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  1. #1
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    $2,500 budget - check my options

    Hi guys,

    On the hunt for a new trail rig after ~10 years out of the game - wow things have changed! My last bike was a Trek Fuel ex9 - and look to be entering short travel trail bike land.

    At this budget, i'm more focused on finding a specific deal, vs. general models (though I know that's the starting point). My two immediate considerations:

    1) 2018 Santa Cruz 5010 Alloy R Spec - tracked on down at a LBS for $2,127 out the door with tax

    2) 2018 Whyte T-130 RS Spec - available for $2,249 to my door (minimal assembly required)

    Rode the 5010, like it, won't be able to demo the Whyte. From what I've read, fairly comparable bikes depending on who you ask. Seems like between these two, the Whyte is the hands down winner, given the Fox performance elite over the rythym fork and XT over NX components.

    Would love the forum's insight on a) do you agree with the Whyte over the SC, and b) what is out there in my price range that I'm not investigating?


    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What size? Can maybe find when the Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 pops up back in stock.

    Canyon also has the Strive CF 7.0 on sale for 3k.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the insight, size is a medium.

    I looked at the Spectrals - hard to know because its a challenge to ride in advance, but on paper, didn't seem worth the extra $600-$800. Sound like maybe I'm overlooking something though - why do you think that trim Spectral is a better option?

  4. #4
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    If you're med, go with the Whyte. Better geo in that size.

    The Strive is also good in med. The T130 gets more acclaim for being fun though, while the Strive is more business.

    Spectral and 5010 are better in large.

    You missed out on the Spider 275c deals, which is probably the only other med sized short travel 27.5 I can think of that's comparable to the Whyte T130. Only other bikes I'd look at in M are longer travel, like the Bronson, Capra 27, etc. A lot of bikes are optimized for L, so you have to end up long-forking them and compromising something.

    If I were honest with my intentions, I wouldn't hesitate and would just get the T130. Good geo, good spec, good structure/build quality, good reviews, good people behind the brand, pretty good looking, and fairly priced. Looking at it vs the '19 refresh, looks like they changed it up to be more optimized to race against the clock: longer wheelbase, more anti-squat, slightly more forward geo... and uhh, more optimized for L... xD

  5. #5
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    That is a really good deal on that Santa Cruz. It also comes with a really good frame warranty so you can expect to keep it and ride it for the next 10 years.

  6. #6
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    Have a look at the Marin Hawk Hill 2 or 3. They have gotten uniformly great reviews everywhere.

  7. #7
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    I was in the same boat as you, and highly recommend testing as many bikes as you can, even if its just a ride around the block. Have you rode the Trek Fuel EX or Remedy? Depending on your needs, I'd give them a test ride. Their geo in particular feels much better than Santa Cruz's cramped sizing. I was in the same boat as you [out of the game], and couldn't get on paying $2500+ for a 32lb+ short travel trail bike with intro specs. I ended up looking for past year, slightly used bikes and realized you could get a carbon higher end bike $5500 bike for the same price. Also something to think about.

  8. #8
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    new Stumpy for $1870 looks nice

    https://www.specialized.com/us/en/me...=226096-154261

    vid review.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_lTb6CiZSE
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails ,500 budget - check my options-screenshot-5-.jpg  


  9. #9
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    Dang, that SJ 27.5 is also optimized for L (out-of-the-saddle comfort/fit).

    Another thing the T-130 has over a Spider 275c and 5010: the VPP lower link is a mud shelf.

    I'm personally after something like the L Ripmo, but that's cause I like 29ers. xD

  10. #10
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    I am riding this bad boy and loving it. Right in your price range, but that deal on the Santa Cruz is looking pretty solid.
    https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-tr...18-c2x24881220

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    You could finagle with a specialized dealer about throwing a better fork onto the bike. The stumpy with a pike, mattoc, or fox 34 factory would be a sweet bike for $2500.

  12. #12
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    Since you've been out for awhile consider a 29/27.5+ capable bike. Lot of room and options for tuning as you own it for the years going forward. Especially in short travel. The bike should be Boost 148 and capable of a 2.5 or 2.6 x29 rear tire. And Boost fork. Better rollover on Wissahickon trails.

    YT Jeffsy is a bit over but good spec.
    https://us.yt-industries.com/detail/.../sCategory/511
    Last edited by eb1888; 1 Week Ago at 07:58 AM.

  13. #13
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    Iím selling my Ď19 Anthem 1 (wanting something more XC race-oriented). Itís a seriously fantastic bike, just not 100% for me, as I am looking for all-out speed. Have a look:

    https://m.pinkbike.com/buysell/2448357/

  14. #14
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    I'd honestly hit up that SJ if that seat tube wasn't too long for your tastes in size L. I wouldn't bother with the M. The Whyte seems a better value over all though, considering the spec and better fit, but the SJ chassis is attractive.

    I like how the Whyte undercuts the Rocky Thunderbolt.

    https://geometrygeeks.bike/compare/r...models-2018-m/

  15. #15
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    That Stumpjumper looks like a pretty good deal. I'd just get a dropper and I'd be happy with the bike for a while.

  16. #16
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    Loved my Marin Hawk Hill 1. It was a bit stiff but the steering was really responsive. Not really meant for jumps, 120mm suspension was bottoming out on me maybe its cause Im 230 lbs, but overall good bike!

    The cassette is the weak point of this bike though. Mines bent within a week. I had to return the bike.

    Now Im looking into something more in the 2 - 3 grand range maybe the new Trek Remedy.

  17. #17
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    Ended up with a Ď19 Bronson at too good of a deal to pass up. More suspension than I likely need but should do the trick. Thanks all!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewBaker View Post
    Ended up with a Ď19 Bronson at too good of a deal to pass up. More suspension than I likely need but should do the trick. Thanks all!
    Nice!!! But I won't believe you until I see a pic.
    17 Kona Hei Hei Trail 27.5
    15 Framed Minnesota 3.0XWT

  19. #19
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    That '19 Bronson is a great choice! I'm envious. I also ended up on a recent long travel bike due to a deal I couldn't pass up, though not as prestigious (used too).

    I don't think suspension travel is something that should be kept low, unless you have a need. I find that suspension travel merely dictates what you save energy on:

    - shorter travel: save more energy on the climbs
    - longer travel: save more energy on the descents

    The geometry and suspension tune dictates the ride feel:

    - compact wheelbase and firm suspension: responsive sporty feel, rewarding acceleration and fine control (including in the air), less energy required to loft wheels at cost of needing a highly skilled rider to maintain control
    - long wheelbase and compliant suspension: comfortable and stable feel, rewarding high speed and daring (overcoming mental blocks: charging steep, rough sections), less energy required to maintain control at cost of losing its stable steering traits at low speed (~5 MPH or less) and lack of low speed agility

    I'd generalize the Bronson as a medium-long wheelbase with medium suspension, with slightly long travel:

    - the medium-long wheelbase makes it suitable for "Enduro" style trails and high speed flow trails, where momentum retention is rewarded, encouraging you to take bonus challenge lines.
    - the medium suspension (mix of firm off-the-top and compliant mid-end stroke) makes it feel more of a versatile all-rounder.
    - the slightly long travel synergizes well with the other traits to create a "comfort zone" in which you feel utmost freedom (no idea what word to better describe it) going at many modern flow trails' natural speed/traction limits.

    Buzz kills mainly revolve around accelerating from low speed and just going slow in general. The firm pedaling of VPP kind of offsets the accelerating downside, at cost of compliance over bumps while pedaling (pedal-reactive, rather than active). This is more forgiving to mistakes, but not as pleasant on stuff that you have already mastered. The nice thing is that you can fit a larger chainring after you master things and gain more fitness, to tone the pedal-reactive feel down.

    Don't be surprised when you naturally are drawn to any trail that is fast enough, or at least allows your fitness and skill level to reach speeds that get into bike's comfort zone (blue trails are open game for low fitness/skilled, since it gives easy speed). Don't be surprised if you become sort of snobby in your choice of trails too, judging some trails to be not worth riding (you might dislike trails that require too much braking). You'll likely be looking for trails that evolved to have more speed, which may have been eroded by high traffic and neglected. I just want to encourage that you be tasteful in how you decide to balance out that snobby nature, in order to get your "highs"... people seem to think that merely climbing is enough effort paid to balance things, and also reward themselves with food/drink. You can do better, right? xD

    P.S. speed and calm/composed control is always in style. Oh, and sorry if my rambling generalized prediction on how the bike will handle (without riding it myself) is being a bit too forward.
    Last edited by ninjichor; 2 Days Ago at 09:00 PM. Reason: fix typos

  20. #20
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    Love it! Thank you for the thoughtful response. I know it will do the trick.

    The fitness will have to come back, as alas I do enjoy the food and drink.

    ,500 budget - check my options-f8ff5d36-1cc7-4238-b4c3-d2f981c6e994.jpg

  21. #21
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    the Bronson is killer. demoed it in Santa Cruz. just dont let it get you killed, thing LUVS to haul!

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