The Apogee is a Full Suspension Off-Road bike that looks sharp right out of the box and assembles with ease. But really, the best way to describe the Ibex Apogee is to relay how you feel when you are riding it. So, I will write out some stream consciousness thoughts and then explain them.
"Whoa, argh... I crusted some twisty knarlage.... smooth..... duck... treeeeeee"
- On the test trail there were several large roots and fallen trees in the range of 6-12 inches in diameter. The Apogee was able to completely smooth them out. Or I was able to get some nice lift off and catch some good air off of those same roots if I chose to, which I did! I remember climbing out of the saddle to rip this bike up off the ground then having to simultaneously duck under tree branches. Each landing was completely smooth as well. The full suspension adroitly soaked up each impact. If I wanted to I could have just sat in the saddle and spun all day without even noticing the obstacles that I was cruising over. But that's boring, so I clipped in and pulled off jumps. The Marzocchi EXR Pro Air Suspension Fork and Rock Shox BAR rear shock seemed too squishy before I got on the trail but then came to life off road. Leaping off jumps they were responsive for the lift off and then non-jarring on the landing.
"Grrrrr....Slippery sand.... hill.... gotta spin and lean it right....ahhhhh, old man in the way... spill."
- Bethpage has several very sandy climbs. I found that I could shift mid-climb with ease and dig in to climb with the prowess of this bike's namesake. Of course I did have one issue on one climb. Gary crashed out and put his bike sideways on the hill right in front of me. As I prepared to cut a new line around him, my bike faceplanted me suddenly. When I picked up the bike to find out why, I realized that the chain had exploded. Gary's first question was, "Is it a Shimano chain?" The answer is, "No!" So for this bike, I think that a Shimano chain would be a good consideration for the next run in production. Now, the good thing is that we were able to pop out a few links and reattach the chain and continue riding. Matter of factly, the shifting of the bike was 10 times more solid after we shortened the chain...
"Ahhhh...... shred..... owwwwww......shred..."
-The handlebars on this bike are too wide, especially for a bike of this size (17in frame). I am still picking thorns out of my knuckles from the briar patches that we crossed through on the MTB test runs. Its a good thing the Apogee handles on the trail like a Ferrari does on the track. There were a few times when we were over-running the speed of the trail and found ourselves veering away from overgrown and hidden fences, trees and etc.
"Grunt....Gotta spin..... grunt...."
-The Apogee comes stock with Shimano Deore LX 27 speed running gear, which was perfect for this trail. It gave me the low end gearing that I needed to spin up some grinding hills over sand and roots without losing my footing. The Kenda Kenetics stock tires gripped in and held on to the loose sand, grit and mud puddles to keep me upright, most of the time.
"uh uh uh oh uh oh uh..... whoa..... steep.... fast.... nice!"
-Keeping the bike under control is critical while shooting downhill over sand and roots. It doesn't take much to over-brake and skid or OTB (Go over the bars). The stock Hayes MX-1 XC Mechanical Disc Brakes gave ample stopping power while applying smooth even and controled braking force.
"...hose it off.... sharp looking bike...
The fit and finish on this bike is clean and simple. Nice lines, appealing color scheme. Solid form. Cool styling. The logo stickers on the Marzocchi fork were kind of cheap and chincy, that would be the only real flaw I could find in the looks department.
Man, I wish I owned this baby!