as someone with 2 bushing-ed banshees in the family, i do loathe these things. all sorts of fabricobbling hijinks required to keep things moving (somewhat) non-wobbily.
speaking of SC - i'm amazed by their lifetime bearing warranty. do they generally have better than average bearing sealing / longevity? that could add up over the years. (as I proceed to order my second set of main pivot bearings this year).
curious how everyone's DWR is holding up? 3 washes in & my pants & jacket are fully wetting out; no water shedding to be seen. breaking out the nikwax already. kinda disappointing.
i've got a medium jacket, and find the hood too small (or too short, to be accurate); will fit over the lid, but can't zip the jacket all the way as it lifts the jacket off my shoulders. maybe i've got a long neck / cranium? otherwise works fine as a minimalist, no frills shell.
i do like the fit & function of the pants, though i agree they are clammy. i prefer a comfy pair of NF's for most (drier) conditions, but the RF's are great in the proper wet.
adding another to the list of burly / aggressive short travel bikes ahead of their time - i had a nicolai DS (circa ~2005); 115mm rear, 150f; lots of geo adjustability via a plethora of shock mounts:
stop right there sir.
i once short shocked my PDC abomination trail-esque bike; was running a bb at about 12" even (with around 6" travel) & silly slack. to say pedal awareness was important was an understatement. was fun in (smooth) corners tho. said experiment was short-lived.
given marinos are so silly cheap, perhaps one shouldn't really expect sophisticated kinematic analysis, but i've seen some pretty terrible (eyeballed) leverage rates on some of those frames. looks like the swingarm shock position is fixed, and you get to choose a shock stroke, and the downtube shock mount just ends up where it ends up, given those & the geometry parameters - often in territory that no amount of volume spacers can fix. that said, if one spent a bit of time messing about in linkage to confirm some numbers that don't suck (assuming you can get enough hard data from marino), it's a damn cheap option to play with some interesting numbers.
HOWEVER, having spent time on an optimized simple single pivot, if it were my $$, i'm in andrew's camp - it'd be a linkage actuated bike.
daam, that's sweet.
i did a 26/27.5 mullet to an old 26er bike of mine for a kid build. pretty effective refresh; fun rig.
i'd assume primarily because of the teeny tiny wheels? i ran a couple mullets back in the day as well (rm-7 & letoy) to try to slacken / lower the shitty geometry a bit. those 24" rears just fell into everything. granted, wasn't doing a/b comparisons, so they felt fine at the time.
WRP are doing some neat work (sprag clutch front freewheel??). was eyeing up the meta mullet yolk; alas, it's a big chunk of metal ($425aud), so maybe not *that* curious about trying a smaller wheel.
i consider the shoe dryer essential hardware in this climate. hose down the galoshes post ride, toss em on the dryer, & they're spiffy clean, dry (& non stanky) for tomorrow's ride. brilliant.
i concur that the MW's are brilliant. can't believe i've put up with cold / wet feet for so many years.
and i just love my NF pants - both the dp3's & berzerkers (for cooler / wetter conditions). near perfect garments; that they're made here (by good people) put them over the top. AND their new repair / re-sale used garment program is a fantastic initiative.
i had a set of those (still have, actually) . looked very trick, but were decidedly not great. super flexy laterally & torsionally (USD + qr axle + not much bushing overlap), they'd even twist under braking. and they were elastomer sprung - which felt ok out of the box (all 2.5" of travel), but the elastomers would gradually harden & compress and the fork would get progressively shittier.
[tales from the rocking chair] - those who didn't experience the janky old days have no idea how ridiculously good current bike tech is.
they roll pretty ok once they're down to semislick tread depth. i burn through my worn MG front tires on the rear, and am always impressed with how well sticky rubber works despite a lack of meaningful knobs.