Shock Therapy

Klein Palomino Race and Giant VT One

KLEIN PALOMINO RACE cofounder Paul Turner is the godfather of oil and air. His latest bike, the sexy Maverick ML7—featuring Turner's Monolink suspension—is one epic-ready machine, but it's priced like a Porsche. Enter Klein, which licensed the Mav's design and built up a sweet complete bike with a price tag for the rest of us. On climbs, the Monolink takes note of even the smallest jolts without overreacting, and the 27-pound, 13-ounce Palomino Race, with four inches of travel, was one of the most capable descenders we tested. Fox's Float RL100 fork tops the heap for single-crown front suspension, and a smart parts mix (Shimano XT Hollowtech cranks, tubeless-compatible wheels) makes the bike a good buy, if not a bargain. Memo to smaller riders: The sharply angled seat tube could mean fit trouble; raising the saddle scoots it back as well. $2,550. Where to find it: Klein, 920-478-4676,

Considering its heft (it's just shy of 31 pounds), the VT One climbs strikingly well. The secret here is Manitou's Swinger rear shock, which offers a new level of rider adjustability: Flip out your 16mm wrench and twiddle the spring-rate progression (how resistant the shock is to bottoming out), or bleed or add air to alter the shock's overall suppleness over smaller bumps. The result is a bike that pedals well enough in the 5.7-inch travel setting, so you end up all but ignoring the five-inch option. RockShox's Psylo Race with remote lockout up front, Hayes disc brakes, and Mavic's excellent CrossMax XL tubeless wheelset round out a juicy parts pick. $3,050. Where to find it: Giant, 805-267-4600,

From Outside Magazine, Mar 2003 Get the Latest Issue

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