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Discussion Starter #1
I just came across this german bike manufacturer with the moniker Last bikes. They have a pretty interesting model that can range from 145mm or rear travel, up to 175mm. It has super slack angles and looks like it could fit the bill as a "one bike". I'm curious if anyone has any experience with this bike, and could give me a little more information about it and how it rides. MTBR doesn't have any reviews, and all I can find are basically press releases about the frames, no actual reviews.

Post any experience you may have with these frames.
Links: AM- http://www.last-bikes.de/products.php?cat=10&product=22


Thank you
 

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meow meow
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never heard of them but they look pretty cool. the suspension design look like what would come out if a foes and a knolly had a baby.
 

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very interresting bike,
i'd like to see that linkage in movement..something does not look right.
 

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meow meow
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tartosuc said:
very interresting bike,
i'd like to see that linkage in movement..something does not look right.
what looks weird? to me it seems like a linkage driven sp with an extra link to control the spring curve.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What I like about it, is the adjustability. With 2 shocks and 2 forks, you could have a 145mm trail bike, then a heavy duty/FR bike with 175mm. And throw an angleset on there, and you could steepen up the HA if you wanted, or rock that thing nice and SLACK! I just want to hear from some people who have actually ridden one, can't find any reviews...
 

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T.W.O
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If you get enough balls you might have to pull the trigger and be the first to review it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pfox90 said:
If you get enough balls you might have to pull the trigger and be the first to review it.
Are you saying I lack balls now?

I'm seriously considering it, I would have to sell my current ride, and save up some more, but I just may do it. I have to first wait and see what Last has to say about my questions and if it is even possible to get one stateside when they hopefully return my email.
 

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T.W.O
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No, I am saying it's a pretty ballsy move to go out on a limb and buy something no one is really familiar would. I wouldn't drop coin on it, but that's me; I suck.
 

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meow meow
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not so much going out on a limb as it is an educated guess. there site gives you more than enough info to start to form an idea if you will like it or not. i think it looks sick but that linkage is a little puzzling. then again germans seem to know what they are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, like I said, I have already emailed them with a few questions I have. My main question, is whether there is really any difference between the Herb AM frame and the Herb FR frame. I get that the completes are different, based on part spec, but the frames seem to be the same. I'm also inquiring about the bikes limitations, for example could I throw a lyrik or 36 on the AM frame and stuff like that. My other main concern is whether or not it is even possible to get ones of these in the USA, I don't see a US distributor on their site. I will update you guys if and when I hear back from them.

Pfox90- I was just messing around, I knew what you meant

And about the linkage, looks pretty straightforward to me. Just a linkage driven single pivot. Just has a vertically mounted shock, instead of the traditional horizontal. I dig the look of the linkage, and I really enjoy the feel of a well done SP. And I should say that I was able to find a half-ass review on the Herb AM from "mountainbike rider" in Germany. They seemed to really enjoy the bike, and said it was their favorite climber out of the other enduro style bikes they tested (Mojo HD, Enduro Evo, and the 2011 Slayer). They mentioned little to no bob, and a very efficient ride. The review was stupid, but it was the only thing I could find mentioning the actual ride of the Herb AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
yeah, cool bike. But the Herb is really intriguing to me. The super slack geometry, adjustable travel via different shocks, and from the little I have read about it, it supposedly rides great
 

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There was a review of the Herb AM on the Dirt magazine a couple of months ago. They liked it a lot, especially on downhills.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, they never emailed me back, so I'm just waiting to hear if it's even possible to get one to california somehow. If it's possible, I'm going to go from there and go about trying to sell my current ride and save funds to get one of these I think. I really like the idea and geometry, and I don't mind "testing" a bike no one around here has.
 

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I'm a bit late to this thread but it just popped up in a google search, I’m thinking about this as a “one bike” too.
Currently have an 08 demo 7 and an 09 marin wolfridge. Sell both those and have enough for new frame and forks.
I live in the UK and have a week in the French alps each year. So ride the whole range of 50km “trail centre” to steep ass alps world cup tracks (wanting to ride champery this year)
Wanting to know the same sort of things – how much can it handle? How different is the tubing? The geo is the same but I think they’ve used thicker heavier tubing on the FR. How much weight does it add though?
I’m going to see if I can get a quick ride on one somewhere and attempt to ask the same questions you have.
Your comment of “They seemed to really enjoy the bike, and said it was their favorite climber out of the other enduro style bikes they tested (Mojo HD, Enduro Evo, and the 2011 Slayer). They mentioned little to no bob, and a very efficient ride” eases my mind on that question.

OP I presume you’ve seen these links?
http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Last-Bikes-2010.html
http://dirt.mpora.com/news/dirt-100-2011-herb.html
and guess this is the review you talked about?
http://www.ibiscycles.com/about/press_reviews/mojo_hd_test_in_mountainbike_rider_germany/
 

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@ anoobis - is there anywhere to get this bike shipped to the US? chain reaction, maybe?
emailed Last several times but nothing so far in the course of a month, which, doesn't give great confidence in cs if somethin's up. the AM does look the **** though. CaneCreek might save us all money with an 1 1/8 specific Angleset.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I received an email from Last, they said the AM and FR are similar, but the FR has a "beefed up" downtube so "there will be no regrets when riding parks". They also told me they do not sell their bikes in the U.S. due to "legal issues". I'm still awaiting a reply back about what the maximum fork travel allowed on the AM is, since the rear travel can be adjusted up to 165 or 175, I want to know if I can throw a 160 or 170 lyrik on the bike and not void any warranty. It seems like it is going to be impossible or at least a gigantic pain in the arse to get one to California, but I'm not giving up, just not worrying about it too much.

And annobis, yes I have seen all of those "reviews". They are pretty much just press releases for their bikes, without any actual feedback on how the bike rides.
 

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where there' the web there is a way. keep us posted if you can, notf! got friends in the UK and france so no worries if i can't get hold of one here in the states. but where...
 

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Watch out I've got carried away and copied stuff out of dirt magazine. Might still not be what you're looking for but interesting reading none the less.

Maximum fork travel can be found hidden in an FAQ on Last's website-
CAUTION - Maximum fork lenght (axle to crown) is 560 mm for the Herb AM and 570 mm for the Herb FR. Run the frame only with the original shock. Fitting other shocks need to be approved by LAST.

That fork length thing rings true with the whole beefed up down tube.
160mm lyric A2C = 545, 180mm totem = 565

I've seen that chain reaction do some Last stuff but not sure why they don't have the herb listed. Maybe the could source one for you and send it over? Not sure.

Dirt mag did a sort of mini review of "the fastest trail bikes on the planet". If you're not familiar with Dirt magazine and their review methods etc this sentence might help - "flat singletrack; gently dipping singletrack and downhill were chosen and each bike went against the clock. Uphill unsurprisingly was not part of the test. Uphill is all about the engine and light weight and if uphill is part of your clock then you are wasting your time on these words." They are downhillers who don't mind riding back up the hill.

Last Herb AM
Reason for inclusion - Because of its potential to destroy most 160mm bikes downhill, is super well built, faultless suspension setup, with a neat 135-150 rear wheel width option. Built to last by a small german company.
They ain't mainstream and the bikes are not skinny light or flexy. What more reason to take one down the woods for hammer? Abso-f-kin-lutely. The herb does come as a complete build. The build too is pretty full on. What the last illustrates is that good suspension systems do exist. Let's get the word synergy in here. that doesn't mean a blonde on a two-year meth binge either. What it means is a shock and suspension system working together. Would it work as a UK trail bike? It's the flipside to the cannondale (rz140) even though it has the same amount of travel. A more diverse pair of 140/140mm bikes you could not find.
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The cannondale and the last are the extremes of the 140mm. One provides a stepping stone into hard trail riding, the other a springboard into trail downhill...and much more.
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On the trails over here the last was bossy, commanding and fastest everywhere.
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conclusion - (flat singletrack and mild descending - all bikes were very similar
Downhill. The track chosen was rooty, tight, technical and steep in places. It was also pretty fast.
It all came down to three bikes The zesty was a flying machine. We had already clocked faster times over an out-the-box giant glory downhill bike at Pleney, Morzine. Out of corners the 26lb lapierre zesty is lightning quick and felt like it was carrying huge speed. It was and posted the fastest time of the day so far. The orange five is also sub 30lbs and features the imperious Cane Creek Double Barrel shock. It took 3 seconds out of the zesty consistently. Remember we were running the same wheelset and tyres. But then the five had the bigger fox 36 fork and coil shock.
The last is some way over 30lbs and even though it was keeping up on the flatter sections we just knew on an extended loop against the clock for an hour the weight would show. On the downhill we were also surprised at how slow it felt out of corners. All testers felt as if they were not carrying enough speed to test the times of the five and the zesty.
That feeling turned out to be one of comfort and a need to go considerably faster as the artisan german put a crushing four seconds into the five. We were left with no doubt as to what the fastest bike was. In terms of descending the Last is simply the fastest bike on the planet right now.
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However if you choose to go riding hard - riding trail centres with with the occasional uphill natter and full chat workrate on the descents, then the out-the-box Last, with sublime suspension design, great sizing and stability, will take on all-comers of any size or travel. We think it's better than most 160mm bikes as well.
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Look at it! more like a dh bike from the late nineties. this 140mm bike from the german artisans proved to be the fastest 140mm we have ever ridden down a hill. The decision between it and say a (specialized) Enduro or an Orange Alpine 160 is a big one. Better suspension than the spesh, lighter weight and better sizes than the alpine. Do you really really need 160mm?
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Final word has to go to the orange five, simply rapid everywhere. The five wins on suspension performance simply because it's easy to ride and uses the mid-stroke better. The zesty, just as quick across the ground, would benefit from a shorter seat tower for steeper switchbacks and a slightly slacker head angle, which would give a better wheelbase. Dijon (lapierre) and Halifax (orange) are currently at the top of the 140mm game for all-round trail riding.

The orange five was set up with cane creek shock, 160mm fox 36, 1x9 gearing and crozzmax sx wheels.
The lapierre zesty was set up with prototype monarch shock tune, 1x10 gearing, 140mm fox forks.
Last herb i believe was the set-up on their website.

I might try and scan the article if anyone is interested. Had the cannondale rz 140, cube stereo, ghost 7500, lapierre zesty custom build, last herb am and orange 5 custom build.
 
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