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on the santa cruz board

There is a guy that that races one with the shorter eye to eye shock and and a fox 40 up front. Said at the time it was the fastest bike he had ridden.. If you look for the Shorter rear Shock thread on the santa cruz board you will probably find a lot of info.
 

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Have a friends who does it with an Boxxer WC likes it a lot.

I thought about doing it but they do have a pretty tall stand-over and I have short legs.
 

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Commit or eat sh!t
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One of my riding buddies uses it with a 888 for trails where some pedaling is required or for jumpy places. He definitely gets more air than with his V-10.
 

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Been dh'n on mine since 06.
VP Free
CCDB
180mm Talas coil w/kashima coating (I highly recommend).

:thumbsup:
 

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Had one (05 or 06 model) for a couple of years...loved it for free ride and all around riding. Sold it for a few reasons:
1. high center of gravity
2. No chain guide tabs
3. High bottom bracket
4. 67 degree head angle...I like my stuff more slack.
 

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mjdthunder said:
Had one (05 or 06 model) for a couple of years...loved it for free ride and all around riding. Sold it for a few reasons:
1. high center of gravity
2. No chain guide tabs
3. High bottom bracket
4. 67 degree head angle...I like my stuff more slack.
Still have my 06 and love it!
1. Center of Gravity feels right with 8.5 x 2.5 rear shock
2. Throw chain so infrequently, chain guide tabs are not an issue
3. BB 14.4in
4. 65 degrees HA
5. Availble in XL
6. With Shiver, 38lbs
7. Pedals efficiently, I can usually hang with my XC friends on the up, and ditch them and hit every feature on the down

If Mark Weir chose the VP Free equiped with a shorter shock for his bike for his 1 million feet of climbing in a year challenge, it's good enough for me.
 

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Yes, since '06

It's not going to match a dedicated DH rig for the reasons mentioned above, but you can also generally ride around on it.

I considered short-shocking mine, but never got around to it.
 

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Good bike for all mountain / free riding / big drops / climbing when you have to...but not great for DH racing in my opinion. Oh I forgot to mention...the bearings on this model VPP tend to Squeal like a stuck pig after some use and then you have to buy a new bearing kit from Santa Cruz. I would love to see some actual company lit. for angles bottom bracket etc. Good center of gravity..hardly. Bottom bracket is close to 15 inches easy. Chain guide tabs...I would not get a bike w/out them, period.
 

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I got mine new in 2007. It does not have the tabs, but I run a Blackspire Stinger with 2 rings and the chain never drops.
My Free has only been shuttling...never take in the trails because it's just too big and burly.
It's perfect for drops (any type of free ride stunts)...wall rides, etc.
It soaks up EVERYTHING, and is a blast on the DH runs too.
However...if you are truly racing (and want to do well) I would suggest trying a DH specific sled.
The Free tends to ride "tall" like your on top of it...not very slack feeling where you feel you are "sitting in" the frame.
 

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eat your porridge jordie
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I have run my Free with the shorter and the longer shock, and while it does handle better with the 8.5x2.5, it messes up the pedaling dynamics a bit. You can imagine the axle path as sort of a horizontally stretched S on the free, and with the 8.75x2.75 when you are at your proper sag, you sit right in a little pocket where the effective leverage ratio of the frame drops a bit, so it is not as influenced by pedaling. With the shorter shock, keeping 30% sag, you are usually already past that point and it is slightly more influenced by rider weight input and pedaling. If you go with the shorter shock, I recommend running a little less sag, maybe 20%, to try and stay in that sweet spot.

Other than that, the VP-Free kills it for pretty much any course. With a Dual Crown on there (higher crown height), it really stretches the bike out and the little steeper HA helps through corners. I've ridden mine at a few races, placed Cat3 at AngelFire last year, and it's been awesome. Bearings need maintenance definitely, and make sure all those links are tight and you use the right retaining compound for the bearings.

Bottom line, bike will get it done no doubt.
 

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I have been riding my 32 lb. short shocked vpfree for 3-4 years DH / AM and I gotta say it's dang tough to find a new frame to fill it's shoes. Others have covered it's strengths and weakness but can be built up to be sweet versatile ride for AM and DH. Here is a pic
 

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mjdthunder said:
Good bike for all mountain / free riding / big drops / climbing when you have to...but not great for DH racing in my opinion. Oh I forgot to mention...the bearings on this model VPP tend to Squeal like a stuck pig after some use and then you have to buy a new bearing kit from Santa Cruz. I would love to see some actual company lit. for angles bottom bracket etc. Good center of gravity..hardly. Bottom bracket is close to 15 inches easy. Chain guide tabs...I would not get a bike w/out them, period.
15"......After you set 50% sag for dh'n it'z gonna be far from 15".....8.5" travel w/ 4.25" sag = very low bb height.

But, to each hiz own.....i guess.
 

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I run my Free for DH all the time and I love it. If you know how to grease your bottom link they are super quiet. The bb might be a bit high but with a negative rise stem the thing corners like a beast.
 

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meow meow
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burgundy snake said:
If Mark Weir chose the VP Free equiped with a shorter shock for his bike for his 1 million feet of climbing in a year challenge, it's good enough for me.
to be fair weir could climb a kapreil dv a million feet.
 

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Ancient Chinese Secret
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Still riding an '05 with two rings, and E-13 DRS, and a Totem (single crown) in the bike park and for AM. One wheelset for DH, another for AM. Sweet ride, and agree with the other posters that it's hard to find a more recent vintage bike which is as flexible.

Yes, it is not ideal geometry, but it will get it done. Yes, will need to learn how to grease the bottom link. It squeaks like a mofo when it gets wet. Kinda a hassle b/c you have to pull the cranks every time to get it done. Otherwise, great ride.
 
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