The headset and fork aren’t tapered but the big, triple-butted frame tubes and bolt-thru rear axle mean it’s still an impressively stiff chassis both through the pedals and through the turns.
The tilted back seat tube means the ride position gets longer the higher you run the saddle and the long stem means there’s never any shortage of breathing space. Even without the Pro Pedal lever flicked across, the FSP linkage means it pedals really well for a true four-bar bike.
Add a custom colour XT transmission, Formula R1 brake, DT Swiss wheelset and Syntace finishing kit and it looks great on paper.
Unfortunately, the 30lb weight kills off any hope of cresting climbs first and it feels particularly energy hungry even on flat trails. While the bars are a decent width the long stem leaves its steering slow witted.
The back end never feels like a big travel set-up either, except strangely on steps; it either stays solid or blows through its travel badly. It sits really high in its travel too, keeping the angles steep and removing confidence on descents.