Weaknesses: Seat height range a little limited. Highest gear a bit low for my tastes. Lack of adjustability on the handlebars.
I suppose, having grown up on Canadian Tire and WalMart bikes, I'm a little biased. Still, I have to say this is the finest bike I've ever had the pleasure of owning. Despite the short time I've owned it, I've already put 500 kilometers on it (it's just such FUN to ride ;)), so I think I've had enough experience with it to review it. ;)
I do mostly street riding. The bike is a vehicle for me. I choose a dual suspension mountain bike instead of a road bike mostly because I like the feel of the ride (same reason some motorists will buy an SUV just to cruise the highway in I imagnine :)). Besides, Cape Breton is the pothole capital of Nova Scotia. Dual suspension is all but required around here. ;)
Anyway, with the custom tires and light frame, this bike feels like it can FLY under me. The shifting is responsive, smooth and accurate, allowing me to adjust gearing ratio as frequently as necessary to deal with the varying grades and terrain types on the roads around here. On the old Riot, shifting was a little more problemmatic... I NEVER got that thing to shift quit right... :P
The bike handles rougher terrain very well, too. As I write this, Kings Road here in Sydney is undergoing a complete reconstruction. Unfortunately, that's also my route to work and, right now, it's more like a motocross track than a road. Still, the Screamer bombs over that with ease. The bike just feels so SOLID, no matter how tough the terrain gets (the Riot always felt like it was going ot fly apart on Kings :P).
It could use a longer seat post, though. I'm a pretty tall guy and I wanted the saddle up high for street riding, anyway. I got the largest frame size, and even THEN I had to set it at maximum height to make my legs comfortable for road riding. Another problem there was I couldn't adjust the handlebars along with it, so I had to get used to leaning forward a bit. I'm pretty comfortable with it now, but I still find myself sliding forward on the seat a bit. I might customize the handlebars later to a more adjustable set when I can afford it.
In biggest chainring and smallest gear, the ratio is adequate but not as high as I'd like. I like SPEED. I think, when it comes time to replace the chainring, I'm going to have a street bike chainring installed to give me higher ratios and more speed. Low ratio aside, though, shifting is a dream. Astonishingly accurate. I'm not sure what the previous reviewer's problem with the shifters was. They're a little noisy perhaps, but other than that I found them quite excellent, not to mention eminently reliable.
About the only serious problem I've had with this bike isn't really the bike's fault at all. I've had three flats in my back tire over the last few weeks, but that's mostly becuase I'm riding over Kings Road on those skinny Panracer TourGuard street tires. They weren't meant for all those rocks and mud, I guess. The BIKE, however, isn't fazed one bit by the pounding. :)
This is my first bike with a disc brake. Where have you BEEN all my life? I LOVE that disc brake. The stopping power I get is incredible, and it's amazing how well the brakes work in wet weather, too. My only complaint is it's too easy to overtighten it, causing it to rub unnecessarily on the rotor. Back brake is a conventional V-Brake, and even THAT is plenty powerful. Next bike I get, if I can afford it, will have disc brakes front AND back. ;)
This is the perfect bike for a commuter or street rider who wants the comfort and control of a mountain bike with dual suspension. If you're going to be using it on the street, though, you might want to replace that chainwheel with something bigger for more speed, and if you're really tall you might want to get a seat post extension.
If you're using it for TRAIL riding, OTOH, the stock chainring and seatpost should be fine. The seat should be a bit lower for trail riding, anyway, and the existing chainrings give you a wonderful selection of low gears for tough terrain. My experiences on Kings Road suggest that this bike should be tough eough to handle just about any trail except for the most extreme (I wouldn't recommend doing 6' jumps with it, for example). It'd be GREAT for high speed downhilling, though.
Overall, a fine bike, particularly for the price. It was actually CHEAPER than a similar bike sold by Canadian Tire and was infinitely higher quality. This bike is an INCREDIBLE value. An excellent quality bike with good components that won't break your pocket book or max your credit card.
Bike Setup: Narrower rims and Panaracer TourGuard 26x1.25 tires installed. Otherwise stock. Accessories: Cateye Enduro 2 Cyclecomputer, BLT LED Light Combo, Air Zound Horn, Zefal Insulated Waterbottle and cage, seat post mounted rack with pack
from PEI, Canada
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2004
Strengths: A good beginner bike that come in small enough frame sizes for the young guns to get started.
Weaknesses: Shifters suck, and when you start to get good and start hitting bigger things, the bike gets crappy and starts falling apart quikly.Wouldn't recommend it for anyone over 13 or 14
I was a great bike to get me started in biking and improve myself but I'm going to buy an atomik this week
Finally got around to fixing the viedo from the [URL="http://www.cyclingtrek.org/video/High%20Desert%20Screamer%202010.wmv"]High Desert Screamer [/URL]so I could edit it and post it. This time I had fresh batteries but I didn’t clear the memory card so that’s why it just ends with no real ending. Wh ... Read More »
One of the newer characters seen in the park the past week is a guy screaming about the world coming to an end. The same guy was in the park last week screaming, I mean primal screaming, about "unfair hiring practices at Giant Eagle" and un...ions in general. He scared the hell out of the lawn bowle ... Read More »
Can't very well have a race without a freakin' thread. :shocked:
Can't very well have a race without a website either:
Really lookin' forward to that beautiful High Desert course, and with warmer temps and less wind than last ... Read More »
Well, 6 riders pre- rode the course this evening and the conditions have not changed, the course may in fact in my opinion is even faster than it was 2 days ago ! Despite the slushy conditions and melt water around the town roads and on the Campbell Airstrip Rd. the trails on the west side of the T ... Read More »