L’Inspired Skye sur le banc d’essai de Tribal Zine ! Partie 2 : action !

Tribal Zine tests the Inspired Skye! Part 2: action!

Wednesday 3 July 2013
by Ben Swales
popularity : 3%

PNG - 114.6 kb While Danny MacAskill was making a big return to our screens on the new version of this bike the Tribal Zine team was testing the original Inspired Skye. After an in-depth presentation of the ultimate street bike (Part 1: examination), our test team puts the bike through its paces.

This incredible machine left us amazed by its handling and responsiveness... Some of our riders took a while to get used to how the bike feels and rides but after a short period of adjustment, they realised its incredible potential!

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Megaskill’s Machine...

First impressions:

The testing team swung into action, passing the famous Skye between them as they all tried it out for the first time. The first few minutes on the bike were a bit strange for the majority of our team, who are used to somewhat different bikes... The Skye is super-reactive and it feels twitchy and flicky in the hands of our testers. The competition riders in our team were initially concerned with the weight of the bike; a rider used to a lighter, seatless bike might not understand how a bike like this works, finding it strange to find themselves, in 2013, on a trials bike that weighs12kg, as opposed to the now customary 8kg that they are used to! This is a different world altogether and our two Elite riders find it hard to get into the swing of things to begin with, especially when you add the ride position that is completely different to what they’re used to and the wheelbase that is shorter than even the 20" bikes that they’re accustomed to riding. Not to mention the high tyre pressures! But this is no ordinary trials bike and you shouldn’t expect it to feel the same as a competition bike, for example. the comp riders on our team know this and spent a good amount of time getting used to the way the Skye rides. It’s not easy for them though, this bike is not aimed at the novice street rider and is a bit harder to get used to that a Fourplay, for example. All of our riders highlighted the power and effectiveness of the Hope brakes; something that the comp riders were pleased about, being used, as they are, to brutal and noisy rim brakes.

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Even our street riders were surprised by the handling of the Skye; the ultra-short wheelbase and low BB are different to what they’re used to as well. The overall stiffness of the bike is incredible and you notice it the minute you get on and start riding. The choice of bolt-though axles, which we were dubious about given how stiff the Fourplay is with standard axles, really does make a massive difference. The bike feels like it will stand up to anything you can throw at it, lending enormous confidence to the rider. The weight, which had previously been a concern, fades into insignificance. The lively geometry and responsive stiffness of the frame make it seem lighter than a Fourplay... "This Skye is a good 300 or 500g lighter than my Fourplay", says Mickaël , but he’s wrong!

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JPEG - 234.9 kb Street tricks...

Straight away the bike lends itself perfectly to the kind of tricks popular among street trials riders, including whips and footjam whips... "It turns really well! " exclaims Nicolas after a few tries. The geo is so responsive that in some cases you have to be careful not to put too much in or risk looping out, as our testers did a few times, going over the bars on a couple of 180 G-turns. "It’s crazy how quick it is, it spins so fast and there’s so much pop!" After a few attempts, things were more under control and the Skye really starts to shine. This responsiveness and liveliness are great for street riding, but it doesn’t mean that the bike is less stable than a bike with a more moderate geometry would be. It’s a bike that does what you tell it too, making bunnyhops, manuals and spins etc. very easy, but at the same time it can be twitchy and difficult to place the bike. It’s a beat that it takes time and patience to tame... Mickaël is also astonished by the bike’s capabilities when it comes to spins: "360s and 360° tyre taps are so easy! The bike practically does them on its own! ". The ultra-short geo and short stem really come into their own for spins and rotations - they’re much easier and more comfortable than on a classic street bike or trials bike. Even our 26" elite riders started to throw some spins over the fu box - something they’d never been able to do before! JPEG - 318 kb "I’m surprised at how easy it is on this bike. The geo and the stem really help, and I think the weight probably helps with throwing the bike around as well!" says Julien. Our Elite trials riders look like they’re really having fun on this bike. Manuals are another thing the Skye excels at - whether on the rear or front wheel, it sits up and rolls along beautifully. "The balance point is perfect and the bike pretty much picks itself up onto the back wheel - you’re in position almost before you know it. Amazing! says Nico".

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Everyone starts to enjoy themselves, pushing themselves and each other and really getting to know the bike. Mickaël is feeling so comfortable on the bike that he tells us he’s going to try a few backflips. No fear. He launches himself of his kicker, pulling back as he would on his Fourplay and ends up over-rotating, landing on his back on the downslope. He’s OK though and picks himself up for another go. "The bike rotates so quickly, I wasn’t expecting to go round so fast... I’ve never over-rotated like that before!" He sends himself towards the ramp again, pulling back more gently this time, and lands a perfect backlfip, leaving us with our jaws on the floor. It’s the fastest and most perfect flip we’ve ever seen. During the post-test ’debriefing’ he was still raving about how easy it had been: "It’s incredible! I don’t know what it is, probably the short frame and stem, but it’s so perfect for backflips!

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JPEG - 269.6 kb Trialsy stuff and lines: lively and creative!

We wound up the session with a bit of a competition among our riders, throwing the bike over gaps, up steps and around the various lines in Mickaël’s personal trials park. The first gaps and steps were difficult for our riders, but not impossible. Once they’d adapted heir techniques to suit the bike, it was just a question of how far or how high they wanted to go. They were even surprised at how well the Skye goes up stuff, with bunnyhops going higher and higher as they gained confidence. The bike pulls up very quickly and after just a few attempts, everyone was rear-wheeling the stack of eight pallets with ease. Rémy heads towards a big gap that he’d landed earlier on his 26". He starts timidly, but surprises himself by landing it perfectly. The brakes lock up perfectly as his front wheel lands, allowing him to switch to rear nicely and ride away grinning. So you CAN ride trials on this bike!

The Skye is undeniably good for riding lines and linking tricks together and, once you’ve learned to channel its lively nature, it is a fantastic bike for rolling, jumping and skidding about on, really allowing the rider to unleash their creativity and add a healthy dose of fun to their riding. We were trying a fun little line that comprised a spin, a manual, a step and a gap and we all had a great time! We’re convinced - this lively and responsive bike is the perfect street machine, allowing you to bring out your fun, creative side and push your limits at the same time.

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Conclusion: The ultimate street trials bike!

We are in no doubt that the Skye is the ultimate street trials bike, aimed at skilful, talented and creative riders. It’s not a bike for beginners, we don’t think; someone starting out in street trials might find it difficult to get used to the geometry and might be better with a slightly longer bike, but if you already have a basis in street trials want a bike that will help you to develop your riding and push your abilities, spinning faster, jumping higher and manualling for longer, the Skye is the bike for you! It might take a little getting used to, but it will definitely be worth it!. The first few riders might be quite tiring, not because of the weight, but because of how much you’ll be moving around on the bike as you get used to the responsiveness and flickiness of it. Expect to loop out a few times as you get a feel for things!

Once you’re done with this period of adjustment, however, you’ll find that the Skye really comes into its own; the liveliness, stiffness and responsiveness will soon have you riding better and more confidently than ever, and having a lot of fun as you do! The bike feels as tough as any downhill or freeride bike and as responsive as any trials bike - perfect for sending big moves without worrying about expensive breakages. The only downside to the bike is the price, but this is a bike designed to stand up to the stresses and strains of street trials riding at the highest level, a lot of time and effort has gone into its design and testing and its construction and spec are top notch! You get what you pay for and the Skye is a bike that should keep you smiling for a long, long time!

And what does the future hold for the Skye? The new version of the bike, the blue Skye Team ridden by Danny MacAskill in his amazing Imaginate video will be available in a few months (The New Inspired Skye Team Bike... Coming Soon!) and looks set to improve further on what is already the ultimate street trials bike! We’ll bring you more information as we get it... Watch this space!

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- Official website www.inspiredbicycles.co.uk

- Distribution in France www.spherebike.com

- Thanks to: Inspired, Trialmag, Antoine Prouteau Photographie, Thomas Moreau Production, Greg Soignon, Laurent Grillon, Mickaël Dupont, Nicolas Moreau, Rémy Durville, Julien Parent, the Dupont and Moreau families for their hospitality... thanks everyone!

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