Spot Mayhem 29 - Review

Feb 5, 2018
by Mike Kazimer  
For many years, Spot was synonymous with belt driven, steel-framed singlespeeds, the type of bikes piloted by ultra-fit masochists in the mountains near the Colorado company's headquarters. They do still offer a few one-speed options, but more recently their attention has been focused on creating a line of carbon fiber full-suspension bikes.

The Rollik was the first model, equipped with 27.5” wheels and 140mm of travel (a new version is on the way, with 150mm of travel and clearance for 2.6" tires), and last spring the 29”, 130mm Mayhem that’s reviewed here was added to the mix. Both bikes use Spot's own Living Link suspension design, a dual link design that uses a composite leaf spring to join the lower portion of the swingarm to the front triangle.
Spot Mayhem 29

Intended use: XC / trail
Travel: 130mm
Wheel size: 29"
Frame construction: carbon fiber
Head angle: 66.7º
Chainstay length: 440mm (size S-L), 448mm (size XL)
Sizes: S, M, L, XL
Weight: 28.5 lb (12.9 kg) - size large, w/o pedals
Price: $6,999 USD
More info: spotbrand.com

Spot recently made the switch to a consumer-direct sales model, which allowed them to significantly reduce their prices. Our 29"-wheeled test bike came spec'd with the 6-star build kit which retails for $6,999. Highlights of the 6-star kit include a 130mm Fox Factory 34 Float, SRAM XX1 12-speed drivetrain, Guide Ultimate brakes, and Mavic XA Pro carbon wheels.

Not ready to part ways with 7k to get the top-of-the-line mode? There is also a 5-star build kit for $5,299, and a 4-star build kit for $4,399. Additionally, for all the Plus-fans out there, the Mayhem is also available with 27.5" wheels and 2.8" tires - the same frame is used for both configurations.

What happens after an order is placed? In certain areas of the US and Canada, delivery is handled by Velofix - they'll build and check out the bike before delivering it directly to the purchaser's door. For riders in areas outside of Velofix's range, the bike will arrive in a box, with a little bit of assembly required before it's trail-ready


bigquotesThe Mayhem's 130mm of travel, ultra-efficient suspension design and modern geometry all add up to create a super quick and stable trail machine. Mike Kazimer







Spot Mayhem review


Construction and Features

Spot use Oxeon TeXtreme, a high-end carbon fabric, to build the Mayhem's frame. The fabric, which originates in Sweden, uses fibers that have been spread flat to create a thin sheet of carbon. Because there is less space between those fibers compared to typical carbon cloth, less epoxy is required to hold everything together, which can result in a lighter final frame weight. The fabric is mostly hidden under the Mayhem's bright red paint job, but Spot do offer a matte black option where the checkerboard pattern is clearly visible.

The Mayhem's derailleur cable and dropper post housing are tucked away inside the frame, while the brake housing remains externally routed for the entire length of the bike for easier maintenance. There's room to mount a water bottle cage inside the front triangle, and there are also water bottle cage mounts on the underside of the downtube. Threaded bottom brackets have begun to come back in fashion over the last few years, and the Mayhem is all ready to join the party.


Spot Mayhem review
The Mayhem's rear suspension is designed to work best with an air shock, in this case a Fox DPS.
Sea Otter 2017
Spot say they've tested the Living Link's carbon plate to 3 million cycles without failure - in other words, you're probably not going to wear it out any time soon, no matter how much bouncing around you do.


Spot Mayhem review
Spot Mayhem review
Underneath the red paint is Oxeon TeXtreme, a carbon fabric that's claimed to offer lighter weight and increased impact resistance compared to the fabric that's typically used for bikes.


Geometry & Sizing

Spoy Mayhem geometry

The Mayhem's geometry numbers fall into the 'modern but not crazy' category, with reach of 453mm for a size large, a fairly steep 75.7-degree seat tube angle, and a head tube angle of 66.7-degrees. That head angle wouldn't have been out of place on a longer travel all-mountain bike a few years ago, but now it's becoming a common figure for bikes in the 120-140mm range.

The small, medium, and large size have 440mm chainstays, and the XL's chainstays measure 448mm.


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Suspension Design

At a distance, the Mayhem looks like it has a fairly standard dual-link suspension design, but take a closer look at that short lower link – it's actually a composite leaf spring that's mounted directly to the swingarm. According to Spot, “as the suspension compresses, the carbon leaf spring flexes. When the rear axle reaches a point approximately halfway through its travel range, the leaf spring reaches its maximum flex. As the rear axle reaches full compression, the leaf spring relaxes again.” Curious about how much influence the link actually had on the suspension, I let the air out of the shock and compressed the rear end. I could feel the plate flexing during compression, and then rebounding to return the shock to full extension.

Spot Mayhem leverage

What's that composite plate supposed to do? Spot say that the Living Link helps prevent pedaling forces from compressing the suspension, which means the shock can be left in the open setting at all times.

The Mayhem is designed around the use of an air shock, with a suspension curve that's progressive until the last third of the travel, at which point it flattens out before becoming regressive at the very end of the stroke. That's where the naturally progressive nature of an air shock comes in – the ramp-up of an air spring, in theory, should counteract that regressive portion of the curve.





Specifications

Specifications
Price $6999
Travel 130mm
Rear Shock Fox Factory Float DPS
Fork Fox Factory 34 Float
Headset Cane Creek 40
Cassette SRAM XG1299, 12-speed, 10-50t
Crankarms SRAM XX1 Eagle 170mm
Bottom Bracket SRAM GXP 73mm
Rear Derailleur SRAM Eagle XX1
Chain SRAM XX1 Eagle
Shifter Pods SRAM Eagle 12-speed
Handlebar Race Face Next carbon 760mm
Stem Race Face Turbine, 35mm x 60mm
Grips ODI Vans
Brakes SRAM Guide Ultimate
Wheelset Mavic XA Pro Carbon 29, Boost
Tires Maxxis Minion DHF / DHR II 2.3
Seat WTB Silverado Pro
Seatpost Fox Performance Elite, 31.6mm



Spot Mayhem review













Test Bike Setup

After a couple rides aboard the Mayhem in its stock configuration I made a few changes to tailor it to my personal preferences. The 760mm Race Face Next bars are light and comfortable, but they were a little narrow for me, and the 60mm stem felt too long, so I swapped them out for a set of 780mm bars and a 50mm stem. Much better.

I also replaced the 160mm rear rotor with a 180mm rotor to get a little more stopping power for steeper trails.

The rear suspension took the most tinkering. Initially, I was using up all of the travel much too often, even with 25% sag. I ended up switching to a .6 inch volume spacer, which made a noticeable difference – the number of harsh bottom out moments was greatly reduced, and I was able to run 30% sag. As far as shock pressure goes, Spot recommends that riders run 85% of their body weight, which in my case equated to 136psi.
Mike Kazimer
Mike Kazimer
Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
Age: 35
Height: 5'11"
Inseam: 33"
Weight: 160 lbs
Industry affiliations / sponsors: None
Instagram: @mikekazimer


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The entirety of my three months aboard the Spot took place on the trails surrounding Bellingham, Washington, with conditions ranging from hero dirt to frozen and snow covered, and everything in between.


Spot Mayhem review
The Mayhem is a rocket on the climbs.


Climbing

The Mayhem may be billed as a trail bike, but somewhere inside that carbon frame is the soul of an XC race machine. Climbing is its forte, and riders that prefer bikes with hardtail-like efficiency will find a lot to love about the Mayhem. I never found any need to move the Float DPS' compression lever from the fully open position – the amount of suspension movement while climbing is next to nothing.

As contrary as it may sound, the lack of rear suspension movement was actually my one gripe with the red machine's climbing performance. I experimented with varying amounts of sag, but I still ended up feeling like I could have used a little more compliance to help keep the rear wheel stuck to the ground, especially when tackling slippery, rooty sections of trail, the type of conditions that prevail on my local trails this time of the year. The Spot's suspension feels like the polar opposite of a bike like Trek's Fuel EX – the Fuel is one of the more active designs on the market, while the Spot delivers an almost locked-out feeling while pedaling.

That locked-out feeling may have felt a bit excessive on more technical climbs, but, on the flip side, it made long fire road grinds a breeze. The Mayhem's relatively steep 75.7-degree seat tube angle is a nice complement to its crisp climbing performance, creating a very comfortable position for those uphill slogs.


Spot Mayhem review
The Mayhem is stiff and stable on the descents, but it's a trail bike through and through - it can feel a little overwhelmed in really rough terrain.

Descending

If the Mayhem has the soul of an XC racer on the climbs, on the descents it feels like a slalom bike - berm- and jump-filled trails were where it shone the brightest. On those flowier trails the Mayhem was smooth, silent, and stable, with plenty of support for really pushing hard into corners and maintaining good exit speed. There's a fun zippiness to its handling, and although the Mayhem's wheelbase is a little longer than some of its contemporaries due to the 440mm chainstay length, I never found it to be cumbersome or ungainly. It's easy to maneuver around, with a blend of stability and quickness that's very fitting for a modern trail bike.

Slower speed technical maneuvers were no problem aboard the Mayhem either – it'll dissect tricky sections of trail with deft precision, slicing and dicing its way through whatever rocky puzzle is in its path. I could see some riders running a 140mm fork to add a little extra cushion up front, but the stock configuration felt appropriate given the bike's trail manners.

It was on rougher, chunkier sections of trail where the Mayhem struggled a bit. It's possible that I was pushing it a little further than its intended purpose, but I still felt like the rear suspension wasn't as supple as I would have liked – it didn't have that grippy, glued to the ground feeling that inspires confidence in slippery conditions. There was plenty of stability on tap for those high speed straightaways, thanks to the relatively slack head angle and longer chainstays, but the Mayhem still always felt like it had exactly 130mm of rear travel and not a millimeter more.


Spot Mayhem review
There's plenty of pop for lofting off natural and manmade lips in search of some air time.






Spot Mayhem
Spot Mayhem 29
Norco Sight C 9.2 review
Norco Sight

How does it compare?

On paper, the Mayhem 29 and the Norco Sight 29 are quite similar. They both have big wheels, 130mm of rear travel, and reach numbers that hover around the 455mm mark for a size large. The Sight has a 67-degree head angle with a 140mm fork, while the Mayhem is a bit slacker, with a 66.7-degree head angle with a 130mm fork. When it comes to chainstay length, the Mayhem's measure 440mm, and on the large Sight they're 435mm.

Out on the trail, though, the bikes' personalities diverge. When it comes to small bump sensitivity and grip in wet conditions the Sight has the edge. The Mayhem feels incredibly efficient, especially while climbing, but that sensation comes at a price, and its 130mm of rear travel doesn't feel as plush or as sensitive as the Sight's.

Both bikes work well for long rides that cover a variety of terrain, but on really technical trails I felt more comfortable on the Sight. The Mayhem sits squarely in the trail bike category, and the Sight leans more towards the all-mountain side of things. I could see entering an enduro race or two aboard the Norco, while with the Mayhem I'd be more likely to consider doing something like the BC Bike Race.



Spot Mayhem review
The push-on grips were a surprising spec choice, but they were comfortable.
Spot Mayhem review
That's gold, Jerry! The shiny XX1 12-speed drivetrain performed perfectly for the entirety of the test period.


Technical Report

Vans/ODI Push-on grips: I can't think of the last time a test bike showed up with a set up with a pair of non-lock-on grips, but that's what the Mayhem is spec'd with. They are comfy, and they didn't slip, but I'm not a fan of the hassle involved with the installation and removal of push-on grips compared to the convenience of a lock-on.

SRAM XX1 drivetrain: Does gold make you faster? I'm not sure, but the shiny XX1 cassette and chain on the Mayhem definitely turned a few heads. Shifting was quick and crisp for the entirety of the test period, and I had a grand total of zero dropped chains.

Fox 34 Float: I feel like the Fox 34 doesn't get the recognition it deserves – many riders (I'm guilty of it myself) tend to overlook it in favor of the 36, its beefier sibling. But on a shorter travel rig like the Mayhem it makes perfect sense – it's light, plenty stiff, buttery smooth, and dead silent.

Mavic XA Carbon wheels: Although Vernon Felton reviewed a set last year, this was my first experience with Mavic's XA carbon wheels. They're stiff without being too stiff, wide without being too wide, and quite light to boot. I didn't have any troubles keeping the 2.3” Maxxis tires that were mounted on them securely in place, and they stayed true despite a number of impacts that made me cringe. That's a win in my book.


Spot Mayhem review


Pros

+ Well spec'd for the price
+ Quick, lively handling
+ Very efficient climbing manners
Cons

- Not the most sensitive suspension design
- Proper suspension setup important to avoid bottoming out too easily
- Can get rattled around in really rough terrain


Is this the bike for you?

The Mayhem is a good option for riders looking for a quick, peppy trail bike that's a little different from the rest of the choices on the market. Riders looking for a plush, bottomless suspension feel, or who gravitate towards really rough, technical trails, will want to look elsewhere, but if you're seeking out a purebred trail ripper, the Mayhem fits the bill.

If I were trying to decide between build kits, I'd lean towards the 5-star kit. Forgoing the carbon wheels and shiny gold drivetrain found on the 6-star kit drops the price by $1700, with a minimal difference in performance.



Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe Mayhem is quick and lively, with pedaling performance that encourages out of the saddle sprinting at every opportunity. It's worth a look for riders in search of an ultra-efficient all-rounder. Mike Kazimer








Must Read This Week

194 Comments

  • + 55
 "Dumb comment about it looking like a Yeti"

Super cool idea though. Surprised there aren't more companies playing around with leaf spring designs.
  • + 4
 Quite a lot of brands do use pivot-less suspension designs though, which are essentially the same. Scott and KTM for starters
  • + 13
 @IllestT: True. Lots of companies use a flexible seat-stay. The flexible link is novel though, and I like the idea that in the event of fatigue related cracking it's easier to replace that little link instead of a whole seat stay.
  • + 1
 @rockhammer: Still though. Depending on what counts as a cycle: 80rpm*(2 cycles/rotation)*(60minute ride/day)*(365days/year) = 3504000cycles per year. Means replacing once per year, if you do an hour ride per day. And that doesn't include heavy bottom outs etc that would be worth a lot more than 1 cycle.
  • + 1
 @VTwintips: I’d put it like this: one could get an impression that if it was such a groundbreaking idea instead of being another compromise, there would be much more of these around since leaf spring is a simplier solution than a pivot. Unless another one could say that companies use bearings because they are greedy and keep us away from the truth. Power to the true engineers, yaaay. Then yet another one could say: not my bike, cool that there is something different, good looking bike, after all I’d take that leaf spring over Yetis Kashima coated quantum particle annihilating pivot design, I won’t buy neither, so I don’t care, let me embrace the gaze of the void
  • + 10
 These comments are kinda stupid, It is a modern bike with a very unique and innovative way to solve some suspension issues. I don't think comparing it to a horst link bike was fair.... it should of been compared to a dw-link or better yet a yeti to show this is a better way to solve pedal bob on steep climbs. I have this bike a love it I hope they make a full XC 100mm bike soon!
  • + 9
 @VTwintips: I doubt it would need replacing even once a year. Just saying, easier and probably cheaper to replace than a flex seat stay. I like that. This seems like a unique design that works. I think diversity in choice is a good thing in the bike market.
  • - 1
 Hmmm, first glance I a daw Yeti too
  • + 2
 @rockhammer: Agreed. And if someone is really worried about breaking the link you could carry a spare one in your pack with hardly any weight penalty.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: You wont buy neither mean you will be both :p
  • - 6
flag mtbikeaddict (Feb 5, 2018 at 12:05) (Below Threshold)
 @H3RESQ: Same here. Looks extremely similar to Yeti's Infinity whatever.
  • - 2
 @WAKIdesigns: f*ck that shit! Yeti all day long!
  • + 2
 @komodo1: Nah it's definitely a Mojo with only one front triangle.
  • + 3
 @mnorris122: Holy pedal feedback Batman !
  • + 2
 @rockhammer: It ain't that novel,flex links were tried a few times before,for example by Lapierre on their X-Control,or others in the late 90's
  • + 2
 @nozes: spend five minutes to look at the design this is very unique.
  • + 0
 Someone please explain why everyone who says it looks like a yeti gets neg propped. It's a statement of fact. This bike and a Yeti look similar... just Google/Bing image a yeti bike... Nothing against this Spot... it sounds cool. But why the hate?
  • - 4
flag mtbikeaddict (Feb 5, 2018 at 18:39) (Below Threshold)
 Oh... I know why! I used the wrong wording. See, I said "looks like a Yeti". IF, however, I had said, "looks like a Session", I would've been the most popular guy here. Mea culpa...
  • - 2
 Wow. Guess I forgot the winking smiley. First below threshold comment ever. I am now an official PB member. Wink Big Grin Either my sense of humor is off tonight, some people just can't take a joke, or both. Time to cut my losses, move on, and jest again another day.
  • + 1
 @rockhammer: when bearings wear, they cause play, or seize up. when this wears and fails, its a pretty high consequence failure. i like that it is easily replaceable, like a derailleur hanger. don't like the ambiguously defined cycle. you doubt because it just couldnt be once a year, but you dont actually know.
  • + 1
 @mtbikeaddict: Yeah the Pinkbike system of comment props is frustrating at times. I guess the negative props is a function to self moderate and get rid of aggressive/swearing type stuff, but just negative prop'ing because people disagree with a straightforward statement can be annoying.
That's the compromise though.
You might say other social media doesn't have a negative prop system, but most don't have anonymous usernames.
So basically, it isn't a perfect system, but it's the best we got
  • + 8
 @IllestT: it's a system for self policing yes. It's good to see negprops next to some real racist or misogynist stuff. However... it also polices out any form of alternative opinions. I often see people bringing up some valueble insight, yet they get shot down rather quickly if it doesn't meet the consensus. I must say that it seems like it is used mainly by insecure dummies since it is so easy to see a pattern why something has been propped or neg propped. 26 for life, flats for life, short and banal industry bashing, supposedly high price bashing, E-bike bashing (you really need to go deep into slurs to get negpropped for E-bike trashing, but generally E-bike hate is just fine), emotionally charged shout outs towards pros, all that is popular. The only thing that is surprising to me is when I get props.
  • - 1
 @WAKIdesigns: don't get me wrong, I find it as frustrating as anyone. About ⅓ of my comments get removed due to negprops and I'm not rude or aggressive on here.
I hate BS and often can't resist calling it as such
  • + 3
 @IllestT: BS makes the world go round. Knock it at your peril. On the other hand, if you never get neg propped you're over-filtering.
  • + 1
 @IllestT: Like in the BTR comments where you kept arguing with everyone despite not understanding bugger all about either bearings or steel fabrication? Yeah, you keep fighting the good fight
  • + 0
 @BenPea: if negprop system had deterring properties... I’d be dead, bungee jumping from a bridge using my own guts as stretch rope
  • - 2
 @andrew9: yeah exactly, right?
  • - 1
 @andrew9: objective BS and subjective BS aren't the same
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: a great example of the triumph of the human spirit.
  • - 2
 @mtbikeaddict: Gave you good props so you're at least not in the "minus" camp. Wink
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Props given, Waki. Wink
  • + 2
 @cool3: Thanks... oh wait... someone just came through and neg propped every single one of my posts. It's the thought that counts. Wink Who cares anyway? I'm not super rude/aggressive/profane or anything, and as @BenPea said, I must have been overfiltering. This is fun! Bring on the neg props! My initiation has begun! lol
  • + 1
 @cool3: Propping and bragging about it?! That's a new quality we need here hahaha Wink

Short summary everyone, today I propped @dirtysteezer @55coil @billymacaroni2 @trekrider2748 @intensejosh22 @emocharged and negpropped @WAKIdesigns @Lobo-Tommy @blowtorchbob and @NicolaiMassachusets

Cheers!
  • + 0
 @mtbikeaddict: welcome to the tightrope
  • + 1
 @VTwintips: you’re probably right. I’d rather replace the little flex link than my whole rear triangle, which is the only point I’m making. I ride a Stumpjumper, which uses conventional pivots FWIW.
  • + 8
 @VTwintips: What counts as a cycle is a full flexion of the leaf spring. This happens at ~50% travel, whether headed for bottom out or top out. So any bump, jump, drop etc. that pushes the suspension past 50% will effectively result in two cycles. I'm not sure how one might expect to factor crank revolutions into this. When pedaling on smooth trail, the bike stays in the sag range, and doesn't activate the suspension to anywhere near 50% travel.

During the development of this system, we fitted one of our test mules with a data acquisition system that measured suspension cycles. Our typical daily lunch ride is the Apex trail here in Golden (for curious locals, our route for this test is up Pick 'n Sledge, up upper Apex, down Enchanted forest and down "The Gut"). This ride takes most riders 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on fitness, and as we ride it from our HQ, it covers about 10 miles and 2000 vertical feet, and it isn't smooth! One lap of this ride yields ~675 cycles of the leaf spring as measured by our equipment (it's really distracting to watch the cycle count display while riding BTW).

We've tested the leaf spring to 3 million cycles with no failure. In that time I replaced most of the bearings in the test machine at least once. So if you ride our Apex lap EVERY DAY, our testing shows that you can go about that for over 12 years. At that point you'd have replaced every moving part on the bike multiple times, but the leaf spring would still be going strong.

Hopefully this clears up any concerns of longevity.
  • + 3
 @Spot-Engineering: Yup. Thanks for the response.
  • + 24
 Huck yeah, dude. Stoked to see a review of this bike. I bought the 4 star build in November (on clearance from Jenson) and am very pleased with it. I do agree with the cons as proper suspension setup is key. The guys over at Spot are super responsive and promptly respond to any questions including suspension.
  • + 17
 Running a 140 36 fork and X2 shock do wonders for this bike in the rough.
  • + 12
 I've been riding my Mayhem since June, mostly on the same local trails as the SPOT guys. Coming from XC/Endurance racing over the previous years, I love the Mayhem. I didn't have a lot of experience with other trail bikes but compared to the bikes I raced on I've found a new level of confidence. I think my only wish is that it would be nice if it was as lightweight as my race bikes, that said everything is longer, I run tougher thicker tires, and a dropper so when doing the math on the parts it's not bad at all. I did not do a build from SPOT, rather built it up with XTR/Di2, Raceface, and Nox/i9 wheels.
  • + 12
 We have set a few Mayhem's up at the shop. While the Fox 34 is a great fork the bike begs for a 36 (140mm) at a marginal weight gain. And swapping out to the new DPX2 relieves all the minor harshness Mike experienced. The DPX2 is smaller, light weight and still has the climb switch knobbie if needed over something a monster X2 to get the suppleness (the climb switch on the X2 is somewhat useless, as its a full on lock out!) The DPX2 is far more supple but retains the climbing prowess of the Spot without needing to mess with knobs anyways! The color does NOT come thru in pics.
  • + 11
 So we have had tons of reviews complaining about suspension bob and having to use the lock out on the shock, yet suddenly this is too stiff to climb with! A hardtail can get up techy climbs no problem and this has to be more compliant, seems like reviewers want physically impossible characteristics from their bikes these days
  • + 33
 It's a balancing act, and for my tastes the Spot firmed up a little more than I would have liked one the climbs. That's the whole point of a review - to mention what separates on bike from another, especially considering how many options are out there these days.
  • - 3
 @mikekazimer: but in the epic climbing photo why are you out of the saddle on what looks like an mellow pitch.
  • + 11
 @makripper: Nobody in photos and videos simply spins up a hill like us mere mortals. They attack it like an ibex on speed. Its the power of the lens.
  • + 1
 Idea: supply different carbon LivingLinks of soft, medium, and hard (tested) OR have a clutch through the rigid 'pivot' that hold the link onto the frame (it looks like it is resisting movement, so let's let it move).
  • + 0
 @mikekazimer: I know it splits the difference between a Tallboy and a Hightower LT but how does it compare? Sounds like this is a firmer ride.
  • + 14
 Really enjoyed the review and liked seeing the POV video on some great trails. It's a looker that is for sure
  • + 9
 Good looking bike and Fox Factory, XX1 Eagle, Mavic Carbon wheelset and dare I say a $6999 price-tag isn't bad? I'm curious @mikekazimer thanks for comparing to the Norco! How would you compare it to a Ripley LS, Django 29 or Mach 429T?
  • + 2
 This. If you are going to open up comparisons, gotta broaden the range ;-)

Tops review, @mikekazimer!
  • + 7
 I love my Mayhem, best bike I've ridden for my purposes. Pedals like no other, and with a 140mm Pike it's very capable. I'll be putting on a burlier rear shock and that makes a big difference too. I had a Rollik before it and with a Float X2 it completely changed the feeling of the bike. Glad to see one got reviewed!
  • + 1
 Where'd you get the metric sized X2 for the Rollik? Been thinking of doing that on mine.
  • + 1
 It was custom built for the guys at Spot by Dirtlabs(?) I believe. I know the guys at Spot so they lent it to me for a bit to try out. The only bad part about it was giving it back.
  • + 1
 @Mitch7Yeti: Hmm, maybe I'll need to bug them about that.
  • + 1
 @foobajoob: distributors should have metric fox soon..
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: metirc DPX2 have been available since around Mid October. Got one on my 2017 Trance.
  • + 6
 I live in Golden where Spot is located. While working at a local bike shop this summer I demoed this bike. My experience led me to a similar conclusion, and I find this review to be SPOT on. I'm an aggressive rider, and while this bike climbs great, I feel it was not as raging on the more technical downs that I enjoy. I was getting bounced around a bit.

In my opinion, this bike is definitely a more trail oriented machine. I enjoy the Living Link composite "leaf spring" suspension for XC type riding. It allows the bike to seem like a hard tail until you get into the suspension ~15-20%, and then it gets more active. But, if you like to go Mach 5 and find the nastiest lines, your body will pay the toll.

I'm not bashing this bike, or brand. Spot bikes are great, as are the Spot guys. I'm curious if they have any more aggressive bikes in the works.

Ride on.
  • + 6
 "It's possible that I was pushing it a little further than its intended purpose" As Mike airs out half the Double-Down trail...
  • + 1
 I had the same thought. Probably not most peoples idea of xc/trail.
  • + 6
 That comparison with the Norco, and referencing which event would be more favourable for each type of event, was really helpful!
  • + 7
 Thanks for all the great reviews of off-brands lately. Any chance you'll get a chance to review any of the Cotic FS bikes?
  • + 9
 "off brand" is usually a term used for open mold budget brands... This was designed by the people that invented the dropper post at maverick and avid brakes.
  • + 3
 28.5lbs for a size large bike is great, especially with dropper, real tires and a longer fork. For 130mm bike, its respectable. For a 130mm bike that's all carbon including wheels, cranks and bars, it's a bit disappointing. Throw on some pedals and it's a 29lbs bike for $7,000.
  • + 3
 Like you said though, change those tires to Nobby Nics and its a 27lb bike for the paper-spec-weight weenies. I'm a real world weight weenie :-). If i was building this frame I'd go with an 11-speed XX1 setup myself and save $ and weight. Also from the sounds of this bike's capability i might save more weight and put a lighter tire on the back but keep the holy grail on the front.
  • + 3
 I'm squarely in the market for this type of bike. 120mm-ish 29er with non-single pivot/dual link suspension platform that's efficient enough to leave open all the time. I'm really interested how it compares to other bikes with a similar intent. Yeti SB4.5C (although I wouldn't own one because of the water bottle thing), Santa Cruz Tallboy, Pivot 429 Trail, Ibis Ripley, etc....i.e. not the single-pivot Norco it's compared against here. Any input available?
  • + 1
 Hold out for the Knolly Fugitive.
  • + 4
 @MikerJ: While being a sick bike, a 4 bar Knolly is kind of the opposite of what this person is asking for. Pedaling efficiency is not the high point of 4 bar bikes.
  • + 6
 If you value pedaling efficiency over downhill prowess you’re on the right path. If I was looking for a dual link bike I’d be all over this one.
  • + 2
 Pyga Stage Max is worth a look too. Designed by Patrick Morewood.
Love mine and I've never needed to use the lockout. Takes 2 full-size (1 litre) water bottles inside the front triangle too.
  • + 1
 Thanks guys. I'll check out the Pyga too.
  • + 2
 The Norco isn't a single pivot
  • + 1
 @icecreamsammy: Thanks. I appreciate the correction. Seems it's Horst link.
  • + 2
 I'm not sold by the marketing for this suspension design. I think Spot achieved what they were shooting for, but not because of the 'Living Link.'

Linkage performance is primarily about anti-squat and leverage curves. Both derive from axle path. The flexing link matters only insofar as it affects what the path would have been with a rigid link. On this bike, that'd be a very slight difference.

The rest of the time, the link is just an additive spring rate that varies with linkage compression. Spot claims no flex at no compression, max flex at half compression, and no flex again at full compression. If that were true, it'd make the typical progressive air spring curve a little more linear. I say "if" because the spring rate of the link is very modest relative to the shock and Spot's animations appear to show maximum flex at full compression. I can't see it perceptibly affecting suspension response.

The AS curve on this bike is similar to the Rollick 557 and Polygon EX9: high and flat through the travel. That means great pedaling all the time and a relatively inactive linkage, with a lot of pedal kickback, on ascents. That's exactly what this reviewer reported. The leverage curve is unusually linear, so the bike will have more platform mid-travel and less resilience to bottoming out: again, exactly what was described.

Nothing wrong with any of this, it just doesn't have much to do with the marketing hocus-pocus. If you're into this bike, buy it because the design intent matches your riding style, not because there's anything magical about a leaf-spring link.
  • + 4
 "Spot recently made the switch to a consumer-direct sales model, which allowed them to significantly reduce their prices." Scrolls down... $7k. lol
  • - 1
 Yeah, yeah, I know, it's a high end build. It just made me laugh anyway. Like I have 7k to drop on a bike...
  • + 2
 Well, other brands want 10 grand for this build kit, even when half of it is their own house compnents
  • + 1
 @j-t-g: True. But those are overpriced. This is ok... but I can still think of a bike with less cost and same/better components
  • + 2
 Great review. I LOVE Spot's suspension design and the steep seat angle. Riding one of these in plus form reminded me a lot of an SB5+ . I'd love this bike even more if it had super short chainstays (hey, a small guy can dream....)
  • + 2
 I have has a Mayhem since release. I installed a 140 Fox 34 fork and a DPX2. The DPX2 solved the issue with chatter. I think Spot should offer this shock as stock. Sad to see so many that have no experience riding bike, comment so negatively. They are missing out. Setup is key to this bike and it does take time to find proper cockpit setup and pedaling position. Its a digressive curve so shock is typically set wrong by the user. the DPS starting point is 85% of weight. Then adjust and change spacers.
  • + 3
 Dumb question: Is this going to wear out the clutch on the rd? Every time the suspension compresses the chain pulls on the rd. Is this normal with fs designs? Honestly I've never looked into it.
  • + 11
 Im dumb too
  • + 10
 Yeah, that's pretty normal. Generally, the more anti-squat a design has, the more "chain growth" there is. I wouldn't worry about premature clutch wear though.
  • + 6
 Same can be said for almost any full suspension bike honestly.
  • + 2
 I'm loving this trend of smaller travel bikes getting more aggressive. I really want that aggressive DH minded geometry, but I weigh 150lbs so I find myself wanting bikes IN SPITE of the fact that they have 160+mm of travel, simply because of the shape.
  • + 2
 What's wrong with weighting 150 lb and having 160mm of travel?
  • + 15
 @cool3: the closer you are to a 1:1 ratio of body weight to suspension travel, the less enduro. it is science.
  • + 1
 @adrennan: You sir have won the internet today.
  • + 1
 @adrennan: you just make that up. don't you?
  • + 3
 @indotrails: no, like I said, it is science.

Abraham Lincoln once said "nobody has ever told a lie on the internet"
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Oh, didn't know that! Wink
  • + 2
 I like Spot's approach to their XL bikes: the actual SA steepens and the chain stays grow a little. I demoed a Rollik and a Yeti SB4.5 last summer and there was a big difference (I'm 6'5"). They're both very efficient when pedaling, but finding the balance on the Yeti was much harder than on the Rollik.
  • + 5
 That looks like my bike Smile
  • + 2
 The regressive leverage curve at the end of the stroke seems like a great match for an air shock. I also like the external routing on the rear brake. Not so sure about all those spacers stacked above the stem though.
  • + 1
 It’s funny with bike weights these days, this weighs about the same as the same priced Hightower LT which has 150 front and rear. The Spot on paper, sans weight, looks ready to replace my XC bike vs the HTLT is ready to race EWS. As soon as you add droppers and decent trail tires, trail bikes and the lighter Enduro bikes are pretty much in the same weight class.
  • + 2
 I might be interested if the seat tubes were short enough for me to fit on this bike. I like the numbers on the large but there is now way my 160 Revive would fit for me, and I will not own a bike without that post.
  • - 6
flag WAKIdesigns (Feb 5, 2018 at 8:14) (Below Threshold)
 There are several bikes like that. Like my Antidote. A compromise in favor of suspension layout at the cost of seatpost length. Story of life
  • + 10
 @WAKIdesigns: no one cares about your antidote. You bring it up every comment lol
  • + 10
 @makripper: its almost like waki's bike should be renamed the anecdote
  • + 1
 There is way too many bikes like that!
Luckly with Tripple-L geometry trend, I actually consider going with medium on some brands for extra gooch clearence Big Grin
(6´1")
  • + 2
 @Quebracho: LLL well... I like wider and fatter axles. That's my trend.
  • + 5
 Maybe works better as 27.5+?
  • + 5
 So far I prefer mine as a 27.5+.
  • - 1
 Said no one ever.
  • + 17
 @stevemokan: except that guy directly above you...?
  • + 3
 Perhaps a faster rolling tire spec would run truer to this bikes intentions? 2 cents
  • + 5
 Looks like a bike
  • + 4
 That's a Spot on review for this bike..
  • + 3
 Anyone else notice a trend with new bikes coming out looking very yeti-esque?
  • + 20
 Not sure yet, i haven't made up my mind.
  • - 10
flag cool3 (Feb 5, 2018 at 8:15) (Below Threshold)
 Absolutely! Just to name a few: new Transition Smuggler carbon, new Kona Process and now this... Maybe I'm forgetting a few others...
  • + 4
 Well, as a longtime Yeti fan and recent Yeti owner, I must say that the present Yetis are some of the most beautiful (and efficient) mtbs ever made, so let's give credit where it is due. Smile
  • - 9
flag SnowshoeRider4Life (Feb 5, 2018 at 8:38) (Below Threshold)
 yeti imitation. the leaf spring is a different way of doing switch infinity.

"When the rear axle reaches a point approximately halfway through its travel range, the leaf spring reaches its maximum flex. As the rear axle reaches full compression, the leaf spring relaxes again.” - the switch infinity link goes down at full compression as well to give a little less ramp up.
  • + 20
 @cool3: uh smugglers and processes are relatively similar looking bikes, however they look nothing like yetis or the mayhem. just sayin
  • + 6
 @cool3: Both those bikes look nothing like Yeti bikes...to say otherwise would be ignoring the completely different linkage designs across all three bikes.

The Spot however does look like a Yeti in ways, but no, leave your poor comparisons at home.
  • + 9
 Looks more like a session to me.
  • + 1
 To be fair, I think the designer is the same who designed the switch infinity. So maybe expected to look similar
  • + 0
 Double post. Please delete.
  • + 0
 @RideTahoe707: "leave your poor comparisons at home". Well, that's such a good way to start a conversation! Maybe you should read my message below about why I'm comparing those bikes before jumping to conclusions...
  • + 2
 @cool3: I’ll second that!
  • + 5
 Yes, except the improvements almost always include a water bottle in the main triangle
  • + 3
 Love The steep seat angel trend! 75+ plz!
  • + 1
 @dougiem8: Saw what you did there.
  • + 1
 @cool3: the advancements however always seem to have a main triangle water bottle
  • + 0
 @NWuntilirest: Any bike with a horizontal shock looks like a yeti cause everyone knows they did that first.
  • + 0
 @RideTahoe707: Since my previous message got erased, I was referring to the general lines of those bikes, not the linkage(s) or suspension kinematics. Yeti popularized the curved super sloping top tube. Sure, they did not "invented" it, but this has become one of their signature features and I just noticed that more and more manufacturers are using this visual cue on their own bikes.
  • + 2
 @bsavery: you are thinking alchemy. to be fair, alchemy, yeti, and spot, are all in the same area and it is full of yeti fan boys out here. more likely to sell a frame in denver if it looks like a yeti
  • + 1
 @adrennan: Ah yes you're right, Alchemy
  • + 5
 Look like a spot.
  • + 1
 Sounds like the perfect bike for fast and flowy trails. It’s a shame it doesn’t have that ground hugging feeling in the rough like bikes with VPP or DW link
  • + 3
 Wow, lots of neg props in this thread... Somebody woke up angry? Wink
  • + 2
 No kidding eh? Bad case of the Mondays on PB. I gave you and a bunch of others props.
  • + 1
 @woofer2609: Props given! Smile
  • + 3
 That was a great review again, I'm loving the new format
  • + 2
 And it ain't helping sensitivity...
  • + 2
 Looks like alchemy missed a spot
  • + 3
 Leaf Alchemy out of this.
  • + 2
 no pun springs to mind
  • + 2
 So it bottoms out easily and it's not that sensitive? Sweet.
  • - 1
 Great idea, now put suspension on it that doesn't need constant servicing all the time! Bikes are obviously designed to be high maintenance! Then to the bike shop it goes, $100 $200? Disgusting
  • + 2
 That chain growth in the suspension video almost made me cry
  • + 4
 thats the best way to get efficient pedaling
  • + 5
 That’s how they get the super stiff pedaling platform....
  • + 2
 From Norco Range point of view it looks familiar. Kinda freaked out first time coming from GT's Idrive. PITA for setting up chain if you like shorter derailleurs.
  • + 1
 Everyone is crying about pedal bob when they’re a switch between your legs, use it!
  • - 1
 Throw the Fox rear shock in the trash and get something with a better negative spring. Then you'll get more traction and better compliance on the small bumps and flat corners.
  • + 3
 Not a bad shock overall, just not great on this bike maybe?
  • + 1
 Yes, what you are saying is true. But the basic feel of the bike won't change significantly. You'll never get a 5010 to feel like a Camber. So best to choose the bike that suits your style in the first place.
  • + 2
 @oldfartne: That shock is great on an "XC" bike where you are climbing more than 50% of the time. If you plan on riding more aggressively I'd go with one of the X2's, DVO Topaz, or one of many Rock Shox.
  • + 1
 @acali: I agree.
  • + 0
 7k for 2wheel pedal, with leaf spring vehicle... in "pinkish" color and with a funny name???
and thinking cripto currency was stu... super!
  • + 2
 Looks like a ses- I mean yeti.
  • + 1
 my very original and hilarious comment
  • + 1
 Dig the review and the direct comparison to a similar bike. Nice job MK.
  • + 1
 Put a Fox 36 at 150 or Pike at 150mm and this bike becomes a trail Slayer.
  • - 1
 Gawd but both the Sight and Spot are awful colors. I mean come on, it doesn't cost much more to choose an awesome looking livery.
  • + 4
 Sure they look similar but have entirely different rear suspension designs.
  • + 2
 @COnovicerider: i agree. both sick bikes Beer
  • + 0
 wait, trail bike is separate from all mountain ? Enduro no where to be found.
  • + 0
 It looks like the result of night out drinking between a last gen Nomad and a Yeti.
  • + 0
 If your name is Greg and you ride this bike is it okay to name it G SPOT? Asking for a friend of course.
  • + 2
 Is it red or pink?
  • + 7
 Salmon
  • + 5
 It's red, but in the bright sun the color looks a little lighter.
  • + 5
 hahaa. the great diamondback controversy of 2017!
  • + 4
 I call mine the Flying Tomato. The paint code is Matte Hot Tomato.
  • + 0
 Come here just to read the comments..
  • - 1
 7 grand for a direct sales bike? Normally you buy direct because it's cheaper than what you can get from a shop.
  • + 8
 Check out the 4 star spec for $4400. That's a ton of bike at that price.
  • + 9
 Check the spec!!! That’s equivalent to many $10K bikes. XX1, premium carbon wheels, premium suspension, pretty killer value IMO.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: they recently slashed their prices. The 4 star was $5799 for what seemed like forever on their site and on Jenson. Once I saw it on Jenson for $4400 I jumped on it.
  • + 1
 Looks like a?
  • + 1
 A pink bike on Pinkbike
  • - 2
 I'd need 2 water bottle cages accessible while riding, please. one for H2O, 1 for bear spray.

Other than that I guess $7000 is a reasonable price (barfing sound)
  • + 1
 See spot run!
  • - 2
 This looks like the offspring from a Yeti, Santa Cruz, Pivot, and Specialized Orgy
  • - 2
 Great review...thanks! NOW SHOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW ME THE CAPRA @YTIndustries @The-YT-Mob
  • + 0
 e-capra 18'
  • + 0
 Rather have a Jeffsey.
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