Lenz XC bikes v. DW Link Designs
My financial controller (wife) has granted permission to purchase a new bike this year, and as I'm turning 40, it's gonna be a good one. I currently ride a Pivot Mach 429 and have been pretty happy with it overall, especially the climbing, both technical and otherwise. I mostly ride SoCal XC stuff, with the occasionally foray into chunkier stuff, especially on trips to Arizona and Southern Utah.
For the new bike, I'd like to stick to something that is still XC, but something slightly more playful with a bit more travel. Call it "aggressive all-day XC," or some other label, but I don't need an all-mountain brawler. And whatever I get needs to climb uber well since I earn all my descents, and just generally like to climb.
So I'm thinking about either the Ibis Ripley with a 130mm fork up front (assuming it ever comes out), or the Lenz Mammoth with a 130mm fork up front.
I'm wondering if anyone out there has actually ridden a Pivot and one of Lenz XC-oriented bikes (Mammoth, Leviathan) and can comment on how the suspension compares on the ups, downs, and in-betweens
I've never ridden a Lenz, and have a hard time imagining anything climbing as well my Pivot, but then that's based on total ignorance. Like I said, I've never ridden a Lenz, and don't know of any Mammoths around that I could test ride. So thoughts from folks who have spent time on Lenz and DW link bikes (especially Pivot) would be welome.
I've never ridden a Lenz. I find the DW link to be a little too soft in the early level of travel for my taste. I'm pretty hot on the VPP link from Santa Cruz as I find it stiffer in the early part of travel making climbs pretty nice and getting out of the saddle to climb actually feels like it has some merit. In the DW link I always felt I was pushing much of my pedal power into pushing the BB down more than delivering it to the rear wheel.
What about a Tallboy with 120mm on the front or the Spider Comp with a Talas on front.
Nice adjustable travel that way.
Ibis Mojo 3
Carver 420 TI
Never tried VPP--and those models are at least easier to demo than a Lenz.
Originally Posted by TwoTone
I already have my Pivot setup with a 120 Talus in the front and see no reason to get rid if it for another 100 rear/120 front bike. The adjustably of the Talus is great for climbing, but I think it robs a bit from suppleness, especially small bump sensitivity. I'd rather get a bike setup around 130 or 140 of front end travel that still allowed the bars to get low enough for decent climbing without the need for a Talus. That's not easy on a 29er, though being 6'2" helps.
The Spider Comp is one I've been eying. I missed a demo day a while back, but will keep my eye out for another opportunity.
As an owner of a Lenz Mammoth, I can tell you that is one of the best pedaling bikes that I've owned. It has a low leverage ratio and is very supple on trail chatter. It may be a single pivot, but it does not bob like other single pivots I've ridden.
That is precisely the opposite experience I've had.
Originally Posted by danhasdrums
Stupid, but sometimes witty. Occasionally brilliant. Slow and fat though.
Mike Vandeman Sucks Dong
Yeah dude. Tallboy LT. You'll love it.
Originally Posted by D_Man
I went through this exact same process nearly 1 year ago, 'cept I was comparing the Lenz Behemoth & Lunchbox to the Turner Sultan, DW link of course.
Here's the thread.
I had a lot of feedback from Turner Sultan/DW Link owners/riders and not much from Lenz owners - understandably so seeing as Lenz doesn't sell as many bikes as Turner.
I have yet to read anything negative about the Mammoth, to which I cannot speak to cuz I've never ridden one. On the flip side, you'd be hard pressed to find much negative on the DW-link bikes.
Ultimately, I chose the Lunchbox and couldn't be happier. Does that mean I wouldn't have been happy on a Sultan? Highly unlikely, but I can tell you I haven't had one second of buyer's remorse and not once have I second guessed my decision - especially while flogging the pi$$ outta the bike in Moab last fall in which it never missed a beat. In fact, the bike saved my a$$ more than a few times when I got in over my head!
I would not be surprised if the guy who likely has more experience than anyone with Lenz bikes, and the Mammoth in particular, will chime in shortly...
Lenz vs Dw and others
I owned a Pivot 429 for over a year and at the same time rode a Horst Link sus bike. I went to a TBc which I really liked except for BB height. My latest ride is a TB LTc which for me is the perfect balance with quick handling , stability , and BB height. The TBLTc is the perfect blend of a do everything bike. If I wanted a quicker handling bike I would go with the TBc with a Fox 140mm spaced down to 120mm. The Lenz bikes look good with a basic Horst Link design. I think the DW bikes go up very well but not down as well. Just my opinion.
I have a Lenz behemoth 120mm fork I can compare it to a SC nomad Vpp
Climbing I feel the SC has the edge as it provides more platform seated or standing
My behemoth I find bobs if I am not seated & spinning
I'll actually use the pro pedal on the downs for added lsc on the g outs
Too bad I get so much flex from the wagon wheeled setup of flows/hadleys as the bike just plain rips all day everyday it's my go to fun bike that they will pry from my cold dead hands
Originally Posted by iheartbicycles
These days I'm on an '11 Turner DW Sultan (140mm fork, stock RP23 shock) and can't believe how well it goes both up & down hill. I contested the 2011 100 mile Cascade Cream Puff on it... If anything happened to this bike I'd do my best to replace it with another Sultan, but in any case definitely a DW link frame. After riding the Sultan I'll never consider another single pivot frame. (Which is what I rode before the Sultan. Not a Lenz but another single pivot 29er.)
If you have the time take in a day at Sea Otter and test ride...have an idea of what you're looking for, narrow it down to 4 or so bikes, then ride the hell out of them!
It may be a single pivot, but it does not bob like other single pivots I've ridden.
If you get a chance, demo a Giant Trance X29er. The Maestro FS is very similar to the DW link. Short chainstays and a respectably slack HA (actually measured to be 68.5*) plus the ability to climb really well. Best part is that Giant gives you an incredible amount of bang for the buck. It should be relatively easy to find one for a test ride.
I'm a mountain bike guide in South West Utah
Me three. I own an '09 Sultan w/ 120mm fork and RP-23 (that suits me fine for all of the trails anywhere within driving distance of where I live). I've ridden a longer travel '12 Sultan, '12 Pivot 429 and other DW-link bikes (no Lenz's though).
Originally Posted by Sparticus
I like the '09 geometry a little better (in a 2012, I rode an XL which was fine other than heavier and didn't feel quite as nimble as my '09 L). I also ride a rigid steel SS 29er and appreciate the double squish suspension on gnar and snappy handling attributes when bombing downhill in addition to efficient climbing that DW-link provides.
Tallboy LTc... Don't need to go into details, just look at the tallboy lt and ltc forum on mtbr. My one and only bike.
I'm in a similar situation as you. I'm a few years older than you and just sold my Racer-x 29er I had narrowed down to the TallboyC, 429 Carbon, and the (hopefully!) soon to be released Ripley. I would wait to see if Turner comes to market with a carbon 29 but i think that is still a ways off (if at all). I'll cross that bridge down the road if it does transpire. Like you I mainly ride XC here in Colorado with a couple of endurance races a year. If I was doing more racing I would stick with the TBc or the new Rocky Mtn 999RSL but seeing that I only do a few races I want a "do it all" bike. I think everyone has great suggestions so far and you certainly cant go wrong with any of these bikes.
I bought a used TBc frame off EBay to tide me over until Ibis starts taking preorders on Ripleys. It's been a ridiculous wait for many but it sounds like it really is close to release. For me I think it's going to be the perfect bike. Anyways good luck with your decision!
As some have said, definitely check out the Tallboy LTc.
I have a feeling that if you test rode a Leviathan, you'd feel like your 429 was more bike. The 429 is stiffer, and its going to feel more stable on descents.
I mostly ride XC, but the last time I was in Arizona, I threw some 2.4s for that terrain and it worked out great since I was traveling and sampling everything there from the chunk of Tuscon to the forest climbing of Flagstaff (and everything in between). My TB is set up with a 120, and there were only a couple places and times on my ride where I felt like I needed more travel in the rear. So I complete get what you're aiming at...and maybe the Ibis Ripley is the route to go..no slouch on XC, and it will play well in the bigger terrain.
There is also the new Niner Rip9 RDO which may be a bit lighter than reg Rip 9 for the XC stuff, but it'll be right at home in the chunk.
Another option (and a big one) is to wait for the Yeti SB-95 to come out in carbon..I suspect that will be soon...that is one sick sick bike!
Ibis Ripley LS
Intense Spider 29 C
Trek Boone 5 Disc
Spech Tricross Expert
Raleigh RX 1.0
I have a Behemoth, rode a Mammoth with a Loop 140, and have also ridden the Turner Sultan DW and v.1 TNT linkage, plus a few others. For all around aggressive XC riding the Mammoth would be my first choice for sure. The short stays and geometry are well dialed in. When the Behemoth is ready for retirement the Mammoth will be the pick for me. Don't notice any unwanted suspension movement. There's a screaming deal on the virtually new Mammoth frame in the classifieds right now. The Lenz is just a proven, well built, refined design. Latest bells and whistles? no, but so what?
When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
I had a 3" and 4" Leviathan and they were both sick climbing bikes! Now riding a Tallboy LTa which also climbs quite well for a 135mm travel bike.
Having ridden a few different "pivot soup" bikes, and owning a Lunchbox and MilkMoney, I'd vote for Lenz.
The lots'o pivot bikes just feel dead to me. Small bump performance is spiky, and is just seems to be a lot of fluff for little gain.
In reading the OP's opener, my thought was Mammoth, it still is.
I have a Leviathan 4" and love it. When climbing it performs best when seated and spinning as it will bob a little out of the saddle (I weight about 220lbs FWIW), however it's a small price to pay because the way this thing rips through singletrack and downhill, it's hard to beat. I find that in techy XC situations it just laps it up and most of the time it's my physical limits that are hit first before the Lenz' .
The Mammoth is pretty similar to the Leviathan by all accounts so I suspect you'll have a similar experience. Go for the Mammoth. I doubt you'll be disappointed.
Mikesee rides a Lenz and has a ton of rep power so Lenz is the best
Originally Posted by FoShizzle
Originally Posted by FoShizzle
Originally Posted by FoShizzle
Highly subjective, but I'm sure he agrees with your logic.
Originally Posted by FoShizzle
Single pivots pedal 95% as well as all the more complex options - or the same if you've got a good platform valve shock and have it set up decently. They don't break as easily, they don't require constant maintenance, they don't make noise, and they're light and simple. I've always been a single pivot guy for those reasons and I think they're pretty darn good ones.
"Pivot soup" is hilarious!
To the OP - if I were you I'd go Lenz.
Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
In all seriousness, the reasons you've stated really do make compromising on all out performance attractive, Walt.
Originally Posted by Walt
I've had a few a single pivot bikes, including a Lenz. I got into virtual test riding of bikes on MTBR and started thinking I needed one of these new fangled, multi-articulating, virtual pivot bikes. Then I got out and did a lot of real test rides. What I figured out is they're all good in their own way. The virtual pivot bikes bob just about as much as single pivot bikes. A little bob isn't that big a deal. I also learned that an active suspension is often preferable on rough terrain.
In the end, I found I like my single pivot bike and I quit trying compensate for what I thought I was missing by using the pro-pedal all the time. I now ride with the pro-pedal off most of the time and don't have a big desire for a new bike. I will say that one of the biggest things I notice testing different bikes is a little bit of extra suspension gives a lot of extra cush.
The other thing I'll say is that while all bikes ride a little different due to slightly different geometry, the Lenz really sticks out on the the far end of the scale. The relatively short chainstays and high bottom brackets give them a unique ride. They are high performance toys for riders that like to manual their way through chunky terrain. Their agility requires a little extra attention, but will reward a good rider who knows how to work it. That said the Mammoth seems to fall a little closer to the center. It's definitely on my short list for a future toy.
Well said. Agility=Lenz. Period.
Originally Posted by bsdc
Originally Posted by buddhak