Friday, July 15, 2011

Wow!!! First HiFi ride report

Ok, ok, I know I posted the same pic yesterday, but I'm just THAT excited about this bike!

Being that this is the first full suspension bike I've ever owned (or ridden for that matter), I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. I had been thinking it was going to be pretty squishy, and that I would notice a HUGE difference in power transfer compared to my hardtail. For all intents and purposes, I expected this bike to be a slow accelerating, but comfy ride that I might get frustrated with.

Honestly, I couldn't have been more wrong. From the first pedal stroke, I was amazed with how quickly this thing accelerated. It really doesn't feel all that much different from my hardtail in that regard. Sure it feels different, but not in a bad way.

Handling was a bit different as well, but again, not in a bad way. Every bike handles slightly different-even if it's set up the same. The chainstays are slightly longer on this bike compared to my HT, so the long wheelbase is just a bit less nimble. I felt a tiny bit slower in the twisty stuff at first, but once I adapted to the change, it was barely noticeable. The biggest thing I did notice, was that this bike really really SITS in the corners. I've had a similar sensation after running lower pressure in my rear tire on my HT, but with the added suspension on the HiFi, I can really be aggressive in the turns and not have to worry about loosing traction.

Downhills are FAAAAST! So fast, in fact, I got caught off guard a few times and nearly went off the trail after screaming through a bumpy downhill. 29er full suspension bikes are like cheating in this regard. It rolls over EVERYTHING-and quickly! I thought the HT was efficient...not as much as this!

And finally, techy uphills are much mush easier. From what I can gather, a full suspension bike really rewards the efficient rider. The better your pedal stroke, the better the bike will suit you. Less "pedal bob" and more grippyness on the short, sharp, and loose climbs. Even when you stand up and mash the pedals, the rear tire grabs because, unlike a hardtail, the frame absorbs the power and puts it directly into the tire. The result is you get less skid and more grip. Basically, it relieves you of the need to softpedal when things get slippy.

Overall, I couldn't be more satisfied. I'm completely sold on the use of a full suspension bike-so much so, that if you were to ask me to have one bike, it would be this one. I never imagined how efficient this bike could be, and I'm so happy I decided to get it.

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