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Old 06-02-2009, 06:07 AM   #1
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REVIEW - Santa Cruz Driver 8

Connor Macleod rips on the new Santa Cruz Driver 8. Did he like what he found? Was this more than enough bike for the steep and gnarly lines here on the Shore?

Check out Connor's review.

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Old 06-02-2009, 06:33 AM   #2
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So, you didn't like it?
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:09 AM   #3
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sounds like a pretty friendly bike.
how nasty was the pedal kickback (from chain growth) when mashing on uneven terrain (ie. compared to vp-free)?
how does it ride compared to the nomad and V10? is it a big nomad or little V10?
guess these are tough questions since this is your first virtual pivot.
is the lower linkage exposed like that on the nomad?
did you ever wish for a slacker head angle?
if it were slacker, how do you think the longer wheelbase would affect things on tight trails (ie. did you find it long already)?
do you think rock shox will ever make proper seals for the totem (3 years and counting...)?
when is jesus coming back?
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:33 AM   #4
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Nice pics and a great review after some good honest thrash tests.
If I hadn't grabbed an 88 I'd be in on the 8!
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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Definitely a fan. Saw the two page ad in a bike mag a while back and it caught my eye straight away. I just got a Blindside not too long ago, and there are times when I wish I'd got a bit of a smaller bike.
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #6
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Awesome shots showing the bike in its element!

Great review!
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Mine comes hopefully mid/end June! Yay!!! No ano until Sept/Oct though so I picked the perty blue one..
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:49 PM   #8
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Definitely a fan. Saw the two page ad in a bike mag a while back and it caught my eye straight away. I just got a Blindside not too long ago, and there are times when I wish I'd got a bit of a smaller bike.
Lies and slander! Blasphemer!
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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Great Review, great read, lots covered and lots to take in. Well done.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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how can you call it maintenance free when you blow up the front and rear suspension in a couple of months of riding? - 185lb is not that heavy for a large bike. I'd say that's average weight for a L and the stock springs should easily accomodate. I'd say that's a damning inditement on the RS suspension.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
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It looks a lot easier to hoist over fallen tree after fallen tree!!!
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #12
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The review seems to be inaccurate as it is pretty clear that the reviewer in is smitten with a new bike (this could be any bike) and not only the Driver 8.

It's pretty clear the review is targeted at the whole build rather than just the frame, and with the suspension failure and odd component specs, the reviewer still gives it a high ranking. Where's Lee Lau when you need him with his critical yet fair eye?

What did I take away from reading in between the lines? The suspension failed, which is a huge, scrathc that, MAJOR disappointment. The 38T ring up front (reviewer made a note but didn't take points off) combined with a road cassette (dare I be politically incorrect?) is retarded for any FREERIDE bike. 42 lbs, while at the upper echelon of acceptable bike weights is a bit high for an expensive bike (this is a personal view). The frame was not tested in a FR environment that can require pedalling uphill for an extended period of time (like Fromme or Squamish?). Including the angles and measurements was a nice touch but long chainstays don't make a bike nimble and stable.

I enjoyed the amazing pictures and appreciate the effort it takes to get that many shots for the article. I just thought that the reviewers biases could have been laid out and that the bike's rating could have reflected issues that seem to have been ignored to due "bike infatuation".

Last edited by kperras; 06-02-2009 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #13
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Great review. Something about Santa Cruz that gets reviewers to be emotionally attached to the bikes. I agree with the comment above that the reviewer seems to be letting the facts get in the way of accurate reporting - but that's ok with me. Bikes ownership is 50% emotional.

A few pounds lighter and the D8 could be the ideal bike for me. I'm really keen to build up something like this with a target of 38 pounds. Shore/Park/Shore/Park. Weight is the only concern for me.

I'll wait a year and buy the Driver 8 version2. Throw in a bit of carbon here and there, and voila, an 8 lb frame. It seems that SCB does a redesign every 12 months these days. Looks like they announce a new Blur for every new issue of MBA.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:30 PM   #14
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The review seems to be inaccurate as it is pretty clear that the reviewer in is smitten with a new bike (this could be any bike) and not only the Driver 8....
wow, i was trying to be nice eariler. i didn't think it was very critical either, but that doesn't make it a "bad" review necessarily. having no previous virtual pivot experience is a major limitation, but the reviewer is a damn good rider.

i agree that "nimble" and "stable" are generally exclusive terms. previous VP bikes by santa cruz have been quite long in the rear, and therefore a bit clumsy on tight trails (anyone rocking a vp-free knows this). this is partially made up for by ridiculously steep california head angles (to keep the wheelbase reasonable), but that can be less than comforting on really steep trails. its a bit of a franken-mix.

blowing up suspension that quickly is strange, although leaking seals on a totem is not exactly news.

to me, the whole point of that bike is to be able to pedal up, so a double-ring setup and 11-32 cassette makes more sense, but one can do whatever one wishes of course.

i really really like my new nomad, so they're obviously doing something right with their bikes.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:51 PM   #15
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Good write-up, love the pics. Looks like it went up Fromme at least once
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