Posted by: fartymarty
Vik - how are you finding the the BFe Max?
Has anyone else ridden one or a Solaris Max?
I have had a SolarisMax for just over a year now. Ridden a few different hardtails. Had one of the very first Surfaces, but never gelled with it. then a blue steel Honzo, (loved it) Ti Raijin (dream XC bike) then a Ti Honzo. the Ti Honzo was my favourite bike, but a frame crack had me looking for a new frame. The latest Honzo's were not appealing didn't seem to have moved with the times. Andrew Major suggested looking at the Cotic Bikes, and finding their source was a few miles south of where I was born, I was hooked. They were great to deal with, the geo was what I was thinking about and the prices were reasonable. Delivery was painless, though I wish I had waited for the 2020 frames as the SuperNova Orange would be my choice of colour! I bought a large frame and with some adaptors for the "old school" hubs, it was built up with parts from the deceased Ti Honzo. It might be considered a little over forked, fox 36 talus 140/160. Jeff from the now departed Wheelthing bike workshop built it up for me.
Steve's reviews are great and I concur with most of his conclusions. (I do not get his fixation with short chain stays, or 120mm forks). I'm 6' with 30" inseams for jeans, so on the long upper body, short leg orangutan scale. For where I ride, north shore more techy than flow, (favoured trails, severed, forever after, boundary, crippler), its darn near perfect for me. It's a little heavier than the Ti Honzo, not that I notice it when riding. It's very stable when ploughing through chunder on Severed. I tackle challenges I've never tried before with this bike! Riding the Baden Powell connector to Forever after from Severed, for example is a dreamlike floating experience.
Ok, truth be told I'm SLOW, and comfortable with riding slow. Takes me 45 minutes from Hyannis to old severed entrance and another 10 to 12 minutes back down severed to Bridle Path. At 60 I don't want to crash and damage myself, takes too long to heal, but I often find myself pushing this bike way beyond my previous comfort zones and so far, touch all variants of wood around me, it just ploughs through. Failures are when I don't trust myself!
Big differences from the honzos:
It feels so much loooonger, but I can wrangle it around the R+R climb just as well as the Honzo.
Most notable to me is that I am able to move the Solaris around in a semi track stand much easier than any bike I've owned.
The front pops much easier than Honzo.
Fewer OTB experiences.
I don't feel beaten up at the end of a ride.
I so like this bike that I bought a Rocket Max Full suspension frame last year and that's been another amazing experience as well, but mostly, I'll unconsciously choose the Hardtail for my ride. I have to be focused to select the Full suspension bike for a ride! this replaced an early Honzo Process 111, a very nice bike, that I never gelled with.