Gnarvana. No, that's not the name of a bad '90s cover band – it's what Guerrilla Gravity are calling their new long travel 29er. I have a feeling Kurt Cobain is rolling over in his grave somewhere, but luckily there's more to this new beast than just a cringe-inducing name.
The Gnarvana has 160mm of rear travel that's paired with a 170mm fork, which gives it a slack, 63.7-degree head angle. The made-in-Colorado frame
has a carbon front triangle and an aluminum swingarm, and if the overall shape looks familiar that's because it uses the same front end as all of the other full-suspension bikes in Guerrilla Gravity's lineup.
• Wheelsize: 29"
• Revved carbon front triangle, aluminum swingarm
• Travel: 160mm (r) / 170mm (f)
• 63.7-degree head angle
• 450mm chainstays
• Threaded bottom bracket
• Weight: 33.8 lb (w/o pedals, size 3)
• Price: $3,895 - $6,395 USD
• Frame only: $2,195 USD
By using different seatstays and fork lengths, Guerrilla Gravity are able to get the maximum amount of use out of their carbon molds, which helps keeps the cost down, and makes it possible for riders to turn one model into another by swapping out the seatstays and a few parts.
In theory, the owner of a 120mm Trail Pistol could purchase the $445 Gnarvana Seatstay Tuning kit, along with a different shock and fork, and completely transform their bike in under an hour. I'm not sure how many riders will go that route, especially considering the price of those additional suspension components, but it is an interesting option to have.
The Gnarvana is available as a frame only for $2,195 USD, with complete builds starting at $3,895. The bike shown is spec'd with the Rally build kit plus a few upgrades, namely the Fox 38 fork and DHX2 rear shock, which puts its price at $5,235. Guerrilla Gravity's website allows customers to pick which components they'd like in order to get a more customized build.Frame Details
The Gnarvana frame has a GeoAdjust headset that allows the reach to be changed by 10 millimeters by switching the orientation of the headset cups. It's a simple procedure, and allows riders to fine tune the bike to fit their personal preferences.
One adjustment that's missing on this bike compared to Guerrilla Gravity's other models is ability to switch the shock position between Crush and Plush mode, a change that alters the rear suspension feel of the bike. That adjustment isn't present on the Gnarvana in order to maximize the amount of available travel, and it's permanently set to what would be considered 'Plush mode' on their other models.
Other details include external cable routing that's hidden behind a removable plastic shield, room for a water bottle under the top tube, and the ability to attach a tube and tools using the two bolts on top of the down tube. Ride Impressions
I only have two rides in on the Gnarvana, so it's still very early in the testing process. I've been impressed with just how quiet the bike is – there isn't any chainslap or cable rattle to be heard, and the lack of distractions makes it easier to focus on the important things, like picking the best line through a tricky section of trail.
The fit of the bike feels similar to the Banshee Titan I recently reviewed, which has made getting up to speed an easy process. It's not the lightest bike, but that's not really as much of a focus in this enduro / bike park category. A little extra heft is more acceptable in this realm than it would be on a shorter travel, more trail-oriented machine. The climbing position is comfortable, and while it doesn't exactly snap around tight uphill sections, with some patience and advance planning it'll get the job done.
On the descents, the Fox 38 fork and DHX2 coil shock are a formidable duo, a potent package that encourages a 'smash through everything' riding style. Add in those relatively long chainstays and you've got a bike that's stable and ready for some seriously speedy shenanigans. Now's not the time to turn the dial to 11, but I'm excited for when that day comes, especially considering how the Gnarvana feels when its only turned to an 8.