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I'm looking at getting a 2nd heavier duty bike. ( Already have a Ventana El saltamontes w/ 5" travel for trail bike) I don't do big drops but like technical downhill with jumps. Is the VP free overkill or is it really the next evolution of the bullit. The bullit is still lighter and with the SPV shock technology is VPP that great? HELP
 

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In my opinion the vpp design is a big advantage over a single pivot (even with spv). It will pedal more efficiently (not just climbing but also sprinting and accelerating out of turns better) and is much less prone to brake jack. For those reasons the free will probably be better for the technical downhill you mentioned.

Another big advantage is that the free is way stiffer in the rear end since it's got a full rear triangle attached by a couple of burly pivots as opposed to the single pivot bullit. Will definitely track and stay settled better in the rough stuff.

Hmmmm. Because the bullit is lighter it's probably more versatile, but you've already got a 5" travel bike. I'd say go for the free, the bullit is only a bit bigger travel-wise than your other bike whereas the gap between your 5" bike and the free is significant. Seems like the free would be a better addition to your quiver, almost but not a full dh rig.

PS, I don't think of the free as the evolution of the bullit, but rather a totally different bike. Like a blur is not the new superlight.
 

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Go With The VP-Free

Kwurto said:
I'm looking at getting a 2nd heavier duty bike. ( Already have a Ventana El saltamontes w/ 5" travel for trail bike) I don't do big drops but like technical downhill with jumps. Is the VP free overkill or is it really the next evolution of the bullit. The bullit is still lighter and with the SPV shock technology is VPP that great? HELP
I just got a new VP-Free and I can say that it is better bike than the Bullit. My brother has an 02 Bullit and I was going to get one for this year but when I heard about the VP-Free, I knew I had to get it and I was right.

The frame is a little bit heavier than the Bullit but it pedals amazingly well, w/ no bobbing at all, which makes is an awesome climber. Because the VP-Free has a 150mm rear hub, it's also much stiffer than the Bullit, which has a rear axle of 135mm.

The VPP technology is definitely the way to go because not only do you have the dual links working for you, but you also have the addition of the 5th Element, whereas the Bullit only has the 5th Element. The VP-Free also has more rear travel than the Bullit.

Don't get me wrong, the Bullit is still one hell of a bike (like stated earlier - I was going to get one for this year), but the VPP technology is definitely worth it. The frame for the VP-Free sells for about $500 more than the Bullit's. It just depends what you want.

Happy Trails!
 

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MannyECG said:
I just got a new VP-Free and I can say that it is better bike than the Bullit. My brother has an 02 Bullit and I was going to get one for this year but when I heard about the VP-Free, I knew I had to get it and I was right.

The frame is a little bit heavier than the Bullit but it pedals amazingly well, w/ no bobbing at all, which makes is an awesome climber. Because the VP-Free has a 150mm rear hub, it's also much stiffer than the Bullit, which has a rear axle of 135mm.

The VPP technology is definitely the way to go because not only do you have the dual links working for you, but you also have the addition of the 5th Element, whereas the Bullit only has the 5th Element. The VP-Free also has more rear travel than the Bullit.

Don't get me wrong, the Bullit is still one hell of a bike (like stated earlier - I was going to get one for this year), but the VPP technology is definitely worth it. The frame for the VP-Free sells for about $500 more than the Bullit's. It just depends what you want.

Happy Trails!
i ahve some feedback questions on the vpfree. How does it do on steep technical downhill? i have talked to people that have ridden them and they say the geometry feels just like a heavy xc bike, and is unstable and "twitchy" on the steeps. I have never ridden one, this is just feedback from other riders with limited time on the bike, so im looking for your opinion. thanks
-rtth
 

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Ride To The Hills said:
i ahve some feedback questions on the vpfree. How does it do on steep technical downhill? i have talked to people that have ridden them and they say the geometry feels just like a heavy xc bike, and is unstable and "twitchy" on the steeps. I have never ridden one, this is just feedback from other riders with limited time on the bike, so im looking for your opinion. thanks
-rtth
I have a heckler, 2001 bullit and now the VP free. Selling the bullit, now. I agree with the above comments, the VP free is a better climber and descender than the bullit. Heavier-yes, but it doesn't feel it on the climbs. With respect to the Geometry, i had the same concerns, however, the head angle is actually pretty slack and although I have only ridden one steep trail with it so far (Suicide in Oak Park Calif), the bike handled it amazingly well with the triple 8 fork.
 

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RickP said:
I have a heckler, 2001 bullit and now the VP free. Selling the bullit, now. I agree with the above comments, the VP free is a better climber and descender than the bullit. Heavier-yes, but it doesn't feel it on the climbs. With respect to the Geometry, i had the same concerns, however, the head angle is actually pretty slack and although I have only ridden one steep trail with it so far (Suicide in Oak Park Calif), the bike handled it amazingly well with the triple 8 fork.
what travel 888 are u running? i am interested in teh vpfree but like a relatively slack head angle, so if i got one id prolly just go with like an 8inch triple 8. do u think this is a good idea?
-rtth
 

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Ride To The Hills said:
i ahve some feedback questions on the vpfree. How does it do on steep technical downhill? i have talked to people that have ridden them and they say the geometry feels just like a heavy xc bike, and is unstable and "twitchy" on the steeps. I have never ridden one, this is just feedback from other riders with limited time on the bike, so im looking for your opinion. thanks
-rtth
I've been on my VP for over a month now. I've ridden everything from Whistler, to the North Shore, to my local XC type trails. I originally had my 2002 Boxxer on it and it was good but didn't suit the rear suspension all that well. In my search for a 170mm or 200mm 888R I came across a crazy cheap deal on a new Z150 ($549 CDN) so I threw that on last week. Even though it is slightly taller than my 7" Boxxer it feels really nice on the bike. It makes it into an almost-do-it-all bike that I can ride up and down almost everything (the ECC on the fork helps). It feels like a heavy XC bike with this fork on it. I'll still be getting a 888 but most likely the 8" version to slacken the head angle a bunch more. The 888 will be put on for weekends at Whistler and other shore rides. If you can only get one fork I'd say go with the 7" 888 because it'll be more useful in different riding situations. The Z150 does cause it to steer a bit quick on the steeper DH's.

Bog
 

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Kwurto said:
I'm looking at getting a 2nd heavier duty bike. ( Already have a Ventana El saltamontes w/ 5" travel for trail bike) I don't do big drops but like technical downhill with jumps. Is the VP free overkill or is it really the next evolution of the bullit. The bullit is still lighter and with the SPV shock technology is VPP that great? HELP
Simply Put I would say:

Unless price is a concern, go for the VP-Free as the suspension is a much better design.
 

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Ride To The Hills said:
what travel 888 are u running? i am interested in teh vpfree but like a relatively slack head angle, so if i got one id prolly just go with like an 8inch triple 8. do u think this is a good idea?
-rtth
I have the 8 inch triple. I was not used to such a slack head angle at first and it seemed a bit unstable going slow and climbing (though the pedalling was allways good). I put the seat back a bit and now it seem more stable climbing. Going down (noting I have really only gone down one steep trail), however, it felt way slacker and much more stable and plush than might bullit (a 2001 with 5th element which kinda steepened the head angle and a super T ). Seems plenty slack to me in comparison to the bullit I was riding and my heckler. Not sure how it compares to a full downhill rig, but it sure had NO trouble on the trail I rode, which is pretty steep in some areas.
 

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The head angle with a 7" boxxer is around 67.5. That's pretty good for an all-rounder, steep enough for tight technical stuff, yet slack enough for the steeps IMO.

With an 8" 888 it slacks out to about 66, which I think is common for dh bikes. The extra inch of travel and the fact that the 888 is just taller make a big difference. The bigger fork will also add a little bit to the wheelbase and the already pretty tall bb height. A longer wheelbase will make it turn slightly slower but it'll be more stable in a straight line. Taller bb will make it harder to carve turns and it'll also make it feel sketchy in tight, tall stuff like skinnies and steep switchbacks. Just my opinion.

So with an 8" 888 the head angle should not be a problem in the steeps. My guess is that the tallish bb height gives people some concern, but since it's supposed to be run with a lot of sag it might be more about set up. In any event it with a big fork it should be more stable than a bullit and less affected by brake jack, which also gives it an advantage on a technical dh run.
 
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