MDE Bikes Damper - Review

Mar 7, 2016
by Paul Aston  




MDE Bikes are based Piedmont, Italy, not far from the Ligurian coastline that arguably saw the birth of enduro racing as we know it. Owner and engineer, Federico Biora, crafts these stallions in-house using his own CNC machines to create the frame junctions, dropouts and hardware, and also to cut and fit the aluminum tubes. In this way, Biora controls every step of the building process from raw material, through the final welding and alignment. The 160mm Damper model has seen years of incremental changes. For 2016, improvements have been based on feedback and testing by Italian enduro champ Alex Lupato. Being made to order helps MDE follow trends closely, and enables the small bike maker to offer custom frames and paint schemes. A frame without a shock starts at €1599 and complete bikes range from €3499 to €4499.


MDE Damper 650b Review
Details
• Intended use: enduro race
• Frame: Welded aluminum, I-Link, four-bar type suspension, 160mm travel.
• Rear axle: 135mm, 12 x 148mm or 12 x 150mm configurations available
• Recommended fork: 160mm
• Wheel size: 27.5
• Handmade in Italy
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL (custom available)
• Weight: 29lb 10oz (XL, w/o pedals)
• MSRP: €4599.00 (as reviewed), €1599 frame w/out shock
• Contact: www.mdebikes.com


Construction

The front triangle sees a 44mm/49mm tapered head tube, 30.9mm seat tube, and a 73mm BSA threaded bottom bracket. The drive-side of the bottom bracket shell is splined to receive an optional ISCG 03 or 05 adaptor flange and if a top-guide is all you need, one can be clamped to the 34.9mm seat tube. The swingarm has post-mount brake bosses and bolt-on dropouts. Axle widths offered are: 142mm x 12mm as standard, 12 x 135mm, 12 x 148mm Boost, and 12 x 150mm.

MDE Damper 650b Review
Up close, it's clear to see the Damper has been crafted with passion.
MDE Damper 650b Review
The clean seat tube extension on my XL test bike.
MDE Damper 650b Review
The headset bearings are a 44mm zero-stack at the top with a 49mm external cup at the bottom.
MDE Damper 650b Review
The shock mount is designed to leave room for external cables to pass beneath the eyelet.


The Damper uses a 216x63mm shock with plenty of clearance for huge air cans, as well as room to play with offset bushings (if that's your thing). Cable routing is all external and runs under the front shock eyelet before heading beneath the seat stays to the rear, or into the base of the seat tube for stealth-routed dropper posts. Cable mounts also run under the top tube, in case you think it's 2010 and need routing for a front derailleur or an external dropper. Tire clearance a-plenty provides room for a 2.5" tire and the final, and perhaps the most contentious point, there are no water bottle mounts.


MDE Damper 650b Review

MDE Damper 650b Review
Want to stand out from the crowd? The only other bike brand that could boast this badge is Ancillotti.
MDE Damper 650b Review
142mm x 12mm bolt on dropouts with a 5mm Allen key thru-axle. Boost and 150mm dropout widths are available.


Geometry

MDE Damper geometry chart
MDE have been the main sponsor of the Italian Enduro Champion, Alex Lupato, for the last two years and it's clear to see he's had a positive input in getting the Damper's degrees up to speed. Compared to the 2015 models and earlier, the Damper has been tweaked in the same direction as most other bikes over the last two seasons, with a steeper seat angle, slacker head angle, longer top tube and a shorter chainstay. Prime numbers include a 65.5º head angle, 74.8º seat angle, 440mm reach (for a medium sized frame) and a 439mm chainstay length. Thanks to MDE’s bikes being handmade to order, the brand is able to offer 'Rider Tuned Geometry' - a custom build option that adds €120 to a standard frame, and allows you to choose reach, head angle, head tube and seat tube length. Chainstay length is fixed, along with bottom bracket height and seat angle.



Suspension

The Damper uses a triangulated swingarm that rotates about two short links that rock in the same direction. Coined the “i-Link,” the Damper's rear suspension shares similar characteristics with the Giant Reign and Mondraker Dune. The damping is super light and supple off the top, with good progression, and the linkage generates minimal pedal kickback. The short links reportedly help to keep the chassis laterally stiff.
MDE Damper 650b Review

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The Marzocchi 350 NCR fork has 160mm of travel to match the frame which is controlled by a Marzocchi 053 S3C2R shock. The fork has adjustable air pressure, rebound and a compression adjustment lever with a cable operated handlebar remote to change between soft and firm compression. Air volume in the forks can be adjusted by adding or removing oil to each fork leg. I also noted the fork has a 40mm offset compared to 42mm or 46mm of most other 27.5" forks, which makes the steering feel a little slower in the car park, but more stable on the trail. The 350 NCR’s torsional stiffness is slightly more than a Pike or Fox 34. The 053 shock also features a compression lever on the body, which toggles damping modes between "Up,” “Ride” and “Down," the Up/locked setting uses a blow-off valve to avoid damage to the shock, or excessive bucking if a large impact needs to be absorbed. The shock has external high and low-speed compression damping and a rebound adjustment.


Build Options

MDE say that 80% of their sales are from frames only, but they still offer three different build options. Due to the time of year I tested the 2016 frame, my bike was built with a 2015 kit. Marzocchi will no longer be available and 2016 bikes will be supplied using RockShox Lyrik or Pike forks, Monarch shocks, and Reverb dropper posts. My bike was spec’ed with cockpit and wheel components from another Italian manufacturer, FRM, and their products appear to some extent on all their complete bikes. MDE are also planning to introduce a custom bike builder on their website in the near future.

MDE Damper 650b Review
FRM's HS-G50 stem is supplied with titanium bolts as standard.


MDE Damper 650b Review
The 750mm carbon FRM handlebar boasts Italian Championship stripes.
MDE Damper 650b Review
The CU3 F-11 crankset uses a 25mm axles and is machined from scandium alloy.

MDE Damper 650b Review
Titan Enduro rims have a 24.5mm internal width, but 2016 rims will be widened to 29mm.







I set the Damper up in my normal way: I instantly swapped the 750mm handlebar for my preferred 780mm width and a slightly higher 30mm rise, the remote adjuster for the fork was an added nuisance during the change. I adjusted air pressure in the shock to give 30% sag in the rear suspension and 25% in the fork. I then tried to find balance using the handlebar height and stem spacers to place 45% of my weight on the front wheel in a standing position, on flat ground (measured with bathroom scales). Out of the gate and into the first ride the XL frame was a great fit and roomier than many other bikes I had been on previously. The bike pedaled smoothly on the fire roads and it was hard to find a harsh feeling during the bottom-out test. I also noticed a worrying amount of flex in the cranks, so these were swapped to Hope Cranks after the initial test run.


Climbing

The aluminum frame and 160mm of travel didn't hamper the bike's climbing speed, and it demonstrated great forward propulsion under power. I like to push hard on the climbs and find I get lazy if my gearing is too easy, so I changed to a 36t chainring. I found that caused a little bit more suspension bob compared to the 32t supplied - a change which also improved the suppleness of the suspension. Depending upon the swingarm’s pivot location, a bigger chainring can produce less anti-squat, meaning more pedal bob, with chain tension having less effect on the suspension movement.

MDE Damper 650b Review


The 488mm reach combined with a 50mm stem makes this one of the longer bikes available and provided plenty of room to the fore to keep my lungs open, the steep seat angle positioned me well over the cranks and gave way to a solid downward pedal stroke. The not-too-short chainstay also helped to keep me centralized, and the front wheel on terra-firma. Giant's superb Reign shares many characteristics with the Damper, but the steeper seat angle and slightly longer chainstay makes the MDE outperform it on steep climbs. (The Giant can put a taller rider too far over the back wheel, causing too much suspension sag, and making it wallow and wheelie.) My main measure of a bike’s climbing prowess comes from the need to flick the compression damping adjust on a climb. The constant need to flick the switch to maintain a good climbing geometry can be bad news, but I rarely reached for it – thumbs up.


Descending and Technical Handling


The Marzocchi 053 S3C2R shock was superb and performed remarkably similarly to at Fox Float X (using a large volume spacer) as comparison. The Marzocchi fork, on the other hand, was a letdown - feeling like it was binding. I gave it a chance over a few big rides to bed in, silicone sprayed the stanchions to help them loosen up, but this never came, and the bike rode way too high at the front. I tried lower and lower air pressures to get the correct ride height, but when this was achieved the fork was then far too soft under impact. Swapping to a tuned Fox 36 gave a much better balance.

A superb descender, the Damper did everything I wanted a 160mm bike to do. It had a great fore/aft balance, It reacted quickly to big holes and stayed on top of them, but still sat well into corners. I took the Damper to a race in Madeira where the heavens decided to open, oiling the clay and root to give ice-like grip. Using the Fox suspension (4x orange spacers in the 36 fork and the largest volume spacer in the Float X shock) I ended up with 40% sag at the rear and 35% in the fork, this would turn many a bike into an out of shape pannacotta but this Italian sweetie gripped like hell, continued to ride high in the rough, pedalled remarkably, and still took the big hits like Nate Diaz in UFC #196.

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One of my favorite characteristics of the Damper’s chassis was its feel through rough rocks and roots it felt like the ideal balance between stiff and supple. Carbon frames may well be lighter than aluminum equivalents, and engineers always tell us how they've 'engineered flex' using different lay-ups, molds, resins, but personally, the feel of a good aluminum frame is always the winner to date. Aluminum may have more flex, but it feels more controlled and smooth, rarely springy, and that allows the bike to perform better through rough, across off-camber and absorb vibrations.


Issues:

• Fork frustration: The Marzocchi 350 NCR fork wouldn't bed in. It felt like the bushings were too tight. This made the fork stiff and unresponsive, I swapped to a tuned Fox 36 which transformed the bike's balance. The second problem with the 350 was the handlebar mounted compression adjuster. Really? Did anybody ever ask for this, ever?

• Handlebar hindrance: I don't want to continually beat the "handlebar too narrow" drum but 750mm wide on an XL bike in 2016 is too narrow. It's easy to change, but what a waste of an otherwise great carbon handlebar.

• Crank concerns: The FRM cranks were super light, but also super flexy. After the first ride, I changed them out to a pair of Hope Cranks, when pressuring the pedal's at a standstill, I could see the arms flexing - even under my 72kg weight.

• Saddle sadness: The WTB saddle was comfy and fitted well when seated, but I found it too wide. It got in the way when moving around standing up, maybe my adult hips should be wider than 31"?
MDE Damper 650b Review
Marzocchi's low-speed compression dial was remote controlled.

MDE Damper 650b Review
The location of the suspension control was more confusing than helpful.

• Dropper dismay: The 125mm travel Marzocchi dropper post performed without issue, a smooth action and an easy to use, ergonomic lever. My issue came with the layback on the sear clamp (the same can be found on the Specialized Command post). With the trend towards steeper seat angles, this is taking a step backwards.
MDE Damper 650b Review
The seat-clamp setback of the Marzocchi dropper was excessive.


Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesFor a frame that's hand-made in Europe, the Damper is competitively priced and backed up with a solid performance on the trail. My test-ride was let down by componentry that couldn't keep up with the pace of the chassis, but with the correct build, the MDE could happily take on the best 160mm bikes in its class. - Paul Aston




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About the Reviewer
Stats: Age: 30 • Height: 6'1” • Ape Index: +4" • Weight: 161lb • Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Paul Aston is a new addition to the Pinkbike Technical team and is a racer and dirt-jumper at heart. Previously competing in World Cup DH, now he's attacking Enduro and has been since before it was fashionable. Based in the UK, but often found residing between mainland Europe and New Zealand allows him to experience a huge variety of terrains and trails.



129 Comments

  • + 179
 That suspension slideshow is really great for people like me with poor imagination!
  • - 3
 There is nothing to complain jajaja
  • + 8
 Oval chainring! Why's that not even mentioned?
  • + 3
 Thanks for sharing the video. That was pure porn!
  • + 8
 I have a feeling that slideshow is a direct response to positive reception of vital's video. I love seeing the suspension action in the review, I hope this trend continues!
  • + 2
 i use a absolut black oval chainring, they are pretty awesome for riding trail uphill, and generally i wont go back. im kinda glad he kept focused on the chassis (mostly) to be nigly on the small stuff when its a 2015 build is kinda pointless....
  • + 16
 The suspension slideshow idea came from my Dad's suggestion, he said he read my articles but had no idea how the bikes move!
  • + 4
 I feel like on those "vids", they should have the front triangle stationary and be moving the rear linkage, rather than just squishing the seat... to show the path of the rear axle.
  • + 2
 This ^^^^^^^
  • + 81
 Thank you Paul for swapping out components you feel detracted from the bike to give a complete review. Too often reviewers will bitch about specific components, which has nothing to do with the frame- the whole point of the review. Keep up the good work.
  • + 20
 Good call I liked that as well, solid review
  • + 1
 Id like a compression remote switch. So...yeah.
  • + 4
 well pointing out components they don't like is still really helpful. It's a deal breaker if a cool bike has a crappy fork, or wheels or something like that. It's good to know I guess
  • + 3
 750mm bars too narrow? For real!?
  • + 67
 Anyone else think they were about to read a review on a new shock from a small suspention company?
  • - 8
flag Acorn22 (Mar 7, 2016 at 11:16) (Below Threshold)
 I mean there is a nice big picture of a full bike followed by the first 2 words of the article, "MDE Bikes"
  • + 4
 @Ctk11 I get you man... as soon as I saw damper, my brain skipped 'bikes' @Acorn22
  • + 1
 Yep ! I scrolled down to the 1st pic where I can clearly see the shock and it was a zocchi!
  • + 1
 I saw "damper" and thought thatches article was for a fork component.
  • + 8
 Yea, and it really put a damper on the article after reading it.
  • + 51
 Love the gif animation on rear suspension action #drool
  • + 56
 Agreed. This needs to be on EVERY Pinkbike bike review.
  • + 13
 This^^ x2
  • + 1
 Yeah, suspension animation in every review, please!
  • + 16
 My 350 NCR felt the same way and after riding it about 100km, vertical scratches started to appear on the stanchions. Then I sent my fork to the German Marzocchi service, they provided me with new uppers and lowers, so basically new fork, woo. (after 1,5 months of waiting in june though)

Awful stiction was fixed but 3 Rides later my fork shot its air topcap at my chest. Like literally the whole topcap with the valve in it got fired right at my chest while landing after a fairly small jump. And I had like 60% of the max PSI on it since I'm only 67kg.
My mate thought someone's shooting at us haha. My chest hurt kinda bad for about a month and I got new uppers again.

Sold that fork, being glad it didnt knock all my teeth out. And I got a "free" Marzocchi shirt as an excuse.
Fit was about as good as the fork out of the box so I leave it in my car to clean the dog with it when it rains.
  • + 4
 haha this is excellent. people like you should write magazine reviews.
  • + 18
 Love the animation! Do that on all bike reviews please!
  • + 14
 Wow this bike is actually pretty cheap. When i saw "handcrafted in italy" i thought the price is going to be much higher
  • - 3
 it's five large, holmes!
  • + 13
 Of course it has some odd niggles and details, it's Italian!
  • + 13
 nice welds, love a pretty gusset me
  • + 11
 Yoda, is that you?
  • + 3
 Dogue?
  • + 2
 No, it's me, Lord Darth von Vaderham. I run the Death Star.
  • + 2
 Props for the Eddie Izzard quote!
  • + 9
 @PaulAston just whined about Marzocchi. Angry mob will get you man. Nobody shts on the legend just like that!
  • + 7
 I see what you just did. Pointing fingers and screaming "Witch!!!" and then proceeding to open a Pitchforks&Torches store is a crear business model, althought a not very ethical one.
  • + 5
 I would like to take the opportunity to thank Pinkbike for the free and easily accessible quality content. the photo sequence is a nice touch. One can see you are aiming perfection. keep it up!

*Buys a round of web beers
  • + 3
 I have the early 350CR. I've had no problems at all with it. It was 60 grams lighter than a 2015 Fox talas 34 and worlds better performing. I also have the 053 shock. Also no problems, though it didn't have enough grease from the factory. It was still far superior to the Scott/Fox nude shock that came on my Genius 710, and also worlds better than the Monarch Plus that I initially replaced it with. Both Shock and fork did feel much better after first service though. I was told that the factory sometimes doesn't use enough grease. Hope these products will still be available for some time and that they won't be changed by Fox.
  • + 4
 I too have an early 350CR with espresso coat that was OEM on my Meta v4. Was a little stiff at first but after a few rides I was blown away with the forks rigidity, subtle but very effective progressiveness and incredibly controlled rebound. They feel moto-like in that regard.

Ok so they're not *quite* (as in a poofteenth less) as supple than pikes in a car park and they way a bit more, but its a pity they got a bad wrap here because man are these one underrated fork!
  • + 7
 Steep seat angles and longer reach for the win!
  • + 3
 love that he mentioned preferring the FEEL of alloy over carbon. I been saying it for years and personally choose my dream bike jn the alloy version because I preferred it. not so much against carbon but too many assume carbon is better because the manufacturer an price says so. this relly looks a great bike with great detail and geo. I'd love the chance to try one.
  • + 5
 "and still took the big hits like Nate Diaz in UFC #196. "

if only it could choke out my friends too!
  • + 4
 Love that coffee colour on marz tubes and overall it looks classy.italians always seem to get that side of things right.would like a demo on this.
  • + 3
 Wtb volt was too wide? Did they change the construction? I find that hard to believe, as I get them for everything since they seem to be a good option for a smaller but comfotable saddle
  • + 6
 Loving the new photo segments used in the review
  • + 4
 Pretty awesome to see five guys with the same riding kits, bikes, helmets, oh wait...
  • + 4
 Perfect 135mm rear end to use my SS wheelset and ample room for large volume 26in tires since it's 650b lol
  • + 2
 is pinkbike broken, a review for a reasonably priced bike, with some fairly top end gear on it, and i love that espresso coating, it's a nice balance from the gold of fox's kashima and the fast black from rockshox.
  • + 4
 Did you really give the weight in pounds and oz? So you have a scale of the 20th century right? Wink f*ck conversions!
  • + 1
 I have been following MDE and they are building really nice frames. I think this review should be focused on the frame and not on the components. It would be great if you could incorporate aluminium machined parts to hold the cables and the brake hose. Do you weld them inhouse or do you use independant welders?
  • + 5
 you had me at Marzocchi
  • + 0
 I disagree regarding the seatpost. With my bike I demo'd a medium and a large. The medium had a setback and the large has the reverb stealth(no setback). I picked the medium and figuring I'd upgrade to a dropper down the line. I didn't pay attention to the difference in the posts on the demo bikes. My stem is 60mm, and my cockpit was exactly how I liked it with the stock post(with a setback). When it came time for the dropper upgrade, I had two options: get a longer stem(no thanks) or find a dropper with a setback. I found that there were very few on the market. Even less have stealth routing. One to be exact. Given my frustration with the selection, I was actually pleased to see this for others in a similar circumstance.
  • + 6
 Maybe the medium is too small for you then?

With the longer front ends and steeper seat angles it makes sense to have a setback-less post, since it makes you sit more forward, putting more weight on the front axle.

Being 190 cm (6'3") i commonly find that i'm too far over the rear axle on most bikes, that have a steep virtual, but slack actual seat angle (if the seat tube is offset from the BB or has a bend in it going up from the BB). A setback post would be a major dealbreaker in that case.
  • - 2
 I don't get what's wrong with setback. My bike have a 73° seat tube angle and I have to use a post with seatback to get the right position for my legs using the "knee over pedal spindle method". If I move it forward I feel uncomfortable.
  • + 3
 Agreed regarding the medium ultimately being too small. However, the bike was bought and it would take more money than I had to get a large frame after the fact. Making the medium work, which it does with a setback, was a priority and the lack of options to do that was frustrating.
  • - 2
 Setback on a dropper is creating additional strain on the keys, bushings and seal. I'd stay away from that. KS and Reverb which are both inline posts, can rob you off enough money for maintenance.
  • + 2
 Re the seat post layback, I also disagree, as I like that I can use the layback to significantly change the effective seat tube angle. On my current old trail bike (2012 GT Sensor 9r) I use a specialized command post dropper with a layback but turned around 180 so I can push the seat further forward, thus steepening the effective seat tube angle and shortening the reach when I am on the seat peddling along or up hill; as soon as the trail turns into something where out of the saddle movement is frequent or going down generally the position of the seat is pretty much not relevant as I drop it out of the way. Sure, its putting extra strain on the post's internals, but after 3 years of weekly or more riding that bike it hasn't been a problem. Designs with longer reach and steeper seat angles are a different matter I would guess.
  • + 1
 I never liked setback posts on bikes with slack seat angles, but now that they're all 75deg, I prefer to be back a bit, as it's too far forward without any setback.
  • + 3
 @waki, this bike has a very steep actual STA and the straight seat ube looks to intersect the center of the BB (or very close to it). The extra stress caused by the offset on the post will be small compared to extra stress put on droppers when used in frames with slack actual STAs like the SC Hightower, any Knolly or any Evil for example.
  • + 0
 Waki has a good point and i'm slightly worried what the minimum insertion of my Reverb in my Reign plus the 60-something actual seat-tube angle (the part, where the post is inserted) will do in the long run. There's a very noticeable stiction off the top when lowering the seat, since the weight is pressing on the post at a big angle (it's not only vertical, the centre of your gravity is even further forward).

BTW, the steeper the seat tube angle, the more efficient you pedal. I think (i hope!) there's a reason for steeper seat tube angles lately. I'd actually love to try out a 75°+ (up to 77°), either real or effective, seat tube angle in practice. But bikes that have one (and fit me) are few and far inbetween.
  • + 3
 It's a cool frame. I love the fact that there's no water bottle mounts and external cable routing Smile
  • + 2
 Is setting the weight distribution using scales something people often do? This is the first I have heard of it.
  • - 1
 Interesting that the reviewer changed out so many stock parts in order to make it rideable for his liking. Makes me think, why would I spend money on a hand made bike like this if a good portion of the components need to be changed. Smh
  • + 1
 Well, the hand-made in Italy part only applies to the frame, which is available at a reasonably competitive price for what appears to be something that works quite well (and can be customized for a reasonable upcharge). So that part seems really cool. But it also appears the folks at MDE are not very good at choosing reliable, competitive parts spec, or at least they somewhat screwed the pooch on this particular build...
  • + 3
 What's wrong with 750mm bars? I run 760mm and at 6'6" they feel great.
  • + 7
 this isn't a road bike
  • + 11
 Same. I just got a brand new Atlas riser last fall, and cut it down to 760mm after the first ride. Yes there is such thing as bars that are too wide.
  • + 6
 @parallaxid Smaller shouldered riders? I've only got a 41" shoulder and the 780/800 bars that seem to be coming stock just seem way to much for a happy-medium for both climbing and Descending!
  • + 2
 i'm 6'7'' and use a 785mm bar and it feels plenty big enough. i dont want to go any bigger and am always surprised at much shorter guys than me running 800+ bars.
  • + 2
 @parallaxid - you're right, my road bike has 44cm's on it, @steviestokes - dunno what's considered small or average but my shoulders are 55 inches around, @bthomson84 - yeah, when my bars were the 810mm they came as I was constantly hitting them on things. Riding discipline matters though... tight trails vs park riding.
  • + 3
 Add me to this, 6'4" and 750mm RF Atlas bars. I cringe when I see a young fella with 800mm bars struggling to move his weight around the bike
  • + 2
 @Alias530 From a fitting point, typical shoulder width is measured from the little clavicle at each end of the collarbone... From experience, most people seem to be happy with a 42cm bar. Depends on who you speak to, but I found that Shoulder width on a road bikes isn't directly proportional to handlebars.. if anything go down a bit to achieve nice parallel arms (IE, Im 41/42cm shoulders... so the ideal bar width for me seems to be 40cm) As some riders seem to have a broad 'triangle' when looking from the front of the rider, and rather than stress the shoulders, it is sometimes better for the riders arms to be parallel.

This is all personal preference though, and its obviously very hard to judge on a mountain bike, but I'm with @hayden4x It seems to be a bit like the Flat-Bar fashion trend that swept a few years ago,my bike came with 800's and I rode it after i built it and just couldn't hack it, so put my 740's off my old bike. Wider IS better than narrow... but not too wide if you can't handle it?.. just my two-cents.
  • + 2
 810mm bars are pure no soap radio.
  • + 2
 I find that interesting, because after I rode a 785mm bar - which seemed to be wide at first - there was definitely no coming back from that. I tried 750mm after and I constantly felt like it was way more exhausting, especially in really steep alpine bikeparks. To be fair, I was always someone to criticize the trend of widening the bars infinitely because I felt like it was just another trick to make us buy a new handlebar every year and it didn't seem too practical either... But after riding a motorcycle with an 808mm bar, I feel like even the 785 is on the small side. Now I could actually see myself going up to 800 or even 820mm. I'm speaking with downhill purposes/priorities in mind, though.
  • + 2
 Amazing bike but this bars looks strange to me. Im 1,86cm tall and used to ride 780mm on my Demo that felt great. Got this large Reign LTD 2016 that came with an 810mm handlebar and I was só amazing how this big bars gave me safety and amazing control of the bike. Came back to my Demo and just could not rode it with 780mm bars, had to change it to another 810mm bar and now I feel great in the Demo. I think anyone should ride the bars they feel like it most. I will never ride smaller than 810mm on DH and Enduro bikes.
  • + 2
 Same to me, 6'7" (2m) and I ride a 800mm bar now on my allmountain and a 760mm bar on my old hardtail - started in 1993 with 560mm and a 150mm stem o_O.
800mm is perfect with a 35-45mm stem and a 65°-66° angle.
  • + 2
 I'm so stoked on this brand, when the time comes for me to get a new bike MDE will definitely be a top contender!
  • + 3
 I really don't know about the trend of a carbon-cockpit.
  • + 2
 @JustYourAverageJoey Im a smaller rider, and I appreciate a little bit of flex in the bars, it definitely takes out a LITTLE of the 'chatter' and leaves my hands less achey at the bottom.
  • + 1
 ...but I'm terrified of snapping. Maybe an irrational fear but I almost shit my pants riding my friends carbon bar equipped bike at the bikepark
  • + 1
 @dropoffsticks I get what you mean, mate had the same Renthals as me, and his snapped clean where her clamped his brake... did he do them too tight? I'm thinking so.. it makes me worry a little, but I still have faith in mine for now.
  • + 3
 nice bike. now please sort out the bushing problem on the 350s. thanks.
  • + 1
 saw one in the flesh in finale ligure when the nice guys from ride on noli build up theirs. very nice bike.
  • + 1
 12x150 what is this new standard?!?!?!?!? It's just 2 mils different from boost that we JUST got used to. (sarcasm)
  • + 1
 I have that fork & shock and need to get that dropper'...but's it's impossible to buy it. ;(
  • + 1
 That's a pretty long bike. The S sized frame is longer than my L sized XC fully.
  • + 2
 i started this reading this article like 'meh' then ended like 'WOW!!'
  • + 2
 I'd buy that frame!
  • + 1
 nice looking bike. Havent heard of this company before
  • + 1
 shame they never reply to emails.
  • + 2
 Love the Foxocchi
  • + 1
 *Max
  • + 1
 The head tube looks like an Intense.
  • + 1
 That suspension slide show was surprisingly mesmerizing.....
  • + 0
 Can it be considered as a VPP ?

Otherwise nice bike and impressive price !
  • + 1
 Hey ! Look an aluminium frame ! That's one inspiring bike
  • + 1
 grande Fede!!!
  • + 0
 I'd like to see a lower BB, otherwise looks really promising!
  • + 0
 Nice Photo, but RIP Beautiful Stone Frown
  • + 0
 cool bike! is the marzocchi stuff out now?
  • + 7
 The fork and shock are (I have a 350ncr and have ridden the 053 S3C2R), the dropper looks to be doomed though.

Also wanted to note that my 350 ncr was flawless out of the box. Comparable in weight to the Pike, comparable to a 36 in performance. Though I agree the remote lockout (note that it is just a lockout and not actually low-speed compression which is adjusted with the gold dial) is ridiculous on a fork marketed towards AM riders.
  • + 3
 That dumb lockout cable was the ONLY reason I didnt buy a 350ncr a year ago when I was in the market for a fork. The info at the time about whether it could be removed or blanked off was so vague & woolly I purchased an xfusion instead.
  • + 3
 Yea my 350 has been perfect. I had a similar issue with the fork being slightly sticky, but simply changing oil and greasing the seals takes care of everything. Also regarding the handlebar compression switch, it comes off in a minute or two with ease.
  • - 2
 yeah, it is bs they replace the fork... for a fox... advertise fox. would it be fun if he put a pike on it... i guess can't do that. and the bs with the cranks as well. i guess FRM should start advertising here as well. but cool to see new stuff from a small company
  • + 1
 Well the Fox 36 is kinda the standard on that type of bike. A Pike is underbuilt for this kind of use...you would want a Lyrik here. I would imagine he slapped his favorite fork in to take the fork out of the equation and give a more balanced review to the product he was supposed to be reviewing - the frame.
  • + 0
 Mojo Maujer - you do understand that you are a lunatic with your Pinkbike advertising theories? Why don't you make a stand and leave in face of such injustice? Go play with deeeight or Amanda Batty. Go whine on mtbr or mba how corrupted Pinkbike is.
  • + 5
 @TheRaven "comparable in weight to the Pike" my 350NCR is 2140g (maybe with remote though), I don't mind the extra weight but I've read the Pike is lighter.

I don't understand the reviewer's problem with the lockout, as ethan911 and TheRaven said you can just take it off and you still have the low speed compression knob on the fork. I would even say the remote makes sense if you use the fork on an aggro hardtail, gets XC efficiency in .2 seconds
  • - 8
flag MojoMaujer (Mar 7, 2016 at 15:31) (Below Threshold)
 Wako@ i told you to get a job or still having the swedish taxpayer taking care of you? They are not theories. It is how things roll.
  • + 3
 @Uuno my 2015 350 ncr, no remote, weighed 1918g on my calibrated scale. My 2014 Pike RCT3 weighed 1890g on the same scale. 2140g is heavier than the 350 cr is supposed to be. The ncr shouldn't weigh that much even with remote.
  • + 1
 Well then I have to check how accurate is my scale (actually gf's kitchen scale to be honest), and weigh again when I get the chance (note : I said 2140g was probably with remote, but also with axle and uncut steerer).
  • + 1
 @TheRaven: correction : my 350 ncr weighs 2034g. Cut, with star nut, and with 70g axle. According to the same old kitchen scale though.
Took it off for service cause the air side upper/lower junction started creaking...
  • + 1
 Neat
  • + 0
 I'm just here for the "looks like a" comments
  • + 0
 It's a fugazzy! For get about it.
  • + 1
 Just like your mom.
  • + 0
 Looks like a Spitfire!
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