a Cross Country Rider
from Jerusalem, Israel
Date Reviewed: March 27, 2010
Strengths: A. Great service. I'm putting it first, because it started when I considered purchasing the frame. I contacted Sling-Shot, And when I said I'm still considering my options, since the frame was a bit expensive for me, he offered to sell me a Scratched frame in good condition for 400$, which I happily accepted. When I got the frame, it was completely clean with no scratches. I inquired, and what happened was that they've sold the frame before I finished buying, so they sent me a new frame with no additional cost (Thanks Aaron!). AMAZING. Way above and beyond my expectations (my bike still, even after the savings on the frame, cost me almost 2000, including customs - I misestimated the customs by a wide margin, to bad).
B. FAST. On my current 18-mile commute to work, it saved me over four minutes (my record wend down from 48 minutes to less than 44). Some of the improvements can be traced to my fasater tires and my larger (48t) crankset, but I definitely give part of the improvement to the frame. the "sling" really works - I can feel it mostly when I climb, when I find the bike driving much faster than my former bike. It's not as fast as a roadie, of course, but it's still wicked fast for a mountain bike.
C. It Folds. As promised. And takes a reasonable amount of time (about 2.5 minutes) to fold it so I can put it on a train/in a car trunk. It would take longer to make it plane-ready, though.
D. The build quality is excellent.
E. Can be bought frame-only, unlike the Dahons and Montagues where you have to buy the whole package even if you only want the frame.
F. Offers a bit of rear suspension. While it can't be compared to a "real" full-suspension, it is softer compared to hardtails - and, like a hardtail, doesn't boob. I use a thudbuster seatpost, which for me does a really good job.
Weaknesses: A. Needs tools to fold - an 8-mm Allen Wrench and a strap. If you don't use QR for the seatpost, You'll proabaly need a 5mm or 6mm wrench too. Also, the nut may become loose if not carefully tightened.
B. Takes longer to fold than other Foldable Mountain bikes. But It rides so well, I think the payoff is defnitely worth it for anyone needing a real MTB which can fold.
C. Takes time to master assembling, and a good strap is essential. It took me several tries before I understood you really must tighten the strap as much as you can, and then really stand on it (in the video the guy seems to apply much less pressure). After I grasped the idea, assembling became much easier and faster. So don't forget the strap at home.
D. Heavy. The frame, despite lacking the downtube (and having the famous cable) weighs a lot, because the rear triangle is Reynolds steel. My 18" frame weighs some 6.8 Lb. - about 3 pound more than my old Giant ATX870 hardtail. So the bike isn't for weight weenies, although my final weight was (including a Thudbuster seatpost) 26 pounds, and I assume one could shave one or two pounds by using lighter components.
Maybe the best folding bike for mountain bikers, and a great bike on its own, even if it was not folding. Probably not for weight weenies, though.