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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was fortunate enough to get to attend Outerbike this year and have written up some bike reviews! For anyone thinking of going, it is a spectacular experience and offers a chance to ride a huge variety of different bikes in a fun area. While I didn't take advantage of the shuttling options, I will next time I go!

This time, I just focused on riding as many bikes back to back as possible in order to get a sense of what is out there how they stack up. Not all of these are "All Mountain" bikes, but they are all bikes, and I thought I'd put my reviews in the forum with the most exposure. Plus, KRob posted up his Interbike reviews here on the All Mountain forum.

Keep in mind that these reviews are my own experience, and your mileage may (and probably will) vary. It's difficult to get a completely valid experience in a demo scenario in short time spans with rough estimates on shock and fork pressures and stems/saddles/bars largely left alone.

Up front, you should know that I am biased toward the XC/trail side of the sport up to and including racing. I am tall with long legs and generally ride large bikes. My strengths are climbing and long days in the saddle. Depending on the bike, I am a somewhat nervous descender but the right bike can totally mask that tendency. Finally, I tend to be ultra-sensitive to setup and feel of suspension and geometry, which is why this sort of thing is fun for me.

If anyone else has any observations or thoughts on any of these bikes, by all means comment!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Devinci Atlas Carbon

The Devinci Atlas was the bike I expected to like the best on paper. The 16.9" chainstays are supposed to the the shortest in the industry on a 29er. It's pretty clear looking at the seatpost that the designers did a fair bit of manipulation to try and accomplish that. The bike certainly felt poppy over lips and downright playful at times, which is saying something for a 29er. The Devinci mechanic said that the production frames will include carbon seatstays, but that the chainstays will remain aluminum for now.

Where I kind of get lost is in trying to figure out what this bike wants to be. It doesn't need a category, but I should be able to pinpoint what makes it stand out. 110 rear, 100mm front, but not particularly light even with a mostly SRAM X.0 build bolted on. The monarch rear shock was chosen for the Split Pivot suspension linkage because it was more lightly damped than the Fox Float CTD, but I still had to check the o ring to make sure the bike was using all it's travel. As other reviews have noted, I got quite a few more pedal strikes from the Atlas than other 100-ish travel 29ers. It was odd given that the Monarch didn't feel like it was using all that much travel and then "whack", your pedal hits a rock.

For all its potential, the bike felt unrefined or incomplete somehow. It's not a race bike, as it didn't show a particular propensity toward acceleration. The bike certainly has potential, as demonstrated by it's willingness to lean over into corners, and leave the ground if necessary.

The Atlas feels a little too long in the cockpit, despite the 100mm stem. Part of that feeling is undoubtedly due to my own long legs and having to extend the ultra-slack seatpost way out. The tradeoff for those short stays and slack seat angle was a touch of wheel lift on climbs. It wasn't pronounced, but it was there. To be fair the Devinci guys warned me in advance that tall saddle heights can do some funny things to handing. However, cornering felt great on this thing, it was fun to ride, and has lots of potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeti ASR 5 carbon

Fun fact: Ferraris don't have 29" wheels, and neither does the Yeti ASR-5 carbon. The 5 is a bike that I clearly missed out on testing when I visited Interbike the year it was introduced. To sum it up, the ride is just spectacular.

Surrounded by 29ers and the trendy 650b/27.5 in the camp, not too many folks were hauling these out to demo. On paper, it has a 127mm rear, 140mm fork, 26" wheels, single pivot suspension, and a 67 degree head angle. You have certain expectations based on those numbers, like stable and predictable handling and all around competence handling the trail. Blazing acceleration doesn't seem to fit the list, but it's in this bike's DNA.

It had all the benefits of trail handling suspension while never hanging up or getting overwhelmed. The Fox CTD set in Trail setting 1 was perfect for nearly everything, but I laughed out loud when I opened it up into Descend to see what would happen. The bike weaved through chunk with utter confidence, didn't knock me back or exhibit any spiking behavior in the rear shock. It made me ultra confident to toss it over things and ripped around berms like a champ. For me, as a sometimes nervous descender, the bike adds to my climbing ability and more than manages my typical skittishness pointed down. The longer cockpit was great, offering lots of room to breathe and move on the bike.

The Easton Haven handlebar was best of show for me on a couple of different bikes, along with the excellent Shimano XT brakes (a part of the XT factory build option). I couldn't feel any flex out of this bike, and I didn't feel anything negative out of the single pivot when braking into rough corners. Despite the 67 degree head angle, the bike had no wheel lift issues whatsoever. The Yeti is a stealth ripper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Specialized Camber 29 carbon Pro

The Specialized Camber Pro 29er was certainly a good looking bike and decked out just this side of S-works level equipment. The build was primarily X.0 with carbon cranks, carbon Roval SLs, and included a dropper post for all-around versatility.

I had a tough time putting my finger on it, but the Camber was kind of a blank in terms of personality. It wasn't a small bike by any means in the large I tested, and accordingly it took just a touch more effort to direct it. The best way I can describe this one is "just bike". It wasn't racy like an XC bike or a do virtually anything platform like some good trail / all mountain options. I definitely felt "on top of" it with my longer legs instead of inside of it, which might have contributed to the vaguely underwhelming feel.

To my recollection, it didn't do anything bad at all, but it didn't make me want to ride it or push its limits in any significant way. I didn't feel a whole lot of urgency toward acceleration in the Camber, which was light but didn't feel like it at the pedals. Additionally, the front end as set up was fairly high.

My best guess as to why the bike was kind of bland is that I did feel some noticeable flex in the carbon frame. I didn't do a bottom bracket or rear wheel flex test on it, but there were more solid carbon bikes out there last weekend. A friend grabbed this bike and said it was the most frustrating of the ones he rode because it fought his direction. I didn't feel that strongly, but I thought I'd mention it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Specialized Epic S-Works 29

You know what's awesome about Outerbike? Someone handing you a $10,000 bike to go thrash in the desert. The Specialized Epic S-Works is one of the lightest, fastest 29ers that money can buy. Neon red paint, SRAM XX, carbon Roval SLs, and carbon everything else made this one loud statement bike. After all, it is the Olympic winner.

By way of background, I owned an Epic Expert this year and raced it in various capacities. I no longer own the bike because I experienced inconsistencies in the brain and fit issues. Without going to much into it, the slack seatpost on 29ers seems (to accommodate the big rear wheel) puts me out near the hub at optimal leg extension. It does some not so great things to handling downhill.

But I'm reviewing this bike on its own merits. The thing is crazy light, and it is totally noticeable. What stands out is that it is light without feeling fragile. Granted, it was badly in need of a tuneup after desert duty in red dirt, but the bike was taking the hits. Unfortunately, this was a 2012 and not a 2013. Otherwise, I could comment on the new shock tune on the 2013 autosag mini brain shock. The rep said that they did some neat things to the negative air chamber to even out the pressures for a more seamless transition. I'm looking forward to trying one for myself to see. The 2012 shock felt decent, though. In fact, it was more plush than a lot of other XC bikes out there. I did experience some feeling of transition out of platform, but it wasn't harsh dialed at 3 of 6 clicks.

The Epic climbs like crazy. It really is amazing if you haven't been on one. However, due to my issues with fit, I don't trust the Epic at all in descents or in cornering. Like the Camber, I feel very much on top of this bike and the center of gravity feels higher than it should be given the comparatively low bottom bracket. The only other point I noted on the Epic was that the flat handlebar seemed like it was high enough to reach my nose. It really was a noticeably tall stack height compared to most other bikes I rode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Turner Sultan

The Turner Sultan 29er was delivered into my hands by Dave Turner himself with an advance apology for the rear shock. Apparently due to a miscommunication, Rock Shox mis-valved the Monarchs relative to what Dave actually ordered. He said the compression damping was set too high to be optimal for the DW Link suspension (incidentally, it is why his bikes don't have Fox CTD shocks either).

I was interested in the Sultan because someone described it to me as a 5 Spot with 29" wheels. As a 5 Spot owner, I couldn't pass up the chance to see if it was true. The standout component on this completely blacked out bike were the Enve carbon rims. Those things are, without question, stiff! I came away thinking that I preferred a little springiness vs. unforgiving rigidity after riding them. There is no comparison with the carbon Rovals on the Specialized bikes in terms of an overall rock solid ride feel.

The Sultan is just a monster truck of a bike. It is big, no question about it. It's also not a 5 Spot clone with wagon wheels. The 5 Spot has a slightly playful attitude about it. The DW suspension doesn't lend itself to easy flight, but the Spot will engage in some launch activity with persuasion. The Sultan just wants to stay on the ground, thank you, barreling along while leveling everything in its path. Dave even warned me in advance of its propensity toward gathering some unexpected speed. Being a heavy, long, and stout bike - it wasn't an acceleration demon.

It did have the typical unmistakeable Turner geometry that made it neutral, comfortable, and easy to captain. The rear shock tune was a shame, given that I did feel a slight harsh edge to the suspension action over the desert rocks. I don't hold it against the bike, as it did fine otherwise.

One point of note is that the X.0 drivetrains bolted on the Sultan and many other bikes weren't impressing me much. The shifting has just gotten unrefined in 2012 and requires too much thumb force. I prefer the older X.9 nine speed stuff. That said, I found the Sultan to be a nice confident ride, but without the 5 Spot intangibles I know so well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Yeti SB95

The Yeti SB95 was clearly one of the main attractions of Outerbike, along with the SB66 carbon. I was lucky to get one to ride, but Yeti did a great job stocking sufficient numbers of demo bikes for a heck of a lot to be out at once. This is one of the bikes I was most excited to ride because I don't have any experience with the new Switch suspension design.

Right off, the SB95 is a neat looking bike, especially in flo yellow (you have to see it in person to really appreciate how loud it be). I'm excited to see what the carbon version looks like when Yeti releases it. The silver one I got my hands on had the XT dynasys 10 speed drivetrain that impressed me bike after bike. It could handle some nasty missed-shifts under power, had the multiple down shifts, and a lighter action than the 2012 SRAM drivetrains.

The SB95 itself is not a small bike. It is not a light bike either. However, I can see this being the one bike solution for a lot of people who don't have an interest in racing. What it did well was transmit a feeling of confidence in what was going on. The 95 was an example of an "in the bike feel" for me, which added up to some extra belief that the bike would carry me through chunk. The 29" wheels definitely enhanced the do anything feeling.

The suspension feel itself was interesting. It's not what I would call plush. Harsh doesn't describe it either. Connected is a better word. The feel was firm enough to provide some clear trail feedback, and I could feel the switch pivot on the eccentric firm things up mid-stroke to provide some support. However, up and over ledges is where it tended to subtly transition that feel at times, which took a little getting used to. The bike seemed to be designed with a tendency to understeer (to the outside of the trail) and required a bit of work to bring it to bear. In retrospect, I think this bike is built to be leaned into things hard and fast due to the ability to roll right over all sorts of junk. I don't think I was pushing it to the degree it preferred. It's a nice ride. I want to see it in carbon with XTR and re-evaluate it at high speeds.
 

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Great reviews schlim. I think I may head to Outerbike next year as well. Looks like a good time and well worth the money. Doesn't look like you had any trouble getting to the bikes you wanted. Interbike is getting less and less awesome.

I wonder if the Burner had the same (wrong) Monarch tune problem. We definitely noticed the same thing (too high of compression damping on slower square-edged hits) on it and wondered if it was the shock tune.

After your comments on the Enve carbon wheels I wonder if the extra rigidity there contributes to that feeling a bit as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Pivot Mach 429 carbon

I hate to say it, but the Pivot 429 was the biggest disappointment to me of the 15 or so bikes I rode. Part of it is my fault for building up some expectations due to early reviews, a propensity to like DW suspension applications, and my leanings toward XC/trail riding.

It goes without saying that the Pivot's swoopy design is meant to make a visual impact. Or, in the case of the green, ensure someone will always be able to find you. I did wonder what was up with all the blue anodized bits on a lime green bike, as well. Other than the odd out of place blue part, it's a cool looking bike in person. It was also tough to get, so I was pleased to snag the one and only 429 carbon they had left on the rack.

The 429 carbon is a ground-up redesign with an emphasis on increasing the playfulness of the bike vs. the older aluminum model. A lot of things can be due to shock setup, and I recognize that different DW link applications ride differently on different brands. First of all, as is typical for Pivot, the bike seemed to climb ok. The bar and stem combo was a little funny and didn't totally agree with me. The FSA SLK stem had a lot of spacers and a positive angle on it and the SLK bar had a slight rise. It put the front end handling a little out of typical, in my opinion.

All that can be fixed. The bigger issue is that the bike felt harsh to me, especially over chunk. Between the suspension not tracking as well as I would prefer and the lightness, the bike was getting kicked off its lines. In the plus column, the bike was eager to accelerate and felt like a competent racer for someone looking for a stiffly tuned ride. However, I know from another bike I rode last weekend that suspension can be tuned stiff and still provide traction and enhanced control. I'm surprised I didn't like this one more with all the things going for it that I generally like. It could be that it just needed a little less pressure in the shock? Someone will like it, but it wasn't for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Intense Spider 29 Comp carbon

I thought the Intense Spider 29 Comp looked like an interesting bike from the press releases I saw prior to the show. It was awesome that they actually had it at the booth, on the racks, and available to ride.

It took me and a friend a few minutes to get the sense for what this bike was. Back to back with the Camber, it was was the opposite experience. In fact, it was shockingly different. Where the Camber was dull and without personality, the Spider 29 Comp was totally dynamic and lively.

Visually, it was one of my favorite bikes to look at last weekend. The black and red is great, the spider on the top tube is menacing looking (ok, maybe a little too "Spider Man"). It was set up with a short (70mm?) stem to compliment a longer top tube, a wide Gravity light bar, XT drivetrain, and a dropper post. Personally, I have never heard of Novatec rims before, but that's what it was rolling on.

The Spider was a spirited, fun bike to ride that makes you want to rip around on it at breakneck speed. It's a little heavier than race weight, but that isn't the intended application. The bike is a trail weapon. I think it was in 4.5" mode, and I'm guessing the fork was a 140. In the past, I have been critical of VPPs for feeling a little soggy and flexy. The Spider wasn't either, and it managed to be a 29er without feeling like a lumberwagon or freight ship (a difficult achievement in my book). This was one of two 29ers I rode that truly didn't feel like it.

If I was looking for a trail bike, the Spider would be at the top of a very short list. It was absolutely the surprise of Outerbike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rocky Mountain Element 999

First off, the guys at the Rocky Mountain booth were some of the best folks to talk to at the show. They were knowledgeable, clearly loved to ride, and provided some great thoughts and observations before and after my demo. I was stoked to ride the new Element 999 carbon race bike designed to be an Epic killer.

The 999 is light. I mean, really light, even without carbon rims. It is also stiff, which applies to this bike laterally, as well as in the suspension tune. I couldn't feel any flex in it, despite the overall lack of mass. Right off, the geometry on it is dialed. it's hard to overemphasize how good it felt. It has a shorter top tube for a more compact feeling in a 29er format, a low stack height, great standover clearance, and a fully extended seatpost didn't throw the bike handling completely out of whack with my long legs.

Practically, the geometry made itself apparent in the complete ease with which I was able to lean the bike over hard into turns. It held its line like a slot car. The Rocky was the other 29er (besides the Intense Spider Comp) that did not feel like one. Blindfolded, I couldn't tell you it wasn't a 26" bike. I could re-direct lines on it easily, unlike other 29ers.

The other thing going for it was the suspension. It was taut without being harsh or getting hung up or stopped cold like some others I rode. I always felt like I had a just a little extra give in the Monarch shock that would propel me up and over obstacles without losing momentum.

So what's the downsides? Given the overall race-tuned suspension, the bike definitely let you feel some feedback. It would cause fatigue fast on races longer than an hour, but would still be less tiring than a hardtail. The Fizik saddle and I didn't get along at all. It was truly like sitting on a board. Angling it slightly down seemed to help a bit. The carbon post creaked like old barn door, and the wretched Avid brakes fully lived up to their terrible howling/warbling reputation. However, I loved the Conti X-King 2.2/Race King 2.2 tire combo feel. The Race King had definitely lost the battle out in the badlands, though, and was showing bald patches of carcass.

The 999 is a fast, zippy, light bike that doesn't need no steenking carbon rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Trek Superfly 100 Elite SL

I don't have a lot to say about the Trek Superfly 100. It didn't leave a particularly positive impression. The bottom line for me was that the bike felt out-gunned by the truly spectacular bikes I rode, and didn't compare favorably with the bikes in its category like the Epic and the Element.

On positive side, the Superfly was also super light - almost surprisingly so. However, in the rocky terrain of Moab, the bike seemed at the mercy of the trail. It felt, for lack of a better word, thin somehow. It wasn't fragile, feeling per se, but I just had no confidence in it to carry me through more technical stuff. it's possible I was feeling some flex in the frame as well. I hate to cry flex on a bike that doesn't feel great to me, but there was something imprecise there.

The more scary tendency was a severe oversteer habit in tight downhill corners. The wheel and fork would dive underneath and to the side in soft dirt and attempt to pitch me off the opposite way. It didn't make me feel friendly toward the bike. Downright irritated, in fact. The suspension would get hung up on things, too, causing me to lose momentum (an "oof" sensation as I kept going forward and the bike didn't).

The cockpit setup felt ok, but overall, I liked the previous generation Superfly 100 better from a suspension feel standpoint. Unfortunately, I found a lot of things to dislike about this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Santa Cruz Tallboy

I got on a Santa Cruz Tallboy, but I truly wish I had grabbed the LT to get a sense of what they could do with a longer travel 29er rig. Instead I picked up the oroginal version, mostly due to an interest in apples to apples comparisons (Epic, Element, Superfly 100, Atlas).

First off, the Santa Cruz colors are drop dead gorgeous this year. They are definitely striking. I liked the build on this quite a bit (again, the XT/Easton combos seemed to be working for me. I did feel much more in the bike vs on the bike, which was great for a 29er. The fit seemed pretty good. The Reverb post was leaking air or oil or both and kept sinking as I pedaled. I had to keep hitting the plunger to bring the seat back up but it was definitely not a strike against the bike. It was comical to watch, though!

Before I left the booth, the setup rep looked at the sag after I got off the bike for a check, and added a bit more pressure. The sag was right around 30% or so to my eye, but he said it would handle more like a cross country bike with less sag. It could very well have been end of day fatigue, but the Tallboy felt like I couldn't accelerate it quite like I wanted to. The VPP felt slighty harsh to me, although looking at the o-ring, I was getting decent travel out of it. To me, the bike just didn't feel snappy like others in its category, despite the additional shock pressure.

The reason I say I wish I'd tried the LT is that after my demo, the standard Tallboy is not something I'd want to race, nor did it feel fun like the Intense Spider. Like some bikes, there was the sensation of something to make me consider that the Tallboy may have some flex affecting it.

Total disclaimer, though, I haven't owned a VPP bike and I know this bike is well rated all over the place. It just wasn't optimal for me, I think. Looked great, fit great, just not as impressed with ride quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Turner Burner 650b

I did land a Turner Burner complete with the Enve wheels like KRob rode at Interbike. After reading his review, I absolutely wanted to grab one of these and get a sense of what I thought about both the bike and 650b/27.5 wheels. it was the only 650b I rode at Outerbike, but the wheel size was ridiculously popular with the other attendees.

The tech who set up the bike said that he had been up the previous night re-valving all the Monarchs to pull some compression damping out of them on the demo fleet. He said that the shock on the bike I rode had been fixed, but the ride made me wonder a bit. It had just been returned from a shuttle run, so the bike itself was badly in need of an overhaul. The source of the various creaks seemed to be mostly the headset, seatpost, and a disintegrating hub, but not the suspension linkage.

The Burner had the typical Turner fit and feel. The cockpit was awesome and did actually feel very similar to my 5 Spot. The Haven bar with the Thomson stem was once again a winner for me. Again, though the X.0 drivetrain felt crappy. With regard to the Enve rims, like on the Sultan, they were dead stiff. The frame itself was also typical Turner solid. I couldn't feel any lateral movement in it, and the bike felt planted and purposeful into turns and descents.

When I looked down at it, I could tell the wheel was bigger than typical 26, but I didn't necessarily feel it on the trail. Some not great things presented themselves - the Burner had Nevegal tires, which I have sworn off. Secondly, they were inflated beyond hard for the terrain. I stopped and let some air out of them when I realized they may be affecting my perception of the bike. The Burner also exhibited some front wheel lift climbing steep sections.

The bottom line is that despite the re-valve, I wasn't a fan of the Monarch shock on this bike. It was just not as plush as I would have expected, and didn't feel like 140mm of travel to me. Sure enough, to KRob's observation, it was not absorbing square edged step ups like I expected it to. it could have been the air pressure, and it could have been the unyielding Enve wheels. But the bike didn't have the buttery feel of my 5 Spot. All that aside, it did carry momentum like crazy down through dips and up the other side, and it was noticeable. I could tell that I had larger wheels, but it wasn't ponderous like your typical 29er. I can definitely see some advantages.

When I returned it, Dave said that they were taking feedback from everyone riding the prototypes and that he would be working changes into the production bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Trek Fuel EX 9.8 carbon

The Trek Fuel EX 9.8 was a fun bike to jump on. I have five different friends on the previous 120mm travel version of this bike, so I know how they feel and what they are capable of.

I've been a fan of the 150mm Remedy carbon since its introduction, and feel like Trek knocked it out of the park with that bike (I really like low, slightly slack, light carbon, longer travel bikes). I was happy to see they bumped this one up to 130mm of travel, gave it a very fashionable blue and black paint job, and added DRCV technology to the Fox fork to match what they've done with the shock. It feels ever so slightly more like the Remedy than the older model.

In a nutshell, DRCV is a dual chambered design that starts with a lower volume for efficiency and then opens up wider into a separate chamber for larger hits. After 29er overload (seriously, I rode too many wagon wheels for my own good), it was refreshing and enjoyable to get back on a well executed 26" trail bike. Unlike the Superfly 100, the EX felt both light and solid. It is clearly the do everything, and do it pretty well bike of the Trek line.

I wouldn't consider trying to race a Remedy, but the Fuel EX could be at home in an occasional endurance event. Due to the suspension guts, the bike felt like it had bottomless travel with slightly better than average agility. I was a little sketched out by one shelf drop off, and I didn't feel like I could let the bike fly into things as easily as some others I rode. All things considered though, it's a capable bike with a good personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Specialized Enduro Expert carbon

Every time I test a bunch of bikes back to back, there is one that makes me think, "something must be wrong with it". I start looking for engaged lockout levers and broken stuff at that point. This time around, that bike was the Specialized Enduro Expert carbon.

The Specialized tech said that they added a bit more platform to it for 2013 to make it feel better. In truth, I liked the old one just fine as it felt like a downhill bike that could actually be pedaled around. The thing I remember most about the older model is how smooth the suspension travel felt.

This one? Who replaced the bike with a buckboard? Bad doesn't describe it, I felt hammered after taking it out. The rear shock felt like it wasn't smoothing out the ride at all in D or T setting, and seemed like it was reserving really working for any impending big hits. Basically, the bike felt like it needed a coil. Like the 170mm travel Enduro Evo, for instance!

The TALAS fork was the worst of the weekend. The tech suggested leaving it in Trail mode, even Descend was not rideable on slickrock. I bled some air out of it halfway through my ride with a shock pump, and it didn't do much good. The Intense guys had said that the fine red dirt of Moab was doing a number on some of the Fox fork seals. It could be that was the issue in this case. Also, the Command Post is a ridiculous launch projectile and it frightens me. Nothing should be moving at that velocity toward sensitive areas.

On the bright side, the Enduro was pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great reviews schlim. I think I may head to Outerbike next year as well. Looks like a good time and well worth the money. Doesn't look like you had any trouble getting to the bikes you wanted. Interbike is getting less and less awesome.

I wonder if the Burner had the same (wrong) Monarch tune problem. We definitely noticed the same thing (too high of compression damping on slower square-edged hits) on it and wondered if it was the shock tune.

After your comments on the Enve carbon wheels I wonder if the extra rigidity there contributes to that feeling a bit as well.
Thanks KRob! I appreciated the Interbike stuff you posted this year.

Outerbike was definitely a better experience for me than Interbike. There were more manufacturers, people weren't snippy, and no one minded a consumer wandering around borrowing bikes.

Based on comparing our reviews in the past, we seem to have a similar set of preferences on a lot of bikes. You guys weren't wrong on the Burner, it is less plush than the Spot. Check out my review...
 

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Wow, excellent work! Thanks for taking the time to post the pictures and reviews.

How would you compare the ASR5 to all of these bikes in terms of handling and plushness? I own a ASR5 and have yet to ride a bike with it's combination of ride and handling. However, I'm always looking for the next greatest bike.
 
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