Interbike Demo 2015
Ah the Interbike Demo. Hundred degree heat in a desolate rock outcropping, just a few miles outside of the desert oasis known as Las Vegas. Hundreds of bike nuts descend down Bootleg Canyon, some will get injured, others challenge the rescue helicopter while yelling “safety third” before bombing near vertical “Reaper.”
That’s where I spent the last 8 hours of daylight before descending on the city for cheap drinks and overpriced food. Here were my thoughts on my favorite bikes.
Jamis Defcon 1
Release Date: Q3 2015
Of the four bikes I rode today, my favorite by far was the Jamis Defcon 1. I was pretty bummed that my phone died before I could snap a photo of it at the demo, so this press image will have to do.
It was playful but controllable, handled well in the air and the ground but what surprised me the most was the fact that it climbed so well, even for an enduro bike. It reminded me of my old Transition Dirtbag because of how much of the terrain it absorbed. I did two runs and by the second run, was whipping over jumps.
But the climbing ability is what made it stick out from the pack. The suspensiom is set up so you can choose descent trail and climb. It climbed easier with less effort than others in its class. The dropper system was convenient and out of the way on descents. It was rather stiff which for our conditions at the demo, helped me save me save energy on the climbs.
On the downhill side of things, my favorite bike, hands down, was the Devinci Wilson. It’s responsive and snappy carbon frame flies over rock gardens and absorb all of the big bumps as I flew down Reaper and the other downhill runs.
The low bottom bracket keeps the center of gravity low and makes it easy to rip around corners with no problem at all. Unfortunately, it is also a huge target for almost every rock garden that you come in contact with. Devinci foresaw this problem and outfitted the bike with an aluminum skid plate that sits away from the carbon frame so it can flex when it makes contact with a boulder or the knuckle of a jump. The engineers behind the Wilson definitely did their homework and managed to create a very fluid and fun bike to ride.
When I saw that Intense was at the show I ran straight to their booth because I had been hearing all of the buzz around the new M16. I signed my life away and they handed me a shiny new chunk of carbon fiber.
I took the first shuttle to the top of the mountain and once I started back down, I quickly became disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the M16 is a beautiful and well designed bike, but the geometry and style of bike is just not for me. The head tube seemed a bit less slack than I was expecting and the cockpit seemed a bit cramped. It was great at going fast or in straight lines but as soon as you reduce the speed or cornered or god forbid do both at the same time, everything becomes very awkward and uncomfortable.
If you can keep the speed up it handles well and skips over rock gardens just fine but when you run into traffic or lose your flow because you wash out and hit a cactus, (this did happen and it sucked) it quickly becomes a chore to ride. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t the bike for me and I would much rather spend half the money and pick up a Defcon 1.
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