24Seven have got together with their team riders to produce this new slopestyle bike, the Messiah. It's not the most glamorous bike around, with its decidedly unflashy grey paintwork, but it offers a pleasantly surprising ride. We got our hands on one to try out...
Frame: out of the ordinary but works fine
The frame is built from 6061 aluminium, and uses a pivot around the bottom bracket. In theory this means the chain length shouldn't change when the suspension moves, so you could run a singlespeed here if you wanted to. This unusual feature comes at the cost of pedalling efficiency - the chain line being higher than the pivot means that the suspension will be compressed to a small extent by pedalling forces.
Don't be put off though, this bike isn't designed to be ridden that way. You're supposed to be freewheeling when you land drops and jumps, and that's what the suspension is there for - not to keep you putting the power down on a DH race track. The rocker that activates the RP23 air shock helps to keep things both plush, straight and stiff at the back end. Effort has clearly been made to keep the back end short, but mud clearance is still OK.
Equipment: functionally unflash
We're not quite sure what's going on with the colour scheme, but love the no-frills flat grey paint. The forks and hubs don't quite match, but don't look bad - just different. Finished with 24Seven's own cranks, bars and stem, SRAM running gear and Hayes brakes, all the parts here are well established at being able to get the job done well, if not too glam.
Ride: balanced and precise
We were pleasantly surprised with the ride. Looking at it sitting high with a short wheelbase, it looks as though it should be a wallowing ride. This wasn't the case though, and we soon had this bike firing through rhythm sections and railing berms. This bike has a balanced ride, dealing with hits easily but retaining a precise feel to the back end.
We had the forks set a little soft, which made them super active, but they did bottom out on some bigger landings. These forks may look at bit slim after the Totem, but caused no concern for us. Keeping the back end a little harder than normal keeps things feeling responsive, but keeps something in reserve for hits. While we were aware of the foibles that are supposed to go with a concentric bottom bracket pivot, nobody complained about it while riding. Most of our time was spent looking for something bigger to try, or getting more sideways, or nosed in further. After a quick initial set-up there was very little mucking about, just riding.
Finally, 24Seven have informed us that they have a slightly larger frame in the pipeline for this month, which will come with two chainrings, opening up more potential uses for this suspension set-up.