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  1. #1
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    Wfo vs sight vs range vs carbine

    I recently attended Dirt Rag Dirt Fest and had the opportunity to flog Niner's dated 140mm WFO, the Sight Killer-B, Ranger Killer-B, and Carbine 275.

    The WFO felt like a long travel 29er...which is to say that it just plows through stuff. It was fun, but fun like driving a tank through a city.

    Next up was the Sight Killer-B. All around an awesome bike. A 160 up front would have been nice, the large was not big enough for my 6'0 size, surprisingly.

    After putting in nearly 20 miles on the previous bikes, I decided I wanted to try the Range Killer-B back-to-back with its smaller travel brother. This was a mistake. The Range is low and aggressive, and it does not particularly like to climb. Granted the bike I was riding was not equipped with a very high-end shock, and it also had the 36mm stanchioned SR Suntour fork but even so, the Range felt sluggish, even on a relatively flat trail. Pointed downhill, the bike was plush, but standing pedal strokes resulted in bob, or a precariously low bottom bracket. Allegrippis is not what I'd call rocky and I was having some problems with pedal strikes.

    Under normal circumstances I could have said that maybe the fact that I'm out of shape and was pretty much dead for the day meant the Range felt like it weighed 40lbs and bobbed like a downhill bike, but my demo for Sunday would have me wondering if it just wasn't the weight, suspension design, and shock tuning that did not flatter the Range.

    I put a very fast, very hard 11 miles on the Intense Carbine 275 on Sunday, and right from the get-go knew this bike was worth the $4000 asking price. The Large fit me perfect, and despite being the lower-end kit, the suspension tuning felt dead on, and bike just plain hauled ass. I'm normally a very critical guy, and I couldn't fault the Carbine at all. Well, the seat wasn't comfy, but I'll let it slide.

    Final thoughts:

    WFO needs updating. Shorter rear end. Really want to try an Enduro 29 now, but I may have a new bike by the time that happens.

    Sight Killer-B is an awesome trail bike, and their new carbon version should build on that. Just realize you've only got 140mm in the rear suspension. This would probably be plenty for me, and it's probably plenty for most people.

    The Range Killer-B could benefit from a diet, a platform/lockout shock, and it's still the best bargain in a 160mm FS 650b. Oh, and some suspension tweaks can get 170mm f/r out of the bike as well as lifting the bottom bracket a little.

    Finally, the Carbine really brings to light how important suspension geometry is these days. The VPP is wonderful, and if the Santa Cruz was smart, the Bronson should climb better.

    At the end of the two day demo session, the Carbine really stood out as the bike I'd like to buy if I could afford it, and they are readily available. The Bronson should be ready as well in a few months. The Enduro 29 is the one bike I'd really like to swing a leg over, but I won't buy before I ride, and with the big wheel wonderbike already sold out, I may own a 650b before I ever test the Enduro 29.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  2. #2
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    I also rode both Norcos, a Bronson and the Carbine and had about the same thoughts as yours. Ended up ordering the Carbine.

  3. #3
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    I went with the Carbine and am very pleased with my choice so pleased that my 26er and 29er now sit idly waiting for there turn on the dirt which I allways have good intentions to give them there turn but keep making excuses about next time out! but am compelled to ride 650b,just does everything well!!!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the rundown on the bikes. I don't think its fair to compare the Range at Allegrippis even with fresh legs though. It is completely out of its element on the trails there and I'm sure the Suntour fork wasn't helping anything either.

  5. #5
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Quote Originally Posted by squads View Post
    I don't think its fair to compare the Range at Allegrippis even with fresh legs though. It is completely out of its element on the trails there...
    Then why did the Carbine feel so awesome? They are both 160mm trail bikes. Obviously the Carbine is carbon, but even towards the end of my fast&hard ride I still felt like it wasn't sucking away all my energy like the Range had done the day before.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    the large was not big enough for my 6'0 size, surprisingly.
    Really? Interesting. I have been looking at that bike and thought a L would work. I need to find someone in the area who caries them to try them out. I'm 6'3" 205lbs and currently riding a '11 RIP 9 L and that fits just fine.

  7. #7
    Formerly PaintPeelinPbody
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    Quote Originally Posted by furywhip View Post
    Really? Interesting. I have been looking at that bike and thought a L would work. I need to find someone in the area who caries them to try them out. I'm 6'3" 205lbs and currently riding a '11 RIP 9 L and that fits just fine.
    I thought it was strange as well. The Range in size large fit me, but the Sight did not. I needed about another inch of top tube on the Sight. Maybe the SR Suntour Demos just needed the seat moved back and a slightly longer stem, but I think I'd prefer the XL on the Sight.
    I do custom ArcGIS and Google Maps, including data collection and sustainable trail layout. Ride Welsh Mountain

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