My new Spire arrived yesterday. First ride was this AM. I was hoping to beat the heat and the smoke - WRONG!!!
Anyways, size Medium, which is the first Medium bike I have bought in awhile. I went with a medium because Im 5'9 and, while I would prefer the longer reach of the Large, my god the wheelbase on these modern big bikes is long. The 460 reach is fine (feels tight next to my hardtail but its the same as my (prev gen) Slayer in size Large) but I dont think that I would want a longer wheelbase for the type of riding I do (its 1257). Think about that: 460 reach with a 1260 wheelbase. Thats longer ratio than many DH bikes. You get tighter reach vs wheelbase with slack headangles and steep seat tube angles.
Its very light relative to its competition at about 33lbs. I love the color. The tubes are burly - wide if you look at them from above. Spec is the spec (full XT with Fox factory kashima, DT, etc...). There are a few things that I dont like after just one ride. This is a BIG bike and Transition, seriously you stock it with a 150 dropper? That front triangle is BARELY enough to carry a normal bottle. I have my one up pump bracket under the front cage which probably robs a few mm of space but I cannot take it out without getting off the bike. I thought those days were gone! Ill have to use my fanny for the active bottle and the bike to carry.
I pedaled up the Seymour trails and it took me about 30 feet to get my first pedal strike. Im a terrible person and I pedal up Ridge Trail (a descent trail on TF, but its not signed as such) from Hyannis - Ive never ever seen anyone on it - and its a rocky and rooty blue meant for descending, not climbing...I quickly learned that the bottom bracket height on this Spire, while the same as on my hardtail, goes to hell on a climb as the rear compresses and so pedal strikes are much more of a thing climbing on this one than the HT. Nothing kills your momentum faster on a climb then having to place your pedals between stuff. Im aware that this bike was not built for this! I thought that my other bikes were low - this is a whole new meaning of low (on a climb with the rear compressing). Rear climbing traction was good on rocks.
It pedaled up pretty well. Its weight is good all things considered. Comfy position. I was a good 2.5min slower up GSM than usual but it was hot and I dont ride well in the mornings - but Im not going to set any climbing records on this bike. Who cares. It got me up to where I wanted to go without drama. I was able to navigate the wheelbase around all the climbing switchbacks easily and once I got out of the janky rooty rocks and on to the actual climb trial, it all went smoothly.
Into Dirty Diapers and I was laughing within 50ft. The hilarity continued all the way down C***ia. Im on previous generation Slayer (which is a trail bike NOT a big bike) and a hardtail, so my reference is just that. The Spire soaks everything up. Its stable on what I previously thought were steep slabs. It was ok on some of the undulating terrain but I hope that that frame protection near the bottom of the down tube and bottom bracket is good because Im going to need it! Up and overs and janky rocks and some smaller drops were non-issues - it just did them and the wheels held some bizarre lines - but I need to be aware if the rear is compressed because that will hugely impact clearance.
Im probably not the typical buyer of this bike as I never shuttle. I dont like fast flow trails. I like to ride raw jank old school techy lines. I knew that this bike wasnt exactly meant for that but what I also know about myself is that I adapt based upon the bike. Because I have spent so much time on my Naked hardtail, and while its a very capable bike, Ive steered clear of some areas of riding that I want to progress in. I bought this Spire because its made for those - im sure it will do the jank trails just fine as long as theyre not flat and I can keep the pedals and the BB out of the weeds, but I hope that it drags me to do things where my confidence has been lacking on the other bikes. All bikes are compromises.
New bike days are good days.
EDIT: Should say its a 170/170 bike with two positons, high and low. Im riding in high which means 63deg HA, 446 chainstays, 1257 wheelbase,BBheight of 350 (no compression) and an effective seat tube angle listed at 79deg, but thats at a saddle height of 660 and mine is 750 (so it will be less than 79)