For you this is the ﬁrst appearance for this short travel cross-country 29er on BikeRadar, but we ﬁrst met it back in January for the What Mountain Bike Trail Bike of the Year round-up.
An immediate shock warranty issue sent it back to base for fettling, and with only 100mm of travel it deﬁnitely felt more in the XC than all-round trail category, so it dropped from that hard-fought test.
We’ve been back on the bike for a few months now though, and it’s time to talk you through initial impressions before we start tinkering.
Frame, kit and handling: Enthusiastic XC/singletrack partner
The shock is working more predictably than before but it’s still on the pert rather than plush side, and it takes afair wallop to get the travel ring to full travel. There’s still enough small bump sensitivity to hook good traction on rough climbs though, and it ﬂatters the grip of the WTB tyres through corners.
Given that that the whole bike only weighs 12.27kg (27.05lb) without pedals, it’s atenacious and naturally rapid climber –it’s already gained Strava King of the Mountain status on one of our longest and hardest local climbs.
We’re making use of the three-position Floodgate compression damping alot to cut out pedalling bob on smooth surfaces. And we’ve just received aremote control CTD shock and fork combo from Fox in the right length, so a damper change is likely by the next time you see it.
Apart from that there’s not much leaping out in terms of upgrades. The American Classic wheels have impressed with their responsiveness and reasonably stiff-tracking traits in off-camber corners and random rock descents. They come tubeless-ready as standard, so we’ve been running the relatively skinny WTB Nano tyres as low as 18psi even on rocky trails with only one puncture and aslight rim dint to report.
The stop/go gear is behaving ﬁne, the carbon bar cockpit is well-proportioned for XC work and Steve from KHS UK ﬁtted alonger Easton seatpost than the standard 350mm carbon one just in case we needed the extra length.
It handles with an eager but accurate feel that shames alot of the more expensive 29ers we’ve ridden. Its stiff and conﬁdence-inspiring, but that isn’t going to stop us tweaking bits over the next few months to wring more speed and control out of it.
This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.