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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got my RFX put together. Here are some first impressions.

Took it out to one of the local trails for the first time this morning. I picked trails that I was familiar with, and had a good mix of climbing, fast descending, rock gardens, rollers.. even a drop or 2. I've been riding nothing but my 5-Spot for the past 1.5 years, and I have spent a good year riding these same trails (an average of once a week) so I had a good baseline for comparison.

My RFX was built from the parts I had taken off my 5-Spot except for the wheels, fork, stem and front derailleur.

This thing definitely requires more effort to get it up to the hill. I have a TALAS 36 up front, but there was really no need to reduce fork travel in any situation. It is definitely not the weight that is making it feel porky, but more the geometry. The slacker head angle, shorter stem, more weight on the rear wheel, made it a little require more to muscle it up the hill. I'm not saying that it is a poor climber. Traction is superb, and it gives up nothing to the 5-spot on short, technical climbs. It is on the longer grinds up smoother sections that will make you realize that this is a very different bike.

Coming down is an entirely new experience for me. Simply put, there is no need to pick a line. It holds very steady and rips through everything. I have not changed anything on the fork or shock from factory defaults and set my rear shock to 20mm sag (135psi). There is still a bit of stiction from the fork, but I'm getting full travel on the RP23. I suspect that I'm running the rear shock on the low side, and will do more tuning in the coming rides. The closest I've come to making my 5-Spot feel this way is with a DHX coil in the back, but the stability of the RFX at speed pointed down is unmatched. I checked myself many times on one of the longer descents simply because I was going waaaay faster than I wanted to.

Rock gardens and rollers are a treat with this bike. Just point and shoot. You don't even feel it. I don't know how else to describe it.

There is the constant debate on whether the RFX will replace the 5-Spot. Coming from a 5-Spot to a RFX, I'd personally have to say no, if the bikes are set up as they were intended to. If you are on a 5-Spot and have set it up slack, then maybe.

Here are some pics. Sorry, no couch shots. Bikes deserve to be on the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ah.. details, details..

FM said:
Nice techfiend. Can you add your height, inseam and stem length?

I have a talas 36 on the way, seems like a good fit on this bike. The sunline stuff sure is nice.
I'm 5' 11", about 160lbs without riding gear (add about 5-10lbs?). 33" inseam.

Stem is a Sunline V-One Mountain Stem, 80mm length.

The TALAS 36 looks and works nice out of the box, but it comes with a post mount, so make sure you order the adapters for your brakes the same time you order your fork. Kudos to CC for helping me figure out where to look for it.
 

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Great review.

I think the Turner forum needs a '07 RFX Review thread.

Come awn peeeps.
 

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Team Blindspot
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Very Nice TF!

I really dig that color. I'm toying with stripping my Pack this winter and either going raw or painting it, and that is one of the finalists for color.

I have the same opinion as you as to the difference between my spot and my pack.

Great pics, it's got me stoked to ride tom. am.

P.S. What was the difference in weight between your spot and your RFX?
 

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trail fairy
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Nice read TF glad ya enjoying the new RFX:thumbsup:

It just keeps getting better, aggree totally re your assement on geo and climbing, it should be obvious difference but often misunderstood until ridden, nicley explained, liking the color too, the XC bits on there don't do it for me but its what suits you that counts there, liking the Sunline stem slightly long but nice touch of difference to the thomson theme, well done.

Enjoy

Ta
 

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Hey man, thats a really nice build infact its going to be really similar to mine. Cannot wait for the forks to be released in Singapore. My LBS has it but he can't release it cos some markets haven't got it yet... so thats a real bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
first impressions..

nickhart said:
that's lovely, can i ask what do you think about the fox qr thingy? any good?
the QR is easy to use. but i think that the axle sticks out too far on the right side (looking down while seated on the bike). this is to accomodate a foldaway lever to tighten/loosen the axle. i think this is going to be one of the first pieces on the bike that i will scrape up.

the screw on solution is way cleaner. i run UST tubeless and i have one of those bike racks which require no wheel removal, so for me the QR is just another fancy wannabe gimmick. but that is just me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
camo

the bronze powdercoating hides the bike really well on the trails.

i didn't weigh my 5-Spot before i took it apart, but I would guess somewhere between 28-30 lbs. those UST Maxxis High Rollers are almost half a pound each!
 

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techFiend said:
This thing definitely requires more effort to get it up to the hill. I have a TALAS 36 up front, but there was really no need to reduce fork travel in any situation. It is definitely not the weight that is making it feel porky, but more the geometry. The slacker head angle, shorter stem, more weight on the rear wheel, made it a little require more to muscle it up the hill. I'm not saying that it is a poor climber. Traction is superb, and it gives up nothing to the 5-spot on short, technical climbs. It is on the longer grinds up smoother sections that will make you realize that this is a very different bike.

There is the constant debate on whether the RFX will replace the 5-Spot. Coming from a 5-Spot to a RFX, I'd personally have to say no, if the bikes are set up as they were intended to. If you are on a 5-Spot and have set it up slack, then maybe.
As someone debating between the RFX and the Spot, I'm curious if just reducing the travel to 130 on your talas would be enough to steepen up the HA enough to climb closer to the spot. I'm not looking for a super fast climber: I plan on keeping my Tracer for xc racing/ back up bike, which means real limited use. But the new rig could still easily see 3-9000 ft of climbing in the day. The 3-6 mile downhills (with lots of terrain that I often overwhelm my little 4" trailbike) around here would be pretty awesome with the rfx and some big ol' rotors. As someone who has had both, I'd like to hear what you think if you could put up with that much climbing vert in a day on the RFX. As a clyde, I'm not so concerned about a couple of pounds, just general livability on the ups.

I hope to test both out in the next couple of months, but I definitely appreciate other peoples impressions.

By the way, maxis high roller ust at 890 gms are closer to 2lbs each, great tire though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Whambat,

I tried reducing travel on some of the climbs. Of course, it made the front wheel less likely to lift. Good? maybe..

I think the biggest difference to how comfortable you will be while climbing comes from how you sit on the bike. On the 5-Spot, I stretch out more, more weight over the front. On the RFX, I sit back more upright, and it does start to feel a little cramped when i reduce travel to steepen the head angle. All logical trade-offs.

The question of which bike will make it up the mountain is not one related to hardware. it is more related to other constraints i.e. how much time you have to ride, the trail conditions, your state of mind and expectations of the ride. i mean, if I had 2 hrs to ride, and i wanted to get it a workout, i'd get the 5-Spot out and pedal for 2 hrs. if i had the same 2 hrs, but i just wanted to wear baggies and chill on the rockgardens, i'll bring the RFX. but if i had 4 hrs and a sick, sick plunge down from 5000ft, for sure i'd suffer the RFX!

i came from a Flux to a 5-Spot to (now) RFX. my riding preferences switched from wearing heart rate monitors and spandex to trying new lines down stuff that would (almost)overwhelm whatever current bike i was on. i'm no freerider, but "progression" drove my going from one ride to another. what drives you?
 

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techFiend said:
Whambat,

I tried reducing travel on some of the climbs. Of course, it made the front wheel less likely to lift. Good? maybe..

I think the biggest difference to how comfortable you will be while climbing comes from how you sit on the bike. On the 5-Spot, I stretch out more, more weight over the front. On the RFX, I sit back more upright, and it does start to feel a little cramped when i reduce travel to steepen the head angle. All logical trade-offs.

The question of which bike will make it up the mountain is not one related to hardware. it is more related to other constraints i.e. how much time you have to ride, the trail conditions, your state of mind and expectations of the ride. i mean, if I had 2 hrs to ride, and i wanted to get it a workout, i'd get the 5-Spot out and pedal for 2 hrs. if i had the same 2 hrs, but i just wanted to wear baggies and chill on the rockgardens, i'll bring the RFX. but if i had 4 hrs and a sick, sick plunge down from 5000ft, for sure i'd suffer the RFX!

i came from a Flux to a 5-Spot to (now) RFX. my riding preferences switched from wearing heart rate monitors and spandex to trying new lines down stuff that would (almost)overwhelm whatever current bike i was on. i'm no freerider, but "progression" drove my going from one ride to another. what drives you?
Thanks for the fast response. I've made a similar transition over the years from xc race to more adventure bc type riding. My main concern with going with the Spot is that I'll be pushing it to the point that I'll want something bigger/ slacker pretty fast. As a compromise, I'd probably be happy with a Spot with a Talas 36, but I know thats a no no. I guess I'll figure it out when I get to test the rfx out on the climbs for myself.
 

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Gotta chime in on this one, sorry if it's a threadjack techfiend!

Up here, seems like anything with air shocks, sub 35lb weight, and smaller than 2.5 tires is considered an XC bike. The sacrifices of climbing with a bigger bike are just part of the evolution of the sport IMHO, as we seek out & build "bike-specific" trails instead of hiking/moto/horse trails. Most of us climb for the descents, so unless you are climbing for climbing's sake, why sacrifice downhill performance to make the uphills easier?

Techfiend, I appreciate the sizing info. I'm 2" shorter with 1" shorter inseam, my bike is similar to yours with an inch shorter stem and an inch lower bars- pretty much the same fit, proportionally.
 

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gravity curmudgeon
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FM said:
Gotta chime in on this one, sorry if it's a threadjack techfiend!

Up here, seems like anything with air shocks, sub 35lb weight, and smaller than 2.5 tires is considered an XC bike. The sacrifices of climbing with a bigger bike are just part of the evolution of the sport IMHO, as we seek out & build "bike-specific" trails instead of hiking/moto/horse trails. Most of us climb for the descents, so unless you are climbing for climbing's sake, why sacrifice downhill performance to make the uphills easier?
Geography does seem to play a large role in how one views a mountain bike. Bike-specific trails don't really exisit around here (handful at best, probably mostly illegal, and growing for sure), but there are nearly unlimited trail options within minutes of my house and only a small population to crowd those trails. For many of us, mountain bikes are as much a tool to access these wildlands as they are a facilitator of gravity induced exhileration. Whereas you might view climbing as a necessary evil to tolerate, I view climbing as a wildland adventure to cherish. And then I get to haul as$ down, which I think we all agree is a hoot.

Also even within a "geography," there is a lot of variability among riders. My bro-in-law is one of the people who has been building trails and riding Galbraith in your neck of the woods from the begining. He is all about light XC riding, even though those trails are bike-specific. He is not alone in his interests.

So you say evolution, and I increasing variability among rider interests and appropriate gear to pursue those interests. :D

BTW, I almost bought an 07 RFX. It may have been a great choice for me and still may be a future option. That bike seems to have some serious range. 5.5 spot is working very well for me, but there is no reason the rfx wouldn't have worked equally well. Going faster uphill is not really a priority, even for my interests. ;)
 

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gravity curmudgeon
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And just to be clear, I think the kind of stuff people are doing on a bike is an evolution, it's just not one we are all pursuing.

Here's a vidy that was posted at tetongravity.com/forums (sprocket rockets forum). This stuff is beyond my imagination.

 
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