Friday, August 3, 2007 11.00pm
Hailing from sunny Spain, BH has turned up the wick on their MTB range. The Track Racer model is a fairly standard-looking cross-country full suspension bike, but look closely and you'll see a few details which set it apart from the crowd.
The biggest difference is that BH has built the back end of the Track Racer without a pivot at the rear dropout end of the chainstays, either in the 'pay for play' Horst Link position (BH would have to pay Specialized - the license holder - for every bike they make with a Horst Link) or do as Trek and Kona do and move the pivot to the bottom end of the seat stay.
BH choose neither, and while it's at odds with the purist engineers who point out that a pivot in this location will enhance the ride and extend the life expectancy of the rear end, the proof of the pudding is in the riding.
And we have to say that the BH Track Racer is a very sweet ride indeed, with no obvious drawbacks eminating from the lack of pivoting rear stays.
The Fox RP2 rear shock didn't need its Pro Pedal setting to give out a firm pedalling platform when on the gas, and though it was the deepest feeling four inches of travel we've felt, the Track Racer was more than happy to go nuts down the medium intensity rocky/rooty downhills.
The overall positioning of the rider was good, giving a compromise between flat back racer and sit back trail hound. It meant the bike was handy for fast singletracking and pinging through the trees until an opportunity arose to sit up and use a launch pad or manual through some ruts. In that respect it reminds us of a playful Specialized Stumpjumper FSR - massively versatile and loads of fun.
The running gear on the Track Racer XT was Shimano XT and therefore free from fault. Mated to the Fox RP3 rear shock was a quality Fox Float 100RL fork and the wheels were top quality Mavic CrossMax STs shod with tubeless Michelin XCR Dry2 tyres, which despite not looking like they'd like the greasy test conditions, hooked up tight.
Another welcome highlight were the Formula Oro brakes, with great power and modulation. If you're after a have-a-go-hero XC full susser, then the BH Track Racer XT is waiting for you.
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