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  1. #1
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    My conclusion about 650B after many test rides

    The short story: I bought a 29er.

    The long story:
    I am fortunate enough that I was able to spend over 5k on a bike. That gave me a whole lot of options and a very difficult decision to make.

    I was 90% sure I was going to by a 27.5, since I have a 29er, and a 26er, and the size seems logical. Since I like 26 and 29, the idea of "best of both worlds" made sense.
    I was shopping for a trail bike, or maybe its called Enduro now, or a light All Mountain? I don't even know how they are categorized anymore, but something along the lines of 125mm to 140 mm of travel.

    You have to remember that all my opinions are based on my preferences for my style of riding, no one else's.
    I like to ride to get out into the wilderness, and for exercise. I am not big downhill screamer, or air catcher, jumper, dropper, or anything like that, but some of my usual trails are very rocky and technical. So, the travel range was chosen to help with the technical stuff, and to ease the jolting on my ageing body, and just because I thought it would be fun since I have never owned a bike with more than 100 mm travel.

    27.5's I tested: Turner Burner, Trek Remedy, Norco Sight, Yeti SB 75, Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010.
    Bike I bought: Tallboy LTc

    My conclusions were that these 27.5 bikes were all great and I would be happy with any of them. But they didn't feel as light and nimble as my 26er.
    On the other hand, the Tallboy smashes over rocks or curbs much more easily that the 27.5's, even though it has a bit less travel.

    I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have the best of both worlds. I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.

    If I was more of jumper, downhiller, dropper, fast rider type of guy, I think 26ers are still the best, and it is a shame they are currently out of favor in this category for heavier, bigger, less nimble 27.5ers.

    I understand how the 27.5 will appeal to many people who want a blend of the strengths of the other 2 wheel sizes, but I think many riders should understand that their personal style may very well fit most perfectly with 29 or with 26, and the 27.5 ends up being a compromise that makes you give up more than you get. (Again, depending on your style).

    You can do anything on any bike. They are all a compromise. My perfect compromise (I hope) was with a 29er.
    Last edited by smilinsteve; 03-30-2014 at 01:31 PM.

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    Of the 27.5s you tested which did you like the best?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigrocks View Post
    Of the 27.5s you tested which did you like the best?
    It was between the Norco Sight and Trek Remedy, with Norco getting the edge because of value and some kind of hang up I have with buying a big brand like Trek (might seek some therapy for this problem).

    I thought the Norco was the best deal. I almost bought it, but the shop sold every last medium they had. Obviously, I'm not the only one who sees it as a great deal. They said they won't have any more til May. They are in demand.
    Almost on par was the Remedy. They rode similarly in my mind. I liked them both because they both seemed like they could do all mountain duties, but also be light and nimble enough for cross country type rides.

    The Burner seemed a more capable All Mountain type ride, but a bit too burley, heavy, and slack for my type of riding. It is also a bit more expensive than the Remedy or Sight (or about the same price but you get an Al frame vs carbon).

    The Bronson was in the same category as the Burner for me. A bit too burly for my riding.

    The 5010 (Solo) is a great ride, more my style, but less travel @ 125. I thought the Solo was better than the Yeti SB 75. The Yeti seemed burly, slack, and heavy like a Bronson or a Burner, yet only has 125mm travel like the Solo. Yeti isn't making a carbon version of the SB75 yet.

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    Yo Steve,
    If you want to do some custom schtuff on the LTc, I've been tinkering on mine since the beginning of last summer...ex) getting the rear to go 150mm and still remain "Enduro" ...give a yell.

    What kind of build spec did you get w/ your TB?

    Here's a bit of what I've documented: Tallboy-LTc-Photo-Build-Log Photo Album - Pinkbike

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    Yo Steve,
    If you want to do some custom schtuff on the LTc, I've been tinkering on mine since the beginning of last summer...ex) getting the rear to go 150mm and still remain "Enduro" ...give a yell.

    What kind of build spec did you get w/ your TB?
    XO1 build with the Reverb Stealth dropper post, XT brakes, Kashima fork and shock.

    Now I'm curious. How'd you increase travel like that?

  6. #6
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    I completely respect your decision, as things like wheel size, tires, suspension travel, and steering geometry are personal. They are very dependent on riding style and terrain. For myself I went the other way. I've owned many 26ers and 4 different 29ers. My last two 29ers were the Pivot 429 and Intense Spider Comp. I loved them both. In all honesty the Spider Comp was one of the best All Mountain bikes I've ever ridden.

    However, in September I put together a Pivot Mach 6. It is an amazing blend of speed, traction and fun for where and how I ride. I liked it so much that I replaced my XC 29er with a Giant Anthem 27.5. Since building the Anthem (6 weeks ago) it has been the only bike I've ridden. It is a super fun rocket ship. Don't miss my 29er at all.
    Pivot Firebird
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  7. #7
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    I forgot to list the Pivot Mach 6 which I rode as well, over at Orange Peel bikes in Steamboat.
    Another great ride. I didn't have it on my list because 6" just seemed like more travel than I needed, but after I rode it it seemed as efficient as any of the other choices. A little pricier than some of the others, but who knows what kind of deal can be had on one of those.

    I think I tested so many bikes because I almost hated to make a decision. Once you pick a bike, that eliminates all the other possible great bikes you could have!

    I know I would have loved any of them, but when I hopped on the Tallboy yesterday I really realized how much I like the feel of those big wheels rolling.

    I rode my Spider 29er over to the Bike Cafe (bike shop with a bar!) in Denver to ride the Burner. The Burner was a blast, but on my way home I was enjoying my old 29er so much I really had to wonder why I was even shopping.

    I thought about keeping the old 29er and adding a 27.5 to the stable, but I really don't ride enough to justify 3 nice bikes sitting around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    XO1 build with the Reverb Stealth dropper post, XT brakes, Kashima fork and shock.

    Now I'm curious. How'd you increase travel like that?
    So, I discovered that if you just bolt on a 7.875" x 2.25" (200mm x 57mm), when the seat stay come up at near full compression, it would collide w/ the upper link knuckle on the frame. But, if you bolt on a 8" x 2.25" (203mm x 57mm), then it clears. Yeah, I know, 3mm seem trivial, but it clears...frame on frame AND tire to seat tube. And that extra 3mm also clears the link to frame when you push the link back. The best thing tho, is raising the BB up ~ 1/2". I don't know if you've noticed, there's a good bit of pedal strikes w/ the TB. You might want to throw on some of these:
    RaceFace Carbon Crank Boots Black Sold in Pairs, Crank and Chainring Parts

    The fork (Pike) is pretty self explanatory, altho I'm debating on the benefits of 160 over 150mm. I've been testing it out on GM the past few rides and there doesn't seem to be any steering detriments to the increase. But, my air pressure in the fork went up ~15psi, and I don't now if this is a bad thing yet.

    I am having an X-Fusion Vector coil custom tuned for the bike, and travel reduced from 2.25 to 2. Going to experiment w/ coil thrust bearing. Oh, BTW, been running RWC needle bushing...BIG help!

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    Good for you smilinsteve... you tried a bunch and picked the one that gave you the most OHHHH YEEEAAAAHH

    I'm surprised you didn't work a Ripley into your lineup....seems right up your alley with a 140 fork on it. I haven't ridden an LTc but there are a lot of people on my trails who seem to be luv'n them

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.
    Hey Steve. Glad you are loving your LTc. Just wodering about your thoughts that that the LTc is more efficient uphill than say the SOLO / 5010. I haven't had a chance to ride either, but I have spent a lot of time on a Bronson and a Mach 429c head to head and would say that the Bronson doesn't give up much to the 100mm travel 429 on the uphills (the 429 is built with a Pike 140 at the moment). I would think that the 5010 would be a better climber than the Bronson and the LTc gives up a little to the 429.

    Problem is bikes these days are so sweet that it's really splitting hairs at this point IMO. Not a bad problem to have though. Can't really go wrong with any of the bikes you listed.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Damage View Post
    Hey Steve. Glad you are loving your LTc. Just wodering about your thoughts that that the LTc is more efficient uphill than say the SOLO / 5010. I haven't had a chance to ride either, but I have spent a lot of time on a Bronson and a Mach 429c head to head and would say that the Bronson doesn't give up much to the 100mm travel 429 on the uphills (the 429 is built with a Pike 140 at the moment). I would think that the 5010 would be a better climber than the Bronson and the LTc gives up a little to the 429.
    The only advantage in efficiency the Tallboy would have is that bigger wheels inherently have lower rolling resistance. The Tallboy LT is in between the travel of the Solo and the Bronson (125/135/150), but in terms of pedal bob, there isn't much difference, maybe a bit more for the Bronson.
    I also think the Tallboy LT feels less slack, and slack bikes on climbs can feel a little floppy and seem like they can require more attention (to me).
    Note that slackness is not just about head angle, since Trail is also related to the wheel size and fork rake, so the 69.5 angle on the TB LT feels more slack than the same angle on a 26er.

    Problem is bikes these days are so sweet that it's really splitting hairs at this point IMO. Not a bad problem to have though. Can't really go wrong with any of the bikes you listed.
    Exactly

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by doismellbacon View Post
    Good for you smilinsteve... you tried a bunch and picked the one that gave you the most OHHHH YEEEAAAAHH

    I'm surprised you didn't work a Ripley into your lineup....seems right up your alley with a 140 fork on it. I haven't ridden an LTc but there are a lot of people on my trails who seem to be luv'n them
    I probably should have tried a Ripley. If I waited another week, I probably would have ended up buying a different bike.
    I went out to buy a Norco Sight yesterday, and came home the proud owner of a Tallboy LT.

    Part of the reason was that the owner at Mojo Wheels was quite open about wanting to work with me and did a good job to close the deal.
    But I was ready to buy, and had thought long and hard about it. I was not certain of what my dream bike was, but I knew that I wasn't going to make any big mistakes picking from the lot of bikes I mentioned.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    So, I discovered that if you just bolt on a 7.875" x 2.25" (200mm x 57mm), when the seat stay come up at near full compression, it would collide w/ the upper link knuckle on the frame. But, if you bolt on a 8" x 2.25" (203mm x 57mm), then it clears. Yeah, I know, 3mm seem trivial, but it clears...frame on frame AND tire to seat tube. And that extra 3mm also clears the link to frame when you push the link back. The best thing tho, is raising the BB up ~ 1/2". I don't know if you've noticed, there's a good bit of pedal strikes w/ the TB. You might want to throw on some of these:
    RaceFace Carbon Crank Boots Black Sold in Pairs, Crank and Chainring Parts

    The fork (Pike) is pretty self explanatory, altho I'm debating on the benefits of 160 over 150mm. I've been testing it out on GM the past few rides and there doesn't seem to be any steering detriments to the increase. But, my air pressure in the fork went up ~15psi, and I don't now if this is a bad thing yet.

    I am having an X-Fusion Vector coil custom tuned for the bike, and travel reduced from 2.25 to 2. Going to experiment w/ coil thrust bearing. Oh, BTW, been running RWC needle bushing...BIG help!

    Hey Pau11y!
    I found some other threads where you post about this. I'm not even familiar with how the stock LT rides yet, so it will probably be a while before I mess with anything like that.
    I had (still have), an old Jamis Dakar I used to mess with different shock lengths and links. I would drill holes in the linkage to try different shock mounting locations, and found different links at swap meets I could make work. Fun stuff, for a an older bike that is out of date anyway.
    See you out on the trails!

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    Interesting decision. You certainly did your homework. The choices are so good today, hard to make a mistake.

    Oddly, after dumping a ton of coin into a dream-build Bronson, I'm actually dabbling with the idea of going back to a 29er, too. The Bronson is far and away the best all-around bike I've owned. That said, I remain unconvinced that the 27.5 wheel size is the be-all and end-all. I'm just as fast downhill on a good 29er and I think they climb technical terrain -- if not better -- at least with less effort.

    The TBcLT is a good bike. If I could find a new Enduro 29er owner that wanted to try a carbon Bronson, I'd probably trade.

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    Great thread without becoming a pissing match about what's best. I went the direction of 27.5 and very happy with my choice. For now. I love new bikes and no doubt will be on something different in a couple of years. Maybe the new 28.125" will be the next big thing :-P.

    I find climbing on the AA1 is so much easier than on my AX1 and really surprised by that. They are within 1/2 pound of each other but seems so much easier on the smaller wheels. Could be many reasons for it and nothing to do with the wheels, but it's an improvement and loving it. But was definitely faster on the 29" wheels descending fast stuff. More confidence that the bigger wheels would get me through things, and a lot less drama. But that's only part of the ride, so for now.....as many have said here....so many good choices in all wheels sizes you really can't go wrong. You can always buy another one

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    I made the same choice. I decided to go balls out and spend 4k on a bike I didnt want carbon so I figured it was s good price poiint. I like to jump and get rowdy on the trails I demoed a Remedy 650b thinking it would be the one.it was more nimble but I used so much energy pedaling trying to keep up with 29ers it wasnt worth it. Went with a fuel ex9

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    I guess it depends on what you want out of the ride. I went from 26" hardtail, to 26" 140mm full suspension, to lightweight 26" hardtail, to mid-weigh hardtail 29er. I wanted "less drama" as was said above. I was riding less and not really interested in jumps/drops/etc. I wanted my ride uninterrupted by roots and rocks.

    I've noticed as my pace has picked up over 6 years of riding, I'm pushing my hardtail 29er past its limits (with me as a rider at least). I see the fork the flex, the wheels flex, the brakes overheat, and i've been "bucked" by my seat too many times to count. That being said, my riding style has changed since I first got the 29er. I'm riding around jumps/drops and technical features not because I don' think I can do them, but because the chances of messing up on the XC geometry 29er are higher.

    I'm hoping that the combination of new skills and increased confidence will be complimented with 160/150 travel of the 650b I hope to have by the end of April. If inevitably I find myself getting frustrated by the hang-ups of smaller wheels, I'll sell the frame/fork/wheels and go back to 29er. By that time the current crop should be reasonably priced.
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  18. #18
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    This refreshingly civilized discussion is such a breath of fresh air.
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  19. #19
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    My conclusion about 650B after many test rides

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    The short story: I bought a 29er.

    The long story:
    I am fortunate enough that I was able to spend over 5k on a bike. That gave me a whole lot of options and a very difficult decision to make.

    I was 90% sure I was going to by a 27.5, since I have a 29er, and a 26er, and the size seems logical. Since I like 26 and 29, the idea of "best of both worlds" made sense.
    I was shopping for a trail bike, or maybe its called Enduro now, or a light All Mountain? I don't even know how they are categorized anymore, but something along the lines of 125mm to 140 mm of travel.

    You have to remember that all my opinions are based on my preferences for my style of riding, no one else's.
    I like to ride to get out into the wilderness, and for exercise. I am not big downhill screamer, or air catcher, jumper, dropper, or anything like that, but some of my usual trails are very rocky and technical. So, the travel range was chosen to help with the technical stuff, and to ease the jolting on my ageing body, and just because I thought it would be fun since I have never owned a bike with more than 100 mm travel.

    27.5's I tested: Turner Burner, Trek Remedy, Norco Sight, Yeti SB 75, Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010.
    Bike I bought: Tallboy LTc

    My conclusions were that these 27.5 bikes were all great and I would be happy with any of them. But they didn't feel as light and nimble as my 26er.
    On the other hand, the Tallboy smashes over rocks or curbs much more easily that the 27.5's, even though it has a bit less travel.

    I came to the conclusion that I was not going to have the best of both worlds. I think the 29er gives me more of what I need, and will be better on the uphills than those others. I think it will be more efficient of a ride overall, with lower rolling resistance, efficient suspension, and better rolloverability.

    If I was more of jumper, downhiller, dropper, fast rider type of guy, I think 26ers are still the best, and it is a shame they are currently out of favor in this category for heavier, bigger, less nimble 27.5ers.

    I understand how the 27.5 will appeal to many people who want a blend of the strengths of the other 2 wheel sizes, but I think many riders should understand that their personal style may very well fit most perfectly with 29 or with 26, and the 27.5 ends up being a compromise that makes you give up more than you get. (Again, depending on your style).

    You can do anything on any bike. They are all a compromise. My perfect compromise (I hope) was with a 29er.
    As you say, to each his own. I bought a TBc last spring because I already had a 650b trail bike and a 26" SS, so a 29" XC Bike made sense on paper. Except that I don't like it, not friendly climbing or descending tight switchbacks. Not easy to get going again after stopping. My bad, bought without demo. But you did it right, testing so many different bikes. That is a word to the wise. Not everyone anywhere has that luxury, but before shelling out big bucks you owe it to yourself to demo, demo, demo if you conceivably can.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

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    I think a lot depends not just on style of riding/terrain but also body dimensions and strength. I am small and feel like the 29er is kinda big for me. It is still a fun bike but not sure if it fits me as well as 27er.

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    I'm in the "a 27.5 is better then no bike at all" but I'd rather have the option of a 29 or 26 rather then some companies killing off their 26 in favor of a 27.5. Sometimes a compromise is still a compromise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Interesting decision. You certainly did your homework. The choices are so good today, hard to make a mistake.

    Oddly, after dumping a ton of coin into a dream-build Bronson, I'm actually dabbling with the idea of going back to a 29er, too. The Bronson is far and away the best all-around bike I've owned. That said, I remain unconvinced that the 27.5 wheel size is the be-all and end-all. I'm just as fast downhill on a good 29er and I think they climb technical terrain -- if not better -- at least with less effort.

    The TBcLT is a good bike. If I could find a new Enduro 29er owner that wanted to try a carbon Bronson, I'd probably trade.
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliikane View Post
    I think a lot depends not just on style of riding/terrain but also body dimensions and strength. I am small and feel like the 29er is kinda big for me. It is still a fun bike but not sure if it fits me as well as 27er.
    I'm 5'9" with short legs and I think fit is super important, which is one of the main reasons my search started with 27.5 not 29.
    29 is not ideal for shorter guys but, there are a lot smaller people than myself riding 29ers.

    As I said before, every bike has compromises, and the TBLT has good stand over and a good fit for me and, the 650s I tried didn't feel that much smaller. But I still have my 26er.

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    Quote Originally Posted by some dude View Post
    I'm in the "a 27.5 is better then no bike at all" but I'd rather have the option of a 29 or 26 rather then some companies killing off their 26 in favor of a 27.5. Sometimes a compromise is still a compromise.
    I was thinking along similar lines. There are a lot of great things about 26ers. A lighter stronger more nimble wheel is a major benefit. And a shorter wheelbase and chainstays. And a lower frame overall.
    So, I have a feeling that 26 is not dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    I was thinking along similar lines. There are a lot of great things about 26ers. A lighter stronger more nimble wheel is a major benefit. So, I have a feeling that 26 is not dead.
    I know your bank account has already taken a beating, but you should consider some of those cheap carbon rims..."lighter stronger more nimble wheel..."

    I'm an enabler...I enable you to spend entirely TOO much money on bike bits

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I know your bank account has already taken a beating, but you should consider some of those cheap carbon rims..."lighter stronger more nimble wheel..."

    I'm an enabler...I enable you to spend entirely TOO much money on bike bits
    Cheap carbon rims? I haven't heard of such a thing.

    But I'm already pushing it as one of those guys with the nice equipment but not the skills to match. I need to keep a low profile.

  26. #26
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    Great post and great thread.
    Thanks for sharing
    Better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Cheap carbon rims? I haven't heard of such a thing.

    But I'm already pushing it as one of those guys with the nice equipment but not the skills to match. I need to keep a low profile.
    2 words for you.

    UD matte

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    Smilie: Cheap carbon rims

    Couple of "cheap" options:

    Nextie: Carbon Fiber 29" MTB Rim Clincher 30mm Width Mountain Bike Tubeless Compatible [NXT29C01]

    LB: Wider carbon mountain 29er rims clincher(tubeless-compatible) Light-Bicycle

    Next step up on price - Derby:
    Buy Now, www.shop.derbyrims.com
    For my purpose, these are ENTIRELY overkill. AND, I also really like bead hook. I run my tires at 30psi and above, but suspension slightly soft for trail riding (I also do this for DH too).

    And yeah, I'd put the idea of having chi chi parts and not the skills RIGHT in the trash! I like bikes and I like to ride, and I will buy every mechanical advantage I can afford to make what I like even MORE enjoyable. THIS alone justifies spendy chi chi bike bits. You've seen how I build my bikes on PB...REALLY nice bits, but nothing uselessly ostentatious...hell my TBLTc is 30lbs, tires alone are ~5lbs!

  29. #29
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    Pau11y,
    I can see you are going to be a bad influence on me.

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Pau11y again.

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    I'm one of those equal opportunity corrupter...

    But you know Evasive had a great point that I used for my signature for a long time:
    It doesn't matter how much you spend on bikes, ONE visit to your cardiologist will cost you more than you'll ever spend on bicycles.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I'm one of those equal opportunity corrupter...

    But you know Evasive had a great point that I used for my signature for a long time:
    It doesn't matter how much you spend on bikes, ONE visit to your cardiologist will cost you more than you'll ever spend on bicycles.

    That is a great point!
    I need to tell that to my wife, who is in California right now and doesn't know I bought a bike

  32. #32
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    Doood, you better go buy her one too...marriage; equality thing

    Oh, and if you have a Monarch, DON'T go back to a Fox...that's like trading in a dropper for a fixed post. I've been playing a LOT w/ the Monarch Plus, and it's a WAY better damping unit than the CTD. If you want the 3 settings, the Plus has it, and it's burlier than any CTD units. The other bonus, you can custom tune the thing over your kitchen sink. I started a thread on the suspension forum on this if you ever get to the point of doing something like that on the Monarch Plus. It was intended for the Blur LTc, but it's very transferable to the TBLTc. I tweaked the M+ on my TB and it's a LOT livelier...along w/ the long-shocking.

  33. #33
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    Pau11y - been reading the thread here - noticed some good info you provide - couple quick ?? if I may

    Pike - had a hard time getting to 25% sag even after dropping air pressure 20lbs below recommendation on fork sticker - for my ride weight at approx 165lbs - it states 65-75psi - at 45 i was at 20% (granted - new fork - no break in). during the ride - i was checking on trail - and seemed i was at or over 30% - will check again today - but just curious - ow you've found the pike to set up? i have rebound right at 9 clicks from closed/11 from open

    Monarch - a delight of a shock IMO - set btw 25-30% sag and rebound 4 clicks from close - just works - may play around w rebound - but seems I got lucky with the sag sweet spot... any tips from your experience?

    thanks - Dan

    dont mean to hi-jack!

  34. #34
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    Dan - Pike & Monarch

    My "Reply w/ quotes" don't seem to work anymore from my work machine...

    Anyway, if you've found a nice spot w/ the Monarch, no need to fix what's not broken. The only suggestion would be, if it leaks air, to check if the main air can seal is a quad ring or an o-ring. If o-ring, PM me and I can direct you to Ethan over at Maverick Suspension (over there on Vallejo). He has single quad ring replacements. The other thing...maybe pop off your air can and rub some motor oil on the inner surface of the air can. Don't let any pool...something like 10W30.

    As for the Pike, here's what I did w/ mine...keep in mind it's a 29er, not a 650b...
    I put in 3 tokens, and changed my lube oil to motor oil (Valvoline 20W50 MaxLife full synthetic), and soaked the foam ring under the main/dust seals w/ it too. This allowed me to lower my fork pressure to get some very low speed bump sensitivity and decent ramp-up towards the end of stroke. That fork is so sensitive and moves SO much on even the slightest bump and brake input that it really is hard to find where it settles in the sag! So, I've had to reset the red o-ring while pedaling on bike, then just coast the bike to where it just flops over to the side.

    Something to note tho, use the same shock pump. I have like 5 of them and not ONE reports the same PSI as any other! I finally stepped up and got the digital one from Fox. FYI, I'm ~190 kitted up and I'm at 55psi on the Pike for the 29er w/ the 3 tokens. I can typically get 90% travel...no brakes down Box of Rocks on GM...hopping off of whatever I can find to play on.

    I tuned both ends of the RS squishy bits for the majority of the ride...sitting...as a compromise between full climb and the "attack" DH position. You'll notice that on climbs like the N entrance to Dakota Ridge, the sag will be over that 27% mark...not a big deal. Oh, and 27% seems to be a good place for the Pike too...between 3-5 clicks on LSC and ~40% on the rebound, and the 3 position on wide open/DH.

  35. #35
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    good info - very much appreciate this!

  36. #36
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    Enjoyed the thread and appreciate everyone giving opinions without crapping on others. At 5 foot 7 inches, I found 29ers to be a little too unwieldy for me although I did like the 'no drama' feel of them. My 29er Monocog rigid just went over everything. My Cannondale Flash 29er was plain fast. But my Solo and Chameleon (650b SSer) are such blasts to ride. For me, the 650b size is the 'right' size.

    That said, I wish I had room in the stable for a rigid 29er SS and a FS 26" too though. :-)

    Like many have already said, wheelsize, suspension travel, hardtail/FS, etc. are all very personal - even for the same trail. In the end, ride what you got and ride it like you stole it!
    2015 Trek Stache 7 SS
    2015 Cannondale Bad Habit
    2015 Niner RLT

  37. #37
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    Good topic and nice to see it hasn't gone downhill as many threads like this do. I bought my 1st 29er after demoing the original carbon Tallboy. I loved that bike and knew immediately that I'd never ride a 26" bike again. After about 18 months, I decided I wanted a little more travel so I moved on to the Tallboy LTc. That was great for a bit and I loved the way it climbed up over the rough stuff. However, even though it had 135mm of rear travel vs 110mm on the TB, I didn't like the way it handled as much as the TB so I was back to the TB2.

    Fast forward (6) months and after riding the TB in the bike park, I decided I needed a different bike. I only demo'd the Bronson and the Pivot Mach 6. I liked both and the Bronson actually had a better natural feel but I went with the Pivot based on the reviews and to be honest, I liked the look better. The 1st day out, I was forced to ride the Pivot at an area I would rather not have due to all the climbing because the wheel on my TB was being repaired. Both bikes have XX1 so that was the same. As teh ride started, I was feeling way out of my elemnet. I couldn't believe how different the bike was in all phases...cockpit feel, turning, going down, all of it. However, it got better and better as the day progressed and I was actually happily surprised with how well it climbed.

    Each subsequent ride on the Pivot has only got better and I've only been on the TB once since I bought the Pivot. That was on an XC ride in Utah and the TB ripped it up. It was the perfect bike for that trail and it was a blast to be on the TB. I definitely see a need for both bikes, even though they can both do pretty much anything. They just do it in different ways and have distinct different manners. I love the way the TB can effortlessly clear obstacles even when I'm being lazy but the plushness of the Pivot, both up and down, as well as the way I feel "in" the bike are pretty awesome as well.

  38. #38
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    Count me in. I went from 26 to 29 to 29 to 650b and back to 29. If you're going to put up with the penalties, you may as well get the biggest benefits too. Of course, I'm right around 6' so getting the wagon wheels up to speed isn't so crazy. The speed these things carry though...dang

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    Great, great, great post. Very cool to see an honest opinion and other people reacting so positively. Nice demo fleet you got a chance to try out. I own a Venatana El Padrino HT 29er, Ventana El Bastardo 650B FS and a Ibis Ripley FS 29er. I love all 3 bikes for different reasons but you pretty much nailed it with your first post. Both my 29er's are fast once up to speed and better on the uphill. However when my riding calls for a lot of switchbacks and tight singletracks and technical maneuvers I appreciate the 650B more. I got back into mountain biking 4 years ago after stopping in '95 so it has been almost 20 years since riding a 26" bike so I can't give any input on that.

  40. #40
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    I think it is great that there are now 2 choices for larger wheels.
    I don't rattle.

  41. #41
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    I think a key point mentioned by the OP is that he can spend $$$ on a high end bike. In that price range you can have your cake and eat it too, or pretty darn close.

    Start going down the price range and you start getting FS bikes with heavier wheels and/or suspension that bobs when climbing, and that's where the sluggish feelings start occurring.

    You can now get 28 lbs, 130mm, 29ers with fairly light wheels that climb like hard tails....it just takes money

    A cheaper 26 or. 27.5 can accelerate quicker relative to the same price point 9er.

  42. #42
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    I got a tallboy LTC as my first serious mountain bike around a year ago. I upgraded the wheels to chinese carbon from the i23s which made a pretty big difference in tracking on very rocky downhills.

    I got a dropper post (KS i900) which I mostly leave lowered, but raise for tough short climbs and road riding.

    Dropped the large ring and put a bashguard in because we have tons of rocks and large rings pretty much get destroyed.

    Out of those upgrades, the wheels were definitely the best. I built them myself with used chris king hubs but I would probably use i9 torches today. The light bicycle rims are around 150 each, then around 500 for new hubs. Maybe 32-60 for spokes.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    27.5's I tested: Turner Burner, Trek Remedy, Norco Sight, Yeti SB 75, Santa Cruz Bronson and 5010.
    Bike I bought: Tallboy LTc
    ...
    You can do anything on any bike. They are all a compromise. My perfect compromise (I hope) was with a 29er.
    Interesting. When I was looking for a new bike (coming off a mid 90's mid travel XC FS 26er) I was pretty certain that I wanted a 650b, however in mid '12 the main manufacturers had not yet got their act together and I thought it was a risk. In the end I also bought a TB LTc.

    I still to this day think it is a beast of a bike. It's a monster truck that ploughs through everything. Sometimes I miss the nimbleness of my old 26er and I still wonder if I would have done better to hold out for the a 650b. I think my issue is that I was hoping one bike could do it all but in reality as you state it is a compromise. Ideally I would have a 27.5 "endure" bike (I hate that term) for chunky mountain riding and a short travel XC orientated 29er for smoother, faster local trails. I can't have that though so I have the TB LTc. It's not 100% perfect on everything but it's 90% perfect on most everything and that is good enough for me for now.

  44. #44
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    BTW, +1 to everyone for one of the most civil threads I've seen on MTBR for a while. Especially one that could have gone down in flames so quickly

  45. #45
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    My conclusion about 650B after many test rides

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Good topic and nice to see it hasn't gone downhill as many threads like this do. I bought my 1st 29er after demoing the original carbon Tallboy. I loved that bike and knew immediately that I'd never ride a 26" bike again. After about 18 months, I decided I wanted a little more travel so I moved on to the Tallboy LTc. That was great for a bit and I loved the way it climbed up over the rough stuff. However, even though it had 135mm of rear travel vs 110mm on the TB, I didn't like the way it handled as much as the TB so I was back to the TB2.

    Fast forward (6) months and after riding the TB in the bike park, I decided I needed a different bike. I only demo'd the Bronson and the Pivot Mach 6. I liked both and the Bronson actually had a better natural feel but I went with the Pivot based on the reviews and to be honest, I liked the look better. The 1st day out, I was forced to ride the Pivot at an area I would rather not have due to all the climbing because the wheel on my TB was being repaired. Both bikes have XX1 so that was the same. As teh ride started, I was feeling way out of my elemnet. I couldn't believe how different the bike was in all phases...cockpit feel, turning, going down, all of it. However, it got better and better as the day progressed and I was actually happily surprised with how well it climbed.

    Each subsequent ride on the Pivot has only got better and I've only been on the TB once since I bought the Pivot. That was on an XC ride in Utah and the TB ripped it up. It was the perfect bike for that trail and it was a blast to be on the TB. I definitely see a need for both bikes, even though they can both do pretty much anything. They just do it in different ways and have distinct different manners. I love the way the TB can effortlessly clear obstacles even when I'm being lazy but the plushness of the Pivot, both up and down, as well as the way I feel "in" the bike are pretty awesome as well.
    k2rider,

    I'm in a similar situation as you were. I've been loving my TBc for the past 1.5 yrs. I love the handling and rollover. It has really allowed me to progress as a rider. It's gotten to the point though that on rougher trails I feel the TB is holding me back. I don't like riding with the death grip.

    On a whim I got ahold of a Turner Burner demo bike a couple of months ago and wow was I impressed. I kept wanting to go faster and faster through the rough stuff. I was riding through stuff I didn't know I could. Now I'm not one to buy on a whim, so now I'm trying a variety of bikes to find The One in the long travel variety.

    The Tallboy LTc was good, it's 3rd on My List of bikes I've tried, but I'm leaning toward the 650Bs. I liked the Burner until I borrowed my friend's Mach 6 with a Pike 160mm. It was the best suspension I've ever ridden, but the geometry felt kinda off: BB a little more forward than I'm used to and the stack felt high. Granted it was an XL and I'm 6'-0" and normally ride a Large. However, so is my friend and he chose the XL over the L. I'm now trying to find a Large Mach 6 to demo for comparison...not an easy thing to do, even here in SoCal.

    So with that long explanation, I have a couple of questions. How did you find the Mach 6 sizing/geometry compared to the TB? Did you go with the same size frame or size up?

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