I didn’t know what to expect from this out-of-the-box-racer on Ramona Trail.
We had a demo event at the shop with Marin Bikes earlier this week. Monday and Tuesday are tough days to get riding in Idyllwild for most folks but we still managed to get a good demo ride together Monday evening on Ramona Trail. Most gravitated toward the Mount Vision All-Mountain rigs or the Rift Zone 29″ full suspension bikes… but I was curious to try out the hydroformed hardtail with the dashing good looks.
The Indian Fire Trail 29 (IFT) speaks “race bike.” The hydroformed frame has all the right tube shaping in all the right places, topped with a nice matte finish. Component highlights at first glance include a Fox fork with the new CTD settings (Climb, Trail, Descend), Mavic Crossride wheelset, and a Shimano SLX/XT component package. Even the tire selection is race oriented, with Continental Race Kings on the ground instead of the more aggressive X-Kings found on other models. All very good parts to find in a bike with an MSRP of $1999.
How’d it ride? Pedaling efficiency is second to none, with all the power transfer I could ever want. The front end of the bike communicates with the bottom bracket and rear wheel effortlessly. Handling is crisp, snappy. I pushed the bike hard into bermed turns curious to find its flex point. It’ll give a little in the stays but not much. The IFT is fast.
At $1999 (a little less at The Hub) the Indian Fire Trail 29 is ready to race out of the box. My only knock might come from the Formula FX brakes- they feel great and offer great adjustability, but get squeaky in our decomposed granite dust. Not a deal breaker though. Racers may eventually want to switch the cockpit out for carbon bars & seatpost, but it’s not a big rush. The parts hanging on the bike are great forged aluminum offerings and quite light.
Here it is folks, your bang for the buck race machine.