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Freeride 250R for race bike?

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I don't know a lot about the Freeride 250R but it sounds like it could be a good hare-scramble bike for a shorter/lighter rider. Anyone have some knowledge or experience whit this bike? I have heard the geometry and suspension are more set up for beginner riders and the small tank is a concern but the smaller size and light weight are appealing to me. I've seen a couple women racing them in our series but I have not had a chance to ride the bike myself. My current ride is a 200XC-W which is great for me just wondering if the freeride would be a good option for my next bike. 

 

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If you're comfortable with the size of the 200 XC-W, I don't see why anyone would change to a Freeride model.  Unless the rider has significant difficulty managing the size of a full size bike, there is really no "upgrade" by moving to a Freeride.  The bikes essentially have supermini suspension (much poorer performance) along with a parts list that is nearly exclusive from the other models. (a bad thing)

Edited by motonack
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The Freeride is not a good bike. Suspension, Starter, handling etc. A 200xcw is much better in every aspect. It was quite a hype when it came out, but not any more.

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I've never ridden one but seen one up close, believe me the Freeride 250R is basicaly a rich man's 'fancy Honda CRF230F'

not designed at all for competition use but rather a somewhat higher quality recreational trail bike, very expensive for what you actualy get.

 

If you want something smaller and lower to handle than your current 200 but I'm sure just as powerful,

perhaps not initialy designed as a competition bike but quite capable is the BETA X-Trainer 300.

Edited by mlatour
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I've never ridden one but seen one up close, believe me the Freeride 250R is basicaly a rich man's 'fancy Honda CRF230F'

 

Disclaimer: I don't race, and am what I consider to be "lower on the spectrum" as far as small bike, single track skill goes (Pacific NW mountain terrain), but I'm moderately skilled on a big bike (950 Super Enduro or 1200GS) posing at Starbucks where I spend most of my time. 

 

Not sure I agree with this part of your assessment to be honest. My girlfriend and I own both a 14 250 XC and 15 Freeride 250R. I have ridden a 230F, and the Freeride is much closer to my XC than it is to a 230 - which shouldn't be surprising, as the engines share much.

 

I didn't expect the FR to be as fun to ride as it is. I also find that I am actually much faster and more bold on the Freeride than I am on my XC as a novice rider, which I attribute to weight differences and the smooth/predictable power delivery of the FR. The FR's front suspension feels vastly inferior to the XC to me personally. I wouldn't hesitate to take either bike to a hare scramble, but I would probably be faster on the FR. This might change if I was more skilled, but I'm being honest with myself here.

 

The only thing that would give me pause as to whether or not to buy another FR in the future, is the lack of a kick start. We had some trouble getting it going a few times when it was new, and so did the dealer who looked at it. Seems OK now, but the trust isn't quite there for me.

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I was able to ride the freeride for a little while on some local trails. While it may be easier for novice rider to conquer technical terrain on, once they learn some skills they'll hit the same terrain with much more speed on a real dirtbike. However, I've yet to see a hare scramble actually have technical enough terrain for the Freeride. The Beta Xtrainer would probably do the job better, but IMO the suspension would still let you down at race speeds.

 

My dislikes after riding one:

 

Wheelbase feels too short. 

Suspension's too soft for anything above 3rd gear.

It's slow, like as slow as my trials bike.

The frame feels very wide too me. I tried riding like my trials bike and I just could move around on the bike well. 

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A 200 lowered properly (by internal suspension mods that don't alter the fundamental geometry of the bike) would be a far better choice.  Having a bike lowered this way is not cheap, but it's way cheaper than a new bike.

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Most reviews say about the same thing. This bike don't jump so most tell you to roll the woops rather than skip the tops.

I just was wondering about a m59 and a tackee rear with a revalve would do for it on a nasty rock garden day.

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