Note: These are not reviews but are simple ride impressions based on the demo tech set-up. All bikes were ridden on the Bootleg Canyon demo loop. Keep in mind that a short ride is not a review, but merely gives us, (and you out there), some idea of what we’re looking at here.

Interbike ’13: Ride Impressions- Redline D880- by Guitar Ted

Last year at Interbike’s indoor show we showed you an image of a Redline full suspension 29″er, but then we didn’t hear anything more about it. That was because the bike really wasn’t ready for “prime time” yet. Redline did a few revisions and now is ready to introduce the D880 model for 2014. At the demo area, I learned that, while at first glance the D880 looks like a single pivot bike, it is actually a mini-link design. Redline dubbed the design the “Binary Link” and it is neatly tucked away low and down above the bottom bracket.

With the sag set up to spec I took the 100mm front/110mm rear travel bike out for a loop on the demo circuit. The bike is designed to be an XC/Trail bike, and that fits the travel available well. Of course, I didn’t have the chance to weigh it, but in Grannygear’s and my “hands of perceived weight scale“, it was deemed “not too heavy” for its intended audience.

The full XT build worked as you might expect- flawlessly- so I stood and hammered the bike while checking for any unwanted flex. I couldn’t detect anything obvious while riding. The bike would squirt forward under powerful pedaling, and this seemed to indicate the bike had some “anti-squat” characteristics, much like some other mini-link designs do. The bike pedaled well both in the platform setting and wide open. There was minimal pedal induced bobbing which was nice to see.

Going down the bike showed a good ability to sprint out of corners and the suspension felt firm, but able to adapt to almost everything I was throwing at it. Well, almost everything! I did take a few big rocky traverses, sections more suitable to a longer travel bike, where the 110mm of rear Kashima coated travel were overwhelmed, but it isn’t an All Mountain, long travel 29″er either. For its intended purpose, I thought this suspension design, which doesn’t require a platform setting on the shock to perform well with, was doing a really good job. I could see this being a great endurance/24/12 hour race rig.

Back at the demo tent, I met Grannygear who pushed the rear tire sideways on the D880 and it was only then that I saw the upper portion of the rear swingarm flex significantly. I did not notice anything of the sort while on the ride, and of course, it could have been the result of being a demo rig, so I just mention it as a data point. Over all the D880 is impressive and not what you think at first glance. That much Grannygear and I both agreed upon.

The model ridden here is the top of the line one, but for the more budget conscious, there is a lower level spec available. Either way, this “Binary Link” was an impressive design and with a more XC type set up,(wheels and tires especially), the bike might even be light enough for XC racing pursuits. Very interesting, and not at all what we expected coming out of Redline.