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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gonna hit Diablo Tomorrow (Sunday 7/6)
If any of you are going Post up or PM me and I'll keep an eye out for the shout-out.

Look for the big pu$$y on the red Highline.:D

I was gonna carpool with one of my brahs but his rack is full:

 

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Lay off the Levers
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Helluva day at Diablo

We had a great time! We spent time sessioning some jumps and drops and I got to focus on correcting various bad techniques one element at a time.

Naturally we didnt bother taking pictures of all that but we did get a few good shots here and there:

Me doing the small banana drop all wrong:


It took me 2-3 tries before I finally fought off the urge to brake-tap and crouch back. Half a dozen loops over down Dom's tables helped.

Bad Andy more position correct:



Libor not sweating it:


Bobby pulling it in close:


Josh:



Kead makes the rental look like his own:


BZ getting mo betta banana:


That was the smaller 2nd Banana jump the bigger one was, well bigger. Plus you had to hit a small gap to get on it. It took me a while to work up the nerve to do it. Drops don't bother me but jumps do...annyway, the first time I cased my rear wheel jumping up onto it and decided the impact must have caused me to drop my courage somewhere behind me. So I skidded halfway down the jump, stopped just before the kicker and went back looking for my lost testosterone. Later in the day I got it. Meanwhile da fellas made it look real good. Sorry no pix of that.

Yes we did other things,

Bad Andy launching the Anthem drop:


Libor skying it:


It took me 3 tries before I finally lined up the approach. The ladder is just on the other side of a peak so I had to slow down till I actually saw where it was, then gun it on the wood to make sure at least my front wheel made it to the tranny.

It was kewl, the 2nd time I dropped I was more parallel to the tranny and it was buttah!



Later we were feeling our oats and hitting neigh everything. I finally went back to bite the dog that bit me last season and did Dom's Denial, Also Flume and of course the Porch/phantom drop.

Kead decided the porch was a great place to have a yard sale:
(His customer service needs some work though)



He says he was working on his front flip:


That isht musta hurt A LOT, Monday's gonna suck. Fortunately no broken bones.
Earlier, one young buck came down the fire road just before Alpine and wiped out hard on the sketch. F'ed up his wrist pretty bad. It took a while to get the truck up to him. He was riding alone so we stayed with him till the pickup arrived.

Picture credits mostly go to Kead.:thumbsup:
 

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Looks like freaking fun, yard sale and all. I can only imagine what it is like not having to pedal to the top.

Your brah should lose all the bar ends. I think that's what is tipping the balance, so to speak.
 

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fried stuff with cheese
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That place looks so fun. Can't wait to get a trip down there so I can roll up to all that stuff and look at it....:rolleyes:
The Highline will do it's maiden voyage (both it's first ride and the actual trail) at Highland Bike Park this coming weekend. I'm a little (very) nervous as last time I went, just when I started feeling confident, I broke my hand. :madman:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
tscheezy said:
I can only imagine what it is like not having to pedal to the top.
One can only hope this lift service thing doesn't catch on and ruin the sport like it did with skiing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
El Chingon said:
Nice pics Zilla. Give us some ride impressions of the HL when you get a sec.
Love to! (note several addl thoughts added... pls excuse the spelling.)

This is my first true big bike, so my POV is rather skewed from a trailrider's perspective. Also having followed the input of many ppl ( both online & on the trail) on how this rig should be set up, I have a cockpit layout very alien to me.

Straight up steering: The Highline is a suprisingly nimble bike when you get above techno-trail-walking speeds. I find it rips and rails corners but I can thread very tight twisty lines through endo-enducing, axle-deep rockgardens just by thinking and leaning the bike rather than steering it. I dare say I can whip and rip around stuff faster and with more confidence than I can on my Spot b/c it's so long low and stable. As long as I don't have to rely on steering with the bars the bike handles amazingly well. What I realy like is how I can push it into a corner and let the back end break loose enough to point the front where I want it on the exit. While this is of course quite doable on smaller trailbikes like the spot and my dear departed RFX7, it took a fair bit more talent than I currently have to do it with any sense of control. The faster you go on the Highline, the better it handles, sometimes it almost feels automatic.

Travel vs. mission: Based purely on the feedback from my buddies who rent or own big 8"+ bikes, I gotta say the 7" HL has all the travel it needs for general FR'ing and bike park duty. It really takes to kickers and jumps in a very lively and responsive way. it gets up just as easy as my RFX-7 did, feels very confident in the air. Not at all ponderous and I get the sense I can finess a move with ease should I ever learn how. In other words I can lay the bike over, mid air, a whopping 2-3 degrees and not feel like I'm muscling it. If I actually had skilz, I could toss this badboy around no problem. Folks I ride with have been telling me that longer travel rigs suck up a lot of the kicker and you have to put more into geting the bike airborne. The Highline wants to fly. This bike's got wings.

On the hit's perspective, taking on new levels of FR challenges is giving me ample opportunity to case my rear (and sometimes my front) wheel on a variety of things. Sometimes I'm certain I'm going to get tossed when I come up short on a gap, only to find the bike soaked it up entirely and made it feel like a driveway bump. Never a massive slam and/or buck. I hope Dave doesen't mind sharing some of this credit here with Craig at Avalanche. This shock has an incredible ability to handle slow and supple and shift to high speed and or big hits seamlessly and bottomlessly. I'm sure an excellent leverage curve plays a major role here. (But that's clearly over my head)

Drops: The bike never feels overwelmed... but then let's be honest I'm no Kidwoo. Dropping to tranny feels super smooth. Dropping to flatter things feels very controlled and not at all harsh. Running a 50mm stem I have to fight the urge to pull on the bars or the bike will go vertical. Fortunately it's very forgiving in this respect and easy to right the flight and save the effort. I'm guessing the long wheel base makes rear wheel landings less dangerous.

Comfort and feel: I've no idea what's right for this style of bike. I'm used to a more layed out setup. I've gone from an 120mm on my Spot down to a 50mm stem on the HL and it's wierd for me just riding around. Esp with 30" bars. But when it comes time to get down to business the bike feels just as right as the Spot does in it's own element. The RFX7 was able to cross the line btwn FR and trail the best. I am still trying to get used to trail riding on the HL. It does what I ask of it but it feels weird doing it. It'll climb anything but it requires a whole new technique and style. I don't understand the chatter about using it as a general trailbike. Maybe it's my setup but at the moment I can't get there from here.

Acceleration: I can't gas-n-go run and gun it quite as easily as my smaller trailbikes. Partly due to the size but also due to fact it requires a different technique to make it sprint. I have to rock the bike side to side more to sprint it. Not used to doing that but because it's more stable, it's not as scary doing it. On a lighter bike like the Spot if I do a rocking side to side sprint, I know if I get a sloppy stroke, hit a bump wrong or catch an unexpectedly loose surface I could go down. I don't get that feeling with the HL in a hard sprint.

Fit and finish: F'ing-A man, it's a Turner!! it's a thing of beauty bow to stern. Grease ports flow grease really well through the needle bearings. Tip: Grease the bearings after every wet ride and probably after a hard washing. You'll go broke if you use Prep-M as it purges freely. Get a Automotive grease gun, a sleeve of marine grease and a needle tip, and you can pump your heart out. Save the Prep-M for your bushing bikes. These bearings need more volume and more resiliant stuff to fill the voids in the bearings and stay there. Also it's way cheaper.

The more I understand this bike the more I love it... but it's a big learning process for me. Not just because the bike is so different but because the mission is. All the XC and Trail skills I've worked so hard to develop don't directly translate to freeriding and park riding. A lot of it is just plain wrong to do. I must unlearn what I have learned. :D

The HL is an excellent bike from what I can see it's really dialed in it's element. A dammed shame it's going to be discontinued. If you're thinking about one...get it NOW. You'll have no trouble selling it if you decide you really don't want a big bike, and you'll love it if you do.:thumbsup:
 

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Zilla,

You are not helping me buddy. I already decided I shouldn't get a HL and an RFX was more in line for me and my typical riding.

Reading your post is making me want to pull the trigger again! (Well, that and riding with your fellow XL HL owner Xtrahoss.) :D
 
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