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During the recent Beeline Bicycles Demo Day I managed to grab a quick ride on the K9 DH100S downhill bike.

I managed to get two runs in on the bike and also a quick blast on the top of the Black Run and I was really impressed during that half hour stint. I’d been really interested in this bike since I first saw prototypes online and I was really happy to get the opportunity to have a go on one.

The K9 rode smoothly through rough sections with the suspension and chain idler allowing me to pedal over Aston Hills (normally massive) roots without any noticeable feedback from the drive chain. The K9 cornered well - helped no doubt by the low bottom bracket and race inspired angles and felt a lot more stable on steeper sections when compared to the flatter sections towards the top of the hill. The bike surprisingly jumped smoothly and could easily be picked up over sections or pumped into berms and rollers – I say surprisingly because the bike was a bit heavier than I’d thought it’d be - the weight felt like it was mostly in the centre of the bike allowing it to be moved about underneath me easily though.

To start of with, these are simplyawesome!!!!!! I know with reviewing kit you can say that about anything but with my old Hayesbrakes I continually had to adjust the reach and power - this was done with a fiddly 2mm allen key. With these new El Caminos you simply just have to adjust the dials on the lever itself and they are ready to go

On the first few rides on these brakes I was extremely surprised at how quickly they bedded in also how little time it took for them to be up to full stopping power. Cconsidering I got these brakes fitted the night before a DH race, the only use was during practice, they faired excellently on race day.

In terms of power, there is not much difference between the HFX-9s and these Caminos. They are both 2 piston brakes but thereare some obviously slight differences here and there when comparing El Caminos to the old 9 models. The pads, and caliper itself, actually cools down and doesn’t get as hot as quickly as the hfx9s. The reason for this is that the new design of caliper is more open for air to flow in and cool rotor, pads and pistonsAlso the pads have also been re-designed to improve braking performance.

Scott Expert racing Frameset, now been replaced by the newer updated Scott USA Scale frames in both carbon and alloy.

I have been using this 2003/4 alloy Scott Expert Racing frame for 3 years. Its certainly a very good light weight frame, which is highly responsive, and matches the racing name tag. 

The only downside to this responsive ride is that it produces a harsh ride on rides over 3 hours in duration. I have recently put my frame into retirement after cracking the top tube, despite this the frame has served me well taking in short blasts all the way through to XC and Enduro racing and covered thousands of miles on epic day rides. This frame has taken all the Chiltern hills have got to offer and even taken on the the welsh mountains and the rocky tracks of the Malvern's.  

Hope have been the god of disc brakes for years but now there under stiff competition from their rivals; Hayes, Avid and Shimano.

The old series of Hope Brakes have been replaced with the Mono series. This Mono series has been running for about the past 2 years, and many bikes have either the mono minis (2pots) or the mono m4s (4pots) fitted. The Minis are purely designed for lightweight XC bikes whereas the M4s are designed for anything from hardcore XC up to the highest standard of Downhill Racing. If you look at Downhill bikes you will normally find a set of 200mm discs or a 200/180mm set up as on my Santa Cruz V10.

Straight from the box, fitted and ready to go the Hopes are good, they take a while to get bedded in but once they are ridden in there are no arguements over these being good brakes.

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