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  1. #1
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    HELP - Too much research, now confused on what to buy.

    Hello everyone. I am looking for a little advice. I am looking to upgrade from my 17 year old Rocky Mountain Hammer Race to a full suspension 29er. I am a former racer but my true XC racing days are behind me. I look now to do longer marathon type events. I am a tall heavier rider (6'6" tall 235lbs) and I am looking for a fun to ride occasional marathon racer. I have narrowed it down to the following:
    2012 XXL Rocky Mountain Element (warranty included, 35% off list)
    2013 XXL Rocky Mountain Instinct (warranty, no deals to be found)
    2012 XL Norco Shinobi (no warranty, 55% off list)
    2013 XL Norco Revolver (warranty, no deals to be found)

    I have been to the Toronto bike show (only 1 XL full sus, 29er at the show and none from my list), I have many spent many hours researching and am now on information overload.

    I would greatly appreciated any thoughts from people who own/have ridden bikes from the list above or if have other gems that they think are comparable.

    Thanks for your help.

    Richard
    Last edited by Richard43; 03-24-2013 at 08:46 AM.

  2. #2
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    Santa Cruz Bicycles

    Screaming deal on an amazing bike in your size.

  3. #3
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    The Rockys are pretty overbuilt with serious gussets and big tubes. I've ridden the Element a bunch and it's the kind of bike that the harder you ride it the more you appreciate what it is. It's just rugged and stiff.

    The Norcos both use a rocker with a BB mounted shock; thus the suspension loads go sideways into the seat tube. It's an inherently weaker design, the more so as the size and rider weight go up. At 6'6" and 235, the seat tube has its hands full to begin with. It may take it and it might not, but why tempt fate? Just consider that at a suspension ratio of 2:1 you'll have 470 lbs going sideways into it when you're lofting the front wheel. I'd much rather have that going endways into the toptube. And when the shock bottoms it becomes a dubious hardtail design.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. That makes sense to me about the Norco's. How did you find the suspension on the Element? I have read that 95mm of cushion at the back on the Element is not enough but after 17 years on a 26 inch hardtail it must be a lot nicer to ride. It is perhaps not as plush as the Shinobi or Rumblefish but I am sure it would feel like heavan to me.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    Santa Cruz Bicycles

    Screaming deal on an amazing bike in your size.
    That is a good deal. I have tried the Tall Boy because it was top of my list but for some reason it didn't seem to suit me.

  6. #6
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    Did they not have the Devinci Atlas at Toronto bike show? It's available in XL and a staggering 8 trim levels to suit every budget.

  7. #7
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    I currently ride the 950 Element and find it great for your intended use.
    It's a full suspension that is better than rigid and it handles close to 26"er.
    I switched from an Epic Comp 29" and also currently ride a Fisher Rig 29" ss.
    One thing to keep in mind is the limitation of tire size at the back as the clearance is minimal. For the bikes intended purpose, it's fine - but squeezing a 2.3 will be tough to do.

  8. #8
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    HELP - Too much research, now confused on what to buy.

    I spent a couple hours in Moab on a BC Edition Element last fall. With that setup, I think it fits the description of what you're looking for. It's definitely a XC bike, but wasn't uncomfortable or nervous. The Atlas is also a nice bike. I enjoyed riding it as well. It felt like a little more bike than the Element.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard43 View Post
    Thanks for the feedback. That makes sense to me about the Norco's. How did you find the suspension on the Element? I have read that 95mm of cushion at the back on the Element is not enough but after 17 years on a 26 inch hardtail it must be a lot nicer to ride. It is perhaps not as plush as the Shinobi or Rumblefish but I am sure it would feel like heavan to me.
    My usual ride is a Spesh Epic and I don't notice any difference- as if 5mm is noticeable. The Rocky has a falling rate linkage which compensates for the rising rate shock so its a bit initially stiff on small stuff but swallows the bigger hits really well. In a sense it's similar to an FSR Brain shock ride in that it seems stiff pedalling but follows through more like a coil shock.

    Apparently you can change the spacer on a Reba to make it a 120. The Revelation on the one I ride is 90-120 and I seem to end up at 100 anyway but I've gone up steep tight switchbacks with it on 120 and it didn't seem to make any difference; just had the bars in my chest a little more.

    The back end is sensitive to pressure and the shock runs a high pressure anyway. If you set it up for a big sag you'll run out of room fast, but done right it's no problem.

    The Rumblefish also looks like a good bet; haven't ridden one but they don't seem to break and they look pretty burly. People seem to have a good time on them. Deserves a better name, IMO.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    Did they not have the Devinci Atlas at Toronto bike show? It's available in XL and a staggering 8 trim levels to suit every budget.
    No, not that I saw at least.

  11. #11
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    not sure what your price range is but Turner has the 12 Sultan on sale right now (over a k off) and it is a fantastic bike for a big guy. xxl is 23" and Pretty bomb proof (XT and Stans). Some good choices above as well...ah the joy of shopping for a new bike. Good luck

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