If you’ve ever so much as looked at a mountain bike, you’ll surely have heard of John Tomac. This year Tomac and engineering genius Joel Smith set about reﬁning some of their already well-established range by introducing the Instant Active Suspension (IAS) system. The Snyper 140 was one of the lucky frames to be updated.
Ride & handling: Improved suspension results in a bike that loves to be hammered
It’s obvious that the Snyper wants to attack the terrain. The new IAS system does add the suppleness required to get things moving more easily over smaller bumps yet still won’t go all ‘bobby’ when the pedals are really hammered.
In fact, the suspension isn’t a problem when it comes to the climbs, but the 2.35in Kenda Nevegal tyres and 13.6kg (30lb) weight do team up to add some unwanted resistance.
On the downs, the 68.2-degree head angle means steering is snappy, but coupled with the 90mm stem, can get a little twitchy when things get really steep. Slap on a 60 or 70mm stem and things will certainly improve.
The Fox fork handles the hits predictably and with plenty of control, while the back end does a good job of sitting up in its travel without blowing through unnecessarily.
In fact, it’s this trait that promotes the attacking style that the Snyper yearns for. This is no wallowy bouncer – this is controlled progression that can be bottomed-out without any painful clunk or judder.
The Snyper is built to attack – much like Tomac himself. If you like to grit your teeth, hammer the pedals and haul through the singletrack, then this could well be the bike for you.
Frame & equipment: Well made chassis decked out with wishlist finishing kit
The Snyper 140 is designed with function in mind. You may wonder where the hydroformed tubes or the ﬂash graphics with colour-matched headset spacers are, but this bike is built, by engineers, to do its job, not to just look good on the shop ﬂoor.
The tapered head tube adds to its all-mountain ability and the burly gusset that reinforces it offers conﬁdence-inspiring stiffness. The rear triangle is reinforced with additional triangulation in order to combat pedal and braking forces.
It also features a single strut on the non-driveside to maximise stiffness without adding too much weight. The short distance between the pivots on the links and the solid rear triangle means the Snyper’s rear end is ﬂex-free.
The 140mm (5.5in) of rear wheel travel is well dealt with by Fox’s Float RP23 shock. Fox feature again at the front of the bike, in the shape of the 32 Float FIT RL fork with 15mm quick-release though-axle, which produces a smooth controlled action and precise steering.
The rest of the component list reads like a dream, thanks to the use of established high-end brands, which are well thought-out and complement the frame nicely. SRAM deal with the transmission (X9 shifters and front mech, X0 rear mech) and Easton provide bars and wheels.