Lucky me has a new bike to ride. Over the next couple of months I will be out there in the dirt with a shiny XTC 29er 0. I haven't had a chance to really put all that many miles on the bike yet but so far I'm pretty impressed. I have the 2010 model of this bike and the up speccing is pretty obvious this year. Shimano XT running gear, Avid Elixir 7 brakes and the banging Fox F29 RL fork. Another nice little addition is the Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres. I haven't had a lot of experience with the brand but these tyres felt quite good right out of the blocks. Time will tell if that continues and whether they wear well or not.
My first ride was out at Clear Mountain in the steeps. It climbs like a spider monkey on Red Bull. There is no flex from the Power Core bottom bracket and that translates to all the power going into forward motion. again the tyres were a pleasant surprise with little slippage in the gravelly conditions.
I did get a little time in the singletrack over the weekend and I liked it. The steering is precise and quick. I got it around the trails with no effort at all and the brakes were good if not great. There is a 180mm rotor on the front this year and while it isn't essential for someone my size, I guess it will help with brake fade on long descents.
This may look a bit lack luster as far as thoughts go but that is far from the case. This is a step up from my 2010 XTC 29er no doubt however I knew what to expect. I expected the bike to ride as well as it did, I expected the XT to work as well as ever and I expected that the package would be as good as it is. All in all, I like it so far.
Once I get some more time and a race or two done on the bike I will do a more in depth review. For right now this is just a teaser. Check the specs below.