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  1. #1
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    When I get back on a bike with gears and shocks I'm searching for the "Holy Grail" of 29er trails bikes.
    1. Must be a climber, not a tank or a pogo stick riding up single track with an active suspension that helps you grind up loose, rocky stuff.
    2. A worthy descender, with enough travel to handle chunks. 110-140 range. I see some longer travel 29er's coming out with Fox36 160 forks but I have an AM bike with a 36 and it's not an all day climber. My idea of a trail bike is something has a Float 34 140 or maybe a Pike 150 max. Rear suspension that's 140 would be ideal but less is great if it has a nice bottom less feel. I have an 26" wheel Remedy that has the Fox Float RE:Aktiv and that shock is amazing and had a great bottom less feel.
    The Following is one I've been wanting to try first since I tried some of the short chain stay 29ers with low BB and like that feel.
    Please give me your recommendations on others that fit this catagory.
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  2. #2
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    I don't own one and I haven't ridden one. Heck, I don't know if I've ever seen one but the bike that seems to get mentioned frequently for what you describe is the Trek Fuel.

    Out of the one's I've ridden so far (the list is short), I'd say the new Intense Primer is at the top of my list. I need to get more time on one but it climbs fantastically. I also tried the Yeti SB4.5 and I felt too upright on that bike compared to the Primer.
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  3. #3
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    Canfield Riot would be another to consider. The Guerilla Gravity Trail Pistol has been getting a lot of love too.

  4. #4
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    From the people I've contacted that have actually ridden one:


    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ref=nav_search

    I'm getting one, just need to sell a few things
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  5. #5
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    Trek fuel ex9. Most versatile bike I've ridden. Has 130 mm front fork and 120rear.

  6. #6
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    Trek Fuel EX MY17.

    Straight shot, knock block, ABP, Boost, ReAktiv... mumbo jumbo that mixed together makes a magic bike.

    Budget determines weight but any model with the new frame design shares the same great ride characteristics.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrgand View Post
    Trek fuel ex9. Most versatile bike I've ridden. Has 130 mm front fork and 120rear.
    on a 2016 Fuel EX9 to have that travel out of the box. Newer Fuel's have more travel

    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    Trek Fuel EX MY17.

    Straight shot, knock block, ABP, Boost, ReAktiv... mumbo jumbo that mixed together makes a magic bike.

    Budget determines weight but any model with the new frame design shares the same great ride characteristics.
    Fuel fits nicely but I'd get a carbon. The Fuel EX8 I rode for a while did feel like a tank. ( I came off a 19lb XC bike and 24lb SS)

    Look at a Intense Primer. 29er 140 front 135/115 rear
    It climbs very well and goes DH even better, Very fun bike.
    Too Many .

  8. #8
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    I've heard that about the YETI 4.5 that it's BB is higher and geo is less slack than EVIL's.
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  9. #9
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    Canfield has really caught my attention as it also has some pretty cool options too.
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  10. #10
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    Looks interesting
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    I have a Jet9rdo for my XC riding and a Tracer275c for my not so XC riding.

    If I had to sell both and get just one bike... I would lean strongly toward the Intense Carbine 29r.

    Carbine 29C | Intense Cycles

    Personally I would like the Expert Built with a different set of wheels.
    BUT - since I can have both bikes, I like having a rocket like the Jet on days I want it and a "mini-DH' bike in my Tracer.

  12. #12
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    The Tantrum TwoTone linked to the kickstarter for. I'll second that, and do it as someone who has actually ridden one of the two in existence.

  13. #13
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    Intense Carbine 29C is a serious consideration. I would just get the frame and do my own build.
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  14. #14
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    I have test rode most of the Trek models, they ride great but the Fuel EX is not as aggressive on the geo as many of the other brands.
    Intense Primer is a bike I'd like to try.
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  15. #15
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    Canfield riot for the win


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  16. #16
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    Demo demo demo. I was set on either the Pivot Switchblade or SC Hightower. Both fantastic bikes but I ended up with the Intense Primer. Either Intesne got lucky or knew what they were doing. It is not contertable plus bike or XC rig. It is a trail bike that climbs fantastic. Just what I was looking for.

    Good luck

  17. #17
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    My vote goes to the Fuel EX. I prefer that it isn't as aggro as many others and handles low speeds, tight maneuvers and climbing as such. If I wanted more aggro, I consider a different bike. Actually, the '17s have gotten slightly lower and slacker which I don't like.
    Do the math.

  18. #18
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    Whatever is the "Holy Grail" this year will be boring next year. I'd wait until all of the 2017 stuff gets released, then start reading/ watching reviews. DEmo as much as you can as well. Bike Mag does their Bible of Bike tests starting in January. Everything mentioned above gets tested. Might be worth waiting a few weeks.

    Making the Cut: Bikes of the 2017 Bible | BIKE Magazine

    ( I just got a Trail Pistol and love it. Much stiffer and more balanced than my prior Trek Remedy 9.8 29er. VERY happy with my decision.)

    Good Luck

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    When I get back on a bike with gears and shocks I'm searching for the "Holy Grail" of 29er trails bikes.
    1. Must be a climber, not a tank or a pogo stick riding up single track with an active suspension that helps you grind up loose, rocky stuff.
    2. A worthy descender, with enough travel to handle chunks. 110-140 range. I see some longer travel 29er's coming out with Fox36 160 forks but I have an AM bike with a 36 and it's not an all day climber. My idea of a trail bike is something has a Float 34 140 or maybe a Pike 150 max. Rear suspension that's 140 would be ideal but less is great if it has a nice bottom less feel. I have an 26" wheel Remedy that has the Fox Float RE:Aktiv and that shock is amazing and had a great bottom less feel.
    The Following is one I've been wanting to try first since I tried some of the short chain stay 29ers with low BB and like that feel.
    Please give me your recommendations on others that fit this catagory.
    Do you ride twisty trails or more up than down?

  20. #20
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    Love my 4.5c. I also have a 15 S-Works Epic and the Yeti climbs almost as good and rides so much better.The 4.5 is a crazy fast down hill and feels very balanced with a bottomless feel front and rear. I have been ridding MTB and moto for 20+ years and this bike is my Holy Grail. Ride one and see for yourself.
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  21. #21
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    Yes, the Yeti 4.5c is high on my list and will be one I demo for sure. I too have been riding 20+ years and appreciate your experienced view point.
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  22. #22
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    I too have 20+ years riding/racing mtb's and just got a sb4.5c for all the things you are looking for listed above.
    I demo'd and tried A LOT of bikes over the past 6 months, including a few 27+ bikes and the yeti, for me, is the best of everything wrapped into one bike. I was sold on the Ripley LS but the yeti is even better climbing and descending. Another positive is I'm 5'7" and the small yeti fits me great with a 65mm stem.

  23. #23
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    My only question on the Yeti is the chain stay influence. Does it have the feel of the newer shorter chain stay bikes like The Following and the Riot?
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  24. #24
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    I think guys who have ridden a long time have a different outlook on bikes than those who started riding more recently. (first real MTB was a Diamondback Ascent in 1989)

    We survived bikes that would be considered unrideable today and we had fun on them.

    I think this is why I do find "holy grail" and "perfect setup" and "perfected geometry" to be kind of funny things. Anyone remember the Trek guys claiming the Y-frame doesn't bob when you pedal? That bike was a turd when it was new, but marketing had people convinced. But in another 1 to two years, marketing with have you chasing something new is perfecter.

    My last purchase I was looking for "fun factor" and that takes my strengths, weaknesses, local trails, etc into consideration. On random weekends during the summer, I take a SS hardtail to a mountain bike park. Not because it is the best bike for descending, but because it is fun as hell. Descending is fun whether I chose to do it on my rigid, front suspension, or full suspension. It is just a matter of my mood... Do I want to work for it, or just point and shoot.

    Also - my local trails have a decent amount of climbing. I would never survive with a heavy monster park bike. So it is never a consideration. When I was searching for a "point and shoot" bike, I narrowed it down to the Pivot Mach6, Intense Carbine 29, Tracer275c, and Yeti SB6c. I ruled out the Carbine because I have a 29r full suspension already (albeit XC). Then the yeti isn't considered as good of a climber (not bad, just not as good), so it was ruled out.

    Between the Mach6 & Tracer, I felt it was a toss up. I went with Tracer due to price & availability.

    But again, it comes down to my style, my trails, my desired traits of a bike.
    Everyone have to figure that part out to be sure they get the right thing for them.

  25. #25
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    The other thing about guys who have ridden for years and years... They very well could have sucked on bikes for years and years. So even this experience can be crap.

  26. #26
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    So are you saying your advice is crap

  27. #27
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    haha - maybe

    I am saying advice online is worth what you pay for it.
    I have 30 years of MTB that correlates specifically to my ability and experiences.

    If you haven't met the person or ridden with them - it could be someone just regurgitating what they read online and preaching it as experience. Years experience is invaluable if the person giving advice is well rounded. I know a guy who is on his 15 year old bike. He goes one an on about how 27 & 29r bikes are gimmicks and he will swear to it. I asked him if he had ridden a 29r or a full suspension, he said no, because he doesn't have to ride them to know it is a gimmick. He is also someone who has ridden for a couple decades... what is his opinion worth?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloaker View Post
    what is his opinion worth?
    His opinion on bikes may be suspect, but I bet his financial advice is worthy.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Do you ride twisty trails or more up than down?
    Who rides more up than down???
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    His opinion on bikes may be suspect, but I bet his financial advice is worthy.
    Maybe, but he might stuff money in his mattress because banks/401s are all hype and marketing.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Who rides more up than down???
    Lol sadist do should have typed *and.

  32. #32
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    Anything in the 130-140mm rear travel range will likely fit that bill. A light build with a 150/140mm travel setup is going to be more capable everywhere than a 130/130mm setup and with the right tires better.

    I'll be right back with some list posts I've made - you can find these yourself doing a 'find posts by user' on my profile.

    [[ These are ONLY posts I've made, and was able to google - these threads have a lot of really insightful stuff, from guys who have already posted in this thread - read up anyway ]]

    In: YT Jeffsy AL Comp 1 or Whyte T-129 RS

    Basically, any frame in the 4.5"-5.5" travel range will do (115-140mm) with a good build kit; as dumb as it sounds the wheels and tires are going to make a bigger difference in that terrain than differences from one frame to another, and wider rims/tires are generally nicer for do-it-all bikes.

    As a reference table [6 months old]...
    In 115mm travel, Transition Smuggler, Banshee Phantom
    In 120mm travel, Trek Fuel EX, Salsa Horsethief, Specialized Camber, Niner RIP9 (125mm), Evil Following, Yeti SB95, Whyte T-129
    In 130mm travel, Intense Spider29, RockyMountain Instinct, Scott Genius 900, Rose Root Miller, Canyon Spectral
    In 135mm travel, Specialized Stumpjumper FSR, Santa Cruz Tallboy LT/Hightower, Pivot Switchblade, Banshee Prime
    In 140mm travel, Canfield Riot, Trek Remedy, YT Jeffsy, Intense Carbine 29, Stevens WhakaES

    ***
    I'd add to this:
    In 150mm Travel, Nukeproof Mega290, Trek Slash, Niner RIP-9 2017, BMC Trailfox, and [Norco Sight 29]
    130mm Travel - Ghost SL AMR, Intense Primer
    150/140mm Travel - Ghost SL AMR-X
    160/140mm Travel - Yeti SB5.5c

    The Rose Root Miller is now a 140/140mm bike, the Spectral isn't a US model yet (but REI imports Ghost.de)
    ***

    In: "Do it all" aggressive 29er, so many choices!- Mtbr.com

    In just the FSR/Horst link option sets: StumpjumperFSR, RockyMountain Instinct, YT Jeffsy, Rose Root Milller Mk2, Scott Genius LT, Trek Remedy (2016), Trek Slash (2017), Nukeproof Mega, Niner Rip9 (2017) S Enduro29
    Dual link - SantaCruz Hightower, Intense Carbine [probably new one on the way], Pivot Switchblade, BMC SpeedFox, Pole Evolink, Canfield Riot

    Since I'm on the theme of not helping at all, also consider that this list will double in size over the next 24 months really; and this is deliberately avoiding bikes which lack clearance for any 27+ options (Yeti's SB5.5c, Evil Wreckoning, Ninwer WFO (2016), others). Yeah...

    I'd figure out which geometry setup really works for how you want to use it (I'd be on a Canfield right now, but the really short chainstays may not work for how I like riding my monster truck, namely being terrible in tight switchbacks, but going full gas on open flowy, and chunky stuff - also climbing through brute force not finesse). Jeffsy looks good, but it specced like a burly trail bike, less so a true all mountain monster. If YT-USA or YT in general can cobble together a Pro Race spec (160mm Fox36, FloatX/X2 shock, DT XM481 based wheels, RaceFace Atlas/SixC and Renthal parts) then I'd happily hop on that wait list - as it is now the wait for those is huge. Switchblade looks seriously awesome, and flexible, but finding hubs short term will stink (especially since I'm hoping to share wheelsets with a carbon hardtail), and cost is big on full builds too.
    I really want to throw a leg over a TrailPistol, although half of what I'd be looking into is doing a custom long-shock iteration of it in 135-140mm travel moving to a SRAM Deluxe-Trunnion setup, and machining a linkage to make it work.

    So for now, I'm just keeping a running collection of geometry sheets, some notional parts builds (drivetrains, brakes, wheels, tire combos) -- and as new bikes are announced and released, I keep adding them on.


    In: Long Travel 29'er.......that won't be my primary bike?- Mtbr.com
    That alone might be the most insightful (either trends about what you like, or just that you'll have all but one niche covered). With bikes like the LTc, used TranceX29's, WFO, Instinct, Mach4, BansheePrime, Burner, Enduro29/StumpyFSR-Evo, and Ripley out there, it's really hard to start shortening that list without more information. There are just so many excellent bikes.

    In: 29er do it all. Xc-bike park.
    I'd say a rugged 115-130mm bike is probably the answer, as normal trail riding will be the majority of what it's used for. Run a longer fork though, and you'll be on point everywhere.

    FWIW, I have the same effective 2-bike limitation, and I'm quite happy with a hardtail (does road/gravel/XC/trail) and mid-travel FS (does XC/trail/all-mountain/lift served stuff).

    Short list would include Evil Following, Trek FuelEX, RockyMountain Instinct, Kona Process 111, Transition Smuggler, Pivot 429T, Scott Genius, Salsa Horsethief, and Specialized Camber.
    Some either-side outliers include the Tallboy and Hightower, Yeti SB4.5c and 5.5c, StumpjumperFSR, Canfield Riot, '16 Remedy, YT Jeffsy.

    In reverse-mullet configuration (longer fork), that's what I'd run without question. Put some fast rolling but beefy tires on it (Minions, Goma, Butcher/Slaughter, XR4/3, and similar tires) and a 130/120mm bike will demolish blue trails with aplomb (as will a 140/130 bike), but be responsive enough to make cross-country rails enjoyable.

    Finally, in: 2014 Specialized E29s vs 2016 Santa Cruz Hightower XX1 vs 2017 Trek Fuel EX 9.8
    It sounds like you want a trail/all-mountain bike more than a gravity bike, and I suspect the capability of a dialed 5.5" travel 29er will probably handle it quite well. This brings bikes like the Stumpjumper FSR, FuelEX, Ripley(LS), SB5.5c and 4.5c, InstinctBC, Switchblade, Jeffsy, Canfield Riot, and some others into the mix (130-140mm rear travel range).

    To get best use out of the demos, try and break down what information you acquire into a few useful bins.
    First one is cockpit fit/feel. For me, as a 6'2", 35" inseam clyde class rider, the Hightower in XL set the benchmark for proper bike fit with a 150mm dropper post [475mm reach and 800mm flat bar seems like the winner for me]. I didn't love the rest of the bike [as much as I expected to love an X01/Enve build], but I'm now fairly certain I want my contact points in those rough locations for my next AM bike.

    I'd try and work on what you can with pedaling performace, but realize that the number of confounding factors is going to be huge. Fast-rolling tires with less tread and lighter weight wheels/tires are a great way to make a bike feel quick, but aren't that helpful when descending; similarly running some excess air spring pressure or added LSC damping will make it feel taut, but at the expense of traction over rough stuff (though some designs are better at this).

    The big one will be to really try and pin down how much bike you really need. If a ~120mm rear travel bike will do everything you need to, all other things equal it'll be a lighter, poppier, more fun, and snappier bike. If you really want massive capability even at the expense of a bike that feels like it bulldozes and irons out easy trails, then there's nothing like a 150mm+ LT 29er for that. Bikes like the Slash29, E29Mk2, Nukeproof Mega, Evil Wreckoning, Niner RIP9-2017, SB5.5c, or Canfield Riot are going to be phenomenally capable, but will also make tame trails less entertaining.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Demo demo demo.
    Quote Originally Posted by bloaker View Post
    But again, it comes down to my style, my trails, my desired traits of a bike.
    Everyone have to figure that part out to be sure they get the right thing for them.
    Pretty much this. These questions are akin to asking what you should have for dinner tonight. A rare, seared tuna steak done to perfection would be my dream. Others would call that torture.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by car_nut View Post
    Pretty much this. These questions are akin to asking what you should have for dinner tonight. A rare, seared tuna steak done to perfection would be my dream. Others would call that torture.
    Next to impossible in my experience, the chances of finding the bike model you are looking at in the correct size with the same suspension (build) and then having it perform to its fullest capability are nonexistent. You can find similar bikes, but small differences in size, suspension and setup make a huge difference overall. It takes me around 2 weeks to get a bike set up right, and that's riding it every day in varied terrain. I'm jot saying don't demo, but it's an idealistic pursuit that often doesn't really work.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  35. #35
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    Gratuitous self-quote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tehllama
    To get best use out of the demos, try and break down what information you acquire into a few useful bins.
    First one is cockpit fit/feel. For me, as a 6'2", 35" inseam clyde class rider, the Hightower in XL set the benchmark for proper bike fit with a 150mm dropper post [475mm reach and 800mm flat bar seems like the winner for me]. I didn't love the rest of the bike [as much as I expected to love an X01/Enve build], but I'm now fairly certain I want my contact points in those rough locations for my next AM bike.

    I'd try and work on what you can with pedaling performace, but realize that the number of confounding factors is going to be huge. Fast-rolling tires with less tread and lighter weight wheels/tires are a great way to make a bike feel quick, but aren't that helpful when descending; similarly running some excess air spring pressure or added LSC damping will make it feel taut, but at the expense of traction over rough stuff (though some designs are better at this).

    The big one will be to really try and pin down how much bike you really need. If a ~120mm rear travel bike will do everything you need to, all other things equal it'll be a lighter, poppier, more fun, and snappier bike. If you really want massive capability even at the expense of a bike that feels like it bulldozes and irons out easy trails, then there's nothing like a 150mm+ LT 29er for that. Bikes like the Slash29, E29Mk2, Nukeproof Mega, Evil Wreckoning, Niner RIP9-2017, SB5.5c, or Canfield Riot are going to be phenomenally capable, but will also make tame trails less entertaining.

  36. #36
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    Based on your post. Thank you very much. I do agree with the shorter travel (that will most likely handle most of my local trails) should be my choice. As much as liked riding my burly Foes FXR with a Fox36 it was more bike than I needed except when I did park rides or DH racing in Fontana CA.
    I also agree with tires and wider rims are a game changer. Both my SS bikes have wider rims and 2.35 aggressive tires. Schwalbe Nobby Nics and Han Damf on the Sir9 and Maxxis Minion DHR II and DHF on the Sola.
    So getting a flickable 120mm trail bike frame that I can spec to be able to handle most of the vert and rock garden sections would be ideal.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Next to impossible in my experience, the chances of finding the bike model you are looking at in the correct size with the same suspension (build) and then having it perform to its fullest capability are nonexistent. You can find similar bikes, but small differences in size, suspension and setup make a huge difference overall. It takes me around 2 weeks to get a bike set up right, and that's riding it every day in varied terrain. I'm jot saying don't demo, but it's an idealistic pursuit that often doesn't really work.
    I have to echo this based on experience, nothing wrong with demoing or test riding and if you can you should absolutely, advice that I like to give though is to save some budget and time on a bike to tune in tires, suspension, and contact points. You may need to take an air pump, shock pump, gauge on the trail and make small adjustments. You might need to change tires, saddle, grips, bars, seatpost, etc to get the geo dialed for you. Everyone underestimates the adjustability options we have today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Next to impossible in my experience, the chances of finding the bike model you are looking at in the correct size with the same suspension (build) and then having it perform to its fullest capability are nonexistent. You can find similar bikes, but small differences in size, suspension and setup make a huge difference overall. It takes me around 2 weeks to get a bike set up right, and that's riding it every day in varied terrain. I'm jot saying don't demo, but it's an idealistic pursuit that often doesn't really work.
    Have to disagree here....when testing bikes you need to focus on your concens / prefereces. Fit and feel....ignore the brakes, drivetrain etc...

    Example when I rode the Ibis Ripley LS it was set up XC with skinny tires. I knew that if I ended up with that bike it would have beefier tires and a different fork. The demo gave me a good sense of rear suspension and handling.

    Not saying riding a demo should be the deciding factor....but a strong indicator to help with your purchasing decision. Well it helped me decide on the Intesne Primer over the SC Hightower. I wanted a climber first and desender 2nd. Regardless of my build choices the Primer was a better climber and the Hightower was a better point and shoot bike.....whose characteristics were not going to change.

  39. #39
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    I read an article that said most demos are a waste of time because the bike is not setup properly for the individual. You can get a good idea for fit, but suspension??? Even with my bikes a few turns of a dial and I would struggle on them. There are too many variables like saddle position, bar width/height, stem length, compression, rebound, spacers/tokens that all affect climbing, descending, and handling. I like demos, but I realize that they can be misleading. Besides reviews and friends, what else are you going to do though.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    contertable

    That's not a word.

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  41. #41
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    Demo's suck, but a good idea when available I agree, but you have to know what you want and do your homework. When I demo it's for fit and susp feel only and I already have a good idea I want that bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tickle View Post
    Demo's suck, but a good idea when available I agree, but you have to know what you want and do your homework. When I demo it's for fit and susp feel only and I already have a good idea I want that bike
    But that in of itself is one of the most important things. There are some suspensions that I just don't care for. I've learned the hard way buy owning the bike. With a weekend long demo to give me time to set it up, I could have saved myself a ton of money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    But that in of itself is one of the most important things. There are some suspensions that I just don't care for. I've learned the hard way buy owning the bike. With a weekend long demo to give me time to set it up, I could have saved myself a ton of money.
    HA!....yea I too have learned the hard way. Back in the day demos were non existent especially for boutique bikes.

    Once I read all the reviews and went with the "recommended" sizing per the manufacturer and ended up getting the wrong size.....

    Heck even my new bike has me on a L but demoed the L and XL.......XL was a better fit for my freakishly long torso :-)

  44. #44
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    I did the demo thing when I bought my 4.5c. Rent I think is a better word as I paid 90.00 for 24 hours ( if you pick it up in the morning most shops will let you return it before they close the next day).Got to try 2 bikes in 4 days and had about 6 that I could have rented in or near this small town in CO. I let the shop set up the sag,set height,tire psi etc.Good ones will even swap or adjust the stem and seat.This gives me time to get a feel for the bike and make my own adjustments to the suspension, tire psi etc. After returning the bike I have dam good idea if this is the "one" or not.Is it perfect..no but sure gives you a good baseline to measure one bike to another.More than likely you will have to travel and do lots of research but would you rather spend 5 - 10k on a bike you really don't like.I did mine as part of my vacation last year.
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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    HA!....yea I too have learned the hard way. Back in the day demos were non existent especially for boutique bikes.

    Once I read all the reviews and went with the "recommended" sizing per the manufacturer and ended up getting the wrong size.....

    Heck even my new bike has me on a L but demoed the L and XL.......XL was a better fit for my freakishly long torso :-)
    If I pull the trigger on the Primer it will most likely be without a demo, I have demo'd an Intense before and was fine with susp but I'm not picky there, most work well these days. I'm the same size as you with long torso but leaning toward the L.

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    Personally I will demo before I buy. The main reason is because this will be my first FS Trail 29er.
    1. Suspensions in 2016, I don't have a personal preference. With the newer stuff I think you really can't go wrong.
    2. Geometry,size and fit are my priority. I don't wanna fight the climbs but I'm not after a light weight XC climber feel either. I'm more interested in the descent and how the lower BB and shorter chain stays feel. Sure it's going to be in the 120-140 trail bike catagory but I'll be running wide i30-i35 rims with 2.35 Nobby Nics and bigger in the front. My light weight narrow rim, skinny,low tread tire days are over. I'll take the extra work to have the traction on my loose So Cal trails as I've done, even with my SS bikes.
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    Ok, look. I know this is spammy. I apologize in advance. In my slight defense, at least this thread isn't about some other brand, so I'm not highjacking? I digress.

    Look at the headline of this thread. look at the headline of a recent Gearjunkie story:

    New Brand Claims ‘Holy Grail’ Of MTB Suspension.

    Coincidence!!! I think not.

    Everyone. This is what I'm talking about. This thread. And the one about the Lapierre electronic shock. Hell, half the threads on here are debates about which bike pedals better.

    I agree, just me claiming "holy grail", is just me. If a wildman screams in the forest....

    But it's not just me. It's RC at pinkbike "pedals better than all of them".

    Zach at BR, "“the suspension remains surprisingly supple while climbing, yet offers a supremely efficient climb.-excellent small bump absorption, yet climbs and pedals way better than the travel should allow.”

    Zach concludes: “It’s – mindboggling because the design carries with it all the suspension clichés that have become so commonly thrown around, only this actually works.”

    Or some of mtbr's very own:

    it wouldn’t get out of shape when hitting roots in corners at speed. Normally I would expect a bike to feel “skittery” in situations like that, but this bike felt planted, both front and rear. This one of the best f*cking bikes I have ever ridden. It’s in the “one bike for pretty much everything” category."

    "The Outburst was - I'll just say what I said to Brian after riding through there - it was like cheating. I had all the traction from riding my FS bike through there, and none of the fighting the suspension. Standing up and shifting the bike around, the bike pedaled like my hardtail, but I had traction for days".". nor did I ever get the sense that it wasn't THE most plush bike I've ever ridden. Yet, it still pedaled as well - better? - than the best bikes I've ridden. "

    "The best way to sum up the ride was that it was completely drama free.""The rear suspension just seems to respond with exactly what is needed in any situation."" I think this ride made up my mind. It was a bit like taking a sports car for a test drive around the block a couple times. You give it a little gas, maybe take an on ramp or two, a quick 90deg surface street corner and then park it and hand the keys back. You walk away wishing to take it on a twisty back road or to the track, but alas, not until you sign the dotted line. Yes, I like the bike on paper. Yes, the bike behaved exactly as advertised. Yes, I think it will be my next bike. I'm going to trust that the competency and poise I felt on the short downhill bursts will translate onto bigger terrain. I'm going to believe that the traction and efficiency I felt on these short climbs will carry me up and over the top of something larger. And I have no reason not to. I can't wait for Brian to hand me the keys back"

    Note, he bought one the next day.


    These guys full reviews are in this thread:

    Tantrum Cycles Ride Review - "Missing Link Does the Impossible"

    So. Maybe this is spam. But maybe I'm a rider. And inventor/engineer/designer. And maybe I came up with something good and need to let you guys know this is the bike you're looking for.

    One ride. One demo. I'll set your sag at 30-35% and you will come back smiling. It is different and better.

    I didn't pay these guys. I didn't know them. A couple even bought bikes immediately after riding and posted these fantastic reviews after an hour demo ride. Demo's are worthless? It's obvious what this bike can do. On one ride. So sorry if it's a bit spammy. I just have to let people know.

    Thanks for your patience. I will now let the normal network to resume control:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...ull-suspension

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    I agree demos are not going to tell you much but when I decided to jump to FS I had never been on anything but a HT. Sure I had rented a full FS bomber at a couple ski parks but that's not a good gauge. I had no idea what FS design I wanted. I narrowed it down to a Santa Cruz and a Fuel EX and I demo'd each, neither was an extended ride. I knew instantly I wanted the Fuel, I felt I was on top of the Santa Cruz where I felt I was part of the bike on the Fuel, if that makes sense. Both went DH equally well IMO but I really liked the way the Trek felt climbing. Been on my Fuel EX carbon for over a year and still love it...I have since ridden a Ibis LS on an extended demo and it may be in my future.....

  49. #49
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    On paper...

    Fuel EX

    Maybe a Yeti 5.5 with a fork at 150 (10mm less than stock). Seems to be too much bike in stock form.

  50. #50
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    48 replies and not one mention of the Ibis Ripley LS. I've ridden it everywhere around the west from Crested Butte to Moab (and St. George, Sedona, Park City and Fruita too) and there's nothing it can't handle... and excel at, no less.

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    The Carbine is a great bike, but if you look at what Intense is doing, it is long in the tooth and needs to be replaced/updated. Not sure when that will happen, but I would be hard pressed to buy one right now.

    Surprised by the negative comments on demo'ing. I love it. I have ridden some bikes I wanted to like, but then did not, and ridden a few I did not think much of, but then liked after the demo. An idea I use is to always demo for two days. Day 1 to get used to it and get it set up (sizing and suspension), day two to really get a feel for the bike. If you time it right you can do two rides and only pay for one day.
    Always carry a shock pump when on a demo bike.

    Take a look at the Ibis Ripley.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    48 replies and not one mention of the Ibis Ripley LS. I've ridden it everywhere around the west from Crested Butte to Moab (and St. George, Sedona, Park City and Fruita too) and there's nothing it can't handle... and excel at, no less.
    Great bike but not the travel the OP is looking for.

    I demoed the Ripley liked it a lot.....very versatile.

  53. #53
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    The Ripley LS isn't 110-140mm?


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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    48 replies and not one mention of the Ibis Ripley LS. I've ridden it everywhere around the west from Crested Butte to Moab (and St. George, Sedona, Park City and Fruita too) and there's nothing it can't handle... and excel at, no less.
    Yikes....my bad. When I first read it I thought he said 130-140.

    Agree the Ripley LS is a contender👍

  55. #55
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    Holy grail?

    You may as well be asking who is the most beautiful woman in the world. It is different things to different people since we all have things that matter most to us. You have determined that there is a certain type of bike you're looking for. There are several contenders in that category that can all give you an awesome riding experience, however, consensus will never be reached due to so much that is purely subjective and so many other individual factors in play. Demo as many contenders as you can, even some you aren't sure about, and then pick the one you like best.

    Always remember: Archer > Arrow

    Go have fun.

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    Hope its not a huge foul to jump in with a this bike vs. that bike post. I've got a chance to buy either a '16 Yeti SB 5 enduro or a '17 Trek Fuel EX 8 at well below retail. I'd like to make one of them my all-around FS bike. I ride southeastern & northern WI in the summer & TX/AZ in the winter so versatility is key. There are some pretty big differences (i.e.; carbon vs aluminum frame) & I won't have the opportunity to demo either before making a decision. Would appreciate your pick & why. Thanks.

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    Carbon v/s aluminum is in most cases a weight battle, but not all. If you not looking for a race bike or not a lighter rider. Then the weight shouldn't matter. Yeti and the Trek are both really nice bikes.
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  58. #58
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    A lot of the newer burly carbon bikes are not particularly light. My last 4 bikes have all been carbon and my newest one is aluminum- and it rips. Super stiff, silent and burly. It's a Guerrilla Gravity trail pistol w./ 130mm rear and 130 front- fantastic. I like it better than my Trek Remedy 9.8 29er it replaces, and definitely better than the Ibis Ripley I had a few years back....

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    Weight diff between the two is about 2.5 lbs stock. I'm not too hung up on weight as a deciding factor, was just pointing it out as one of the differences. Aside from that, I'd appreciate thoughts on why one bike vs. the other for an all around FS rig.

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    New RIP 9 RDO?
    2017 Santa Cruz Tallboy CC

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    Quote Originally Posted by stygz1 View Post
    New RIP 9 RDO?
    I'm sure its a good option but only interested in comparing the two bikes I mentioned...thx.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    Hope its not a huge foul to jump in with a this bike vs. that bike post. I've got a chance to buy either a '16 Yeti SB 5 enduro or a '17 Trek Fuel EX 8 at well below retail. I'd like to make one of them my all-around FS bike. I ride southeastern & northern WI in the summer & TX/AZ in the winter so versatility is key. There are some pretty big differences (i.e.; carbon vs aluminum frame) & I won't have the opportunity to demo either before making a decision. Would appreciate your pick & why. Thanks.

    For most WI riding, I'd think a 29 would be the way to go. Besides, wouldn't rather buy local?

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    For most WI riding, I'd think a 29 would be the way to go. Besides, wouldn't rather buy local?
    For sure I'm big on supporting my LBS...and a WI company (already own 2 Trek bikes)! And yes, the 29er is preferable for most of my riding. Hoping to hear from some riders who have specific pros & cons when comparing these two bikes.

  64. #64
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    I'm a big fan of Niner knowing how to get 29er geo right. I'm on my second Sir9 because I wanted the newer version but I never had an issue with my first.
    I think the Jet 9 is a bike I really should demo since it's right in the catagory of a 110-140 trail bike built for the aggressive stuff. The RIP 9 is in the longer travel AM realm
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    My only question on the Yeti is the chain stay influence. Does it have the feel of the newer shorter chain stay bikes like The Following and the Riot?
    As a Riot owner and test riding the Yeti 4.5 and 5.5 and 6.5. Long story short, the chain stays make a impact. They feel like long stable bikes. Not much in the realm of poppy and fun. More just flat out fast. The riot is well a RIOT to ride. It is just as stable but i find myself looking for small jumps and natural gaps to hit. I was in moab in the fall and after 2 days of riding my riot my buddy told me how exhausting it was to watch me ride and how much he realized how much momentum he was loosing. Turns out I was popping and gaping and pumping all over the place on the trail and pulling away from them while they were pedaling. I did not even know that my riding style had changed I was just "having fun". I did not feel like I was expending ANY extra energy. I have always just been a plow though stuff kind of guy. However the riot makes riding so much fun, I started playing on the trail and managed to become faster and smoother. They are on sale right now as well, the frame will cost Just over HALF of what the yeti frame cost. Also the full builds are on sale as well. They are coming out with a carbon model for 2017 as well. I use my riot for a do everything and just have 2 sets of wheels. I have sold off all my other bikes from DH bike to hardtail because I always just rode my riot.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bickle View Post
    Who rides more up than down???
    It's the new shuttle system for 2017.

    The rig picks you up near the summit!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  67. #67
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    Trek Fuel EX
    Ibis Ripley (OG or LS)
    Pivot 429 Trail
    Intense Primer

    Pick based on how the "reach" meshes with your bod (short torso/long torso) and personal preferences AND QUALITY OF LBS YOU ARE PURCHASING FROM.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  68. #68
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    I would suggest looks at both the Remedy and Stumpjumper in 29er flavor.
    Demoed lots of bikes and it came down to those two for me. Went with the one I felt more "in" than "on" which was the stumpy, but could have been very happy with either in the end.
    Efficient climbers with plenty of capability when you turn them downhill.
    Last edited by billj121; 12-05-2016 at 02:06 PM.
    2016 Stumpy 29er

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    I was looking for essentially the bike you described and wound up with a Yeti SB4.5c. With SRAM Eagle, Fox 34 Float 140 front / DPS rear, Reverb dropper, and Nox Composites Teocalli wheels, it's 26.6 pounds (size medium). It climbs well -- not as well as my slightly lighter Specialized Epic, but not bad -- and destroys the Epic on descents. The bike is way, way more rowdy than I am and I've had to rein myself in somewhat until my skills catch up to the bike. It is capable of downhill speeds that are well beyond what I could handle on the Epic.

    I've had it since September and am still learning it, but the bike is an absolute joy to ride and is an extremely capable all-rounder. I've ridden it on my home trails in north Alabama; at Monarch Crest, Buffalo Creek, Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado; Black Mountain, Bennett's, Butter Gap and Cove Creek in Pisgah, NC; and the Pinhoti trails in the north Georgia mountains. All involve lots of long, sometimes steep climbs, and fast, technical descending.

    I wouldn't say the rear travel is bottomless, but I've never felt it bottom to the point of bucking me. Given that there's only 115mm back there, plus the floating Switch Infinity pivot, descending fast tech on the SB4.5c requires being a little more forward than you might be on a true enduro sled. The 140mm fork can take such huge hits at speed that the rear travel never seems lacking.

    I can't say enough about the Nox Composites wheels (on i9 Torch hubs). They are light, stiff, and very solid. I think a light wheelset is the key to making trail 29ers truly capable uphill. I demo'ed a Pivot 429 Trail and an Evil The Following, and while both bikes were great in many ways, they had fairly heavy wheels that were really noticeable on steep climbs.

    If I had to offer any critiques of the Yeti 4.5c, they would be:
    - "Long and low" is great, but I've had to become more aware of crank position while riding rocky technical terrain. BB height is the same on both my Yeti and Epic, but increased suspension travel means I clip pedals more often when pedaling through chunky terrain. I wish I'd spec'ed slightly shorter crank-arms.
    - I still haven't figured out the right fork pressure. The bike offers a firm platform for pedaling in the saddle, but the pressure that feels right for in-the-saddle pedaling feels too soft when out of the saddle. In the "Medium" (Firm-Medium-Open) setting, it dives a little when I apply power out of the saddle. When I add a little pressure, it feels firmer out of the saddle but then isn't quite as supple off-the-top seated. I want to play with the air volume spacers to see if that might help.

    Again, I'm still dialing in the suspension and learning how to make the bike work, but so far it is has been exactly what I had hoped it would be and a true joy to ride.

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    I've ridden most of these bikes mentioned in the shorter travel trail 29er category over the last year or so (plus a bunch more 27.5 bikes) and the three that still stick out in my memory and still give me warm fuzzy feelings when thinking about the ride are:

    The Following
    Ripley LS
    Yeti 4.5c

    In the mid-longer travel 29er category (130-150) I've ridden only a few but the Canfield Bros Riot is still my favorite though I have not had any time on the top three contenders (from talking to friends that did ride them and from what I've read: Intense Primer, SC Hightower, Yeti 5.5c ) so would have to ride those too before making any recommendations. The Remedy 29 was very good as well, but not as snappy or maneuverable as the Riot.
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    Switchblade with an x2. Short cs. Long reach..stiff pivot frame..climbs great...gutsy downhill chops

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    I'm 5'5 and have owner a Fuel EX 29 for 2 years. Great trail bike....but I couldn't help but feel too "high up" on it when seated. During my Fuel ownership I test rode the Ibis Ripley. Fell in love with it and decided that someday that would be my next bike.

    2 yrs later - I have since sold the Fuel EX and have been off dirt and on road. I recently test rode a newer Fuel EX 9.9 27.5, which felt good......but I still ended up opting for the Ibis Ripley. The Shorter stays, bike geometry, DW link suspension was just amazing. It literally felt like I was riding a 27.5. Extremely "flickable" and it climbs wonderfully and descends like an Ibex Just great!

    Yes OP, there are a lot of great bikes out there....but from what you have described, I'd get the Ibis Ripley. You already have an AM bike so this would be the next one to get - and it will likely end up being your "one for all rides, in your quiver" bike

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    In my Area the clear winner this year was Kona Hei Hei 29 Trail DL 2016 - It was sold out so fast and you can't buy it anymore.
    It have a great spec for the money, Unfortunately 2017 has a diff spec and and a higher price.
    Last edited by arigo; 12-08-2016 at 09:25 AM. Reason: update

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by tehllama View Post
    Gratuitous self-quote.

    Originally Posted by Tehllama

    To get best use out of the demos, try and break down what information you acquire into a few useful bins.
    First one is cockpit fit/feel. For me, as a 6'2", 35" inseam clyde class rider, the Hightower in XL set the benchmark for proper bike fit with a 150mm dropper post [475mm reach and 800mm flat bar seems like the winner for me]. I didn't love the rest of the bike [as much as I expected to love an X01/Enve build], but I'm now fairly certain I want my contact points in those rough locations for my next AM bike.

    I'd try and work on what you can with pedaling performace, but realize that the number of confounding factors is going to be huge. Fast-rolling tires with less tread and lighter weight wheels/tires are a great way to make a bike feel quick, but aren't that helpful when descending; similarly running some excess air spring pressure or added LSC damping will make it feel taut, but at the expense of traction over rough stuff (though some designs are better at this).

    The big one will be to really try and pin down how much bike you really need. If a ~120mm rear travel bike will do everything you need to, all other things equal it'll be a lighter, poppier, more fun, and snappier bike. If you really want massive capability even at the expense of a bike that feels like it bulldozes and irons out easy trails, then there's nothing like a 150mm+ LT 29er for that. Bikes like the Slash29, E29Mk2, Nukeproof Mega, Evil Wreckoning, Niner RIP9-2017, SB5.5c, or Canfield Riot are going to be phenomenally capable, but will also make tame trails less entertaining.

    =

    Lol... I was going to pull out just about the same paragraphs as you did yourself from your post. 57 year old 6'2" 230lb. new to MTB rider here and basically wanted a Do-It-All MTB as well. Ended up with a CSH XL 29er C S-build.

    To the PO:
    You really can't go wrong with a SC Hightower as your base build of a extremely versatile Do-It-All bike. I use mine for everything from beach cruising (believe it or not) to mild downhill and everything inbetween. Can't say enough good things about this bike.
    Last edited by Whiptastic; 12-15-2016 at 07:28 AM. Reason: typos
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by arigo View Post
    In my Area the clear winner this year was Kona Hei Hei 29 Trail DL 2016 - It was sold out so fast and you can't buy it anymore.
    It have a great spec for the money, Unfortunately 2017 has a diff spec and and a higher price.
    Ironically the Kona Hei Hei 29 Trail was second on my list even though it was at a completely different price point than the SC Hightower. I got such a great deal on the CSH that I felt the huge upgrade and extra versatility was worth it in the long run. The 2016 had some good old school gearing on it.

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    "The Following" and the "Canfield Riot" where my original first choices due to the geo and amazing DH ability. I'll be trying those in the next couple of weeks.
    Others on the list are
    Yeti 4.5c
    IBIS LS Ripley
    SC Hightower
    Intense Primer
    Pivot 429 Trail
    Niner Jet9RDO
    I know I'll try a few more but seriosly want to stick to Carbon, except for the Canfield that will be carbon soon. I also prefer Fox because I've had more time with those shocks but may need to try other brands. I will be using a Float 34 140 in front anyway.
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  78. #78
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    Anyone had some time on the new Jet 9? Had kinda settled on the Primer but now interested in the new Jet.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGringo View Post
    Hope its not a huge foul to jump in with a this bike vs. that bike post. I've got a chance to buy either a '16 Yeti SB 5 enduro or a '17 Trek Fuel EX 8 at well below retail. I'd like to make one of them my all-around FS bike. I ride southeastern & northern WI in the summer & TX/AZ in the winter so versatility is key. There are some pretty big differences (i.e.; carbon vs aluminum frame) & I won't have the opportunity to demo either before making a decision. Would appreciate your pick & why. Thanks.


    Which exact one are you looking at....?

    SB5
    SB5.5
    SB5+

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Which exact one are you looking at....?

    SB5
    SB5.5
    SB5+
    I can't imagine owning any of those three in WI. Way, way too much bike. 4.5? Yeah.

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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I can't imagine owning any of those three in WI. Way, way too much bike. 4.5? Yeah.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    That was my initial thought in terms of overkill for the Wisconsin terrain per se, but would be nice down in Arizona. The 4.5 for a more one bike does it all in terms of 29"er wheels.

    However, it sounded like it was only between two bikes that OldGringo could get at a steep discount.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    That was my initial thought in terms of overkill for the Wisconsin terrain per se, but would be nice down in Arizona. The 4.5 for a more one bike does it all in terms of 29"er wheels.
    I do agree with the 4.5c frame being the best blanket answer for '29er, does everything', but that's on the assumption that bespoke or at least custom suspension is in the cards. With a Float-DPS EVOL and Fox34, wider ArdentRace/Ikon tires on light rims, plus lightweight build it's an XC-Trail monster. Run a MonarchPlus and Lyrik in 140mm, some beefier wheels and Minions: it's an all-mountain bike that does everything but dedicated bike park chunky trails.

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    Thanks, I felt that way when I rode a Kona Honzo and the Canfield EPO. Both amazing hardtails and I believe in the short stay geo. I will try to test the Riot and wait for the carbon version to arrive of just get aluminum.
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    Slash29, E29Mk2, Nukeproof Mega, Evil Wreckoning, Niner RIP9-2017, SB5.5c, or Canfield Riot are going to be phenomenally capable, but will also make tame trails less entertaining.
    I consider the SC Hightower in the same category as the above as far as travel.
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    The Yeti 4.5c and several other frames with the clearance to accept wider tires and rims, really expand the one bike "do it all" catagory. So not only changing between light weight wheels but also changing to the 27.5 plus for a park bike. I like to ride Mammoth and I haven't tried 27.5 plus yet buy I'm sure it would do great there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hardmtnbiker View Post
    The Yeti 4.5c and several other frames with the clearance to accept wider tires and rims, really expand the one bike "do it all" catagory. So not only changing between light weight wheels but also changing to the 27.5 plus for a park bike. I like to ride Mammoth and I haven't tried 27.5 plus yet buy I'm sure it would do great there.
    I have the 4.5c and love it to death, but it is far from having the ability to run "wider tires and rims"
    I have it built with 30mm Inner width rims and 2.3ish is tight. I mean, an Ardent 2.4 is the max I'd run and even then, it's cloooose

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    Quote Originally Posted by fiveo View Post
    Anyone had some time on the new Jet 9? Had kinda settled on the Primer but now interested in the new Jet.
    seat angle sucks

  88. #88
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    Excellent realistic review of the SC Hightower 29er for you:

    Santa Cruz Hightower review | BIKEGAG

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  89. #89
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    One of the best reviews and articles on bikes I've read in a while! Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Whiptastic View Post
    Excellent realistic review of the SC Hightower 29er for you:

    Santa Cruz Hightower review | BIKEGAG

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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whiptastic View Post
    Excellent realistic review of the SC Hightower 29er for you:

    Santa Cruz Hightower review | BIKEGAG

    The reviewer actually has it backwards though, progressive frames do not pedal better, falling rate actually pedals better and provides a sort of "mechanical platform", it's just that they don't absorb bumps well and can bottom out if not oversprung.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  91. #91
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    Buy based on color. The rest is static ;-)

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  92. #92
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    Don't decide without seeing-trying Banshee Phantom. Owned one for 2 years a really do it all bike carbon stiff alu price.

    Super versatile can setup with 120-140mm fork and the rear 105mm is more than enough for trail use. With the cc inline it's really bottomless

  93. #93
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    It's hard to want an ugly frame color.
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    The interchangeable drop outs is great. Especially since I have extra wheel sets.
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  95. #95
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    Very pleased Hightower owner here. After over 8 months of pounding the trails on one, bike rides as true, playful and smooth as it did when new. I have owned some pretty good AM/trail bikes over the recent years (Turner RFX, Banshee Rune V1/V2, Yeti SB66, SC Bronson, Kona Honzo) and the Hightower has been the most versatile bike to date. I take it on 6,000ft trail grinds, local AM trail center jammer rides, techy trail rides, and FR jump lines and this bike does it all even though it is more on the "trail bike" spectrum of aforementioned rigs. My build comes in at 27 lbs with Saint brakes/drivetrain, wider rims with meaty tires. I literally feel I can take this bike on any ride with many loops back up to the top for more descending altogether!
    Ride On!

  96. #96
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    Good to know, I do think the VPP and Horst Link suspensions systems are top notch.Also 27# is a light bike for a 135/140mm travel 29er, especially if you have i30 rims with 2.35 descent knobby tires.
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  97. #97
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    The hightower is up there for me. Pedals better than previous generation Santa Cruz bikes. Not the best pedaler / rear suspension out there (that's probably an ibis or a giant maestro bike), but the bike has many other things going for it.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    The hightower is up there for me. Pedals better than previous generation Santa Cruz bikes. Not the best pedaler / rear suspension out there (that's probably an ibis or a giant maestro bike), but the bike has many other things going for it.
    Have to disagree. DW fanboy here and I demoed the SC Hightower, Ibis Ripley and Pivot Switchblade. The Intense Primer pedaled better than all of them (well maybe a tie with the Ripley).

    However the Hightower and Switchblade are better "plow over" descenders.

  99. #99
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    The "Holy Grail" of FS 29er Trail bike?

    The Holy Grail of FS 29er trail bike is the one you own right now that you shred hard on. That's the bike!
    Mine happens to be The Evil Following and I have a couple tweaks that I do to it. A 120/120 more endurance build and a 140/ 120 more AM build that gets it done for me.
    There are way to many good bikes now a days to say one is the only one.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeZee View Post
    Have to disagree. DW fanboy here and I demoed the SC Hightower, Ibis Ripley and Pivot Switchblade. The Intense Primer pedaled better than all of them (well maybe a tie with the Ripley).

    However the Hightower and Switchblade are better "plow over" descenders.
    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-down bowl-shape that starts with less anti-squat, goes to more throughout the middle, and drops off again towards the end. This is in contrast to a DW which starts with more, goes flat through most of the travel, and drops off at the end of the travel. The major differences are with more AS at the beginning of travel, the DW should resist pedaling-induced weight shift when it unloads, like say over a negative bump, pothole or off the backside of a bump when it goes to less-than sag travel, and it also has a longer flatter section so if your suspension happens to be working past the halfway point during a climb, you'll get more consistent pedaling effects. All three of these are similar though in that they have around 100% anti-squat throughout a significant amount of the travel, so they'll have similar pedaling characteristics at the sag point and to about mid-travel.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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