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Considering a Pantera

I weigh about 195 and it seems that the superlink is recommended. Does that thing really weigh half a pound? It certainly doesn't look like it. I can see how it would make the bike a heckuvalot stiffer though.
 

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Pantera and super link

According to my wife's cuisinart cooking scale it weighs exactly 190 grams - about .42 lbs. I took the link off and rode for the first time last weekend. I noticed slight decrease in stiffness, but overall the bike remained stiff even without the link installed. I weigh 190 lbs. I also switched back over to the fox float rear shock, which I actually like better than the Romic. I think the Romic adds nearly a pound.
 

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Not too bad

But I think I will try it without it first and see how it goes. I told it is a pretty stiff frame anyways. I wasn't planning on going with a Romic as air shocks seem to suit me just fine. The frame should come with a Swinger 3 way and I am going to keep my trusty Cloud Nine just in case, although I can't recall seeing where anyone else with a Pantera, or any other Ventana frame, has been using a C9.
 

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LoneStar said:
But I think I will try it without it first and see how it goes. I told it is a pretty stiff frame anyways.
I've been extremely happy with the chassis stiffness of my 2004 Pantera/Fox Float without the Superlink. I am a Clydesdale class rider who outweighs you by a good bit. My thoughts were to try the Pantera without it first, like you. I will probably try it at some point (stiffness is a good thing!) but it's certainly not anywhere near a real need for me on the Pantera frame.
 

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Pantera maiden voyage

Finally got my Pantera built up and took it for a couple of spins this weekend at some of the local trails. Sorry, digital camera is broken so no pics, but the build is fairly straightforward (MX comp w/ETA, EC70 bars, Thomson seatpost and stem and maily XT drive train), with the exception that I think I am one of the first Panteras to post with the Swinger 3 way. Initial impressions are very good, especially compared to my Kona FS.

Saturday was spent at Blankets Creek in Woodstock, GA. Elected to go here because it is a short loop and I know it well, so I figured it would be a good place to dial the shock in. Started with Manitou's recommendations and played with the SPV settings. Set it up firm for while, but then dropped back as I didn't feel any huge difference in efficiency. The biggest change for me was going back to a size that actually fits. It was much quicker steering and the rear travel, although on paper only 6/10 of an inch more than my previous bike, felt like more. First purchase after the ride was a tube to reduce the chain slap noise!

Went to Chicapee Woods in Gainesville, GA on Sunday for a ride with fellow poster Red Rocker. Faster and more demanding trail, especially with a brief rain when we started to soften things up some. I was very pleased with the climbing ability of the bike in these conditions. We were both sliding all over the place over damp roots and rocks and that Ventana stiffness felt very reassuring. Also partially paid for the frame in avoided medical costs at one point on a technical climb when I came to a very abrupt stop on a root. Bike stopped, body kept going. Without the lower standover, I would have definitely been hurting!

I know some others with Panteras have debated the Swinger shock. Not a lot of time on it yet, but impressed so far. Much more efficient already than my previous Cloud 9, which is a good shock if you are looking for a plush ride. I'll probably tinker some more with the settings, but general settings are 75% for the main chamber and 45-50% for the SPV (pretty much in line with the manual).
 
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