Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Helmet

New Helmet = Bell Drop

I will review it when I hae actually used it and not just looked at myself in the mirror.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Poison Oak

I have it on my left leg and on my left arm.  I got it last Sunday on Jakes Rock-it ride, we did not get to ride this week.  It started as a small rash on my leg that itched on the Monday after the ride, so I put some cortisone cream on it and it stopped itching.  I watched it on Tuesday and it had not spread so in my expert medical opinion there was no way it could be poison oak, it had to be something else!  By Saturday it had become a 4" red, bumpy, oozing, itching patch.  My mother in law took a look at it (she is a nurse practitioner) and said it was definitely poison oak....  How was this possible, it wasn't spreading.  I was a Boy Scout growing up and I am a Boy Scout leader now, I know poison oak, it spreads.  My mother in law informed me that if you have been exposed to it before, which I have, then sometimes it takes longer to spread.  Sure enough by Sunday night, a whole week after exposure, it appeared on my arm.  The patch on my arm was hit with Triamcinolone Acetonide cream right away and is now almost gone, but the original patch on my leg is getting worse and will probably require a topical steroid or something stronger as it is now a four inch red, itching, swollen, bumpy, oozing blotch surrounded by a eight inch itching, bumpy area.  Here's what it looks like....
My advice is if you have even the slightest thought that it might be poison oak then treat it like it is, if I had done that my leg would not hurt and itch.  Next time I will be safe rather than sorry.  Poison oak sucks!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jake vs. Rock-it

This mornings ride was a good one with the boy.  My daughter Ryan decided last night that she wanted to take today off and just relax, this kind of sucks because I love to ride with both Jake and Ryan.   On the up side when I ride with just Jake we can ride a little faster and hit some harder trails.  The last couple weeks I have seen him get better and better on our Ryan friendly rides so I asked him if he wanted to give Rock-it a try.  He was willing but he wanted pads, we dug out the old hockey gear found his shin guards and he was ready.
 First we rode from Canyon Vistas to Cholla.  We rode up Cholla with Jake only having to stop a couple of times.

 This is Jake's first time in Aliso, so it is obviously his first time climbing Cholla.  No Sweat!

From Cholla we took West Ridge to Rock-it.
 Jake gearing up.
 Ready for battle! 
The next few pictures can explain themselves...

 At the bottom myself and several guys taking a break could here him let out a huge, "WOOOOOOOO!!!" on the last hill.  Once he got to the bottom he told us, " This is the best trail ever!"
Next we rode Coyote Run south where I had a little crash on the section where you come out of the trees and there is a steep, short climb then it drops down the other side with a couple of two foot rock drops that you can slowly roll with no problem.  I never rolls these I always take them with some speed and have never crashed on them before.  I had Jake walk over and check them out and explained how to take them then I got on my bike and almost immediately stuck my foot in my mouth, actually I stuck my knee in my eye as I went OTB.  After getting up and gathering my dignity Jake decided he would walk this section.
 Yeah, my glasses cut me.
 Not as bad as it felt, this little scrap hurt.
We took Coyote Run to Mathis to Dripping Caves.  These caves kind of look like my face after I crashed.   Dripping caves has a fun little downhill at the end that Jake slid out on.  We rode over to Wood Canyon and on the way stopped to lend pliers to a guy.  Then we rode back to Mathis and got on Coyote Run and rode north until we hit Wood Canyon again and then back to the truck.  

Jake loved it and definitely wants to do this one again.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Pictures Worth.....

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and today I really can't think of much to say.  It as the normal "Ryan" ride for Sunday morning.  Yesterday I rode with a buddy from college and we were having such a good ride that I never stopped to take pictures, but with the kids today I took the time to take a few.

 Ryan on the first climb.

 Almost made it!!!

 Jake just taking n the view.

 Forced to pose with each other by Dad.

 Jake ready to rip.

 Ryan told me at the bottom that she almost had a heart attack on this one!

I made Jake follow his sister for the last part of Fenceline, he was not happy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What if you threw a ride and nobody came?

What if you threw a ride and nobody came? 

Well in our case we ride anyway,  and have a great time!

Earlier this week I posted a family ride on  I was trying to get people to bring their kids out for a fun morning in the dirt, because my kids keep asking why they never see other kids riding.  I take my son Jake who is 11 and my daughter Ryan who is 7 out to do some trail riding every Sunday and they love it, most of the time.  This morning Jake said he was to tired and did not want to ride, so he stayed home.  He has been doing this more and more lately because all of his friends just sit around and play video games and I think he feels embarrassed that he does not have an Xbox, but he has a nicer bike than any of them.  However, my daughter is always asking if we can go ride, she loves it, even on her purple Target Disney Princess bike.  So I figured if I could get some more parents to bring their kids out, then maybe Jake will see that there are other kids his age who like to ride and both he and Ryan could make some new friends, it is always more fun to ride with friends!  Unfortunately nobody showed so Ryan and I headed out on our own. 

We rode Bommer to Fenceline like usual, but on Fenceline Ryan was able to open it up a little more than normal and was riding really fast, for a 7 year old.  We then took Fenceline to Missing Link.  Everyone we passed on the single tracks gave Ryan words of encouragement, lots of "Good Job!" and even some "Wow, your doing great."  Which are all answered with  "Thanks!" yelled over her shoulder as she passes.  At the top of Missing Link we stopped for a little break.
After a few minutes of rest I asked where she wanted to ride, her usual answer at this point is back to the truck, but not today.  Today she wanted to keep going.  We went down El Moro Ridge and ran into another rider from and stopped to say hello, I should say I stopped Ryan continued to the top of the hill and waited for me there.  Once I caught up we rode to the Lower Moro Camp Ground and stopped for a snack.  Ryan and El Moro Ridge have a little history from a few weeks ago.  Several weeks ago Ryan had her first crash on this section of trail and since has refused to go anywhere near it.  When we got to the camp ground she asked, "Are we almost to where I crashed?" I said, "Nope, we passed it about a mile ago."  She had a smile from ear to ear.

Snack time!

Here are some views from the camp ground.

Our route back was just the route there in reverse.  We stopped again at the top of Missing Link and took another rest.  Usually Ryan will walk down the trail from Missing Link because it is a little steep,  I usually get to the bottom and then turn around to see her slipping and sliding down while walking her bike.  Today I turned around, saw her on her bike, saw her take a huge breath, and then roll over the edge where I lost sight of her in the brush but a few seconds later she came flying by me going faster than I think she has ever gone before. 

This is my smile after she made it down
 I'm not as fat as I look here. 

The rest of the ride was pretty good too, we made it back safe and had a great time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scattante Matrix Multi-Lens Eyewear

Scattante Matrix Multi-Lens Eyewear

Engineered to offer an ergonomic fit, precision optics, impact resistance and peripheral coverage, the Matrix cycling sunglasses combine a wicked cool shape with amazing visibility.
  • Durable Grilamid TR-90 frame provides excellent protection in any condition
  • Polycarbonate lenses deliver superior optical clarity, scratch resistance and long life
  • Active lens vents increase air circulation to dramatically reduce fogging
  • Tactilite rubber bridge rests and temple tips resist perspiration so your glasses stay put
  • 4-point frame fit guarantees a well balanced, secure and comfortable viewing experience
  • 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Fits medium faces well for men and women
  • Zippered case and cleaning cloth included
  • Metallic Grey frame comes with 3 interchangeable lenses in Clear (100% light transmission), Orange Amber (47% light transmission and Smoke w/ Silver Flash Mirror (20% light transmission)
  • White frame comes with 3 interchangeable lenses in Clear (100% light transmission), Orange Amber (47% light transmission and Smoke w/ Silver Flash Mirror (20% light transmission)

   Before I purchased the Scattante Matrix glasses I was riding with my Anarchy Eyewear "Cory Lopez" glasses.  My Anarchy glasses were constantly slipping and they fogged up all the time, and yes I know they are not designed for riding.  One of the other problems with the Anarchy glasses is that they were expensive, I really did not want to break them in a crash.  Set to find a new pair of glasses I headed out to several shops that carry eyewear and I checked out several pairs of Oakley glasses and a few others, but they cost more than the Anarchy glasses!  I decided to check out Performance Bikes.  Normally I don't go out to performance because they seem to cater towards roadies and people looking for comfort bikes, but I had a gift card so I figured even if they did not have any glasses then I could at least pick up some tubes or CO2 cartridges.

  Performance had the Scattante Matrix Multi-Lens glasses in their display.  The first thing I noticed was that they were not bad looking, they had large lenses, they came in several colors, and had three lens options.  The next thing I noticed was the price, they were on sale for $29.99.  I decided to get them.  I have been wearing them for about 6 months and consider them one of my better purchases.  The frames are light and comfortable, I usually forget they are on my face.  The nose has rubber pads that are nice and soft, but also keep the frames right where they should be.  The arms also have similar rubber pads that help to hold them in place.

Most glasses that I wear start to hurt the part of my ear where they make contact, I have had this problem with many different manufacturers frames, but not with these and they do not slip. 

The glasses come with three sets of polycarbonate lenses, clear, amber, and tinted.  The clear lenses are just clear polycarbonate that offer you a protected view in any light situation.  The tinted lenses are just like having sunglasses on and work well in bright sunlight, I use these a lot.  The last set of lenes are the amber lenses.  These are my favorite lenses, they work well in sunlight and in low light, in low light they seem to make everything brighter.   I was riding in the late afternoon the first time that I used the amber lenes and when I finished the ride and took the glasses off I was surprised to see that it was almost dark, with the glasses on it looked like it was mid afternoon.   I use the amber almost all of the time now.   The other feature that each of the lenes has are the vents, and as long as you are moving they will stay fog free, if you stop they will fog up but as soon as you are moving again they clear right up.  To change between the lenes you just have to push on the corner and the lens will pop right out and the other lens will pop right back in, it takes just a few seconds to change lenses.

  If you are looking for a new pair of glasses and don't want to spend a small fortune then I highly recommend that you check out these glasses.  I have no complaints for them, they fit well with my helmet, they don't slip, and have offered me eye protection in several crashes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ryan Rides Again

I had two kids excited to ride this morning,  this was a surprise because I thought it would be just Jake and I.  Ryan was up and when I walked by she said when are we leaving.  She was going!!!!  I loaded up the bikes while waiting for Jake to get ready and the decision was made (by Ryan) to bring her small bike.  When Jake finally decided to grace us with his presence we left. 

At the trail head it was probably 10 degrees colder than it was at our house, I suited Ryan up in my arm warmers.

Since Ryan crashed last time, she decided that she should be padded up this time.  So with Princess knee pads and Barbie elbow pads she was ready to rock.

We got to the first hill of the trail and Ryan broke down, she did not want to crash again, there were some tears and Jake even launched himself first so that she could watch.  In the end the hill was rolled, but I have fallen down hills faster than we rode it, her confidence went up a notch.  As we rode Bommer she got more and more confident until we got to Fenceline. For some reason single tracks scare her.  Jake went first and we did not see him again until we got to the monument at the top.  Ryan took it slow at first, watching me roll sections and then deciding if she would roll them or walk them, there was a lot of walking.
When we finally got to the top Jake was waiting and so was the rain, we could see it coming.  It was time to head back to the truck.  We went back down Fenceline, Ryan walked the first hill but rode almost all of the rest with much more confidence than she had on the way back.  We were not able to beat the rain and got a little wet but both kids and myself had a great time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mentally Sensitive

This afternoon I got the opportunity to ride with Dan, one of the guys from the race team.  First off let me say that Dan is a great guy and secondly that I was completely out of my league trying to keep up.  We rode Five Oaks to the fire road then to a trail that I think was Mathis, but I was not paying attention as I climbed (pushed my bike, what I call climbing) to the top.  At the top we made a left and headed over to a new trail called Mentally Sensitive.  This new addition to Aliso and Woods is great, it is tight and twisty and has some really steep sections.   The only problem is that it is still a little loose so there was lots of slipping and sliding through those tight turns.  I managed to clear all the hard stuff and then ate crap on the last turn at the bottom.  I set up with my weight back elbows wide, fully ready to make the turn at full speed when I accidentally squeezed my front brake which sent my body over the bars.  Now I would give my form in the crash an 8 out of 10 and I was able to roll right to my feet and grab the bike and head down the last 100' of trail, all in full view of Dan who was waiting with his camera (did I mention that this is the first time I have ever rode with him).  Besides mild embarrassment and a major realization that I need to get in better shape, this ride was one of the best I have had.  Dan's fitness and overall ability forced me to step up my game, while I did not even come close to keeping up I definitely feel that this ride made me just a little better.  Hopefully we can do it again.

Here is a picture that Dan got right after I crashed:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jacob Rides Again!!!!

It has been a few month since Jake wanted to go ride trails, and I thought that he was over it.  However, this morning when asked if he wanted to ride he said yes, and was even ready to go when I was (for anyone who does not know him, he is the slowest moving 11 year old in the world).  We headed down to Crystal Cove and rode Bommer to Fenceline, for a little single track action,

 then down Missing Link and back on to Bommer,  over to Old Emerald Trail for a little gravity riding.  Jake wanted to walk it first to see if he would attempt the downhill, he got to the first steep section and decided that today would not be the start of his downhill career so we went back up to bommer and rode the ridge for a couple more miles.

Here we are taking a little break before heading back.  Look at all that sweat.

We rode Bommer back out to Missing Link, took a break at the top and then came back down Fenceline where we even got a little rock action in (very little)

Jake takes the easy way out n this one

Jacob also wanted to try his hand at cinematography so he filmed me going through a little rock garden

and someday I will get a real camera for some good video, but for now I use what I got.  When we got to Bommer we followed it back to the trail head and then loaded up the truck. 

This was a great little ride just for the fact that I got to ride with my son and he has decided that he likes riding again, can't wait for next weekend!!!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Riding With Old Friends

Today I got the chance to go for a ride with a friend of mine from high school.  We rode together all the time when we were younger and lived near Chino Hills State Park, but after high school I went to one college and he went to another so we lost touch.  Then on "Facebook" we found that we are both riding again, so this morning we hooked up for a ride through Crystal Cove State Park.

From the trail head at Ridge Park we rode down Bommer Ridge to Fenceline and rode the single track over to Missing Link, where we took a break to check out the view, but saw nothing but fog.  Next we came down Missing link to Moro Ridge and took it back to Bommer Ridge we rode up Bommer to Old Emerald trail, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite downhills.  Then after a short break at the bottom we rode back out to Bommer and then all the way back to Ridge park.
Jeremy taking a break.

Me taking a break.

The bikes with my ghetto fabulous tailgate pad.

This was a great ride this morning, mostly because I got to share it with an old friend.  Hopefully Jeremy will be seen regularly on Surfcycles, because hopefully we will be doing a lot more riding together.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ryans first ride in the dirt

This morning I decided to take Jake riding since I could not find anyone my own age to play with.  He decided that he was too tired to go have fun so he stayed home and I took my 7 year old daughter instead.  At 8:00am we arrived at the trail head to Bommer Ridge in Crystal Cove State Park.  The total length of the ride was about 4 miles.  We rode down Bommer Ridge to Moro Ridge, then up Missing Link to the top where the survey monument is and took a break.
Next we rode back down missing link to Moro Ridge and out to Upper Moro Ridge Campground where we had to take another break. 
On the way to the campground Ryan discovered that when you ride a bike with pedal brakes, you need to keep your feet on the pedals or you have no brakes.  She crashed on a small hill and we had to assess the damage to body and bike.  The handle bars had to be realigned and she got her first mountain biking battle wound, all with no crying!
After our little rest and recovery it was time to head back.  We rode Moro Ridge back to Bommer Ridge and took Bommer Ridge back to the trail head.  The whole ride was went well even though she was a little tentative after her crash.  It really helped that everyone we passed told her what a great job she was doing, the guys at the top of Missing Link could not believe that she had rode up that single track.  The best part of all is that she can't wait to do it again!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


I'm talking about the trail, not the animal.  This was the first time I have been on this trail, and I will not do it again by myself.  It is 1.4 miles and most of it is not too bad, but there is about 300 yards of it that is really steep and super rocky.  You plow through one rock garden practically sitting on your back tire, you can see the end of it, then you come around the bushes and there is a second rock garden that is steeper and nastier than the first.  Pick your line through the second and you round the corner to the third, but this rock garden has a clear line avoiding the rocks or you can bomb straight down through them, either way you come out with some speed and right into the last rock section which is hidden from above by another bush and has some rocks that are big enough that you definitely have to go around them and pick out good lines.

I went into the first rock garden too slow, and got hung up several times.  I came around the corner and stopped before the second rock section to check out  the line I wanted.  I picked my line, visualized myself going down that line, then launched into it.  The first thing that went wrong was the 2' drop that I hadn't seen, I hit it wheel down and weight forward, this threw my whole plan out the window and I just muscled my way down.  The third section I took the line that avoided the rocks and got some good speed, in fact I got enough speed that I launched off the first rock in the fourth section and completely bottomed out my 6" of suspension which sent my ass into the rear tire causing it to stop and the rear end to slide out into the next rock.  Off this rock it bounced out the other way and somehow corrected itself with me still being on the bike and I was able to ride out cleanly.  Then I went down the fire road to Mach One and climbed back out of the canyon.

All in all it was a fun ride, but next time I will not do this trail alone and I would like to be on a downhill bike.

Friday, September 9, 2011

New Old Bike

Today after work my buddy Rich brought over his 1996 Giant ATX so that we could get it ridable. We spent a couple hours on it which resulted in a rebuilt fork, mounted derailleurs, mounted fork, mounted stem and handle bars, and of course wheels and tires. He is supposed to finish it up tomorrow so that we can ride Sunday. Pictures will be coming on Sunday, I hope.  The bike is bright yellow with an anodized purple rear triangle and accents.  It really is a sweet looking bike, I love the old paint jobs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I got an X-9 rear derailleur from Fullerton Bikes (great shop!!!) and put it on my Marauder this week.  So far it shifting smooth and crisp after very minor adjustments.  I was fine with the X-7 that it came with until it started getting stuck, and rather than try to get it warrantied I just replaced it with some thing better.  So far I am happy with it, but will give it a more in depth review after it has seen some time in the dirt.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My bike is fixed, but I am not happy

About a month and a half ago my bike broke. I was riding in Laguna Canyon when my bottom bracket started to make a clicking sound. I stopped and tried to figure out what was making the noise, but without weight on the pedals it would not do it. So, I get back on and take a few pedal strokes and not only is it making noise, but now I can feel it through the pedals. I end up walking the last four miles of my ride. On the way home I stop by one of the local bike shops and the mechanic tells me that the bottom bracket is toast. What! How could this be, it is only two months old. I tell the guy at the shop this and he says "well the good thing is that FSA should warranty this." I was relived, for a minute, then he tells me that because I did not buy the bike from him that anything he does toward getting it warrantied will be at a fee. I understand this because he will have to spend time on it, but he also tells me I can do it myself and it is obvious that it is a defective product. Just to be safe I took the bike to another local shop and had them look at it also, they tell me exactly the same thing as the first shop. When I get home I give FSA a call, this is where things take a turn for the worst, I got a man in FSA's warranty department named Brice and this is how the conversation went:

Brice: Hello, Full Speed Ahead, this is Brice.

Jeff: How's it going, I have a two month old Dyna Drive crank set that I am having a problem with."

Brice: Yeah, thats not a warranty issue. You need to take it to a shop and get a real mechanic to look at it.

Jeff: I haven't told you what's wrong with it yet, and I already took it to a shop and they told me that it should be warrantied.

Brice: Take it too a shop that knows what they are doing.

Jeff: They do know what they are doing, and so does the other shop I had look at it.

Brice: You are too heavy to be riding that crank set.

Jeff: What!

Brice: That crank set is not made for someone your size.

Jeff: Do we know each other? How do you know how much I weigh?

Brice: You probably blew out the grease in the bearings when you washed the bike.

Jeff: No, I'm always careful not to get water in the bottom bracket.

Brice: Did you ride it in the dirt?

Jeff: Yes, it's a mountain bike.

Brice: You got dust in the bearings, we will not warranty that.

Jeff: It's 2 months old!

Brice: I have had cyclocross bottom brackets seize in the first race.

Jeff: Did you warranty those?

Brice: No. (said like I asked him if the sky green)

Jeff: Thats ridiculous.

Brice: no it's not. You just don't get it.

Jeff: This is the worst customer service I have ever.....
He hung up on me I tried to call back several times and could not get past him. I called Airborne, who has excellent customer service and spoke with Eric McKenna. Airborne told me that since they don't manufacture the part they could not do anything about it, but he would try to get through Brice (when I described the conversation I had had with Brice he knew exactly who it was before I even said his name) to someone higher up. As of today it has been a month and a half and there has been no response from FSA. I replaced my crank set this past weekend an I will not be buying from FSA again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

How to clean you brake pads and rotors

Mechanic Mondays - How to clean contaminated brake pads and rotors. from Bike magazine on Vimeo.

Airborne Marauder

I have been riding the Marauder for about two month now and feel that I have a good feel for the performance that it offers. 

The Looks

First off the bike looks great, the blue/grey color makes it stands out and the graphics are unique.  It has caught more than a few eyes at the trail head.

The Bike

Frame 6061 Aluminum 6" Travel Single Pivot Suspension MTB, w/Sealed Bearings
Fork Spinner Cargo 340 w/34mm Stantions, OX-Valving, 150mm Travel and 20mm Axle
Rear Shock Marzocchi Coil F
 Headset Ahead Sealed Cartridge 1 1/8"
 Brake Levers Tektro Novela Sport
 Brakes Tektro Novela Sport Mechanical Disc
 Rotors Tektro 203mm Rotor
Shifters SRAM X-5 Trigger 8-Speed
F Derailleur Shimano FD-C050
R Derailleur SRAM X-7
Cassette SRAM PG-820 13-32t 8-Speed
Chain KMC X-9
Crank FSA Dyna Drive 22/32t with bash guard
Bottom Bracket FSA Dyna Drive
Pedals NONE
Rims WTB FX-28 32H Disc Specific SV
Hubs REAR: 32h Alloy QR Disc Specific FRONT:32h Alloy 20mm Thru Axle Disc Specific
Spokes Black 14g Stainless
Tires KENDA K877 Front 26X2.6/Rear26X3.5
Handlebar Kalloy Alloy 31.8mm Dia., 670mm Width, 30mm, 6 Deg
Stem Kalloy 2D Forged Alloy, 31.8mm Clamp Dia., 50mm, +/- 10 Degree Rise
Saddle WTB Pure-V Sport
Seat Post Kalloy Alloy 30mm Dia., 350mm Length
Extras Owner's Manual, Clear Coat, H20 Bottle Mount

This bike has components that you would expect to find on a bike in the $2,000 range.  The frame is bullet proof, but it is heavy.  The Spinner Cargo 340 front fork is a simple but reliable fork, the only adjustment is the preload so once you set it you just leave it alone.  I was skeptical about the performance of this shock when I ordered, but now feel that it is capable of handling anything I can throw at it.  The only thing this fork lacks is adjustability.  The rear shock is the Marzocchi Roco Coil F, once again there is nothing flashy about this shock but it gets the job done, and it does it well.  At 6'0" and 215 lbs I have yet to bottom out the suspension, even when jumping 4'-5' ramps.  With this frame and suspension the bike loves going downhill fast, and the Tektro Novella Sport brakes with 208mm rotors will help you to control your speed and even stop on a dime when needed.  We would all like Hydraulic brakes, but these mechanical brakes do the job well.  The only problem is they need to be adjusted after almost every ride, but it only takes 2 minutes to do.  The drive train is an entry level drive train with the SRAM X-7 rear derailleur and the FSA Dyna Drive crankset.  The bottom bracket on the crankset is weak and mine broke in two months, FSA also has horrible customer service.  I upgraded the bottom bracket and crank arms to a FSA Mega Exo with Truvativ arms, but kept the same rings.  The X-7 derailleur has a tendency to stick in the down position, so it was replace with the Sram X-9.  I was worried at first that I would not have enough gears to climb with the 2x8 gearing yet I find the only problem I have climbing is a lack of physical fitness.   The SRAM X-5 shifters are good and they do their job. 

My Review

The Marauder is a bike that spans the gap between All Mountain riding and Freeriding.  If you want to fly downhill, huck jumps and drops, and be able to ride anywhere this might be a good choice for you.  The bike is excellent while it is pointed down, it is stable and fast with good maneuverability, but it is heavy, mine weighing in at approximately 42 lbs so you will earn it to burn it.  When climbing the front tire has a tendency to come off the ground unless you keep your weight forward, and like I said the bike is 42 lbs.  When I ride with a group I always get dropped on the climbs, but I always catch up while descending.  If you are looking to ride cross country trails, if you shave your legs and wear spandex, and if you count grams on your bike look somewhere else this bike is not for you.  If you like to fly downhill, hit jumps, huck drops, and don't mind a little extra work on the way up then then like me you will enjoy this bike, you will enjoy it even more when you see the complete bike with shipping and tax costs less than $1000.  With a few minor upgrades it is a great bike, and Airborne has had great customer service.