is not durable terrible decals funky dropout, requires internal adjustment of rear derailer to get proprt shifting
This review is not for the A2E, but for the Comp frame, which is basically the same thing but with Elite main tubes. This frame was a steal at Jenson for $300. THey were gone a long time ago but it would be a reasonable deal at $500. The frame is top notch in construction and welding. Alignment is good too. I can't say enough about the Easton Elite Tubing. The paint job is not very good however. It tends to chip very easily. THe bike has a very compliant ride compared to my old straight guage 6061 schwinn, which was very stiff, but punishing. I am a clydesdale (230 lbs) so I can really get this frame to flex quite a bit. THat's no problem though, because the flex tends to soften the ride a bit. But the ride is very similar to my old Klein frame which generally sold for twice this frame did. One issue I have with the frame is the teardrop top tube, while it is great for weight and looks, you NEVER want to slip and get intimate with it, it is so narrow that you will instantly be rendered sexually inoperative. THe decals on the frame are also pretty obtrusive, but I have yet to remove them. Another issue is with the dropout which seems to be a little unusual. The problem was that I could not relieve enough via the b-tension adjustment to get the derailler close enough to the cassette. But, an easy way to correct this is to internally reset the spring tension on the derailler (all shimano's have this). Most people are not aware that the Shimano rear deraillers have two settings for spring tension, the higher setting being the factory setting. Although it requires extensive disassembly of the derailler, its worth it to get the shifting right. Finally, the rear brake able stay on i=on the seat tube is inexcusably poorly located. It is put at an angle so that the cable actually runs not parrallel with the top tube, but angles out slightly. This is a picky complaint, but it would have been very easy for Barracuda to fix. Why it is this way I have no idea. All in all, this is a great frame. Too bad Barracuda went out of business. But, the benefit was all mine; I should be prosecuted for what I paid for it. 5 chilis for the price. If I had paid $500 for it, 4 stars.
Similar Products Used: Schwinn Mesa GSX klein adroit
Bike Setup: all XT Arch rival brakes judy sl easton carbon bars & seatpost
a Weekend Warrior
from Charlotte, NC USA
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2000
Strengths: Weight, value, snazzy paint job.
Weaknesses: Paint chips easily, odd size.
We bought this unit as a complete bike for my wife. Jenson has been closing them out as frames at a real steel (pun) though they are likely all gone now. The frame is actually triple butted prestige and provides a very nice ride.
One warning, the frame sizing is rather goofy; kind of like Trek a couple of years ago. Primarily, the problem is that the bike has a small head tube (4") and a friggin' huge top tube. In 16", the top tube is like 54 cm. We pulled the 135 mm Kore stem and went to a 105 mm Control Tech. Massive improvement.
The low front end does make the bike excellent in the woods, however (where we mostly ride).
For the money, the rig is very hard to beat. At full price I'd rate it as a 3, but at close out, it is definitely a 5.
Bike Setup: Judy XC, 8 speeed XT group, Control Tech Stem, Kore Lite bar, Synchros Rims. SPDs.
Date Reviewed: April 18, 2000
Strengths: Strong, light great geometry responsive looks great
Weaknesses: paint chips a little too easily frames run very large
This frame is a great frame to ride. I train on my A2m and race a Barracuda Comp. Both frames are superb. The welds are perfect (a testament to American products) and the alignment is excellent. The A2m is a little heavier than the Comp due to the fact that it does not use the Elite tubing. However, this makes it very stiff and strong. Use this frame if you are a recreational rider. The comp is much lighter and a little more flexy, but not much more. The comp is also much more responsive. Both frames are great. I bough my Comp for $600 and my a2m for $400. If you can get them for this you will be happy.
Bike Setup: LX/XT/ Judy SL for my A2m XTR/raceface/SID- for my Comp
from Oakland, Ca. USA
Date Reviewed: October 25, 1998
I've been riding this frame for about 2 1/2 years now and have been very pleased. Its unique slalom design, with tanges prestige tear-drop tubing makes the frame feel sweet. For the price you can't beat it. I started out riding this bike as a messenger in the streets of Chicago, through all types of messy conditions. Since, I've been beating the hell out of it through out northen California. Its been to the Sea Otter classic twice (Monterey/Salinas). Plus weekly rides in Marin County,and Santa Cruz. Its been treatin me well.
I recently picked up a Barracuda A2E frame and it came along with some components which I think are original to the bike - one of those is the seat-post. As you can see, it's a somewhat unique 2-bolt setup but it's missing one of the clamps so it's currently useless. I realize this is a long-shot, ... Read More »