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About Me: Living and riding Missouri grants me mixed bag of terrain ranging from flowy hardpack, baby head laced flint rock single track, and full on technical rock ledge goodness. We have climbs, but few more than 200 foot of elevation gain. I've been riding for 20+ years, racing for the last 10. I was looking for a do it all bike, that blurs the lines between racer, and all day trail killer. My focus has moved toward endurance races over the past few years, and last year did some 50-100 mile, and 6 and 12 hour races in MO, AR, and CO. But enough about me what about the bike.

Bike setup: My race team is sponsored by SRAM, in as such, I have a fair bit of the Big S stuff installed. XO drivetrain (XT front no choice there), Avid Ultimate Carbon brakes, RS Sid Race fork, etc. I did opt for the FSA 2x9 though instead of the Truvative cranks. Then caped it off with Mavic SLR's and Tompson seat post and stem. Nothing heavy, nothing extra light. Think 4-5 year durability here. Entire package for a large frame is a real world 24.8 pounds with pedals. Personally, I'd rather have a reliable setup, with a frame I don't have to worry about pushing to the limits, than to save 2 pounds.

Riding: The magazine reviews are pretty accurate. The DW-Link if set up with 30% sag needs no Pro-Pedal, unless your flailing away with a horrible choppy form on a steep climb. You will notice a slight bit of bob on all out sprints, but not if seated. It will move out from a dead stop quickly, but not carbon hardtail quick. It really shines once you are up to speed though. The DW-Link smooth's out the trail chatter and with 28 psi in the tires makes the bike feel like its floating along.

The bike is very solid and quiet. The rear end is very stiff and fills you with confidence on hairy downhills. It just oooozzzzes quality when in the drivers seat.

Steering is quick but stable at speed and not twitchy. It handles drops up to a couple feet without issue, but this is not an all mountain bike, and should be treated as such. The cockpit is a little more upright than the full on race machine of today, but is very balanced, and will keep your back happy on all day events.

If you're looking for the fastest bike on the planet for sub 2 hour races, then keep looking, that's what carbon hartails and bikes like the Specialized Epic are for. If your trails are a little rougher, you race endurance class, enjoy going long AND you want to do it as fast as possible, THIS IS YOUR BIKE. There are faster bikes for closed course XC events where every watt must be transferred to the ground regardless of the effect on the rider, but very few if any capable of efficiently delivering a rider over a long course faster.

Little issues/complaints: I have the black ano, which shows dirt even after a through washing. Plan on at least a bottle of Pedros Bike Lust a year to get it looking like new. This bike is a bear to clean while we are at it. A problem with all dual link bikes I assume. Price to pay for a schweet suspension. Cable routing around the shock gets a little busy, and noisy if you don't zip tie em down.

Summary: The great thing about mountain biking is how everyone has their idea of how a bike should ride. It keeps campfire chat interesting. On a recent group ride I saw Ti, plastic, steel and Al. Hardtail, 4" and softtail. 29 and 26 inch wheels. We all traveled the same speed. Personally I want a bike that is as efficient as possible that rails at speed, is steady on descents, and buffs out embedded trail chatter, all in a reliable all day package. I think the Mach 4 delivers. It was good enough to carry me to a sub 9 hour Leadville Trail 100, and podiums at local XC, 6 hour solo and 12 hour team events. Just what I was looking for.

 

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... i admit that bike does look pretty clean... suspiciously clean :D ...

seriously... sometimes i find myself in the Ozarks of Mo and i keep thinking that there has got to be some great mtn biking potential... where's the best riding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
dog said:
... i admit that bike does look pretty clean... suspiciously clean :D ...

seriously... sometimes i find myself in the Ozarks of Mo and i keep thinking that there has got to be some great mtn biking potential... where's the best riding?
Well she was brand new in that picture. :)

MO has got some great trails know-one outside the state has heard of. Camp at Council Bluff Lake in South East MO and ride the Burning at the Bluff course, a 13 mile loop around the lake. From that home base you can ride 24 miles north on the North Trace section of the Ozark Trail to the IMBA Epic Berryman loop which is another 24 miles. Head south from base camp at Council Bluffs on the South Trace section of the Ozark Trail for 20+ miles or my favorite the 22 mile out and back on the new MiddleFork trail. Some of the best riding anywhere.
 

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This is the type of riding that I prefer lots of miles and elevation gain...I ride the Intense Spider XVP I believe the ride is similar have not read any comparisons. Great review.. my new ride type of bike would be between this bike Turner Flux, Yeti AS-R-5, Ibis Mojo SL, or Santa Cruz carbon XC Blur. Cleaning and maintenance is a big part, I always take time after each ride, also under consideration is how busy the design is to clean the Mach 4 is busy lots of nooks and crannies…the Yeti is simple but I do not think the out of the saddle performance would match our type of bikes, simple and performance... maybe some day....
 
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