I hung out in court this morning, just observing things and learning a bit, and then had lunch with some attorneys, social workers, and a judge. After all that fun, it was time to get real again and go for a ride. I headed home, got out of my stuffy "court clothes," and grabbed the Lazer Cat. This would be my second ride on her, but my first with the build totally complete with fork remote lockout installed, and the tires set up as tubeless.
I rode her Saturday in Mills River, and she felt great. Very responsive, light, and smooth. Today, I wanted to get her out on a route that I have ridden many times on the Karate Monkey to get a good comparison, so I hit Reasonover Creek>Lake Julia Gulia Rd.>Camp Summit Rd.>Airstrip Tr.>Shelter Rock Tr.>Corn Mill Shoals Rd./Tr.>Shoals Tr.>Laurel Ridge Tr.>Mine Mtn. Tr. The route wasn't nearly as long as it sounds, but it was a good, late afternoon ride.
Right off the bat, I loved the feel of this bike. It's a little difficult to explain, but it feels like more of an extension of me than something I am sitting on top of. That means that maneuvering the bike is much more intuitive, and less work. I don't know if that is because the geometry is just a better match for my size, that it is quite a bit lighter than my Monkey even with a suspension fork, the fact that it does have a suspension fork, or a combination of all of that. I really do notice how light this bike is, as it's so easy to get airborne, and pop up over obstacles. It certainly helps on the climbs, too. The frame is also very compliant. Steel provides such a smooth ride, and the Lazer Cat doesn't feel nearly as "tank'ish" as the Monkey does. I'll chalk that up to Brendan's tubing selection. And finally, having a Reba XX/Race (the dampener was swapped out from Xloc to Pushloc by the PO which meant it was quite affordable for me) with a 20mm thru axle really made a difference as well. The bike is a point and shoot, not requiring nearly as much finesse as the rigid fork, and allowing me to bomb the downhills a bit more.
That's all I have to say about that for now. I'm anxious to see how much more I like it as I get used to it.
Here are a couple pics of the build: