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  1. #1
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    Long Travel 29er Wreckoning<>Sentinal<>HTLT

    Looking for a new rig this winter and am torn between the following:
    Evil Wreckoning
    Transition Sentinel
    Santa Cruz Hightower LT

    Coming off a Transition Smuggler, which I love. I enjoy the up but love the down and live on the East Coast (so consider the terrain).

    All 3 are appealing, but I worry that the Wreckoning and Sentinel may be too downhill biased and not playful enough for a general purpose trail bike. I'll most likely sell the Smuggler to help fund the new purchase.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Sand Yeti

  2. #2
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    I haven't ridden the HTLT or Sentinel, but the Wreckoning was surprisingly responsive and agile given the numbers. However, after wading through the multi-page Long Travel 29er Shoot Out thread here and several online long travel 29er comparisons on various other sites, it seems like the consensus is that the Hightower LT or Yeti 5.5 are your best bets for a east coast, more up and down, tighter trails, all-arounder 29er.
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  3. #3
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    I helped a friend build a Wreck last year. Lyrik up front, coil shock out back, Onyx hubs, heavy (but not DH) rubber. I expected it to be a chore to climb but for that work to pay off when descending.

    I was wrong. It felt surprisingly, even shockingly light, nimble, playful on flats and mellow climbs. And then it was a full-on party when descending.

    Only nit? I thought the BB felt low. But then I feel that way about almost every modern bike...

  4. #4
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    I've drawn the same conclusion as Krob. I've been able to throw a leg over the 5.5, HTLT, Wreck (only real proper ride), E29 and riot. I'm waffling between the HTLT & 5.5. 5.5 would be an easier choice if it had a lower seat tube. I think the reality is all these bikes are quite good but the HTLT stands out as bike that won't kill me on a 30+ mile ride.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input. I've heard the same about the Wreckoning being very playful as well. Unfortunately don't have any friends that have ridden the Sentinel yet. The little research I've done points towards the HTLT at the moment. Want more than my current ride, but don't want to over-bike.

  6. #6
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    My guess is that you would end up being happy with any of your three choices.

    The early reviews on the Sentinel seem to mention downhill bias at the expense of agility.

    My Wreckoning is surprisingly adept at general trail duties. And that's even after I installed a -1 headset and 170 fork. Think Dr. Jekll and Mr. Hyde.

    However, for a do-it-all trail bike the HTLT is probably your best bet of the three you mentioned given your previous bike was a Smuggler. I'm hearing it described as a "long travel trail bike". I would put the HTLT, 5.5, and maybe the RIP RDO in that category. Trail manners mild enough for mellow days with plenty of room to spare when you need to go big.

    It's getting increasingly more difficult to make a genuinely bad choice these days as long as you know your personal requirements and understand what category to choose from.

  7. #7
    Biking Like Crazy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    I'm hearing it described as a "long travel trail bike". I would put the HTLT, 5.5, and maybe the RIP RDO in that category.


    Thank you titusquasi for mentioning the RIP 9 RDO. It just doesn't seem to be getting much attention in this thread. Looking at all the numbers, it seems to compare to the HTLT pretty closely.At least I hope it does as I have a RDO coming this week (to good of deal to pass up!) and I like my WFO, but also have a 5010 V.2 and really like the VPP suspension on it!
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  8. #8
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    Have you looked at the 2018 Nukeproof Mega 290? Each trim of the 290 undercuts the equivalent trims of those bikes mentioned by at least $1000, if not more. And what's specced on it is something you'd probably like to keep on it. It's supremely capable, durable, and is a great all-rounder. It is a little on the heavy side. And some people may not like the 450mm chainstays, but I've adjusted my technique to be able to carve with the best of them.

    I've had mine for about a month and put over 200 miles on it. I love the damn thing to death.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  9. #9
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    It wasn't on the OP's list but I have the RIP RDO as well as the Wreckoning...both with -1 headsets. There is much overlap but enough difference to hold my interest. The RIP leans more toward trail bike and the Wreckoning toward enduro bike. Both could easily be used for the same purposes.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by titusquasi View Post
    It wasn't on the OP's list but I have the RIP RDO as well as the Wreckoning...both with -1 headsets. There is much overlap but enough difference to hold my interest. The RIP leans more toward trail bike and the Wreckoning toward enduro bike. Both could easily be used for the same purposes.
    I got this thread mixed up with the long travel shootout thread, but thanks for bringing up the RDO anyway as no one has mentioned it on the other thread.

    I think your observation is correct on your 2 bikes, and that is what I'm looking for in the RIP 9 RDO!
    2017 Niner Rip 9 RDO Pushed Version!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by blcman View Post
    I got this thread mixed up with the long travel shootout thread, but thanks for bringing up the RDO anyway as no one has mentioned it on the other thread.

    I think your observation is correct on your 2 bikes, and that is what I'm looking for in the RIP 9 RDO!
    Fwiw, I have the RIP9RDO as my trail bike, Lyrik 170 fork with MRP cartridge, and am super happy with the setup. I run about 35% fork sag vs 30 shock and it feels nicely balanced. If I am doing something more DH then I air up the fork to a stiff 30% sag.

    Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    The RIP doesn't get much attention which is a shame. It is simply amazing as a long legged trail bike. Even with a -1 headset and 160mm fork the handling is just smooth and natural. With both the Wreckoning and the RIP I keep looking for reasons to sell the RIP as I know I'm keeping the Wreckoning. I can't do it...the RIP is just too good.

  13. #13
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    Thanks bear and titusquasi for the affirmation about the Rip 9, not that I needed it.
    Maybe it could open the OP's eyes to another option in his bike research!
    2017 Niner Rip 9 RDO Pushed Version!
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  14. #14
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    Agreed. I forgot to mention the Rip 9 as well. I got a chance to throw a leg over one briefly courtesy of OTE Hurricane a couple weeks ago while on their shop ride and it does also fit the "more trailbike" all-arounder description better than some of the Enduro shred sled 29ers out there. It's light, responsive and quite maneuverable.

    The owner, Quentin, also has time on the Wreckoning and his impressions match those of titusquasi. Rip9 for Little Creek Mesa and more pedally, up and down rides. The Wreck for Grafton, Flying Monkey and shuttle laps a Brianhead. (Not that the Wreckoning can't do the all day trail rides, it's just that the Rip is a bit better suited for that).
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  15. #15
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    Interesting you all say the Rip 9 is never discussed in much any of these threads. I was at the Pisgah MTB festival a few weeks ago and Niner was there amongst SC, Yeti, Mondraker, Ibis, transition, Scott, and Intense. These are all I can remember, there may have been others.

    Anyway, the Niner guys were the only ones who seemed to be sitting around and no one was really taking their bikes out. Atleast that is how it looked, I could have been wrong. I asked a rep from a nearby suspension booth, next to the niner booth and he believes it is because all the carbon cracking issues Niner had with most of their bikes previously. Who knows.

    I have not been on the Wreckoning, I have not had a chance to get on one. I have been on the Yeti 5.5 and the HTLT. I would honestly say the LT hightower is noticeably a better climber and descender than the Yeti, but the HTLT I was on did feel a bit heavier the Yeti felt lighter. I did not like the cables rattling around in the Yeti, I did not hear that with the HTLT. Both bikes are really good though, I would give the advantage to the HTLT because you are getting 10mm more travel and giving up nothing in climbing.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Yeti View Post
    Looking for a new rig this winter and am torn between the following:
    Evil Wreckoning
    Transition Sentinel
    Santa Cruz Hightower LT

    Coming off a Transition Smuggler, which I love. I enjoy the up but love the down and live on the East Coast (so consider the terrain).

    All 3 are appealing, but I worry that the Wreckoning and Sentinel may be too downhill biased and not playful enough for a general purpose trail bike. I'll most likely sell the Smuggler to help fund the new purchase.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Sand Yeti
    Just saw this thread. Agree that all the options are awesome and you can’t really go wrong. However you might also want to check out a Rallon. I ride primarily in the southeast and the Rallon goes up unexpectedly well. Much better then my ‘15 Remedy 29. Also it absolutely crushes the downs. I just keep finding more speed because the thing is so stable.

  17. #17
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    OP did you ever replace your smug? I’m thinking of replacing my wreck with a carbon smug or sentinel. I want a really long and slack bike that can pedal better than the wreck.

  18. #18
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    Not yet, now also entertaining the YT Capra. Not 100% if I'll get rid of the Smuggler or keep.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sand Yeti View Post
    Not yet, now also entertaining the YT Capra. Not 100% if I'll get rid of the Smuggler or keep.
    You might want to check out the Orbea Rallon. I ride in the southeast primarily and the Rallon does amazingly well on the climbs but still crushes the downs. I switched the DPX2 to a DHX2 and am running a PUSH ACS conversion kit in the front and I have zero complaints. To be fair however, I haven't ridden the other bikes you're looking at so

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headoc View Post
    You might want to check out the Orbea Rallon. I ride in the southeast primarily and the Rallon does amazingly well on the climbs but still crushes the downs. I switched the DPX2 to a DHX2 and am running a PUSH ACS conversion kit in the front and I have zero complaints. To be fair however, I haven't ridden the other bikes you're looking at so
    Thanks! Just had another friend recommend the Rallon as well. Got to love first world problems....

  21. #21
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    I rode the Sentinel, wouldn't want it for the pedally east coast...5.5 is way better at that stuff

  22. #22
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    Test rode the Wreckoning, Yeti SB5.5 and Hightower...HT was an easy choice.


  23. #23
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    I ride a HTLT and one of my good friends is on a Rallon. Both are amazing bikes and you can't go wrong either way. Rallon is a little more up to date in geometry with the steeper SA. I have ridden both a L and XL HTLT and each has its advantages. I do believe the HTLT and the 5.5 will be updated this year with slacker HA, longer reach and steeper SA but that will also make it more DH focused and may not suit your needs.

    Personally I think you should ride both the HTLT and the 5.5 before you make a decision.

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