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  1. #1
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Most of the manufacturers building 27.5 bikes for 2014 have lightweight 32/120mm "XC" and heavier 34/150mm "all mountain/enduro" models in their line-up, but there seems to be a gap for those of us who ride trails which are rougher than a groomed XC race course but minus the big drops and intense downhill w/extreme terrain found in "All Mtn" riding. I wish one of them would come out with a frame/bike designed more towards a 32/140mm fork w/matching shock, which would seem perfect for a 27.5 "Trail" bike...

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    So far there is the Yeti SB75 and 575, Trek Remedy and the Giant Trance that I know of. They are out there and there will be more as companies transition from the 26".
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  3. #3
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    What? Have you been paying attention? 5010/Bantam, Sight, Trance, Thunderbolt, Remedy...etc, etc.

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    Transition Bandit 27.5

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    Turner Flux is designed for 120-140mm fork.

    I'm getting one for the wife. Will run a White Bros Loop 32 x 140.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigrocks View Post
    Transition Bandit 27.5
    I don't see it on their website

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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    What? Have you been paying attention? 5010/Bantam, Sight, Trance, Thunderbolt, Remedy...etc, etc.
    The Solo is the definition of a trail bike. You could say the same for the Thunderbolt even though it's a tad more to the XC side.

  8. #8
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    Man, 2014 is the year for options in 27.5/650b wheel bikes, pretty much everything covered by someone this year. Last year it was all mountain or bikes with over 120mm travel, kind of nice that there is a big crop of 100-120mm bikes now.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  9. #9
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    The Giant Trance Advanced, Trek Remedy and Norco Sight 27.5 do seem more towards Trail (w/CTD the Talas fork is somewhat un-necessary on the Trance). The Thunderbolt is an XC model with 120mm travel and a low BB (20mm drop) that doesn't provide enough clearance (IMO) - same goes for the Santa Cruz 5010 and Bantam at 125mm travel (115mm measured w/5010) and Yeti SB75 (127mm travel) that also have low BBs. I also looked at Scott which has the Spark (32/120mm) and Genius (34/150mm). The 2014 models are evolving but I may give it until 2015 to see how things settle before jumping in.

  10. #10
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    jkovaly - the trend is towards lower BBs. You may actually be better off with a conversion. My Nickel is at 13.8" and works nicely for the East coast trails I ride.

    If you're interested, I could be convinced to part with my Blur LT2 frame...
    It was a great conversion, but I went for simplicity and a longer TT.

  11. #11
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    Re: 2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    The Giant Trance Advanced, Trek Remedy and Norco Sight 27.5 do seem more towards Trail (w/CTD the Talas fork is somewhat un-necessary on the Trance). The Thunderbolt is an XC model with 120mm travel and a low BB (20mm drop) that doesn't provide enough clearance (IMO) - same goes for the Santa Cruz 5010 and Bantam at 125mm travel (115mm measured w/5010) and Yeti SB75 (127mm travel) that also have low BBs. I also looked at Scott which has the Spark (32/120mm) and Genius (34/150mm). The 2014 models are evolving but I may give it until 2015 to see how things settle before jumping in.
    Check out the Devinci Troy.
    140mm rear
    Carbon option $2400 for frame
    Aluminum made in Canada, XP model full bike $3K (and that includes RS Pike!)
    Lifetime warranty.
    Adjustable geometry -
    BB can be 13.3 or 13.5"
    ST at 72.4 or 73
    HT angle changes from 67 to 67.5
    Longer TT
    Split pivot suspension
    Short CS at 16.9"

    All my bikes are Santa Cruz and I am still going to demo a Solo, but this Troy looks good...
    Last edited by jazzanova; 11-06-2013 at 01:47 PM.

  12. #12
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    I'm going to go ahead and nitpick your nitpick.

    If you can't ride your local trails on a 120mm bike because you require more travel, either get better or get a bigger bike.

    If you don't think a bigger bike is needed for your local trails, get a 120mm bike and get better.

    Honestly, 120mm being classified as "XC" is a bit much. That's more of a fun bike than anything.

    And to be honest, I ride my 100mm Hardtail 650b on trails that I usually only see 120mm+ F/S bikes on.

    So pick a bike. Then, set it up for you. The second part is very important. Proper bike fit and geometry trumps all wheelsize debates.
    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    Most of the manufacturers building 27.5 bikes for 2014 have lightweight 32/120mm "XC" and heavier 34/150mm "all mountain/enduro" models in their line-up, but there seems to be a gap for those of us who ride trails which are rougher than a groomed XC race course but minus the big drops and intense downhill w/extreme terrain found in "All Mtn" riding. I wish one of them would come out with a frame/bike designed more towards a 32/140mm fork w/matching shock, which would seem perfect for a 27.5 "Trail" bike...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and nitpick your nitpick.

    If you can't ride your local trails on a 120mm bike because you require more travel, either get better or get a bigger bike.

    If you don't think a bigger bike is needed for your local trails, get a 120mm bike and get better.

    Honestly, 120mm being classified as "XC" is a bit much. That's more of a fun bike than anything.

    And to be honest, I ride my 100mm Hardtail 650b on trails that I usually only see 120mm+ F/S bikes on.

    So pick a bike. Then, set it up for you. The second part is very important. Proper bike fit and geometry trumps all wheelsize debates.
    Come on man, that 3/4 inch makes all the difference.
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    What a decision!! I am jumping into the 27.5 FS trail market and have so many good choices Yeti SB75 seems to leading at this point but who knows by March when I want to buy!

  15. #15
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    You lose races by 3/4th an inch. For sure.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Come on man, that 3/4 inch makes all the difference.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    What? Have you been paying attention? 5010/Bantam, Sight, Trance, Thunderbolt, Remedy...etc, etc.
    Ye, my thoughts exactly. I dunno where the OP has been looking...
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

  17. #17
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    Jamis Dakar XCT, just look to the right side of this page.
    Also Transition Bandit 650b, Trek Remedy, and the Trance 650b for a few.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FNFAL View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and nitpick your nitpick.

    If you can't ride your local trails on a 120mm bike because you require more travel, either get better or get a bigger bike.

    If you don't think a bigger bike is needed for your local trails, get a 120mm bike and get better.

    Honestly, 120mm being classified as "XC" is a bit much. That's more of a fun bike than anything.

    And to be honest, I ride my 100mm Hardtail 650b on trails that I usually only see 120mm+ F/S bikes on.

    So pick a bike. Then, set it up for you. The second part is very important. Proper bike fit and geometry trumps all wheelsize debates.
    I demo'd the 5010c and Rocky Mtn Altitude back-to-back for 4hrs over an excellent mile long section of nearby "test Trail" earlier this week, lots of fairly steep technical sections covered with medium size rocks, loose dirt, erosion, switchbacks and wooden log waterbars. I agree that if I plan on buying a 27.5 w/lower BB and less suspension I will need to get better, especially at timing pedal strokes over obstacles. But as much as I would like to, I will never ride like Steve Peat in that Santa Cruz 5010 video! Of course if I get a bike with at least 13.5" BB clearance and 140mm of travel I won't need to As far as the bike comparison, they each had different qualities I liked and some I didn't - although overall I liked both far better than my current (7yr old) 26in bike. The 1/2in BB drop between them really did make a difference - no pedal strikes with the Rocky Mtn although the 5010c was more stable and rolled over pretty much everything. Next up is the Scott Genius and Spark in a couple of weeks...

  19. #19
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    You owe it to yourself to add an Ibis HDR 650 to your list. More travel than a 5010, plus a higher bottom bracket and still handles like a dream. Oh and the price for a carbon HDR with X01 build is only $100 more than an aluminum 5010 (and weighs a few pounds less).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    I demo'd the 5010c and Rocky Mtn Altitude back-to-back for 4hrs over an excellent mile long section of nearby "test Trail" earlier this week, lots of fairly steep technical sections covered with medium size rocks, loose dirt, erosion, switchbacks and wooden log waterbars. I agree that if I plan on buying a 27.5 w/lower BB and less suspension I will need to get better, especially at timing pedal strokes over obstacles. But as much as I would like to, I will never ride like Steve Peat in that Santa Cruz 5010 video! Of course if I get a bike with at least 13.5" BB clearance and 140mm of travel I won't need to As far as the bike comparison, they each had different qualities I liked and some I didn't - although overall I liked both far better than my current (7yr old) 26in bike. The 1/2in BB drop between them really did make a difference - no pedal strikes with the Rocky Mtn although the 5010c was more stable and rolled over pretty much everything. Next up is the Scott Genius and Spark in a couple of weeks...
    Then you can have a Blur TRc and convert it to 27.5 you'll have 120 mm travel with 13.6" bb height. Don't try rear tire more than 2.2" though (depends on tire). Or get Ibis HDR 27.5" at 135mm travel -convertible to 26" 160mm.
    But honestly what is this trail and am all about if you're not gonna leave the ground at all? Their weight difference are more on your gear, wheel and tire selection.
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    Man, I remember when over 3" of travel was DH ready. Now you can't ride a bike in the woods without exactly 5.5", and apparently 4.7" is an XC race-only bike.

    I'd focus less on the amount of travel, and more on the qualities of the bike. There are some amazing bikes out there that don't fall into a specific niche. If you like them enough, pick your parts out that'll make it more XC or more DH and don't over-analyze things. A 110mm rear travel bike with a 140mm fork is really capable for aggressive trail riding, and a 160mm travel frame can be built up with lightweight parts and still be an XC destroyer.

    I know people will disagree with me, but I still feel that the little bit of added rollover with 650b reduces the need for excess travel, just like a 29er. A 110mm 29er is just as capable as a 140mm 650b and a 26" 150mm bike, in my opinion. You just carry less travel and weight.

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    Yeah, maybe the categories the bike companies market specific bikes for are getting a bit too segmented. Regarding rollover, most riders I talked to didn't notice much difference between the 26" and 27.5", although I surely did, especially over obstacles while riding uphill. But I am not looking at buying a new 27.5 just for wheelsize, I was in need of a new bike anyway and the timing just worked out. I was able to bottom out the 130mm once or twice but not the 150mm, so i know the range I need, depending on other suspension factors I guess.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Peden View Post
    What a decision!! I am jumping into the 27.5 FS trail market and have so many good choices Yeti SB75 seems to leading at this point but who knows by March when I want to buy!
    Agreed. The Yeti is really yanking on my bank account!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    Yeah, maybe the categories the bike companies market specific bikes for are getting a bit too segmented. Regarding rollover, most riders I talked to didn't notice much difference between the 26" and 27.5", although I surely did, especially over obstacles while riding uphill. But I am not looking at buying a new 27.5 just for wheelsize, I was in need of a new bike anyway and the timing just worked out. I was able to bottom out the 130mm once or twice but not the 150mm, so i know the range I need, depending on other suspension factors I guess.

    So you're basing you're bike choice by something that happened once or twice? Not a real smart way to go, you buy for 90% of your riding not 10%. I ride a 100mm TBc, yet I've taken it off 2-3ft drops easily if not higher.

    I looked up buffalo creek trails, honestly didn't really see anything that even really needed 120mm travel.
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    the push in the past 3 or 4 years has been all about "AM" and "more travel is always better". thus, those types of bikes got all of the marketing attention and forum cred.

    I've ridden a bunch of bikes and I'll say that the latest geometry trend for 120/130 bikes being low and slack is a freaking home run. I don't see a huge need for 160mm bikes unless you are really hitting it hard with lots of air time. i could only be happier with my ASR5 if the bb was a touch higher but fatty tires get me there with a touch of added weight & roll resistance

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    the push in the past 3 or 4 years has been all about "AM" and "more travel is always better". thus, those types of bikes got all of the marketing attention and forum cred.

    I've ridden a bunch of bikes and I'll say that the latest geometry trend for 120/130 bikes being low and slack is a freaking home run. I don't see a huge need for 160mm bikes unless you are really hitting it hard with lots of air time. i could only be happier with my ASR5 if the bb was a touch higher but fatty tires get me there with a touch of added weight & roll resistance
    I gotta agree, give me 110-130, a nice tight geometry, decent suspension kinematics, and I'd be pretty happy. I've considered picking up another cannondale rush to convert, as my current one is more "trail" oriented than dh, but with an angleset, you could pretty easily have a bike with a 67.5* ha, long Ett, wicked short chainstays, and a reasonably low bb. It's just a shame the suspension isn't nearly as good as it could be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    So you're basing you're bike choice by something that happened once or twice? Not a real smart way to go, you buy for 90% of your riding not 10%. I ride a 100mm TBc, yet I've taken it off 2-3ft drops easily if not higher.

    I looked up buffalo creek trails, honestly didn't really see anything that even really needed 120mm travel.
    120mm would be fine for most of Buffalo Creek (great trail) but IMO not really enough for Apex, Deer Creek and other trails I would place in the "Trail" category around here. I don't consider myself an "all mtn" rider by an means, but I need something which rolls up chunky technical uphills, tight switchbacks and gets me down all those ravines and rocky downhills as smoothly as possible - that describes 70% of the trails I ride on. Travel is just one component of the decision, BB height, seattube/head angles, etc. are other factors and each have a priority in my list. Of course no matter what the geometry and specs, test rides are a must to see how they really handle. That is why I picked a nearby 1 mile section typical trail I ride to test these out...

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by reformed roadie View Post
    jkovaly - the trend is towards lower BBs. You may actually be better off with a conversion. My Nickel is at 13.8" and works nicely for the East coast trails I ride...
    I'm with ya on a conversion... my Dale Rush is 13.75" and I love it for riding here in the desert! Just say no to low BB's!!!

    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?-img_4305w.jpg
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    I've considered picking up another cannondale rush to convert, as my current one is more "trail" oriented than dh, but with an angleset, you could pretty easily have a bike with a 67.5* ha, long Ett, wicked short chainstays, and a reasonably low bb. It's just a shame the suspension isn't nearly as good as it could be.
    Now your talking.... and get together with Push. They'll make that HSP hook up all around!!!
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  30. #30
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaGoat View Post
    I'm with ya on a conversion... my Dale Rush is 13.75" and I love it for riding here in the desert! Just say no to low BB's!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And if you want a new purpose built "just say no to low 27.5" bike", there's the Lenz Lunchbox 650b:

    http://www.lenzsport.com/detail.php?prodID=30

    Bucking the trend by a rather large margin looks like.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    ...Regarding rollover, most riders I talked to didn't notice much difference between the 26" and 27.5", although I surely did, especially over obstacles while riding uphill...
    This...sort of...
    The only 27.5 bike I've h the chance to ride is a Giant Trance SX that I demo'd on my home trails. I have to say that I didn't really notice the bigger wheel size except on rocky, technical climbs. Even then it was subtle but I couldn't deny that it seemed easier, better. On two climbs in particular I was climbing in a higher gear and was less worn out at the top. Sold!

    BTW my current ride is a 9 year old HL Turner 5-Spot. The Giant was sooo different in so many ways, that it was too much to compare just the wheel size alone.

  32. #32
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    Regarding rollover, most riders I talked to didn't notice much difference between the 26" and 27.5", although I surely did, especially over obstacles while riding uphill.
    The difference really is only an inch in diameter, and this is a good thing. No tough frame compromises necessary to add travel. The rollover difference IS subtle, but exists. The handling is close and not so adversely compromised, though slightly. Another thing some feel and others don't is slightly higher gearing.

    In rollover, handling and higher gearing, a 29'er is obviously different, and the rider transitioning from 26" has to adjust to the bike.

    27.5" very little adjustment necessary, and IME the subtle differences are mostly plus. But, for every "best of both" convert there is at least one "meh" holdout. So it goes.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  33. #33
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mnigro View Post
    the push in the past 3 or 4 years has been all about "AM" and "more travel is always better". thus, those types of bikes got all of the marketing attention and forum cred.

    I've ridden a bunch of bikes and I'll say that the latest geometry trend for 120/130 bikes being low and slack is a freaking home run. I don't see a huge need for 160mm bikes unless you are really hitting it hard with lots of air time. i could only be happier with my ASR5 if the bb was a touch higher but fatty tires get me there with a touch of added weight & roll resistance
    One bike in Europe is sort of on its own: Cube Stereo 650b, a 6" travel Enduro bike that weighs LESS than most 4" travel XC bikes! If Cube developed a 5" trail bike, knocking another pound off the Stereo - between forks and frame- you could run the biggest boat anchor dropper post on the market and with the right wheels and tires, still have a 24 lbs bike.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    One bike in Europe is sort of on its own: Cube Stereo 650b, a 6" travel Enduro bike that weighs LESS than most 4" travel XC bikes! If Cube developed a 5" trail bike, knocking another pound off the Stereo - between forks and frame- you could run the biggest boat anchor dropper post on the market and with the right wheels and tires, still have a 24 lbs bike.
    Have you seen the AMS 130 HPA Pro 27.5, stock it's 28lb, but mainly slx and deore, with a XT RD.
    CUBE AMS 130 HPA Pro 27.5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Have you seen the AMS 130 HPA Pro 27.5, stock it's 28lb, but mainly slx and deore, with a XT RD.
    CUBE AMS 130 HPA Pro 27.5
    Wow... Thanks for sharing that! Never heard of Cube! Like what I saw there... if they make that HPA in HPC, then that would be interesting.

    Looks like a Horst Link, right?
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  36. #36
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaGoat View Post
    Wow... Thanks for sharing that! Never heard of Cube! Like what I saw there... if they make that HPA in HPC, then that would be interesting.

    Looks like a Horst Link, right?
    Yeah, they should definitely
    sell a 130 or 140 with a carbon frame

    Yes, Horst Link. No Patent in Europe. Plus, Spesh patent in USA has expired, meaning door is open to sell them in US. Hopefully. Could start a price war on carbon frame 27.5" bikes. They undercut the current US market both in terms of price and weight as compared to Santa Cruz, Pivot, Norco, Intense, Scott, Rocky, Giant, Trek.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Yeah, they should definitely
    sell a 130 or 140 with a carbon frame

    Yes, Horst Link. No Patent in Europe. Plus, Spesh patent in USA has expired, meaning door is open to sell them in US. Hopefully. Could start a price war on carbon frame 27.5" bikes. They undercut the current US market both in terms of price and weight as compared to Santa Cruz, Pivot, Norco, Intense, Scott, Rocky, Giant, Trek.
    Except for those of us that have had a Horst Link and didn't like it. Unfortunately Cube coming to the US mean little since I'd still spend more on a design I like better.
    I doubt Cube coming to the US would change affect pricing on the other brands.
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    Sorry to do this, but I ride these trails you point out, Apex, Buff CReak (w/ Blackjack) and Deer Creek (quite a bit) on a hard tail single speed. Now, I point this out because a lot of people seem to buy into the hype that you need X bike to accomplish X task and if you don't have it then you are riding at disadvantage. Personally, I find this to be a bit tragic. People have been riding these trails since suspension was a luxury and having a great time.

    You can ride those trails on anything. The trick to getting down them smoothly is in the much more than the bike.

    Randall

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadraphonics View Post
    Sorry to do this, but I ride these trails you point out, Apex, Buff CReak (w/ Blackjack) and Deer Creek (quite a bit) on a hard tail single speed. Now, I point this out because a lot of people seem to buy into the hype that you need X bike to accomplish X task and if you don't have it then you are riding at disadvantage. Personally, I find this to be a bit tragic. People have been riding these trails since suspension was a luxury and having a great time.

    You can ride those trails on anything. The trick to getting down them smoothly is in the much more than the bike.

    Randall
    Funny that you posted this. I think you make a good point but you're now just representing the polar opposite end of the spectrum. Yes, you probably don't need 150mm bike to ride those trails but you don't need to go rigid SS either. Bottom line, you can hit more chunk and at higher speed when you add suspension travel to a bike. But again, there is a point where travel becomes excessive and more doesn't equal better.

    I fall into the crowd where I prefer to have some cush to take the edge off. I did buy into the big bike syndrome but now that shorter travel bikes have gotten slacker and more capable I have come to realize that my trails/riding style don't necessitate a burley AM rig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkovaly View Post
    Most of the manufacturers building 27.5 bikes for 2014 have lightweight 32/120mm "XC" and heavier 34/150mm "all mountain/enduro" models in their line-up, but there seems to be a gap for those of us who ride trails which are rougher than a groomed XC race course but minus the big drops and intense downhill w/extreme terrain found in "All Mtn" riding. I wish one of them would come out with a frame/bike designed more towards a 32/140mm fork w/matching shock, which would seem perfect for a 27.5 "Trail" bike...
    If you're complaining about this you must be really fast... Most people I hear blaming their equipment usually have a technique problem. Where exactly are you riding where you need a trail bike and not an "all mountain" (didn't realize there was a difference).

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadraphonics View Post
    Sorry to do this, but I ride these trails you point out, Apex, Buff CReak (w/ Blackjack) and Deer Creek (quite a bit) on a hard tail single speed. Now, I point this out because a lot of people seem to buy into the hype that you need X bike to accomplish X task and if you don't have it then you are riding at disadvantage. Personally, I find this to be a bit tragic. People have been riding these trails since suspension was a luxury and having a great time.

    You can ride those trails on anything. The trick to getting down them smoothly is in the much more than the bike.

    Randall
    Didn't read your reply before I posted. I agree 100%. I ride the same trails on a SB95c. Everyone I ride with are on hardtails (80mm). I just ordered a 100mm hardtail myself and still plan on riding those same trails... I ride a LOT at buffalo creek and was actually thinking about picking up a rigid fork down the road for riding there.

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    Indeed I could ride any of those trails with the fully rigid Giant ATX760 I bought back in 1996(?) but they will be a lot more fun with my new 27.5 :-) Either way, I would consider Buffalo Creek as mostly XC (excepting BlackJack, which I would categorize as "all mountain". I would consider Deer Creek and Apex as "Trail".

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    I am currently riding a Santa Cruz Solo (5010 now). I am running a 140 mm fork which can handle a lot. VPP Suspension makes it pedal like a dream. I am more of a trail rider but do dip into AM territory now and again. Plenty of options out there for that niche, will be even more when Specialized concedes defeat and offers up a 650b!

  44. #44
    jrm
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    Theres nothing that sez you cant underbuild a AM bike and end up with a very trail worthy steed. The advances in materials, travel/suspension quality/components have, YMMV, really blurred the lines between the supposed disciplines created by manufacturers.

  45. #45
    dwt
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    2014 27.5s are XC or All Mtn, what about "Trail" ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    If you're complaining about this you must be really fast... Most people I hear blaming their equipment usually have a technique problem. Where exactly are you riding where you need a trail bike and not an "all mountain" (didn't realize there was a difference).
    Huh? Where do you get OP blaming equipment for poor technique? Most people I know who gratuitously question or criticize other people's technique fall into 3 categories: 1) self important pricks; 2) clueless poseurs; 3) head cases projecting their own insecurities. I've never met a pro or semi pro rider talk **** about an amateur's technique unless asked.

    How about OP notices that there are dozens of new bikes coming out with above $4k price tags which tend to appeal to only 2 segments of a much broader market? For that kind of coin and in many cases much more, a bike should meet most of what the consumer is looking for. Gone are the days when you buy a bike for $1k and then spend another $2k or so upgrading or replacing components. For $5k you want a bike you can take out of the box, build, and ride as is with minor tweaks only.

    You tough guy Rigid SS snobs have it so easy with your simple bikes. Yawn. Get over yourself. I've heard it, seen it, even done it back when frames were steel, brakes were rim, and wagon wheels didn't exist as a crutch to clean chunk. No, I'm not impressed with myself, you, or anyone else less than semi-pro. And I agree with OP that more variety would be nice for the money we are paying for bikes, technique be damned.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    I see a lot of people with 150 mm or more bikes on the trails that wouldn't even attempt a 1 foot drop. If you got the technique a 5 inch trail bike is good for most applications. Plus, they pedal better. If you are regularly doing more than 3 foot drops an AM bike might be good but probably won't pedal as well.
    But I digress, there are already some great 650b trail bikes on the market. More to come soon for sure!

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