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Here are my cursory impressions of the bikes I had a chance to ride at Interbike. Ventanarama, CrashtheDOG, and I all are about the same size, similar in weight, and all ride Time pedals, so we would all grab different bikes and head out together and then swap back and forth on the trail. The recommended trails that they set up for dirt demos were annoying cattle chutes, so we headed up the mountain on the road to get the bikes dialed and then came back down on the West Leg and Mother trails. That gave us a great mix of some very rocky sections with bedrock outcrops, no real drops, some fast sections of small pea gravel, a lot of g-outs (rough and smooth), a few switchbacks and a lot of rolling corners, a few jumps and short climbs.

Let me preface all my comments by saying that my mini-reviews only reflect the individual setups of the bikes we rode and probably have as much to say about how busy (and inattentive) the manufacturers were when setting the bikes up as it reflects the bikes' overall natures. You could tell right away who was up late and being careless when getting the bikes ready for the dirt demo, and who had forgotten to order the right parts and just slapped whatever was laying around on there, and you could also tell who had no idea how to set their own stuff up. These are mostly my impressions but when talking to Ventanarama and Crash during the rides we seemed to agree generally on most points. We brought tools and shock pumps to adjust things like shocks, forks, saddles, brakes, and bars to the best of our abilities to give the bikes their best chance at success during our brief tenure on each. Still, take the following with a grain of salt…

Foes FXR- 4" Duke fork, Carnutt shock. Nice fit and balance in the cockpit. Terrible fork for this bike. Carnutt set up too stiff. Both ends were unyielding, skittery and felt like less travel than the numbers would suggest. A very good and stiff pedaler, but suffered on the way down. Foes should have spent more time setting this up.



Foes Fly- Foes F1 Wet One fork, Carnutt shock. High, rearward bias, short, upright fit. Very plush setup front and back. Surprisingly light bike. Mushy pedaling but very plush. The steering was quite floppy and poor, even at speed. Descending was a little awkward with the floppy steering as the front wanted to fall into corners. Not neutral or balanced feeling.



Foes Inferno- Zoke 66 fork, Carnutt shock. Decent if short cockpit feel. Neutral and stable handling. Firm under power. Both ends of the bike were very unyielding and stiffly set up. Front and rear did not track the terrain very well. Not plush. Rough and skittery riding. 66 may have had too much air in the assist chamber (did not check that). Carnutt also not dialed. Very heavy setup and extremely porky wheels. Nice looking frame with cool integrated floating disc. Foes needed to spend more time getting the bike dialed.





Turner Nitrous- SID World Cup fork, Fox RP3 shock. Pure rocket power. Scary light. Very quick handling but not twitchy. VERY long cockpit, extreme xc layout. SID fork surprisingly pleasant. Took the edge off everything but still allowed you to feel the trail. Not exactly plush overall but still not harsh. You knew rocks were going by under you but your vision was not jarred/blurred. Great climber, decent descender. Bike felt longer than the 0.5" longer tt than the Spot would suggest. Purebred racer. We were very afraid of the semislicks when heading out but they actually did pretty well. Fast bike. Good parts spec. See my Nitrous post for more pics.







Turner Flux- Reba fork, RP3 shock. Reba pretty decent, excellent remote lockout/compression adjuster. Very balanced bike. Reasonably plush/active, great handling both climbing and descending. Marta brakes very good. Stunningly beautiful bike. XCE-like ride but tighter rear end and longer front-center. Peppier climber than XCE but just as stable at speed. The definition of an xc trail bike. Good parts spec. See my Flux post for more pics.







Turner 6-Pack- Boxxer Ride fork, DHX 5.0 shock. Lame fork. Travel adjuster pretty cool and that worked well, but a sort of harsh action overall and did not track the terrain very well. Turning radius pathetic. DHX shock excellent. Not spikey at all, very plush but still pedaled well even with the PP backed all the way off. Very good pedaler, fantastic descender. The Boxxer made the front feel very tall but the bike did not feel tall overall (bb height). A 36 or AM1 or 05 Z1 fork would be great on this bike. As set up, it did not feel very balanced. Aside from the fork, a good parts spec. Gravity Dropper post worked well. See my 6-Pack post for more pics.









Turner DHR- Boxxer Team fork, DHX 5.0 with remote reservoir. Ego boosting rig. Pedals amazingly well for a big bike. Better than Fly and AS-X hands down, and a little better than the El Cuervo. Pedals as well as the VPFree even with DHX in minimum PP setting. Unlike the VPFree the cockpit is NOT comfortable for trail "riding" (it's a dh bike, duh). High front, large rearward weight bias. Very easy to lean and maneuver. Corners brilliantly and had none of the wheel flop/pushing the Fly exhibited. Boxxer felt better than the other Boxxers we rode. Did not feel hopelessly squishy in back like the Fly and AS-X but being a DH bike, it was hard to do anything other than "sprint" it. Standing and rhythm pedaling with the bars at your waist is tough, but despite having a shorter top tube than the El Cuervo the DHR was still more pleasant to pedal than that Ventana. Lighter than the El Cuervo too. (We took the shuttle to the top of the mountain and came down Boy Scout, West Leg, and Mother.)







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