Simon Brooke

Being somewhat inspired by the mad souls of the downhill fraternity on
the gogglebox last night, I decided to go up the hill this evening. And
come down again. And being as how the Mantra is at last sorted out and
going well, I decided to take it just to see what it could do.

Yes, I know the Mantra is notoriously _not_ a downhill bike...

But it's a great uphill bike. It really does climb nicely, very stiff
under power despite the enormous rear travel, and getting up to the 200
metre contour was remarkably easy. Then turn around and come down


I mean, the hill track I use is not the Fort William course. No jumps,
and not that narrow. But about as steep and with a couple of hairpins
at least as tight. And plenty of rocky bumpy bits.

And it's lots of fun. The Mantra does not like sudden applications of
brake because it does have brake-jack and the geometry goes a bit
wierd. This is slightly nervous-making because where on the Jekyll if
you've totally cocked up the line and need to dump speed in a hurry you
generally can, on the Mantra braking has to be thought about further in
advance. And where I've learned to trust the Jeckyll's front suspension
to get me out of horrible situations safely, the front fork on Mantra
doesn't inspire that sort of confidence. But the bike is so poised and
steers so nicely that I found I didn't have problems with my line (to
be fair I wasn't really powering down as I sometimes do) and was able
to do pretty much the whole run off the brakes, just braking down in
anticipation of the hairpins and then accelerating out again.

Great fun.

[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
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Simon Brooke