Interbike 2009 – Outdoor Demo Day 2

by Brian Mullin on September 23, 2009

The weather at day 2 of the Outdoor Demo was a touch milder, but it was still windy, dusty and hot. I had a couple of bikes on my To Do list, but it became very crowded, and it was extremely difficult to get many rides in. At least there was some free food around!

Blur LTc

Blur LTc

The Blur LT comes in a carbon and aluminum version. I tested out the carbon version, the LTc, which is comprised of a carbon front and rear triangle. The 140mm travel bike uses their always nice VPP suspension system. The bike really accelerated and railed nicely, and it climbed well, but on occasion on very steep climbs; there was a slight loss of traction. The Blur LTc was a good all around bike, and it did everything well, with no glaring faults. The carbon fiber not only lightened up the bike, but gave it some nice stiffness with just a slight hint of resiliency and damping. The Blur LTc didn’t have any outstanding attributes, but on the other hand, it did not do anything poorly. It was well rounded, with a tad of carbon goodness, and was just a decent mild mannered bike.

i950-R

Kind Shock

Kind Shock had a small booth hidden over by the electric bikes. They had some of the rear shocks and adjustable seatposts on display. I played around with their i Series (i950 & i900) of adjustable seatposts, and I was very intrigued with their engineering, workmanship and functionality of the units . They come in either a remote or on top of the seatpost (under the saddle) lever actuated versions. Rick of Kind Shock gave me a really in depth walkthrough of the units, and I was very impressed. They also had a seatpost and saddle on a platform, so you could try the units out. I really liked that it was infinitely adjustable, so you could stop it wherever you liked in its travel length.

Sizes: 30.9mm & 31.6mm
Lengths: 300mm & 400mm
Travel: 75mm for 300mm & 125mm for 400mm

Banshee Spitfire

Banshee Spitfire
Banshee is fairly new to the bike scene, and their Spitfire model is still in its prototyping stages. The 5 inch suspension Spitfire has one very interesting feature, it has 2 shock mount positions, that allow you to vary the geometry of the bike. One position gives you a higher BB height, and a steeper head angle for technical XC riding. The other position drops the BB height, and slackens out the head angle for higher speed riding.

Spitfire Adjustable shock mount

The Spitfire was wicked fast when it was pointed downhill, it just accelerated down like crazy. The Spitfire was very neutral, steered and handled nicely, and didn’t display any outstanding squat issues. During hard pedaling, it did just you asked of it, and on steeps climbs the rear end tended to stay connected to the tarmac. I think there is some room for further tinkering on the suspension system, to get it to the same level of its competitions (DW Link and Yeti AS come to mind). On some G-outs, the front end collapsed a bit much, and really tossed you forward. The Spitfire is designed as a 1×9, something that I haven’t ridden very much, so I found the gearing tough for me, since I like to granny gear it a bit more.

I enjoyed my brief time on the Spitfire, it was a nice bike, and the adjustable geometry is an innovative feature. Release date is 2010. I think Banshee has a winner on their hands, and further tweaking of the bike will only help improve it.

Scott Genius 20

Scott Genius

The Scott Genius bike comes in 6 versions, the 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and the Limited. I tried their middle of the road 20 version. The SG 20 has 150mm of travel, and uses their very innovative Equalizer2 rear shock (the TC version). The three chamber Equalizer2 is a remote travel adjustment shock, going from lockout, to 95mm and the fully open 150mm. The rear linkage system is a “faux-bar”, and the frame is made from carbon fiber. On the trail, the SG20 had some pedal bob, and although it was tolerable, it was a bit to much for my taste. The adjustable travel on the rear was really nice, especially when climbing something steep, just do a simple push on the lever, and you drop to 95mm, which really aided traction. On the flats, it was nice to flip it to lockout to keep the pedal bob down. This bike liked to haul around on rocky terrain, the faster and the rougher it was the more comfortable the frame felt. When it got slow and technical, the bike was a bit much to wrestle, and felt heavy and ponderous. Although I really liked the adjustable suspension, the Scott Genius 20 seemed unwieldy on anything but super tough terrain taken at a good clip.

Equalizer2 Rear Shock
Remote lever

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 4, 2009 at 1:22 am

One correction: The Blur LTc is all carbon, not just the fron triangle. http://www.santacruzmtb.com/blurlt_carbon/

"Take our beloved all-duty trailbike, the Blur LT, complete with 140mm of plush, sophisticated, no maintenance VPP suspension. Now, make the frame a pound lighter, make it several orders of magnitude stronger and stiffer, make it out of carbon fiber. Don't candy-ass out and make just a carbon front triangle, make the whole bike out of the stuff, and use a proprietary one piece molding process that ensures maximum strength and minimal weight."

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Brian Mullin - Gram and Pastajet November 4, 2009 at 5:23 am

Yes, you are correct. I found the fact out while researching on the Blur after demo days, but I obviously forgot to update my blog. Thanks for the catch!

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