This past weekend I did what I've been putting off for a number of reasons including weather etc. I hit the trails on my new mountain bike (by new I mean Feb 11th 2010...) The problem is I have been on a rigid bike forever. I don't like dialing in a bikes fit because it is very time consuming, and a general pain in the ass. But once I do it, I dont fcuk with it much after that and it usually works out pretty well. So Saturday I rode with all stock equipment. Most importantly the raised bars. I decided to give them a chance. So I rode with a collection of allen keys and raised and lowered a few times. I decided I'd have to go with the flat bars from my old bike. So now I'm commited, I have to take apart the bike I'm used to and commit to the new full suspension bike. I had a bit of comfort knowing I could have switched pedals if need be and ride what I was used to in Aprils race, but my initial impression with the new bike justified taking the old bike apart. Sunday I returned to the forest with flat bars installed and allen keys in pocket.. A few things to point out. Both Saturdays ride and Sundays, I was pleasantly surprised with how the brand new ride handled on a number of sections I thought I would have been sketchier on. Especially since I was just starting to get used to the ride. Another really nice thing I noticed is for all purposes the bike feels like a hard tail until it encounters a bit of rough, then it floats me thru it and goes back to feeling like a hard tail when finished.The one nice thing with a mountain bike is you can adjust saddle height a bit easier than the road bikes thanks to the quick release. So YES I moved the saddle up-down-up-down-up and at one point it felt ok toward the end of the ride so there it stayed.. I've still got some homework to do. The fork is a good one but I really think it can be dialed in better. Thats the thing I DON'T like about modern day mountain biking, too many adjustments. I HAD to read the suspension frames manual over the weekend and that's one of the reasons I think the frame rode as surprisingly nice as it did. I now need to see how to get rid of the reactions of the fork I don't like. More reading and adjusting. Hard tails and road bikes simply need micromilimeter adjustments with the same tape measure you've used for the last 20 years and its all good LOL. Now with the wonders of off road technology there are shock pumps, micro adjust rebound knobs, and rebound adjustors.Dampening, lock outs, brain rebound HOLY SIHT! You wonder why the bike sat? I didn't even have to mention trails in the midwest can't be ridden in March because thats when winter is washing itself away.Back to Sunday or day 2, I rode on a long roller coaster single track thet ran about a mile and a half long. A great run. I was again surprised at how I was able to ride thru these constant twists and rollers easier. Day two's thoughts are that the bike is definitley not holding me back and when I'm dialed in I think i'm really going to like this thing. To think I'm still waiting for cleats for my new off road shoes. Thats going to be another days of adjusting...So yeah, it was more on the ride off the bike adjust, and repeat than it was miles and miles of great riding but it was a necessary evil and one I put off long enough.The end result is it's starting to come together, and just when the trails are drying out. Perfect timing I guess, it just didn't need to be so damn complicated.