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  1. #1
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    Newb: Satori or Tallboy LT?

    44-year-old skinny guy here. Wanting some summer activity to keep the ski muscles in tune, so I'd like to get into some trail riding. I have an ancient (10 year old) Scott Teton front suspension bike that has never felt really comfortable to me, so I don't ever ride it. I feel like I'm perched on top of top of a tall unicycle leaning towards the front. Just awkward.

    I'd like to get a full suspension trail bike in the $3k and under range. I've done a ton of reading, of course, but only two test rides: a Kona Satori and a Santa Cruz Tallboy LT. Both felt great. Very comfortable, very confident. Worlds better than my old Scott. I love the more setback geometry of these new trail bikes.

    These two bikes are comparable in cost and spec. The Kona has a dropper post; a Crank Brothers Kronolog, which has received less than stellar reviews, but still, at least it has one. The Tallboy does not.

    It's hard to really evaluate the bikes cruising the sidewalks around the bike shops. For those of you who have on-trail experience with both, which would you choose and why? I live in Utah, if that matters.

    Love this forum. Looking forward to many years here.
    Last edited by RedHotFuzz; 08-05-2013 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #2
    tg
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    Satoti

    Loving mine
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tg View Post
    Loving mine
    Do you have any ride time on the Tallboy LT for comparison?

  4. #4
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    I have put just under 1000 miles and 125K elevation gain on my Tallboy LTc this year. Absolutely love the bike.

    For what its worth I have the Kronolog. The first one broke in less than a months time. The repaired/replaced version has held strong for the last 4 months. The key is to make sure you have the reinforced version. A call to CB or possibly the shop staff can help you figure it out.

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    can only comment on Satori - as prior to riding a TB-Lt - i'd ridden some with the longer CS and tighter head angles and found them less nimble - the satori disappeared under me on ride 1 - so i never tried the TBLT

    satori rocks and I've felt one of the best overall trailbike values in the industry for a longer travel 29er - granted more have popped up this year as we see the new 2014 intros - but still believe the Satori a great bike - i know here in CO - it slays everything in the front range - where we get a combination of rock/chunky, tight switchers, etc... - it does it all. Downsides - could be lighter - but it will still claw its way up any climb - rocky, loose, nonetheless...

    i rode one of the new Trek remedy 29ers this past weekend and to me it "felt" a lot like the Satori - the remedy 8 would be priced and spec'd similar as these and might be another great option - unfortunately - didnt get to ride on my regular trails - so cant offer a full comparison - but the rear did work as advertised and I liked that braking forces do not effect the rear sus

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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    For what its worth I have the Kronolog. The first one broke in less than a months time. The repaired/replaced version has held strong for the last 4 months. The key is to make sure you have the reinforced version.
    That's good to hear. I was actually going to email Crank Bros to see if they made any changes to the product after the original reports of poor reliability. Sounds like they may have sorted out the kinks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    i rode one of the new Trek remedy 29ers this past weekend and to me it "felt" a lot like the Satori - the remedy 8 would be priced and spec'd similar as these and might be another great option
    For some strange reason, I have an aversion to the big names (Trek, Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, etc.). I don't know why, and I know it's probably dumb, but I've been focusing on the smaller guys with this new bike purchase (though I know Santa Cruz isn't exactly an underdog these days).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
    For those of you who have on-trail experience with both, which would you choose and why? I live in Utah, if that matters.
    My experience is limited to a quick Outerbike demo of both (LTc, not LT). I found the TBLTc to be far stiffer than the Satori. Since you describe yourself as a skinny guy, this is probably a non-issue for you. I also thought the TBLTc was a little better balanced and more to my liking than the geometry numbers had led me to expect, and that the Satori felt oddly choppered out. For reference, I ride a Banshee Prime and a Yelli Screamy (since sold), so I'm quite used to slacked-out 29ers.

    Coming from an old, poorly-fitting hardtail, I imagine you'd be thrilled with either of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Coming from an old, poorly-fitting hardtail, I imagine you'd be thrilled with either of them.
    No doubt about that. The Satori, SB-95 and Tallboy all had that laid back feel that reminded me of my BMX bike as a kid. Well, almost. But certainly worlds away from this old Scott trail bike I have the misfortune of having purchased.

  10. #10
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    50-year-old skinny guy here. I spent 4 months looking at all the new 29er's. Rode almost everything...bought the 2013 Satori and haven't touched my Giant Reign since!

    Ride very rocky, loose SoCal dirt. Lots of big long climbs then bomber downhills, and Kona simply does it all....very well.
    It wasn't me

  11. #11
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    Satori has 26x36 granny vs the 24x36 on the TB LT. Keep that in mind if you live in an area with lots of very steep climbing. Not a huge difference but it is noticeable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    Satori has 26x36 granny vs the 24x36 on the TB LT. Keep that in mind if you live in an area with lots of very steep climbing. Not a huge difference but it is noticeable.
    Can you explain the significance of this to an amateur like me?

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    it can be depending on your conditioning, riding locations etc - but yet it isnt - as you can simply swap the 26 for a 24 or 22 - the smaller the granny - the easier it will be to pedal uphill - i swapped for a 24 as when i demoed the satori - the 26 gassed me on my normal loop. my bike shop did it gratis as they had 24 toothers on the wall and i did prior to any ride once purchased - I'm sure if your shop is worth their salt it won't be an issue

  14. #14
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    I'll agree with Evasive, coming from your old HT anything is going to feel good. I think either would make a nice trail bike. Did one feel any better than the other i any respect or fit slightly better? If the shop won't let you take them on a proper trail test ride, see if there's some steps around that you can try climbing and descending, will really let you know how the suspension handles at least
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedHotFuzz View Post
    Can you explain the significance of this to an amateur like me?
    The first number is the number of teeth on the smallest front chainring and the second is the number of teeth on the largest rear cog. The combination gives you the smallest gear you have for climbing steep hills.

    It's not something that should influence your purchase decision IMO. Chains, cassettes, and chainrings are wear items that are easily replaced with something that has more or less teeth as your needs dictate. The 26x36 gear is about 8% larger than the 24x36. Your shop might be willing to swap the Satori's 26 for something smaller if that's a concern for you.
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  16. #16
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    If you just swap out a 26 for a 24, you'll lose the shifting quality. It'll work, but it'll annoy most people. I agree it shouldn't be a deal breaker, but everything else being equal, I think it matters.
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  17. #17
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    Really, you switch between rings so often that it bothers you? Heck I run a non ramped 38t ring and it may be a slight bit slower, but honestly, who cares, it's not like a world cup racer. OP, DO NOT let the current/stock gearing on ANY bike deter you from getting it, as Andy said, they're wear items anyways and easily swapped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Structure View Post
    If you just swap out a 26 for a 24, you'll lose the shifting quality. It'll work, but it'll annoy most people. I agree it shouldn't be a deal breaker, but everything else being equal, I think it matters.
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  18. #18
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    If you can't decide between the two bikes than choose the shop (assuming they are at two different bike shops). Which shop has a more friendly staff, what do they offer for service after the sale, etc.

    Also search warranty claims. Talking to a buddy of mine, that is why he chose his Tallboy because Santa Cruz seems to be real good with warranty claims. (Don't know if Kona is any better or worse).

    Both great bikes though and I am sure you will be happy with either.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  19. #19
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    Regarding suspension: I'm reading a lot about VPP (Tallboy LT), CVA, DW-Link, FSR, etc. What is it the Satori uses and is it more "primitive" or archaic than the VPP found on the Tallboy? Or just a different flavor that works differently but equally as well?

  20. #20
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    Tallboy for the VPP linkage gets my vote.

  21. #21
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    I'll address the multi links vs. single pivot designs as I've owned many current types.

    They all work very well and are all within 3-5% of each other in terms of efficiency and plushness. (not talking about amount of travel)

    The biggest difference that I feel is on square edge bumps (rocks) where the multi-links feel like they don't stall or hang up when going over the object. Single pivots take a wee bit more body English to get up and over these.

    All these designs use a platform type of shock that can be dialed in to prevent pedal bob (wasted motion). Multi-links pedal very well....and so do MODERN single pivot designs. The Kona when out of the saddle is more active and plush then my Reign, but for the technical climbs I want more suspension to crawl up and over objects.

    What I like about the Satori is it's simple design - and it's way easier to clean then the other "busy" designs. I've been riding multi-link designs for years, and was a bit concerned about the Satori design, but I honestly don't feel that big of a difference.

    Kona has used this type of design for many years because it simply works well. It's been tweaked over the years to what they now call "SWINGER INDEPENDENT SUSPENSION "

    I'm sure others will chime in on this, but really with today's advanced shock technology...they all work very close to one another.

    It's going to come down to personal preference and the trails you ride.
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  22. #22
    tg
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    Slack front end/short chain stays = Big fun!
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    Newb: Satori or Tallboy LT?-downsized_0805131232.jpg  


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howeler View Post
    What I like about the Satori is it's simple design - and it's way easier to clean then the other "busy" designs. I've been riding multi-link designs for years, and was a bit concerned about the Satori design, but I honestly don't feel that big of a difference.
    In looking at the Tallboy LT, Santa Cruz highlights the "grease ports" on the frame pivot. Grease ports on the frame? Of a bicycle? Geez, these things really are becoming like cars - in both cost and complexity.

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