Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ride 50: Glentress

So it's nearing the middle of the year and i'm at the half way point of making my 100 rides in 2013 goal. The 50th ride was my first time round the black loop at Glentress testing out a couple of Transition bikes; the Bandit and the Covert.

We started the day out early as the bikes had to be picked up from in Edinburgh first. The shop was possibly the smallest bike shop i've ever been in but the two chaps working in there were super friendly and charges for demo bikes are very reasonable too.

The Bandit: Climbs well, descends better, looks lovely.

Once sorted we headed out to Glentress, the sun was shining, the air-con was on in the car and I was very much looking forward to riding the black loop on a bike i've wanted to ride for quite a while (the Bandit). As expected on a sunny Saturday, Glentress was fairly busy but once out on the trail we actually saw very few people. The first climb is shared with the blue and red trail but once you reach the second car park the black goes it's own way and the hussle and bussle of busy car parks and other people are soon forgotten.

As I mentioned above the two bikes being demo'd were the Transition Bandit and Transition Covert. The Bandit is a 130mm trail bike while the Covert is a 160mm all mountain style affair. I spent most of the day riding the Bandit as that's the one I was mainly interested in but I couldn't resist the allure of the burlier Covert too.

The Covert: A very capable bike, just needs bigger terrain to challenge it.

The black route at Glentress is a nice mix of long switchback climbs leading to some equally long downhill sections. The route isn't overly technical for a black, but provided a good variety of sections to test the bikes. Both bikes were stable climbers, neither suffered from excess pedal bob though the Covert could well benefit from a travel adjust fork as the front end did wander on some of the steeper ascents.

Once pointed downwards both bikes were a barrel of fun. The Covert was happy to hold it's line and let it's longer travel, big tyres and weight get it through, while the lighter Bandit was happy to be hopped and popped and let it skip across the rougher stuff.

One of my favourite sections of Glentress is the last section of the black trail that leads back down to the main car par. I ran this section a few times with both bikes to see the differences, and to see which bike I preferred. Overall I came away liking the Bandit just that little bit more, it felt a little more playful and a bit more responsive than it's burly big brother, though I would have preferred a slightly more aggressive front tyre than the narrow nobby nic fitted.

If you do get the chance to ride at Glentress I can recommend the black loop. It's not overly technical for a black so don't expect a big challenge but the descents are really quite good and offers a little more variety than the red loop does.

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