Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895

    650b purchase dilemma solved. Bronson content

    I've been on the fence for a bit about purchasing a 650b trailbike. I recently sold my Trans Am 29er hardtail and decided to move forward. The other bikes in my stable are my "everyday" 6x6 coil/coil Titus El Guapo, which weighs about 34 pounds or so, and my DH bike, an Intense M9.

    I'm 6'2, 190 pounds, 34-inch cycling inseam for reference and I live in the Phoenix metro area. My typical trails are very, very rocky, loose and steep. I typically ride a large-sized frame from most manufacturers.

    I was able to locally parking lot ride four bikes, followed up by much internet research. The four were: RM Altitude 750, Turner Burner, Santa Cruz Bronson and Intense 275. All fit me quite well in size L, with the Turner being the roomiest and the RM feeling overall smallest.

    The Turner and the Intense both listed around $5,000, while the RM and the Bronson (aluminum RAM27 kit) were at $3,400. The Bronson felt very natural for me and I've never owned a Santa Cruz bike. The RM felt and pedal'd light (in the neutral setting), but also seemed a little pinner for the terrain and my riding style.

    As it turns out, I received a hard-to-believe cash-and-carry price from a local shop and picked up the Bronson yesterday morning. Bone stock with no pedals it weighed a hair over 31 pounds on the bathroom scale.


    Awesomized by dbozman1173, on Flickr

    I got to work in the afternoon (in my 120-degree garage) to make some changes prior to first ride.

    Swapped in my KS i950 dropper, Thomson X4 stem, Raceface Atlas bars, SLX crankset with Blackspire rings and BBG bash, set wheels up tubeless, Shimano XT brakes and an XTR ti cassette and Blackspire flats.

    I dropped probably 500 to 600 grams in parts, but then added the dropper and flats. Ready-to-ride weight as shown is 32 pounds on the nose (non-scientific bathroom scale). Not seeing other spots for significant weight loss other than wheels tires.

    For giggles, the stock Bronson rear wheel (WTB rim, Shimano hub and HR2 tire, tubeless) is 300 grams heavier than the a 26er rear wheel (Mavic 819, King hub, Conti Trail King 2.2 tubeless).


    Awesomized by dbozman1173, on Flickr


    Awesomized by dbozman1173, on Flickr


    Awesomized by dbozman1173, on Flickr

    Loading up right now for my first shakedown run and will report back.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    948
    Looks good!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jgutz71's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    158
    well done sir...

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,426
    Nice looking bike. I live in the Phoenix area as well and have been wanting to test ride some of the bikes you mentioned... especially the Turner. Was it a LBS sponsored event? Was the Bronson your first choice?
    Killing it with close inspection.

  5. #5
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    Rage has a Burner and several RM Altitudes. Adventure and Sunday have Bronsons. Slippery Pig has a 275. Not a sponsored event and I was not able to trail ride anything. The Bronson was not my first choice. The Burner was my first choice, but the super-long chainstays and the overall cost was a turnoff. I really like the Altitude and would love to get one on a real trail ride. At the end of the day, though, I didn't want to take a chance on it, as it does feel very pinner to me.

    With the deal I got on the Bronson, it was a no-brainer.

    First ride report coming in a minute.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AMjunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    186
    Nice! Subscribed, Indeed let us know how you like it, especially how its in the rough compared to a 29er. Also how you like the Fox suspension?

    Did you haggle with the LBS? Not sure if my LBS will take kindly to that, most around here get all buthurt when you do.

    I am in the same boat, between the Bronson, Alttitude and a little somthin somthin that should be anounced on Monday....

  7. #7
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    I was in the market right away, so didn't want to wait for the Ibis thing or the reported 650b Knolly Endorphin. The Knolly would have been my first choice, but announcing something and actually bringing it to market are two different things.

    I didn't really haggle. I usually just ask the shop owner "what's your absolute best out-the-door price (including tax) for a cash sale right now?" That only works with floor models and you obviously have to be prepared to pay in cash, which I was.

    I don't work in the industry and have no idea what traditional markups are, but I did get a tremendous deal on the bike. That basically made the decision for me.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    22
    So Jelly. Very nice Bike. Look forward to hear your thoughts on the ride.I will probably be looking to jump into a 27.5 next summer and love the Bronson as I am a heavier rider at 6.0' 240 atm (losing weight now). Might be too much travel for my Northeast trails however.

  9. #9
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    Ride report. Yes, we do ride year-round here in Phoenix, but you have to be hard or stupid to ride in June, July and August. I missed the perfect window of opportunity this morning, by not getting to the trailhead until 6:30. It was already nearly 90 degrees and full sun.

    Couple minor setup issues, mostly revolving around my dropper post cable being too tightly routed and causing performance problems. I can see a stealth post in the future. The Fox 34 was OK, but clearly very tight and actually squeaky in the seals. Noticed a couple of unusual clunks on high-speed square-edged hits; might pull the lowers off just to be sure there's oil in them.

    Otherwise, the ride was drama-free. The frame was dead silent and the rear Fox CTD performed very well. I left both shock and fork in descend mode and eyeballed roughly 20-ish% sag in the front and 25-30% in the rear. Both tires tubeless with 25psi in the front and 28 in the rear.

    As is typically the case, the bike is not magical. It won't loft you up climbs that you may typically struggle with. That said, it climbed fine, so drama. Rides a bit higher in its travel than the normal 6-inch AM bike that I typically ride. BB is a little low, but nothing I'm not used to and didn't clip pedals in places that I wasn't expecting to. Noticed a tiny bit of pedal feedback in granny while pedaling over square-edged stuff, but didn't find it bothersome.

    The Bronson isn't what I'd call a magical climber, but it gets the job done.

    On the other hand, descending? Pretty nice. Handling is very neutral, but it's easy to get your weight back, hip-steer, manual, etc. It's not overly slack, but slack enough to be comfortable on the steeps.

    What I did notice is the Bronson gains velocity at an incredible rate. This is something I typically associate with downhill bikes, but the Bronson has this in spades. I can't explain it, but this bike will get you in over your head quickly if you're not paying attention as it relates to speed. I love it, but it's something to be cognizant of.

    Otherwise, the bike feels very natural. I got on and was immediately comfortable, like I had been riding it for years. I tend to like bikes a bit smaller, so the large with a 70mm stem is perfect for me size-wise. I would say I'm at the upper range of sizing at 6'2.

    My only real knock is the weight. On very steep climbs, I could feel it. This thing would be a real beast if you could knock 2 or 3 pounds off. If I wasn't scared of it in this environment, I probably would have sprung for the carbon frame. As it is, the bike begs for a high-end lighter set of wheels and maybe a rear tire that doesn't weigh a ton. When is the Conti Trail King coming in 27.5?

    Couple pics of today's ride. I'll dial in a couple small things and hit it again tomorrow.


    photo (8) by dbozman1173, on Flickr
    About to drop in on the backside of Bloody Knuckles at Phoenix Mountain Preserve


    photo (7) by dbozman1173, on Flickr
    The runout from Hairball in the shadows behind the bike.


    photo (5) by dbozman1173, on Flickr
    Closer view of trail in background.


    photo (6) by dbozman1173, on Flickr
    On the truck and ready to head home.

  10. #10
    Nothing can stop me now
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    912
    Dion,

    Was the Burner at Rage a Large? I assume so. Thanks for the write up. The Bronson looks to be too much bike for me but I look forward to a longer term review from you after you have had it for awhile. The Knolly pricing will definitely not be in line with the Santa Cruz...

    Did Adventure Bikes have any Solos on the floor? Might have to go bike shopping today...

    Thanks,
    Bob

  11. #11
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    No, haven't seen any Solo's but Bill at Adventure was talking about it. I was there on Thursday, so no idea when they might start trickling in.

  12. #12
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    Actually, one critical thing I forgot to mention. Wheel size. You know why I forgot to mention it? Because it turned out to be irrelevant.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or bad, but if I hadn't known they were 27.5 wheels, I likely wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't a 26er with tall tires.

    I suppose, retrospectively, that's pretty interesting. Perhaps SC has succeeded in integrating the frame to the wheel size so successfully that you can't even tell. Perhaps that accounts for the increased downhill speed. I don't know.

    I can tell you, with years of experience on both 26er and 29ers, you can ALWAYS tell you're on a 29er, no matter how good it otherwise is. Two of the best 29ers I've owned are the Kona Satori and a Canfield Yelli Screamy; as good as they were, there was never any doubt you were on a wagon-wheeler. Perhaps the greatest 275 success will be that it's almost imperceptible from a 26er while offering some minor speed and/or rollover capability.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: KRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    10,007
    Nice. Thanks for the review. A great deal on a bike that is right in front of you is hard to pass up, especially when you have the money in your pocket.

    I think you made a good choice. The Bronson looks to be great bike.

    Does it feel like it will overlap with your el guapo too much?

  14. #14
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    I hesitate to make too many pronouncements on the basis of one ride. I'll be climbing National in the morning and that'll give me a much better idea. In the meantime, my suspicion is there is a quite a bit more EG overlap than I intended.

  15. #15
    Nothing can stop me now
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Actually, one critical thing I forgot to mention. Wheel size. You know why I forgot to mention it? Because it turned out to be irrelevant.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or bad, but if I hadn't known they were 27.5 wheels, I likely wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't a 26er with tall tires.

    I suppose, retrospectively, that's pretty interesting. Perhaps SC has succeeded in integrating the frame to the wheel size so successfully that you can't even tell. Perhaps that accounts for the increased downhill speed. I don't know.

    I can tell you, with years of experience on both 26er and 29ers, you can ALWAYS tell you're on a 29er, no matter how good it otherwise is. Two of the best 29ers I've owned are the Kona Satori and a Canfield Yelli Screamy; as good as they were, there was never any doubt you were on a wagon-wheeler. Perhaps the greatest 275 success will be that it's almost imperceptible from a 26er while offering some minor speed and/or rollover capability.
    Totally agree with this after a parking lot test of a size too big Burner. Where the 29er wheels always seem huge the 27.5 just felt like 26ers but faster. Nimble but fast. Uh oh says the budget....

    Bob

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DJ Giggity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,217
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Actually, one critical thing I forgot to mention. Wheel size. You know why I forgot to mention it? Because it turned out to be irrelevant.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or bad, but if I hadn't known they were 27.5 wheels, I likely wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't a 26er with tall tires.

    I suppose, retrospectively, that's pretty interesting. Perhaps SC has succeeded in integrating the frame to the wheel size so successfully that you can't even tell. Perhaps that accounts for the increased downhill speed. I don't know.

    I can tell you, with years of experience on both 26er and 29ers, you can ALWAYS tell you're on a 29er, no matter how good it otherwise is. Two of the best 29ers I've owned are the Kona Satori and a Canfield Yelli Screamy; as good as they were, there was never any doubt you were on a wagon-wheeler. Perhaps the greatest 275 success will be that it's almost imperceptible from a 26er while offering some minor speed and/or rollover capability.
    I thought the wheel size was quite noticeable. The long chain stays also stood out for me. I don't mean this in a bad way as overall it was a very fun bike to ride. It was just noticeable. The bike also feels long. Technically, the wheel base on my regular bike is longer but the Bronson felt longer.

    I also find it interesting that you think the fork felt like it didn't have bath oil. I described it as such in a different thread.

    Congrats on the new bike.
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
    - Albert Einstein

  17. #17
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    Bob: I personally didn't notice any speed increase climbing. I did notice a tremendous increase in velocity on the down and very quick increase in velocity. Like, drop in and all of a sudden you're going WAY too fast. Wish there was some climbing magic.

    As I said, this bike practically begs for a set of carbon hoops and a lighter rear tire.

    DJ: Have you ridden 29ers? If not, that may explain your experience. If you have, then I don't know.

  18. #18
    Nothing can stop me now
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Bob: I personally didn't notice any speed increase climbing. I did notice a tremendous increase in velocity on the down and very quick increase in velocity. Like, drop in and all of a sudden you're going WAY too fast. Wish there was some climbing magic.

    As I said, this bike practically begs for a set of carbon hoops and a lighter rear tire.

    DJ: Have you ridden 29ers? If not, that may explain your experience. If you have, then I don't know.
    Can't imagine how their would be an increase in speed climbing. That would be awesome if it could happen.

    Just free wheeling on flat land after adding some power and I could feel the "speed". Add in some downhill and watch out as you have said quite eloquently. Came home and did the same "test" on my 26er. It was slower. I am sold on the improvement. Now I need to see how much I want or can sell to get that improvement. Think I gotta go carbon frame and carbon wheels too. This gonna get expensive...

    Bob

    Ps dang you Dion. If you could have just ridden your El Guapo I wouldn't have drunk the koolaid today. Or at least not mention the Burner at Rage...

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DJ Giggity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,217
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    DJ: Have you ridden 29ers? If not, that may explain your experience. If you have, then I don't know.
    Very little. I am fairly short and prefer slack squishy bikes. Although these are now available in the 29" variety, I am not sure that would be my cup of tea.

    I will be getting a smaller, more pedal friendly bike to go with my Chilcotin. I like the idea of 650b for that. I have decided that I am going to wait for the fork situation to evolve a bit more.
    Only two infinite things exist: the universe and stupidity. And, I am unsure of the universe
    - Albert Einstein

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    26

    650b purchase dilemma solved. Bronson content

    I felt the same "heavy" feeling as you on the climbs and gradual long inclines.... Changed the HR2 in the back to an Ardent 2.25 and it really woke the bike up. Not just for me but everyone that I had been riding with ( 29er group) was commenting on the increase in speed. Just something to think about.
    Btw u are correct on the giddy up and go but I'm learning that the Bronson will defiantly take the speed and abuse. Just ride it like u hate it and she will bring a smile to your face.

  21. #21
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,895
    Bob: Can't take it with you, bro.

    DJ: The reason I ask is, guys who've ridden 29ers a bunch (like me) grow accustomed to the wheel size. The 27.5 feels almost exactly like my 26er with big tires.

    Hoop: I'll be looking for the Conti Trail king to come out. In the meantime, I'll think about the Ardent. Always liked it on 29ers, but not on 26ers for some reason.

    Gah, seriously thinking that a carbon wheelset would be grand idea. So stupid ...

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bigcrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    672
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Actually, one critical thing I forgot to mention. Wheel size. You know why I forgot to mention it? Because it turned out to be irrelevant.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or bad, but if I hadn't known they were 27.5 wheels, I likely wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't a 26er with tall tires.

    I suppose, retrospectively, that's pretty interesting. Perhaps SC has succeeded in integrating the frame to the wheel size so successfully that you can't even tell. Perhaps that accounts for the increased downhill speed. I don't know.

    I can tell you, with years of experience on both 26er and 29ers, you can ALWAYS tell you're on a 29er, no matter how good it otherwise is. Two of the best 29ers I've owned are the Kona Satori and a Canfield Yelli Screamy; as good as they were, there was never any doubt you were on a wagon-wheeler. Perhaps the greatest 275 success will be that it's almost imperceptible from a 26er while offering some minor speed and/or rollover capability.
    I kinda felt that you did make a mention regarding the wheel size, when you said "the Bronson gains velocity at an incredible rate".

    One thing I was hoping to read about was that you swapped out the air suspension for coil. I'm worried coil is going the way of the dodo...
    Old enough to know better, too old to give a F$cK

  23. #23
    Hard funkinī Kraut
    Reputation: NoStyle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    711
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Actually, one critical thing I forgot to mention. Wheel size. You know why I forgot to mention it? Because it turned out to be irrelevant.

    Not sure if it's a good thing or bad, but if I hadn't known they were 27.5 wheels, I likely wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't a 26er with tall tires ... Perhaps the greatest 275 success will be that it's almost imperceptible from a 26er while offering some minor speed and/or rollover capability.
    Thatīs what the 650B-Craze is all about.

    I have the Possibility to switch Wheelsize on my Spitfire and the only Thing I notice is being a very very slightly sitting "higher" on the Bike. But thatīs only when riding on Asphalt-Roads - on the Trails it turns out to what Blatant mentioned.
    Altough I have to say I like the 650Bs more, because my Wheelset is much lighter than my 26-WS and makes the real significant Difference.

    Hope you enjoy the Bronson - itīs for shure a good Bike!

  24. #24
    Nothing can stop me now
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    912
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Bob: Can't take it with you, bro.

    Gah, seriously thinking that a carbon wheelset would be grand idea. So stupid ...
    You bet. I wonder how long you will keep the El Guapo because it sounds like you bought the same bike but with slightly bigger wheels?

    Does Dave Thomas do carbon wheels? He has to be in Colorado this time of year...

    Bob

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    697
    Damn i want one need to sell my Niner WFO

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-22-2013, 11:09 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-22-2013, 08:40 AM
  3. 650b or 26er dilemma: need advice
    By Punch in forum 27.5 - 650b
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-16-2013, 09:24 PM
  4. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-29-2012, 02:57 PM
  5. A Tale of Two Sultans (650b content)
    By tortfeasor in forum 27.5 - 650b
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 05-04-2012, 12:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •