Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simon Brooke, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    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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