So I finally got my Lynskey. I ordered it back in January and it arrived at the end of July. Took me a while to build it up, but I have a couple of rides on it now. Some of these pics were from before the bike was actually rideable.
I ordered the frame, the fork (a SID XX), and XT brakes from Bob at bikerbob.com. His service was really fantastic and his prices were completely unbeatable anywhere else. He is great to communicate w/ through email and will find you anything you need at the best online prices anywhere. Send him an email. You wont' regret it!
The rest of parts were things I had lying around. An old old XT square taper crank and bb that still work great, XTR 970 shifters and rr derailleur from my 09 Specialized Sworks, Stans Crest wheels (I had ordered from Bob a while ago), an old WTB Rocket V ti railed saddle, a Race Face post I took off of my son's bike (I haven't told him yet; he now has the very short Titec one seen in one of the pics), Syntace F109 stem from the Sworks, and I have to finish adding the Easton Ec70 bars to it. I will also be adding a white carbon water bottle cage from Blackburn, white Esi Chunky grips, a Ritchey WCS carbon post, and finally replacing the saddle w/ my white Specialized seat. I haven't weight it yet since I am not done with it. For the coming year, I am not quite sure what I am going to do w/ the drive train yet. I might go w/ XO, possibly the new XX1 if it's not a bank breaker (yeah right!), or just go w/ a used 970 tripple xtr crank to complete what I have now.
If I have learned anything from my transition from my 26' Specialized Swork Epic to the 29' Scott Scale, is to not be quick to judge a bike, and to let myself settle into the bike before I form any lasting opinions.
I did have some first impressions though. Three things were apparent right away with the bike. The steeper head angle meant the bike steered significantly faster, and the front end was also easier to lift over obstacles. The bottom bracket was higher (12.5 vs what I think is 11 on the Scale), evidence by not hitting as many rocks w/ my pedals anymore! But w/ the higher bb, I did not feel like I was perched too high on the bike. I could however tell that it would be much easier to go OTB w/ the Lynskey compared to my Scale. I thankfully have not yet tested this. Another impression I had riding the bike was that it seemed heavier to launch and get up to speed or up the hills than the Scott was. I know the bike was heavier but probably not by a huge amount (maybe two lbs). It didn't seem like it was the weight itself that made it feel "heavy" but rather the frame angles and perhaps the material (my first time w/ Ti). I felt like I needed to ride one gear higher than the Scott. I'll keep on monitoring this as I get the bike fully changed to it's new parts, which should bring closer to the weight of my Scale (@22lbs). A good call on the the bike design is the 27.2 post. Even though I had an aluminum post in there (a set back post), I could feel it flex a bit to absorb the hits the bike was taking through rocks gardens. This really made the bike much more comfortable when keeping my butt planted on the seat when I was getting tired (which happens way too fast lately).
On a component note, the hype around the Shimano XT brakes is well deserved! Great one finger action brakes with lots of stopping power and not a squeak. I was also nicely impressed w/ the Rockshox SID XX. It's lockout is much more "serious" than that of the Reba. It actually fully locks out the fork, unlike the Reba which always has about an inch of movement in it when locked out. I have to experiment w/ the blow off valve more as it is a little too harsh for me right now fully locked out (I always ride my Reba locked out). The SID is also soo much smother in it's travel than the Reba is. Last component note: I had forgotten how comfortable those damn Wtb saddles were!
The tell tale sign of any "racer bike" of course is how fast it goes around the woods. I happen to be in area that hosts a great weekly low key mountain bike time trial. It's a really a good course w/ a nice mixture of terrain, starting out w/ some fun swoopy and tight turns through loamy single track, then transitioning into more technical terrain with some good rock gardens. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to pit the Lynskey against the Scott. I races the Lynskey two weeks ago which was my first official mountain bike ride on on it, and raced the Scott the following week. The times were very very close. The Scott ended up being 20 seconds faster (41 min 15 secs vs. 40 min 55 secs) Now I know a number of things other than the bike can explain that 20 seconds. The course conditions were very similar. For example, as I mentioned, it was the first time I ever really rode the bike on dirt (I had a short ride on the road the day before to make sure everything worked). Also obviously, the legs will perform sightly differently from week to week. I'll keep on alternating between the bikes and see if a trend develops though.
Follow up post on the Lynskey is here.