Thanks for the great report, its exactly the type of info I was after. Do you think it is a "big" enough bike to compliment a modern short travel trail bike (Ibis Ripley V4)? Or does it sit comfortably in trail bike category?Ha. I didn't want to personally over saturate the thread; had a lot of posts in there and figured other ppl would start getting theirs n all.
Alright tho - I've ridden mine 5-6x a week since I got it so just figure about 20 rides. And I'll start with - I love it. Almost like it was custom built for me. XL fit and geo is perfect for me. Love the finish and looks. But onto the performance impressions....
I have pretty mashy-standy pedalling style compared to most - put down the power vs. lightly spin. The CBF does really well here considering 170mm travel and coil. It doesn't needlessly wallow and is surprisingly crisp at the pedals. On long climbs, I'll do the 'trail' mode on the JadeX. Fireroad - I was surprised that I liked the 'firm' enough to actually use it. Open is, obviously, most compliant and most bouncy but it isn't too far off trail and does well enough that I either forget or don't bother with changing the mode if its not sustained. Reminds me of my DW IBIS which was a rocket. I'm back to being able to actually boost-off things going up hill - which is sweet.
A surprise of the bike is how well it does on regular mtb trails. You do not need extreme terrain to enjoy this bike. If you like short-stays, this is right in line with that expected experience. I actually think its my best cornering bike. Keep in mind its still 170mm bike but it punches way above (below?) its weight here. Really really fun and not at all a drag to ride on well, everything.
In the chunk and downhill, I like the experience. I don't think its plow bike at all as it reacts to user input on a dime. It'll be interesting to see what others thing here - as you could say, there's less inherent stability vs. accentuated agility. Soaks up the bumps great tho - composed & predictable. So for me, it caters to people who want to pop and jib on terrain confidently vs. plow through with maximum stability at speed. I've notice no harsh bottom outs nor the suspension getting packed up. Interestingly - I noticed that I used a lot less front travel (20%) than compared to my Patrol - I've been wondering if it's cause I'm sort of jibbing off terrain vs. bombing thru now; maybe more rear wheel contact and landings. Another thing I noticed was the agility aspect allowed me to correct mistakes with on the fly reactions where previously if I misjudged my last bike more or less had me along for the ride. I feel very confident on this bike - intuitively know what I can do and have complete faith that my landings will be composed.
Hope this helps.
Looking for a bigger mountain/park bike to compliment my Ripley. Also got a 2016 SS Nimble 9 (my baby) and a PBJ DJ/pump track bike to round out my quiver