That should have been a PM.
Anyway, back from 14miles and 1400+ feet of climbing including the 8 mile loop I do on the MF FS weekday evenings so good for a comparison. This includes a long gravel ascent, fat grassy sections, undulating woodland tracks, a fast nasty mud/loose rocky rutty descent including suicidal pheasants, 90 degree turns under braking on gravel and a 45mph plus final road descent back to Winchcombe.
Just fitted 1.9 vredestein slizer and grinder NOS tyres I picked up that thought would suit.
First of all, I LOVE THIS BIKE. Was a bit perturbed by the thrum from the tyres transmitted though the frames and bars on the first road section out of Winchcombe. Once I reached Cleeve Common and started to climb I got the payback with excellent grip on gravel and grass all the way to the top. The common has plenty of ups and downs as you cross to the Roman Fort. I felt more confident due to the narrow bars, more grip than a bag full of grippy things and an uncanny steering geometry, despite the height, that goes where you look without the squidgy delay of the MF. The four finger levers are superb on the descents, allowing less and later braking with the ability to lock/test either canti or U to establish traction range rather than squeeze and hope.
Starting to appreciate different riding styles of the rigid V FS. Far more time being kicked off saddle? Legs replace the rear shock so lots of time spent slightly above the saddle especially when pushing. With the benefit of suspension I could let the bike keep the rear planted.
All that remains are aesthetic tweaks. I know the STX RC will upset the retro keepers but I ride this and it works. Pics are on Cleeve Common. High point and Cheltenham racecourse in background. Too busy grinning and hooning about for more.