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Thread: Ideas Welcome

  1. #1
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    Ideas Welcome

    Looking for ideas on a 650b full-suspension at or under $3,500. Was originally debating 26" vs 29" and have set my mind on going right in the middle at 650b. Shifting to 650b has opened up so many possibilities that it's become overwhelming. Any guidance would be strongly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Do you have a specific suspension system in mind?

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    Good question-- not really. Honestly haven't even thought about it. In my decently little amount of research so far, I haven't come across discussions on bikes based on the rear suspension setup. How differentiated/important is this consideration? I'm looking for 140-150 mm travel, that's about all I've settled on so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chezowan View Post
    Good question-- not really. Honestly haven't even thought about it. In my decently little amount of research so far, I haven't come across discussions on bikes based on the rear suspension setup. How differentiated/important is this consideration? I'm looking for 140-150 mm travel, that's about all I've settled on so far.
    You have to answer that question based on what you intend to do with the bike. Suspension travel and suspension design will dictate how your bike handles. People generally select 150mm travel bikes for aggressive, all mountain riding with some gnarly downhill. Some 150mm bikes are capable climbers while others are pretty lousy at it.
    Either way, you will not be able to stand and hammer up long climbs with a 150mm bike. You have to stay in the seat for long climbs or you will lose half of your energy to suspension bob. I have a 150mm bike and a 100mm hardtail and have owned a 130mm bike in the past. They all handle very differently and my riding style is very different on the two bikes. I use the hardtail for fast XC rides when I want to stand and hammer on the climbs. I use the 150mm fs bike when I want to ride gnarly downhill and am willing to sacrifice some climbing capability. The climbs are slower with the long travel bike but the descents are faster and smoother.
    So, what are you trying to accomplish with this bike and where do you intend to ride?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dboneslick View Post
    You have to answer that question based on what you intend to do with the bike. Suspension travel and suspension design will dictate how your bike handles. People generally select 150mm travel bikes for aggressive, all mountain riding with some gnarly downhill. Some 150mm bikes are capable climbers while others are pretty lousy at it.
    Either way, you will not be able to stand and hammer up long climbs with a 150mm bike. You have to stay in the seat for long climbs or you will lose half of your energy to suspension bob. I have a 150mm bike and a 100mm hardtail and have owned a 130mm bike in the past. They all handle very differently and my riding style is very different on the two bikes. I use the hardtail for fast XC rides when I want to stand and hammer on the climbs. I use the 150mm fs bike when I want to ride gnarly downhill and am willing to sacrifice some climbing capability. The climbs are slower with the long travel bike but the descents are faster and smoother.
    So, what are you trying to accomplish with this bike and where do you intend to ride?
    Thanks for the insight, much appreciated! This is slightly why
    My new bike selection is even more difficult. I'm currently riding a lot of single track, some pretty technical, some quick downhills, and also 3-6 foot jumps/drops. However, I'll be moving to the DC area where the trails are supposedly a little more tame. So I'll Probably want to maintain the Same types of trails if possible but it seems that it'll be to a slightly lesser degree. The stump fsr comP seems to be calling my name but I really would prefer a 27.5 tire as I'm currently on a 29er hardtail and love how they roll over stuff

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    The terrain you're riding now would steer me toward a 130-150mm do it all trail/all mountain bike. The fsr is supposed to be a pretty good climber and fits right in that category. 3-6 foot drops on a regular basis might leave you wanting a bit more travel. It is all personal preference. Some people do gnarly 6 foot drop trails on a lng travel hardtail.
    I lean more towards nimble with good climbing capability. For this reason, I only take my enduro bike on the most treacherous rides. I don't wan to pedal a mushy bike all day for one or two medim drops. Others would rather squish around in luxury and don't mind humping it on the climbs. Heck, some people have chairlifts and don't even have to think about climbing.
    To make a long story longer, you really need to ride a few and see what you prefer.

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    I tested a Bronson last night and really loved it. I don't, however, love the price. I was on the aluminum RAM kit ($3,400) and my price range is ideally in the $2,600-$3,000 range. I'd prefer not to be squishing around no climbs but at the end of the day im out there to have a good time. I want a bike that can handle 99% of what I throw at it, even if it takes a little more effort in some of the facets of my riding.

    I also sat on a SJ FSR 29er but I really do want to downsize to a 650b. I'm currently on a Rockhopper 29er and would love to have a little more nimble feel to my rides and more control over jumps and drops.

    Does anything come to mind in the $2,600-$3,000 price range? My LBS only happened to have a large Bronson and I'm XL... they found one in NY and it's being shipped as we speak, I'm most likely going to throw down and get it but if I can find some alternatives for $700 less I'd be willing to consider them...

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    KHS 5500/6500 hits the mark perfectly. Someone here on the forum mentioned there is a glowing review in one of the recent bike mags. Forget which one sorry.

    Here is one review I found. Seems very good Review: KHS 6500, 650b Trail bike | Torpedo7

    $2,888 shipped to your door (top of the line 6500 model) from Adrenalin Bikes Adrenaline Bikes

    650B | KHS Bicycles

    I would also mention one of the Norco Sight Killer B models but those are sold out for the year but more are supposed to be on the way and may be here already? Have a dealer check with Norco to see availability.

    And if your not in a huge hurry Giant will have a hard tail, a 5" travel and a 6" travel bike "possibly" by summer.

    Updated: Sneak Peek Of Giant?s Prototype 27.5-inch Bikes | Mountain Bike Review

    First Look: Giant's 27.5" Prototypes - Pinkbike
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  9. #9
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    Jamis closeouts and KHS seem the budget conscious options for now, though the lower level Norco and Rocky Mountain pack a lot of value. I'd personally take a hard look at either the Jamis (they've been working with this wheelsize longer than anyone) or whichever alloy Rocky Mountain fits your budget.

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    The KHS looks pretty sweet-- although it seems like it would be tough to be able to sit on one before I ordered it. I'm trying to justify paying 600 more for something like the Bronson.. What are the material differences? Better fork/rear sus with slightly more travel? The suspension also seems tO be setup differently. Which caters to easier climbing?

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    I kinda think the Bronson would be overkill for where you are moving to as it's a burly AM bike where the KHS I would consider more a trail bike that can be pushed to AM duties. Head angle on the KHS is 68.5 degrees and the Bronson 67 degrees so I'd put my money on the KHS being a better climber and the Bronson a better descender The KHS has FSR suspension (licensed from Specialized) and the Bronson VPP. Pick your poison as both designs have their fan base (personally I'm not a fan of the SC or Intense VPP design) Both have quality components and the Bronson 10mm more travel but I'm gonna say for resale (just in case) the Santa Cruz gets the nod for sure.
    2013 Banshee Spitfire V2 650b

  12. #12
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    I am in the same boat as you, except I want something a little more burly 150-160mm.

    I am still saving my pennies, but I am looking at the RM Altitudes 650b bikes, 730 is under 3K, 750 is just over 3K but is a sweet deal!

    The Bronson is also on my "to ride" list. I am also seriously considering the Mojo HD Special blend.

    Have you taken a look at the Norco Sight - 140mm of travel? The sight 3 is under $3K.

    Also have you seen the Mojo SL Special blend not 650b but hard to pass up, under $3k, carbon frame, great value. You might be able to install 650b on there, I am not sure though. I know with the Mojo HD you can, you end up with 140-150mm travel in the back.

    Amazing what has happened to bike prices. Last time I bought a mtb in 2007 you could get a top of the line bike for $3-4K, now that gets you entry-mid level bikes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chezowan View Post
    Good question-- not really. Honestly haven't even thought about it. In my decently little amount of research so far, I haven't come across discussions on bikes based on the rear suspension setup. How differentiated/important is this consideration? I'm looking for 140-150 mm travel, that's about all I've settled on so far.
    I've been riding 650B for three years and I was waiting for a short travel (120) FS bike. I just bought a Ventana. But something to consider is just sitting out this year and wait for 2014.

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    The Norco Range killer B3 is what you want.
    Mtbr just did a review of it. It is $2899, and a $150 more than the frame itself.

    I am an Ibis HD rider myself, I have enough problems with tight turns, so 26" is where I would like to stay.

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    Norco Range Killer B-3 also looks nice-- has 160mm travel though, and if 150 is already overkill then 160 seems like too much. I've also never heard of X Fusion shocks, what is their reputation like?

    Jamis only has 1 650b model in my price range, the Dakar XCT Comp and the travel is 130mm-- slightly too little for me-- I think. Although the price is really nice and overall it looks pretty decent.

    The Rocky Mountain Altitude 730 also looks like a viable candidate at $2,800 but the 750 is basically the same price as the Bronson, and similarly spec'd but I'd have to go Bronson all day just because it's what's been planted in my head at this point. I also really have my focus on the 650b and don't want to fuss with conversion.

    Seems like the Bronson is still my favorite although the RM Alt 730 does fit my parameters pretty well. Anyone ridden one?

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