Your Ride Reviewed is a space where your bike or others can be reviewed and get another persons view on what they are riding at the moment. So here is the first one, which is actually an older post but lets get it started any way with the Centurion...

Centurion Numinis Float Ultimate 3.29

Price: R 25,000
The main tech specs:
  • Frame - Numinis 29er, AL6066 butted, federweg 100mm
  • Fork - Fox 32 Float 29 Fit RL, 120mm, lockout
  • Rear Shock - DT Swiss M210, Lockout
  • Derailleur Front - Shimano XT
  • Derailleur Rear - Shimano XT Shadow
  • Shifters - Shimano - XT 10-s
  • Brakes - Magura MT-4, 180/180mm
  • Tire -  Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo, 57-622 Kevlar
Onto the review:

The bike overall is amazing and seriously the ride is something completely different to a 26er. First...

The Size - The size of the Centurion 29er is comparable to most 29er's in the market. The bike has a very solid feel. It felt strong and not over sized. I have read reviews on 29ers where riders have said it is very difficult to throw a 29er around on a course, especially single track. I can imagine this as it is simply bigger however, on this bike I did not feel it at all. On the track, which was mainly single track, I felt you could still have fun with it in and out of corners as it is always a nice feeling not to hit a tree full on. Granted, a 26er is more of a whipper-snapper bike when it comes to this kind of riding, but the 29 inch wheels definately stood up to the task and asked for more. 

The Suspension - The Centurion Numinis is equipped with the Fox 32 Float with a 120mm lockout option. What does this mean exactly? The Fox Float is a very nice front fork, it has a weight of 1.6Kg, 120mm travel, Air suspension. The fork is mainly intended for XC and trail, and it withstands it perfectly. It really is a nice smooth ride. I have always been a fan of Fox and believe they make solid and tough forks and shocks. There is a down side with Fox forks and rear shocks and that would be the price. This pretty little thing which makes the ride sweeter will set you back about R8,700 (approx. 870 EURO) if you wanted to fitted. The rear Shock - DT Swiss M210, also with lockout is a very good addition to the bike and certainly makes the ride easier and smoother. It has an Air, elastomer negative spring with Oil dampening and remote lockout. I was hesitant on how it would affect the climbing and soft sand elements, as a rear shock can kill the momentum and use more effort but no problems there either. Overall a very decent shock, it can take a fair amount of beating and is good value for money. The full suspension experience on the bike is great and allows for fun, tough riding.

The Weight - The bike is not really a heavy bike and there are way heavier ones out there which have similar specs. The bike feels light enough that allows you to perform the ever life saving bunny hop but as well as solid and heavy enough to let you stay grounded and perform stand up peddling, for that extra little bit of gas you want to add.

The Components - The Centurion Numinis Float 3.29 is pretty much spec'd out completely with Shimano gear. It is running a front derailleur XT and rear derailleur XT shadow, which is just under the XTR, but still extremly good and durable.The shifter is the Shimano XT 10-s, which is also a very nice shifting package. Overall the shifting on the bike is very good and the up and down changing was very smooth and quick during the middle changing, however, there was a little chain grinding on the rear when in full 30 speed, but then again you are not riding the full 30 speed often, so it is something that could be overlooked.

The Tires - Tires are always a factor to take into account when riding a good bike and the Schwalbe Racing Ralph Evo, 57-622 Kevlar, do not disappoint. The grip on these tires were great, and there was no real sensation of ever actually slipping out of the corner or going in, and when landing or pushing hard the grip and stick was definitely there as well. Having the Kevlar for puncture resistance, also gave a good re-assurance during the ride. Even with all this grip, the Tire still allows for speed and that was one of the main points that stood out for me.

The Price - The part of the review that is probably the main part. Well needless to say that the bike ranges from R25,000 - R30,000 (2,500-3,000 EURO) depending from where you buy. It is a little pricey, but saying this, for this type of spec'd bike and ride you'll get out of it, it is definitely worth this investment. The bike suits intermediate riders who are familiar with a 29er full suspension. Beginners could enjoy it, but starting on a full suspension 29er bike is not really recommended, especially when it comes to more technical and tighter tracks. The price is high for a person who is looking at getting into mountain biking. The biggest mistake in my view these days, is that people who want to ride, see the best and newest shiny toy in the shop and buy it, without  considering how much they will ride or where they will like to take their riding. It is a mistake that happens too often, unfortunately, and in my opinion should be prevented.

So to summarize the Centurion Numinis Float 3.29. It is a great bike and even though not on the cheaper side of bikes like this, it is well priced. The bike rides very smooth and moves with ease, once you get use to the 29" part that is. It winds around corners, climbs with ease and shoots down like a rocket. It is such a fun bike, and I think that is the best way to describe it - FUN.


Silverback Mercury Comp 29er (My own personal ride!)

Price: R 16,500
The main tech specs:
  • Frame - G2 Force Alloy with IDS EVO 4
  • Fork - Rock Shox Recon Gold TK 29" 100mm
  • Rear Shock - Fox Float RL
  • Rims - STANS Crest 29 Double Wall Aluminium
  • Hubs - Shimano SLX Center lock
  • Tyres – Rocket Ralf and Running Ron 2.1 x 29”
  • Shifters - Shimano SLX 10 Speed Rapidfire Plus
  • Front Derailer - Shimano Deore 10 Speed
  • Rear Derailer - Shimano XT Shadow 10 Speed
  • Crankset - Shimano SLX 24/32/42T 10 Speed, 2 Piece
  • Bottom Bracket - Shimano 2 Piece Incl
  • Cassette - Shimano HG62, 10 Speed 11-34T
  • Pedals - Shimano PD-M505
  • Brake Set - Shimano Deore Hydraulic Disc
So how does this Stallion stack up against the rest? Well lets first start off, saying that Silverback is local bike company, and we always know local is lekker (even though now the bikes are manufactured in Germany)
the Mercury Comp 29er is a perfect balance between good components, a strong bike, and it does not break the bank. This 29er is very well equipped throughout, with a mix between SLX and XT components as well as very nice combination of the FOX RL rear shock and the Recon Gold TK 100mm Air ROCK SHOX up front, there is a great balance throughout the bike when riding.

Riding a 29er takes some getting use to, especially if you have been riding the out-dated and I think soon to be put to rest 26er. So it comes naturally to say that a person will struggle getting use to it, well that was my feeling anyway (remember I have only ridden a 29er once, and that was in a foreign country) but when I first took the Mercury Comp 29er out onto a fairly technical course involving single track and good uphills, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Coming from a background of always enjoying downhill and single track and throwing my biking around into corners hard and enjoying all the jumping possible, the Mercury Comp stood up to a lot that I threw at it. It was nimble enough to make the single track fun and interesting but also strong enough to feel solid and not fragile; remember this is a bike that is not in the top brackets but in the more affordable cross country brackets.

Climbing was a blessing in disguise as well, as I thought there was going to be a lot of bobbing for apples in the saddle, but the FOX RL rear shock was great, it gives a little sag while climbing but not bad enough to affect your climbing, and when locked out, almost like a hard tail....almost. A big noticeable pro on the bike compared to other is the bottom bracket ground clearance, it is quite a bit higher than others and definitely gives the rider confidence to go over those big rocks and ridges and not worry about smashing the cranks or getting stuck. The front fork, ROCK SHOX Recon Gold TK 100mm Air, is a very could addition, but you do feel they stuck with older tech as there are great forks out now which are in the price range are a little more durable and robust, for example the FOX Float 32 29er with CTD (Climb, Trail, Descend) setting, but it does hold well and to bootom out takes some doing too.

The braking system is a big positive on this bike - The Shimano Deore is a good system and works well. I have seen bikes priced higher with lower quality breaks, and this was a good surprise for me to say the least.

The components on the bike are durable and have a good range of toughness, and even though we are seeing a lot of SRAM coming onto bikes now, the Shimano mix on the bike is great and works well.

A fantastic addition is the Tubeless systems, now I know most 29ers and bikes for that matter are going this route, but what I found was great, for a bike in this price range was the Stans CREST No Tubes rims, they are generally stronger than the Giant and Merida - Own name brands standard rims that are fitted with bikes in the same price range.

There are a few downsides, a few of the components could be upgraded (of course that also means price increase)  as one does have the feeling they went a bit cheap on one or two components. The weight on the bike is another area which does have the affect on the riding and one can feel it, certainly on the long winding uphills. As I mentioned the front fork could have done with an upgrade, seeing as their new 2013 range has teh new Rock Rox reba or Fox Float 32 

Overall, the Silverback Mercury Comp 29er is a great affordable duely that gives a rider confidence to have fun on the single track, and still enjoy the uphills (not even sure if that is possible but hey!) Silverback has however replaced the Mercury Comp and Elite range with their new 2013 SPRADA 1 and 2, both are awesome bikes and can be seen here: Sprada 1 and 2. Silverback is making a mark in the industry and they are here to stay!

Dirty Scale: 7/10


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