Featured Bike: Shift R7

At a glance:
Intended Use: Cross Country Trail
Travel: 120mm front and rear
Sizes: 16”, 18”, 20”, 21”
Weight: 30 lbs
Color: Tucson Sage
MSRP: $1,905

We created the Shift R7 with one simple goal in mind: to make an affordable full-suspension trail bike that didn’t need any upgrades and rode great right out of the box. The Shift R7 shares the same simple, proven, tried-and-true single pivot suspension frame technology that many of the world’s best bike manufacturers have used for years and still continue to use today. There’s a reason why this technology persists…it works and it’s hassle-free. Single pivot suspension bikes are great all-around performers. They climb efficiently and descend well. Advances in rear shock technology with improved internal valving and adjustments to control rebound and compression damping have helped single pivot bikes go from good to great. And with only one main pivot to worry about servicing, you can spend more time riding instead of fussing with checking torque values on a variety of complex links and replacing half a dozen frame bearings.

The Shift R7 features a buttery smooth Marzocchi 44LO 120mm fork with lockout and an alloy steer tube. A RockShox Monarch 3.1 rear air shock sucks up all the hits with ease plus with sag gradients printed on the body of the shock, setting up sag is a breeze. Ultra-crisp shifting on the R7 comes courtesy of the SRAM X.0 rear derailleur, SRAM X.9 front derailleur, and X.7 9-speed shifters. When you need to slow down, you’ll be glad you have Hayes Stroker Ryde hydraulic disc brakes to help you do so. Shimano M475 hubs laced to Ritchey OCR Pro rims and paired up with Kenda Small Block Eight tires keep you rolling down the trail. Add Ritchey cockpit components, Truvativ Fire-X cranks, and a WTB Rocket V Comp saddle to the list of components and we think you’ll agree that there’s not much you’ll need to upgrade down the line.

If you are thinking about buying a Santa Cruz Superlight with the X9 XC package but just can’t justify plunking down such a huge wad of cash, the Shift R7 might be the bike for you. Don’t get me wrong, Santa Cruz makes some fantastic bikes but it’s worth mentioning that both the Superlight and the Shift R7 share more in common than you might think. Both frames are made overseas. Both share the proven single pivot suspension technology discussed above. The biggest and arguably the most important similarity these two bikes share is their geometry. Check this out:

Santa Cruz Superlight (Medium/17.5” size)
Top Tube Length (c-c): 23”
Head Tube Angle: 71 degrees
Seat Tube Length: 17.5”
Seat Tube Angle: 73.5 degrees
Wheelbase: 42.1”
Chainstay Length: 16.7”
BB Height: 12.3”
Standover: 28.7”

Haro Shift R7 (Medium/18” size)
Top Tube Length (c-c): 23”
Head Tube Angle: 71 degrees
Seat Tube Length: 18”
Seat Tube Angle: 73 degrees
Wheelbase: 42.2”
Chainstay Length: 16.9”
BB Height: 12.5”
Standover: 30.8”

Looks pretty similar, right? Where you won’t see similarities is in the amount of travel and in the price. The Shift R7 has ¾” more travel and costs half of what the Superlight does equipped with similar spec to the Shift R7 (which would be the X9 XC package).

Like I said before, this isn’t an attempt to bash Santa Cruz by any stretch. They make some mighty fine bikes. We just recognize that not everyone has $3,800 to spend on a mountain bike. The folks who don’t have that kind of cash still deserve a bike that’s spec’d well, rides great, and looks hot.

If you are a cross country trail rider looking for a full-suspension bike within the 4” to 5” travel sweet spot, add the Shift R7 to your test ride list. When you go on a riding trip to Moab with the money you saved, try not to rub it in too badly with your buddies who bought more expensive bikes.

For full spec and details about the Shift R7, click here.

Happy trails, ya’ll.

1 comment:

Screaming Monkey said...

I've never ridden a full suspension bike. It would probably ruin me forever...