Although I’d made the decision to re-familiarise myself with a shorter, 100mm, travel susser more realistic to my trail riding I didn’t want to end up over stretched as a result. Predictably then, changes to this sorted ride were largely confined to the cockpit. With the customary assistance of Easton importers Extra UK, I gave away a few ‘Nanotube’ grams swapping the narrow, 610mm low rise Monkeylite SL for a high rise 660mm width Monkeylite XC. Although a minor alteration, paired with a 10mm shorter, 90mm Easton stem (the shortest available in EA70 guise) it helped reinstate some handling performance to the front end. Despite only finite adjustments there has been odd moments when, perhaps frustrated by my own skills aboard a racy bouncer, when I’ve been tempted to fundamentally rearrange the front end in to something shorter and punchier. But since my original intention was to selecting a trail orientated level of travel, some half cocked, stubby stemmed tilt on a 4X rig would be defeat the purpose of the competition speeced Cannan.
Persevering with my subtly tweaked Goose, apart from the obvious interest in the Cannan’s refined ‘Freedrive’ back end, for me the key component test for this ‘Team’ version was the inclusive No Tubes rims. Although in standard spec it features non-tubeless tyres, Kenda’s are at least on ‘Stans’ recommended non UST specific tyre list. This said I didn’t hold out much hope for the loose fitting, lightweight Kharma’s holding both air and selant. Swapped for a pair of tight fitting Geax Saguard’s with tubeless pretensions proved a success. Sourcing a ‘Quart’ of NoTubes solution from Paligap (who now joint distribute NoTubes puncture proofing slop along with Freeborn Cycles) just two scoops was sufficient to encourage the seal. ‘The Solution’ is the only part of the magic not supplied by Mongoose due to shipping issues with the liquid. The rubber rim strip and integral valve combinations are provided, however the pre-fitted lightweight rim with the addition of a valve piece (with removable cores for simplified solution application,) were enough to make the system airtight. A much less complicated task than I feared with only a mild liquid sealant explosion occurring.
Upping tyre width from the supplied 2 to a phat 2.2in width highlighted limited clearance in the back end, particularly between the seat stay bridge. So far I’ve luckily avoided the kind of adhesive clag where this would be a real issue though. Full tubeless performance adds a zip to the already speedy package, whilst I had some side loading issues when cornering hard on the Geax treads in lower pressures; loose climbing traction and rock clanking benefits were immediate.
The Cannan’s modest 26.5lb total comes in to its own on prolonged climbs and hammering across cheeky traverses. With Fox’s RP23 shocker in fully active mode and rebound set to rapid, it cleverly distinguishes between bump activity and stiffened hard packed pedalling efforts. And this was even before I’d completely fathomed the dial. Not until I was about to take pliers to the slightly confusing independent adjuster on top of the shocks locking switch did bully Muldoon take pity and explain that it needed popping up to turn. The three numbers on the switch refer to the frequency of the pedalling platform, so effectively the shocks never actually fully locked, simply dormant until a substantial hit ruffles the valving.
Initially my only issue with the hassle free suspension response was a loose upper pivot bolt in the rear linkage device, revealing itself with a crank like squawk from the depths of Cannan’s chassis and flex related rotor rub. However, working through the chainset to re-tighten the 5mm Allen heads wasn’t sufficient. Once removed and properly torqued I discovered all the linkage, pivots and shock mounting bolts were on the loose side, all featuring only a hint of thread lock. The bolt heads are also of particularly poor quality, shallow cut and easily rounded at the shock mount.
Although not unreasonable for a bike with enduro and XC action in its blood, the steeper 71 degree head angle took some adjusting to. Riding techy steeps, when the Fox forks inertia gubbings dives in to action the front end pitch increases demanding either added commitment or greater momentum to level out. On slower rock garden jaunts where the hits are laboured the fork’s reaction between locked and unlocked locked could benefit from being a little more intuitive. However, let go of the brakes and bare down on them and the F100’s don’t disappoint.
Time will tell if the pivot bolts remain secure on Allen leverage alone over the next round of trail punishment, but despite this blip, overall I’m fairly satisfied with the Cannan’s performance. Predictably suited to the kind of UK trails I’m tackling, returning to something relatively lightweight after a hiatus to bigger rigs over recent years has been something of a revelation. Perhaps I’m bottling a few sections that I may have let a heavier, slacker, bigger bouncer plough through before but on the whole I’m feeling liberated by the accessible turn of trail speed. A situation only helped of course by a top end package of finishing parts alongside what’s revealing itself as a solid suspension backbone.
MBR rating: 8
FRAME: 6062 aluminium.
SUSPENSION: Fox F100X fork, Fox RP23 rear shock.
WHEELS: NoTubes ZTR Olympic rims, Ringle Dirt Flea hubs, Kenda Karma 2in tyres.
DRIVETRAIN: SRAM XO trigger shifters, Shimano XT front derailleur, SRAM XO rear, FSA Carbon Team crank, Avid Ultimate disc brakes.
COMPONENTS: Easton EA70 stem, Easton MonkeyLite carbon bar, Kore I-Beam saddle and carbon seatpost
SIZE TESTED: Large
CONTACT: Hotwheels 01202 732288, www.hot-wheels.co.uk.