It’s probably rare and a little bit odd for a post about mountain bikes to start with a confession, but this needs to happen so you can understand the struggle I am going through. I’m a little biasd here because well, I ride a 2009 Moto carbon 3 and I am in love with it. Those of you who know me are, aside from being lucky to have me in your life, very aware of this connection I have with this bike. I talk about it way too much, but for good reasons. It just far outdoes any other 6 inch freeride/all-mountain bike I have ever owned, in every category (mainly pedalability).
Now for the struggle I mentioned earlier. I am just like many of you in that I only have the money for one, do it all rig. That means that, rather than having the luxury of owning two bikes that are more specific in their purpose, I need one that can do it all. I love riding the lifts up and bombing down the hill when I have the chance, but let’s be honest, that opportunity doesn’t present its self every day. I am also a huge fan of getting people together for the typical shop ride in Corner Canyon or American Fork Canyon and earning the downhill with a good climb.
I am pretty happy with my Moto for all of these purposes. So you might be asking your computer screen, “What is all the whining about?” Well because Cannondale has interrupted my beautiful little world of Moto domination by releasing the RZ 140. First off, this thing is gorgeous! Really, go look at it on Cannondale.com. The guys at Cannondale split the 2009 Rize, which had130mm suspension travel, into two categories for 2010, the RZ 140(140mm suspension travel) and the RZ 120(120mm suspension travel). The RZ140 is being called the first true swiss army knife of mountain bikes because it truly does everything well. A cool feature offered on the RZ 140 3z is the HammerSchmidt crank from SRAM. It is the only bike in the 140mm line to get this option. What Cannondale has in essence done, is split all-mountain in to two categories, all-mountain and big mountain.
To wrap up let’s talk about the strengths of each bike a little bit.
Fun to downhill on. The 160mm (about 6in.) of travel feel like much more in hairy situations. This bike has saved me heaps of times when I should have crashed. It eats baby-head-sized rocks whole and cuts through rough sections like a knife. Unlike many bikes in its class, it has more of a cross countryish feel to it, so its not a sloppy climber by any means. The hatchet drive linkage in the rear suspension takes big hits and drops exceptionally well by breaking seal stiction faster than other systems. The only down side here is that this bike doesn’t climb as well as its smaller travel brother, the RZ 140. All in all, this rig is geared to the rider who wants a really aggressive yet climbable all-mountain bike that will get him to the top so he can rail the downhills.
More climbability with similar confidence inspiring downhill abilities. This bike is beefier than last year’s Rize, but makes the scary sections on your favorite trail actually fun. It is not quite as capable on big drops or hits as the Moto, but kills it on longer endurance rides like Gooseberry Mesa or Flying Dog. If you are looking for a bike that can do it all, but are less the shuttling or lift rider type and more the longer rides that actually require bring water with you, this is your bike. It is by all means capable enough to tackle anything the average rider can throw at it, but if you want to take your all-mountain bike to northshore riding with 10ft plus drops and gaps, you might want to lean back to the Moto. Plus, they make a 140mm Lefty! The best fork money can buy. That is one thing that the Moto doesn’t have to offer you.
Tune in next spring to see what I decide. Cannondale is the obvious choice. I don’t have near enough time to list all the reasons why. If you have a similar dilemma, talk to me about it. Seriously, come in and see and ride these bikes. Ask for Ben and I can answer your questions. Thanks for reading!