I've been meaning to post this up for a while but this carbon Zesty 714 showed up at Spoke HQ a little while back for a bit of long-term lovin'. Spoke reviewer and Training Wheels columnist Rod Bardsley absolutely loved the entry level 314 model (although he wasn't fond of the oddly spec'd standard QR fork). This 714 model is a couple of models up from what we tested in Issue 42 and is, as you can see, made of carbon. Its geometry is the same but the spec is a definite improvement with 10 speed XTR out the back, dropping down to XT cranks and SLX shifters. Fox are still handling suspension duties but this time you're looking at an RP23 out back and 32 Float RLC up front, this time with 15QR. As per the the 314 it still features a ludicrously narrow bar (680 mm) which we swapped out straight away.
Its first ride was a bit sketchy though, as when swapping the bars out of the box I didn't notice the brakes were set up for the French... in reverse. I was cursing the tyres all the way down its inaugural Deliverance ride, only to realise at the bottom that I had in fact been yanking on the front brake! Idiot. It's all been switched around now and is rolling fast. We'll be swapping out the tyres before its next ride as the Hutchys it shipped with aren't really up to Wellington's winter riding.
We're about to set up a portion of the site dedicated to our long term test bikes and also to the Spoke staff's personal whips. You'll be able to check on progress and build changes and also up-to-date thoughts on what we are riding. Soon... real soon.