This bike is nothing short of sick! It took me a couple days to get it dialed; funny how no matter how exact the measurements are there is always some tweaking to make it just right. It happened last night near the end of a farewell group ride for my teammate and friend, Corey Klein, who is moving to Ohio. Frustrated by the drunkness joking about me not wanting to drink beer on the ride unless it was out of carbon cans I tore off down the trail... little did I know that Corey and Zach were more interested in shredding more trail before the sun set too and saving the beer drinking for later... I heard them behind me and slowed up as we headed up JustinsTrail towards Ries Rd. When we hit the top the bliss began. I told Corey to go ahead and own it, after all it was his old backyard, and he did. Corey set the pace, Zach next and then me. We flossed like Oral B; wheel to wheel, at race pace, all A game was brought and the beer drinkers were dropped. Sometime between the yelling and footwork of fury smashing on the pedals sending us faster, faster and way too fast, it came over me like a sweet Trey Solo. I started to get goosebumps and realized I was owning the shit out of the OIZ and it wasn't trying to throw me off anymore. It was great. The whole time we were out of the saddle sprinting in between the loose gravel turns down Grotpeter I couldn't help to think to myself how messed up someones grill would have been if they were coming up the trail in the wrong direction, but luckily, as the sun faded, we flossed and no grills were damaged. When we got down to the bottom there was some serious high fiveing and karate chopping going on and I realized how fast Zach and Corey are riding and that is pretty awesome too... They took it to the next level like Super Mario.
The OIZ is everything I expected and wanted it to be. This thing just shreds. The biggest difference I notice is when I get up out of the saddle I feel like a jet taking off of a carrier instead of a big diesel gaining speed. It is serious fast. I am getting full travel with my body weight in the FOX RP23 and it in the open position, but never feel the suspension which is the way I like it... for a fast course with minimal descents the ProPedal would be ideal, but there is hardy any bob in the open position so it would have to be fire road fast to warrant using the ProPedal.
Thanks to Eric Pirtle and Orbea, I have a full XTR Alma 29'er that will be shipping this week. I couldn't be more stoked. I have wanted to have a short travel 26'er and 29'er in the arsenal for quite some time, thanks for making it happen! I'm going to run the Alma full rigid and see if I have the skills like my teammate Matt Keeven. Hopefully I'll have some kickass Industry Nine wheels to bling it out!! I'll keep you posted.