Sooty here glad to be able to write my first review for MBT.
After 30 years in the saddle starting like most in the 70's on BMX I find myself
in 2005 sitting on my brand new Giant stp1 which I picked up 10 days ago.
My first ride was straight out of the shop and after 30 seconds of riding up the
footpath the bike feels very smooth. The Kenda K Rad 2.3", tires have a
nice high pitch wine which sounds good to the ears, unlike my mates heavy DH
beast which wines like mad monster.
As I turn the Easton handle bars the steering feels very direct, it feels similar
to a chopper because of the high set Marzocchi Drop Off comp forks as well as
having my seat low. I don't mind sitting in this position but after a short time
I have to stop and raise the saddle up a few inches.
Now it feels much more comfortable, it feels like a XC bike but my eye keeps
catching the Sun Rhyno Lite XL wheel and the smooth and yet chunky looking Kenda
K Rad 2.3" front tire makes it feel like I am riding a Motocross bike.
On a night urban run, I am riding down a quiet street heading for our CBD the
road has a super smooth finish and i am trying to manual , straitening the arms
and finding the right spot on the seat as I lean back as my left index finger
slightly "feathers" the brake, she stays up and it does not seem like
much effort, no pulling just a pump of the pedals and a little twitch of the
bars and she lifts, when she wants to flip I just feather a little harder and
the nose drops slightly down. I may have only had the wheel off the ground for
20 or 30 ft bursts but it felt great.
As I arrive into the CBD slide through a narrow lane between buildings which
opens into a large carpark, it empty but their are 1ft cement barriers
throughout it, I am doing about 30k's and I bunny hop over the first
"chink" as I land and the chain slaps then the 2nd "chink, chink,
chink I must have hoped at least 20 to get to the other side and each landing
felt smooth, unlike my XC bike which has taken the damage of late from my trying
to ride it like I am now riding this.
I now find myself looking at a pathway which runs alongside a river right next
to the CBD, it splits into two paths but the splits are into two different
levels, I eyeball them and figure I can take a run up and drop off jump from the
upper pathway onto the lower one, the drop is about 5ft and runs onto smooth
grass, so I go for it, winding up I get to the path edge and jump, she holds
nice and steady and I land nicely and roll out, she feels very comfortable when
she takes air ( I find out, not all the time in my BMX review later). and I
cruise down the street looking for good gutters to ride.
Up the driveway edge onto the sidewalk gutter trying to keep the bike on the
edge which is about 4 inches wide, it stays nice and straight as long as i have
speed, when i slow down to much i wobble the bars and slip onto the road. I did
this probably 300 times + over the last 10 days and i am pleased to say that i
can now hold any gutter edge line in a nice smooth flow even getting to the
stage where I am now trying to manual as i ride the edge and at the moment i can
pull off about a 40ft manual every time.
Because of space I will not go into anymore detail on my street riding as I have
other styles to review except to say that the stp1 is made for street, smooth,
direct, light and very easy to ride.
BMX track. Yeehar, Finally time to get into some dirt. I decide to do a few circuits
of the track and see how the dirt feels, it is a little hard to tell because the
BMX track is a bit rough because the BMX comps are outta season and the track
maintenance isn't the best so I decide to go to the back of the area where their
are practicing jumps such as single, double and triples.
I go straight for the double. I have done it a few times on a BMX bike as well
as my XC bike (crashed and burned but that's another story) and the stp hits air
and lands a little to the left of my desired LZ, so i go around again, this time
i am thinking so much about landing that my required speed drops by about 10%
and I am in the air as I realize this and the bike drifts again to the left and
CRASH!, I tumble and roll a little bit and luckily roll straight onto my feet. I
have to remove the prickles and bits of stuff off my shoulders and do a quick
body check. "Everything's OK".
I new my speed was not up and this allowed the bike to drift. Noted!
As I brush myself down and check the bike the stp seems to be laughing at me
saying " buddy you think that was a crash, lol" and my ego now takes
over, as I line up and take my 3rd run up boom, nice speed, nice air and nice
landing, I did this jump maybe 20 times and as we all know familiarity breeds
I visited these jumps 5 times over the last 10 days and now am pleased to say
that i have been just getting better and better, now whipping and trying to
table the bike out.
Skate Park: Very similar to the urban ride because of the smooth terrain, easy
to lift the front end up with the nice frame geo set up and the small TruVativ
Hussefelt ISIS splined 22/32T Cranks. The bike just loves this place it is
"smooth" as .
I had a mate pick me up and try out some of the trails last weekend, The bike shreds
trails, it seems to just eat em up, hopping ruts and branches, and it always
seems to be going very fast because of a low saddle setting for some of the
small to medium drop offs, the bike does not mind a drop off, but I am looking
for an assistance slope down to assist my landings as I am aware that the bike
is not a DH Freeriding Beast.
After 1:30 mins. non stop riding through bush, i need a break, its hot maybe 35
degrees and thank god for Cam Backs, as my mate and I get the H2o back into the
system. I just play with the stp1 on small jumps and the like as i ride down the
final track as we head home.
The stp1 is just that " Street / Trail / Park " just about every day
generally in the evening i am out the front of my house practicing either,
manuals, wheelies, stoppies, hops or just riding around with my nephew and nieces,
doing stuff, the stp is fun, and depending on the time you put into it, you can
learn stuff that would take 10 times as long.
I cannot compare this bike to a normal MTB because most of the MTB's i have had
were XC or Modifyed DH.
This bike feels like a large BMX but also like a Motocross bike and as such
feels like it has to be actually "ridden" and not used for transport
from one place to another.
When i get onto it now, i still have a smile on my face, as I grip the bars in
my gloves and my forearms pump up like a horse rearing to go, because that
exactly how it feels.
The Hayes HFX-9 hydraulic 8" /6" brakes pull up, on a dime, this has
been great when i have been practicing nose stoppies, their is so much control
in the feel of the brakes that i can now do a stoppie at least 10/15 ft on
average and it spins onlookers out as they see it, i guess its like any trick
that one does on a bike.
The ALUXX alloy: double butted, integrated gusset Frame is super strong, and
their is no flex in the frame when you crack down on the peddles and pull the
bars up as it feels very solid.
The Shimano Alivio, Shimano Deore gears feel nice and smooth, the gears are nice
and low, and the Bashguard can be removed and a larger teeth crank can be added
if one wanted to go on a Long XC run.
All in all i love my new bike and i can see what possibilities are possible in
my riding evolving future and for me this is exciting, the stp1 allows the rider
the freedom of riding formats, street, trail, park, vert, limited DH and for the
cost outlay is value for money.
The hand built frame and component additions are a compliment to the bike and
make it a pure "Hybrid Machine".