Saturday, February 9, 2008


Had a delivery come on Friday. Three hours later, after some heart in mouth head-set insertion moments, this is what resulted.

So what is it? It's a Slingshot Farmboy. Slingshot bikes have been around for years, but laying low for the last few. They re-entered the market and have built their take of a 29er all-purpose machine. Effectively, it's a soft tail mountainbike. It provides a bit of rear travel, with zero bob. The interesting part is that it stores energy in the spring situated underneath the headtube/toptube junction, and turns it into forward motion on the dead spot of your pedal stroke. (If you want a real explanation of 'Slingpower' visit their website)

The white fibre glass flexible board allows the bike to flex in the middle.

And the spring resists the flex, giving the feel of suspension and creating the Slingpower phenomenon.

We headed out on the maiden voyage this morning. I was very sceptical about the bike as I rode toward the Stuart trails. Foremost was the fact that there was some toe/wheel overlap which really concerned me, but there is also two cable mounting points on either side of the top tube that seem to be situated right where my legs like to be when they are pedalling. So with some trepidation I hit the single track.

All concerns soon became null and void. I think I heard my shoe hit the front tyre twice during the entire ride, and nothing happened. Nothing, just very short buzz. The cable mounts were almost unnoticeable. I will grind them off when I get the time but they definitely do not cause any issues.

Most importantly of all though, was the fact that the ride was fantastic! The bike felt like it had around 1-2 inches of travel, smoothing out the trail nicely and taking the edge off just enough to enable you to remain siting almost all of the time. Standing was a blast as you felt the bike soak up the trail on fast descents. Stuart trails are very technical and the bike handled all terrain very well.

One thing I did notice was that it felt as if I was riding on a flat tire sometimes. As if the rear wheel was taking a route of its own. Something that definitely needs to be experienced and is very hard to explain.

So within a space of two hours I went from very sceptical to being overwhelmed with how good this frame is. A pair of Fox F29s and this bike will be a fantastic enduro machine. (The bike is also designed to fit 32:20 gearing without the need for a tensioner!!!)

Then all that was left was to enjoy the compulsory curry chicken jaffles from the Stuart Snack bar Est. 1956.

The bike is - Slingshot Farmboy, White Brothers Rock Solid forks, Rohloff hub, Rennen Rolenlager chain tensioner, Middleburn cranks, Eggbeater pedals, Chris King head set (like there's anything else), Kenda Klaw rear tyre, Maxxis Ignitor front, Salsa Moto Pro bars, Avid BB7 brakes, Velocity VXC rims, Salsa 'Rasta' skewers, Thomson Elite laidback post and WTB pure V saddle.