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2015 Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

2015 Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

Size Tested: Medium

Days Tested: 5

Reviewer Vitals: 5’8”, 155 lbs. | Moustache: beard blended

Years riding: ~18 years XC / trail riding; 14 years DH; 9 years dirtjumping; raced bmx as a kid

Kevin Bazar reviews the Guerilla Gravity Megatrail for Blister Gear Review

Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail

The Company

There’s a decent chance that you haven’t heard of Guerrilla Gravity. They have no worldwide dealer network, they don’t sponsor high-profile UCI teams, and they don’t employ a well-known former frame-builder from the 90’s trying to remain relevant who’s claim to fame is a weird shaped gusset or some such thing that people used to think was important.

What they do put out there is two pretty conscientiously thought-out, hand built aluminum frames fabricated in Denver, CO. A trail bike and a DH bike comprise their line up, and they’re made in America, when very little else on a bike is these days.

I got to test out the Megatrail, as described here:

Kevin Bazar reviews the Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail for Blister Gear Review

Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail Frame Specs

Full geometry charts are listed in metric and ‘murkin units on the site, and there is also an Owner’s Manual.

Something that stands out here is the seat tube angle. It’s 74 degrees, which for a bike this slack, really keeps it in the game when things get steep on climbs. It also won’t put the seat behind the wheel for the long-legged crowd when they need 8 feet of seatpost to reach their butts. The Megatrail is certainly among the breed of newer longer trail bikes that from the outset are intended to be ridden with short stems, like 50mm or less.

What’s Offered

Guerrilla Gravity is kind of unique in what they sell. You can literally build up your own bike, component by component on their website.

Brakes, drivetrain, cockpit bits, wheels  and suspension are all represented by the major players, (Sram and Shimano for drivetrain and brakes, Fox, Cane Creek, and Rockshox for suspension) as well as an MRP or Suntour fork if you so desire. It’s not a free for all—you won’t find Marzocchi or DVO in there—but considering how much say you normally get in a prepackaged complete bike sale, it can be pretty damn personalized.

You can also of course, just buy the frame, as in literally the frame with no shock. I imagine they’d probably do any range of build in between those two extremes as well if you don’t like your choices on a particular component.

They also offer the frames in my favorite, 26” wheels. If you go that route, you get half an inch off the chainstay (17.3” for the 650b vs. 16.8” for 26” wheels) and therefore half an inch off the wheelbase of their published geometry numbers, which are for the 650b frames.

I’m 5’8”, which puts me at the upper end of what Guerrilla Gravity recommends for a small. They had a medium 650b demo frame available, so that’s what I tested. The bike showed up in this configuration:

Kevin Bazar reviews the Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail for Blister Gear Review

The build of our Guerrilla Gravity Megatrail test bike.

After weighing the demo bike (with pedals), that estimate is pretty damn close. I got 29.8lbs with some no frills Deity flat pedals and WTB Frequency i23 rims, which aren’t listed in their build options.

$5,530 isn’t cheap, but it’s also not out of line with other aluminum completes from most other manufacturers with this caliber of build. In fact there really aren’t that many out there with those parts. I know you’re thinking about that fork, but a solo air RS Pike is the same price, and a Fox 36 Float adds only $235 to the total. They’re competitive at least.

NEXT: The Ride, Shock Settings, Etc.

15 Comments

  1. Matt April 19, 2015 Reply

    This looks like a sweet rig, especially for a compulsive tinkerer like myself. Any comparisons to the Knolly Chilcotin? That’s my current rig and it sounds like it might share some similarities in design and ride characteristics.

    Also for the record, I bought a CCDB Inline in September. Yesterday I finally got it feeling perfect. That little sucker takes some real dialing in.

    • KB April 19, 2015 Reply

      I have ridden a Chilcotin for a day. I thought it descended well but the headangle was a little steep for my tastes, and I wasn’t really impressed with how it pedaled. Whether descending or climbing, it seemed like the rear end was in a pretty constant state of squatting and catching on things. Take that for what it’s worth though, I certainly don’t know the bike as well as an owner would and I only messed around with air pressures and rebound damping on the shock. Coasting descents, I thought it was a pretty solid ride. As far as a comparison, I’d say the angles of the Megatrail in one of the longer travel modes make it something the Chilcotin probably couldn’t compete with.

      Good to hear about your tuning adventure on the shock. It seems to be a common theme with most of my friends who have ridden them.

      • Matt April 19, 2015 Reply

        Cool, thanks for the reply. Did you try the Chilli in slack or steep mode? It makes a massive difference IME. No doubt in my mind that the Chilcotin is a very suspension dependent bike. When I first bought it I thought I might have made a mistake, but I’ve since discovered that it was just set up wrong for me.

        The Megatrail looks really, really cool though. I love the adjustability of it. The range of personalities you can give it seems huge. Badly want to play with one after reading this review, which is really the first I’ve heard about how it actually performs.

        • KB April 21, 2015 Reply

          I believe it was in the slacker setting but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

  2. Joe April 20, 2015 Reply

    “even when taking into account a number of tomahawks into rock gardens”

    I love this phrase. I have had this bike since October last year and been to Moab three times with it, and I plowed through Porcupine significantly faster than any of my friends, several of who are better riders than me, because of both the geometry of the bike (slack head tube, low BB) and how well built it is. Oh, and I was in trail mode. After reading this review, I wish I had put it in Plaid mode, but I am worried that I would’ve destroyed my rims going at warp speed, given how fast I was already going in trail mode. If you want a bike that can handle abuse (I am 195lbs, 6’1″ and ride sloppy), this is the bike to go with.

  3. Rod April 20, 2015 Reply

    Kevin, I loved your review. Very open minded and honest. I test rode one at Bootleg over a month ago and am expecting mine to arrive in about a week. For many of the same ride qualities you expressed, I’m selling my SC 5010c wunder bike.
    my question is the shock. I put a monarch plus on my 5010 and it was night and day better than the fox it had. I really like the shock, but the guys at GG advised the cc inline. I still have time to change it, what would you suggest? I’m 150lbs, love the gnar…but usually do a ton of climbing. So I need something that has good mid stroke. Also love to play and “pop” on the bike. Thanks for your feedback, Rod.

    • KB April 21, 2015 Reply

      Thanks Rod. I would say the easy answer is that the Monarch is the simpler setup of the two. I’ve got a CC inline shock that I just put on my own personal bike (2014 Norco Range Carbon) and to be honest, I’m having to revise my opinions a bit. I’ve only got a few rides on it but I’m not getting the same problems I had on the Megatrail. I’m now wondering if there was something up with the individual shock. Neither bike has a very complex leverage curve so I doubt it’s the difference in frames.

      I’ve had good longevity out of the Monarch shocks I’ve had. You won’t have the minute precision in damping adjustments that you do with the inline but it will probably get you riding the bike comfortably a little sooner. The few friends I’ve had with inlines had both difficult setup times, and most of them have had to send theirs back for service within a year.

      I don’t really feel comfortable making a choice for you as I honestly think either shock will work well, but hopefully that helps. If you do get the inline, I would definitely try to get some volume spacers with it.

  4. Rob April 20, 2015 Reply

    Solid review, I’m going to try the “plaid” shock setup next ride. I really like my small Megatrail, Guerrilla Gravity is a great company and has excellent customer service. Will worked closely with me to get the best parts spec for my budget, we went through the parts +$ or -$ and pros and cons. Plus they are equally responsive to questions after I took delivery. Fantastic to get a bike with exactly what you want!

    A note on sizing, I am 5’8″ and rode the medium and small. The medium was a bit more comfortable going uphill but the small was better for me going down. I have a short inseam at 30″ and the stand over on the medium seemed a touch high. That said, the small is awesome with a 40mm stem and 760mm bars.

  5. Rod April 21, 2015 Reply

    Hey Kevin, what trail is this? I just moved to reno about two years ago and I’m still scouting trails. Thanks.

  6. Rod April 23, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the feedback Kevin. I think I’m going to give the CC Inline a try and see how it goes. The guys at GG have been great to work with so far and I’m sure they’ll stand by their product…so If I can’t get it sorted out in the first month or so, I may get a hold of them to see if I can swap it out for the Monarch Plus.

  7. DM April 23, 2015 Reply

    The MRP fork seems to be getting some good press. One thing that’s especially appealing is their advertised axle-to-crown, which is 10 mm lower than a 27.5 Pike of Fox 34 in the same travel. This means you could potentially run the MRP Stage with 10 mm extra travel without affecting geometry.

    That said, I don’t fully trust that different brands measure things such as axle-to-crown the same way. Has anyone measured the Stage in comparison to, say, a Pike?

  8. AR April 23, 2015 Reply

    Multiple leverage rates and geometries are great and all, but I wonder if Guerrilla Gravity could shave a little weight off the frame by eliminating the adjustable geometry. ??

    • KB April 23, 2015 Reply

      Probably like 7 grams.

      Holes surrounded by aluminum don’t tend to weigh that much.

      • AR April 24, 2015 Reply

        So they’re using holes, then. Dialed.

  9. John August 10, 2015 Reply

    Great review. I now have narrowed it down to two frames, MT and the Norco Range Carbon, which you mention is your personal bike. I have had a short test ride on the Range and liked it. How does the MT compare to the Range?

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