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  1. #1
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    Battle of the $1500 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?

    Really liking some of the new offerings in 27.5+ hardtails. On my short list are the Salsa Timberjack, Orbea Loki H30 and Marin Pine Mountain 1 - lots of competition in this class. What's your pic in the $1500 range?
    I wanna ride!

  2. #2
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    I picked a Framed Marquette Alloy, carbon version is around this price too.


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  3. #3
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    jamis dragonslayer?

    edit: uhh, it's much more expensive than i thought
    2003 Kona A
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by buell View Post
    jamis dragonslayer?

    edit: uhh, it's much more expensive than i thought
    There is a Dragonslayer Sport that is within the OP's price range. I bought one and really like it. The steel frame is what won me over.
    "Wait- I am confused" - SDMTB'er

  5. #5
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    Rocky Mountain Growler, that price range and less.
    BBB (big beautiful bike)

  6. #6
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    Rocky Mountain Growler 750 and 740 bracket that pricepoint, both are pretty well spec'd

  7. #7
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    Scott Scale 720 Plus is around that price.
    Here's mine:

    Battle of the 00 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?-smaller-3.jpgBattle of the 00 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?-smaller-1.jpg

    $1800 OTD

    I really like being back on a Hard Tail..
    Hard Tail efficiency without the Hard Tail Harsh ride.

    A Dropper post Is an absolute MUST IMHO
    Came with that It Did.
    Stock with Shimano XT 2x10

    It's a 1x11 now As you ALL should know by now, Less Is More.
    M8000, XT shifter 32T chain ring and the 11-42 cassette Gives me far better Indexing for far faster shifts.
    This drive train was moved from my Scott Spark, was a year old and still works like new... Cost was ZERO Dinero

    Great tires, gotta be tubeless btw.
    I use the bar mounted fork lock out level all the time. Funny thing about this plus bike. I always lock out the fork on the long fire road ride to the single tracks,
    And I often forget to Unlock the fork, not even noticing till rides end.
    Properly set up with the right tire pressure makes this bike that good.....

    Best part, 66.5 Head tube angle, I can go fast, very fast, So so stable at big speeds. I drop the saddle all the way and get low and take the bike up to mach 3
    I find I can carry much more speed Into and through a corner with the slack front end and bucket loads of extra traction.

    Goes down the steep stuff really well and climbs just fine IF I remember to do my part. Climbing Is fine on this slack bike but I must stress you will have to tune your climbing technique. On really steep stuff you gotta be smooth...

    27.5 x 2.8 tires measure 2.7 wide on the 35mm ID rims, gives me plus bike traction without fat bike cumbersome and Is still very flickable and fast handling.
    Loves to be leaned way over, very predictable front and rear drifting is so much damn fun.
    I can actually lean the bike over in sugar sand, like no skinny 2.35 can.
    That extra half Inch In tire width Is Everything~~~

    Boost spacing and the thru-axles makes for a very stiff front end and wheel set.
    I feel no need for better wheels.

    After the first ride I cleaned up my Spark Full suspension and sold It shorty after, knowing I would never ride skinny rubber again..

    Me:
    185 pounds In full ride gear, tubeless at 15 psi front and rear,

    The Scale 730 Plus Is at $1500 but It has a lesser fork and the wrong tires(60tpi)
    I did not look at the 730 spec any deeper btw.
    I held out for the 720 and found that the extra $300 got me a better bike :P
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
    My Scooter : 2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus

  8. #8
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    The RSD Sergeant is currently $1450 for a 2016 model. So that is a $2100 bike for 700ish off.

  9. #9
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    Timberjack and Sergeant look decent and can also be set up SS. Come with good tires too. The Scott looks like a real nice bike if you can get a RS fork on it. The Rocky mountain you have to get the 750 most expensive model to get a good fork. They all seem to have been getting good reviews.

  10. #10
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    I'm looking at the Specialized Fuse ($1550) and Tokul 4130 right now. The Specialized has a fatter tire and I'm not sure I want that.

    How do these bikes do as a one and only do all bike?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Here's mine:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1121618Click image for larger version. 

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    $1800 OTD

    I really like being back on a Hard Tail..
    Hard Tail efficiency without the Hard Tail Harsh ride.

    A Dropper post Is an absolute MUST IMHO
    Came with that It Did.
    Stock with Shimano XT 2x10

    It's a 1x11 now As you ALL should know by now, Less Is More.
    M8000, XT shifter 32T chain ring and the 11-42 cassette Gives me far better Indexing for far faster shifts.
    This drive train was moved from my Scott Spark, was a year old and still works like new... Cost was ZERO Dinero

    Great tires, gotta be tubeless btw.
    I use the bar mounted fork lock out level all the time. Funny thing about this plus bike. I always lock out the fork on the long fire road ride to the single tracks,
    And I often forget to Unlock the fork, not even noticing till rides end.
    Properly set up with the right tire pressure makes this bike that good.....

    Best part, 66.5 Head tube angle, I can go fast, very fast, So so stable at big speeds. I drop the saddle all the way and get low and take the bike up to mach 3
    I find I can carry much more speed Into and through a corner with the slack front end and bucket loads of extra traction.

    Goes down the steep stuff really well and climbs just fine IF I remember to do my part. Climbing Is fine on this slack bike but I must stress you will have to tune your climbing technique. On really steep stuff you gotta be smooth...

    27.5 x 2.8 tires measure 2.7 wide on the 35mm ID rims, gives me plus bike traction without fat bike cumbersome and Is still very flickable and fast handling.
    Loves to be leaned way over, very predictable front and rear drifting is so much damn fun.
    I can actually lean the bike over in sugar sand, like no skinny 2.35 can.
    That extra half Inch In tire width Is Everything~~~

    Boost spacing and the thru-axles makes for a very stiff front end and wheel set.
    I feel no need for better wheels.

    After the first ride I cleaned up my Spark Full suspension and sold It shorty after, knowing I would never ride skinny rubber again..

    Me:
    185 pounds In full ride gear, tubeless at 15 psi front and rear,

    The Scale 730 Plus Is at $1500 but It has a lesser fork and the wrong tires(60tpi)
    I did not look at the 730 spec any deeper btw.
    I held out for the 720 and found that the extra $300 got me a better bike :P
    Excellent review, thanks. Closet Scott dealer is in Sun Valley, full of skis right now! But soon should be swapping over to summer fun. Boise has a dealer also, may have to run up there.
    I wanna ride!

  12. #12
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    Torn between one of these (hardtail 27.5 plus) and a Fuel EX 29 to replace my aging Trek Rumblefish 29......
    I wanna ride!

  13. #13
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    Cannondale has some nice plus bikes. Got myself a beast of the east 3 because I liked the color and AI offset rear idea.

    The new Cujo is right up there in specs for the price. Doesn't have Cannondale proprietary stuff (AI spacing, BB30A SI BB/crank, big ass head tube) so not a bad deal at all.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rad3144 View Post
    I picked a Framed Marquette Alloy, carbon version is around this price too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    How do you like the Framed? Looked at the website, pretty cool but they have lots of add ons to get the bike up to a reasonable level of equipment.
    I wanna ride!

  15. #15
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    I love my Norco Torrent 7.2, worth a look and test ride if there is a dealer near you.

  16. #16
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    Haro Subvert HT5 fits.
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  17. #17
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    Anyone ride an Orbea H30? Like the looks of it, needs a dropper but the rest looks pretty decent. Seems that the manufacturers all cut a corner somewhere in this price range, mostly in the brakes and forks. Might need to up the budget to get a little better parts.
    I wanna ride!

  18. #18
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    Mason Comp is in that price range from corporate outlet. Fox 34 with fit4 cart. Eten integra dropper post, XG sram 1X drivetrain 38mm internal rims. That is less than I put into my Yelli Screamy which is looking long in the tooth now.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  19. #19
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    REI has a new offering that I am keeping my eye on.

  20. #20
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    RSD SERGEANT
    $1400 right now. 2016 model

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Doom View Post
    Mason Comp is in that price range from corporate outlet. Fox 34 with fit4 cart. Eten integra dropper post, XG sram 1X drivetrain 38mm internal rims. That is less than I put into my Yelli Screamy which is looking long in the tooth now.
    Can you get me a link?
    I wanna ride!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
    RSD SERGEANT
    $1400 right now. 2016 model
    Where do you find that? I see $2375 when I go through to the checkout.
    I wanna ride!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Can you get me a link?
    http://dbcorp.diamondback.com/mountain

    Instructions to log on here.
    https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1481361

    If it violates some forum rules for some reason I claim ignorance.
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Really liking some of the new offerings in 27.5+ hardtails. On my short list are the Salsa Timberjack, Orbea Loki H30 and Marin Pine Mountain 1 - lots of competition in this class. What's your pic in the $1500 range?
    Check out the Surly Karate Monkey. Good spec and within $1500. Steel frame, 27.5+ (or 29"), geared or SS.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Where do you find that? I see $2375 when I go through to the checkout.
    Same here, maybe they have a coupon code?
    The wheel is a extension of the foot

  26. #26
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    Thoughts on this bike??? I can pick it up for $1,455...

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Hardtail - Mason Comp

  27. #27
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    Literally just placed an order for a size large 2016 Sergeant. Use coupon code KICKASS at checkout. It will sort everything out in the checkout and get the price down to $1400 for USA customers. Also, this is the only frame I have found in the last two months that can run 3.8 tires on the stock 50mm rims at this price point. Kinda all season with that ability. It is a Lot of bike for the money and can't wait to ride it!

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  28. #28
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    Also, they only have two more left in that size so if you need a large jump on it now

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    How do you like the Framed? Looked at the website, pretty cool but they have lots of add ons to get the bike up to a reasonable level of equipment.
    I have been real happy with it. I would go with the carbon if I were to do it again


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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.O. View Post
    Thoughts on this bike??? I can pick it up for $1,455...

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Hardtail - Mason Comp
    Good spec for the money especially the Fox 34 Performance FIT4 fork.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.O. View Post
    Thoughts on this bike??? I can pick it up for $1,455...

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Hardtail - Mason Comp
    I have the 2016 version, and it's a pretty sweet bike. I don't know if they've changed the hubs for 2017, but the rear hub in mine had low engagement and was warrantied out after 5 rides. Luckily, Novatec has treated me really well and is upgrading my hub free of charge. The 38mm rims on the 2017 are much more reasonable than last year's model. Despite the issue with my hub, I've been super happy with the bike. It rips.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinesPunk View Post
    Literally just placed an order for a size large 2016 Sergeant. Use coupon code KICKASS at checkout.
    Lots of positives w/ the Sergeant. Enjoy.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I have the 2016 version, and it's a pretty sweet bike. I don't know if they've changed the hubs for 2017, but the rear hub in mine had low engagement and was warrantied out after 5 rides. Luckily, Novatec has treated me really well and is upgrading my hub free of charge. The 38mm rims on the 2017 are much more reasonable than last year's model. Despite the issue with my hub, I've been super happy with the bike. It rips.
    I have the Diamondback Mason Comp 2017. Got it a couple of weeks ago. I think it is a better deal than the Specialized FUSE 2017 (which I also test-rode and liked).

    2017 fixes the hub issue you mention and also it now comes with a SRAM 1x11 drivetrain. Pretty decent level components for the money I think. I'm new to mountain biking and looking for a solid all-rounder bike I can use for riding to local trails with components that should last.

    Best deal I found was to buy through Amazon.com w/ their store card that gives you 5% off. They ship to a local Performance Bikes where you pick up assembled. Assembly was OK but I noticed my cranks were over-tightened and the brakes needed tweaking. Also the bike comes with an excess of cable housing which you'll want to ziptie.

    Overall very happy with the bike and think it's a great deal. I was tempted by the Marin Pine Mountain - because steel - but I didn't like the weird "open dropouts".

  34. #34
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    Why do you think it's a better deal? I am thinking of either of those 2 bikes (Mason Comp vs. Fuse Comp). Does the slight tire size difference matter? Any big weight differences?

    I'm coming from road cycling and I think I'll hate a camelback so the additional bottle cage mount on the Specialized is really swaying me, haha, or is that a stupid consideration?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeshmo View Post
    Why do you think it's a better deal? I am thinking of either of those 2 bikes (Mason Comp vs. Fuse Comp). Does the slight tire size difference matter? Any big weight differences?

    I'm coming from road cycling and I think I'll hate a camelback so the additional bottle cage mount on the Specialized is really swaying me, haha, or is that a stupid consideration?
    The fork is the most glaring difference between the two. The Fox 34 on the Mason Comp is quite a step up from the Fuse Comp's SR Raidon. The drivetrain on the Mason Comp is better too. Not that it's a bad bike, but I don't know if anything on the Fuse has the edge over the Mason.

  36. #36
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    Fuse Comp has:

    Manitou Machete 29/27.5+, Absolute Plus damper, air spring, adjustable rebound and compression/lockout, 110x15mm thru-axle, 100/120mm travel

    Don't know if that changes anything?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeshmo View Post
    Fuse Comp has:

    Manitou Machete 29/27.5+, Absolute Plus damper, air spring, adjustable rebound and compression/lockout, 110x15mm thru-axle, 100/120mm travel

    Don't know if that changes anything?
    I must of been looking at the 2016 model. It doesn't really change anything though. The Fox Float 34 (Fit4 damper, air spring, adjustable rebound, 3 compression settings) still wins by a decent margin. I mean, if you are just looking at forks, none of the Fuse models would likely win, except the one with the Ohlins fork.

    Of course, the fork isn't the only consideration, but it's up there. It's better to get the right bike though. If both fit equally well, the Mason Comp's specs are quite a bit better than the Fuse Comp and better than the Fuse Expert.

  38. #38
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    The Manitou is a much better fork than the Raidon. 32mm vs 34 for the Fox would show up if you changed the travel to 140mm, something youc ould do with the Fox.

  39. #39
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    How are the Rockshox Recons Silvers that are spec'd on most of these bikes? Good just heavy?
    I wanna ride!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.O. View Post
    Thoughts on this bike??? I can pick it up for $1,455...

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Hardtail - Mason Comp
    Nice bike, great spec for the price point - hope you like RED.
    I wanna ride!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by K.O. View Post
    Thoughts on this bike??? I can pick it up for $1,455...

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Hardtail - Mason Comp
    Awesome spec for the price. Really ugly color though IMO, and no internal cable routing. If you can get past that, it's a helluva deal.

    I got a carbon frame road bike from the DB corporate site and I love it. As for the sub $1,500 plus hardtail, I went with the Salsa Timberjack because of the bikepacking vibes.

  42. #42
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    Does a 27.5+ handle like a 29er? I'm going back and forth between the 27.5+ or just a regular 27.5.

    I ride a 29er now and miss the way a 26er handled. I miss the acceleration, handling, and overall responsiveness. I'm worried the 27.5+ will feel similar to a 29er but with more weight.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    Does a 27.5+ handle like a 29er? I'm going back and forth between the 27.5+ or just a regular 27.5.

    I ride a 29er now and miss the way a 26er handled. I miss the acceleration, handling, and overall responsiveness. I'm worried the 27.5+ will feel similar to a 29er but with more weight.
    I'm just getting into this; why not try a 27.5 (650b)?

  44. #44
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    That might be the plan but every shop I've visited has pushed me towards these 27.5+ bikes.

    I just have a feeling I'll miss the smaller wheeled bikes. I was never very happy with my 29er.

  45. #45
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by Sickmak90 View Post
    Does a 27.5+ handle like a 29er? I'm going back and forth between the 27.5+ or just a regular 27.5.

    I ride a 29er now and miss the way a 26er handled. I miss the acceleration, handling, and overall responsiveness. I'm worried the 27.5+ will feel similar to a 29er but with more weight.
    From 29er to 27.5 to 27.5 plus, here Is what I felt:

    29er, Harder to accelerate repeatedly, slower handing, not very fun in the tight spots, heavy tire and wheel feel, needed much better much more expensive stiffer wheels.
    Lots of flex by design, long spokes in relation to a narrow hub design.
    900 gram tires If I wanted traction~good tread lugs, so many on a 29er..
    I think 29ers are and will always be the fastest In the majority of trail conditions but they need very very good wheels (Expensive) to show a rider what they can do.

    27.5 felt like my 26" of long ago, snappy acceleration, quick turning, tons of 'snatch-a-bility with very sturdy light wheels very good rollover.
    Had to work at it to keep up with 29ers out in the open, fire roads, etc.
    775-800 gram tires gave me good traction with really nice treads.

    27.5 plus Near 29er diameter so great roll over, Very VERY stiff strong light wheels came STOCK on my bike,, This Is I think due to Boost spacing giving me a wider spoke support angle, loving the wider hubs. A little wider means a world of diff In wheel stiffness IMHO. I ride the narrow end of the Plus tires, 27.5x2.8, that measure in at 2.7 wide and that extra half Inch of tire width over my old 2.35 wides Is a game changer....

    The much, very much stiffer Boost spaced wheels AND Thru axles make my bike feel like I got very expensive wheels under me. and I got traction.
    Roll over is fantastic, better than a 29er
    Sand, I hunt deep sand, mostly to show off and sucker 2.35 wide riders into the deep stuff, they don't do so well :P
    Rolling resistance, I don't know, feels better than 27.5 and once going feels like a 29er(Almost the same diameter) less say,,tread height..
    My Tires 780 grams and 802 grams....

    As for "handling, and overall responsiveness" , I chose a much slacker bike of the 'Newer geo speak, longer,slacker',, I think this counts.
    All I know Is I can flick this bike faster than any thing I've ever been on, and not a clue if It has anything to do with fatter tires. Could be boost and thru axles.
    Could simply be this badazz Scott Frame I got :P ok so I plugged Scott !

    In the very variable trail conditions I ride, some very loose drop Ins and climbs plus lots of sand, roots, sand, small rocks, sand, gravel, sugar sand. leaves, more roots, sand pine needles, blown out corners, and did I mention sand ?
    These tires, this bike delivers very snappy acceleration, very quick and precise directional changes at any speed and even made switch backs fun again.
    I sold my 27.5 full squish after one good tubeless ride on my plus bike~~~


    Remember this, new riders....
    MUCH of the benefit of the plus tires can only be had by taking advantage of being able to run lower tire pressures. so again tubeless Is an absolute must!

    I'm 185 ish in full ride gear on my hard tail settling in at 14 to 15 psi front and rear with my 2.8 wides depending on trail conditions (wet/dry).
    The ability of these tires to deform around trail obstacles then continue to roll forward and not bounce up and back at you is a major factor In the felt very low rolling resistance that I find to be an absolute surprise riding these wider tires.

    A 27.5x2.35 tube Is about 150-160 grams,
    A 27.5 Plus tube,(will fit a 3.0 tire) Is 210 grams and that's a so called light schwalbe tube. I rode only once tubed on my plus bike and It Sucked.

    Plus tires got me back on a hard tail without the harsh ride~
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Battle of the 00 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?-here-endeth-lesson.jpg  

    Last edited by Osco; 07-20-2017 at 06:56 PM.
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
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  46. #46
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    From reading that a lot of it is geometry and set up.

    Boost is going to do very little for noticeable stiffness (if anything because some hubs don't even have increased flange spacing). The wider wheels and thru axles. Plus frame design will play a part too.

    One thing I noticed what little I've been able to ride mine thus far, the new geo, stiffness and traction just scream playful. Makes me want to get more ballsy than I ever wanted to on my 29er.

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  47. #47
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    I feel much less ballsy on my 29er than I did on my 26er, but I also went from an enduro to an XC

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osco View Post
    Here's mine:

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    $1800 OTD

    I really like being back on a Hard Tail..
    Hard Tail efficiency without the Hard Tail Harsh ride.

    A Dropper post Is an absolute MUST IMHO
    Came with that It Did.
    Stock with Shimano XT 2x10

    It's a 1x11 now As you ALL should know by now, Less Is More.
    M8000, XT shifter 32T chain ring and the 11-42 cassette Gives me far better Indexing for far faster shifts.
    This drive train was moved from my Scott Spark, was a year old and still works like new... Cost was ZERO Dinero

    Great tires, gotta be tubeless btw.
    I use the bar mounted fork lock out level all the time. Funny thing about this plus bike. I always lock out the fork on the long fire road ride to the single tracks,
    And I often forget to Unlock the fork, not even noticing till rides end.
    Properly set up with the right tire pressure makes this bike that good.....

    Best part, 66.5 Head tube angle, I can go fast, very fast, So so stable at big speeds. I drop the saddle all the way and get low and take the bike up to mach 3
    I find I can carry much more speed Into and through a corner with the slack front end and bucket loads of extra traction.

    Goes down the steep stuff really well and climbs just fine IF I remember to do my part. Climbing Is fine on this slack bike but I must stress you will have to tune your climbing technique. On really steep stuff you gotta be smooth...

    27.5 x 2.8 tires measure 2.7 wide on the 35mm ID rims, gives me plus bike traction without fat bike cumbersome and Is still very flickable and fast handling.
    Loves to be leaned way over, very predictable front and rear drifting is so much damn fun.
    I can actually lean the bike over in sugar sand, like no skinny 2.35 can.
    That extra half Inch In tire width Is Everything~~~

    Boost spacing and the thru-axles makes for a very stiff front end and wheel set.
    I feel no need for better wheels.

    After the first ride I cleaned up my Spark Full suspension and sold It shorty after, knowing I would never ride skinny rubber again..

    Me:
    185 pounds In full ride gear, tubeless at 15 psi front and rear,

    The Scale 730 Plus Is at $1500 but It has a lesser fork and the wrong tires(60tpi)
    I did not look at the 730 spec any deeper btw.
    I held out for the 720 and found that the extra $300 got me a better bike :P
    Wrong tires(60tpi)???? Care to elaborate?

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crave SL View Post
    Wrong tires(60tpi)???? Care to elaborate?
    He upgraded so the bike came with 120tpi, which is more supple.

    Some heavy/hard riders or people with unforgiving rocks actually prefer a 60tpi tire because while it's not as supple it is a little more durable and stout in the side wall.

  50. #50
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    Heya!!

    I have around a $1000 budget and want a 27.5"+ Bike.

    I'm basically stuck on these two bikes:

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...6fattie/118357

    Pantera Comp - Trail 27+ - Mountain Hardtail - Bikes - 2017

    The Fuse is $920-$1000 & the Pantera is $870. Could anyone offer me any incite to how these compare to each other? I feel like the Pantera wins with the fork being an Air model vs the Spring found in the Fuse.

    Thoughts?

  51. #51
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    Save up a few hundred bucks and get the Fuse Comp or comparable; I just bought one yesterday for 1400 at LBS. Nicer frame and components.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Individual1 View Post
    Save up a few hundred bucks and get the Fuse Comp or comparable; I just bought one yesterday for 1400 at LBS. Nicer frame and components.
    Budgets $1000. That bike is $1600 anywhere within 200 miles of me.

    That said, It's the same frame as the cheaper model correct? And besides the fork, are the other components really that much better?

  53. #53
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    Upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by Zigmorph View Post
    Budgets $1000. That bike is $1600 anywhere within 200 miles of me.

    That said, It's the same frame as the cheaper model correct? And besides the fork, are the other components really that much better?
    I'm not too familiar with square taper bottom brackets (which the model you're looking at has). You can find so many cheap upgrade parts on Pinkbike; you want to get a frame that has the ability to upgrade. I'd be patient and shop around.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigmorph View Post
    Heya!!

    I have around a $1000 budget and want a 27.5"+ Bike.

    I'm basically stuck on these two bikes:

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...6fattie/118357

    Pantera Comp - Trail 27+ - Mountain Hardtail - Bikes - 2017

    The Fuse is $920-$1000 & the Pantera is $870. Could anyone offer me any incite to how these compare to each other? I feel like the Pantera wins with the fork being an Air model vs the Spring found in the Fuse.

    Thoughts?
    Air spring is much better than a coil spring. Both have boost spacing. GT takes a tapered steerer but Fuse can accept a tapered steerer with an external lower bearing cup (44 mm HT). GT is 2x9, Fuse is 1x10. Except for derailleurs and shifters, they are otherwise comparable. X7 on Fuse is much better than Alivio, but you should never buy a bike based on derailleurs and shifters because they're are the easiest and cheapest components to change. As far as specs, buy a bike based on fork and wheels: they're the most expensive components and make the most difference in ride. GT wins on that metric. Both have sealed BB and square taper or similar cranks (GT doesn't state which but with a sealed BB it's some version of square taper, ISIS, or something like that). I'm not a fan, but it's certainly rideable out of the box, easily upgraded and no difference in comparing the bikes.

    That said, you generally buy a bike for fit and feel not components. Ride both. Geometry is similar in that head angles are the same and seat tube angles are effectively the same. The GT is lower and longer in front with a lower stack and longer reach. Which is "better" is entirely personal to you. BB height is lower on Fuse (comparing both as 27.5 x 2.8 to get apples to apples comparison), making it more stable at speed but more likely to get pedal strikes. That said, GT has a low BB (in line with modern trail geo trends) and Fuse has a really low BB.

    Buy the bike that feels better. The air spring fork won't mean much if the bike dies fit or feel right. Tie goes to the one with an air spring fork, all things otherwise being comparable.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zigmorph View Post
    Budgets $1000. That bike is $1600 anywhere within 200 miles of me.

    That said, It's the same frame as the cheaper model correct? And besides the fork, are the other components really that much better?
    Different frame. The Comp uses Specialized's M4 aluminum which is their top of the line alloy. The geo is also a bit different; the Comp has a bit longer and lower front end.

    The fork is much better. Is it $600 better? I think full retail is $460 or so. For the extra money, in addition to M4 aluminum, tweaked geo and fork, you get NX components and 30mm diameter spindle crank with BB30 BB. That blows away X7 and square taper crank and sealed BB. The extra money certainly reflects a better equipped bike. That doesn't mean it's better for you (or any given person for that matter). You have to decide whether what you're getting is worth it to you.

    The other consideration is if you up your budget, at $1600, there are a number of very good 27.5+ bikes on the market. Of course it stills comes back to whether it's worth it to you. I built up my bike from a frame. I probably spent ~$2500 on the frame, fork, wheels and all components. I absolutely love it. I hypothetically could have spent $5000 or more. Even if I had a money tree it still wouldn't have been worth the extra money to me. I wouldn't have appreciated the differences. It comes down to each individual, the circumstances and preferences. Sorry to not give concrete "advice" but there's no real right or wrong answer because it's so subjective.

  56. #56
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    Oh Wow! Thanks for all of that info to consider. I'm going to take a peak at the 2016 specs too as I might be able to get a better price.

  57. #57
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    So far I think the Orbea Loki H30 has the best bang for the buck. There are a bunch of bikes in the <$1500 range that have very nice components and should be very nice bikes.
    I wanna ride!

  58. #58
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    The access Growler Charlie fits into this price point nicely. Leaves some room for upgrades/accessories.

  59. #59
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    bump
    I wanna ride!

  60. #60
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    I resolve to constantly assert my honest opinion on anything and everything - whether it is requested or not.
    Bucky the Cat

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnangry View Post
    Air spring is much better than a coil spring. Both have boost spacing. GT takes a tapered steerer but Fuse can accept a tapered steerer with an external lower bearing cup (44 mm HT). GT is 2x9, Fuse is 1x10. Except for derailleurs and shifters, they are otherwise comparable. X7 on Fuse is much better than Alivio, but you should never buy a bike based on derailleurs and shifters because they're are the easiest and cheapest components to change. As far as specs, buy a bike based on fork and wheels: they're the most expensive components and make the most difference in ride. GT wins on that metric. Both have sealed BB and square taper or similar cranks (GT doesn't state which but with a sealed BB it's some version of square taper, ISIS, or something like that). I'm not a fan, but it's certainly rideable out of the box, easily upgraded and no difference in comparing the bikes.

    That said, you generally buy a bike for fit and feel not components. Ride both. Geometry is similar in that head angles are the same and seat tube angles are effectively the same. The GT is lower and longer in front with a lower stack and longer reach. Which is "better" is entirely personal to you. BB height is lower on Fuse (comparing both as 27.5 x 2.8 to get apples to apples comparison), making it more stable at speed but more likely to get pedal strikes. That said, GT has a low BB (in line with modern trail geo trends) and Fuse has a really low BB.

    Buy the bike that feels better. The air spring fork won't mean much if the bike dies fit or feel right. Tie goes to the one with an air spring fork, all things otherwise being comparable.
    I actually replaced my air fork with a coil fork on purpose because coil forks are inherently smoother, especially over small bump chatter. You have fewer rubber seal-to-metal interfaces. Less stiction.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crave SL View Post
    Wrong tires(60tpi)???? Care to elaborate?
    Yep as the guy I quoted below said :
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
    My Scooter : 2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    He upgraded so the bike came with 120tpi, which is more supple.

    Some heavy/hard riders or people with unforgiving rocks actually prefer a 60tpi tire because while it's not as supple it is a little more durable and stout in the side wall.
    Yeah I don't ride desert boulders and or rocky ground where landing on pavement hard rocks/ground is more common. More Air and stiffer sidewalls out west, I get that.

    The Scale 730 plus comes with 60 TPI Rekon's, Both front and rear are the same, both heavier, stiffer, beefier. A pair of these 60 TPI prolly cost just a bit more than one 120 TPI found on the 720 plus model...

    Where I said before my trails are sandy and rooty and has small rocks, leaves (Brown Ice) well I should add I have all these conditions often within 20 feet or in a single corner, or on a single climb of as little as 30 feet, but really steep.
    “I seek only the Flow”, "27.5+ Hard Tails Rock"
    My Scooter : 2017 Scott Scale 720 Plus

  64. #64
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    Kona Big Honzo

    To the OP, check out the Kona Big Honzo. It retails for $1599. I picked mine up at the end of January and have been ripping it up since. I was going to get a Timberjack but they are near impossible to find unless your shop pre-ordered one. I hear maybe April but others have said July-August and they'll be 2018's. So I gave up and bought the Big Honzo.

    KONA BIKES | MTB | HONZO | Big Honzo

    It is spec'd pretty close to the TJ with a few differences. Even though the BH has Nx 1x11, I didn't feel this was a downgrade from the GX TJ. The BH has a SRAM cassette which is somewhat better than the Sun Race on the TJ. Forks are the same, Recon with 120mm travel. The fork has been fine for most of my rides but on steeps it would be nice to have more quality travel. I prefer the Shimano brakes over the SRAM Level's. I upgraded mine to XT's with Ice Tech rotors that I had in my box of parts. One nice upgrade was having a dropper post which the TJ does not have. It's not super light or long but works for my purposes.

    The wheels are one area that I think the Big Honzo has an advantage over the Timberjack. The BH has Shimano Hubs mated to WTB Scrapper i40 rims that was easy to set up tubeless. I've read the Whisky rims are made by Alex and they are tubeless compatible. Formula Hubs are on the TJ.

    It came down to geometry which there are some subtle differences. The BH has a steeper seat tube angle than the TJ which is what I was looking for with the slack and low frames. I can tell a difference when I'm climbing on it and the front end stay planted. I figure this will be a benefit once I increase the travel to 140 with a new fork. The TJ would seem more bikepacking friendly but Bikepacking.com did a review on a BH which had some interesting insight to the steeper seat tube angle. The DL version was tested.

    Kona Big Honzo DL, Long-term Review - BIKEPACKING.com

    One main difference between the Big Honzo and the Timberjack is the chainstay length. I wanted a shorter CS for a more playful feeling. So far, the BH is super playful and fun. The BH does feel pretty good over rough ground which surprised me. I was thinking the frame would be pretty stiff but it was not. The BH is way more compliant than my DB Mason 29er. The Mason was super stiff!

    Hopefully this gives you some options to your list.
    Let us Ride!

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by l84biking View Post
    To the OP, check out the Kona Big Honzo. It retails for $1599. I picked mine up at the end of January and have been ripping it up since. I was going to get a Timberjack but they are near impossible to find unless your shop pre-ordered one. I hear maybe April but others have said July-August and they'll be 2018's. So I gave up and bought the Big Honzo.

    KONA BIKES | MTB | HONZO | Big Honzo

    It is spec'd pretty close to the TJ with a few differences. Even though the BH has Nx 1x11, I didn't feel this was a downgrade from the GX TJ. The BH has a SRAM cassette which is somewhat better than the Sun Race on the TJ. Forks are the same, Recon with 120mm travel. The fork has been fine for most of my rides but on steeps it would be nice to have more quality travel. I prefer the Shimano brakes over the SRAM Level's. I upgraded mine to XT's with Ice Tech rotors that I had in my box of parts. One nice upgrade was having a dropper post which the TJ does not have. It's not super light or long but works for my purposes.

    The wheels are one area that I think the Big Honzo has an advantage over the Timberjack. The BH has Shimano Hubs mated to WTB Scrapper i40 rims that was easy to set up tubeless. I've read the Whisky rims are made by Alex and they are tubeless compatible. Formula Hubs are on the TJ.

    It came down to geometry which there are some subtle differences. The BH has a steeper seat tube angle than the TJ which is what I was looking for with the slack and low frames. I can tell a difference when I'm climbing on it and the front end stay planted. I figure this will be a benefit once I increase the travel to 140 with a new fork. The TJ would seem more bikepacking friendly but Bikepacking.com did a review on a BH which had some interesting insight to the steeper seat tube angle. The DL version was tested.

    Kona Big Honzo DL, Long-term Review - BIKEPACKING.com

    One main difference between the Big Honzo and the Timberjack is the chainstay length. I wanted a shorter CS for a more playful feeling. So far, the BH is super playful and fun. The BH does feel pretty good over rough ground which surprised me. I was thinking the frame would be pretty stiff but it was not. The BH is way more compliant than my DB Mason 29er. The Mason was super stiff!

    Hopefully this gives you some options to your list.
    Great review and the one from Bikepacking.com is excellent. I'll have to search out a Kona dealer. Thanks.
    I wanna ride!

  66. #66
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    I'm on the fence between the Timberjack and Chameleon plus bikes. Similar, think the TJ has a seat tube that is a smidge steeper, which I like. Might come down to which of the wheels are better--lighter. Don't know anything about them. Chameleon looks pretty awesome though!

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    How are the Rockshox Recons Silvers that are spec'd on most of these bikes? Good just heavy?
    IMO, the Recon's are decent forks for the money. Heavy since they use steel steerer tubes (OEM). Mine does move more than I'd like but then it would be as plush on the small stuff. It's the first place to upgrade, IMO. The Recon is way better than the Raidon, I've only ridden one in the parking lot on a 2016 Spec Fuse, as that is one heavy fork. The front end of the Fuse was a tank which I blame the fork. A local shop has some of those 2016 Fuse's for a deal. Almost but couldn't buy a Spec'd, which is my thing. But, if you're doing some bikepacking, it's a great deal since it has options with that big front triangle.
    Let us Ride!

  68. #68
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    Another bump for the REI brand "Co-op" DRT 2.1. I looked at one at REI the other day that one of the employees owned, and was pretty impressed. The guy had ridden the Timberjack and Woodsmoke, and while he liked them both, said that he felt the DRT2.1 was the much better value.

    List is $1600, but members get 10% dividend back on that, and there are annual 20% coupons (usually end of March) which work on bikes.

    27.5+ hardtail, 120mm X-fusion McQueen fork, 1x11 Shimano SLX group, tubeless ready rims, internal dropper routing (though doesn't come with a dropper), rack and fender mounts for bikepacking, etc.

    Worth a look, and really under-reviewed right now.

  69. #69
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    Hey new to the site but I just picked up a Felt Surplus 70. Bike retails for $1399 but my lbs got me a deal for $1200. Only ridden it a couple of times as were still snow covered but it feels nimble and fast. Now pray for spring here in Maine.

  70. #70
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    [QUOTE=slohr;13085146]I'm on the fence between the Timberjack and Chameleon plus bikes. Similar, think the TJ has a seat tube that is a smidge steeper, which I like. Might come down to which of the wheels are better

    I love my TJ. If u buy one, make them change the chain to a SRAM which will help backpedaling issues and add a dropper post.

  71. #71
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    [QUOTE=hwcn;13087398]
    Quote Originally Posted by slohr View Post
    I'm on the fence between the Timberjack and Chameleon plus bikes. Similar, think the TJ has a seat tube that is a smidge steeper, which I like. Might come down to which of the wheels are better

    I love my TJ. If u buy one, make them change the chain to a SRAM which will help backpedaling issues and add a dropper post.
    Buddy of mine just bought a Timberjack and is loving it but after riding my Felt is second guessing his choice
    Last edited by Sbrown87; 03-17-2017 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Forgot wording

  72. #72
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    I'm starting to seriously consider picking up a Chameleon frame for a hardtail build. Been wanting a b+ hardtail for a couple years now. Partly just for n+1, a mix-it-up bike, and so on. But also something I can specifically grab for bikepacking. I want it to be something flexible with wheel sizes, and the swappable dropouts fit that bill nicely. Eventually have 2 wheelsets built up for the bike for more flexibility.

    Also have my eyes on doing the same with a newer Surly KM for a steel frame option. I don't much care for funky, fiddly dropouts, though, so I'm going to have to see the dropouts on the KM before I'll commit to it.

  73. #73
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    Any thoughts on the Bianchi Jab 27.2 Plus?

  74. #74
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    Felt Surplus 70

    Finally got some Miles on the Surplus.
    Pros: Really happy with the fork once i got the sag right
    Bike seems to roll effortlessly
    It turns on a dime! Be carefull
    The gearing seems to accommodate all terrain I will travel
    Plus tires offer a nice rice.
    Very light feel
    Easy to manual
    Geometry of the bike fits me perfectly (6' Tall)
    Braking seems really good and consistent.
    Shifts very easily and smooth

    Cons: We still have snow and I want to ride it more!
    The stock seat was terrible.
    Upgraded to some Quality giant aluminium pedals.
    Had to buy a pump for the shock
    Had to buy and new gauge for the low PSI tires.


    Battle of the 00 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?-bike.jpg

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by hwcn View Post
    I love my TJ. If u buy one, make them change the chain to a SRAM which will help backpedaling issues and add a dropper post.
    Is that a known issue? My chain was falling off on my TJ when backpedaling and I had to get my derailleur adjusted because of it. So a SRAM chain will help in the future?

  76. #76
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    So many options!
    I wanna ride!

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Torn between one of these (hardtail 27.5 plus) and a Fuel EX 29 to replace my aging Trek Rumblefish 29......
    +1 for Fuel Ex 29 since it can do both!

    Riding the 2017 Ex 8 right now, 29r with a 1x convert. Excited about my new rims and wheels though (27.5x3.00) which will effectively make it like I own two bikes.

    Mino Link High - 27.5+ mode full suspension

    Mino Link Low - 29 mode full suspension

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbrown87 View Post
    Finally got some Miles on the Surplus.
    Pros: Really happy with the fork once i got the sag right
    Bike seems to roll effortlessly
    It turns on a dime! Be carefull
    The gearing seems to accommodate all terrain I will travel
    Plus tires offer a nice rice.
    Very light feel
    Easy to manual
    Geometry of the bike fits me perfectly (6' Tall)
    Braking seems really good and consistent.
    Shifts very easily and smooth

    Cons: We still have snow and I want to ride it more!
    The stock seat was terrible.
    Upgraded to some Quality giant aluminium pedals.
    Had to buy a pump for the shock
    Had to buy and new gauge for the low PSI tires.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Very nice.

    When I was looking for a bike in this sort of budget, I looked at quite a few. The Torrent 7.2 got great reviews. The Loki H30 was almost the bike for me, but the mud clearance isn't very good. Then the Surplus 70 won me over.

    I've not had any issue with the saddle on mine. Put a set of Nukeproof Electron pedals on it & replaced the front tyre with a Vee Trax Fatty & that's all I've done so far.
    I plan on replacing the rear tyre soon, replacing the handlebars & grips & getting a dropper post.
    But, it's a fantastic bike as it comes.

    Here's mine...


  79. #79
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    No mention of the Airborne Griffin for a well spec'ed 27.5+ at $1350? Battle of the 00 27.5 Plus Hardtails - What's your Pick?-airborne_griffen_clipped_2000.jpg
    ------------------------------------------------------
    "Loud hubs save lives!"

  80. #80
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    How is the Suntour fork on the Surplus 70?
    I wanna ride!

  81. #81
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    Seems to be a decent enough fork. 32mm stancheons & straightforward to set up.
    Does exactly what it says on the tin & not given me any issues.

    After having some fun on muddy singletrack, I really need a better rear tyre.

  82. #82
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    I personally love the fork on the bike and couldn't be any happier. It does everything I could ask for. Spent some time getting sag set right and can easily adjust the compression to even full lockout.
    On a side note I did get some nice aluminium pedals for it and just put on a KS Eten dropper post that I'm very happy with.

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinesPunk View Post
    Literally just placed an order for a size large 2016 Sergeant. Use coupon code KICKASS at checkout. It will sort everything out in the checkout and get the price down to $1400 for USA customers. Also, this is the only frame I have found in the last two months that can run 3.8 tires on the stock 50mm rims at this price point. Kinda all season with that ability. It is a Lot of bike for the money and can't wait to ride it!

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    Too bad the code is expired now. Not a bad looking bike...pretty well specc'ed with the discount. I'd probably look elsewhere at the full price though.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Too bad the code is expired now. Not a bad looking bike...pretty well specc'ed with the discount. I'd probably look elsewhere at the full price though.
    If they still have your size in stock they are selling the 2016 at 35% off with no coupon needed.

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  85. #85
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    Not spec'ed as nice as the 2017. But...that stainless version...that's NICE! And $4k...lol...but still looks killer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Not spec'ed as nice as the 2017. But...that stainless version...that's NICE! And $4k...lol...but still looks killer.
    Agreed. 2017 has better parts on it but for the 2016 the price is worth it. Will put 3.8 tires on mine for Michigan winter. It's a cheap and good year round bike

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  87. #87
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    Trek Just released this

    Trek Roscoe 650b+


    I just got a Timberjack frame I'm gonna build up
    Too Many .

  88. #88
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    Specialized Fuse Comp was my pick. Just ordered one. Seems pretty good to me, right at $1500. 1x11, dropper, decent fork. I didn't know about the Roscoe.

  89. #89
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    The trek might not be available in the states though. Have seen UK/EU get different bikes or colors/specs (like the info makes it sound like RS brought back the Judy fork).

    I was almost bummed i bought a b+ bike already and now trek has one but i dont feel im missing out. Would be happy if they start offering 27.5 x 3.0 bontrager tires now though.

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  90. #90
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    Roscoe 9 looks good. Humm, that or a Fuel Ex 7 29er?
    I wanna ride!

  91. #91
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    How about the GT Pantera Expert. I've been eyeballing this bike for a while. I think for the price, around $1400, it may be the best specked bike for the money. It has a Rock Shox revelation RL, 1x11 Xt/SLX drive train. I also love the paint job. Wheels and no dropper seat post seem to be the main cons, but overall it looks prommising.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bajamike View Post
    How about the GT Pantera Expert. I've been eyeballing this bike for a while. I think for the price, around $1400, it may be the best specked bike for the money. It has a Rock Shox revelation RL, 1x11 Xt/SLX drive train. I also love the paint job. Wheels and no dropper seat post seem to be the main cons, but overall it looks prommising.
    141x9mm QR rear is enough reason for me to look elsewhere.
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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Really liking some of the new offerings in 27.5+ hardtails. On my short list are the Salsa Timberjack, Orbea Loki H30 and Marin Pine Mountain 1 - lots of competition in this class. What's your pic in the $1500 range?
    I had been reading more and more about bikes as of the past 2 years or so and toying with getting something new and updated from the 91 rigid and the 01 hardtail -v-brake era. Ended up with the Pine One, very pleased how it works for what I ride.



    Quote Originally Posted by deuxdiesel View Post
    There is a Dragonslayer Sport that is within the OP's price range. I bought one and really like it. The steel frame is what won me over.
    The Jamis line got me thinking more adventure bike or as some of the bike-pack basis, a solid versatile all-rounder.

    Read reviews and really liked the idea of the 27.5 or the 27.5 plus / steel frame h/t. The Dragon Sport was my go-to plan (then the Slayer Sport as model year changed) although no local dealer support really and the Pine One seemed close enough to the same idea coming in with a $200 discount at $1099.

    Been a fan of bikes that have simplified paint schemes and graphics too .... Jamis and Marin do good in that dept.
    In the Middle Ages, the biggest mistake was not putting on your armor because you were 'just going down to the corner.'

  94. #94
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    I love that red on purple that Jamis has right now on the Dragonslayer Pro. Just wish the bike wasn't $2500.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I love that red on purple that Jamis has right now on the Dragonslayer Pro. Just wish the bike wasn't $2500.
    Agree. I seen in person the Sport version. The steel makes it look great.

  96. #96
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    The Surly Karate Monkey is very good.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    141x9mm QR rear is enough reason for me to look elsewhere.
    Seems to be pretty common. Marin, Trek, GT - this 141x9mm is being spec'd on a lot of hard tail plus bikes.
    I wanna ride!

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by centershot View Post
    Seems to be pretty common. Marin, Trek, GT - this 141x9mm is being spec'd on a lot of hard tail plus bikes.
    Question is why? Why not just use a common standard like 12x142 or Boost 148 which is becoming more common now. Makes no sense to throw in yet another standard....and 9mm QR rear? Seriously?
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    It's cheaper and it's just as story as the flex forces are much lower than rear suspension linkages or a fork.

    The standard comes from the 6mm difference between 142 and 148 found in full suspension bikes is just added to the 135mm axle on most hard tails.

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  100. #100
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    If I had to strictly keep it to $1500, I'd be looking hard at the updated Karate Monkey. But if I suddenly found an extra $350 on the sidewalk, I'd look at the Advocate Hayduke SLX build. And if it was my birfday, and mom just sent me a $500 check to up my budget to $1995, I'd be on a GG Pedalhead like a spider monkey.
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