Out of the crate? BOUNCEY!
The suspension on this bike is baffling… I weigh 72 kilos (approx. 159 pounds) with full gear and backpack, so very light. Even for me, the stock settings are way too soft. Maybe I’m not riding the bike in the scenarios it’s designed for, but it feels so much like a ‘proper’ enduro bike that you can’t help but push it.
Who the hell is R16V Suspension? A bit of chatting up Google got us some answers… The suspension is made by a Spanish company called Ollé, who seem to concentrate on budget bikes and trials, and the Xtrainer suspension does feel like a bigger version of trials suspension.
43mm forks, ppfffffttttttt!
The forks look like toys compared to the KTM (and do kind of handle like toys too). Only one fork has a spring with the other offering rebound only damping settings (there’s no compression damping adjustment on the forks).
The rear shock uses a linkage setup, and again the shock looks tiny compared to the KTM.
BUT, probably the most shocking (pun intended) thing with the suspension is the choice of fonts used… Comic Sans on the shock… really?
And god only knows what’s on the fork (let us know in the comments).
Playing with the clickers
With stock settings, chasing the local Spanish lunatics at high speed on rocky terrain was pretty terrifying, with the bike deflecting off of pretty much every rock and bouncing out of depressions with enough force to nearly make your day end very badly indeed.
But, and it’s a big BUT, once we had really hardened up the suspension by something like 5 turns of spring preload, and 18 or 20 clicks of rebound damping on the forks, and a shit load of spring preload and damping on the shock, all of a sudden we had a beautiful lithe skipping mountain goat (not that we’re into livestock – although we’ve been know to try anything twice…).
We haven’t even put 10 hours on this bike yet and so the suspension probably isn’t fully broken in yet, I think we’re just going to get some more hours on it for know.
We’ve have been doing a bit of reading online though, there’s a huge Beta Xtrainer suspension post over on the Thumpertalk Forum, but to be honest, for the technical single track riding we’ve been doing in Spain (where the bike lives) the suspension is really feeling pretty good… maybe we’ll try some heavier 15w or 20w oil to give it a bit more of a damped feel?