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  1. #101
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    [QUOTE=Jayem;12964334]The intense and SC share a similar pedaling profile, except the intense is exaggerated a bit, in terms of about 20% higher than the SC. Their "curve" is level through most of the travel, but it's more of an updside

    Agree.....IME the biggest difference is the slight ego tweaks.

    The Intense is more snappy and the SC and Pivot are more capable DH bikes.

    All great just different flavors :-)

  2. #102
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    I have a 2014 Remedy 9 27.5. It's super plush, stable going down, and not bad at climbing.

    If I was gonna go out and buy something new, I'd go with one of the 2017 Fuel EX 29er models.

    The Pivot Mach 429 Trail would also be worth a test ride.

  3. #103
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    I agree, it's tough to claim the one and only. Maybe one that has a great suspension with the right geo and ability to convert from 29er with 2.35 tires to a 27.5 plus with 2.8 tires. Any frame I do get I'll build with the 29er Fox34 140 fork and i35rims with meaty 2.35 tires in back like the Schwalbe NN or Maxxis DHR II.
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    Gratuitous self-quote.
    Funny, I'm 6'2.5" with a 35" inseam and the XL Hightower felt very cramped. After measuring, it was effectively three inches shorter in reach (meaning from butt on seat to handlebars) than my current Fuel EX 8. I also felt that it bobbed too much while climbing both seated and standing, though I think the shop set the shock pressure too low.
    Last edited by Levelheadsteve; 12-23-2016 at 09:03 AM.

  5. #105
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    I don't mean to hijack, but the last 2 posts sucked me in. Just finished my first year mtb and I'm completely hooked, did the year on a hardtail first to gauge my interest.

    Now I'm looking to purchase a FS. There are discounts to be had right now on the 2017 Fuel EX 8 and 2017 Stumpjumper FSR Comp, both very similar in price. Aside from fit/feel (which I will test), are there any compelling reasons to lean one way or the other? CO riding, so up/down rocky. Would like to have something that will keep me from upgrading for several years. Thanks for any insight.

  6. #106
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    I would buy whatever feels best.

    However - if it were a tie, I would buy everything/anything before a Specialized. Nothing against the bike and everything against their business practices. Honestly - most everything put out by a reputable manufacturer is good and going to get the job done and do it well. It just comes down to personal preference. And from that regard, no one can answer perfectly for you.

  7. #107
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    I've never owned a Spec. but have Treks. My only issue with Trek is the press fit BB. for me it's just not a good system. The Bontrager parts are good and reliable. I know Spec has the Horst link suspension and it's the same as I had on my old Titus Switchblade. I liked it. Trek has their similar system but they also have the RE:Aktiv Fox shocks which are really nice. I believe Spec does a lot with their shocks too but I'm just not familiar.
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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonp22 View Post
    I don't mean to hijack, but the last 2 posts sucked me in. Just finished my first year mtb and I'm completely hooked, did the year on a hardtail first to gauge my interest.

    Now I'm looking to purchase a FS. There are discounts to be had right now on the 2017 Fuel EX 8 and 2017 Stumpjumper FSR Comp, both very similar in price. Aside from fit/feel (which I will test), are there any compelling reasons to lean one way or the other? CO riding, so up/down rocky. Would like to have something that will keep me from upgrading for several years. Thanks for any insight.
    Fuel EX would likely compare more closely to the Camber than the Stumpy. After a year riding you may have a feel for the direction you think you will go in your riding and your preferred "style" or terrain.
    Stumpjumper would be more closely compared to the Remedy. Between those two I went for the Stumpy because it just felt like I was more "in" the bike than "on" the bike. Very subjective.
    Both will climb very capably, though the Fuel likely a little better.
    Both will be great descenders, though the Stumpy likely a little better.

    I would pick based on what trail and style you ride most. Don't think you can go wrong with either one.

    I would not consider press in BB as a deal breaker one way or another. Had both and honestly not that much of a difference for me.

    As to Specialized, this is my first one, having ridden it now for about a year and a half. Perfect balance of climbing efficiency and downhill capability "for me".
    And I would not hesitate buying Spesh again, despite how some view their business practices. Large international companies protect their brand and image, it's what they do. They are not the first and will not be the last.

    If you have a chance to take either or both for a full trail test ride, DO IT. Will give you so much better of a feel for the bike than just throwing a leg over or even a pedal around the parking lot.
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  9. #109
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    Add Santa Cruz Tallboy 3

  10. #110
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    I agree, press in BB is not a deal breaker, and what you said about big international companies, it's just the lay of the land, and really, both companies are big and max out profits however they can get it.
    Try them both on trails and see which one make you feel like you ride WITH the bike, not on it. That really is a great way to put it.
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  11. #111
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    For sure and I would put a 130mm fork. Many of my friends have SC bikes and the LBS demos and sells them.
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  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    what you said about big international companies, it's just the lay of the land, and really, both companies are big and max out profits however they can get it.
    It's not about profit. Specialized stepped over the line that most companies do not in terms of ethics. Especially in Northern California where they are located.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by billj121 View Post
    Fuel EX would likely compare more closely to the Camber than the Stumpy. After a year riding you may have a feel for the direction you think you will go in your riding and your preferred "style" or terrain.
    Stumpjumper would be more closely compared to the Remedy. Between those two I went for the Stumpy because it just felt like I was more "in" the bike than "on" the bike. Very subjective.
    Both will climb very capably, though the Fuel likely a little better.
    Both will be great descenders, though the Stumpy likely a little better.

    I would pick based on what trail and style you ride most. Don't think you can go wrong with either one.

    I would not consider press in BB as a deal breaker one way or another. Had both and honestly not that much of a difference for me.

    As to Specialized, this is my first one, having ridden it now for about a year and a half. Perfect balance of climbing efficiency and downhill capability "for me".
    And I would not hesitate buying Spesh again, despite how some view their business practices. Large international companies protect their brand and image, it's what they do. They are not the first and will not be the last.

    If you have a chance to take either or both for a full trail test ride, DO IT. Will give you so much better of a feel for the bike than just throwing a leg over or even a pedal around the parking lot.
    Im trying to sell my 16 stumpy, it's a nice bike but after buying my Hightower I have no use for it.
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  14. #114
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    I'm sure they did. I watched that move Clunkers talking about the history of the Mtn-Bike industry and have read several articles about the unethical bike and bike part companies. Personally I try to buy American made as much as possible.
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  15. #115
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    Evil
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  16. #116
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    I've been spending a lot of time recently searching for a great FS trail bike. I appreciate many of the responses in this thread.

    I'll state up front that I think it's pretty hard to find a bad bike these days. There are a lot of great options out there. For me, I think it comes down, first and foremost, to find a bike shop you like. They'll support you and help you in the process.

    At my shop they carry Pivot, Niner, Rocky Mountain, Ibis, Salsa and Knolly. That gives me some great options to choose from.

    I've just started the demo process. Yesterday I took out a Pivot Switchblade with 27.5+ and an XO1 Eagle build. I could go in to a lot of detail on my impressions but to keep it short, I liked the bike, wasn't a fan of the wheel size. I'll be trying a 29er wheelset later. Next up will be a Niner Jet 9 RDO. I already tried an Ibis Ripley LS last month. It was good but not mind blowing. I'll have to give it another shot.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  17. #117
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    I just took a new tallboy and a mach429 trail for test rides back to back and the pivot was amazing! So much im thinking of buying one now.

  18. #118
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    whatevers on sale

  19. #119
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    I tend to move around on what bike catches my interest for what month, but since I've been riding the Guerrilla Gravity Trail Pistol, I think I've found my match. Here's a review I wrote if you have some time to read: Trail Pistol Review, Vital MTB

  20. #120
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    so far my Hightower is the best trail 29er I've had.
    Enjoy the ride...

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    so far my Hightower is the best trail 29er I've had.
    i second what mthbkr said



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  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksheep5150 View Post
    i second what mthbkr said
    ^^^ thats a sexy build

  23. #123
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    Respectfully disagree with the above


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  24. #124
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    Sweet ride , i see im not the only one who brings my bike in the house .....not that we should hijack this guys thread , go demo all you can and see whats feels best to you for budget and build ...


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  25. #125
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    After months of pondering, the wife gifted me my Holy Grail 29er. I love it and cannot thank her enough after spending time on it.

    The bike carries its weight really well and the RE:aktiv setup allows a lot of power to the back wheel.




  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Respectfully disagree with the above


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    You gifted him your bike?

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  27. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Respectfully disagree with the above


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    Nice bike Don! How are you liking the Di2? are you running the 36 at 150?

  28. #128
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    I like Di2 although other being able to run a lighter cassette, I don't see a big advantage over Eagle but I haven't tried Eagle. It's been very reliable so far. The extra gearing helps with the meaty tires and my poor climbing skills. I'm going to keep the fork at 150. I suspect if I increase it to 160, the bike will be too slack for my tastes.


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  29. #129
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    That's a nice bike!
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  30. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    I like Di2 although other being able to run a lighter cassette, I don't see a big advantage over Eagle but I haven't tried Eagle. It's been very reliable so far. The extra gearing helps with the meaty tires and my poor climbing skills. I'm going to keep the fork at 150. I suspect if I increase it to 160, the bike will be too slack for my tastes.


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    Not having DI2 as much as I would like too, the only advantage I see is when it's 2x11 with one shifter.

    Personally in 20 years of riding have never had all the issues others seem to have with FD. The weight savings is gone and honestly it's being put in the wrong place with Eagle.

    It's the same discussion gearbox vs geared hub. It makes more sense to have the weight centered and low on the bike vs. on the rear wheel.

    I haven't bothered pulling together the weights, but I wonder what a DI 2x11 w/ a 40t cassette, 1 shifter and a 2x crank weighs compared to Eagle.
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  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Not having DI2 as much as I would like too, the only advantage I see is when it's 2x11 with one shifter.

    Personally in 20 years of riding have never had all the issues others seem to have with FD. The weight savings is gone and honestly it's being put in the wrong place with Eagle.

    It's the same discussion gearbox vs geared hub. It makes more sense to have the weight centered and low on the bike vs. on the rear wheel.

    I haven't bothered pulling together the weights, but I wonder what a DI 2x11 w/ a 40t cassette, 1 shifter and a 2x crank weighs compared to Eagle.
    Don't forget the battery :-)

    For me the front drl is dead for three reasons

    1. Momentum killer. Shifting down to the small chainring and then shifting the rear up. Not a big deal but just using one shifter is better.

    2. Dropped chains. Also not that common but it happens.

    3. Noise. No more clank clank clank clank clank in the chunk.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Don't forget the battery :-)

    For me the front drl is dead for three reasons

    1. Momentum killer. Shifting down to the small chainring and then shifting the rear up. Not a big deal but just using one shifter is better.

    2. Dropped chains. Also not that common but it happens.

    3. Noise. No more clank clank clank clank clank in the chunk.
    That's exactly the point of DI2- it does that for you with one shifter. You can use the standard programing, which shifts too/ off the front rings differently depending on if you're going up or down.


    Like I said- I haven't had all the 'issues' other seem to. I can't remember the last time I dropped a chain.

    Noise I'll give you, but I'm not sure if DI2 has that issue since it's clutched RD even on the 2x.

    At lunch I searched for some weights. It's about 1/2 lb heavier for DI2 VS XX1 Eale , but like I thought that's at the BB and it's lighter out back.
    The other advantage I'm assuming is there is based on my experience with AL pie plates on the back- is that the 40t will wear better and the cassette is cheaper.


    Sorry for the detour- I'll stop.
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  33. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Don't forget the battery :-)

    For me the front drl is dead for three reasons

    1. Momentum killer. Shifting down to the small chainring and then shifting the rear up. Not a big deal but just using one shifter is better.

    2. Dropped chains. Also not that common but it happens.

    3. Noise. No more clank clank clank clank clank in the chunk.

    Not to turn this into a FD is dead thread, but I was a huge FD holdout. Then ran a 1x10, then 1x11 for some time.

    Went back to FD with the new fangled 2x11, and while the front shifting was great there was a huge problem...

    For my trails a 1x with a 30t up front usually had me in the perfect spot. On the 2x big ring was often too big and the granny too small. Our downs are techie and very steep and there's pretty much no room to pedal there anyway.

    If I lived where there were super long, super steep climbs then super long, gradual DHs, the 2x11 would have made much more sense. Chain drop on Shimano's new 2x11 was non existent, as was noise.

    (Sorry if I just jumped in and contributed to derailing the thread.)

  34. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
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  35. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Not to turn this into a FD is dead thread, but I was a huge FD holdout. Then ran a 1x10, then 1x11 for some time.

    Went back to FD with the new fangled 2x11, and while the front shifting was great there was a huge problem...

    For my trails a 1x with a 30t up front usually had me in the perfect spot. On the 2x big ring was often too big and the granny too small. Our downs are techie and very steep and there's pretty much no room to pedal there anyway.

    If I lived where there were super long, super steep climbs then super long, gradual DHs, the 2x11 would have made much more sense. Chain drop on Shimano's new 2x11 was non existent, as was noise.

    (Sorry if I just jumped in and contributed to derailing the thread.)
    To me, the only real downside to modern 1x drive trains is the large jumps between some gears, but if you are going to just slap a double on the same cassette, you don't solve that problem.

  36. #136
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    ^ Yep, I love my compact 2x 11-25 cluster on my road bike but I can get by with the big gearing jumps of the 1x on the MTB. If I was still racing XC or DH I'd want tighter 1x gearing jumps for some courses. But we're talking trail bikes here!
    I don't find the 1x cross chaining any more of an issue with wear as it was on my last 2x. I still replace my chains before they stretch to .75 and the cassettes and chain rings last a long time.


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  37. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Don't forget the battery :-)

    For me the front drl is dead for three reasons

    1. Momentum killer. Shifting down to the small chainring and then shifting the rear up. Not a big deal but just using one shifter is better.

    2. Dropped chains. Also not that common but it happens.

    3. Noise. No more clank clank clank clank clank in the chunk.
    Di2 shifts fast. I have it set up with one shifter. One can adjust shift speed. When I programmed the gruppo, I would drop the chain. I eventually admitted to my self the pre-programmed mode was better. It has a clutch derailleur, so it's quiet. I also added a 44T cog to my XO1 cassette. I can spend more time in the large chainring.

    I think 2X is far superior to 3X. 2X even worked in icy conditions. 1 x 11 is superior to all because of cost, reliability and simplicity. Di2 is nice. Didn't like it at first, but I'm glade I stuck with. The RaceFace rings wear fast, are expensive and had to be protected with a bash. But the range is awesome although Eagle is about the same on one end of the spectrum. If I lived out west I would put Di2 or Eagle on my other bike.

  38. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    Di2 shifts fast. I have it set up with one shifter. One can adjust shift speed. When I programmed the gruppo, I would drop the chain. I eventually admitted to my self the pre-programmed mode was better. It has a clutch derailleur, so it's quiet. I also added a 44T cog to my XO1 cassette. I can spend more time in the large chainring.

    I think 2X is far superior to 3X. 2X even worked in icy conditions. 1 x 11 is superior to all because of cost, reliability and simplicity. Di2 is nice. Didn't like it at first, but I'm glade I stuck with. The RaceFace rings wear fast, are expensive and had to be protected with a bash. But the range is awesome although Eagle is about the same on one end of the spectrum. If I lived out west I would put Di2 or Eagle on my other bike.
    Even with a clutch I still got slap on the front drl.

    Today my son and I went on a ride and well....he was way ahead of me :-). We were doing a 7 mile single track climb with lots of little ups and downs, switchbacks and so on. I was by myself without a soul around me. Coming from a SRAM 1x11 (that I loved) the Eagle was flawless and dead quiet. Really Really like it.

    My buddy just got di2 on his bike and he is really happy with it. We are about the same size so I may give his rig a run and see how I like it.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled thread :-)

  39. #139
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    I think 2x11 is a still a great set-up on a trail bike. I guess it just depends on your needs, why limit yourself with a 1x if your riding trails that you want/need a wider range.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    To me, the only real downside to modern 1x drive trains is the large jumps between some gears, but if you are going to just slap a double on the same cassette, you don't solve that problem.
    Interesting, as I view that as a plus. On a mtb I like jumping or dumping a bunch of teeth with a single lever throw. Fine tuning cadence is not something I care about. In theory maybe makes for a less smooth shift, but that's not something I've found to be the case on the trail.

  41. #141
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    Wait... what are we talking about here? Ah yes 29er holy grails not gear inch debating.

    The yeti 5.5 29er got quite the glowing review on bible of bike.

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  42. #142
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Wait... what are we talking about here? Ah yes 29er holy grails not gear inch debating.

    The yeti 5.5 29er got quite the glowing review on bible of bike.

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    Yeah, I had no doubt that the 5.5 is a very good bike and their best allrounder. What surprised me about of this BOBT was their review of the Pivot Switchblade giving it negative remarks, saying you need to climb from the saddle. My experience with my Pivots is that they were very versatile in how you are able climb with them. Though I can't imagine that either the Switch Infinity or DW Link bikes will ever climb as well out of the saddle as the DELTA Link bikes.
    Also it's a bummer that they don't include the Canfield Riot or any Canfield bikes in the tests because of their DTC business model and lack of advertising revenue directed towards Bike mag.

  43. #143
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    The other thing that's really kind of flawed on the BOBT is this ridiculous categorization short, mid, long travel (I know the industry is trying to push categorization to drive more sales) but really....? It's a fricking trail bike, OK they're either short travel or long travel but really they're trail bikes. In reality 5, 10 even 20mm in travel doesn't mean shiz. It's how they use the travel and apply it to the terrain with the help of the pilot of course!

  44. #144
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    My Swirchblade is too stiff per Bike. I feel my SB climbs out of the saddle as well as my old Following but I stay seated as much as possible. I wonder how they would feel about a SB with an X2.


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  45. #145
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    The Bible of bike test seems bought and paid for. That and there are very few bad bikes these days. Where you ride and what you want out of your bike are way more important then the brand. The guys I ride with love their evil bikes and they loved their nomads before that. My blur was a trusty steed for 8 years and as hairball as it sounds kept up with nomads. Of course I was on the absolute limit. My new TB3 is faster downhill, but it's the confidence at speed and extra comfort I realy like.
    Ride it like you stole it for all the years you can.
    I wish more bikes came in XXL.

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
    My Swirchblade is too stiff per Bike. I feel my SB climbs out of the saddle as well as my old Following but I stay seated as much as possible. I wonder how they would feel about a SB with an X2.


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    Plus your wheels are too stiff even though they only have 28 spokes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    Plus your wheels are too stiff even though they only have 28 spokes.
    Rims are going to be the determining factor in wheel stiffness, not spokes, I'd argue.

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  48. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Rims are going to be the determining factor in wheel stiffness, not spokes, I'd argue.

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    They play a huge role I'd agree, but anything with more support, all else equal, will be stiffer.

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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    I have 28 spoke 38mm internal carbon boost wheels for my plus wheelset. Run 18 psi rear and 15 psi front and they still feel like noodles. Tires and tire pressure make a huge difference in how stiff a wheel will feel. My plus wheels are on the higher side of pressure and stiffness, but my 32 hole, 27mm internal aluminum 29er wheels with 2.3 tires feel far more stable in turns than any plus set up I've tried, regardless of pressure. I'm running a 2.8 WTB Trailblazer rear and 3.0 WTB Bridger up front on my 27+ wheels, and 2.3 Maxxis Minion DHR II on my 29er wheels.
    Enjoy the ride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    Yeah, I had no doubt that the 5.5 is a very good bike and their best allrounder. What surprised me about of this BOBT was their review of the Pivot Switchblade giving it negative remarks, saying you need to climb from the saddle. My experience with my Pivots is that they were very versatile in how you are able climb with them. Though I can't imagine that either the Switch Infinity or DW Link bikes will ever climb as well out of the saddle as the DELTA Link bikes.
    Also it's a bummer that they don't include the Canfield Riot or any Canfield bikes in the tests because of their DTC business model and lack of advertising revenue directed towards Bike mag.
    Here is what they would say about the riot summed up pretty quick.

    Holy shit that thing is crazy!! I did not notice I was on a 29er. It climbs well but the top tube can feel kinda short when seated. However the reach is nice and long when standing. Corners fast, manuals great. Wish it had a 160 fork like the yeti since the geometry is so rowdy. It pedal amazing in and out of the saddle. Nice and plush but efficient rear suspension. You can spend riding it all day

    Wait! It weighs how much??? Oh wow I did not notice it was a heavy pig. Seems about 2 lbs over weight. Even though we didn't notice it whike riding, this takes away from its over all quiver killer and makes it more of a gravity bike.

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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    The Bible of bike test seems bought and paid for. That and there are very few bad bikes these days. Where you ride and what you want out of your bike are way more important then the brand.
    True story there really are no bad bikes out there. Maybe Huffy's but even they are getting better.
    It's like a buddy of mine regarding skis and ski choice and skiing. He's such a solid skier you could blindfold him, put him on 2x4's with bindings and he'd be like, "these are great!" And that's without taking the blindfold off!
    I know how pretty much all my bike test cards would read, "Great bike, love it, you should buy one.
    Oh wait,, shoot I need a short, mid and long travel trail bike and then a caddy to cart them around for me and keep them dialed in between different sections of trail. (ala, William Nealy)

  52. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Rims are going to be the determining factor in wheel stiffness, not spokes, I'd argue.

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    I don't disagree with that. I was just poking fun at the comment. Rims then spokes but spokes matter.

  53. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I don't disagree with that. I was just poking fun at the comment. Rims then spokes but spokes matter.
    Agreed.

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    I think the holy grail 29er should be able to take 27.5+ wheels also. It must be light but stiff in the right places, be reliable without frame breaking after just building your dream bike. Fun factor is very important so you want to ride everyday. It must be able to climb with efficiency and traction so you can keep up with all your fast XC friends but also be able rail the down hills so they have trouble keeping up to you on the downs.

    This is the bike I choose and I love it with my new wheel set that's lighter than most 29er wheels on the market, tires also light and durable at 755g each. This bike feels even more nimble with greater traction than ever before. No desire to upgrade to any 2017 bike!! 2016 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er at just a bit over 24lbs with pedals.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?-p1070584.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw7000 View Post
    I think the holy grail 29er should be able to take 27.5+ wheels also. It must be light but stiff in the right places, be reliable without frame breaking after just building your dream bike. Fun factor is very important so you want to ride everyday. It must be able to climb with efficiency and traction so you can keep up with all your fast XC friends but also be able rail the down hills so they have trouble keeping up to you on the downs.

    This is the bike I choose and I love it with my new wheel set that's lighter than most 29er wheels on the market, tires also light and durable at 755g each. This bike feels even more nimble with greater traction than ever before. No desire to upgrade to any 2017 bike!! 2016 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er at just a bit over 24lbs with pedals.
    You could say the same about the new Santa Cruz Tallboy.

    Btw have you read the reviews on the 2017 Fuel? They changed just about everything from 2016 after just one year. Really makes me wonder why they did this.
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  56. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    You could say the same about the new Santa Cruz Tallboy.

    Btw have you read the reviews on the 2017 Fuel? They changed just about everything from 2016 after just one year. Really makes me wonder why they did this.
    The tallboy isn't comparable to the 2016 Fuel EX. At all.

    Trek probably wanted to differentiate more between models. But left a big, gaping whole in their lineup, and stopped making the best "one bike" on the market.

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    My buddy is building the new Tallboy now can't wait to try it!! The new Fuel many people are unhappy with it. I think Trek got it wrong on 2017 Fuel. I have a 130 Fox fork on mine.

  58. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    The tallboy isn't comparable to the 2016 Fuel EX. At all.

    Trek probably wanted to differentiate more between models. But left a big, gaping whole in their lineup, and stopped making the best "one bike" on the market.

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    Why wouldn't they be comparable? They are very similar in geometry and spec. The Tallboy frame seems to be about a pound heavier and much stiffer. The new tallboy frames is over built and crazy stiff compared to the old ones. I really like the confidence it gives being a big guy on an XXL. They also don't use any proprietary parts, which is a huge bonus. Haven't ridden the trek and no one I ride with has one.

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgw7000 View Post
    I think the holy grail 29er should be able to take 27.5+ wheels also. It must be light but stiff in the right places, be reliable without frame breaking after just building your dream bike. Fun factor is very important so you want to ride everyday. It must be able to climb with efficiency and traction so you can keep up with all your fast XC friends but also be able rail the down hills so they have trouble keeping up to you on the downs.

    This is the bike I choose and I love it with my new wheel set that's lighter than most 29er wheels on the market, tires also light and durable at 755g each. This bike feels even more nimble with greater traction than ever before. No desire to upgrade to any 2017 bike!! 2016 Trek Fuel EX 9.9 29er at just a bit over 24lbs with pedals.
    I personally don't feel the plus option is a necessity but if it's able to take them that adds a bit more to quiver of potential for the one bike.
    Sweet build of your Fuel EX. Those Chupa 2.8's are a great tire for the size, weight rolling resistance and durability.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    The tallboy isn't comparable to the 2016 Fuel EX. At all.

    Trek probably wanted to differentiate more between models. But left a big, gaping whole in their lineup, and stopped making the best "one bike" on the market.

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    10-4 on that. The 16 Fuel EX was a great one bike. I think they should have left the 16 geo alone and go right from there to the Slash.

  60. #160
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    No such thing. Sure some bike are better and worse at many things, some bikes are great compromises, but it's very specific to your skill set, terrain, future skill growth, and preferences.

    Some bikes with climb switches and what not can be made to perform differently at different times, but then that only works if you swap terrain types for a period of time long enough to go through the trouble. I mean the new Trek Slash is insane if you prioritize fast descending and can climb too, as long as you climb for an extended period of time and throw the switches. My climbs are 25' of punchiness and then it's back to descending, I don't have time to swap suspension settings back and forth.

    I settled on the Yeti 5.5 after reading what seemed like a thousand reviews. The reasons were that it's a strong climber w/o throwing any switches, it descends as fast as I can around here (my priority), and it can perform at the bike park. But it's not a little light flickable trail bike and it doesn't love to start and stop a lot (which is common here) so I gave that up.

  61. #161
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    That 5.5 is no doubt a great bike but you'd get destroyed using it to do a burly marathon race/ ride. Sure it's going to be a little better descender that some bikes but it depends how you build the bikes and also your skill set.
    A good strong, fit and talented rider can do more with less which lends to the versatility.

  62. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    That 5.5 is no doubt a great bike but you'd get destroyed using it to do a burly marathon race/ ride. Sure it's going to be a little better descender that some bikes but it depends how you build the bikes and also your skill set.
    A good strong, fit and talented rider can do more with less which lends to the versatility.
    I was looking at a 5.5 to replace my riot to save a couple pounds. But then I survived a 7.5k day of climbing over 40 miles on my riot. So I think you could put more miles on the lighter yeti just fine.

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  63. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    That 5.5 is no doubt a great bike but you'd get destroyed using it to do a burly marathon race/ ride. Sure it's going to be a little better descender that some bikes but it depends how you build the bikes and also your skill set.
    A good strong, fit and talented rider can do more with less which lends to the versatility.
    I think you are saying because the 5.5 is too burly of a bike to be real fast at Marathon XC type stuff? Maybe I read your comment wrong though?

    If so, I AGREE completely! Fortunately, I'd literally rather paint my living room than ride XC at all. So although it would be nice to have a bike that was strong at that too, it's not even a top 10 priority for me. In fact, I'd quit riding bikes if all I had was XC riding and just stick with MX.

    The 5.5c is a great all around enduro bike that can climb pretty well. That's how I fancy my riding and what I strive to do even if local terrain limits my choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I think you are saying because the 5.5 is too burly of a bike to be real fast at Marathon XC type stuff? Maybe I read your comment wrong though?

    If so, I AGREE completely! Fortunately, I'd literally rather paint my living room than ride XC at all. So although it would be nice to have a bike that was strong at that too, it's not even a top 10 priority for me. In fact, I'd quit riding bikes if all I had was XC riding and just stick with MX.

    The 5.5c is a great all around enduro bike that can climb pretty well. That's how I fancy my riding and what I strive to do even if local terrain limits my choices.
    Unless you ride nothing but fire roads and downhills worthy of an EWS race, you ride XC.

    Sorry.

    Edit: Just saw that you live in Austin, TX. Which makes the above even more accurate.

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  65. #165
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Unless you ride nothing but fire roads and downhills worthy of an EWS race, you ride XC.

    Sorry.

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    This.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    That's funny.

    They have categories of bikes, for different terrain.

    XC is smoother faster glorified dirt sidewalks essentially. Just a step rougher than Cyclecross which is just one step rougher than roadbiking. Sure XC has gotten rougher as of late, it still doesn't have 4' drops though.

    Trail riding is where most riders find themselves and certainly many riders (better than me) excel riding their XC bikes on those trails. Doesn't mean those bikes are the best choice. As you try and go faster the suspension and brakes, optimized for smoother terrain, are just inadequate. You can't climb the good trails here on a 2.1 rear tire, not at my skill level anyways!

    The terrain I chase is all ledge drops and very chunky ridge lines and there are some jumps out there. A XC bike flat sucks on those trails. Doesn't mean people don't do it. The wheels/ brakes/ tires/ suspension doesn't actually hold up long out there but people do it.

    There is a constant obsession around here with people claiming that they know how someone else rides and the specific trails they ride and trying to pooh pooh on their gear. It gets rather old and it's that elitism thing that is prevalent in the lycra crowd imo.

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    I'd like to see LeDuke at City Park on his XC bike. He'd be BEGGING for more travel, more brakes, and a slacker HTA after the first 5 minutes. Austin has some tech AF terrain. He still thinks the only thing that matters is how "fast" he's going; that actually having fun and being in better control and taking maybe not the fastest lines are not a part of mountain biking.
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  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    That's funny.

    They have categories of bikes, for different terrain.

    XC is smoother faster glorified dirt sidewalks essentially. Just a step rougher than Cyclecross which is just one step rougher than roadbiking. Sure XC has gotten rougher as of late, it still doesn't have 4' drops though.

    Trail riding is where most riders find themselves and certainly many riders (better than me) excel riding their XC bikes on those trails. Doesn't mean those bikes are the best choice. As you try and go faster the suspension and brakes, optimized for smoother terrain, are just inadequate. You can't climb the good trails here on a 2.1 rear tire, not at my skill level anyways!

    The terrain I chase is all ledge drops and very chunky ridge lines and there are some jumps out there. A XC bike flat sucks on those trails. Doesn't mean people don't do it. The wheels/ brakes/ tires/ suspension doesn't actually hold up long out there but people do it.

    There is a constant obsession around here with people claiming that they know how someone else rides and the specific trails they ride and trying to pooh pooh on their gear. It gets rather old and it's that elitism thing that is prevalent in the lycra crowd imo.
    Your too hung up on marketing and these so called categories. They don't mean squat! There are more than a few races/ rides that are long, full of technical climbing and descending and they are XC, sorry. They'd probably reduce you and many of us to whimpering. These are considered marathon races or rides depending on you skill and competitiveness.
    It's all XC riding!

  69. #169
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    Damn manitou2200 is a happy camper. Why don't you contribute something positive to the conversation dude.

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    It seems whenever these conversations come up that people feel their type of riding is being attacked because it's not as *whatever* as another level. In reality the categories are great way to quickly differentiate what a given bike is optimized for. Will it do things outside those optimizations, absolutely but not as well as something intended to do those things.

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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    I ride all types of terrain and categories if you will! You have to remember that these categories were created to help the industry sell us all more bikes. Now that's not s bad thing necessarily but in reality it's all mountain biking and it's all really a form of XC riding since we are talking trail bikes here.
    There is no one best bike or a "one bike" to do everything but currently we are closer to this potential bike than we ever have been with all the great tech and bikes available. You just have to figure out which bike suits your needs best.
    I still stand by the fact that rider skill trumps bike tech and a good rider can get a lot done with less bike at times.

  72. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Damn manitou2200 is a happy camper. Why don't you contribute something positive to the conversation dude.
    What d'ya need?

  73. #173
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    This is cute. XC does not mean racing. It means cross country. Some marketing genius decided to divide that category up into trails and enduro. If you ride your bike on dirt singletrack, of any type, you are riding xc. Racing xc is a whole different animal.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  74. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    This is cute. XC does not mean racing. It means cross country. Some marketing genius decided to divide that category up into trails and enduro. If you ride your bike on dirt singletrack, of any type, you are riding xc. Racing xc is a whole different animal.
    Well put!

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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    I ride all types of terrain and categories if you will! You have to remember that these categories were created to help the industry sell us all more bikes. Now that's not s bad thing necessarily but in reality it's all mountain biking and it's all really a form of XC riding since we are talking trail bikes here.
    There is no one best bike or a "one bike" to do everything but currently we are closer to this potential bike than we ever have been with all the great tech and bikes available. You just have to figure out which bike suits your needs best.
    I still stand by the fact that rider skill trumps bike tech and a good rider can get a lot done with less bike at times.
    Of course skill and fitness matter more then the style of bike you ride. I think that is a well understood fact. Pro riders are pro for a reason. We r talking about what is the best do it all bike. I ride everything from road to xc to enduro to full on dh. I do most of it on an old blur xc that has no right being as fast as it is. I love that bike but, my new tallboy suits my style now that I'm an old man with kids. I don't feel completely on edge doing 4 foot drops and bombing rock gardens. Up and over. Give me short travel, long low and slack.

  76. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    This is cute. XC does not mean racing. It means cross country. Some marketing genius decided to divide that category up into trails and enduro. If you ride your bike on dirt singletrack, of any type, you are riding xc. Racing xc is a whole different animal.
    Why are you raging against categorization? You can ask ten people and the majority will give you the same answer if you ask them to define XC, Trail, AM/Enduro, and Freeride/DH bikes. It's actually a benefit, except it seems to hurt some feelings, rather than a hindrance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    This is cute. XC does not mean racing. It means cross country. Some marketing genius decided to divide that category up into trails and enduro. If you ride your bike on dirt singletrack, of any type, you are riding xc. Racing xc is a whole different animal.
    Yes I would agree with that a true XC bike would not be very durable for most peoples day to day trail riding...
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    I'm not raging. That's why I said it's cute that so many people are butt hurt by being xc at heart. I'm guessing that most of the people here who think xc is only lycra clad racers are young or haven't been around very long.

    When a few of us started biking, there was only DH and xc. Imo if you aren't on an 8 inch travel downhill rig using a chair lift...you are riding xc.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    I was looking at a 5.5 to replace my riot to save a couple pounds. But then I survived a 7.5k day of climbing over 40 miles on my riot. So I think you could put more miles on the lighter yeti just fine.

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    No doubt and I agree completely.
    If your riding preference or affinity is of a longer distance, duration with loads of climbing then you be better served with a bike like the Fuel EX posted earlier here.
    Different strokes as they say. My main steed is between your Riot and that Fuel. I can vary the build on my Following with 2 forks and a few sets of wheels/ tires from 25ish to 28 lbs. depending on the riding project. Is it perfect? Nope but for me and it covers a pretty damn big range of terrain and riding.

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm not raging. That's why I said it's cute that so many people are butt hurt by being xc at heart. I'm guessing that most of the people here who think xc is only lycra clad racers are young or haven't been around very long.

    When a few of us started biking, there was only DH and xc. Imo if you aren't on an 8 inch travel downhill rig using a chair lift...you are riding xc.
    Derogatory statements, calling people butthurt, but not raging, got it. It could be postulated that you are the one that's butthurt by the advancement and equipment of the sport. As the equipment has gotten better and more specialized categories have been added to better describe its intended usage. It's called progress some people embrace it others hate it. I guarantee you that your XC bike could not hold the lines at speed, handle the drops, and have the durability while doing so of a modern AM/Enduro rig. It probably could still out climb it though.

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  81. #181
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    Oh, I don't disagree. Just kind of playing the Devils advocate as well. I think the categories are good and bad. I like that bikes have gotten more specialized in what they do while still being capable at most things. Mostly just poking at the guy who said he'd give up riding altogether if there was only xc. It's ridiculous.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    or this29er for the hero dirt, 27+ for the slippery stuff
    Enjoy the ride...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Oh, I don't disagree. Just kind of playing the Devils advocate as well. I think the categories are good and bad. I like that bikes have gotten more specialized in what they do while still being capable at most things. Mostly just poking at the guy who said he'd give up riding altogether if there was only xc. It's ridiculous.
    I don't know that it is. For a couple of years that's all we had here (no rock gardens, no natural drops, etc.) on the high trafficked, easily accessible trails. Tech was being pulled out for sustainability and hadn't been added back in yet.

    Calling a dirt sidewalk XC to me gives it a good indication of what the terrain is like without being as derogatory. You're attempting to take an older definition and pit it against someone obviously using the new which is a bit disingenuous.

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  84. #184
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexbn921 View Post
    Of course skill and fitness matter more then the style of bike you ride. I think that is a well understood fact. Pro riders are pro for a reason. We r talking about what is the best do it all bike. I ride everything from road to xc to enduro to full on dh. I do most of it on an old blur xc that has no right being as fast as it is. I love that bike but, my new tallboy suits my style now that I'm an old man with kids. I don't feel completely on edge doing 4 foot drops and bombing rock gardens. Up and over. Give me short travel, long low and slack.
    Right on! I know I'm stating something quite obvious at least to some of us. I've been riding a while so my comment was for those that may not realize this. It's not a reality for many to own a huge quiver of specific bikes so we have to make due with what we have available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm not raging. That's why I said it's cute that so many people are butt hurt by being xc at heart. I'm guessing that most of the people here who think xc is only lycra clad racers are young or haven't been around very long.

    When a few of us started biking, there was only DH and xc. Imo if you aren't on an 8 inch travel downhill rig using a chair lift...you are riding xc.
    That's what I was getting at. Very well put!
    I still think this thread has merit as we each state our reasons for our choice of steeds. Hopefully it helps steer someone in the market for a bike to look at a bike they might not have considered.
    Hopefully no ones butt hurt that's not what this is about.

  85. #185
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    Nice Hightower there!
    Here's a few variations of my Following. I also have some Minions on another set of wheels that I use with the 140 Stage. I also change the DELTA flip chips on all these builds. The bikes rips in low setting with the RS-1 and agro tires.



  86. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    Nice Hightower there!
    Here's a few variations of my Following. I also have some Minions on another set of wheels that I use with the 140 Stage. I also change the DELTA flip chips on all these builds. The bikes rips in low setting with the RS-1 and agro tires.


    Beautiful bike! If I hadn't already bought my Hightower that is a bike I would own
    Enjoy the ride...

  87. #187
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    No way I'm nor XC. I'm Enduro bra. .....

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  88. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    Yes I would agree with that a true XC bike would not be very durable for most peoples day to day trail riding...
    Where are these magical places?

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  89. #189
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by manitou2200 View Post
    Nice Hightower there!
    Here's a few variations of my Following. I also have some Minions on another set of wheels that I use with the 140 Stage. I also change the DELTA flip chips on all these builds. The bikes rips in low setting with the RS-1 and agro tires.


    I currently run a 150mm fork in the low setting on 29er for a 66.5 HA and it rides awesome. I keep the 150 fork for 27+ and it keeps the same Ht angle with the 3.0 front and 2.8 rear in the high setting
    Enjoy the ride...

  90. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    No way I'm nor XC. I'm Enduro bra. .....

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    Love it!

  91. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkr80015 View Post
    I currently run a 150mm fork in the low setting on 29er for a 66.5 HA and it rides awesome. I keep the 150 fork for 27+ and it keeps the same Ht angle with the 3.0 front and 2.8 rear in the high setting
    Yeah nice! I can go from 67.8 deg in the high setting with the 120 to 66.4 deg in low with the 140 and slightly slacker even still with the 2.5 DHF and 2.3 DHR2.

  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where are these magical places?

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    I know. I think back on some of the stuff I rode with my 95 Kona Hot and an 80mm fork. It would make people shat their pants! LOL That bike was all over the US and CA. Even the old school Whistler XC trails. Ya know like Shit Happens and Kill me Thrill me.

  93. #193
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    Ripley LS... 140 fox 34, Ibis 942 wheels is my trail 'Grail.

  94. #194
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    Quote Originally Posted by sml-2727 View Post
    You could say the same about the new Santa Cruz Tallboy.

    Btw have you read the reviews on the 2017 Fuel? They changed just about everything from 2016 after just one year. Really makes me wonder why they did this.
    My EX 9 was a great bike. I have some regrets about selling it. The new Treks don't inspire me. I doubt the Tallboy is a stiffer ride than the carbon Fuel. I'm a chunky boy that rides in chunk and the EX 9 is up there as far as frame stiffness. Don't forget the 429T. I chose it over the Fuel because it's a little slacker and because of DWL. Not as stiff as the Fuel but stiffer than the Following. All the aforementioned bikes are great, but my Switchblade is my baby.


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  95. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm not raging. That's why I said it's cute that so many people are butt hurt by being xc at heart. I'm guessing that most of the people here who think xc is only lycra clad racers are young or haven't been around very long.

    When a few of us started biking, there was only DH and xc. Imo if you aren't on an 8 inch travel downhill rig using a chair lift...you are riding xc.
    Exactly. My kids think XC is a bunch a leg shaving dirt roadies with matching kits. Dirt Roadie is not XC.

  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Exactly. My kids think XC is a bunch a leg shaving dirt roadies with matching kits. Dirt Roadie is not XC.
    Old heads Yep, some XC trails were flowy and others technical. Features that could only ridden by freaks back in the day are now doable by us mere mortals because of FS. But trail difficulty has advanced also.


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    If I were you I'd get a new tantrum. the deals he is giving on his kickstarter right now is ridiculous. You are basically getting the frame for free. I'd be all over it if I had the money. Don't write them off because its a new design, I bet you will see other companies start to license the patent before long.

    My second choice would be the YT Jeffsy. It just won the mtbr award for best trail bike of the year. Also I am not sure of your budget, but they have some of the best spec'ed builds for the money out there right now in my opinion. pike / slx / dt swiss wheels / dropper for 2500

  98. #198
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    ^^^ Pretty sure the Switchblade won MTBR's Trail Bike of the Year award. At least that's what they said on their homepage. But the Jeffsy DID get runner-up.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  99. #199
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    For me, my weapon of choice is the 2017 Carbon Stumpjumper for quite a few reasons. First off, my 27.5 bike is a Devinci so I understand the concept of wanting the cool name/boutique brand. I'm past that. LOL I ruled out the Jeffsy and the Hightower because there were no demo's within 2 hours of my house right now. I've been burned before buying a bike for ME off of online reviews. I also lacked local dealer support on said bike and that sort of sucked. Spending $4K on a bike I couldn't pre ride wasn't in the cards this time.

    For $3500 bucks I got a 150/140 carbon bike that I knew would be nice and stiff in 29 fashion. For the money, both the Jeffsy and the HT were over $500 more expensive with builds allllmost as nice as the stumpy. (Yari vs Pike could be an argument.) The bike fits 27.5+ and absolutely rips in its new Geo. I had the aluminum version of the 16 and fell in love. If there is too much front on the bike for your XC days, then put a token in and give it more of a platform for the day. I'm running a 35mm stem and the bike comes alive.

    Either way, that's my $.02. VALUE in a solid bike. The only knock is the rear shock config. Whatever. I am a fork snob, not a shock snob, so it suits me fine. I figured if Graves can reconfigure the bike and win an EWS on it, I should be just fine and shouldn't wine about my sled from here on out. I do plan on keeping a 27.5 for park days, but this is my 90pct bike.
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  100. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuch View Post
    For me, my weapon of choice is the 2017 Carbon Stumpjumper for quite a few reasons. First off, my 27.5 bike is a Devinci so I understand the concept of wanting the cool name/boutique brand. I'm past that. LOL I ruled out the Jeffsy and the Hightower because there were no demo's within 2 hours of my house right now. I've been burned before buying a bike for ME off of online reviews. I also lacked local dealer support on said bike and that sort of sucked. Spending $4K on a bike I couldn't pre ride wasn't in the cards this time.
    Pardon me paring down your post, but this is an excellent point:

    I've been burned by reviews and buying without demoing twice. With the same brand. First one, read reviews, people said it was great. I was deployed, had a bit of free time and money, bought a frame, fork, components. Came back, built it up, rode it, hated it. Sold it within two months of my first ride.

    Second one, people said the company had solved the drawbacks from the first generation, enhanced the good properties. Company has a good/great reputation, so I gave them another chance. Got burned again.

    Couldn't stand either one. Wasted a LOT of money on those two frames. I'll never buy one of them again. That's not to say they are bad bikes; they just aren't for me. Their company makes bikes with a different dynamic than what I'm looking for, and I can find that feeling elsewhere.
    Death from Below.

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