flip it to Climb mode all that often, but it was certainly nice to have
on longer, steady climbs as well as smooth or paved sections.
Climbing: The neutral geometry the Shift sports makes it a
natural climber. The seat tube is relatively steep, which puts the
rider in a powerful position right over the pedals. Since the head
angle is also not overly slack, the front end resists wandering and
stays planted. With the shock set to the medium compression
mode, the suspension works to level out technical climbs but won’t
Cornering: The handling walks a tightrope between twitchy and
slow, finding a balance that’s natural and easy to get used to. The
chainstays are also short, and the wheelbase is fairly tight, which
makes this bike handle tight and slow switchbacks with ease.
Descending: The “LT” in the Shift’s name stands for “long
travel,” which the bike lives up to compared to the rest of the
Haro line. The R7 LT is certainly the best descender we’ve tried
from them. It’s quick and lively, with an active
suspension design that’s particularly good
at picking up and leveling out the small trail
chatter, making this bike confident on fast
and flowy descents. When the trail points
down steep chutes, the 68-degree head
angle and lack of a dropper post expose
its limitations. That said, if you’re
willing to get off and use the quick
release to drop the seat and then pick
your way down carefully, the Shift will
find its way down nearly any steep
and technical trail.
A trailbike with nearly 6 inches of
travel should have a dropper post—
no question. This is the first upgrade
Long-travel goodness: The latest version of the Shift
comes to the table with nearly 6 inches of travel, via a
Horst-Link, 4-bar system.
Lockout, engage: The RockShox Sektor
comes complete with a remote lockout, something that many riders will love on long climbs.