Riding the Blue FS Carbon at the Teva Mountain Games in Vail
Blue Bicycles is a relatively new brand out of North Carolina. There triathlon series, the Triad, is very successful and their road and cross bikes are being ridden by more and more top teams. Their mountain bikes however still seem to fly under the radar, but they are definitely worth a look.
I recently tested the FS Carbon from Blue, one of only two bikes in the line. The FS Carbon is a full suspension, all carbon bike designed for the cross country rider. The other bike, the XC2 Carbon, is also a full carbon rig, but it is a hard tail set up. Both bikes come in 26 inch wheels only. The FS comes in two builds, SRAM X7 with RockShox SID Team 100mm up front and REBA SL in back, or SRAM X9 also with the SID Team 100mm, but with a Monarch 4.2 in back. It is also available as a frameset. Mavic wheels get everything rolling and Blue’s in house component division, Aerus, took care of the bars and seat post. My bike came with the SRAM X9 build.
Being a full carbon rig I was still surprised at how light the bike was. My riding is done at 9,000 feet and higher, so hauling extra weight is not fun. The SID Team delivered smooth riding with it’s 100 mm of suspension, while the Monarch 4.2 did an equally good job in the back providing 3 inches of rear travel. For some riders this may be a bit on the short side, but this bike is designed more for cross country riding rather than big drops. This is more in line with my riding style, so I found it to be a great set up. I don’t want to pull around the extra weight needed for more suspension when I won’t be needing it.
The adjustable suspension really adds to the capabilities of the FS. Both the front and rear shock feature many adjustment options with the SID having dials on the crown and a remote lock out lever on the bars. The Monarch has the usual lever to adjust between full suspension and pro pedal mode. Using the dials on the crown and the lever on the rear you can change how the bike handles and customize it to what you need without having to stop. While climbing I tightened up the front and put the rear shock in pro pedal mode to get more traction and reduce bob. Then as I crested I simply moved the dial on the front for more travel and moved the lever back to full suspension mode. The change is noticeable and when set up properly this bike can handle a lot of different terrain.
My position on the bike felt a bit more stretched out than on other bikes I’ve ridden, and again I liked this. I felt like I was able to generate more power in this position and I wasn’t sitting too upright like I feel on some other bikes.
It’s handling was nimble and quick. Maneuvering through tight trees and cruising on twisty single track I could easily flick the bike around. The weight and geometry let me throw the bike around as needed.
The Blue FS Carbon is a great bike for any rider who likes to climb and ride hard. The right mix of components combined with a light weight frame and great handling make it my go to bike for those long days in the saddle. With the X9 build cost is $4,465.00 and with the X7 the price comes down to $3,500.00. Go to www.rideblue.com to view all the details and find your nearest dealer.