Let’s get up to speed.
So I’ve been riding this bike a lot more in preparation for the 3 hour Fort Yargo race this weekend and I’ve really been able to experience it at high speed and get to know the bike.
I rode the bike last month at the Dirty 30 Blankets Creek race and was really impressed at how much better/faster it was than the Thunder Comp I rode the year before.
The more I ride it the more I like it. I was blown away on my first ride and it’s just gotten better. So I’ve got 15 hours on the bike and here’s what I like:
The price, this bike has a regular price, from the Raleigh website, of $999 but is always on sale for $679. It’s even better with the discount code at $549. It’s a pretty good deal at the full price, it’s an awesome deal at the sale price and just ridiculous at the discounted price. Really, when I was shopping for a hardtail in late 2014/early 2015 I couldn’t get close to a 29er with air-fork at that price. Never mind one with thru-axles, 32mm wide rims, 2×10 or hydraulic discs. I mean really I paid $800 for a 5 year old 26er with Deore, regular quick release wheels and a Fox F100 air fork and this was a great deal at the time! Today, the Tekoa is the best deal in mountain biking. It’s crazy how good and how cheap bikes have gotten in the past 1-2 years.
The stock tires and wheels really great. Good quality, lots of traction and they roll really well. Paired with the 32mm wide wheels the bike handles roots, rocks and chatter with aplomb.
All the other component choices are solid and reliable picks. Shimano shifters and derailleurs, Tektro Hydraulic brakes and Suntour Raidon fork. I’ve been very impressed with the fork, at the recommended pressure it comfortably handles all the straight-line bumps really well but it’s stiff enough that when I start playing in the really high speed corners I don’t get significant fork compression – especially under front braking. Being able to alternate front and rear braking before and into a corner is a great thing to have.
What I don’t like, which are all really minor and mostly fit issues I see with any bike.
Stock tires are not the tubeless model. Which is not unexpected but it’d be nice.
Stock bars were too narrow and the stock grips push the brake/shifter levers too far in. The bike felt a little sluggish in the really twisty stuff during my first ride and it took me a second to realize it was a combination of the slightly narrower bars (700 to my normal 720) and the narrower hand position due to the width of the grips. I’ve since changed bars and grips so it’s better now.
Tire clearance is…interesting.
2.25 is pretty much the max that will fit. The stock tires are 2.28 and they’re probably a little too large for anything but dry riding.
The seatpost clamp is not very confidence inspiring. It’s held the seatpost fine, it just feels weak and looks like it’s straining to keep things together.
Stock saddle is 😦 but I mean duh right?
I’m still getting to know the bike but right now I feel like I can’t get the bars low enough for my comfortable racing position. I’m not sure if this reality or not but it sure feels like the bars are too high. I’ve got a -17 stem that I’m going to try and may look into thinner bearing covers – either way it’s ok now but so close to perfect I may as well try to push it over the line.
Anyway, bike is great and I’m really excited to continue riding and racing it.