Tomac’s triple-butted top and down tubes are pretty standard, but as you move rearward the Snyper starts to deviate from the norm. A boxy hydroformed section bridges the interrupted seat tube and down tube while providing anchor points for the main and swinglink pivots. To accommodate the front mech, without using elevated or asymmetric chainstays, Tomac simply mounts it to a stub on the aluminium swingarm. This means that the mech moves with the suspension and, while we had no issues with shifting performance, it is a bit of a mud magnet.
The monocoque carbon seatstay assembly looks trick but isn’t just for show. Flattened sections of carbon above the rear dropouts provide flex to allow the suspension linkage driving the shock to move freely. It simultaneously eliminates two pivots (one either side) and reduces weight. All of the other pivots use Japanese sealed cartridge bearings.
Because the main pivot on the Tomac is in line with the middle ring and slightly further back than on the Orange and Commençal it suffers from slightly less feedback. Shifting up in the big ring does cause it to squat more under power, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as you want the suspension to be more active when honking in the big ring.
With a 2.35in Kenda Nevegal up front and a 2.2in on the rear, the Tomac puts down lot of rubber, so there’s no shortage of traction, even if they don’t roll fast. Also, the stock Snyper will have slightly different geometry to our geometry chart, as our control tyres are the same size front and rear.
The medium Snyper 140 comes specced with a 350mm FSA seatpin, placing us right on the limit of adjustment. Obviously a longer seatpost would fix this, but if you find yourself in a similar situation take it as an indication to go up a frame size. We weren’t overly impressed with the 100mm stem first time round and that still holds — fortunately Tomac will be swapping to 90mm stems for 2009.
What surprised us most about the Snyper is that the suspension performance is super plush, given that the bike pedals incredibly well. Normally there is a distinct bias in favour of one or the other, but time invested in ride testing various shock tunes and different volume air-cans has paid off in spades, as Tomac seems to have balanced this ying and yang perfectly. So much so, in fact, that we never once felt the need to make use of the ProPedal lever on the Fox RP2 rear shock.
Extra length in the chainstays and the lack of squat under power in the middle and granny rings makes the Tomac one of the best climbing bikes here. It maintains traction without wallowing, and the front end never lifts or wanders. The catch is that the Snyper requires more effort to pop the front to manual through a compression or boost over a log. Additionally, the short wheelbase — or to be more specific the short front centre — and long stem don’t really inspire the classic ‘Tomac Attack’ on high-speed technical trails.
If we were to test the Tomac Snyper 140 2 again we would definitely choose a larger frame size with a shorter stem. And if you are anywhere near the maximum saddle height mark on the 350mm long FSA seatpost we strongly suggest that you do the same. The extra length in the front centre will make the bike feel more stable at speed, and will also allow you to run a shorter stem for improved steering without the bike feeling cramped. As it stands, the medium is a great climbing bike but lacks stability. If we had worked that out earlier the Tomac Snyper 104 2 may well have been awarded a 9 instead of an 8.
MBR RATING: 8/10