The last blog spoke of my infatuation with the Sultan, but there is a new potential lover vying for my attention. Ah, the FSR 29er. Rode one. Liked it. A lot.
I have not ridden a Sultan yet, but the Stumpy was pretty sweet. The relaxed head angle was a bit odd in a 29er and it begged for a sus fork with more offset than the Rebas 38mm, but I loved the 69 degree angle on the Cannondale Prophet. I imagine after a few rides, I would adapt very nicely.
It is, in a way, the anti-Sultan. Where the Turner bike is all straight tubes and old school suspension, nothing dramatic, just solid ya-know-what-you-will-get stuff here. Average parts/engineering taken to the next level by the execution of the whole. The FSR is all hydro formed, bent and swayed, swooped and whoooped, and capped with the very excellent Horst link equipped FSR 4 bar rear end and frosted over with a Brain shock glaze. But, what really matters is out on the trail and not only that, a couple of years from now out on the trail. The Turner is so proven to doubt it is to be silly, but it is not any significant step into the future. On the other hand, pioneers often die on the trail and the FSR 29er is largely unproven but backed by a huge and successful company.
The FSR sure pedaled well and the Brain shock rear end was amazingly good. Felt solid too. I have to say it left a better impression than the HiFi did. I would buy just the frameset rather than the complete bike. It is not cheap, but I bet most shops can beat the suggested retail which would put it a bit below the average boutique frame.
Well, it ain't love....yet. But it sure is sending me flowers.