Join Date: Oct 2004
Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker
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Alright, here's the low down...
When I first opened the box, I immediately disliked he tires. This changed a bit when I realized that this bike, though called dual-sport, is leaning a little more towards the mountain bike style. The stock tires are a slicker middle with more mountain style on the edges. I'm not sure the exact size, but they aren't as wide as a normal mtb tire, but it is a 29er and you could easily swap them with any 700c tires you can find.
While putting it together, I noticed that the wheels were pretty good quality, with some help from the discs, they appeared to be able to handle quite a bit of abuse. It does come with decent disc brakes which would be great for touring, but overkill for normal riding, unless you really wanted nice smooth stopping power. The fork on it is pretty nice. Nothing you want to go jumping with, but they too appeared to be a quality fork. The shifting on this bike was really good. After a quick adjustment, it shifted like a dream, both front and back, very smooth. The gearing on this is more set for road riding, as opposed to having very low gears. Still with the 11-34 9 speed on the back, you get plenty of variation in gears. I did find a small grass hill on the test ride that I rode up in a lower gear, and unless you wanted to ride up anything pretty big, the gearing is plenty low enough for casual off roading. On that same note, I really liked the handling of the 29's on the grass, I felt confident even after only riding it for a few minutes. Another little thing I liked is that it comes with bar ends for a little different hand placement.
The only thing I didn't like about the bike was that rather than using frame mounted cable stays, on the front fork and the seatstay for the rear disc, it used a little stick-on mount to get a precise placement, but I would recommend putting a couple pull ties to help the stickies stay on. Other than that minor gripe, It was a great bike.