I sometimes feel bad for the reps working demo days like Dirt Fest at Raystown Lake, in Central PA. With 47 miles of amazing trails to rip, they know you’re not bringing the bike back in an hour, and you know you’re not bringing the bike back in an hour, so why do we kid each other? The first morning at Dirt Fest was bright and sunny after several days of rain. Antoine, the Xprezo Sales guy, and I had just come to that awkward part of the transaction, when as if reading my mind he says, “Just get it back when you can”. With a clear conscience, I hit the first climb on a Wuuu 650, even more psyched for the day of riding to follow.
Antoine made the trip from Quebec, where Cycles Xprezo is located. Their bikes are hand-made, and the Wuuu sports the company’s trademark mix of aluminum and steel, and uses a simple single pivot design. The wispy looking steel rear triangle adds to the bikes overall hand-made looks and I like the idea of a strong, compliant, and repairable rear.
The merits of 27.5” for a Trail bike are hard to argue against (gauntlet thrown). For the flowing 47 mile pump track that is Raystown, the 120mm suspension Wuuu was right in the Goldilocks zone. Good traction for climbing the muddy trails, flickable enough to carve endless turns, and with sufficient cush to save me when I caught too much air and landed front-heavy. With bigger wheels comes smaller clearance for tires, and at first look I worried the Wuuu’s tight rear triangle would muck up in the wet trail conditions. But the upper cross piece on the rear end is fairly flat and close enough to the wheel to carve the mud off as you go. Despite a lot of Pennsylvania clay, I had no issues with mud clogging up the wheel or front derailleur. There are likely large-volume 27.5” tires that won’t fit the Wuuu, but that’s true with a lot of bigger wheeled frames.
The size large frame felt small, and with a relatively low slung handlebar, the riding position leaned toward XC. Comfortable but efficient feeling, I wouldn’t hesitate to enter a XC race on the Wuuu. The bike felt competitive in weight and the parts spec met its price range (high 4 thousands). There are faster looking hydro-pressed cookie cut bikes out there, but I have a soft spot for simple and durable bikes like the Wuuu which look fast because you’re moving fast on them.
After many slick but fast miles, I have nothing but praises for the Wuuu. Dropping off a ridiculously muddy bike many hours later, I had a few pangs of guilt, but the houseboat hot-tub and a few beers took care of it. Look for the unique fleet of Xprezo bikes at a demo near you. They will be at NEMBAfest in Vermont next month, but expect there to be one less size Large Wuuu if I get there before you.