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  1. #1
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    HDR or Bronson???

    Urrgghh, what a great time to be in the market for a bike, so many options out there, narrowed to either a Bronson or a HDR? Ride mostly rock, rooty new england tech. currently have an HD and love it, but really want to go the 650b route.....

    Such problems to have

  2. #2
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    Mach 6 for NE for sure , HDR not enough travel or tire clearance, Bronson not as efficient

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilyam3 View Post
    Mach 6 for NE for sure , HDR not enough travel or tire clearance, Bronson not as efficient
    Agreed on Mach 6!

  4. #4
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    I'll stir the pot a bit and say HDR. If your New England rocky rooty tech is like what I've seen in videos, and what I ride at home, lots of travel isn't the answer. If you're crawling up rocky chunder, and doing quick and frequent transitions from climbing to descending, moreso than bombing extended descents at speed where the extra travel will be most beneficial, I think the mid travel of the HDR will work better... more of an all-rounder bias as opposed to a DH/Enduro bias. My Mojo 650b w/ 125mm works better in these conditions than it did w/ 140mm.
    .... but so true.... both amazing bikes, and great time to be a mtb'er

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilyam3 View Post
    Mach 6 for NE for sure , HDR not enough travel or tire clearance, Bronson not as efficient
    Have you ridden a Bronson?

    I'm a DW fan (have a turner and mojo in the garage), and have owned a couple of santa cruz's (nomad currently), and I found the Bronson to have a very efficient feel when pedalling in or out of the saddle during demo rides. And having the zerk fitting lower pivots is something to consider for anyone who rides a lot esp in wetter climates.
    Originally posted by bucksaw87
    I still fail to see how mustaches, fixies, and PBR are ironic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilyam3 View Post
    Mach 6 for NE for sure , HDR not enough travel or tire clearance
    Really??
    You can do a shock spacer and get 150mm and have that awesome DW platform and yes it has tire clearance.

  7. #7
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    That's a tough call. I went from ibis mojo SL to a carbon Bronson. Demoed the HDR, ripley, altitude, and TB. Bronson felt best for me. Sometimes it might just be you're ready for something different. I demoed as much as I could. Best thing to do. Pivot sounds sweet too. Can't believe they haven't released frame weight yet.

  8. #8
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    I would wait for one more bike to hit the market before making the decision (hopefully soon) - the mythical all new 650b Knolly Endorphin. The current 26" Knollys with their active suspension do great in New England tech terrain, IMHO better than any short link virtual pivot design.

  9. #9
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    Good job! Do you like your HD? Then go HD-R

    If you were not enthused about your HD (or SL/SL-R for that matter) I'd say go look elsewhere. But if you do love the HD ride then to me the HD-R is what you want. It's the HD, only with more options for fun.

    I really like the idea of a bike I can go 650b and 26 and back again whenever I want. I guess it partly depends on how big a quiver you like to keep...

    And for East Coast stuff, I'd say it's gonna work just fine.

    And yes, we're in a particularly good moment in MTB frame design. So much good stuff being built, it's hard to find bikes that suck, just bikes that don't fit your style. ...Which IMO is a reason to stick with something that's dialed, which for me is the HD-R.

    I've just had waaaaaay too many shite-eating grins riding my HD to look elsewhere.
    Last edited by benja55; 08-08-2013 at 10:20 AM. Reason: wonky
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  10. #10
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    After my HD was stolen I demoed the bronson and really liked it, but I found it a very different bike than my HD

    I found the Bronson to be very plush and effortless on the descents - it frankly made my local trails boring. And while it was very capable on the climbs - it was not quite as efficient as the DW.

    The HD (and now my HDR) are more high strung bikes, they require more work and make for a more involved ride. The suspension can be tweaked to feel plush (my Pushe'd monarch did the trick on the HD) but it will be a more taut bike out of the box.

    At the end of the day i believe both bikes to be equally capable and equally fast but they go about it in very different ways, So frankly the choice really comes down to your preferred riding style and whether you prefer to sit back on the descents and let the bike do the work or if you would rather be over your handlebar actively managing each bump..
    Last edited by baltik; 08-08-2013 at 01:10 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mazspeed View Post
    Really??
    You can do a shock spacer and get 150mm and have that awesome DW platform and yes it has tire clearance.
    Mach 6 is the latest generation DW Link, 155 mm of travel, 16.9" chain stays, 66 degree head angle, 13.6 BB and 275. Pretty much what everyone was expecting the HDR to be. Bikeco mods are 147 mm of travel, 17.1" stays, 13.8 BB and 67 HA with 275. Hard not be excited about the Mach6 and I actually have one on order. I also ride an HD right now as well.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltik View Post
    After my HD was stolen I demoed the bronson and really liked it, but I found it a very different bike than my HD

    I found the Bronson to be very plush and effortless on the descents - it frankly made my local trails boring. And while it was very capable on the climbs - it was not quite as efficient as the DW.

    The HD (and now my HDR) are more high strung bikes, they require more work and make for a more involved ride. The suspension can be tweaked to feel plush (my Pushe'd monarch did the trick on the HD) but it will be a more taught bike out of the box.

    At the end of the day i believe both bikes to be equally capable and equally fast but they go about it in very different ways, So frankly the choice really comes down to your preferred riding style and whether you prefer to sit back on the descents and let the bike do the work or if you would rather be over your handlebar actively managing each bump..
    Great feedback. I have access to a Bronson setup very similar to my 26 HD (XX1, Carbon Wheels, RS Fork) that I am going to put some miles on after I recover from my latest off in 6-8 weeks. Should be an interesting comparison.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by baltik View Post
    I found the Bronson to be very plush and effortless on the descents - it frankly made my local trails boring. And while it was very capable on the climbs - it was not quite as efficient as the DW.
    Interesting. That mirrors what I experienced going from a Nomad, which I loved, to an HD, which was another level of Bike Love.

    I've said this elsewhere, but the VPP rear feels amazing out of the box and in some ways seems easier to get that super plush bottomless feel which a lot of folks consider to be the Shite.

    The HD handling is "taught" as you say, or maybe "crisp" is the word I would use, but with the way I've had mine dialed, it's plush when it's needed, but with the right crisp climbing feel I want.

    In my case I'm doing practically everything on it and want it to go anywhere and do anything I ask. Going down is only part of the puzzle.

    These are both great bikes. Different strokes, different folks.
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  14. #14
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    I was between these two bikes and ended up with the Bronson. I too ride in New England and so far the Bronson has done everything very well, with only the build spec being a limiting factor.

    I didnít go with the HDR for a few reasons:

    1. When all was said and done it was just a hair out of my price range.

    2. I wanted it in the 150mm mode with 650b wheels. You canít get this stock or at least I could not a month ago. So its either go with 650b at 130mm which is not the bike I wanted, and then buy a new fork and shock. Or go the 160mm 26 route and buy new wheels and shim the shock. This bike should have been available stock in 650b with a 160 or 150mm travel f+r. Personally I think Ibis royally screwed the pooch on this one. At least we can look forward to a real 650b long travel HD in the futureÖ

    3. Also at the time it was not clear exactly how much rear travel you could squeeze out of it in 650b mode. At first they said 150mm then backpedaled on that and said 140mm, then 147mm. Even my Ibis dealer could not get a straight answer out of them.

    I rode the 160mm 26 HD on some New England trails it was damn good, the Bronson is better. In my opinion it pedals better and decends better. I love how balanced the Bronson feels in the air. One area I think the HDR could better is small bump compliance.

    Also I could be wrong but it looks like your going to have special order one in New England from what I can tell. I called around to see if anyone was stocking them and even the biggest Ibis dealer in New England said they were not and were going to wait to see if people can make it work well in 650b long travel mode. They were holding their breath to see what Pivot had to offer. Good thing they did, because it looks like Pivot hit homerun with the Mach 6.

    That Pivot Mach 6 looks sick, if you can stomach the $3k frame price tag, get a hold of one or wait until the second production run.

  15. #15
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    I demoed a Bronsonc for a few days, after demoing a few dw suspension bikes (mach 5.7 and hd). Both suspension designs climbed great (these are pretty strenuous tech climbs in Colorado). With that said the Bronson was alot heavier and I did notice way more wheel, tire, and tube weight which made it seem sluggish (no doubt a lighter wheelset, tires, and tubeless set up would help a lot).

    I noticed that the bronson liked to pop off of stuff with more ease. DW actually felt more plush (kind of felt eager to bottom out) but I seemed to get less pop and play for my effort.

    The winner was the Bronson for me. I felt so confident, stable, and fast on the downhill and I could flick it around more too. A lighter wheel set and tubeless tires would be a must for me, as I enjoy climbing and then sending it on the downs.

    I am still holding out on the Mach 6. It looks so good on paper it would be silly not to wait a bit longer to try one out.

    I will add this I never really thought about the wheel size on the Bronson. It just disappears into the design of the bike, and it seemed more playful than the 26ers. It really is about the whole design and I am not really sure how anyone can hate on any of the wheel sizes.

    I dont think there is a wrong choice here, what ever bike I buy it will be a great bike to have and enjoy.
    Last edited by micgills; 08-11-2013 at 09:01 PM.

  16. #16
    Kaj
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    These bikes in the thread are really close in ride quality. The HDR comes from a company that is just plain nice and wants to build the best bike. Always. I think that goes for something. A nice company that doesn't think you suck if you can't huck a 30 foot gap, and really just wants you to have fun on your bike. Sounds like Ibis. They rock, they treat everyone well, and really really care about each bike, that's why they don't have 40 different models. Each one matters, and you as a customer will matter. I've been in the middle of this relationship with Ibis and some other companies in this thread, and there is a real difference.
    Helping folks shred in Boulder & Colorado since 1982 www.fullcyclebikes.com

  17. #17
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    HDR 650b doesn't play well with big tires. Keep this in mind if you like big rubber. Here are photos of my 650b after 3 rides. Clearance between tire & rear chainstay yoke was about 3mm with Hans Dampf 2.35. Rocks and sticks were catching in the yoke and stopping in my tracks going uphill. Clearance with a smaller Ardent was marginally better.

    This was unacceptable to me and I returned the HDR. For a high end bike, one shouldn't have to make tire compromises.

    Clearance on the Bronson is excellent.


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr
    Last edited by The Squeaky Wheel; 08-13-2013 at 06:41 AM.
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  18. #18
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    updated my above post
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  19. #19
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    Bummer about that clearance on the Ibis. I've been looking at these bikes too. For me, I have a bad back and have discovered I need a steep ST angle, which steers me away from the HD and the Mach 6. I have a Blur LTC and had to slam the seat way forward on an already short cockpit. Gonna try to demo a Bronson and maybe a Burner and Spitfire for this reason. They all have 73 deg+ ST angles, which seems to be the magic number for me.

  20. #20
    jrm
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    I can vouch for the burner being real comfortable using a no setback post with a 23.4" ETT on my medium frame. I think you should be able to find a demo in So Cal. Call DT he'll find one for ya.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
    HDR 650b doesn't play well with big tires.
    Bummer and thanks for posting. I wonder how much extra tire room there is around the HDR yoke compared to the HD. From these pictures, it does not seem like the improvement is significant.

  22. #22
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    Thanks jrm, I know we don't want to hijack this thread, but how do you like the Burner? I think it'll still be in context if you can compare it to the HD and Bronson. Did you look at those?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
    HDR 650b doesn't play well with big tires. Keep this in mind if you like big rubber. Here are photos of my 650b after 3 rides. Clearance between tire & rear chainstay yoke was about 3mm with Hans Dampf 2.35. Rocks and sticks were catching in the yoke and stopping in my tracks going uphill. Clearance with a smaller Ardent was marginally better.

    This was unacceptable to me and I returned the HDR. For a high end bike, one shouldn't have to make tire compromises.

    Clearance on the Bronson is excellent.


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr


    HDR by JWLDOC, on Flickr
    I wouldn't even ride around my driveway with that little clearance, can't believe someone let you return that. :X

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by frorider View Post
    Have you ridden a Bronson?

    I'm a DW fan (have a turner and mojo in the garage), and have owned a couple of santa cruz's (nomad currently), and I found the Bronson to have a very efficient feel when pedalling in or out of the saddle during demo rides. And having the zerk fitting lower pivots is something to consider for anyone who rides a lot esp in wetter climates.
    Ditto!

    I got off the VPP bus after ditching my Santa Cruz and Intense bikes and wrote them off for good, or so I thought. Rode the Bronson yesterday and can say, without a question of a doubt, was the best bike I've ever ridden. Was the most efficient climber I've been on (and I own a DW link right now). That didn't shock me as much as how well it performed on the downhills - thing kills it, corners way better than a Nomad and is every bit as playful and balanced in the air. I really didn't think that possible with bigger wheels!
    On paper the Mach 6 looks like my dream bike, however, the Bronson doesn't at all: long stays, VPP, high-ish BB height (compared to my Spitty), steeper HTA, etc., etc. BUT IN THE REAL WORLD the Bronson shines so... don't judge a bike by the "numbers".

    Have FUN!

    G MAN

    PS - Where can I find a Bronson cheap?!
    Last edited by Gman086; 08-13-2013 at 05:26 PM.
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