Since I last rode the 456 it’s gained some new Easton EA70 bars which are 1.5" lower than the old ones. The main reason for this is to let me run the forks at their full 130mm instead of 100mm. However the bike felt really odd, somewhat similar to riding one of Grant’s bikes. I persevered with it until part way round the ride when I decided to move one of the headset spacers and raised the stem by 10mm. It totally transformed the bike.
It’s now much more comfortable, and handles a lot better. Very reminiscent of the Stiffee, but with longer forks and without the feeling that you’re sitting behind the rear wheel.
It wasn’t as muddy out as I thought it would be given all the recent rain. There was one tree down across one track but I managed to clamber round that without too much trouble. I might even try a night ride one night this week.