There are trails that are better suited for 26" hoops and there are trails that are better suited for the 29" (trashcan lids) wheels. I don't know why people think that ONE is better than the OTHER. They both have their positives and negatives, that's the way it is and always will be. Ya know, no matter what size wheels you have they aren't going to do you any good if they aren't attached to a frame... I give my buds a hard time for riding 29" wheels even though I have always liked them, it's what I do. I think they finally realized this.
After getting the SF03 home, then getting rid of some parts on it I would rather not use (thanks EBAY = profit), then putting the parts I prefer to use on it, it was ready for a maiden voyage at my backyard trails, ETSU. (punctuation errors everywhere, I know). The complete drivetrain was replaced with Shimano Dyna-Sys except for the cranks (Sram (really Truvativ) X-7's 2x10) a better set of wheels (Mavic's), Avid BB7's and my favorit-est saddle. Now time to play!
This bike isn't a serious XC race bike, it's made to line-up in the middle of the FS group of a full on trail bike and XC racer. One could race XC on this but the climbing would wear ya out even though it has a nice lock-out feature. The Rock Shox Recon is handling the steering duties up front. This is the first time I have ever ridden the Recon, not impressed. Spoiled by all the Fox's, SID's and Reba's I've ridden I guess? It took me 30 minutes of just pedaling around to get the suspension set for me and get the sag dialed in on the front AND rear. So many people just get on their FS bikes and ride never taking the proper time to set and adjust the suspension specifically for their own weight and riding style. Such a waste, pay for all those perks and fail to get the benefits.
Ok the ride... climbing: it bobbed pretty bad but lock it out and the pedal stroke delivered a decent level of efficiency, I would say a 7 out of 10, good for this type bike. Handling was spot on just like everything BMC makes, their bikes handle superb! The fork? I'm not a fan of the Recon after riding it only because it lacks the features I'm used to is all. This made me reconsider for a minute, I should have opted for the Sf02 with the Fox outfitted suspension but after looking back at the closeout pricing the next level reflects what it would cost to buy a fox fork, no biggie, I'll upgrade that later. For what I wanted this for it will fit the bill completely. Just a carefree, easy trail riding bike to take on fun group rides when I want the extra cush that this FS offers and to replace my FourStroke that was traded earlier this year. (I still miss the lime green color FourStroke)
Another note: I don't know why I'm adddicted to BMC bikes? BUT I AM! 29ers releasing in two weeks..... ughhhh. All I can say...EBAY is a hoppin! Oh...say what? you have looked for my sales items & can't find them? I have a stealth account you won't be able to find, sorry. Message me if your interested in good quality parts, no anonymous posts please...