April 10, 2010
Wicked fast and very light. Carbon frame + carbon steering. Carves tight single track without lots of body English.
More expensive than my LT2 F/S. Still not a lot of options on upgrading components (wheels/tires etc)
I was home in NZ for 6 weeks...didn't bring a bike so went off to the LBS to demo the local brand, Avanti. I've been intrigued by the 29ers and the Avanti spec'd 29er was a tank. They had an Orbea Alma 29er World Cup on display and priced at a level that local Kiwi's weren't biting on. So I plopped a deposit and rolled it out the door for some Kapiti Coast single track.
Blown away at the ease that this bike rolled over obstacles. At 23.5lb/10.6kg it was light and nimble climbing. Even though it's only 5 LBs lighter than my LT2, that difference seems like another gravity on another planet. It was difficult to gauge my speed, it felt really fast and with my Garmin FR 305 I was able to get some feedback and slow down to avoid disaster. It descends great on true XC type terrain, it can handle some rougher stuff better than a typical 26 HT but I'm still feeling out the integrity of 29er wheels. I can feel a bit of flex in the wheels.
Frame absorbs plenty per the four point rear triangle.
This will be my travel abroad bike, as at 23.5LBs plus a hard case it's well under the luggage limit.
A serious XC racer and will be used on some 12 hour races this Summer. I'm eager to compare times against prior years with F/S bikes.
If you need to cover lots of ground fast in an XC environment, this is a rocket!!