I’d never been to YOU YANGS before, and was a great opportunity to try out some brand new bikes – worth about $4,000 – and I didn’t have to bring my own bike – or wash it down afterwards !
I met up with the bike crew, and was ‘fitted’ with a new GIANT ANTHEM X1 – which is the first dual suspension bike I’ve ever ridden – with a “4.0” signifying that it had four inches of travel – or 100mm.
As I didn’t know the trails, so there was a ‘guide’ assigned to me – who was JESS DOUGLAS – the newly crowned 24-hr Solo Mountain Biking World Champion…!
Not every day that you have a World Champion as your personal tour guide !
The bike felt very nice – I’d often thought that rear suspension was a bit of a gimmick, or robbed your legs of power by being too springy – but I was amazed how composed and settled it felt – over small jumps, rocks and roots.
After a lap of the #15 trail – following Jess – I went out on my own, around the same circuit. And was able to go at my own pace – a little faster in some parts, and gave the bike a bit of a harder run. Nice trails – a lot more “sand” than the Lysterfield trails I’m used to – and a lot of water/mud – fun !
Next up – I trialled the new GIANT TRANCE X1 – which is designed for cross country, but with a little more focus on downhill handling & performance. This bike has FIVE inches of travel (suspension) – and the geometry is slightly different to the ANTHEM.
The angle on the front handle bars (forks) is laid a little more towards the front – a shallower angle of 69.5 degrees – vs. 71 degrees – meaning that the bike feels more laid back – and the front wheel feeling like it’s pushed forward – like I was riding a Harley !
The trail we went on next was a little bit of a climb, then some flowing downhill – great for testing out the Trance – some of the best single-track I’ve ever ridden actually. It was nice to be able to lean back a bit, and pick up the front wheel when rolling over small ground level roots/rocks.
As for the downhill, I’m a bit of a wuss, and take it pretty slowly – so I think the Anthem would be my preference – over the Trance. The laid-back feeling on the Trance came at the sacrifice of handling – didn’t feel like I had as much control or handling.
By the end of that run, I had 1/2 hour left – so I took the Trance out on the #15 trail (a third run on that loop !).
This trail is a bit flatter & XC oriented – further swaying my liking towards the Anthem, over the Trance.
Of course, I probably can’t afford EITHER bike – but I’ll save some pennies & coins – and maybe it can be my ‘40th birthday present’ – in about 18 months.
A mid-life crisis, perhaps ?? Some dudes get a red sports car, and ditch the wife for a 6-foot blonde – where-as, I’m hoping to get a fancy Mountain Bike, and go out to get muddy. LOL !
After the riding was done, we chatted & had a BBQ lunch, and they had some freebies to give to the demo riders – water bottle, t-shirt, stickers, power bars – and a voucher for 15% off the purchase price of a new bike (of course !!)
And – was good to check out some of the other bikes – carbon-fibre, one with SIX inches of travel, and quick release seat – with a button on the handlebar to drop/raise the seat automatically – LOL !
Thanks to all the guys at GIANT – they helped lots, and made me feel welcome – as I’d gone out there on my own (1.5 hours drive each way – more in the car than on the bike !)
And – thanks to Jess Douglas – great to meet a World Champion who is so down-to-earth, and a genuinely nice person – with a great JOB !
Was a great day out – didn’t rain, but I got plenty muddy….
Was great to be able to try out a new bike – I just need to sell mine, and then find a few thousand dollars.
Is it wrong to spend more $$ on a BIKE than a CAR !!?