a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: July 31, 2002
Strengths: AS BEFORER TAUGHT ME ALOT ABOUT M.BIKING...LEARNT HOW TO JUMP PROPERLY ON IT, got me podium place at the xc races
Weaknesses: as before and it finally broke on me, but at the head tube weld, albeit i crashed pretty severly and on a worldcup dh course. aslo the seat tube was machined to the wrong dia/ meaning lots of faffing about with filing shims and the like, plus the chainstay were squffy...my wheel had to be built with zero dish and it was still too close to the non drive side
crap company , crap paint ,crap stickers, crap build, build rode like the gods...and i was very upset when i it died... if you can get one...get it cheap and be nice to it
Similar Products Used: on-one inbred, and zasker le
Bike Setup: when broke i hada 120 mm manitou blacks northshore cranks with36 th single chainring plus 9sbd rear mavic 521 rims with irc tyres (kujo is the best tyre ever for the rear)
a Weekend Warrior
from Kingskettle, Fife, Scotland
Date Reviewed: September 12, 2001
Strengths: Out the box it looks amzing. and is as light as a feather.. one of those bikes that you just don't want to buld up due to its beauty... a piece of art. it rides like a dream.. my whole riding style has doubled in skill, aggression and speed. I don't know much technical stuff... but this ride is the best I've had...although I can't hop up to the heights I used to be able to do on my Zaskar LE ..2ft+.OH and I'm not a weekend warrior.. I ride every day.. jump DH,5hr Epics, XC and V.hardcore trails and bit of trials.
Weaknesses: ok I'm worried know.. I thought I was getting a bombproof bike..but having read all these other reviews. things look different. I have to agree the durability of the paint job is guff, the decals again just aren't up to standard. Now the company is defunct, I don't have a leg to stand on if anything goes wrong.... eek!... and I ride very hardcore trails 5ft acid drops and 15 ft sloped drops aren't unheard of... oh and i weigh 85kg ... I think I shall check these welds again
Purchased At: Smell the adrenaline..LONDON (frame only)
Similar Products Used: Zaskar LE... V,V,Very tough
Bike Setup: 90mm paces F;lat pedals
a Weekend Warrior
from Atlanta, GA, USA
Date Reviewed: May 31, 2001
Strengths: Nice Ride / Bad Company
Weaknesses: Simply put, Spooky doesn't stand behind their products.
Bottom Line: Spooky points the finger instead of sucking it up and taking care of their customers. They perfected the East Coast geometry, but never learned CS. E-mail me if you'ld like the whole story.
Similar Products Used: Santa Cruz, Brooklyn Machine Works, Kona, Hutch
Bike Setup: DS / Urban
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: May 30, 2001
Strengths: The geometry is light-years ahead of any bike I have ever ridden.Simply incredible ride,climbed fast,and was at home on technical singletrack.You don't steer the bike--it practically reads your mind.Light as titanium at 3 lbs.I loved the geometry so much I custom-ordered a Seven Sola with the same geometry,drawn in titanium.
Weaknesses: Frame cracked at the drive-side dropout.I was surprised to see this.I don't catch much air(if at all)and take good lines.I didn't abuse this bike.Spooky claimed that it had to be done by "a high-speed impact."Not hardly!I was on a fairly smooth trail. Speaking of Spooky,they refused to refund my frame or even deduct the price of a future frame,claiming that Easton didn't warranty the tubing.Well,it had Spooky's name on it,they should be responsible for defective frames. Other issues were with the shoddy workmanship:The paint is terrible and is scratched everywhere,the welds are sloppier than expected for a $1500 frame,and the decals are poor quality.For $3300 complete(and hand-made in US),you'd expect much better workmanship.
I was very disappointed when my Darkside broke.I have yet to ride a bike that impressed me as much as this one did(barring the sloppy workmanship).I was willing to overlook the bike's faults because it rode and handled so well,but when the frame suddenly broke,Spooky would not cover their product or their customer.To me,good service is everything(I had messy dealings with AMP's customer service 3 years prior to this),and dealing with Spooky was a nightmare.They did not return my calls or attempt to make any sort of follow-up.When I finally got ahold of them,they refused to warrantee my frame.Spooky won't ever see my business again.A real shame,because the Darkside is a fabulous bike(while it lasts).3 chilies for the bike itself,0 for the company,rounds out to a 2.
Similar Products Used: Seven Sola Ti with identical geometry,'95 Fat Chance Wicked,'98 Klein Adroit Race
Bike Setup: Currently residing on my wall.The XTR components,wheels,Time Atacs,and Marzocchi Z-2 Atom 80 all made it onto the Seven.
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2001
Strengths: Fast. Nimble.
Weaknesses: Spooky sux. They have poor customer service. This is my second spooky. I broke the first one like it was a pencil. They blamed it on Easton. They gave me my second frame at cost (I think). They did not even put decals on the second frame Gee, thanx spooky.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dallas, TX USA
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2001
Strengths: Lightweight 3 lb Easton Elite frame; excellent handling and climbing characteristics. High bottom bracket, short chainstay, and long top-tube.
Extremely lightweight (3 lb) and very quick handling bike for tight singletrack. Geometry well suited for climbing due to long top-tube combined with short chainstays. High bottom bracket definitely helps to prevent grinding the chainrings over rocks, logs, etc. Overall, excellent hard-tail frame that definitely gets noticed.
Similar Products Used: M2 Stumpjumper (no comparison) and various other hard-tails
Bike Setup: Z2 X-Fly; Arch Supremes; XTR; most everything else Raceface
from Bloomington, Indiana
Date Reviewed: January 31, 2001
Strengths: I actually own a '98 Junebug, but since there are no Junebug reviews on this page... I've ridden this bike for three seasons and have always loved the geometry. Very responsive steering and unbeatable on tight singletrack.
Weaknesses: Weak paint job. Did they use fingernail polish? This bike looks like it's been through a war. I was warned about the paint job, but was assured by Spooky prior to my purchase that their paint problems had been solved and were nothing to worry about on my particular bike. The decals are cool, but unfortunately very cheap, which is my impression of Spooky as a whole... all image and no substance to back it up. Case in point, check out this e-mail I got from them:
"Greg, It is not looking good to find that derailleur hanger. We didn't make those ones- we bought them from our Easton supplier- Nova Cycle Supply in Cal. Sorry- we're moving so I don't have their number... The main problem was that they wouldn't let us just buy the hanger itself- but wanted us to buy a full drop out set for $25, so we didn't keep too many extras... Maybe you can try them. Sorry man."
This is very typical of their customer service.
The welds are nasty, too. Other than these disappointing cosmetic flaws and total disregard for their customers, I've never been able to get my chainline dialed in like I would like. The front der. shifts badly and drops the chain occasionally no matter what bottom bracket, crank or fr. der. I've installed. (I am a bicycle mechanic by profession.)
Beware of Spooky. I spent two years defending my boutique, high-dollar frameset to people who thought I could've gotten more bike for much less money. They said I paid for Spooky's punk rock image. I hate to say it, but as time went by and my paint flaked off with even the slightest touch, my decals peeled and my single-bolt derailleur hanger rotated around no matter how tight the bolt was, I began to think they may be right. This situation with not being able to get a replacement derailleur hanger (and seeing that Spooky wouldn't even go out of their way to at least find the phone number of the company who MAY have one) has shown their true colors.
Similar Products Used: Outside of this bike, I've always ridden Cannondales, but any major framebuilder can make a bike like Spooky's bikes with a real paint job and decals without bending you over. The trick is finding a bike with the same great geometry.
Bike Setup: XT cranks, shifters, derailleurs, bottom bracket. SID SL 2000. Rock Shox post. Chris King hubs. Avid 40.
a Cross Country Rider
from Rochester, NY
Date Reviewed: August 25, 2000
Strengths: I love the way the bike handles in tight singletrack. There is not a better handling bike in the tight woods. The bike is light and people love the bike. The extra bb height.
Weaknesses: The frame lasted 1 1/2 seasons before bending. For the amount of money I spent I thought I was getting a special bike. As it turns out I was, for about a year and a half. The trails this bike is designed for are tough, so should the bike. Spooky says I had a high speed impact with something to cause the damage. I hit nothing that my friends don't hit and nothing I have not hit on every bike I have owned. Spooky also told me they could not replace the frame because Easton does not warranty their tubing. I bought a Spooky, it has Spooky's name on it so Spooky should take responsibility and not blame it on Easton's decision not to back their tubing. I don't believe that Spooky is the company that it makes itself out to be. If I was you I would steer clear of this company. Oh yeah they did offer me reduced price on the two lower models if I was willing to wait 2 months. Thanks Spooky.
If a company could use the Darkside Geometry in a strong bike that would last let me know I would stand in line to buy it. The bike is the best woods bike in the world until you use it up.
Bike Setup: 21" Darkside, Zoke Bomber, Answer DH bars, XT/XTR
from Atlanta, GA
Date Reviewed: March 1, 2000
Strengths: The frame tears up tight single track. I ride eastcoast stuff and when it comes to the typical off camber decent in loss dirt(or mud) going over roots and rocks, nothing does it better...the bike feels like its on rails
Weaknesses: Decals are cool, (mine are holographic) but i wish they were clearcoated for durabilities sake.
If you ride east coast, and want a top of the line alu hardtail...very few beat it, if even come close
a Cross Country Rider
from Ellensburg, WA
Date Reviewed: February 12, 2000
Strengths: Exellent geometry, standover height vs. tt length, craftsmanship, paint, decals etc.
Weaknesses: For me there are none.
I have owned over 20 different bicycles, and I have never met a quality cycle that I didn't like. I love the Spooky. It fits like a glove for one, and there are no flaws anywhere that I have found, not even the paint. In fact it has the most durable paint of any bike I have ever seen or owned. The geometry is exellent for all around riding, and the tt length vs. standover height is exellent. If you are average height, but like a long tt with plenty of stand over height this is the bike to purchase. It is by a measurable margin the most agile technical bike I have ridden, and I plan on riding it until they come out with something better. Needless to say that will be a while. Ride the earth!
Similar Products Used: Klein Attitude/Adroit Bonty Racelite Trek 8900 Bonty Ti Lite Bonty Race Shwinn Factory Homegrown GT Zaskar
Bike Setup: Fork: White Brothers Crank: Syncros Revolution Wheels: XTR ceramic etc. 22#
from troy, MI
Date Reviewed: October 5, 1999
Strengths: very easily aired can steer easily at fast speed cuts singletrack like magic
Weaknesses: twitchey for unskilled tech riders
the bike rips stuff faster than hell, its hella fast onthe downs, u gain alot of time on anything technical -climbs quite well, holds its own on flats, the super steep head tube is spooky the first time u ride it, then u get used to it- awesome ride, i like it better than my custom dean oscar, which was a badass ride and faster than hell
Similar Products Used: dean team issue easton kestrel cs-x schwinn factory homegrown spooky metalhead haro A-4 vodoo bizzango bontrager racelite jamis dakar alu specialzed stumpjumper etc...
Bike Setup: z-2 atombomb ionic cranks/realrings xtr 2 by 8 drivesystem syncros ti post/ hinged stem raceface airalloy bar xtr v's, proshift levers shimano flight deck sdg saddle 747 pedals syncros ti double bearing bb nuke carbon bombshell/217/WS db 14-15/ alloy nips wheels xtr ti rear cass. usually specialized team master/control tires, somtimes irc mythos slick, conti leader pro, double fighter, etc.....
a Cross-Country Rider
from Bedford, MA
Date Reviewed: August 2, 1999
Strengths: Geometry makes for a very agile technical bike (steep, short and high). Tubeset is superlight.
Weaknesses: Poor tubing set for a technical bike (superlight and stiff but can't handle stress), flimsy dropouts.
It doesn't make sense. Awesome for really technical stuff but handle that kind of abuse. Scary if ridden fast as its not really stable. Worst of both worlds? Mine is currently broken and sitting at Spooky where they are trying their best to ignore me in hopes that I will go away. I must admit it was fun to ride if you paid attention. Light and super nimble, but a life of 1.5 yrs for a supposed East Coast woods bike, that I didn't use for that purpose (X-C only, 1000 miles max), just doesn't cut it in my book. I say the only thing Spooky is how fast you and your money will be seperated ;)
Similar Products Used: YETI ARC, Fat Yo Eddy, Serotta T-Max, Cannondale
Bike Setup: X-C race setup, with XTR, SID, USE shock post (a must for this frame), 22# complete for a 21 frame.
a cross-country rider
from New Haven, CT USA
Date Reviewed: December 29, 1998
THIS BIKE SIMPLY HAS A SOUL. No kidding. I bought a Darkside after the Dirtrag reviews (iss 49 I think) and then the article about the company (?64) and have ridden the bejeesus out of the thing. I ride with a group of pretty serious riders on pretty extreme terrain (all singletrack with drops, launches, etc.etc.) The first ride, I was frightened by the handling of the frame, the super-steep 71.5 head angle and teeny chainstays with 12.5 bottom bracket clearance give the bike a presence all its own. It didn't take long to be seduced by the force, however, and I found that I rode more and more aggressively and with far more confidence than ever before. Mountain biking has taken on a whole new meaning on this bike. I don't even think I'll consider buying a FS until SPOOKY unveils their MOTHERSHIP (due sometime in April, this bike is designed along the same angles as the Darkside, but only with more evil). One last thing. The company is top-notch. The folks at Spooky don't buy into any of the BS corporate hype. They keep the company small and the workmanship and customer service are a testament to this fact. No big glossy MTB action ads, no big mony auto-manufacturer package deals, no answering machines! With Spooky, you speak to real (cool) people who know and love riding and take pride in their product.DON'T BE AFRAID...If you do highly technical riding and love singletrack. You won't be disappointed on the darkside.