I first spotted the intriguing Spot Mayhem at Outerbike in Moab this spring, but they didn’t have any bikes available for testing. This August was a different story, and I was able to take one out for a test ride in Crested Butte.
The Mayhem is the little brother of the Rollik, offering a more trail-oriented 130mm of suspension travel front and rear vs. the 140/150 on the Rollik. The head tube angle measures 66.7 degrees. Click over to Spot’s website for full geo and spec information.
The most unique part of Spot’s full suspension offerings is their Living Link leaf spring near the bottom bracket. Spot provides a lengthy explanation of the Living Link on their website, but here’s the gist of it:
The Living Link™ system re-imagines and reinvents full-suspension technology to provide riders with multiple benefits over conventional systems. We accomplish this by replacing the standard, maintenance-prone cartridge bearings with a highly-developed composite leaf spring. We pair it with a finely-tuned air shock, which works in conjunction with the leaf spring, to harness the advantages of both. The Living Link™ leaf spring is both laterally stiff and vertically dynamic, providing a progressive flex through its range of motion. The result is a leap forward in bike handling, durability, longevity and pure fun.
The carbon Mayhem frameset alone retails for $3,199, and the build I tested would retail for about $6,999. Claimed weight for the model I tested is 28 pounds.
My test bike was kitted with a Fox 34 Factory fork, Fox Float Factory EVOL rear shock, SRAM Eagle X01 12-speed drivetrain, a Fox Transfer dropper post, SRAM Guide brakes (exact Guide model unknown), Mavic XA Elite wheels, and Mavic Quest Pro 29×2.35″ tires front and rear.
Out on the Trail
The Mayhem immediately felt natural and balanced as we pedaled out of the boundary of Crested Butte Mountain Resort to access a network of trails that would drop us all the way to the town of Crested Butte. Dropping into a series of kickers and hucks, this 29er felt comfortable and competent in the air, but with a propensity for high speeds and straight lines in lieu of playfulness.
The next section of our descent down Westside consisted of a loose scree field feeding into a brutal rock garden that caused more than a few people to get off and walk their bikes. In this instance, the Mayhem’s stock build was overwhelmed–specifically, the tires and wheels. While I love the grippiness of Mavic’s rubber and how the casings connect with such low profile knobs, there just wasn’t enough heft to these wheels to tackle this section with confidence. Under gunned though these tires may have been, the Mayhem made it out the other side unscathed.
When we arrived at the bottom of the mountain, I was prepared to take the shuttle back up the 600 feet of climbing to the base of the chairlift–but the others in my group voted to pedal. Alright, pedal it is.
In its stock configuration, the Mayhem proved to be an absolute rocket on the climb! The excellent Fox suspension fully locked out into a rigid climbing machine. As we powered up a paved bike path the lightweight wheels and tires and 28-pound complete weight were an incredible boon, as I was able to keep pace with the rest of the group. Sure they were chatting, but knowing myself–and knowing a couple of the guys I was pedaling with–I was just stoked not to be falling off the back!
A rocket on the climbs, a precision tool on the descents… or so my test went. But with the confidence-inspiring geometry, the build of the Mayhem could easily be tweaked to best suit your own personal riding style. Add a set of burlier tires and possibly burlier wheels, and presto! you have a 130mm ripper of a trail bike. As with everything you’d experience tradeoffs, sacrificing a bit of that climbing speed for more confidence on the descents, but the real story is the Mayhem’s platform. And that platform is capable and prepared to do whatever you want with it!