GUY’S IDEN­TITI MET­TLE £1,599.99 (frame)

When a bike tester puts the mud tyres on, a dry spell is guar­an­teed

Mountain Biking UK - - LONG-TERM RIDES - www.ison-dis­tri­bu­

As sum­mer slips into au­tumn, it’s tran­si­tion time for test­ing too, which means the Met­tle has been as busy as ever.

The Just Rid­ing Along wheels I tested last is­sue are go­ing to be stay­ing on for a while af­ter they blew me away with their sweet-rid­ing, cost-ef­fec­tive per­for­mance. I’ve wrapped them in Spe­cial­ized’s lat­est su­per-ag­gro Hill­billy DH rub­ber, ready for things to get slip­pery. That’ll hope­fully mean it stays bone dry for a while! I’ve ac­tu­ally been lov­ing the wide-spaced blocks for blow­ing up roost, even if my legs haven’t been lov­ing them so much on the climbs.

Now I’m back from the Alps, I’ve switched the TRP G-Spec brakes to sin­tered pads for more bite and wear re­sis­tance with­out risk­ing boil­ing the min­eral oil in­ter­nals. The PRO drop­per post, Shi­mano XT trans­mis­sion and FSA cranks are still go­ing fine, so there’s no rea­son to mess with them.

Up­com­ing grouptests mean I’m run­ning a 2018 Rock­Shox Lyrik fork and a new Gus­set Slade bar up front. By the time of my next re­port there’ll be a Rock­Shox Su­per Deluxe coil shock at the back – not be­cause there’s any­thing wrong with the Deluxe air shock, but just be­cause I’ve wanted to try a coil on the Met­tle for ages. I’ll also be work­ing my way through a load of dif­fer­ent forks, in­clud­ing the new MRP Rib­bon Coil.

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