This post is a little late, but here finally is my finished Astrix Solo. We’ve got the Stan’s rims on Chris King hubs, a Marzocchi Corsa Supperleggera with 100mm travel, and a ton of tasty Chromag gear. The last piece of the puzzle was a set of Shimano Deore brakes, which are not all that sexy, but they work fine.
I only rode it a couple times before our “summer” went to hell here, but I came away with some very strong impressions of what its ride is going to be.
So let’s talk about it;
I didn’t include a picture of the parts bike I bought to make this go, so here’s the ’09 Rocky Mountain Blizzard I bought last winter. I know you’re thinking right now, “That’s a parts bike!? It’s awesome!” Yes it was awesome. And had it been my size, I probably would have kept it as a replacement for my stolen ’05 Blizzard. But it was too big, and I knew someone that had looking for an XL Blizzard for a while, so it was an easy deal to make.
How does it ride? I really forgot what a full suspension bike rode like. I was really surprised that I could just sit on it and still roll through roots. I imagine this fancy linkage has something to do with that, but I don’t know how. I think that the linkage allows the shock’s rear mount to move around a little, and that maybe results in less of the drivetrain and brakes working on the shock than my old Superlight. I remember that bike felt really weird when pedaling in the granny gear.
I was really worried about how the rear end of the bike felt in the stand, like it was going to be super noodlely, but I didn’t notice that on the trail. It’s been smooth and solid. But, I did notice that you can’t just pound over roots on the Solo like my Devinci 27+ bike can. A couple times I had a brief sensation of “I’m about to go over the bars!” but then I was ok. Maybe I just need to tune the fork differently.
I’ve already trimmed the bars, as they are crazy wide for the trails that I like to ride. And I had way more pedal strikes then I’m used to. I have to go way back to my Specialized FSR Enduro to think of another bike that sat this low. I’m not very happy about this, but maybe this too can be tuned out. I may not have the right sag set in the shock, and the bike may be just sitting lower than it should be.
I’m very happy with the 2×10 drivetrain (but the chain is too short), the XTR shifters are flawless of course, those Cromag grips are extra-grippy, and I think I did a stellar job on colours, which all just fell into place honestly. I really would like a 120mm fork, but I’m good for now. And I’m still thinking about a 27.5 front wheel, but I don’t know if one will fit in this fork. Finding a good 27.5″ fork with 120mm travel and a non-tapered fork will be difficult.
More riding and more tuning is due, but it’ll probably have to wait a bit as our weather has gone to hell, so updates in the spring probably.