December 9, 2010
I love the low center of gravity on this bike, it really helps this bike carve corners. The build kit is top notch for the money and with a few small personal part swaps it's easy to make this bike feel comfortable. This is nothing new but the Fox suspension and Crossmax SX wheelset really bring out the frame's potential for AM/FR use. The Hammerschmidt cranks are awesome (if a bit heavy)... they have completely changed my expectations of front shifting. The set up is perfect for those of us who hate messing with our derailleurs and just want to ride. I also like that not having a front mech means less to catch on me while pedaling. The gear ratio's perfect for general riding and it's future-proof by being 10 speed compatible. With a few small changes (tires namely) this bike can go from bike park playbike to singletrack shredder in the same afternoon.
It's pretty heavy and climbs in a sort of slow-but-steady manner. However with that said, it pedals better than many bikes that weigh pounds less due to it's top notch suspension and light(ish) wheels. Stay seated, take your time and know that your uphill effort will pay off when the trail levels off and will be forgotten about all together as soon as the trail points downhill. If you do more climbing than descending... try a Sortie.
This is now a moot issue but the headangle on my '09 at 68 degrees is a bit steep for the kind of trouble this bike encourages. However it's raked out more on the new ones so this is really a non-issue. I also use this bike for general trail use so having a steeper HA actually allows this bike to get up hill a bit easier.
If you want a hard hitting and versatile AM ride or if you want a FR rig that can actually get you uphill without the leg pain... buy a Scapegoat. It's a completely worthy ride that will do anything you ask of it while begging for more.