a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: February 20, 2011
Strengths: Solid, well made and extremely capable frame. Not the prettiest but the best all round bike I have owned in 16 years of mountain biking. I ride mine everyday 6 miles to work and 8-10 miles home with a bit of playtime thrown in and also 20 - 40 miles at weekends on the trails in northern England. The Hope Mono M4 brakes have been superb and faultless. I have had new bearings and pawls in the rear Hope Pro hub recently along with a replacement Mavic rim when the original Sun item buckled after several spokes snapped. The front hub is still smooth. All other original components (Hope headset, XT shifters/mechs, Thompson seatpost/stem, Fox Talas 36R forks & Manitou 3way Swinger shock) are all still working superbly.
Weaknesses: Sun rims !
This bike has been superceded by Alpine 160 which on the strength of my Patriot 66 I would buy tomorrow !
Bike Setup: XCEL model. Cross-country equipped from factory.
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: June 26, 2007
Strengths: Solid Stable and sexy. This bike is amazing, over here in the UK we get possibly the toughest conditions for bikes, wet, cold, muddy and thats just in the summer! I mean bikes over here get such a hammering from the conditions we ride in and this bike just keeps going, single pivot is simple strong and extremely relaible, i have had this bike for a year and the pivot bearings are still as plush and stiff as the day i bought them, i had a 7+ before this for 3 years and never had to replace a bearing, more than can be said for any Giant i have had, 3 months max before i had to change almost all of them! Ok so the build isnt the best but you have to remember what youre really spending youre money on THE FRAME! Everything else is re-placeable and wears out anyway so what are you Ozzys whinging about, i thought is was us pommys that were supposed to be the whining ones! If you dont like the components upgrade them in store before you take it home, most bike shops will happily upgrade components. Remember what youre buying a bike, it is more than the sum of its components!
Weaknesses: Wheels are a bit weak and the spokes broke quite easily but i knew where my money was going (in to an amazing frame) and wheels are easily re-built!
I'm a big fat brit and it put's up with all i throw at it. Great stable bike, its strength gives you so much confidence and makes a great UK DH bike come trail bike come all day XC bike. I love it and would reccomend it to my nearest and dearest!
Similar Products Used: Orange 7+, Giant Glory, K2 Animal, Proflex Animal, Giant Trance, Kona Lava Dome, Kona cindercone, Kona stab
Bike Setup: Standard FR UK Build
a Weekend Warrior
from Cairns, Qld. AUS.
Date Reviewed: March 2, 2006
Weaknesses: see below
My rear hub shat itself bigtime .Locked up and cluster rotated with wheel. Wheel ate derailier, chain etc. Hope importer after stating ringgear and freebody damaged machined away material from the freebody where the pawls reside. This is an attempt to remove the symtom, as he cannot or does not possess the technical ability to diagnose the cause. The hub still flexes big time. To the degree that the lower jockey wheel on the derailieris bearing witness marks fro chain flex coming off the cluster. Chain line is set as well as can be. I paid Hope Australia to supply high tensile bolt up axle and correct spacers. This guy is a joke. My advice is avoid HOPE in Australia. Orange heve been noticably silent on a bike with less than 1000km that has so many parts replaced at MY expense. NIL WARRANTY. ZERO CHILLIS.
Weaknesses: Repeated and costly failure. Zero Warranty.
My bike would not have covered 1000km. I am an older chap and treat my gear very well. I have been forced to replace so far, at my own expense, due to FAILURE the following items .All spokes in both wheels with s\s sapim. Upon disassembly and rebuild it was discovered that the spoke lengths were incorrect resulting in not enough thread on one side and too much to adjust on the other. As supplied from the factory. .Race face bottom bracket that seized. .Rear cluster. .chain. .Both front chainrings. ( The drive train components and spokes are due to rear Hope hub failure. ugly.) .Another chain from Hope nofreewheel. Snapped. .Tyres, handgrips, seat clamp, skewers, Absolute rubbish. .Head set I purchased from Hope Australia, and had installed by dealer a high tensile bolt type rear axle to avoid any axle reliability issues. Very disappointing. Repeated failures. I had to install a King h/set after original corroded upon bearing faces and were binding. I waited 8 months for a part for the forks that has resulted in a 7 lb 115mm travel fork. No, I,m not kidding. After correct installation by dealer, my 150mm travel reducer results in 115mm maximum of highly stictioned travel. No explanation provided. Yes really!!! The freehub at the rear hub has repeatedly interfered with the ring gear, causing chipped teeth, endented freebody, and worse still seizes freebody to the hub causing it to rotate with the wheel and ensuring that the derailier, chain, cluster, some innocent spokes and a very suprised me is damaged to varying degrees. A long, long walk home. Look, I could seriously recount more issues, as this bike has spent a serious amount of time in the workshop. As a matter of fact it's there now. Has been for a while and I am just plain over it. I have an engineering background, and have known quite a variety of machines. This is the least reliable, and most poorly built. I have done so little riding this year because of repeated failure, that I have lost that feeling I had for riding. I hope to find it again elsewhere. Steer clear of Orange. NO WARRANTY IN AUSTRALIA>
Strengths: Extremely well built, inspires confidence. You can just hit jumps, 10ft drops, rocks and it just rolls over them with the super plush suspension.
Also its very maneuverable when going over steep rocks and boxes etc. Components are fantastic and pretty much top of the range everything. If I was custom building this it wouldn't be a lot different only more expensive.
The design is simple and pro pedal works well if you sit down going up hill. Its also pretty light for a freeride bike.
Also I noticed that a reviewer has had some reliability problems. I have rode this in the ice,snow,rain,hail,mud and occasionally sun (I live in Scotland) over some pretty severe stuff and it just keeps going.
Weaknesses: The Orange supplied grips are possibly the worst grips ever made. Why do they insist on putting them on their bikes.
Front forks are slightly too high and the quick release are not as good as the Hope ones.
You also have to find some pretty gnarly stuff to make use of it properly as it doesnt really come alive until you start throwing it around (ie you may have to travel a fair bit).
This bike is pretty awesome, its not as hard hitting as a stab supreme or a big T but is increadably manouverable so you can ride it uphill (if you must) and yet still lets you do some very scary stuff (10ft drops, downhill courses no problem).
Take it anywhere and its good to go right from the box, awesome fun.
Similar Products Used: Marin Wolf Ridge, Kona Cindercones , Trek, Patriot 66 Deore version. Plus some more
Bike Setup: pretty standard, 647 spd's, extra grips.
from Cairns, Australia, Planet Earth.
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2005
Strengths: Tough, simple, lowish maintenance, well enough specced, ugly, Excellent local dealer support.
Weaknesses: 66R forks are too high for any bicycle ever made. Marzocchi has recognised this and altered the axle placement on the 06 model. I am patiently awaiting some form of 170mm to 150mm travel reducing arrangement to quicken the steering. I have at present adjusted the shock mount to raise the rear to compensate, and sagged the fork. The adjustable shock mount made noises, as do the 222 and 223 models. Easily solved using independant short bolts rather than those supplied. Hope brakes require accurate shimming upon assemby to avoid drag. The thin discs have effective harmonics otherwise. Skewer type rear axle is out of place on this bike. Diesel tyres will not seat correctly on these rims. Why doesn't this bike come with an anodised gold Hope seat clamp? The supplied Orange item is an embarrassment!! The same could almost be said about the skewer rear end. Why not a 4 or 6 swinger ?????? and a 66RC. I would have paid but not to retrofit. Bars a bit wide for humans. Hope brake levers require nylon shim type washer to stop rattling. Saddle a bit delicate. Very ugly in black. A personal thing, but I've always preferred colours. Red would have been nice, because red ones always go faster
I am a busy man. When I have the window of opportunity, I like to saddle up and go. I like to ride how I like to ride. I will not tolerate a bike that sulks at me if the mood takes me to be exuberant. Yes I have pointed out a myriad of issues. You buy a high performance device of any type, and use it accordingly, you will have to tune it to your liking. My ride is almost sorted. Bottom line. It works. The package is more than the sum of the parts. If this is what you want, this is it.
Bike Setup: High tensile bolt up rear axle, lock ons, platforms, DH tubes, 75mm Holzfeller stem. Work in progress.
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2005
Strengths: Looks awesome, feels great to ride, stiff frame, awesome forks, surprisingly light. Climbs like a XC bike!
Weaknesses: No One-Point-Five headtube (but I couldn't care less!)
I've been riding this bike everyday for the past week and a bit and have NOTHING bad to say! The thing looks sooo hot and most importantly rides amazingly.
The balance is spot on perfect. The forks totally rock and the rear sus has no flex at all!
I can't get over how well it climbs and how well it responds to pedalling - truly awesome! I also expected it to be a lot heavier (after having tried out a 223) but the radialised rear swingarm and the rest of the frame (not to mention the other components!) are sooo much lighter.
I read that some people said they were a little unstable at low speed but I haven't found any problems there.
All in all I'd say this bike totally rocks and to my knowledge so far is flawless! (then again, it's a little pricey but so are all bikes of this standard).
If your a keen biker who likes to do a bit of everything this bike is for you! If you're looking for a super-lightweight look elsewhere and if you're looking for a downhill race bike look elsewhere.
If you're considering the Patriot 7+ or even the 223 Double-D (as I was) I'd look at this bike again and decide whether you really need the extra weight that comes with the bikes I've just mentioned...
I put up some pictures and (VERY) initial impressions after I'd just got the bike home - http://gamezuk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1254&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=80