Why would I pick the Switchblade?
Why would I pick the Switchblade? What makes it different from the Trail 429. Again, I will stay away from talking about the components on the bike and tell you how the bike performs. If you haven’t ridden in Brown County, it has a great mix of trail types. Fast hilly XC, flowing jump lines and super techy rooty and rocky trails.
On the climbs this bike actually didn’t feel much different from the Trail 429. Though it wasn’t as fast, it climbs extremely well. Especially over the roots and rocks. Long climbs were a breeze. While in the saddle climbing, the bike stays supportive and efficient. Out of the saddle the DW Link rear suspension and progressive shock tune, didn’t allow the bike to wallow in its mid stroke. This means you don’t lose a bunch of energy in wasted suspension movement. This may just be the best techy climbing bike I've ever ridden!
When it comes to cornering the Switchblade feels light and quick. Quicker than the 429. It’s a more playful handling bike and flows through bermed corners with confidence. With a shorter feeling wheelbase this bike was the most poppy and playful of the three I have down here. Leaning the Switchblade from side to side was a smooth transition, so “S” curves were easy to negotiate at speed. If my skill level caused me to go off line, the Switchblade would allow me to easily adjust the line. I was able to pick the front end up and place it back down on the preferred line.
When gravity takes hold the Switchblade seems to give physics a helping hand. It wants to go fast. Rough terrain is noticeably smoother with the Switchblade than many other bikes I've ridden. I was able to bomb over the roots on the same section of trail with more confidence and speed due to it having more suspension travel. When it comes to flow trails like Hobbs Hollow, the Switchblade was the ticket! I was clearing more table tops and sending the bike higher than I had before (I’m not a great flow trail guy). This bike really made the difference. It was the “top dog” for me on the jump lines.
Who is this bike for?
Who’s is the Switchblade for? If you like a wide range of trails, but spend more time riding hilly technical (RAMBA, Harlow) or even flow trails along the Benson Grade, or if you dig Copper Harbor. The Switchblade won’t disappoint. It’s truly a do it all bike the can handle long days in the saddle, crush enduro courses, and “send it” on bike park days.