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Thinking about it, if it’s not the weight, it could be:

  1. Psychosomatic – I am totally susceptible to superstition, placebo, imposter, dunning-krueger, and the oxford comma.
  2. Aerodynamic – For all that it weighs the same, the new bike is burly. The frame is almost twice as wide. Wheels are 35 instead of 23. Discs instead of rim. One would think that wind tunnel skills have improved and despite the increased frontal area, Major Bike Manufacturer would have figured out how to keep drag roughly the same, but maybe not. Also it’s enduro setup, not race, so maybe the power source is not as aero in this config. Or not as powerful.
  3. Mechanical – The old bike has a different gearing which I frankly like better. The new bike runs out on the top end.

Addressing points the latter though, I notice the speed difference powering up the hills mostly, where these have less effect. Though I also notice that I don’t hit speeds greater than 30 that much going down the hills, so maybe there’s something to it.

It’s pretty damn impressive that this big burly bike with a much stouter frame, disc brakes, etc., weighs the same as the old bike though.