Pros; Climbs like a mountain goat, descends like a bat out of hell
Cons; Not much really
I had the opportunity to test a G150 for a couple of hours several Mondays ago. A 150mm travel bike is not my thing, think rigid, singlespeed mountain bikes, steel road bikes and rigid fat bikes. I went with an open mind, although I was expecting to get beaten on the climbs (the other chaps were using T130s and the M109 Carbon suspended race bikes) and hold my own on the descents.
As always, the pace was supposed to be friendly on the first climb but the men were sorted from the boys straight from the off! I puffed my way with the first group up the hill and we regrouped at the first gate. The rear suspension was locked out but I didn’t bother locking out the front. We promised that the pace would slow down for the second bit but H was not listening and shot off. Oh well never mind, its not a race!
Chris gave chase and soon caught up and passed H, who ended up walking (did you not see the deer that knocked me off my bike as it was getting chased by a big Cat…? Ermm, no!). I keep something in my reserve tank as the final part of the climb is steep and I was running a single chain-ring. I kept spinning the legs but my head kept telling me it was now more efficient to push than to ride, so I duly went along with this. Even Chris had to use the granny gear.
Another re-grouping occurred at the top and after a bit of a chat, we headed off down hill. I was at the back and started struggling, just one of the days I guess. I was struggling to see properly but surly its the same for everyone else? I dipped my lights down to cope with the mist and then it all clicked together for me. I caught and passed a couple of riders on the way down and settled in to letting the bike do the work in the narrow gully. The seat was all the way up for the climb and then I remember, I was using a dropper post. Magic. I dropped the post a few inches and bounced my way down.
A few more descents followed (how far did we initially climb?) and I was getting to grips with the G150. I was able to manual over the bumps and jumps, pump through the berms and keep up with the fast guys. With little pedalling on the way down, I used the bikes abilities to carry as much speed as I thought was possible.
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So overall, I was pleasantly surprised how well a 150mm travel bike could climb. Apart from the steepest climb at the start (about 1 in 3), the bike climbed really well providing I was sitting and spinning. The bike obviously excelled on the descents, it’s designed to do that but it gave me a lot of confidence to go at speed. It certainly felt fast, so I’d love to test the bike for longer to see how much I could push it.