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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! 2013 Interbike Dirt Demo

    Two days, ten bikes ridden. Not one 26er.



    Reports are now posted. Scroll down to page three for the goods.
    Last edited by KRob; 09-24-2013 at 11:09 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Reports to come.
    I am green with envy!
    Just one quick question: Warden?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    One day down, five or six bikes ridden. Not one 26er.

    Reports to come.
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.

  7. #7
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    Subscribed. The wait is agony.
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  8. #8
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    Ah sweet.. any new Lyriks, or 36 type forks you're liking there?
    ...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    I am green with envy!
    Just one quick question: Warden?
    No warden
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.
    Both on my list but have been extremely hard to get. I'm just going to have to stay and wait.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deerhill View Post
    Ah sweet.. any new Lyriks, or 36 type forks you're liking there?
    Mostly trail 650b and short travel 29ers so haven't ridden any 6" forks yet.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  12. #12
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    Subscribed - cant wait :-)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    No warden
    Bummer for sure

    I'm in on this little freight train as well. Looking forward to reports

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  15. #15
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    Interbike Dirt Demo

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    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    One day down, five or six bikes ridden. Not one 26er.

    Reports to come.
    Which bikes have you ridden so far?

  17. #17
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    Maybe you can also ride the BMC Trailfox 29 and compare it to the 650b Enduros?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadl View Post
    Great. Have you been able to ride the Pivot Mach 6 and Devinci Troy? Can't wait to read your reports.
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design. Great, now I'm still "undecided" between those two and the Bronson (which I was lucky enough to try and really enjoyed)!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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    Try to get time on the new Instigator too if you can.

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    BIKE mag's take on the Troy: Video: First Impressions, 2014 Devinci Troy XP

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design.
    I'd think if the Mach 6 was the best DW-Link he's ridden that it would trump the Troy in "fun" category. 160mm+carbon+DWLink+27.5=what can be better?
    GIS/GPS Pro using ArcFM for Utility Mapping - Always willing to connect with other MTBers in the industry.

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    Tell us more please.

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    2017 Pivot Mach 5.5
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Uncle Cliffy on here rode both today and loved them - said the Mach 6 was the best DW link he'd ridden and that the Troy was his favorite and actually climbed well which I was really wondering about since it's a split pivot design. Great, now I'm still "undecided" between those two and the Bronson (which I was lucky enough to try and really enjoyed)!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Never got to the Tory, but the Mach 6 was brilliant. Favorite bike of the show.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  26. #26
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    Subscribed. I'm in the market and saw/threw a leg over a Mach6 last weekend at my LBS; it looked really well thought out, and the parking lot test on a med (need large) was very promising. Looking forward to your ride reports, and an upcoming dirt demo!

  27. #27
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    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Mostly trail 650b and short travel 29ers so haven't ridden any 6" forks yet.
    Interesting, was wondering about that and also UST, seems there are a couple frames right at that 6" spec
    ...

  30. #30
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  31. #31
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    Just a reminder...you can subscribe to a thread without posting. Click on the Thread Tools menu at the top and choose subscribe to this thread.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    Extra $700?
    I thought the Mach6 and Bronson were within 100 bucks of each other. 2899 for the Bronson c and 3000 for the Mach 6?
    Unless your talking about the al Bronson I guess.

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    No misprint; let's just say I'm WAY more connected with Santa Cruz than I am with Pivot...

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHeller View Post
    I'd think if the Mach 6 was the best DW-Link he's ridden that it would trump the Troy in "fun" category. 160mm+carbon+DWLink+27.5=what can be better?
    That's a good question. Both bikes were really nice, but I edge the Troy as my favorite for the subtle differences.

    Body position, and slightly lower BB were big for me. I felt like my weight was a little farther back on the Pivot, so it wasn't as comfy on the climbs. (The Pivot had a much longer stem too.) Both bikes descended in a similar manner. Controlled, and stable. Even though the Troy has 15mm less rear travel, both bikes felt the same on the hucks I did. (O rings told me I was using full travel.) I felt like I could throw the Troy around a little easier for whatever reason, and I got to try a large, and XL Troy. Might be the differences in the rear suspension, but I concentrated on the feel of the frame and their handling instead of turning dials.

    Best DW bike? Yes. This is in comparison to a couple old Iron Horses, and a Mojo HD I demoed last year. Small bump performance was great. Both of these bikes would serve their owners well.
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    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  35. #35
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    Can't thank enough for spending time to visit Interbike and conclude it in a -must be- usual great write up, KRob.
    Subscribed.
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today .
    My friend just got a Bronson and she's jumped to the next level of riding overnight. Looks like a great bike. It's too small for me to test properly, but having ridden with her a bunch it's pretty easy to gauge how much better she is riding.

    I'm sure you'll love it.
    Safe riding,

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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Kewl! Did you try the Bronson? Ordered one today (can't justify the extra $700 for the Mach 6 frame).

    Cheers,

    G
    Yes, the Bronson is a good ride. I liked it almost as much as the Mach 6.
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  38. #38
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    Is your report posted somewhere?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Is your report posted somewhere?
    If it is, I can't find it. I submitted the write-ups to mtbr last friday night because they wanted to feature them. I'm sure things have been crazy with I-bike and being gone all last week, but I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    If it is, I can't find it. I submitted the write-ups to mtbr last friday night because they wanted to feature them. I'm sure things have been crazy with I-bike and being gone all last week, but I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    Isn't the reason you started this thread is to post information to us? MTBR control over this deviates from the basic premise of these forums to post useful information by riders. Oh well, I removed myself from this thread of nothing.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude! View Post
    Isn't the reason you started this thread is to post information to us? MTBR control over this deviates from the basic premise of these forums to post useful information by riders. Oh well, I removed myself from this thread of nothing.
    hu? i post previews all the time then write the formal review then discuss the review via the front page or via the forums. "MTBR control" means that the article gets put on the front page. The premise of the forums is to provide rider information but it reaches a limited audience compared to the front page. Lots of people go to the front page and not to the forums -- which they find intimidating. Krob is a big boy and can speak for himself but just giving my pov
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    I'm hoping they'll have them posted up soon. If not I'll just go ahead and post them here in the forums.
    Go ahead and post them up. I find the MTBR main page a visual cluster F anyway.
    - -benja- -

  43. #43
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    I'd be curious if you threw a Giant Trance or Trance SX into this mix, and if so, how did it compare to these rides that you are liking such as the Devinci and the Mach?
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Chachi View Post
    I'd be curious if you threw a Giant Trance or Trance SX into this mix, and if so, how did it compare to these rides that you are liking such as the Devinci and the Mach?
    Hoping to ride the Giant Tracnce or Trance SX at Outerbike. Wasn't impressed with the Anthem but I think the Trance should be better suited to 27.5.
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    My wife always told me never to share any of my intellectual property as it was extremely limited. J

  46. #46
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    Love to see you post your stuff here.

  47. #47
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    First reviews are up on the homepage. Thanks KRob.

  48. #48
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    Krob, nice reviews. We should have more reviews like this.
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  49. #49
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    So, was the Solo your favorite of the bunch?
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  50. #50
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    Day 1

    2013 Interbike Dirt Demo

    I always like to preface my Interbike reviews/impressions with a disclaimer.
    -These are not full out comprehensive reviews. Theyíre just first impressions from brief rides on some really cool bikes, on some really fun, tough trails. Take them for what theyíre worth. Set up, bars, tires, adjustments, not to mention my state of dehydration at any given time during the ride can and does affect my impression of a bike. If youíre dumb enough to base a $5000+ bike purchase solely on my semi-coherent ramblings then you deserve what you get. Having said that, Iíve ridden a ton of bikes in a lot of locations over many years and I think Iím a pretty good seat-of-pants judge of whether a bike is good or not. So listen upÖ.. or not.

    Who am I: Just a guy who likes to ride bikes. Iím 52 years old. Iíve been riding mountain bikes for 16 years. I love all kinds of trails from fast and flowy to steep and chunky to jumpy and droppy. Iíve ridden mostly in the Western USA but have covered a lot of territory and trails in that region from Moab to Tahoe to St. George to Park Cit to Oregon to Fruita/Grand Junction to Sedona to Tucson to Phoenix to Flagstaff to Sun Valley but I call home Ely, NV. Iím 5í 11.5Ē and weigh 160 lbs. I ride 5-6 days a week year round. I value the ride more than the bike and in the end Iím not that clued in to details but I think I know what makes for a good rideÖand a good bike.

    General observations:
    27.5/650b is the new 26er. Everyone (except Specialized) has one and going back and forth between these and the 29er offerings it was easy to feel the differences between these two sizesÖ but I soon forgot how a 26er would feel any different the 27.5. It was just the bigger wheels and the smaller wheels at this demo.... no 26".

    Fat bikes. They were everywhere. It was like an invasion I didnít see coming.

    One x Eleven drivetrains: They are the real deal. Most bikes were sporting this set up and we dug it. Shifts were snickety snick accurate and the overall range of ratios was sufficient. Do we still need front derailleurs?

    Fox forks are much improved this year. That is good.

    Some companies came back (Niner), some had a bigger presence than ever (Devinci), some didnít show at all (Trek, Cannondale).

    Bikes I wanted to ride but either they werenít present or I just ran out of time and didnít get to:
    Divinci Troy, Niner WFO, Ibis Ripley, Ibis Mojo HDR, Cannondale Trigger, Transition Covert 29, Knolly Warden, Giant Trance 27.5, Trek Remedy 29, Pivot Mach 429, Banshee Spitfire 650b, Turner Flux 650bÖ

    It was hot (again), it was crowded (again), but itís still just like a free day in Disneyland for this bike geek (even had strollers, freaks and geeks of all sorts to weave through to get to the good rides just like Disneyland).

    I teamed up with Craigstr for the first day of demos so want to thank him for his help in securing some bikes and for his valuable input. I hope he opts to chime in on add his comments to these first impressions.

    Santa Cruz Solo (5010) C

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813601613/" title="SAM_0506 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3741/9813601613_56873b9754_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0506"></a>
    Iíve been looking for a nice short travel 650b or 29Ē as a complement for my Knolly Chilcotin so the 125mm Solo was high on my Interbike demo list. First thing Monday morning I headed straight for the Santa Cruz tent and stood there patiently waiting for them to open. The guys from Santa Cruz were friendly and helpful and got me set up and out the door in short order. First thought? Wow this bike is gorgeous! Love the Mountain Rescue Orange and beautiful, well proportioned, carbon swoopy lines. Second thought? Wow this thing is light. Next thought? This thing pedals incredibly well.

    As I climbed the road to the start of the trails I assessed the fit and determined that a large is just about right for me. At 5í11Ē Iím a bit of a tweener and some large frames feel a bit big but I knew from experience that SC tends to run a bit shorter so there was no question which bike to choose.

    As we got on to the trail and started climbing over some of the rocky outcroppings I was trying to sense any of the dreaded pedal kick back that the v.1 VPP was famous for but was unsuccessful in detecting any. The wheel would hang up just a tad on some of the slower, squarer edges but not worse than most other bikes. Generally the rear suspension worked really well on this climb,, staying bob-free and efficient when the trail was smooth and smoothly absorbing most rocks and ledges on the way. I was a bit disappointed to see the Fox 32 fork up front because Iíve had less than stellar experiences with it in the past but this 2014 version is a sweetheart. It responded well to small and medium sized edges, rocks, and ledges on the way up and tracked very well.

    This was also my first experience with a 1x11 drivetrain set up and was immediately won over. Very slick shifting even up onto the gigantic 42 tooth cog and plenty of range for most any riding youíd do on this kind of bike. Having ridden double shifting bikes for the better part of 40 years (yes Iím that old) I never gave much thought to the what it takes to coordinate shifts and gear combos between the front and rear derailleurs, but having only one lever to deal with all of that was noticeably easier on the brain. Iíll be even more interested when the 1 x 11 set ups start becoming available in the lower and mid-range groups.

    When we arrived at the top of our climb and started down the back side into the caldera I was kind of expecting the thin-legged Fox and short travel rear (remember when 125mm was considered long travel?) to show their stripes but not so: This thing just flew and the fork did not hold it back. It displayed very little flex and the action was controlled and well damped only falling behind a tiny bit on some of the rougher sections. Steering was sharp, and tight switch backs took some getting used to after stepping off my 65.5 deg head angled 170mm forked Chili, but once reacquainted with what accurate, playful steering can do to a tight trail it was great . With a relatively slack 68 deg head angle, low bottom bracket, and biggish wheels, the straight line stability was still very good as well. Despite that low bottom bracket number and rocky terrain, I did not get any unusual or excessive pedal strikes.

    The Solo Ö er 5010 (awkward name) was very easy to get comfortable on and gain confidence in quickly---Way more than I wouldíve previously expected of a bike with these ďtravelĒ numbers. Yes there may have been some visions of Peaty bombing the Scottish Highlands running through my head as I swerved, popped, flowed, and threaded my way down the trailÖ. But delusions of grandeur aside, the 5010 felt really good. And I gotta say, I didnít notice the wheel size one way or the other. The bike as a whole just felt incredibly well-balanced, fast, and fun.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813600803/" title="SAM_0507 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/9813600803_d9e0246eec_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0507"></a>
    Trademark issues may have forced a name change but Iím still going to call it the Solo.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509875/" title="SAM_0514 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2838/9813509875_a3f32eeb20_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0514"></a>
    One by eleven: Itís the real deal
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813545226/" title="SAM_0511 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7386/9813545226_4b211dbe00_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0511"></a>
    Beefy tiresÖ.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813599273/" title="SAM_0508 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7370/9813599273_c5fc22447f_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0508"></a>
    And wide bars go a long way in making a shorter travel bike feel All-mountain capable, but thereís more to this bike than that. Itís the whole package.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813543756/" title="SAM_0512 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2830/9813543756_fc93731890_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0512"></a>

    Giant Anthem 27.5

    Two years ago we rode the Giant Anthem 29 and liked it a lot. This year Giant is going all in with 27.5 for their short and mid-travel full suspension bikes and has gone to great marketing and ďscientificĒ lengths to justify the change. Is it all that? We wanted to find out so checked out this light weight four inch Anthem.

    I thought the Solo (there I go again) climbed really well but the Anthem practically levitated up the climbs. It was extremely light and the Maestro tuned mini ink suspension provided acceptable bump absorption while staying steady and bob-free. The only problem was it felt too XC to meÖ. Even old school XC, meaning longish stem, narrow bars, short front center, and steep head angle. You know, like a short travel 29er should feel, but the 29er had more wheel sticking out in front to help roll over the rough stuff and keep you feeling more centered ďinĒ the bike. I just could never shake the feeling that the Anthem felt better as a 29er. I mean it did fine on the less techy climbs and descents but when things morphed into chunky mode it felt sketch. I was begging for the Solo back at this point (but Craig wouldn't give it to me). And to make matters worse, it didnít display enough of the big wheel magic that makes a 29er great on the smoother stuff either.

    Otherwise, overall fit and finish were acceptable, lateral stiffness was good enough, and its pedaling efficiency was good. I suppose with a 120mm fork, wider bars, and bigger tires it might gain some ďtrailĒ cred but as it was it just didnít do it for us. A 27.5 Trance and Reign make senseÖ. This didnít (to me).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590863/" title="SAM_0516 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7281/9813590863_be30b18e92_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0516"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509484/" title="SAM_0519 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3752/9813509484_925df1d054_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0519"></a>

    Maestro works.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813507984/" title="SAM_0520 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3700/9813507984_08b6ebeabc_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0520"></a>
    These Avid brakes had more engagement and hissed and squeaked when applied. The XTís on the 5010 were much better.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813507805/" title="SAM_0518 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5535/9813507805_6edd5496d9_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0518"></a>

    This 1x11 drivetrain had some adjustment/set up issues and didnít shift as cleanly as the 5010 either.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590513/" title="SAM_0517 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3746/9813590513_201bddf85d_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0517"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813590743/" title="SAM_0515 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3822/9813590743_cba875415c_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0515"></a>

    Niner Rip 9

    It was good to see Niner back at the Dirt Demo after a two or three year absence. I was really interested in trying the Jet 9 RDO and the Rip 9 has always been one of my favorites so we grabbed both of them. I hadn't ridden the Rip 9 since v. 2 first came out so was interested to see how this newest iteration compared.

    We checked out a size large which felt big and tall but not overly long in the top tube so not sure how the medium would've compared. The tall stack height, wide bars, and big rolling rubber gave me a "monster truck" sensation while sitting on top of the Rip 9 and I expected it to totally flatten the trail, but for all its bigness I didn't find it overly plush or smoothing. Something about the all Rock Shox suspension just felt stiff. I didn't play with the tech adjusted settings on this bike but if I had thought about it I would've tried less air front and back. It did climb fairly efficiently but wasn't nimble in tighter spots or working its way through boulder fields.

    I did like the upright seating position, the fit and finish was good, and the Licorice and white paint scheme was sharp. Overall this is a very good bike. Perhaps with more suspension set up time (or perhaps with the excellent new TALAS 34 140/110 fork or Pike ) I could've gotten the Rip 9 feeling more like the playful trail/am monster I was expecting, but as it was it fell a bit short for me.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813509004/" title="SAM_0521 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2872/9813509004_9cd8f8a444_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0521"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813582913/" title="SAM_0523 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5340/9813582913_f2e1ea8e73_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0523"></a>

    Wide bars and dropper posts are becoming requirements for me. Points were deducted from any bike lacking either. The big Rip scores points here. I also liked these minimal Ergon AM grips. Don't like the ones with the wings.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813498765/" title="SAM_0524 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7310/9813498765_f44ffb103b_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0524"></a>

    This Revelation fork was a bit of a weak link in this set up which is surprising because I've had good experiences with Revs in the past.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813499994/" title="SAM_0529 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5484/9813499994_a8ed1669ab_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0529"></a>

    WTB AM 29er rims and Nobby Nicks are a good solid wheel/tire combo. More 1 x 11 = more points won.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813499905/" title="SAM_0525 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7426/9813499905_16f10664dc_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0525"></a>

    Beautifully crafted pivots, rockers, and curvaceous stays. This demo's name was Jordan. The ghost of JMH still at Niner?
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813527056/" title="SAM_0526 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/9813527056_fd8dcb858c_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0526"></a>


    Niner Jet 9 RDO

    The Jet 9 was another bike that was high on my list as a possible Chilcotin complement so I was keen to give it a whirl. The RDO is the all carbon version of the XC/race Jet 9 recently updated to incorporate all the latest design features including 100mm of travel, 142mm rear spacing, and carbon upper rocker arm. Niner really prides itself in designing beautiful bikes whose form follows function derived from combining data for strength, weight, stiffness, and damping characteristics into an aesthetically appealing final shape. I liked the looks of the Jet 9 alright but wasn't totally won over by the curvy lines. The front "triangle" and rear seem a little disjointed to my eye. Maybe it was just the two-tone paint scheme.

    Despite what it looks like, it works. They definitely got the function part right. It is amazing how light they are building bikes these days and the Jet is no exception. This one felt a bit heavier than the Anthem but I'll bet it was still under 25 lbs. The sizing felt good and component selection was top shelf. I think they went a bit too XC (for me) on the bars, tires, and post so it lost a couple points for narrow barrows and no dropper. Other than that, the spec was good.

    Once on the swoopy, sometimes rocky Lakes loops it seemed to fly. It railed berms well, flew down through the steep g-outs and up the other side effortlessly, and floated over rocky sections and the occasional booter with pizazz and little drama. It felt like it could pop and play well. Seated climbing and standing sprints yeilded the same efficient power transfer I've come to expect from the excellent CVA rear suspension linkage while soaking up edges and bumps with a firm yet controlled short travel plushness. For a short travel race bike, this bike seemed to exceed it's expected trail cred as opposed to the Rip 9 which fell a bit short of what I expected. With "proper" 120mm fork, wider bars, and fatter rubber I think it could give the Czar and Solo a run for their money in what I want for a bike of this sort.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813489875/" title="SAM_0534 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7331/9813489875_2b43e14c5a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0534"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813568833/" title="SAM_0536 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7303/9813568833_f36220b64f_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0536"></a>

    Points off for sporting a front derailleur. That is so last year. Arched stays and top tube.... ummm, the jury is still out for me on the aesthetics.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813567213/" title="SAM_0537 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5494/9813567213_c2be5f3d66_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0537"></a>

    "Pedal Dammit"..... then go "Drink Beer"? I know it's very unhip of me to say, but I can't get behind either one of those directives.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813494675/" title="SAM_0531 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5472/9813494675_84487c89f4_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0531"></a>

    Yeti SB 75

    Yeti recently unveiled their all new 27.5" bikes, the SB 75 and the 575. I got a chance to ride the switch link SB at the Dirt Demo which is designed to fill the 650b marketing nitche that every bike manufacturer (except Specialized) has rushed to fill. With five inches of rear travel, low bottom bracket, and slackish head angle and longish top tube, I expected this to be a trail ripper. I promptly took it up the shuttle, strapped on a a number plate and timing chip from InnovativeTiming Systems and tore off down a very techy Skyline trail. It wasn't long before the bike was feeling out gunned. The tires were a bit skinny for this application, the suspension was a bit stiff and the HA a bit steep. It just felt out of sorts. As I pounded down through the rough sharp edges strung up high on a very steep, cliffy side hill, I kept thinking to myself that I should slow down before I went off the edge or pinch flatted.
    Thankfully the latter happened before the former and after one more pinch flat and three total tube changes I had to give up and roll down the road on a flat (hanging head in shame as I always mentally berated the morons who came to interbike unprepared enough that they had to walk or limp back to the paddock on their rims).

    Still wanting to give the SB 75 a fair shake I went to my car and found another new tube, replaced it and pumped it up to 35-40 lbs (that's a lot for me) and grabbed the next shuttle back up to the top. This time I took the more tame but still rollicking fun Boy Scout trail down which I assumed would be a better match for the bike's capabilities and intended purpose. It did better on this one but there was still something that just didn't feel right for me. The rear suspension was a bit dead feeling and the fork got overwhelmed easily in the chunk. Climbing up smoother sections while seated it pedaled without bobbing but almost felt like there was too much anti-squat and the bike was plowing or stink-bugging into the hill. The frame is nearly 7.75 lbs which is porky compared to its carbon competition so this may have added to this not-so lively feeling.

    On my first ride up the hill the bar and stack height felt too low and head angle seemed steep. Maybe it was because I'd just stepped off the two Niners which had quite tall stack heights but it just felt odd. The second time up I switched some spacers from above the stem to below (while riding the shuttle truck I might add), raising the bars another half inch or so and that improved some of the stink bug feeling and gave me a better, more balanced attitude. On the plus side, lateral stiffness was very good and overall, on more flowy, rocky terrain the suspension was reasonably plush though I'd still call it a firm plush and not as well controlled as some. I suspect that additional suspension set up and bigger tires would've helped this feeling although overall I liked the grip of this HR II front/Ardent rear combo. I just liked them better in the bigger size. Overall impression was a disappointing for me. I know it's outgunned in travel by a couple of the contenders, but given the numbers, I expected it to be right up there with the Bronson, Solo, and Mach Six for best 5-6" 27.5 do everything, fun, fast, enduro, trail slayer title but it landed at the bottom of that very impressive heap.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9813566113/" title="SAM_0538 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7422/9813566113_83d70f1cf5_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0538"></a>

    The seat tube was quite long on this size large and it made me wonder if I should've been on a medium. Even with the excellent Thomson adjustable seat post all the way down in the seat tube, the seat was too high with the post fully extended. I had to adjust it down with the remote to get the right pedaling height. Take not if you're under 6'.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831592976/" title="SAM_0543 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5536/9831592976_4df97bcddb_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0543"></a>

    Beefy boxed rear triangle and short stout links added to lateral stiffness.
    And a word about CTD. There's been much talk about this and some people like it and some hate it, but I'm sort of ambivalent. To be honest I only rode the bikes in the Descend mode. None of them bobbed unacceptably while pedaling in that setting and none were too plush while descending (if there is such a thing) so I never bothered changing them. I like active suspension.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831653903/" title="SAM_0544 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5528/9831653903_9721fc0216_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0544"></a>

    This Fox shock felt less good then some of the others I tested but it may just've needed some further tuning.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831578435/" title="SAM_0541 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2827/9831578435_ae59e629c5_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0541"></a>

    The heart of the Switch. Fully sealed eccentric "link" system with oversized pivot pins and Enduro Max bearings. A splined BB shell accepts a removeable ISCG tabs.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9831656113/" title="SAM_0542 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2854/9831656113_627e87c616_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0542"></a>
    Last edited by KRob; 09-25-2013 at 10:42 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
    Isaiah 58:14

    www.stuckinthespokes.com

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude! View Post
    Isn't the reason you started this thread is to post information to us? MTBR control over this deviates from the basic premise of these forums to post useful information by riders. Oh well, I removed myself from this thread of nothing.
    Not sure I follow what "MTBR control" means. Myself, KRob, Lee and others give the draft of our written info to the internal MTBR.com staff, and they massage the pictures and might tweak the layout for editorial reasons, but nothing is ever cleansed. What you see is what we wrote.

  52. #52
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    2013 Interbike Dirt Demo Day 2

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844238483/" title="SAM_0547 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2843/9844238483_79ff383325_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0547"></a>

    Craig was busy working a booth today so I was on my own. I had two or three bikes that I HAD to get to so went to the booth where I thought it would be hardest to get bikes later in the day first thing. Turner had partnered up with Enve Composites in order to demo their bikes this year and showcase Enve wheels. Thanks to someone for tipping me off or I never would have found them.

    Turner Czar

    I arrived at 8:45 am and Jarrett from Turner wasnít there yet so I chatted with the guys from a Enve for a few minutes until he showed up. They have some cool high zoot stuff. I was able to check out this beautiful black Czar in a size large that was specíed out very nicely with Enve composite wheels and bar and a SRAM XX1 groupo. Weight mustíve been in the low twenties. I love the traditional, yet elegant lines and proportions of this carbon beauty-- A very, very nice looking frame. Dave was able to stay with his simple, mostly straight tube industrial look but still update it. I suspect (hope) Dave is working on a similar looking carbon design for a 140-150mm 27.5Ēframe for next year.

    Nice wide Enve composite bars and comfy ESI foam grips.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844329673/" title="SAM_0561 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5533/9844329673_46b4c99d21_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0561"></a>
    Jarrett got my pedals on, adjusted the sag, tightened a squeaky headset, and sent me on my way. Every time I pulled out of the paddock area with one of these stunningly expensive carbon bikes I just had to shake my head and smile at how cool this all is. The other thing that always stunned me was how these lightweight, efficient pedaling bikes practically ride themselves up hills. I saw a few guys on electric assist bikes heading up the road rapidly and with almost zero effort. The Czar felt a lot like that.

    Sizing was perfect and I really appreciated Turner outfitting this bike with some decently wide bars and shortish (for XC) stem. It really does add to the bikeís capability and confidence level when attacking the trail. The climb up was very impressive. It seemed like so little effort was required to keep the Czar rolling forward and upward. It handled the occasional rocky outcropping and step up with ease and I had to keep reminding myself that this was a 100mm XC race bike. For the amount of travel (or lack thereof) I was surprised at how well it smoothed out the bumps in a controlled and efficient manner. I didnít notice the bigger wheels really when maneuvering through a few tight spots but Iím sure they were at least partially responsible for getting me through some gaps in the trail surface without dropping down into holes and slowing forward progress.

    Once at the top of this trail I peeled off and climbed up the loose, steep, techy entrance to Caldera. This is my favorite test of a bikeís tech climbing chops. I was only able to clean the whole thing on a couple bikes and the Czar was one of them: Very impressive climber. Pointing it back downhill displayed another Czar strength which Iíd read about but about which I was somewhat skeptical. Well, call my skepticism erased. Tech chutes were handled with authority (once I got my multi-tool out and lowered the non-QR, non-dropper seat post. Points deducted!), and the flowy, bermy lower sections were just plain erased. Iím sure the ultra-stiff Enve carbon wheels add to this feeling of confidence both climbing and descending. No wobble or vagueness felt here at all. Good stuff.

    Following this descent I took it out on the more XC Lakes Loops which are spiced up with a few Bootleg-esque features like booters, deep g-outs and the occasional rock garden. Wow. The Czar ruled on this stuff. My only gripe here was a very annoying crack/creak that originated from somewhere down near the bottom bracket area at the bottom of each G-out, landing hard off booters, and while cranking hard while pulling up steep standing sprints. I even stopped to check to make sure the rear triangle or lower mini-link wasnít broken or something. When I got back to the tent, we were able to trace it to the SRAM clutch derailleur. After we figured that out I remembered a couple people mentioning this on earlier reports and I believe LeeL actually posted up a remedy for it.

    I bottomed the front and rear suspension often and not delicately as I pushed the Czar hard through some tougher terrain but it didnít falter. I would probably opt for a 120 fork and slightly stiffer setting or more bottom out ramp up on the shock if this were my bike, but overall I was very impressed with the Czar.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844262525/" title="SAM_0551 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2806/9844262525_295c7930d7_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0551"></a>
    Yeah I used all 100mm no problem. This SID fork was surprisingly supple and not as flexy as I wouldíve guessed.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844241204/" title="SAM_0555 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/9844241204_0ab1a73274_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0555"></a>
    Yep, smashed this O-ring clear to the stops several times as well. The compact, clean look of these dw-links is a testament to good design and clean aesthetics. No front derailleur FTW! Very nice.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844254745/" title="SAM_0556 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2877/9844254745_7d196bd5b6_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0556"></a>
    These Crossmark tires had decent grip and rolled fast, but I did find their limit once in a bermy S-turn. I was able to get a foot down and push it into the berm more to save face but it was a close call. I was a little more respectful after that.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844333343/" title="SAM_0557 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5346/9844333343_533f62b193_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0557"></a>
    This metal plate on the chainstay near the yoke is a nice touch.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844239044/" title="SAM_0558 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7442/9844239044_bebc8e98a5_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0558"></a>
    Good tire clearance.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844237924/" title="SAM_0559 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2818/9844237924_4c5ca7df29_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0559"></a>

    Santa Cruz Bronson C

    This is one of the other bikes that was at the top of my ďmust rideĒ list for today so after getting shut out at the Pivot tent (again) I headed to the Santa Cruz tent, filled out my card, and sat and waited until a size large Bronson came back in. It took about an hour but with the heat and my body still recovering from eight hours in the 100 degree sun the day before, I was OK with that. Ultimately, the wait was worth it. Finally someone brought back in this Tennis ball yellow carbon stunner and I was off to ride. With fresh legs I decided to eschew the shuttle and do a different climbing trail with more tech and some steeper climbs. The Bronson eagerly complied.

    The same levitation I felt with the shorter travel, lighter, short-link bikes Iíd ridden earlier was evident as well with this 150mm travel Bronson C as I pedaled up the smooth road to the beginning of the trail with zero pedal bob felt. The weight was still feathery light, although I could tell it was a few pounds heavier than some of the lighter short travel bikes Iíd ridden at the demo. I Ďm guessing in the 27 lb range. Sizing felt really good. Size large SC bikes in the past have felt a tad short in the top tube for me but this one felt just right. (I sat on a size XL Bronson when I was waiting for this large and it did feel too big).

    This semi-techy climb really highlighted some of the Bronsonís strengths. The seated position was comfortable, natural, and fairly upright for me. I could tell as I wheelied and torqued up and over steps and boulders that lateral stiffness is exceptional and, like the 5010, no pedal feedback was felt. If youíre hesitating getting a VPP bike because of this reputation for pedal kick back that keeps getting passed down, get over it. Itís not there. This is one of the other bikes on which I was able to clean the four foot step up move on the entrance to the Caldera loop. Itís a really strong technical climber.

    On the descents, the rowdy, square hits werenít totally erased but the suspension dealt with them in a controlled, firm/ plush manner (Yes, thatís a thing). The smaller bumps wouldíve felt more smoothed out if I didnít have to run so much air in the tires to avoid pinch flats but Iíve learned to take that into account here at Bootleg Canyon. I really liked the grip and cornering edge of the beefy Maxxis High Roller II tires front and rear. Up to this point the Bronson was my favorite bike of the show and I really didnít expect anything to best it, but there were still a few must-ride bikes on my list to check out.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844249825/" title="SAM_0563 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7414/9844249825_fae70949d4_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0563"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844217255/" title="SAM_0575 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2891/9844217255_e27347865b_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0575"></a>

    One piece molded carbon rear triangle showed no wag. Very stiff.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844270366/" title="SAM_0564 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7355/9844270366_ae3673d38a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0564"></a>

    2.3Ē HR II tires were beefy and stuck well everywhere in the loose dry Bootleg conditions. It looks tight in this pic but I think itís just the angle because it seemed like there was plenty of clearance back there.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844229844/" title="SAM_0565 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7370/9844229844_b7c58758e3_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0565"></a>

    Fox 34 150mm forked worked well. We were much more impressed with the Fox offerings this year.
    A word about brakes (Ok maybe two): Shimano XT = YES. Avid/SRAM stuff = not so much.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844228034/" title="SAM_0566 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2811/9844228034_c1662a4f90_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0566"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844265826/" title="SAM_0567 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3773/9844265826_61f03a9392_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0567"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844227284/" title="SAM_0568 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7419/9844227284_80da46eaf8_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0568"></a>

    I liked this WTB Volt seat. Looks light, was easy to get behind and was comfortable. Reverb Dropper post worked flawlessly.... as did the Thomson Elite Dropper, The KS Lev 150, and the Speicalized Command post I tried. They are indispensable tools for me and they all work well nowÖ. when theyíre working. Pick the one that has the best customer service and shortest return time when it needs warranty service because they all will.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844299523/" title="SAM_0573 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7434/9844299523_5734b8edb8_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0573"></a>

    Pivot Mach 6

    As I mentioned above, I had been to the Pivot tent a couple times previously trying to score the much sought-after Mach 6 only to be turned back by huge lines and chaos or empty bike racks. With time running out I was determined to sit and wait as long as it took to get a chance to ride this new 27.5Ē 155mm travel phenom. As I got to the Pivot booth a way magically appeared before me and within minutes I was at the front of the line and asked the nice lady for a large Mach 6. She informed me that they were out againÖÖ but someone had just turned in a medium. It was about then that I remembered that most Pivots I had ridden in the past ran a bit big for me in the large so I jumped at the medium.

    This frame is truly gorgeous. Wow. I kept getting increasingly won over by each successive carbon vixon that I got a chance to see up close. Not sure now which is the beauty contest winner, but this Mach 6 has gotta be in the running.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844200934/" title="SAM_0577 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3741/9844200934_3b5a9e95cb_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0577"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844297883/" title="SAM_0578 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7383/9844297883_972a02c868_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0578"></a>

    This is just elegant, tight, stiff, carbon eye candy to me. Nice work Chris Cocalis. Iím sure this contributes to the Mach 6ís stellar lateral stiffness.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844239146/" title="SAM_0580 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2883/9844239146_3c40b1b67a_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0580"></a>

    Out the expo area and up the road yielded the same floating-on-a-magic-carpet feeling that most of the bikes I rode gave me. What do the manufacturers do to make them feel like that? Sprinkle crack cocaine on the head tube or something? Wow. Very light, very efficient, very easy to wheely. Iím getting serious bike envy despite having just built up my dream bike six months ago. The medium size felt really good. I suspect I couldíve fit fine on the large as well but the medium felt playful and compact without feeling cramped. I took to it immediately.

    For this ride I noticed the shuttle was just getting ready to leave and there was still space on the back so I jumped on and hitched a ride. I stopped at the Park Tools tent at the top of the shuttle drop-off and pumped 35-40 lbs of pressure in the chewed up, whimpy looking Honey Badger rear tire and bolted for the fast, droppy Boy Scout descent. The wind had been picking up all afternoon from the West Southwest so the North by northwest heading of this trail lined me up with a rocking tail wind push. As the wind pumped me along, the bike just kept gaining speed and I kept expecting to have to rein it in as things got out of control on the rough and rocky trail but I never felt like I needed to put a halt to the fun. The bike just kept eating up everything the trail and speed were throwing at it and so I let it run. This was one of the those Wohoo moments of surprise and joy that you get every now and then on a particular trail/bike combination that just makes you smile all over (and makes you want to buy a new bike).

    If youíve been following these reports very long, itís no secret that Iíve been lukewarm on the previous Pivot offerings Iíd ridden at Interbike due to a lack of plushness in the rear end. Well, Iím not sure what CC has been brewing into his carbon molds but this baby flat out rips and does it in a very controlled, plush fashion. It felt as light and poppy as the Solo and as stable and capable as the Bronson. Amazing.

    I was having so much fun I took it around the inner Calera loop taking advantage of the tail wind push for another mile or so before beginning the long head-wind climb back out of the bowl. So I got a good chance to test its climbing and tech prowess on a few of the features here as well. All I can say is that it passed this test easily. The rollover on square edges was as smooth as any 29er I rode yet it stayed efficient on the less bumpy stuff between hits as well.

    Like Iíve said before thereís always one bike each Dirt Demo that just blows away my expectations. The Mach 6 was it this year. It was my favorite bike of the show.

    Seems like all the bikes this year were either black or neon of some hue. This one was carbon black/graphite with flow yellow highlights and I thought it looked great.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844194084/" title="SAM_0583 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2814/9844194084_b2ffd2e857_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0583"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844291843/" title="SAM_0584 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2870/9844291843_ff6226f1cf_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0584"></a>

    Some bikes left me wishing for bigger, more favorable tread, but this one excelled despite whimpy Honey Badger rear and run-of-the-mill sized Nevagal rubber up front. Another impressive Fox 34 fork.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844291793/" title="SAM_0585 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2853/9844291793_09be89b1a1_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0585"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844177974/" title="SAM_0591 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3832/9844177974_5c86f8252d_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0591"></a>

    Sturdy, wide, comfy cockpit
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844291843/" title="SAM_0584 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2870/9844291843_ff6226f1cf_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0584"></a>

    These DT Swiss rims were stiff and light.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844208975/" title="SAM_0586 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7316/9844208975_c0d3491ef3_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0586"></a>

    Maybe this new Fox Float X piggy back air shock was the secret? HmmÖ
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844192215/" title="SAM_0592 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7340/9844192215_b17acc0364_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0592"></a>

    Specialized S-Works Enduro 29er

    Coming off my good fortune at the Pivot tent I thought Iíd try my luck at Specialized as the line looked short when I passed by. Unfortunately the paddock looked pretty bare as well so I didnít expect to find what I wanted. Luck continued to shine on me as the nice lady told me someone had just turned in an Enduro 29er in size large. What made it even better was that it was a top-of-the-line full carbon S-Works version in stark black and white tuxedo attire. Not only that but it had the 160 Pike fork Iíd wanted to try all show and the new Cane Creek DBAir CS shock to boot. Nice.

    Of all the ďWowĒ moments I had pedaling these multi-thousand dollar bikes up out of the Expo area the one I had on the Enduro was the most impressive. I just never imagined a 6Ē 29er AM rig could feel this light (crazy light), efficient and easy to pedal (possibly at the expense of descending plushness?? More on that later). Wheelies were effortless, owing, I suppose, to the short chainstays and tall stack. From everything Iíd read and from what I was feeling as I climbed up to the shuttle my expectations for this bike were off the chart.

    I again caught the shuttle just as it was loading so took it up to the top of the hill. I decided to have another go at the very rough, technical, scary in spots, Skyline to East Leg trail that so flummoxed the SB75. Now weíll see what the right tool for the job can do, I thought.

    Within 30 feet of the start I could tell the technician had put too much air in the fork and shock as I was almost bucked off the trail on every rock. So I stopped and let out 5lbs from the front and rear shocks hoping this would give me the transcendent plushness I was expecting. This was a bit better and I was able to maintain control of the beast, but it still felt harsh. I stopped two more times and lowered the pressure front and rear. It eventually got a little better and I was getting closer to the full travel on bigger hits but it just didnít feel that great. I wanted to adjust the compression and rebound settings some but with time and tool constraints I didnít delve into the CCDB complexity. I did fiddle some with the settings on the fork and by time I got to the bottom it was starting to feel decent but neither end was the Praise the Lord and hallelujah marvels I was expecting. With these top end shocks, huge wheels, and refined FSR linkage, the big Enduro should have flattened that descent. It didnít. In fact it worked me pretty good. Iím wondering if Specialized has refined their FSR linkage so much over the years to increase the climbing efficiency that theyíve lost some of what makes the FSR so good to begin with: staying plush and active over rough stretches while bombing or braking. Or maybe it was just a shock/fork adjustment/set up issue.

    The good side is the super light weight, easy manualing up onto ledges, and stellar climbing. It was fairly nimble tooÖ.. shockingly nimble, in fact, for a long travel 29er but not in the same territory as the Mach 6 and 5010 obviously. I was aware of the big wheels trying to thread it through some of the tight turns and boulders but it wasnít a huge hinderance.

    All told, there were some pretty impressive things about this bike but I came away disappointed in the one aspect that should be its ruling strength.
    Every year I forget to get pictures of at least one bike. This year it was the Enduro. Hereís a few google images I lifted to fill in. Sorry.
    This one was borrowed for twentynineinches.com The one I rode was set up just like this.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9849507923/" title="S-Works Enduro 2014 2 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3746/9849507923_ef088fc604_c.jpg" width="800" height="531" alt="S-Works Enduro 2014 2"></a>

    Aaron Gwinís race bike. Iím sure heís got his suspension sorted. :0)
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9849506343/" title="Pro Bike: Aaron Gwin's Specialized Enduro 29 and SX by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3724/9849506343_35b8e77c57_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="Pro Bike: Aaron Gwin's Specialized Enduro 29 and SX"></a>

    Rocky Mountain Altitude

    Specialized wanted all their bikes turned in by 3:30 on Tuesday which I thought was kind of weird until I got back and they practically had their huge tent/canopy taken down and all their bikes packed. Apparently Interbike was hosting an outdoor demo area called The Paddock at the new host hotel in Las Vegas The Mandalay Bay and everyone had to get tents torn down and moved that night. I got walking around the expo area looking for my final ride and after checking with SRAM for the Norco Sight, GT for the Sensor, and Devinci for the Troy I started to resign myself to the fact that Iíd ridden my last bike of the day.

    But when I passed the Rocky Mountain tent I noticed their guys were still standing around and it looked like most of their bikes were still out so I asked if they were still checking out bikes. The guy acted a little puzzled but after asking his buddy they determined that they were still in business. Cool, I wasnít going to tell them anything about the whole Paddock at Mandalay Bay thing and spoil my shot at snagging a 150mm travel, 27.5Ē carbon Altitude. Nosiree.

    They got me set up in short order and I was off to find some energy to make it up the hill (and down) one more time. Just as they got pedals on I noticed the new Thunderbolt (their new 125mm 27.5 Solo competition) sitting there too and about changed my mind but didnít. Maybe at Outebike Iíll get the chance to put the Thunderbolt through its paces. I liked the understated all flat black minimal decals look of the Altitude and it immediately felt comfortable to me. Sizing was good with a somewhat upright position and pedaling was efficient and smooth. Do you see a theme emerging here? Bike companies have got this pedaling thing figured out. Everything else is in the details of geometry and suspension action in the rough. RM seems to have this figured out pretty well too.

    As luck would have it the shuttle truck was sitting waiting patiently for me to load for the last run up the hill. I took the RM down the same Boy Scout to West Leg route (minus the Caldera Loop) that Iíd taken the Pivot on because I wanted to compare them back to back. Given the route I didnít get to do any extended climbs but there are several short punchy climbs on West leg and over the saddle to Mother to get a feel for climbing and I have no complaints here. The Altitude crawled up and over steps and boulders nicely and didnít lose traction on looser climbs.

    Descending was equally competent. The frame handled the rough stuff without deflecting or feeling flexy and the suspension action was stable and controlled. I would rate it equal to the Bronson and a tick behind the Mach 6. Nothing wrong with this bike at all and I suspect the price point is several hundred less than either of those two.

    There are so many good options out there this year. Canít wait for Outerbike!
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844263853/" title="SAM_0601 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2855/9844263853_dbbf983942_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0601"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844215346/" title="SAM_0594 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3665/9844215346_e04f15eb55_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0594"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844213466/" title="SAM_0595 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5333/9844213466_7bc292e3db_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0595"></a>
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844187745/" title="SAM_0596 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7417/9844187745_dc414cc1cb_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0596"></a>

    These beefy Continental Mountain King tires on stiff Stans ARCH EX rims really added to the overall good handling and bombablity of this bike.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844186685/" title="SAM_0597 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3817/9844186685_cc1e6369cb_c.jpg" width="600" height="800" alt="SAM_0597"></a>

    I thought tire clearance was a little tight with this set up, but unless it was muddy Iíd opt for these meats every time and sacrifice the clearance.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844168434/" title="SAM_0598 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5501/9844168434_556565ed68_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0598"></a>

    One thing the Altitude offers that the other contenders I rode donít is adjustable geometry. By switching this box around you can adjust head angle and bb height. I didnít mess with it but itís nice to have the option. It makes a very versatile bike even more so.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844163434/" title="SAM_0603 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2893/9844163434_08997d5580_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0603"></a>

    It also had a handle bar remote for Climb, Trail, and Descend mode for the shock. I never touched this leaving it in ďDescendĒ mode the whole ride, but that might come in handy for some I suppose.
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/19516547@N04/9844200776/" title="SAM_0604 by kentsaundra, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2873/9844200776_7865644618_c.jpg" width="800" height="600" alt="SAM_0604"></a>
    Last edited by KRob; 09-25-2013 at 11:22 PM.
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  53. #53
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    Thanks Krob Good stuff and great details.

  54. #54
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    Very nicely done. Thanks for doing the hard work of riding all these fine bicycles!

    - -benja- -

  55. #55
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    So what did you build up for your dream bike and how does that compare to the Mach 6?
    Because, one is never enough.

  56. #56
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    KRob,

    With regard to the Anthem... it almost sounds like you are panning the XC race bike for being an XC race bike. All the others you tested were significantly longer travel, slacker angled, heavier duty bikes, it seems unusual to expect Giant's race bike to be that type of bike - especially with the Trance covering that niche.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd run a wider bar, shorter stem, and even a 120mm fork (or 110 even) to suit my needs, even for racing, as I prefer that sort of setup too. But I recall the Anthem having something of a slack head angle for an XC bike already, and a rather low bb, so I guess I'm surprised you were so lukewarm on it - unless you expected it to be something it's not.

  57. #57
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    Glad to hear the RM Altitude held its own against such notable competition. I've really been enjoying mine since I got it in April but some of the newer offerings made me wonder if I was in too much of a hurry to buy a new bike with so much changing in terms of geometry, travel, and wheel size in the world of aggressive trail bikes.

    BTW, I've settled on running the Ride9 chips in the same setting as shown in your photos and it makes the bike a much more confident descender, in terms of both geometry and leverage rate, without giving up too much pedalling efficiency.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastajet View Post
    Not sure I follow what "MTBR control" means. Myself, KRob, Lee and others give the draft of our written info to the internal MTBR.com staff, and they massage the pictures and might tweak the layout for editorial reasons, but nothing is ever cleansed. What you see is what we wrote.
    Some people just believe that the man is always sticking it to them. I think most here appreciate your efforts.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    KRob,

    With regard to the Anthem... it almost sounds like you are panning the XC race bike for being an XC race bike. All the others you tested were significantly longer travel, slacker angled, heavier duty bikes, it seems unusual to expect Giant's race bike to be that type of bike - especially with the Trance covering that niche.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd run a wider bar, shorter stem, and even a 120mm fork (or 110 even) to suit my needs, even for racing, as I prefer that sort of setup too. But I recall the Anthem having something of a slack head angle for an XC bike already, and a rather low bb, so I guess I'm surprised you were so lukewarm on it - unless you expected it to be something it's not.
    I don't think that's an accurate assessment. He also rode the Turner Czar and Niner Jet 9 RDO, and gave both much higher marks.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  60. #60
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    "Maybe this new Fox Float X piggy back air shock was the secret? HmmÖ"

    I'm wondering the same thing. That shock is now offered as an upgrade on the Bronson. I'm certainly not sticking with the weaksauce CTD that comes with the frame! I think that could really come into play over square edged hits that you felt the Mach had the advantage. Ideally the Mach has better geometry for my riding style but the slack STA is a deal killer for me after dealing with laid back climbing on my last two bikes.

    Great write ups! What size chain ring were they using for the XX1 systems?

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    "Maybe this new Fox Float X piggy back air shock was the secret? HmmÖ"

    I'm wondering the same thing. That is offered as an upgrade now on the Bronson. I'm certainly not sticking with the weaksauce CTD that comes with the frame! I think that could really come into play over square edged hits that you felt the Mach had the advantage. Ideally the Mach has better geometry for my riding style but the slack STA is a deal killer for me after dealing with laid back climbing on my last two bikes. Great write ups!

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    I was wondering about the 71.5 degree STA on the Mach 6 too. If that's the actual angle of the seat tube relative to horizontal, it's probably not an issue since the base of the seat tube is well in front of the BB. The effective STA, measured from a line at the center of the BB to the saddle at a typical rider's full extension height, would be significantly steeper. If 71.5 is the effective STA, not much to do but slide the saddle forward on the rails to get into a good climbing position.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    I was wondering about the 71.5 degree STA on the Mach 6 too. If that's the actual angle of the seat tube relative to horizontal, it's probably not an issue since the base of the seat tube is well in front of the BB. The effective STA, measured from a line at the center of the BB to the saddle at a typical rider's full extension height, would be significantly steeper. If 71.5 is the effective STA, not much to do but slide the saddle forward on the rails to get into a good climbing position.
    You have a point there! I'm just trying to convince myself that I made the right choice, lol!

    Cheers,

    G
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  63. #63
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    Very nice reviews, thanks KRob! All the new 650b bikes seem nice, you cannot really go wrong with any of them but some seem to attract more praise than others - the Bronson (perhaps it just had to be exceptionally good in order to convince SC to go the 650b way?), the Mach 6, the Range and Altitude all have their hardcore fans. Too bad we did not get to hear more about the Warden.

    I hope my local LBS will have a demo Mach 6 soon. I need to figure out if I can live with a relatively low BB again before I buy another frame.

  64. #64
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    Really appreciate KRob and Uncle Cliffy doing their reviews and chasing after the bikes we all want to hear about.
    New M6, Bronson C, Troy or convert my HD, buy the new rear triangle and hold tight for another year. Good problems to have.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    KRob,

    With regard to the Anthem... it almost sounds like you are panning the XC race bike for being an XC race bike. All the others you tested were significantly longer travel, slacker angled, heavier duty bikes, it seems unusual to expect Giant's race bike to be that type of bike - especially with the Trance covering that niche.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd run a wider bar, shorter stem, and even a 120mm fork (or 110 even) to suit my needs, even for racing, as I prefer that sort of setup too. But I recall the Anthem having something of a slack head angle for an XC bike already, and a rather low bb, so I guess I'm surprised you were so lukewarm on it - unless you expected it to be something it's not.
    Yeah, it could be I was expecting something different, but if it's intended as an xc race bike, I still think it would be better as a 29er. If it was set up more trail worthy would it compete with the Solo? Not sure. I'd like to see. Very interested in trying the Trance or Trance SX at Outerbike for sure.

    There were 29er XC 100mm race bikes that felt more confident in the rough like andy f mentioned, namely the Czar and the Jet 9 RDO.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  66. #66
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    KRob - how did you find the gearing range using the XX1 setups on the M6 and Bronson in particular? Were you on 30T or 32T front rings most of the time?
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Yeah, it could be I was expecting something different, but if it's intended as an xc race bike, I still think it would be better as a 29er. If it was set up more trail worthy would it compete with the Solo? Not sure. I'd like to see. Very interested in trying the Trance or Trance SX at Outerbike for sure.

    There were 29er XC 100mm race bikes that felt more confident in the rough like andy f mentioned, namely the Czar and the Jet 9 RDO.
    Thanks for the reply. I see where you are coming from now. I will add that my experience with ~100mm XC bikes has been that to have the sort of stability you are looking for, you need to have 29" wheels.

    My Blur XC Carbon conversion is certainly good enough in chunky terrain, especially considering the intended use. A 29" version (basically the Tallboy, which I've also ridden) would be (is) more reassuring in nasty terrain but at the expense of maneuverability, which is a prime consideration here in East Coast woodsy terrain. My Blur is also easier to manual and toss around in the air, and I've not ridden a 29er that comes close in that regard.

    Horses for courses, I guess.

    I'll be on an Anthem next season, thus my interest. I'll be running a longer fork than 100mm for the extra bb height if nothing else (necessary here too ).

    Thanks again!

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    Thanks for the review of the Altitude. BTW, the tires on the Altitude are Mountain Kings, not Trail Kings, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 661lee View Post
    Thanks for the review of the Altitude. BTW, the tires on the Altitude are Mountain Kings, not Trail Kings, right?
    You are correct. I got suspecting that in hind sight after I'd posted those and now that I examine the first picture I see the MK label on the side. I'll fix it. Thanks for pointing that out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. I see where you are coming from now. I will add that my experience with ~100mm XC bikes has been that to have the sort of stability you are looking for, you need to have 29" wheels.

    My Blur XC Carbon conversion is certainly good enough in chunky terrain, especially considering the intended use. A 29" version (basically the Tallboy, which I've also ridden) would be (is) more reassuring in nasty terrain but at the expense of maneuverability, which is a prime consideration here in East Coast woodsy terrain. My Blur is also easier to manual and toss around in the air, and I've not ridden a 29er that comes close in that regard.

    Horses for courses, I guess.

    I'll be on an Anthem next season, thus my interest. I'll be running a longer fork than 100mm for the extra bb height if nothing else (necessary here too ).

    Thanks again!
    I can see where you're coming from now too. For tight east coast racing I can see where the 27.5 makes sense. It gives you some of the rollability and speed of the 29er without giving up too much of the maneuverability and snappy acceleration of the 26er but still in a lightweight, short travel package. Good call. Being from the West I forget there are trails like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    So what did you build up for your dream bike and how does that compare to the Mach 6?
    Knolly Chilcotin. 160mm AM/FR that extends pretty well into the trail and DH territories too depending on set up. Lyrik with custom Avy cartridge fork, CCDBA shock, Lev 150, 34 lb semi beefy build.... Love it, but for many trails I'd like to have something fast, light, and poppy. Hence my bike selection this year at I-bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    Very nice reviews, thanks KRob! All the new 650b bikes seem nice, you cannot really go wrong with any of them but some seem to attract more praise than others - the Bronson (perhaps it just had to be exceptionally good in order to convince SC to go the 650b way?), the Mach 6, the Range and Altitude all have their hardcore fans. Too bad we did not get to hear more about the Warden.

    I hope my local LBS will have a demo Mach 6 soon. I need to figure out if I can live with a relatively low BB again before I buy another frame.
    Yep. Plenty of great bikes out there. You know I thought I would have more problems with BB height on some of the bike, especially the Solo (5010) but I must've adapted after setting my Chili in slack mode several months ago and keeping it there because I didn't have hardly an pedal strikes at I-bike despite a plethora of rocks. YMMV as you may have a ton more rocks than I typically deal with, but I love the way the low bb bikes carve.
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  73. #73
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    KRob---Would really like to get your take on the Mojo HDR in comparison...hopefully you can get on it down at Outerbike.
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    I know you posted this in the 650B thread, but you included reviews of 100mm 29ers so I'm going to ask. Have you ridden a Tallboy recently enough to compare your impression of the TB to the Niner and Tuner?
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    Glad to hear the RM Altitude held its own against such notable competition. I've really been enjoying mine since I got it in April but some of the newer offerings made me wonder if I was in too much of a hurry to buy a new bike with so much changing in terms of geometry, travel, and wheel size in the world of aggressive trail bikes.

    BTW, I've settled on running the Ride9 chips in the same setting as shown in your photos and it makes the bike a much more confident descender, in terms of both geometry and leverage rate, without giving up too much pedalling efficiency.
    I was a bit surprised at how competent and solid the Altitude was. I didn't know where the chip was set but I like a low slack bike so that may explain my favorable impression. I kinda had it my mind from the specs that it would lean more to xc/trail and flexiness but it's right up there with the others IMO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    "Maybe this new Fox Float X piggy back air shock was the secret? HmmÖ"

    I'm wondering the same thing. That shock is now offered as an upgrade on the Bronson. I'm certainly not sticking with the weaksauce CTD that comes with the frame! I think that could really come into play over square edged hits that you felt the Mach had the advantage. Ideally the Mach has better geometry for my riding style but the slack STA is a deal killer for me after dealing with laid back climbing on my last two bikes.

    Great write ups! What size chain ring were they using for the XX1 systems?

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    I didn't notice any oddness or slackness in the seated climbing position... but I didn't do any super steep seated climbs. I did climb a fair bit up out of the Caldera though and it pedaled great. Disclaimer: I'm a Knomer and am used to slack (actual) seat tubes. The effective seat tube angle is what matters like andy f points out below. Not sure what that is on the Mach 6 but like I said at the start, details are lost on me. It's the seat of the pants feel that matters most. Knowing the details of why a bike feels like it does would be a good thing.... I'm just usually not that clued in.

    Chain rings were 32 and 34 mostly but there may have been a 30 in there as well. Maybe that's why I felt the range was sufficient: I kept "changing" front chain ring size throughout the test?
    Last edited by KRob; 09-26-2013 at 10:05 PM.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    I can see where you're coming from now too. For tight east coast racing I can see where the 27.5 makes sense. It gives you some of the rollability and speed of the 29er without giving up too much of the maneuverability and snappy acceleration of the 26er but still in a lightweight, short travel package. Good call. Being from the West I forget there are trails like that.
    Also here in the northeast, too wide bars in tight singletrack tend to cause bruised pinkies from tree bangs, or worse, hook a small tree and dump the rider. Not fun. We don't have a whole heck of a lot wide open rocky descents.

    We (me and Skidad, at least) also are not in love with low bb's, due to baby head gardens which tends to rule out a lot of new 27.5", the fka Solo, Norco Killer b's, Turners, etc. The Mach 6 is lower than the Firebird but it might do with a bit if that anticipation crank ratcheting and pedal ballet I keep hearing about from all the riders who are superior to me. Looking (hoping) for carbon in the 13.75" (unsagged) range, 140mm travel, 25lbs max.
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  78. #78
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    Good initial write ups. Thanks.

    How'd the M6 do in terms of using its rear travel? A good match with the new Fox? The CTD on my current ride is less than great.

    Anything not to like on the bike?
    Last edited by Miker J; 09-25-2013 at 09:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Also here in the northeast, too wide bars in tight singletrack tend to cause bruised pinkies from tree bangs, or worse, hook a small tree and dump the rider. Not fun. We don't have a whole heck of a lot wide open rocky descents.

    We (me and Skidad, at least) also are not in love with low bb's, due to baby head gardens which tends to rule out a lot of new 27.5", the fka Solo, Norco Killer b's, Turners, etc. The Mach 6 is lower than the Firebird but it might do with a bit if that anticipation crank ratcheting and pedal ballet I keep hearing about from all the riders who are superior to me. Looking (hoping) for carbon in the 13.75" (unsagged) range, 140mm travel, 25lbs max.
    Southeast here, but similar terrain, I'm sure. I love wide bars but 740mm is as wide as I can safely go here (and even then the occasional tree tap happens).

    KRob - one more benefit of the 27.5 for upper-level XC around here is the relative weight savings. As I need my bike to be around 10 kg, my choices are 29" hard tail or 27.5 fs (29" FS is usually ruled out as the cost to get one that light is, for me, prohibitive). As I'm used to a 29" hard tail, the 100mm of rear suspension on the Blur helps make up for the lost rollover ability of the smaller wheel, and the weight is basically a wash.

  80. #80
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    Hey KRob, I have a 32 lb all coil Chilcotin and am looking at the Mach 6. It will be a while before I get to demo. In your opinion could you see both in your stable or too much overlap?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EJC View Post
    Hey KRob, I have a 32 lb all coil Chilcotin and am looking at the Mach 6. It will be a while before I get to demo. In your opinion could you see both in your stable or too much overlap?
    First off: How in the heck did you do that?? Mine is Air/Air and is over 34 lbs.

    You know, just looking at the numbers I would've said yes, too much over lap. But after riding the Mach 6 it felt more like the 5010 than the Bronson in a lot of ways yet was just as stable. I don't think it would totally replace the Chili, especially if you built the Chilcotin up heavier/ bigger to increase separation. There would certainly be more overlap than say a Czar and Chili.
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    Re: Interbike Dirt Demo

    I might be wrong but when talking about seat tube angle on a full squish rig shouldn't the angle change due to running proper sag be taken into account. At 30% sag most seat tube angles will get a bit steeper as they rotate around the bottom bracket I believe. So a 71.5į angle may be close to 73į as you sit and pedal at proper sag. At least that's what I'm envisioning in my head. That 73į angle could be up near 74.5į.

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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by rehammer81 View Post
    I might be wrong but when talking about seat tube angle on a full squish rig shouldn't the angle change due to running proper sag be taken into account. At 30% sag most seat tube angles will get a bit steeper as they rotate around the bottom bracket I believe. So a 71.5į angle may be close to 73į as you sit and pedal at proper sag. At least that's what I'm envisioning in my head. That 73į angle could be up near 74.5į.

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    The seat tube doesn't move relative to the BB so they actually get slacker, not steeper. Let the air out of your rear shock some time and compress it and you'll see.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I know you posted this in the 650B thread, but you included reviews of 100mm 29ers so I'm going to ask. Have you ridden a Tallboy recently enough to compare your impression of the TB to the Niner and Tuner?
    Actually have never ridden a Tallboy. It's on my list for Outerbike. We'll see how many bikes I get to there.
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  85. #85
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    Thanks KRob, on paper the geometries do look really close, but sounds like they have a bit different personalities. Looking forward to demo. My Chili is my baby, carbon+XTR to get it as light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cryde View Post
    KRob---Would really like to get your take on the Mojo HDR in comparison...hopefully you can get on it down at Outerbike.
    Absolutely! Really hoping to get a ride on the HDR at Outerbike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Good initial write ups. Thanks.

    How'd the M6 do in terms of using its rear travel? A good match with the new Fox? The CTD on my current ride is less than great.

    Anything not to like on the bike?
    The Mach 6 seemed to use all of its rear travel well without bottoming. Fairly plush on the initial travel, good support and control in the mid-stroke, and good ramp up right at the end. I wouldn't have guessed it had the longest travel of any bike I tested this year just riding it but it was certainly enough for the ride I did.
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    I guess for us East coast types, if you could keep us in your thoughts when you test these things it would be a big help. Personally I'm hoping for word on the GT Sensor and Force. Sounds like it could be a similar relationship to the 5010 and Bronson.

    I do have to say, as the proud owner of a '98 ProFlex 5500c, I almost choked when you said the 27.5 Anthem, which has very similar geos to the 26" Trance, felt like an old school XC bike. Boy do I have a ride for you. I've got that 130 stem around here somewhere.
    Last edited by jazclrint; 09-26-2013 at 10:21 PM. Reason: grammar

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    I've demoed both the Anthem 27.5 and Trance 27.5.

    The Anthem geo i thought was neutral, nothing really wowing about it. Unfortunately the Anthem I rode was a size too small (M) so I never felt quite right on it even after playing around with saddle fore/aft. I typically ride M on Spec and Scott 29ers so I naturally picked M. I hopped on a L Anthem 27.5 at the end of the day after discovering the L Trance was correct and it felt correct as well, sadly I wasn't able to take it out on the trail due to time (it was beyond last call).

    The Trance's geo felt really nice, I really enjoyed it. The suspension I thought worked really well too, it just gobbled everything it rolled over in a nice manner. It was the entry level Trance so it felt kinda heavy after riding a carbon Anthem

    In the end i'd have to go with the Anthem as what I ride is more XC orientated.

  90. #90
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    Dang cross country bikes not riding like all mountain bikes, that's just messed up!!!











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    Quote Originally Posted by jazclrint
    I do have to say, as the proud owner of a '98 ProFlex 5500c, I almost choked when you said the 27.5 Anthem, which has very similar geos to the 26" Trance, felt like an old school XC bike. Boy do I have a ride for you. I've got that 130 stem around here somewhere.
    Now that's old school!


    Quote Originally Posted by stiingya View Post
    Dang cross country bikes not riding like all mountain bikes, that's just messed up!!!
    LOL. I know, I know. It's all about perspective. Some guys on the home page feature article were busting my chops for expecting the 29er XC race bikes to be set up like, and ride like trail bikes.

    I'm not an XC racer. In fact all of my bikes in the last 7-8 years have had more than 140mm of travel, 160-180 forks, weighed more than 32 lbs, and had 67 degree or slacker head tube angles, but I do ride quite a few trails that are more XC than AM and want a bike that will fly on that stuff without giving up too much when the going gets rough. "Proper" (for me) set up with decent width bars, shorter stem, dropper post, bigger rubber would go a long way in making most of those pure XC bikes feel more "trail".

    Maybe I'm expecting too much from them.... but with today's technology and reviews of some folks doing just that with bikes like that, I don't think so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Now that's old school!




    LOL. I know, I know. It's all about perspective. Some guys on the home page feature article were busting my chops for expecting the 29er XC race bikes to be set up like, and ride like trail bikes.

    I'm not an XC racer. In fact all of my bikes in the last 7-8 years have had more than 140mm of travel, 160-180 forks, weighed more than 32 lbs, and had 67 degree or slacker head tube angles, but I do ride quite a few trails that are more XC than AM and want a bike that will fly on that stuff without giving up too much when the going gets rough. "Proper" (for me) set up with decent width bars, shorter stem, dropper post, bigger rubber would go a long way in making most of those pure XC bikes feel more "trail".

    Maybe I'm expecting too much from them.... but with today's technology and reviews of some folks doing just that with bikes like that, I don't think so.
    I don't think you are expecting "too much" out of XC bikes, just expecting the wrong things.

    I used to do a ton of what we called "freeride" back in the day, and raced DH for a few seasons as well. I race XC at a fairly high level now and my number one priority with any race bike is climbing ability, followed by neutral handling. I actually prefer short stem (70-90mm at most, long for what you like but rather short for XC), wide bars, slack head angle (68-ish , certainly way slacker than traditional XC), etc. Pretty much spot-on what the Anthem geo is (and pretty much what the old Trance 26" was as well).

    If it pedals well, and is light (around 10 kg), with these numbers it is usually something that works very well for me. Never have felt any need whatsoever for a dropper post, and if I wanted a bike to plow through very rough terrain, I'd not be looking at 100mm travel XC race bikes.

    There are likely a few XC bikes that blur the line between race and trail, maybe those are more like what you were expecting. Those bikes will usually give up something to the pure race bikes, though, especially on sustained climbs. And that's where races are won and lost...

    Anyway, I'd imagine that if I were out there reviewing 6-8" travel bikes like you prefer (and which I used to prefer before XC took over for me), I'd be writing reviews wondering why none of them climbed well enough for me Thanks again for the work and insight.

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