It’s nice to have your expectations exceeded once in a while; isn’t that why people always say, ‘under promise, over deliver’? That’s not to make out that the new BH Lynx 4.8 29 didn’t look promising, just that it sure as hell over delivers.
We’ve only spent one day riding the latest from BH, but even those few short hours gave us enough time to form a very, very positive impression of this bike. At the same time, those few short hours weren’t nearly enough to let us explore the full capabilities of this stunning new 29er.
It wasn’t long ago that we tested the BH Lynx 6. It was a good bike – spot-on geometry, excellent suspension – but it was only 90% of the way there. This beast, however, is a great bike, it’s the full monty and then some.
It has the same superb Dave Weagle-designed Split Pivot suspension as the Lynx 6, but travel is kept to an efficient 120mm, the shock housed deep within the belly of the gorgeously curvaceous carbon frame. The lines are unconventional to say the least, but wouldn’t dare call it ugly, and the cables run largely internally to let the frame shapes shine.
Casting an eye over the geometry chart got us excited. The head angle resides at a casual 68-degrees, which when combined with a big wheel should equate to plenty of confidence. The bottom bracket is slung low as well, another good sign for stability. But it was the tight rear end measurements – with the chain stays only 430mm long – that really got us going. Long stays are fun killers, and so often a drawback on 29ers. At a smidgen over 17-inches long, the rear-centre measurement of the BH is as short as we’ve ever seen on dual suspension 29er.
To cram the rear wheel in, the seat tube is crazy slack, but once we had the seat post adjusted up to our regular riding height the reach from saddle to bars felt perfect. It must be noted that we did change the cockpit out before our test ride. The original 90mm stem and seriously out of place 670mm handlebar looked determined to sap all the fun from the bike, so off they went and in their place we fitted a 70mm stem and a 730mm bar. This was PERFECT. The only other tweak we’d make would be a dropper post (there’s cable routing provisions) and maybe some different rubber.
The entire bike tipped the scales at 11.95kg, which is simply brilliant given that the Shimano XT running gear and brakes are a tad weighty. Smart tweaks or deep pockets could get this puppy down to the low 11kg range – it’s a thought that tempts us to try….
We’re not going to give you too much of a run down on the way it rides just yet; we’ll save that for the full test once we’ve had more time to get acquainted. But we’re not afraid to tell you that we’re a little smitten. Hold tight for more soon.