Pedro Ivan Cortes Mendoza
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2004
Strengths: Very light Bike. Can be complete locked out(rear&front). with the carbon frame details and additional carbon components it looks superb. without rear lock out the BOB effect can be positively used to increase the traction. At the time that you require to full brake, the Avid Mechanical Disc Brakes works pretty good, when you descend in a XC trail, the K2 works very good incresing the handle. The frame is very very well constructed.
Weaknesses: Not at all...........Maybe the housing, and the very poor response from the company to get this frame (4 months)but worth it. The cane creek IS2 headset was a little difficult to find in Mexico.
This bike is amazing because it behavior is excellent in any trail situation, and the frame is very strenght because I crashed with a car and the only damaged was me. This is my first Full suspension XC bike for competition purposes and I think that i´ll never return to a hardtail frame. The owners of K2 XC full suspension bikes always had very good comments and this 2003 item is not the exception. I´m very happy with it and worth every Dollar i spend. I not sure if the remote lock-out levers are necessary because when i need to lock the suspensions the trail let me lock it manually. i prefer spend that money upgrading to XTR components or any else instead of lock-out levers (very expensive).
Favorite Trail: "Pico Azul"(morelia),"cerro de la charanda"(uruapan)
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Nevada dealer
Similar Products Used: ALUBIKE
Bike Setup: Rock Shox SID SL fork,Avid Mechanical Disc Brakes,Time ATAC Titan Carbon pedals,Easton EC70 MonkeyLite XC rise handlebar,Easton EC70 Carbon SeatPost,Selle Italia SLR seat, cane creek IS2 headset.Mavic 317 Rims,Michelin Wildwripper tires,Azonic O.R.C Stem, Front&rear derailleur XT, Crankset, Shifter, chain, and Hubs XT.
a Cross Country Rider
from Glen Allen, VA
Date Reviewed: October 19, 2003
Strengths: Awesome XC bike. It's an extremely responsive fast bike. Excellent Fox Float RL rear shock thats fully adjustable to riding style.
Weaknesses: The Hayes HMX-1 disc brakes. I replaced them with the Avid Ball Bearing brakes and the stopping power increased 10 fold... not to mention no more annoying squeaking!!!
Best all around XC bike on the market! If you're looking for value for the dollars then buy this bike! If you're in the Richmond area, go to Goodly's Bicycle and buy a K2! Best bikes and best service in town!!!
Similar Products Used: UniVega DS-950 and a piece of junk 2003 Canondale Jekyll 800.
Bike Setup: K2 Razorback SL suspension frame, carbon fiber strut & integrated head set. Monkey Lite XC bars, SID SL Rock Shox, Time Atac pedals, Avid Ball Bearing Disc Brakes, Shimano XTR front and rear deraileurs, Shimano XTR STI 9-speed with integrated disc brake lever shifters, Race Face Next LP crankset and Panaracer Fire XC Pro tires.
a Cross Country Rider
from Newburyport, MA 01950
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2003
Strengths: Excellent XC Bike. Light, fast and great climber. K2 support has been excellent. Crashed bike and had new frame in two days.
Weaknesses: Rockshock SID TI has too much flex. Changed tires after a week to Tubeless Hutchinson Pythons, work well. Noleen shock is fair, but may want to change to the 03' Fox pull shock. Broke left disk lever and had problems. LBS wasn't familiar with Formula/KHS so caused delays. Sent to KHS, one day turnaround and no worries.
This is a great bike and great company. Fast, great for climbing and all around riding. Glad to hear that the Fox shock has made a difference in the back. May need to change that. The Fox 100x is a must change. The extra inch in the front and automatic lockout is amazing. A bit heavier but not noticeable.
Bike Setup: Fox 100x, XTR/XT/Raceface, Monkey lite 3/4" rise bar, Mavic SL wheel set, Formula B4 Racing disc.
Date Reviewed: June 23, 2003
Strengths: Quick handling bike that has the perfect blend of trail manners. It is fast enough to do what you want, but doesn't exhibit any sketchiness. Stiff frame with bracing helps on the climbs as there's no give at all and with the right components, you can put the power to this bike big time. A very raceable XC bike that handles well in the rough stuff or can scream down the fireroads comfortably. You can set up the rear suspension linkage to accomodate a 100mm fork and I did this, using the new Fox FX-100 fork and it works well, the handling hasn't been affected at all, still light, quick and responsive.
Weaknesses: I rode the 01 model and my only betch about the Fox is that it at the correct body weight setting, there's way more motion than I like. I like my XC full-sus bikes feeling stiff and taut at the back. The plush, boing-boing feeling is not for me. Don't buy the Fox Lockout kit, the shock collar for the cable stop doesn't fit the new "Razorback" only Fox product. Don't forget to chamfer down the seatpost. As on many bikes, this is rough and needs to be filed down so it won't scratch your new seat post.
If you are looking for a great XC bike that works great in all areas of XC, be it epic rides or short hard XC races, this is the bike for you. Quality build and design make for a superb machine that can go against the best on any race course.
Similar Products Used: 01' Razorback, Demo'd a Truth and a Titus, but I find the K2 to work just as well
Bike Setup: 2003 Crossmax SL (non-disc), Avid Ultimate V brakes, Fox FX-100 Terra Logic fork, FSA Carbon Crank, XTR Ti-Cassette, SRAM XO rear, 2003 XTR front, SRAM X0 shifters, Ritchey WCS Stem, Easton EC-70 Handlebar, Easton carbon seatpost, Serfas DDvado seat, Speedplay pedals, Altek Brake levers (out of production) and ODI Lockjaw grips. 25 lbs, even with that heavy Fox fork on the front, but I wouldn't trade it for nothing, The Stanchions are huge compared to the SID's. I built it up from scratch, because I like to pick my own parts, instead of having to put up with something I don't like and having to spend money to swap it out later anyway. It should've cost $4,500 to $4,800 retail, but I built it up for $3,500, expensive but worth every penny, baby! The Crossmax SL wheels are super strong and work so well
from San Diego, Ca
Date Reviewed: June 18, 2003
Strengths: 1st the new Fox Pull Shock!! Carbon rear, rear lockout, light for a FS frame. Smooth sweet ride!
Weaknesses: None so far.
This is by far one of the best rides out there and for sure leaps and bounds above the 01 Razorback. Very smooth....way smooth. Much thanks to Fox for improving the pull shock. Damn it's nice!
As far as the $4500 price tag, well pretty steep. Thanks for the Grassroots program I purchased just the frame and saves big time $$$
One of the best out there. It's not made in the US (but designed??) anyway, forget that crap. Welds and workmanship are great. K2 is hard to get a response from but remember, there snowbirds too.
Bike Setup: Sid Team, XT crank$, XTR front and rear, Avid mechanical, Thompson, Race Face, Cane Creek HS,
from Ashland, OR, USA
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2003
Strengths: The stock component spec is about as good as you can get on a bike. I've built mine from scratch, so I have zero complaints. The overall weight for my Way Big (XL) is 26.5 pounds. The ride is amazingly smooth. I get only the slightest bit of bob, and I'm a good 195lbs. The balance front to rear (with a SID) is very complimentary on the downhills - though it has taken me a bit to get the air pressure corect for my weight and riding style. I've got front and rear lockout, and I almost never use them (Honestly should have saved the extra cash and bought the SID w/o Lockout) The bike also looks pretty darn cool with the carbon rear end and color scheme.
Weaknesses: I've only noticed four (relatively minor) weaknesses since I got the bike built up. First, I think the K2 folks assume that you're going to be running a 46 tooth chainring up front - since that's what they spec as stock. I'm running XT for the $ savings, and I've had some problems getting my front derailler clamp to slide down the seat tube far enough to have proper clearance. Luckily, I had the thing built by a phenomenal wrench at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR and he made some custom mods that have it working like a charm. If you run the stock XTR or a Race Face 46-tooth ring, I really doubt this will be an issue. Second - the cable routing takes some creative thinking. There are an abundance of cable stops at your disposal, you just have to figure out what cable you want where. Also, around the seat tube/top tube junction, you've got some interesting routing options. Third - if you run a rear disc brake, the cable housing runs right along the carbon seat stay. If you're in muddy/sandy conditions, you can get some grit that gets stuck between the housing and your stay - and it will scratch the carbon. Just always clean it away and dust well and you'll be fine. Or put a strip of protective tape there. Lastly, the welds are the Santa Cruz style. Not filed and smoothed and pretty It's a aesthetic thing. Oh, one more thing... K2's dealer network is a little sparse, so you may have to hunt around a bit to find them. It's worth it.
I raced for three years on a sweet Trek 8500 hardtail. During that time, I rode every full-suspension bike I could. I found a couple I liked very much, but there was always something I didn't like. Blur/Epic/NRS were all too heavy, Scalpel was very very fast, but had a headshock that I wasn't a fan of - and it was expensive. I had not ridden a K2 for much more than 500 yards prior to getting this frame through the K2 grassroots program, but interesting enough, the dimensions were almost identical to my Trek - so I knew/hoped it'd feel similar. I haven't been on my Trek since - except to commute to work. This is hands-down the best full-suspension bike for my riding style that I've ever been on. It's fast, it's relatively light without being stupid, and people really stop to look at it because it's different. If you buy at retail, I'd suggest you go with the Team version and save yourself some big cash, because it's the same frame but with a more value oriented parts spec.
Bottom line: If you're an XC rider who does group rides with friends and races, I really don't think you can go wrong with the Razorback. It's a phenomenal ride, and other than a few minor issues I've had setting it up, I notice none of them when I'm out having a blast on the bike. K2 makes many more aggressive models for those of you who favor drops and jumps and stuff like that - they also look very cool but are not my style.
I'm gonna give a value rating of 4 chili's out of 5, only because the price of the SL is a whoppin' $4,500 (I'd give the Team a 5 chili value rating if I were reviewing it.) Overall value for the Razorback SL is a no-brainer 5 chilis. It's awesome.
Favorite Trail: Boulder Creek Trail - Whiskeytown, CA
Duration Product Used: 3 months
Purchased At: Frame Purchased direct from K2 (Grassroots Program), build kit and assorted parts elsewhere.
Similar Products Used: LOTS and LOTS of often lengthy test rides on friends' or shop bikes... Santa Cruz Blur & Superlight, Giant NRS, Trek Fuel 100, Cannondale Jeckyl & Scalpel, Gary Fisher Sugar 1, Kona Manomano, Rocky Mountain Instinct & Element, Specialized Epic,
Bike Setup: '03 K2 Razorback SL with Cane Creek integrated headset, Fox RLC rear pull-shock, Sid Team, Easton EA70 Bars, Titec bar-ends, Serfas grips, Thompson Stem & Post, Selle Italia Flite Trans-Am Gelflow, XT brake levers, Avid mechanical disc brakes, XT cranks, XT BB, XT 11-34 cassette, SRAM 9.0SL shifters, XT front derailler, SRAM 9.0SL rear derailler, SRAM PC69 chain, Ritchey SPD pedals, Chris King Disc hubs laced to Mavic 317 rims, Wheelsmith double-butted spokes, and sweet red anodized spoke nipples.
I have a razorback SL for 3 years with a Nolen for rear shock. I was thinking to change it for a new Fox Float RL.
Anybody try both, have an experience and can tell me what would the diffrence between this two suspension. Also if you know the weight for both (in kgl).
thanks :DRead More »