a Cross Country Rider
from Murrieta, Ca
Date Reviewed: August 23, 2010
Strengths: Light, quick and responsive. Great small-medium bump absorbtion, great multi-purpose (on and off road) commuter.
Weaknesses: Not good on bigger hits (I'm a clydsdale rider) or free riding, but who cares it kicks ass at everything else.
I'd wanted to throw together a Razorback with a Noleen crosslink shock for a while and was surprised that they never made such an offering. I know that by todays standards the old Crosslink fork is pretty out of date but I loved the design of it and thought that it would look great on the bike. I bought the frame and fork off eBay after some searching along with a few other odds and ends. I canabalized the Cannonfail that I was sick of and put togehter a pretty sweet ride. I used this bike to communte to work for over 2 years in the Mohave desert.(now its a weekend rider since I live to far from work to ride) It has seen everything from snow to the hellish 130 temps and has kept going. A little slime in the shoes and the cacti haven't been too much a problem. The only thing I don't like about it is downhill can kind of get sketchy if its pretty rough or steep. I'm a REALLY big guy and this bike hasn't suffered a single failure in 5 years.
Similar Products Used: KHS Team Softtail, Schwinn Rocket 88 (1st gen), Klein Mantra, Trek Y frame, Cannonfail
Bike Setup: Right now I've got it set up they way I wanted to see it build originally when the bike first showed up. I've got a 5.0 frame (same as the race just different paint) with the Fox Rear pull shock, Noleen Crosslink (non-carbon matches frame green & yellow paint) with a Fox air shock (same as pull only its a push shock), Avid Arch-Rival brakes, Shimano LX-XT drive train, FSA wheel set with bladed spokes, FireX tires (yellow to match frame and fork), egg-beater pedals, lock-on grips with shorty bar ends of some kind that were light and cheap at the time.
a Weekend Warrior
from Royal Oak, MI
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2010
Strengths: Very light and agile, the Razorback Team SL is stiff and its unusual architecture not only provides great look but awesome performance for week-end riders. Lighter riders (<180Lbs) will enjoy it for sure and will have tremendous rides with it...
Weaknesses: It was already a bit rare but since K2 stopped doing them, it is getting tougher to come across them. Hopefully parts won't get too rare over time though!
I found that great deal and bought it on ebay in 2004 with XC competition upgrades from a sponsored rider. Because of his bike renewal bike contract, I got it for a third of the retail price 3 years after! I changed few things due to normal wear and used it until 2009 when I did a heavy revamp with a nice powder coating finish and upgraded it by adding Formula disc brakes, Mavic wheelset and replace few things like tires and shifters... Anyway, I am good to go for another round and I definitely recommend it...
Love that bike!!
Strengths: Lite! Responsive, great handling, etc, etc, its lasted me almost 7 years and still going strong!
Weaknesses: Unique shock, hard to replace/find parts for. The older models (2002 and earlier) barely fit a 6" disc on the rear, might have to file the edge of the disc or face the disc mount on the wheel or add a spacer to the axel to prevent rubbing...
You can find this bike listed on weight wienies, it can be built up as a superlite, and still take abuse. Im ~185lbs, and after a good 6years, Im still pounding this 2002 frame. Note that they seriously changed it in 2003, and I got a 2005 frame built up to try, but it felt sluggish, unresponsive, heavy and the shock (Fox RL pull) lost its lockout after the second ride... I went back to the 2002 frame. The 02 climbs like a goat, with the right rear tires, and a properly set shock pressure, you can climb almost anything, turn on the lockout and climb even more! The only down side is that they stopped making them. The shock is a Pull type, specific to this frame (and model, the 03-05 fox wont fit the older and vise-versa) and the Turner Stinger (which this was licensed from), so its the one you get stuck with... which isnt bad, its a great lightweight, easy to rebuild responsive shock. Its only downside is if its not properly cared for, it will leak, and you will end your ride with a fully compressed and dead suspension. Simple way to keep it clean and extend its life: cut ~5" from an old tube, pull it over the shock so ~1" is on the fat part, and the rest covers the moving bits down to the frame. This will keep the grit out of the casing, which keeps it from scratching it, which causes the leaks. 5 flaming things for cheap, since its old and (if you can find one) relatively cheap, 5 for rating, cause its lasted this long and has been awesome in the races.
Similar Products Used: Sugar 1, Giant NRS, Cannondale Scalpel
Bike Setup: Sram XO Triggers, XO Rear derailleur, Sram X-Gen fr, XT Crankset, Shimano 959 pedals, Avid Juicy 5 brakes, Bontrager Carbon Stem and bars, FSA Carbon Seatpost, WTB Devo Saddle, Spinergy Xyclone Disc wheels, Schwalbe Racing Ralph Tires, Manitou Black Super Fork 80mm, Cane Creek Headset.
a Weekend Warrior
from san antonio tx usa
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2005
Strengths: This is my second Razorback. My first frame failed due to the short seatpost and weak rear triangle, but I'd banged that bike 3 times a week for 5 years. The new frame is MUCH improved and flawless with reinforced welds and larger tubing. It is still super light and rigid with the famed Turner pull-shock rear that reduces pivot points, wear, and weight. I LOVE this bike.
Weaknesses: front shock angle is steep and xc in nature
Bike Setup: all xt/lx with ritchey wcs post,bar,stem and fox shocks.
a Cross Country Rider
from The Valley, MA
Date Reviewed: July 23, 2005
Strengths: Best climbing mountain bike..ever. quick handler. efficient in all-aspects.
Weaknesses: steep head angle on descents--not a killer drawback, just something to get used to.
So, every year the "required" travel for technical xc gets bigger and bigger--we're up to a must have 5 and 5 suspension. Whatever--I never see guys on those bikes--because where I live and ride has hills, lot's of them, and they're technical. Don't let marketing fool you into the wrong product (all magazines are paid shills for bike companies..really). Except for honest to God freeriders you just don't need or want more than 4 inches of from and rear travel--especially if hills are a regular feature on your biking menu. My k2 with four up front and a super tight, super efficient three in the rear (no spv required for quality suspension here) gets me up over and down everything I could possibly ride (or want ride) here in rugged western, Mass. And it allows me to do it quickly. Eschew marketing trends, screw big travel--seek efficiency and technical precision--and you'll find the k2 razorback.
Bike Setup: mixed bag of xt/xtr/fsa/raceface stuff, fox float rlc 100 fork
a Cross Country Rider
from Greencastle, PA
Date Reviewed: July 14, 2004
Strengths: The K2 razorback team is a fast handling, efficient and light bike. I ride in a very rocky slipper place with some hairy downhills. The handling is dead on for its intended cross-country use (and beyond). I often push it into the trail bike catogory with some of my riding and it takes the abuse without complaint. This is a Trek and Cannondale area and I have many of my friends with longer travel trail bikes sucking wind on the hills and dust on the downhills. Both me and my friends have been very impressed with the bikes verstility.
Weaknesses: Hard to find a K2 dealer in the area. The stock tires had to go (swithced to WTB WeirWolf Race). They did not grip and corner well enough in the slipper, rocky area that I ride in.
This bike will eat up the trial and leave your friends sick with envey. It is a cross-country design that can take the abuse of all-trail riding. You can race it on Saturday and go play on Sunday.
Similar Products Used: I have riding most of my friends bikes which range from Trek Fuels to Cannondale Gemini's.
Bike Setup: Stock except change to WTB WeirWolf Race tires.
Angel Rufino Matos
a Cross Country Rider
from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Date Reviewed: June 16, 2004
Strengths: To be my firts time on a full suspension, I can said that it is a fast, great handling and climber, a true cross-country bike. Some of her OEM components make it a great bike.
Weaknesses: The only weaknesses that I found on this bike the clearance between the cranks and the ground is to short, this make me hit sometimes the floor on curves or corner or worst of this with some obstacules. I just make the adjustments to avoid this. To finish, the Price.
Firts, the some of the components in the description of the bike are not the same of the one that I bike. This match with the 2003 Bike. After the setup that I made I have to said that I am making a great improve on my ride specially on climbs. I am not a reviewer or tester, but I can said that this K2 Razorback Team is a great bike.
a Cross Country Rider
from The Muthaland
Date Reviewed: March 14, 2004
Strengths: true cross-country race design and handling characteristics (i.e. climbs great, corners great, descends well for a bike of this types. great xc rear suspension design, 3 inches in an efficient system works perfectly on the hilly singletrack of western massachusetts.
Weaknesses: Steep head angle took some getting used too (complimentary endos on K2!). The Sid is not for everybody, I swapped mine out for a fox float 100rlc...which works wonderfully with this bike.
This bike is actiually a 2003, but they've changed almost nothing from last year's bike (save the tires, which used to be the weak link on the bike, biut now they're using the excellent intense tires). With a year under my belt in which I slogged many miles through the rain/snow/rain inundated year of 2003 and the frosty, not too snowy winter of 2004, and even some of the muddy, icy snow-melt of pre-spring I can fully assess this bikes attributes.
1. The suspension- the only pull-shock on the market. Kudos to k2 for not abandonning a great suspension platform but intelligently tweaking and improving it over the last six years. The bike mags can sing the praises of the latest and the greatest technical breakthroughs, but remember they rely on advertising money of bike companies (compromised?). This simple, reliable and incredibly efficient (I detect no bob) design has stood up to a tough year of technical, wet riding and is still going strong. There is nothing plush in this suspension (granted), you barely know it's there at all, but when grinding up a rocky. rooted steep climb or picking your way down the same the suspension gives you plenty of traction and control without scrubbing any speed, smoothness or efficiency (even if you stand and hammer). All inuendo aside, 3 inches never felt so good. I think the carbon fiber strut adds a lot of compliance and responsivenes to the overall handling of the bike.
2. geometry: coming of a more general purpose trail bike, the razorback's geometry takes some getting used to. It's adjustable in that you keep the same weight forward steepness with a 80 or 100mm fork. truthfully it requires that you be a little more on your toes and really "ride" your bike in steep technical descents...but like driving a stick shift vs. an automatic, you begin to really enjoy this more hands-on riding style. The benefits of incredible climbing and cornering can't be underestimated and this geometry offers these in spades. Honestly, unless you freeride (and by that I mean really freeride-6-12 foot drops and 20+ degree descents all the time) the tradeoff implied by this bike's geometry is an easy one to make.
Durability: one muddy year later replaced lots of brake pads, a wheel bearing, a chain, cables and tires. But that's it, no breaks, cracks or failures (and I do fall hard on occasion). I'm no clydesdale, but I'm not tinker Juarez either.
Final analysis: If you're an aggressive cross country rider (and, you probably are) or racer i don't think that for the money you'll throw your legs over a better ride than the razorback team.