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Mountain Biking

Discussion in 'Pedal Powered' started by Zefan, 2 Mar 2015.

  1. Begbie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

    Posts: 25,366

    Location: ....


    I'd find it hard to ride without one now, great bit of kit.
     
  2. kefkef

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,005

    Location: Somewhere on the Rainbow

    I've just put a BrandX dropper in mine and love getting the seat out of the way easily.
     
  3. rhysduck

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 6,560

    Location: Caerphilly

    Have a 170mm on the new Shan (which was going to go on the Aeris but different post sizes) and it's solid. Toying with swapping the 150mm on the Aeris with a new 170mm!
     
  4. Begbie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

    Posts: 25,366

    Location: ....

    I'm considering the new OneUp if my reverb ever dies, my 125 needed a few bleeds in it's life and had a moment where it wouldn't work at all. But the 150mm has been solid apart from untwisting itself last ride. But my chain came off too, and I was 20 seconds ahead of the KOM until that :(
     
  5. Hedge

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,724

    Location: Somewhere in the middle.

    Anyone been to Leeds Urban Bike Park? tempted to go on Sunday.
     
  6. steve45

    Mobster

    Joined: 10 Jan 2006

    Posts: 3,213

    Location: Catterick/Dundee

    Been to Middleton woods a couple of times, but not since they redeveloped it and turned it into a urban bike park. Got to say, I didnt like riding there on my own, place was sketchy as ****, always feared I was gonna get mugged and my bike taken off me. Probably cleaned the place up a lot since then though, been meaning to go back down that way and check out that place and Esholt woods not been back since I moved to Catterick.
     
  7. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Mar 2011

    Posts: 6,416

    Location: Kent

    I rode a Cube Stereo 140 today, just done a long write up on Singletrackworld so I'll spoiler the whole thing as it's damn long! Overall though - better then the Canyon Spectral CF8.0 I rode a few weeks back. Those Fox 36 factory forks are bloody awesome!!

    Once they go into the sales in Autumn/winter if I've got the funds I'll be buying one. Awesome, awesome bike.

    Today at the QECP Hargroves cycles cyclefest I finally test rode a couple of models of Cube Stereo 140, specifically the 'Race' model (2x11 SLX/XT, Fox 34 & float DPS) and the all singing, all dancing 'TM' model (GX Eagle, Fox 36 factory & DPX2 factory, factory transfer dropper). For anyone interested, here's my thoughts* and comparison to the 2018 Canyon Spectral CF8.0 which I test rode a few weeks back at FoD, and to my own bike - a 2018 Vitus Escarpe VR.

    *disclaimer - I'm not a shredder, I've returned to MTB's from a 15 year hiatus and my fitness levels are still way off what I'd like them to be, however I am getting faster and faster with every week. Also, this is a long one, so get comfortable...

    So, I test rode the Race model in XL size firstly, as they didn't have any TM models in XL, the biggest size was large. It felt a fair bit lighter than my bike (which weighs 33lbs), so I'm guessing it was sub 30lbs - the spec sheet gives it at bang on 30lbs and I believe it. The spec is very similar to my bike in a few ways - SLX drivetrain with an XT mech (my bike has full SLX) although running 2x11 rather than 1x11. A quick note on 2x11; while it was nice to have that super low 24x42 gear, I really didn't like having to constantly swap chainrings, into the 24t for a steep climb, then rolling down the other side you run out of gears on the cassette so then swap to the 34, but then you're a too high gear on the cassette so have to downshift a couple of cogs on that too... 1x11/12 FTW. The ONLY time I'd ever go 2x11 is with Di2 and the syncroshift so it does all that thinking about what chainring you need to be in for you. GC eagle did its think, although I thought initially it was an X01 shifter as it felt 10x more solid than the SLX shifters on my bike/the Race model, the GX eagle shifter is just so much more solid and better feeling to use.

    Anyway... to the rest of the spec - Deore brakes, like my bike, felt very similar - good but nothing to shout about. Suspension, good but again nothing amazing. Overall, just a good solid bike, but it didn't leave me with a grin, didn't get me excited. For £2500 I don't think I'd buy one. Although it's good value with the carbon frame.

    After the ride on the Stereo 140 Race I did a lap of the Blue at QECP on my bike, I could feel the extra weight on the climbs and it felt a tiny bit longer and more stable at speed but less flickable than the Cube.

    Out of interest, the geo vs the XL Cube and my XL Vitus are as follows - Cube/Vitus:

    HA - 66.5/66

    SA - 75.2/74.5

    Reach - 478/495

    CS - 425/435

    BB Drop - -16/-20

    Wheelbase 1217/1234

    So the stats back up the riding feel; longer chainstays/reach/wheelbase and a lower BB, with a .5 degree slacker HA. Longer, lower, slacker!! :) However this isn't always good. Keep reading...

    Then, the main event, the Cube Stereo 140 HPC TM 27.5 2018. And breath...

    [​IMG]IMG_20180512_142401 by Paul Sims, on Flickr

    Excuse the gloves left on the seat and the non-lined up wheel logos, I'm ashamed.

    The spec of this thing for £3500 is astonishing. Fox 36 factory LSC/HSC, Fox DPX2 factory, Fox factory transfer dropper, GX eagle, Code R brakes (200/180mm), RaceFace finishing kit and a set of Newmen 1600g 30mm wheels.

    Now they didn't have an XL model - I'm 6ft 3in and normally fall right in between L and XL, which I did on this bike, as I did on my Escarpe. I was expecting it to feel pretty short and a bit small, but nope - it obviously felt a little shorter than my bike and the XL stereo 140 but not massively so. It also felt a tiny bit heavier than the Race version, probably due to Fox 36's vs 34's and a DPX2 vs Float.

    First impressions, other than not being as small as I thought it would feel, was just how gosh darned stiff it felt! Compared to my alloy Vitus it felt incredible precise, every movement was being directly input into the bike. The stiffness lets it climb very well, no complaints there. Apart from my fitness... Then I get to the new blue section at QECP, with it's many, many berms and rollers, and Jesus H. Christ this thing is good!!!!!! :) I don't know whether it was a the slightly smaller size, the light wheels, the stiffness of the frame, or a combination of the overall package but this thing is telepathic when cornering. I then find myself carrying a little too much speed for a tight 180 degree berm and I know the brakes have a longer throw than I'm used to (even with the reach adjust fully out they still bite a bit too close to the bars for me, an easy fix on your own bike) but once they bite, do they bite! Super powerful and not at all grabby like XT's, more power than I'd ever need - fantastic brakes! On this route there's not many roots or gnar sections, but I did hit a few biggish roots which on my bike would have come back through the bars, that's revelations for you. The 36 factory was as plush as a very very plush thing. Tiny roots and stutter bumps through to larger hits and drops, everything is absorbed brilliantly. I need these forks in my life... Almost forgot about the DPX2, but it did it's thing below me with not a second thought given to it, matching the plushness of the 36's up front, so that's also a cracker. Incidentally, I love the noise Fox forks make when compressing, it's hard to describe but most RS forks are silent whereas Fox forks give that audible feedback to let you know it's got the situation under control 'It's OK mate, I got this root, don't you worry. Oh and that drop? On me.Think nothing of it'.

    Other spec/thoughts - the fox transfer post just got on with it, and I like the 'clunk' at the top of it's travel to let you know it's fully erect. The Newmen wheels aren't a known brand over here but their hubs are CNC machined (like Hope hubs) in Germany and the rear freewheel sounds like a Hope, not sure how many engagement points it has but it sounded like a swarm of bees was chasing me. Oh and they're 1600g. Did I mention that? You'd need to go to some mega expensive carbon wheels to get any lighter. Tyres were Schawlbe 2.35 fat alberts but it was dry and dusty so anything with a semi-decent tread would have been good. I reckon you could fit a 2.5WT Maxxis on the rear but it might be a bit of a squeeze, would need to look into the sizes. Up front there's no issues as they're boost forks and so there's acres of space for 2.6 or bigger.

    Overall - bloody brilliant. It was playful, confidence inspiring, I found myself going faaaar faster on the TM L model vs my bike or the Race XL version and it was eager to play, to pop off roots or rollers, very easy to bunny hop too. Stiff and mega-responsive yet plush and comfortable. Compared to the Spectral CF8.0 I rode, this is right up there and with the discounts you can get you're looking at £2750 vs £3150 and the spec sheet on the Cube blows the Canyon away. Plus you get the shop support with Cube that you don't get with Canyon.

    At the moment - if it was my money it'd be going the way of the German bike. Oh, wait...

    The Cube. Yes, definitely the Cube :) It's a good job I love gold bits on my bikes :)

    I'm also now seriously considering a L TM 140 rather than an XL... again the size charts put me right on the line between them, but I'm not sure how much the sizing will have affected the riding characteristics; can anyone tell me how much of the feel of the bike would have been influenced by the below geo stats?:

    L is first, then XL.

    HA - 66.5 for both

    SA - 75.2 for both

    Reach - 478/458

    CS - 425 for both

    BB Drop - -16 for both

    Wheelbase 1217/1189

    I have a feeling the XL will just feel a little more stable at speed, but just as playful and poppy, the wheels I think had a big impact on this along with the stiffness of the frame. I'm happy to be proved wrong though! Interestingly looking at the XL and L versions in the Race models side by side, the XL has a decently longer stem so they seem to be making up for the not hugely long reach by fitting a longer stem, for those giants who are taller than me I presume. Fitting a shorter stem and a set of 800mm bars (they come with 780mm bars) would quicken the steering and lengthen the reach a little.

    Also, more stats - the XL Cube when compared the the Canyon is nigh on identical apart from having a slightly lower BB and a longer wheelbase.

    HA - 66.5/66

    SA - 75.2/74.5

    Reach - 478/482

    CS - 425/430

    BB Drop - -16/-22

    Wheelbase 1217/1235

    The canyon was an awesome bike, again very playful, light, direct, and the 2.6" tyres provided masses of grip and rolled really well. The first thing I'd do on the Cube stereo 140 would be to fit a 2.5WT tye up front along with the biggest tyre I could get in the rear, probably a 2.5WT again.

    Overall a great day, even the rain held off until right at the very end. The Canyon and Cube are the 2 bikes top of my list for my next bike in Autumn/Winter to upgrade my Vitus (it's parts will probably end up on a hardcore hardtail, Bird Zero AM Boost or Orange P7 are looking most likely) with the Cube (or Canyon, maybe...) taking up FS duties.
     
  8. Begbie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

    Posts: 25,366

    Location: ....

    Wow, how'd you managae to get a hold of one?

    Isn't any other reviews about... is there?
     
  9. TallPaul_S

    Soldato

    Joined: 24 Mar 2011

    Posts: 6,416

    Location: Kent

    Nope, I've not seen any reviews of it, which considering the fuss about the new Stereo 150 that's just been launched, I'm surprised at. The 150 shares the all new carbon/alloy frame with the 140.

    I'd seen this demo day ages ago and had planned to go, with the MBR FoD demo day and this one at QECP I've now ridden the 2 bikes that are my shortlist for my next bike.
     
  10. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,234

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    Hey so, I have the opportunity to get quite a significant discount on a new bike and it seems like a shame not to take advantage of it. I always imagined I'd go for an adventure bike, being a bit of a roadie, but now I think I'm leaning towards giving a hardtail a proper go. I imagine I'd mainly do longer distance XC sort of riding, possibly some light bikepacking, so I'm leaning towards a 29er. First choice at the minute seems to be this:

    https://www.evanscycles.com/trek-x-caliber-7-2018-mountain-bike-EV311870

    Which is gorgeous and probably not too hard to justify given I get an extra 17.5% off Trek. A lot of the advice seems to be towards air forks and 1x drivetrains, which I'm sure would be nice but I can't say I consider them a must. It looks like it has the same frame as the Roscoe, which people in the shop rave about for being a joy to throw around. That doesn't start until £800 though, and still with coil forks (albeit 1x). Alternatively, there's this which we get quite a good deal on:

    https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-kapur-3-2018-mountain-bike-EV320536

    Air forks, better drivetrain but 27.5" and not quite as nice a frame, although the designer is the same guy who did Genesis bikes and the geometry is supposed to be pretty good.

    Essentially - frame, wheel size, forks, drivetrain. Would I be making a mistake in prioritising it how I have?
     
  11. Caseh

    Soldato

    Joined: 10 Sep 2007

    Posts: 5,350

    Location: Sheffield

    I currently have a 2017 Genesis Tarn 29 that I'm looking to sell - It's in fairly good condition, as It's not been ridden. It's all factory spec as well, with DMR V12's on it. Any ideas on what kind of price I should be looking at? Doesn't seem to be any going second hand for me to compare it against.
     
  12. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 11 May 2007

    Posts: 8,440

    Location: Surrey

    Pinnacle is much better spec'd (better fork, drivetrain, brakes). It's 27.5 but that'll turn better than a 29er.
     
  13. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,234

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    But... it doesn't look as cool :(
     
  14. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 11 May 2007

    Posts: 8,440

    Location: Surrey

  15. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,234

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    Yeah a big draw of the X-cal is that it's the same frame as the Roscoe tbh.
     
  16. Begbie

    Caporegime

    Joined: 20 Oct 2004

    Posts: 25,366

    Location: ....


    Frame, fork, wheels and then the rest. Pretty easy to convert to 1x further down the line if you think you'd want it. I'd hate to go back to changing a front mech on a mountain bike, but I'd rather have a nicer fork than anything else.

    From what I remember the 2nd bike uses a soloair, which is much better than the one on the Trek.
     
  17. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 11 May 2007

    Posts: 8,440

    Location: Surrey

    If you are XC you might be better off with the 2x9, more range for the climbs. I'm 1x11 on the Roscoe and it's fine for what I use it for but anything really steep I'm not sure I'd have a low enough gear.
     
  18. PermaBanned

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Jul 2009

    Posts: 16,234

    Location: Newcastle/Aberdeen

    For reference I'm interested in doing this and similar sorts of riding, for which it seems like 29ers could make a big difference.

    https://deesidetrail.co.uk/route/

    I know air forks are all the rage but I think I'd appreciate the relative simplicity of decent coil forks, and the overall weights of the bikes seem almost identical.
     
  19. bloodiedathame

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 11 May 2007

    Posts: 8,440

    Location: Surrey

    29 would be good for that to be fair.
     
  20. rhysduck

    Soldato

    Joined: 25 Oct 2009

    Posts: 6,560

    Location: Caerphilly

    That's the point a few of the guys have made, the 30 Silver RS forks on the Trek are not decent. They're quite the opposite... the Recon Air (on the Pinnacle) forks however are very good for the price.

    You need to get yourself sitting on a 29er, they've changed somewhat over the last few years but I'd still recommend swinging your leg over one before buying anything.