Saturday, March 13, 2010

Legend MKII/Dorado/Revox Performance Ravings

After the crunch in Australia of receiving the Banshee Legend MKII frame on Friday night before seeding on Saturday (and not having taken delivery yet of my Manitou Dorado fork), and then the course/conditions at Thredbo, I never really had the chance to get the bike dialed. Upon arriving home, there was a cool black case on the dinner table, and I asked my parents “Who got the AR-15?” To my surprise, it was my shockingly stunning (pun intended) Dorado fork, I have now finally had the chance to test and tune the whole rig, and give it a few goes over some features at Hairy Woods Bike Park/Team Geronimo HQ.

Revox Shock
I have the air compression chamber set to about 65 psi, bottom out setting #1, 0 high speed compression, and minimal low speed compression. I am running the 350 lb/in spring set with ¾ turn of preload. This makes it so that the Banshee is soft and supple, has a smooth, progressive rate, and has unnoticeable bottom-out. Rebound set to match fork.

Dorado Fork
To break in the fork and get a baseline feel for how it performs, I left it with stock tuning and set pressure to recommended range of 72 psi. After riding with it on a variety of trails, I have tuned the fork as follows: Air pressure has been reduced to 58 psi, high speed compression is at 5 clicks from full-hard, TPC+ tuned to 10 clicks from full-hard, rebound is set to 8 clicks from full-slow. This is very similar to how the rear shock is set up in that it is very supple and using more compression adjust for the impact damping than spring rate.

The Ride
At my training facility, I have various features available that include an honest moto-whoops section, a 9 ft. drop to very, very small, flat landing (with snow still on it), and a downhill-style dual slalom trail. On the drop, I used all the suspension but didn’t bottom and it was particularly smooth to where I didn’t notice it and feel confident that anything bigger would not be an issue. After a few runs through the whoops section, the bike stayed very neutral – no bucking or swapping, even with an off-the-side-off-the-back sketchy run in. On my last run, I felt the need to pedal to pick up speed, which put me a little off-balance and I was 100% sure I was going to get tossed, but I rode out of it buttery smooth. Nice to have equipment that covers for your fubars! In corners, the bike stays low and tracks like a fat man to a doughnut! The suspension compresses evenly and can handle bumps and holes without issue.

I am really pleased with the bike and can’t wait for a full season of racing on it – starting with Pan Am Championships in Guatemala!