November 11, 2009
Suspension is outstanding, rides fantastic, looks great, built strong.
Monarch 2.1 is a little weak.
I bought this frame and did a build, using a RockShox SID Team fork, Shimano X7 shifting parts and a crank, and Bontrager equipment pimped from my Trek Fuel. This bike feels a lot better than my Fuel, handles better and climbs better. It's a bit on the heavy side, but by going easy on some components I was able to save some weight and keep it down. I highly recommend picking up the frame for about $450 and doing a build with a pre-existing bike you are planning on upgrading. It's the ultra-inexpensive way to acquire a low-cost high-end trailbike. I wish they'd stick a Fox shock on this bad boy; the Monarch is weak and bottoms out a lot. Plus, it lacks a gate adjustment and could use some more oomph.