Well, I picked the bike up today (and dropped the red one off to let them have a crack at the perennial flat tire problem).
It's big, blue, and good-looking - just like Avatar!
Compared with the red bike, it's a new generation. It's got hydraulic disc brakes, new split-style shifters, more front fork supension, and a 10 speed rear gear set.
And 29" wheels. I defy anyone to ride this bike without singing Proud Mary under their breath - you know 'big wheel keep on turning ... rolling on the river' etc. I know I certainly can't.
The front wheel won't even fit into that photo!
I was pleased to be able to get the bike into my trusty Jazz (although I had to move my seat forward to get it in).
The first ride was this afternoon, down the rail trail to Hagley Park, a couple of laps there and back again for a total of 23km. All tarmac or well packed dirt, and flat.
The bike was great, I did notice it was a bit slower off the mark than the red one, but just shifting to a lower gear when stopping fixes that. Once it is moving then it seems to have more momentum and just wants to keep rolling on. I noticed that the ride was noticeably smoother, probably a combo of the big wheels (keep on turning), and the better front suspension.
I found the saddle to be ok, which had been a concern for me. On the red bike the stock saddle made me go numb in places you never want to go numb in, and I had to replace it. The jury is still out on this one because I was wearing my great baggy cycle shorts (review to come), and I'll need to see how it is with just jeans or whatever.
All in all, a great ride. It was faster, more comfortable, and more stable than the red bike.