THE WOLF’S FIRST IMPRESSIONS
With Crestline Bikes and Cascade Components both being relatively small, independent companies, there have not been many of these bikes floating around. In fact, even now after their official release, there will only be 50 numbered frames out in the world, which is a shame because more people should get to see how beautiful they are in person.
As such, our test period to get this initial review of the Crestline RS 205 DH bike was limited to say the least. Lucky for us, we were able to spend time riding the bike on trails we are very familiar with and could quickly get up to speed. The RS 205 VHP’s riding characteristics are very neutral and comfortable. Some bikes take a bit of fidgeting and tuning to feel comfortable on, this is not one of those bikes. Within the first lap I felt comfortable, was linking up corners, hopping blindly into the backside of transitions and pushing into corners with confidence. Of course, I’d love to have more time aboard it to really isolate some of the little things I noticed in certain situations on the trail, so we’ll hope for a long term loaner in the near future.
I really liked the adjustability of the Crestline RS 205. From geometry to travel, adjustable idler-positioning to installing a dropper post and pedaling it, the Crestline RS is quite versatile. I was able to get the headset cups and reach adjusted to exactly my favorite position and had a nice balance of high-speed stability without losing the snappy, tight handling I look for in more technical, natural trails. Similarly, many of the high pivot bikes I’ve ridden suffer from rather significant wheelbase changes, mostly in the form of lengthening. It’s something that has both pros and cons and I’m not exactly sold entirely on the Cool-Aid. The Crestline seems to ride less like a high-pivot bike than some others I’ve ridden, and I mean that in a good way for the most part. I hope to spend more time on the RS but I felt that the bike rode a touch on the stiffer, racier side compared to some more “Plus” feeling bikes on the market. Then again it was designed to be a race bike. Usually when it comes to racing speed is placed above comfort and that is something customers should consider if they’re regularly riding mega-long downhills, or spend back to back full days in the bike park without a racer-level fitness.
If I saw someone at the bottom of a run at the bike park and they asked me what I thought about this bike after just a few rides, my answer would be, I’m into it and want to ride it more. I’d also probably say, with only 50 of them currently made, I’d probably jump on buying one purely from a collector’s position. It’s a unique and beautiful bike that seems to ride just as well as many other bikes on the market and better than some. Crestline Bike Co and Cascade Components have done a great job releasing a bike that I think deserves interest and attention from downhillers, now only time will tell how they hold up and what the next phase of their growth looks like.
For more information, visit https://crestlinebikes.com/