Chris Huntley

Chris Huntley

Chris Huntley

Chris Huntleywrote a review of on August 5, 2016

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I've been able to take my switchblade on a good variety of trails now. I'm coming off a 170mm 26 Giant Reign X, and feel that i can ride the switchblade about as hard on the way down, but absolutely cruise on the way up. Technical climbing is great (especially with the I9 hubs), and if you need to climb fire roads or pavement, the middle and firm settings feel perfect. The rear suspension certainly gives more feedback, and i suppose it couldn't handle the same size huck to flat as my big rig, but this bike can definitely be ridden aggressively. On a section of trail made up of medium size chunk, then 3 2-3 foot drops in quick succession, i had the sensation of the 29er accelerating and felt like i was hanging on: this thing goes fast! there is a little more work required to get up to speed, but after getting there, it will absolutely haul until you hit the brakes.

the big hoops certainly help get through chunk, though i don't charge rock gardens quite as hard as on the 170 bike. I did case a couple small doubles yesterday and the suspension did an admirable job getting the rear over the knuckle. as far as the 29er handling, i immediately felt at home with the new geo, and feel i can carve and make corrections equally as easily as my 26. Switchbacks are also a cinch.

On a 3-4 foot drop in a steep section of trail that sees you immediately get on the brakes to make a sharp left turn, the bike did feel a little squirreley, but i suspect this is because i have't gotten the tune quite where i want it to be yet, as opposed to any shortcomings in the design. The fork comes stock with one blue spacer which is waaaaaay too linear for this bike. I'm up to 3 orange and 1 blue with 25% and will probably take out the blue and run around 22% in the fork as medium hits are too harsh now. the shock/suspension has been great so far. i have yet to feel it bottom out, but have used full travel many times. the shock was quite warm after a fast/chunky descent (Nascar in carlsbad, CA) and i'm curious about switching to a float x or x2. I'd like to try adding a band in the air can and running slightly less pressure and see how it feels, but i am happy so far with the stock shock tune and wouldn't complain if it didn't get any better. at 195 with my riding gear, i found that the open 3 setting makes a HUGE difference accelerating through g-outs and minimizing pedal bob. definitely play with it.

there are only a few downsides, 2 of which will work themselves out. I've smacked my feet a couple times getting used to the wide q factor, but that dropped off after a few rides. you also gotta watch the rear der through any pinch points and it takes some mental adjustment to hug the left side even more when you come across any. other than that, the size L and XL should come with a 150mm dropper, and the fork should ship with bottomless tokens: it's silly that for a bike this price, i gotta spend another 9 bucks to get the fork to feel like it should. the xt brakes will squeal more than my 2013 xtrs, and the rear rotor should probably be a 180 as i've noticed just a touch of fade. also, as previously mentioned, the stock bars should be 760.

The bike climbs and descends great. the geo makes it easy to shift weight around when climbing, lay it over and drift through corners, and make mid turn corrections when you start to regret your past decisions. A couple parts in the spec should be updated and the fork should come stock with more tokens. I wouldn't take it to the park or on world cup DH runs, but i have loved this ride on everything else!

(1)

 

0 Comments

Chris Huntley

Chris Huntleywrote a review of on April 15, 2015

4 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

The material these are made out of feels great: fairly rugged but decently breathable with a little stretch. The features are well thought out with easily accessible zippered cargo pocket and zippered vents that let plenty of air through. The also have mesh pockets that help to vent, but the mesh is burlier than in my fox shorts. The stretch panel on the back is nice and the external waist adjustment is handy for getting the initial fit. I don't find myself constantly wanting to adjust my other shorts, so i don't know that the external vs. internal adjustment really matter though.

The fit can be pretty annoying though. Wearing them while generally heading down feels great. Wearing them on a trail with lots of pedaling causes them to shift uncomfortably. If you have muscular legs (not be be confused with a lack of body fat that shows off muscle) the legs with ride up and cause the waist to move. and fitting bulky DH pads underneath is tougher than with other shorts.

These probably fit great if you're on the skinnier side. if you have bigger legs, ordering the right size waist will make the rest of the shorts tighter than you'd like. Ultimately, i like the fit son my fox shorts more.

(0)

 

0 Comments

0 Comments

Chris Huntley

Chris Huntleywrote a review of on January 26, 2015

4 5

These shorts are super comfy on and off the bike. The have a little longer cut (at the bottom of the knee cap) and a little slimmer fit in the waist than my attack Q4 shorts from two year ago. I wear size 33 pants and my other fox shorts are 34 with the waist cinched down. I ordered these in 34 and have the waist as loose as it goes.

The material is really light weight, dries almost immediately, and is super stretchy. It's been great for Arizona riding. They've seen a couple small wrecks and resisted abrasion from dirt and sandstone just fine. However, I haven't made a habit of having gnarly crashes while wearing these, and i would doubt they would hold up well to downhill wrecks.

The pockets are made of a really light mesh. I've had no issues with these shorts yet, but had the mesh tear on an old pair of fox sergeants. It was easily stitched back together, but it still seems like a stronger material could be used and you wouldn't have to worry about losing your keys.

(1)

 

0 Comments