Biconicon’s Mic De Min recently dropped off a new scandium Golden Willow at the Bikemag mothership. While he was here, he took some time to explain the mountain goat origins of the company’s founding concept—which basically involves use of robotics-grade pneumatic hoses to radically alter bike geometry at the push of a button.
Specifically, De Min says the company set out to emulate the way goats tuck their front legs and extend their hind legs to put them in an optimal climbing position, and how they then tuck their rear legs and extend their front legs while descending.
The result is the Bionicon system, which yields geometry that is adjustable between a 68- and a 73-degree headtube angle to match nearly any terrain.
Since we received the bike last fall I’ve logged some solid rides on the Golden Willow. There is a definite learning curve to riding the bike, but it’s not very steep. Going into climbs, I found myself wanting to slide forward on the saddle and drop my elbows, like I would if climbing on any other bike. This pushed me too far forward and I had to consciously make myself stay centered on the saddle and more upright.
After getting the hang of it, I found the bike worked well in long stretches of the same thing—long climbs, long flats, or long descents—but I found it tough to get the suspension setup in the “sweet-spot” for the quick transitions that often come in between.
During especially technical climbs, the rear suspension would top-out and bob fairly rapidly while standing and pedaling, and I still need to play around with the rear shock air pressure settings to try to iron this out.
The highlight of riding the Golden Willow is without question the technical descents. In the slackest setting, the 150-millimeter travel fork (at full extension) makes the bike feel like a full-on but lightweight downhill machine.
Look for a full review of this versatile and unique beast of a bike in an upcoming issue of Bike.
What do you think of Bionicon’s Golden Willow? Leave a comment below.