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  1. #1
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    First Full Suss 29er - Your Advice Please

    Hello good people

    I'm looking to buy my first full suss rig. I'm looking to ride trails, some semi technical & endurance events and just enjoy life. I'm on a carbon 29er hardtail 100mm fork, which I love but want something more forgiving (particularly after my last crash where I did my ACL & MCL). I'm not looking to spend a lot of time in the air or prove I can still do things I did when I was 15.

    Anyway, was thinking along the lines of another 29er, 120-140mm fork.
    I'm somewhat torn between something a bit light and faster (Yeti ASRC), in between (SC Tallboy) or something more all round (Yeti 4.5).

    I know these are first world problems. Your advice?

  2. #2
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by Courmayeur View Post

    I know these are first world problems. Your advice?
    Demo days. Demo everything you think you might be interested in at all. Don't just settle on a bike because it works well for someone else. I have two friends - both good riders who have ridden for a long time. For one, nothing tops SC's VPP, and he can never make DW on Pivot work well for him. The other friend is exactly the opposite. DW suits him well, but he can't get SC's VPP sorted out at all. I have ridden both of their bikes and would take either one in a heartbeat, but one does feel better to me than the other. So, get a leg over the stuff you're interested in. Don't fall in love with the first one you ride either. Make sure you ride several, and if you still like the first one, fine. That's my advice.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Courmayeur View Post
    Hello good people

    I'm looking to buy my first full suss rig. I'm looking to ride trails, some semi technical & endurance events and just enjoy life. I'm on a carbon 29er hardtail 100mm fork, which I love but want something more forgiving (particularly after my last crash where I did my ACL & MCL). I'm not looking to spend a lot of time in the air or prove I can still do things I did when I was 15.

    Anyway, was thinking along the lines of another 29er, 120-140mm fork.
    I'm somewhat torn between something a bit light and faster (Yeti ASRC), in between (SC Tallboy) or something more all round (Yeti 4.5).

    I know these are first world problems. Your advice?
    I recently moved from a hard tail to my first full suspension too. I ended up with a Trek Fuel EX as it seems to be a light duty trail bike or a heavy duty cross country bike. I looked at the Tallboy, but the Trek had a bit more suspension and had better components in my price range.

    If I were you I would go with the Yeti 4.5. Your hardtail already has the light and fast down. Any of the lightweight cross country bikes I think would be too similar to what you already have. The 4.5 would give you something more comfortable, but still capable for long rides and climbs. But like the poster above me said, try as many as you can. There are a lot of nice bikes in that price range and size, you probably couldn't go too wrong with any of them. But you may find that some just feel or fit better than others.

  4. #4
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    Hightower. lifetime frame warranty, threaded bottom bracket, free pivot bearings for life, tons of positive reviews

  5. #5
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    Demo, that is the best advice! Once you have the opportunity to go demo the bikes you are thinking of, then by and far that is the best way to figure out what you really want. If you are honest and really know where you draw the line in terms of what you will/plan to ride, then that makes life a lot easier and helps narrow the search down a lot, but it cant help with those small nuances each frame has or your personal preference.

    I think as an all around type "trail" bike, something 120-140 range would be good, just go ride and figure out which one is good,for you.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    Hightower. lifetime frame warranty, threaded bottom bracket, free pivot bearings for life, tons of positive reviews
    To the OP, delay gratification and ride bikes. Try rental and demo days if possible.

    Hightower is really nice. A friend got one about same time I got the current generation Fuel EX. In some ways they're alike, others not. The VPP suspension really firms up when you pedal. The Trek Penske magic shock is kind of best of all worlds. It's firm when you stand on it but more plush if you hit a square edge when pedaling. Don't mistake any Trek that doesn't have the "Reaktiv" shock, and don't confuse anything called a Fuel with the 2017 and 2018 model year.

    I have a shorter travel hard tail, longer travel Remedy and really like where the fairly light weight but strong Fuel EX build is and same for my friend's Hightower. They're bikes that can hang with a fast crowd and also go steep and gnarly.

    The advice from my friend who designed the current Slash and one who's a suspension component rep to bike manufacturers is very good. They advise against many who over bike or get too much inner weight weenie or racer going. Get a bike ideal for how you spend most of your time.
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  7. #7
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    I'm also looking for my first full squish (29er).
    Along with the Fuel EX, the following are on my list to demo:
    Transition smuggler
    New Kona process 153 AL
    Norco Optic

  8. #8
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    I went with the Pivot Mach 429 Trail. 116 of travel in the back, 130 in front (can go 140 too if you wanted or down to 120 as well). Perfect for most trails in Wisconsin, slack but familiar feeling. Great trail bike, could work in an XC race in a pinch, definitely in an endurance race and for lesser technical enduros as well. It's just a quiet, light, fun and awesome bike for almost everything within my ability level.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Demo days. Demo everything you think you might be interested in at all. Don't just settle on a bike because it works well for someone else. I have two friends - both good riders who have ridden for a long time. For one, nothing tops SC's VPP, and he can never make DW on Pivot work well for him. The other friend is exactly the opposite. DW suits him well, but he can't get SC's VPP sorted out at all. I have ridden both of their bikes and would take either one in a heartbeat, but one does feel better to me than the other. So, get a leg over the stuff you're interested in. Don't fall in love with the first one you ride either. Make sure you ride several, and if you still like the first one, fine. That's my advice.
    Don't leave us hanging, which one do you like better?
    2017 Trek Stache 7

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    don't confuse anything called a Fuel with the 2017 and 2018 model year.
    Idk, my 2016 Fuel Ex is pretty nice too I would say. I've gone out on the 2018 Fuel Ex and I think I may actually prefer my 2016. It seemed a bit more sluggish than my bike and the extra 10mm of fork didn't do much for me either. One thing I really did like was the Eagle GX groupset. Perhaps if I owned the 2018 I could get it set up a little better and like it as much or more as my 2016, but there really wasn't enough in it for me to want to upgrade to the 2018.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisisbenji View Post
    Idk, my 2016 Fuel Ex is pretty nice too I would say. I've gone out on the 2018 Fuel Ex and I think I may actually prefer my 2016. It seemed a bit more sluggish than my bike and the extra 10mm of fork didn't do much for me either. One thing I really did like was the Eagle GX groupset. Perhaps if I owned the 2018 I could get it set up a little better and like it as much or more as my 2016, but there really wasn't enough in it for me to want to upgrade to the 2018.
    They're both absolutely fine. I've spent time on both. The new model is even a shock for some but rewarding if you know how to or like to pump and work your bike like the edges of skis. It feels far more made for it if you take a drop or launch from something.
    ƃuoɹʍ llɐ ʇno əɯɐɔ ʇɐɥʇ

  12. #12
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    2016 Fuel Ex did have nice geo and I'm surprised it was so short lived. They should have used that for the current Top Fuel.
    Everyone is entitled to my opinion.

  13. #13
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    Be sure to throw the Devinci Django 29er into the mix! It's a great bike and has good reviews.
    Best Source for Ellsworth Devinci and Ventana!
    Velorangutan... the pedal type.
    Motorangutan... the motorized type.

  14. #14
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    Thanks. I've already demo-ed the yeti 4.5 and liked it. I also ride the pivot 429 trail which is great, but liked it less than the 4.5. Am trying to find other to demo as well.

  15. #15
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    Thanks. I was planning on selling the hardtail, partly to finance the new bike, but also as I have hit the "n-1" threshold 🤣

  16. #16
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    Hi
    The Hightower is a great bike and is on my 'maybe' list as I think it's too much bike for what I plan to ride.

  17. #17
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Quote Originally Posted by jn24uk View Post
    Don't leave us hanging, which one do you like better?
    It's not about me. I'm spoiled to the best suspension in the world. I wouldn't own either one of those bikes.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Courmayeur View Post
    Hi
    The Hightower is a great bike and is on my 'maybe' list as I think it's too much bike for what I plan to ride.
    id get a little too much vs a little too little. you can always grown into the bike. get stronger, build up confidence, ride it harder, etc

    or theres always the Tallboy

    Tallboy = 29er 110mm travel
    Hightower = 29er 135mm travel
    Hightower LT = 29er 150mm travel

    lots of options

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    id get a little too much vs a little too little. you can always grown into the bike. get stronger, build up confidence, ride it harder, etc

    or theres always the Tallboy

    Tallboy = 29er 110mm travel
    Hightower = 29er 135mm travel
    Hightower LT = 29er 150mm travel

    lots of options
    I'm hopefully demo-ing a hightower and also a SB5 this week. Re the latter, I wasn`t originally thinking 27.5 wheels, but I figured I should ride them and see what I think.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger View Post
    They're both absolutely fine. I've spent time on both. The new model is even a shock for some but rewarding if you know how to or like to pump and work your bike like the edges of skis. It feels far more made for it if you take a drop or launch from something.
    I rode a Fuel EX on a holiday earlier in the year. As the trail had several jumps and hairy rockgardens, it was obviously more comfortable than my hardtail on those!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    Demo, that is the best advice! Once you have the opportunity to go demo the bikes you are thinking of, then by and far that is the best way to figure out what you really want. If you are honest and really know where you draw the line in terms of what you will/plan to ride, then that makes life a lot easier and helps narrow the search down a lot, but it cant help with those small nuances each frame has or your personal preference.

    I think as an all around type "trail" bike, something 120-140 range would be good, just go ride and figure out which one is good,for you.
    Thanks. As per other replies, I am trying to demo all I can.

    I know I'm in a 29er forum, so this may be sacrilegious, but I'm also going to demo a 27.5 (Yeti SB5) just see how it feels.

    I'm a rider who likes attacking hills, if anything, I'm more likely to get caught going down than up. I want a fun bike that has a margin of safety for different situations. A regular ride for me would be ~40k.

    I rode motorx / trail and bmx as a kid and I loved nothing more than pulling off radical jumps. These days, I think of the implications a lot more than I used to, while still enjoying trying things beyond my abilities.

    Maybe I'll keep the 29er hard tail (it's not selling anyway) and get something that's different, rather than trying for a one-quiver MTB bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Courmayeur View Post
    Maybe I'll keep the 29er hard tail (it's not selling anyway) and get something that's different, rather than trying for a one-quiver MTB bike.
    I don't know about your finance and storage scenario but I really like having the hard tail 29r with slightly faster tires and the new generation Fuel EX with 140 Pike with general purpose 2.4 knobby tires front and back. It's perfect coverage for anything from light duty commuting through stuff once considered for freeriders. Both work for fast XC riding.

    My one quiver MTB would be a Stache or fattie with two sets of wheels.
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