K2 found their way into the mountain bike game the old fashioned way; they bought a smaller company. K2 of course is famous for their downhill ski equipment, but in 1997 or so, they bought Pro-Flex/Girvin, and became a mountain bike company. Which makes K2/Pro-Flex/Girvin/Off-Road the company with the most name changes in mountainbiking.

Razorback RS - In an unusually cool move for a big company, K2 licensed this design from Turner (see the Stinger). It apparently suffers from a lack of stiffness in the rear section, and I'd say the forks are a weak link here - but it seems like a pretty cool bike otherwise.

Razorback - A nice Razorback with Fire XC's and a sweet Manitou. I'm not sure about that crazy seatpost though - if you're going to run that, why not just get a Heckler or something like that?

Animal - I think this is where Pro-Flex/K2 really lost their way with their frame design. Look at the effective length of the shock. Looks like a recipe for flex to me. Same with that long swingarm. And putting an RST on the front can't help matters.

Proflex - I don't even know what model of K2 this is. And I don't really care, cuz check out that Vette in the back. Probably a '72 or '73. That guy's hand is right where the engine badge is on the hood, so we can't say what it's got under the hood, but we can pretend that it's a 454...


Mark said...

The fork found on the razerback is a crosslink fork coupled with a NR-2 noleen shock. preload, rebound/compression dampening fully adjustable.

Linkage forks are stiction free and don't suffer from flex issues. Introduced in 97. Weighs 3 pounds and something. The Carbon ones are very nice looking. 3 inches of travel though.

The bike that you comment has a RST fork actually has Noleen Chubby, it has 5 inches of travel. Very impressive for 1998. Rear shock on that bike has 5 inches of travel of well.

The unidentified bike looks to be a Proflex 4000. Carbon rear swingarm.

The 96 and 97 bikes are good looking and probably when proflex was at their finest. I like the older ones too with the funky elastomers.

Black Pete said...

I actually spoke at length with the engineers that put the Razorback together at Interbike one year, their top of the line bike was supposed to come with a fox sprung Vector linkage fork and the Fox pull shock. Later the fox shock deal happened but came available but the bike was specced with Fox fork instead. Fox wouldn't supply a shock unit for a fork that would perform superior to their own telescopic one. Supposedly it was supposed to be green, and white with bits of yellow but evolved differently with the use of disk breaks and the deal with Fox. I have the bike with the Fox sprung linkage fork, hands down a better choice in my opinion, but no disk break tabs.