The first few km’s on the Slash are in the pocket! I picked this handsome ride up on saturday, went for a sunny ride in the dunes and for a rainy and muddy ride on sunday in Nijmegen. Two totally different riding days, so how did this baby perform?
First, some background
As you’ve read on my blog, I’ve owned several bikes and did some testriding for Mountainbike.nl. I have no technical knowledge on how and why something works on a bike, but I know what I like and what works. Also, I have been puking my guts out the days prior to riding on the Slash. So I should not be very fit. Not the best circumstances to ride?
At first glance
I picked up my Slash at Fietsshop Uitgeest, my sponsor and well partner as we both started this team with 4 young riders and ourselves as senior riders on board. It is so shiny, the bike, the Kashima coating looks so sexy and our orange parts fit perfect with it. Some may add a few gram to the bike and the weight of the complete bike with new parts (incl. pedals) was 14.8kg (32,6 lbs). It’s significant and prior to riding I was worried about the weight. Although I must admit, my Remedy was slightly heavier on racedays. So, considering what the bike is targeted for, I might not complain too much and ride first!
On of most popular xc tracks in Holland, 14 km long with 207m climb. Consider: we’re HOLLAND! Anyway, let’s not debate the practical choice for riding with the slash here, I was in the area 😉 But most people ride hard tails here, so how do I get by with the Slash?
I like a steep angle and rode the lap with the TALAS at 120 mm, it gave me a little xc edge. The Float kept on position 2 (ride) the whole time but once. Normal pressure, no additional trail tuning.
What I noticed first was: it rides so easily, so light… but wait… it’s heavy I can feel that… How is that possible? Because the Slash sticks to the ground like glue, it’s grounded so you feel it’s weight. But it peddles so light and effectively you gain and maintain speed almost without effort. Schoorl is a bumpy ride, but on board the Slash you hardly notice it, it just gains speed because it’s so grounded.
The few steeper climbs in Schoorl where not a problem for me, I never had to dismount and finally I tried the famous “climb” switch and this bike became ridiculously fantastic at climbing. This feels like my Fuel ex with fat tires. I am not kidding, the Slash has a much better fit for me than the Fuel ex does, so it was even easier for me to climb! Forget comparing it to the Remedy, let’s compare with the Fuel ex!
Saturday’s sun was long gone, or even… it never reached Nijmegen where it’s been muddy and raining for weeks. Januari 8th I was there with the Fuel ex: rain and mud. Now I was here with the Slash: rain and mud. Sounds like a good comparison? Oh wait, I had been sick a week and rode the day before D2/D3, I should be a little less fit.
You can see, we did almost the same trails and same climbs/descends (fuel ex: 21,55km 232m up | Slash 22,38km 246m up). Green is trail-profile and blue is speed. On board the Slash my speed seems overall a bit faster! For your comparison, heart-rate was the same for both rides. Average 146 and Max 177 for the Fuel ex and 174 for Slash. Average moving speed on the Fuel ex was faster according to Garmin 13,4km/h and 12,6km/h on the Slash.
You could study on the differences, but I see an overall of higher speed on board the Slash.
In short, for now
Okay, that was fun for the statistical geeks like me, but you just wanted to know how it rides and see the pictures. I’m pleased about the riding and climbing capabilities, this bike deserves a fitter me (working on it). The weight is noticeable, it’s very grounded. That gives you a little mental set-back, you should let go of that feeling on hinder, because it doesn’t hinder you at all and it’s you’re call wether or not you know are faster on this bike or your that mind is telling you nonsense.
I will not elaborate on the descents for now, you will believe me when I say it’s great and performs outstanding, I should go some place more deserving of such conclusions before saying more about this point.
Well, yeah it’s one hell of a bike and if you can afford one I have no idea why you should look further, this is the bike for enduro-riders that want no compromise going up or going down.
Shut up… show me the pictures already!