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  1. #1
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    Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et

    I am looking to try to demo one this weekend and the size is still iffy for me. (5'10.5 and longer legs). So if you are in that range, did you go Med or Large?
    Last edited by trukweaz; 06-28-2013 at 10:55 AM.

  2. #2
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    Santa Cruz sizing is consistent. I'd say large for sure. I'm 5'11 and demo'd a large TRc and a large Tallboy. Sizing was spot on for both.

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    I'm 5'10" 33" inseam and have always felt better on the large when I've demoed Santa Cruz.

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    Concur.

    I'm 5-10.5/33 inseam and ordered a large Bronson. Medium would be too small.

  5. #5
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    Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, f

    For comparison, I'm 5'10" @ 30" inseam and own a M Tall Boy. Using 90mm stem.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  6. #6
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    I'm 5'7 and got the Medium. For the two rides I've had on it, it is a great fit for me. For my ride review, go here:

    Has anybody got their Solos yet?
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    I'm about 5'5 and got a med Nickel. Fits great with a super short stem and a 170mm crank.

  8. #8
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    Everybody feel that at 5'11" a large is a homerun?

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    Was looking at this bike for my next purchase as well, how does it ride?

  10. #10
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    I sat on a Solo, short ride. I loved it. The bike felt rock solid under me, in a way no 26" ever could. Yet, it didn't seem beastly and slow like my 29er. A little lighter than the Rocky Mountain Altitude (another great bike). The Solo seems like a perfect trail bike. I'll know more when mine arrives. Good luck.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fahza29er View Post
    Was looking at this bike for my next purchase as well, how does it ride?
    Rides fantastic. See my post above for my initial review.

    It just plain rails. It it just plain fun. I'm also amazed how firm a pedaling platform it has yet still feels cushy on the rough stuff.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTjoe View Post
    Everybody feel that at 5'11" a large is a homerun?
    yup
    here we go again

  13. #13
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    Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, f

    Quote Originally Posted by KTjoe View Post
    Everybody feel that at 5'11" a large is a homerun?
    As I posted above, I'm 5'10" and have a M TBc which I run with a 90mm stem. Tried a 70mm, too cramped. Check the dimensions @ SC site , but I'm thinking a L with a short stem could be your ticket.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  14. #14
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    ^ That sounds spot on to me. I haven't gotten my L Bronson yet, but my LBS backs that up. If you run flat pedals, toe overlap is a bigger issue than with clipless, which is the main reason I can't jimmy into a SC medium. I demo'ed a L Tallboy LTc, and it felt somewhat gangly, but was not set up optimally for me at the smaller end of the fit. FWIW.

  15. #15
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    Have you tried the Fit Calclulator at Competitive Cyclist?

    Fit Calculator - Competitive Cyclist

  16. #16
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    5'10", 175 lbs, 32" inseam - I went with the large frame






  17. #17
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    That's a sexy lookin bike ya got there.

  18. #18
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    I'm 5' 9", 30" inseam, and went with a large Bronson. Stand-over is still fine (only .4" over a M) and more of my height is in my torso, so the extra 1" of effective top tube means it worked fine for me with the stock (70mm?) stem. Competitive Cyclist fit calculator put me between M and L, a little closer to the M side.

    YMMV

    Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et-bronsoncxt.jpg

  19. #19
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    I'm only 5'8.5, 190 lbs, and 32 inseam and I went with a large. I was fortunate to try both the M and L on 90 minutes jaunts on some good trails. The M I had a lot more difficulty on, the L felt right at home.

    Went for my first ride last night, and then again this am, LOVE this bike! Love even more that my son, 8, is itching to get out with me every chance he can. I can see him being my biking buddy as he gets older and more competent, doing really well already!

  20. #20
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    Just got my al solo 30lbs 5 oz without pedals rxc build too dark for pics the orange looks way different with the flash
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  21. #21
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    Hey guys, I got my Solo last week. I wrote up a review. Hope this is informative for those who are curious:


    First impressions:

    Well I have taken the bike out three times, I think I have a pretty good idea of what I think about the bike and how it rides.
    I got the carbon model with the R kit. This is the lowest build kit you can get with carbon frame. For most people this setup will totaly suffice. Don't expect to get a feather-weight bike at this price point though. The wheels are heavier than my 29er and the other components (crank, cassette etc,) are not top end either.For me that is totally fine, as I plan to upgrade over the winter and over the life-span of about 5 years that I plan to keep the bike. My large frame weighs almost 29 lbs.
    While I am talking about frames I should note that Santa Cruz sizes a bit small. I normally ride a medium (I am about 5'10), but the medium felt real small on me. A large feel on par with the medium Stumpjumper FSR 29er that I was riding before this.
    One of the highlighted features on this bike is the 27.5 wheels. I admit, I was a 29er loyalist for a while. After riding smaller-wheeled bikes at demos though, I realized I was missing that extra manueverability that my old 26ers had, but I loved the traction of the 29er. The choice to jump to 650b was a natural one. I think after riding them a short time, most people will really like what the wheels offer and see that this is, depsite the cliche, the Goldilocks wheelsize. I feel my traction is really close to my 29er but I get great handling characteristics too.
    Getting away from wheelsize it's important to remember the Solo is a trailbike. One of the first on the market that isn't a full on AM rig with 150 mm of travel. The 130 mm fork and 125 mm rear shock seem shallower than bikes in the past I have owned (ie, my old Stumpy FSR Comp 29er) but my ability to change lines fast and accelerate out of tight situations makes the bike more capable in my opinion. I am still dialing in my Fox setup but I think this is a good amount of travel for most of the situations I ride in.
    Many have commented on the lower bottom bracket. To me it is a non-issue as I have ridden mostly Specialized products with bottom brackets at similar heights. I think I have my sub-concious is always aware of looming pedal strikes and I just react naturally now. I didn't have any more/less strikes than on previous bikes I have owned (for the record I mostly ride in Curt Gowdy State Park in Wyoming. Trails designed by IMBA. Lots of technical granite riding).
    The brakes on the R kit are great. I have ridden much higher-spec'd bikes with brakes indistinguishable from these. I realize higher end models probably weigh less and have better featuers but I was impressed with these. They never felt underpowered and modulation was predictable and linear.
    I have a 3x10 set up on the R build. I am not a big fan of the 3x setup after riding a few 2x's. I plan to replace the large ring with a 34t-sized bashguard (slightly bigger than the stock 32t ring in case i wanna change the 32t to a 34t). A couple times the large ring (which I have yet to actually use) caught on rocks I was triyng to pop up on. It's a hideous sound/sensation that I will not miss. I should be able to get an extra inch (doest not sound like much but really is) of clearance when I drop it.
    Rear derailleur (Shimano M675, according to the SC website) shifts adequately. It has the new-fangled clutch on it that minimizes chain slap. Shop told me just to keep it on all the time. This may explain why it takes a little extra oomph to push through the gears. Maybe I will de-activate it soon and see what it does for me.
    Overall the bike pedals extremely well. I know as soon I get a dropper on it I will be able to pedal even better.
    The few gripes I have with the bike are from me being picky and not having enough $ to throw at the top spec build. I think a wheel upgrade is a must for me on this bike and a dropper (which is in the mail). I threw my carbon bars and syntace stem from my 29er on this bike. The stock bar/stem weighed 8 oz more than my Easton/Syntace set up!
    To me this a great "Swiss-Army" mountain bike that is meant for epic, distance-covering rides but can still hang on the technical stuff. I am only three rides in and I am having a renewed perspective on riding by changing up my mountain bike toolbox with this new rig. Wheelsize is a big part of this, but not exclusively the reason why I feel this way.
    Sorry for the long-winded review, but figured this might help out someone who is interested in this bike. Shoot me any ?'s if you got any. Great bike!

  22. #22
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    Can anyone tell me actual bottom bracket height from ground to center?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbschrader View Post
    Can anyone tell me actual bottom bracket height from ground to center?
    I think their geo chart on their website is pretty accurate at 13.1 inches. I plan on extending my fork to 140 mm and raise the bb just a hair.

  24. #24
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    Thanks.

  25. #25
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    GnarBraWyo, that was a big help, thanks. I'm very much in the same boat... 29ers for the past several years, 26 before that...missing the fun/flickability factor, and looking at the Solo as an option.
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  26. #26
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    Had my fork extended to 140mm. Feels good. Handling still precise, just a tad more travel for bigger hits.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et-140mm.jpg  


  27. #27
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    I'm not sure if this is helpful but, yes, I have been on the trails with my Solo.
    Compared to my same-sized Gary Fisher Hardtail, the Solo climbs about as well, even if it is just in trail mode, and even seems to have better traction than the HT.
    The Solo is more responsive to inputs, and is more maneuverable in tight spots than the HT. And the Solo weighs less than my HT.
    My vertical excitement was limited, but the Solo was predictable and isolates from hits very well. No drama.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by trukweaz View Post
    I am looking to try to demo one this weekend and the size is still iffy for me. (5'10.5 and longer legs). So if you are in that range, did you go Med or Large?
    Im 5"10 & I went with a medium with a 70mm stem. Fits just right for me. I ride tight twisty technical trails with loads of jumps so wanted a more nimble bike. I spend more time out of the saddle and this is where the medium frame really shines through. I also have a large Heckler which has a half inch shorter TT than the large Solo (5010 whatever) I have always wanted the Heckler a little shorter in the top tube & a little lower in the head tube, which is exactly what the medium Solo has.

    I have a longer inseam than most my height (33") so I needed to replace the stock 360mm Reverb with the longer 410mm one to achieve the correct minimum insertion SC recommends.

    I dont race & prefer having fun on the bike than just clocking up long distances. My average ride is around 30-35kms and I never feel cramped.

    Funnily enough the lower back pain I used to get with my Heckler has gone now that im on the Solo which leads me to believe the medium frame fits me better.

    But if your on the border of sizing like myself either should work. I just notice quite a few people who are similar height to me having to insert their dropper posts almost right down to the top of the seat tube which tells me they probably should have gone the medium. (like that latest pic from GnarBrahWy)

    My perfect seat tube height would be 18". My perfect top tube length is 23" But this is a personal preference for me. Plenty of people seem to happy on the large.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et-soloc.jpg  

    Last edited by ndcarter79; 01-20-2014 at 04:44 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Re: Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et

    Quote Originally Posted by ndcarter79 View Post
    Im 5"10 & I went with a medium with a 70mm stem. Fits just right for me. I ride tight twisty technical trails with loads of jumps so wanted a more nimble bike. I spend more time out of the saddle...
    I am debating the same sizing issue.
    I am 5'9" and ride a medium TB and TRc. Like the fit and how agile the mediums are. But I have also tried a Large Solo with a shorter 50mm stem and it did feel right too.
    My TB has a 80mm stem and the TRc has s 60mm.
    I guess for us between sizes it comes down to DH stability vs flickability...
    Very nice bike.
    What is the weight?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    I am debating the same sizing issue.
    I am 5'9" and ride a medium TB and TRc. Like the fit and how agile the mediums are. But I have also tried a Large Solo with a shorter 50mm stem and it did feel right too.
    My TB has a 80mm stem and the TRc has s 60mm.
    I guess for us between sizes it comes down to DH stability vs flickability...
    Very nice bike.
    What is the weight?
    Yeah its a tough one fore sure. For me our trails are not ultra high speed but very tight & technical so the smaller frame works a treat. Im even thinking of putting on a 50mm stem.

    She weighs in at 11.8kgs with the rather heavy Maxxis High Roller II's. Rides like a dream!
    'She's built like a steakhouse, but she handles like a bistro'

  31. #31
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    The large frame fit me better and I am 5'10.5. I am gonna run a 60 mm stem though (in the mail as we speak). Large felt like it would be more comfortable on epic rides and felt better all around. Not saying that option will work for you but just make sure it feels good. Try riding both sizes on different days and get the opinion from the LBS staff, and don't them try to sway you if they only have one size on the floor. My LBS said the med was too small on me and they didn't have a large in stock, so I test rode a large Bronson and it felt better. I love the feel of the large Solo now that I got it too. It kinda sucks being in the grey area for sizing but just do what feels best.

  32. #32
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    Re: Santa Cruz Solo : anybodyeirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    The large frame fit me better and I am 5'10.5. I am gonna run a 60 mm stem though (in the mail as we speak). Large felt like it would be more comfortable on epic rides and felt better all around. Not saying that option will work for you but just make sure it feels good. Try riding both sizes on different days and get the opinion from the LBS staff, and don't them try to sway you if they only have one size on the floor. My LBS said the med was too small on me and they didn't have a large in stock, so I test rode a large Bronson and it felt better. I love the feel of the large Solo now that I got it too. It kinda sucks being in the grey area for sizing but just do what feels best.
    I am even considering to pay for a professional fitting.
    For some reason I have lower back and neck pain on my TRc after 3h of riding, but it is not so bad on my TBc...
    I have tried to copy the fit, but obviously something is off.
    Being between sizes can be good or bad. Good, because we have more choices how to set up the bike (long and stable or short and agile. Or combination of long TT+short stem vs short TT+long stem). Bad, because we have to focus on making the right choice...

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    I am even considering to pay for a professional fitting.
    For some reason I have lower back and neck pain on my TRc after 3h of riding, but it is not so bad on my TBc...
    I have tried to copy the fit, but obviously something is off.
    Being between sizes can be good or bad. Good, because we have more choices how to set up the bike (long and stable or short and agile. Or combination of long TT+short stem vs short TT+long stem). Bad, because we have to focus on making the right choice...
    I agree. I have owned medium and large frame bikes from different companies and generally can adjust both bike stems and such to make it comfortable. I do notice that if I am more crouched in my riding position I tend to have back pain after long rides. Because of that I went with the large on my Solo.

  34. #34
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    I've test ridden a Solo and at 5'11.5", the large fits perfect. The 24" top tube on that bike suits riders from 5'10" to 6'1" pretty well with minor stem adjustments. It's actually my favorite fitting 27.5 bike right now. It seems all other companies top tubes are closer to 24.5" with a large and 23.5" on a medium, which means at my height, I could ride either and the medium is tight, and large a little big. The long top tube, short stem trend is kinda odd, because in the end, a longer top tube means a longer wheelbase. I think your better off on a slightly shorter top tube, and average (70-90)mm stem cause then you have a shorter, more nimble bike. Ibis agrees with this thought also.

  35. #35
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    Yeah frame sizing can be quite controversial too. Many think you should ride one size or another solely based on height. We all have different leg and arm lengths even if we are the same height. I would just recommend riding both sizes in the parking lot as long as you can. Sleeping on it, then come back and ride again.

  36. #36
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    Santa Cruz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality,...

    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    The large frame fit me better and I am 5'10.5. I am gonna run a 60 mm stem though (in the mail as we speak). Large felt like it would be more comfortable on epic rides and felt better all around. Not saying that option will work for you but just make sure it feels good. Try riding both sizes on different days and get the opinion from the LBS staff, and don't them try to sway you if they only have one size on the floor. My LBS said the med was too small on me and they didn't have a large in stock, so I test rode a large Bronson and it felt better. I love the feel of the large Solo now that I got it too. It kinda sucks being in the grey area for sizing but just do what feels best.
    I'm 5'10" and have a Tall Boy in medium. It came with 70 mm stem which made for way too cramped a cockpit for me. I had a 100mm in my spare parts bin, fit is better with this. To ride with 70mm stem I would need large frame. Something to keep in mind when I get a Solo.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  37. #37
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    You guys ride really short stems? I am 5'10.5 and large solo with a 110mm stem.
    I just built a 5010 with an xc build- XX1, Stans crest wheels, rigid post. So far it seems as capable as any xc bike I have ridden. I was more worried about how it would climb and how responsive it was- I knew that it would go downhill well.

  38. #38
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    Reuz Solo : anybody got theirs and riding it? Thoughts on ride quality, fit, et

    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    You guys ride really short stems? I am 5'10.5 and large solo with a 110mm stem.
    I just built a 5010 with an xc build- XX1, Stans crest wheels, rigid post. So far it seems as capable as any xc bike I have ridden. I was more worried about how it would climb and how responsive it was- I knew that it would go downhill well.
    110mm is a bit long by todays standards, but if it fits you, why not? You can always try to swap it for a shorter one, it is probably the easiest adjustment you can do to your bike. The general rule is if you go shorter on stem you should go wiser on bars and potentially a bit higher.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    You guys ride really short stems? I am 5'10.5 and large solo with a 110mm stem.
    I just built a 5010 with an xc build- XX1, Stans crest wheels, rigid post. So far it seems as capable as any xc bike I have ridden. I was more worried about how it would climb and how responsive it was- I knew that it would go downhill well.
    I am the exact same height as you with a large frame. I ditched my 75 mm stem for a 60 mm stem and it feels much better. My trails are more technical so the shorter stem suits my bike better I believe. I cant even imagine having a 110 m stem on my bike. I would be hunched over pretty far.

  40. #40
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    What is your reach from saddle to bar? Mine is 58.5cm from saddle to center of stem clamp. I could not imagine being shorter.

  41. #41
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    Anyone with the carbon R build know the specs on the wheelset? I am guessing they are over 2000 grams. I think over a pound of rotational weight should be easily obtainable with a wheel/cassette upgrade.

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    You can shed a ton of weight with wheels and tires from what comes with any of the Santa Cruz kits.
    The wheels I am running are 1465 grams for the pair. Crest rims, DT rear hub, stans front hub. Speedream built- light but plenty strong.
    I am running an XX1 cassette and Racing Ralph snakeskin 2.2 back, Nobby Nic 2.2 up front.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    You can shed a ton of weight with wheels and tires from what comes with any of the Santa Cruz kits.
    The wheels I am running are 1465 grams for the pair. Crest rims, DT rear hub, stans front hub. Speedream built- light but plenty strong.
    I am running an XX1 cassette and Racing Ralph snakeskin 2.2 back, Nobby Nic 2.2 up front.
    crests? sounds great if you are 140lbs and never jump your bike. those are xc racing rims. on a 5 inch bike you can get pretty rad and I bet most folks are gonna be running something a bit more durable.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    crests? sounds great if you are 140lbs and never jump your bike. those are xc racing rims. on a 5 inch bike you can get pretty rad and I bet most folks are gonna be running something a bit more durable.
    I agree. Crests might be ok if you live in Nebraska or something but on a bike as capable as the Solo you will need more stout wheels. The ZTR Arch ex 650b have a claimed weight of 1685 grams so you lose a pound of weight there about and still have a rim rated at 230 lbs and can handle harsher conditions. I plan on getting those wheels soon. These stock wheels weigh more than my stock Stumpjumper 29er wheels =/

  45. #45
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    I am 142-145 lb. and don't really jump my bike.
    But I do see how I can take this over lines that I would have never ventured over on my Epic.
    If that trend continues I may investigate some wheels like Enve AM.
    What tires have good volume and traction but are under 700 grams? Anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by El Train View Post
    crests? sounds great if you are 140lbs and never jump your bike. those are xc racing rims. on a 5 inch bike you can get pretty rad and I bet most folks are gonna be running something a bit more durable.

  46. #46
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    Maxxis Ardent 2.25 EXO are fairly large volume, and were right around 700g on my scale IIRC.
    I'm always looking for new people to ride with. If you are on the Front Range, shoot me a PM and let's go ridin'.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootsie_cat View Post
    What tires have good volume and traction but are under 700 grams? Anything?
    Good luck with that. Tell me if you find anything. Always some compromise, but I think if it exists, it'd be a 29er thing. I'm willing to try Maxxis Ikon 2.35 next, to see if that's the the one with least compromise.
    Spec E29c
    Niner ROS9 SS
    Trek Crockett

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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by GnarBrahWyo View Post
    I agree. Crests might be ok if you live in Nebraska or something but on a bike as capable as the Solo you will need more stout wheels. The ZTR Arch ex 650b have a claimed weight of 1685 grams so you lose a pound of weight there about and still have a rim rated at 230 lbs and can handle harsher conditions. I plan on getting those wheels soon. These stock wheels weigh more than my stock Stumpjumper 29er wheels =/
    +1 on that. I'm 140lbs and running Arch EX rims on my Solo. I beat the crap out of them without any worries. I'm also running the non-EXO Ardents tubeless with no problems whatsoever. Great combo. For looser conditions, maybe an HR II up front.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndcarter79 View Post
    Im 5"10 & I went with a medium with a 70mm stem. Fits just right for me. I ride tight twisty technical trails with loads of jumps so wanted a more nimble bike.
    I've owned a XL and a Lrg Nomad and I prefer the Lrg for our tight twisty forest trails, but when things open up like Moab I'd rather be on the XL.

    No right or wrong answer just depends what parts of the bike's performance/fit you prioritize and where you ride.

    BTW - nice looking bike...
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  50. #50
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    I am 5'10.5 and went with the large. Wheelbase of the large is closer to that of mediums of other comparable bikes. With a slightly longer top tube I feel more comfortable on sketchy downhill sections.
    Being in the gray area size-wise makes it hard to pick sometimes. Vikb is right though, there are a lot of factors for frame size.

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