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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wow… It's so easy to be on this bike, easy to stay on this bike. Keep in mind here that every component come off my old bike - the only thing new in this equation is the SuperMoto frame.

Bike setup: Swinger 4-Way and Z1 FR1 6" fork, 37 lbs, 4oz (details below)

The experience: For my first ride I hit a trail that I've done weekly for years - rocky singletrack w/ lots of short staircase climbs to long rocky downhill w/ tight turns, loose rocks on loose dirt, and a smattering of steep slickrock, then the whole thing in reverse - up up up.

Once on dirt, the first obstacle I came to was a small broken staircase that for some reason is always more of a burner than it "should" be. It was easier on the SM than it usually is - nice, but no big deal.

The next obstacle is another short staircase, but it starts on a steeper incline and starts with a 10" step. This set has a smooth steep bypass, which I often take as I'm usually pumped from the previous spurt. Today, I hit it dead on - at its most acute line. Amazing - the front end came up with so little effort [just the slightest pressure under the bars] and the rear just floated up and over the steps, easily, grabbing as I pedaled without hanging or catching or slipping… It was so much easier!

This sort of thing continued - a wonderful feeling of ease and control over uphill obstacles that just made me smile. I was relaxed, and I noticed at some point that I was standing on my pedals a lot more than I usually do! There's this sweet balance "in" the bike, and I was unconsciously compelled to just "hang in that space", which happens to be on my feet. Very cool. This bike compels me to "ride right".

My first "mini huck" was uneventful - as always my fear determined the outcome of that event - I launched and landed as I always do, no noticeable difference, other than the feeling, upon landing, that I was setting down a 48lb DH sled. Damn, this bike feels so completely SOLID! Wow! That was cool!

On the long rocky downhill section I just flew, faster than I ever have, taking corners and clearing sections that I'd never cleared. I had so much more confidence. At one point I hit a very powdery loose section faster than I have ever hit, well, just about anything! The wheels slipped, but because the bike is so stiff in every plane, I was able to hang on, control the drift, and actually drive it effectively between stumps and boulders on its sliding wheels! Ohmygod! On any other bike I've ridden, I would have lost it right there! This bike gives me confidence to dig in and stay on! CONFIDENCE!

The next section is a very rocky rollercoaster of short, twisty, rocky ups and rocky downs. This section presents one momentum robbing uphill rock obstacle after another in agonizing succession. A constant, frustrating challenge for me, this is where my new bike exceeded all expectations - the grin factor was almost overwhelming! Over the past two years I've been able to clean one or two of the easier obstacles "on a good day", but never have I touch the harder ones - they seemed impossible. Today, not only did I clean these most difficult challenges, but the entire section in one smooth, balanced, uphill dance! Obstacles I'd NEVR cleaned, one after another after another and another, fell behind as I just kept pedaling, positioning, pedaling, positioning, pedaling… I seemed to have exact control not only over the bikes "fine" movements, but over my power, power as it was applied to the trail so precisely! Exact control!

Being that I was alone in this glory, I almost called my fiancée to share my excitement with her! As fate would have it, I ran into friends on the trail who are much better riders (they're all expert/pro level riders) and with excitement the "testing" picked up speed. I took lines that I'd looked at for years, but had never considered.

Heading back UP the big (down)hill I was so tired and weak and so full of doubt that I almost bailed out at the start of the climb. Chest pounding, legs screaming, lungs burning, I locked the Z1's ETA into short travel mode and enjoyed one of the most unlikely successes of my biking life - though exhausted, I was able to pedal almost all the way up the damn hill! I've rarely done this, even when feeling strong! On every pitch I "knew" I'd had it, that my rear wheel would slip or my front would wander and I'd be off. But it never happened! The rear wheel stayed down, the front stayed where I put it, and the SuperMoto just kept climbing, like a goat, up steep loose rocks, up slickrock ledges covered w/ gravel, over steep staircases dusted in loose dirt, loose loose, rocks rocks, up up, eventually back through the rocky rollercoaster section… which I almost cleared again! I still can't believe I stayed with the pack almost to the top of this climb. This bike, in this configuration, climbs so well that I was able to climb something while exhausted that I've rarely climbed even while strong. To say that my friends were surprised to turn see me there is an understatement! I climbed as if it was early on a good day!

I am more impressed with the SuperMoto than I thought I would be! I expected a nice bike, but not quite this!
* It's so well balanced that it's easier to "be on" than any other bike I've ridden.
* Something about it compels me to ride with correct form.
* It feels amazingly solid - indistinguishable from bikes weighing 10 lbs more.
* It affords exact, precise control.
* It inspires the power of confidence.
* It climbs like nothing I've been on.


The Swinger 4-Way and Z1 FR1 6" fork work very well together.

37 lbs, 4oz (details below)
Note: no front d'er yet

'05 Z1 F1 fork
Swinger 4-Way
Mavic D3.1 (23mm) UST wheels w/ DT Hugi FR hubs
non-ust tires w/ Stans (no rim strip): 2.35 Nevegal rear, 2.5 Mobster front
Avid BB7 mechs w/ 185mm rotors
Avid SD7 TI levers
sram X.9 rear d'er
XT front d'er (not yet installed)
sram X.9 triggers
Titec Scoper seat post
Alias saddle
EA70 highrise bar
RF Diabolus stem 50mm
ODI Oury lockon grips
Hussefelt cranks
Blackspire SuperPro 34 ring
Blackspire stainless 22 ring
Race Face bash guard
Azonic X Pedals (taking a break from clipless Crank Bros "Mallet M")
FSA Platinum Pro BB
Race Face Real Seal DH headset
 

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Some may think it's so last year .... but I really dig the all black look. Nice bike. Great report. Is that on '05 frame?
 

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KRob said:
Some may think it's so last year .... but I really dig the all black look. Nice bike. Great report. Is that on '05 frame?
My understanding is that the production 06 won't be released until early next year. Awesome report though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
2nd ride tonight...

KRob said:
Some may think it's so last year .... but I really dig the all black look. Nice bike. Great report. Is that on '05 frame?
Yeah, I'm almost certain it's an '05.

My second ride with the bike tonight was just as rewarding - cleaned another long section I would heve never even been willing to try before. This is great. Guess I need to get used to the fact that I'm riding at a different level...

Hmmm... Very cool. :rolleyes: :)
 

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Shhh.... don't give away all our secrets

Darn, all this time I thought it was me riding those nasty sections. Never thought my improvement was due to the SM. Now we'll have to swear eveybody who reads this to secrecy!

Great review BTW.
 
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