After a somewhat tumultuous build (cut the brake line, bleed the brakes, go for test ride, brake line pops off, re-cut brake line, re-bleed brakes, cross fingers...) Blü.2 was ready for her maiden voyage.
The differences between my original Swift, Blüsteel, and Blü.2 are subtle, yet to ME significant.
One of the things I loved about Blüsteel was the fork, but one of the things I wasn't crazy about was the height of the front end, due in part to the length of the fork. I'm sure some might prefer the more upright position afforded by the higher front end. I did get used to it and think I did fairly well with it, but I could never get into my ideal just right position (I would browse for stems, but never went on a crazy stem hunt looking for some -17° unit).
Now I'm sure in an effort to appease ME, Sam did a minor rehash of the numbers, shortened the fork to 470mm a/c, reduced the rake to 45mm (from 48mm; Sam's always been ahead of the curve), and slackened the head angle slightly to accommodate.
Plus he gave it sexy new chainstays:
The bike fit much more naturally to me, balancing my weight even better than before. The lower front end puts me in a more aggressive position to more actively drive the bike.
In the back of my mind I was a little concerned that the shorter fork would A. not be as compliant, and B. reduce the "mad skillz" I could sometimes (rarely)conjure on Blüsteel..
Better handling, as compliant, and same "Charlie level"* mad skillz.
I always thought the perfect bike for ME would be if Blüsteel banged Mary Jane and had a love child.
Blü.2 is about as close to that as I think you can get.
- Lower more aggressive position
- great Phil Wood ebb
- faster yet not twitchy handling
- Classic style and design
Here's one last blurry camera phone shot, just cuz..
*mad skillz for me, a XC rider who has to go to work the next day