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  1. #1
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    Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy

    Most of the trails by me are tight twisty XC trails with rolling hills. So I'd like a bike that is "nimble" and pedals well, especially out of the saddle. But there's some more technical stuff with tough climbs, jump lines, plenty of rocks, some fun short downhill runs all of which I tend to prefer. It seems like the trend is for bikes to get bigger in terms of travel, but any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s.

    The other option is to own two separate bikes (trail and XC) but I find that it takes some time switching between bikes and having full confidence in each one.

  2. #2
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    It's not about the bike.

  3. #3
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    You'll probably hear recommendations for the SC Blur, Intense Sniper and Yeti SB100. I've only ridden the Yeti and it should tick all of the boxes you outlined above. I think on any of the bikes sizing is important. I am 5'10.5" so right on the bubble of a Large. I demo'd a medium which swayed me to ordering that size. I've had other large Yeti's and wanted something more nimble. From my one hour ride it pretty much convinced me that it's the right type of riding for me: Lots of fire road climbing with some rowdy single track. Ordered a medium black and looking forward to the call to pick it up within the next couple of days. Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I'll throw out some others.

    Process 111
    Phantom
    Smuggler
    Rift Zone
    Occam

  5. #5
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    Truly short travel and TRULY rowdy? Banshee Phantom.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  6. #6
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    Trail Pistol.
    I no longer like to party. But I like the idea of it.

  7. #7
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    Get an AM HT... You'll love it ^^

    Scout Nukeproof or the like ;-)

    'We'll all make it to the top... Some of us, might not make it to the bottom'
    "Mountain biking: the under-rated and drug-free antidepressant"

  8. #8
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    Ibis Ripley

  9. #9
    There's always next year.
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    Phantom and Trail Pistol are great candiates.

  10. #10
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    Riot

    Edit: For me, a bike that can get rowdy in crowded conditions will have a short chainstay, (<430mm) to really be agile and fun. Think about it, you wanna ride like the guys in the videos, manuals, wheelie out of of berms, slashing left and right, that's all about chainstay.

    You don't have to have 29" wheels to make this happen, esp if you don't have a ton of chunk and roots to bridge, 27.5 would be fine and it would be far easier to find a geo that fits your needs.

    The Kona Process 111 was a winner, no longer made, but a used one would be worth it.

    The Riot is perhaps a little more travel than you want, but you could run a 140mm fork and be quiet happy I think; to me a 140mm is mid travel. Honestly, do people ever really complain about having too much travel?

    Switchblade in aluminum just dropped, nice bike, might meet your needs in spades, it's certainly got a nice package and the DW suspension is killer.

    ... and don't throw out the benefits of a progressive hardtail with a big fork. A hardtail will be lighter, can be designed for everything you want with less compromise, plenty of off the shelf and custom options, less expensive too. I have a Kona Wozo, super short chainstays, a fatbike with benefits, which I run 29+ (2.6/3.0) during the summer. It's a hoot to ride and gets quite a bit of use even though I have an FS bike as well.

    You are probably looking at a HTA 66-67, 68deg is kinda steep these days.
    Last edited by Nurse Ben; 04-19-2018 at 10:25 AM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Riot
    Banshee Phantom

  12. #12
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    New Specialized Stumpjumper ST
    Santa Cruz Tallboy or even the new Blur
    Ibis Ripley LS
    Scott Spark
    ...or for more on the rowdy side Evil The Following...

    I have the Scott Spark it rides great but if you don't like suspension lock levers then go try any of the others...

    I was deciding between the Tallboy and Ripley for a awhile (Doing demos next month) but now it looks like I am going to pick up the new Stumpy in the longer travel version ASAP
    2019 Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon
    - DT Swiss XRC 1200 Wheels
    - Race Face Next Cranks
    - Chris King BB
    - ODI Rouge Grips

  13. #13
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    You said you want clearance for 2.4's on wide rims, are you talking Maxxis 2.4 or Conti 2.4? Tyre clearance could be a big factor if it's that important to you, a lot of the bikes mentioned above will be fairly limited, even the new Smuggler is kinda limited there.

    The Knolly Fugitive is definitely more at the "get rowdy" end of your spectrum, but will have ample tyre clearance and has pretty "progressive" geo for a 120mm travel 29er. Might be more bike than you're after though?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's not about the bike.
    Actually, in many cases, it is. I CAN ride all the stuff he's talking about on my FS bike - 100mm rear, 120 front, no dropper, 71 degree HTA. I CAN. But the bike will break, because the frame has proven time and time again, that it doesn't like taking a hit of any kind. It's an XC bike. Meanwhile, there ARE bikes out there that are designed to deal with exactly the conditions being talked about. They won't be as light as an XC bike, and maybe a little slacker HTA, but they will still pedal well. And they won't break.

  15. #15
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    kona 111
    1985 Trek 670
    2016 Kona Process 111
    2017 Ritchey P29er
    2018 Trek Domane SL6

  16. #16
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    Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy-20170825_104453.jpg

    NS Snabb Plus 1! It pedals incredibly efficiently, and it absolutely rips going back down. Also, a threaded BB, exterior brake cable routing, and water bottle mounts are nice touches. This bike was truly designed by people who ride.

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    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/ns-sna...1--review.html
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  17. #17
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    Find a used Devinci Atlas, bike is a blast built out with a 140mm fork. Super short wheel base 44.5' in large, short 16.7 CS and 68.5 HA with 140mm fork. Its like a BMX 29er trail bike, super quick in tight twisty trails.

  18. #18
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    Ripley LS.

  19. #19
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    Evil Following...

  20. #20
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    Except for your 2.4 tire requirement, a LOT of classic XC bikes fit your criteria when set up with a 120 fork. I rallied the crap out of a Turner Czar with a 120 fork for two seasons, as just one example.

    My 120 mm Fuel EX was another one. Still miss it, even though the new version is more capable in truly chunky terrain.

    One downside to the slackening of 100 mm race bikes these days is that they become too slack if you slap a 120 fork on them.

    And yeah, the Yeti looks like it will tick all your boxes. Bring your wallet.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Riot
    Op, I'll agree with Nurse Ben most of the bikes suggested are pretty long compared to the Riot. If you want a quick turning bike that can do twisty xc all day, but can hang in chunky jump trails the Riot is your bike.
    If you want long, low and stable it's not.

  22. #22
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    I'll throw another one out the Fezzari Signal Peak bridges XC-trail gap - Mtbr.com
    You can't beat a 30 return policy. Their kits are very competitive price wise.

    I have a Sniper Trail on order.
    Tallboy 3.1
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  23. #23
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    Actually, it is, hence his question.

    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's not about the bike.

  24. #24
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    4,5, or 6" of travel, pick which one works for you? 5" of travel weighs more than 4"? Not in my book.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    4,5, or 6" of travel, pick which one works for you? 5" of travel weighs more than 4"? Not in my book.
    Depends on the bike, but usually yes it does weight more and has a different feel on the trail.
    Tallboy 3.1
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails by me are tight twisty XC trails with rolling hills. So I'd like a bike that is "nimble" and pedals well, especially out of the saddle. But there's some more technical stuff with tough climbs, jump lines, plenty of rocks, some fun short downhill runs all of which I tend to prefer. It seems like the trend is for bikes to get bigger in terms of travel, but any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s.

    The other option is to own two separate bikes (trail and XC) but I find that it takes some time switching between bikes and having full confidence in each one.
    The current crop of 120 or 100mm XC bikes are really very good and can be very nimble and good pedaling. They also can handle a lot for tech and chunk. Of course they can be over match for some terrain, but it hard to know for sure when you say "tough climbs, jump lines, plenty of rocks, some fun short downhill runs" . One mans tough climb is another's normal XC ride. Some jump lines are really smooth and even XC race HT can handle jumps and drops. Just take a look at what is considered World Cup XC race course these days.

    If you can tell us what trails you want to ride that are techy others here might have enough experience to share what kind of bike works on those trails. I can certainly tell you what bikes work on trails I have ridden in Arizona.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  27. #27
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    Norco Revovler with a 120mm fork is a rowdy bike.

  28. #28
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    I'm looking as well. The 2018 Ibis Ripley looks good on paper, at least, with the ability to run 2.6" tires, so there's plenty of room.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's not about the bike.
    Right.
    Santa Cruz V10?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by In2falling View Post
    Find a used Devinci Atlas, bike is a blast built out with a 140mm fork. Super short wheel base 44.5' in large, short 16.7 CS and 68.5 HA with 140mm fork. Its like a BMX 29er trail bike, super quick in tight twisty trails.
    The Diago is a good bike. But I wish they still made the Atlas.

  31. #31
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    I ran the full jump line at the local bikepark (Skypark) after an XC race on my race HT. Seat all the way up and all.

    Modern XC bikes aren't holding you back.

  32. #32
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    What about a diamondback release can be had second hand for great deals. It's a 27.5 but short chainstays and 130/150 rear/front travel, I'm running fat 2.5" tires right now no problems Mine does superb on the tight single track with intermittent jumps on my local trails in charlotte nc but has enough for when I want to venture to Pisgah and that area. But it's not a boutique bike so that may be a deal breaker. Built like a tank and great Geo, in my opinion.

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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    The current crop of 120 or 100mm XC bikes are really very good and can be very nimble and good pedaling. They also can handle a lot for tech and chunk. Of course they can be over match for some terrain, but it hard to know for sure when you say "tough climbs, jump lines, plenty of rocks, some fun short downhill runs" . One mans tough climb is another's normal XC ride. Some jump lines are really smooth and even XC race HT can handle jumps and drops. Just take a look at what is considered World Cup XC race course these days.

    If you can tell us what trails you want to ride that are techy others here might have enough experience to share what kind of bike works on those trails. I can certainly tell you what bikes work on trails I have ridden in Arizona.
    Most of the trails in North Carolina. I would like to take more trips to the mountains (Pisgah and some of the bike parks) but not sure I'll have the time.

  34. #34
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    Another vote for the Ripley LS.

    Running mine with a 140 fork and -1 deg. angle set, HTA is 66. The bike is light, nimble, pedals extremely well and descends better than my HD3 did. Chainstays aren't the shortest at 442 but doesn't matter.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails in North Carolina. I would like to take more trips to the mountains (Pisgah and some of the bike parks) but not sure I'll have the time.
    I have never ridden in that area so I have no way to gauge the trail requirements. I expect the riders that have know these much better. Right now you are getting a list of everyone's Favorite bike based on what they consider to be "rowdy". Heck I don't even know what that means. I guess it is like playful, but in an angry way? Heck was it is "playful" for that matter? So many useless meaning less terms tossed around all time it is hard to make any sense of things.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  36. #36
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    I already have a Kona Process 153 for fun drops and tech DH so for a XC bike for the trails I ride mostly in AZ I am going with the 2018 Santa Cruz Tallboy C.
    Vincit qui patitur
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have never ridden in that area so I have no way to gauge the trail requirements. I expect the riders that have know these much better. Right now you are getting a list of everyone's Favorite bike based on what they consider to be "rowdy". Heck I don't even know what that means. I guess it is like playful, but in an angry way? Heck was it is "playful" for that matter? So many useless meaning less terms tossed around all time it is hard to make any sense of things.
    NC trails in the piedmont area are mostly single track that most xc bikes could handle. Towards the coast really flat boring sandy stuff more features usually. But western nc area all the areas around asheville,Brevard and the such you can get about as rowdy as you want so even within NC there is a lot of variation.

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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails in North Carolina. I would like to take more trips to the mountains (Pisgah and some of the bike parks) but not sure I'll have the time.
    IMHO and just about every one that has ridden one in Pisgah will tell you it feels like the Canfield Riot was made for that area.
    It's still a fun bike in DuPont and similar trails as well. Other bikes to look at are the Switchblade and High Tower. But if you're closer to the shore you may want to look into the Following it's a fun bike but can get overwhelmed in Pisgha.

  39. #39
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    Why people feel like making posts like this I will never understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I ran the full jump line at the local bikepark (Skypark) after an XC race on my race HT. Seat all the way up and all.

    Modern XC bikes aren't holding you back.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Riot

    Edit: For me, a bike that can get rowdy in crowded conditions will have a short chainstay, (<430mm) to really be agile and fun. Think about it, you wanna ride like the guys in the videos, manuals, wheelie out of of berms, slashing left and right, that's all about chainstay.

    You don't have to have 29" wheels to make this happen, esp if you don't have a ton of chunk and roots to bridge, 27.5 would be fine and it would be far easier to find a geo that fits your needs.

    The Kona Process 111 was a winner, no longer made, but a used one would be worth it.

    The Riot is perhaps a little more travel than you want, but you could run a 140mm fork and be quiet happy I think; to me a 140mm is mid travel. Honestly, do people ever really complain about having too much travel?

    Switchblade in aluminum just dropped, nice bike, might meet your needs in spades, it's certainly got a nice package and the DW suspension is killer.

    ... and don't throw out the benefits of a progressive hardtail with a big fork. A hardtail will be lighter, can be designed for everything you want with less compromise, plenty of off the shelf and custom options, less expensive too. I have a Kona Wozo, super short chainstays, a fatbike with benefits, which I run 29+ (2.6/3.0) during the summer. It's a hoot to ride and gets quite a bit of use even though I have an FS bike as well.

    You are probably looking at a HTA 66-67, 68deg is kinda steep these days.
    I recommend a Canfield Riot I recently got one after breaking a carbon Yeti SB-95....

    The Canfield is awesome.


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  41. #41
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    Well now we're talking, that's my old stomping ground!

    I'd get Canfield Riot without a second thought, that is some tight and rooty terrain you got ... you don't want a slow handling, long wheelbase bike.

    The Process 111 would also be a fine bike, though if you're doing the more serious Pisgah riding, I'd want more travel.

    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails in North Carolina. I would like to take more trips to the mountains (Pisgah and some of the bike parks) but not sure I'll have the time.

  42. #42
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    THE DEFACTO rowdy short travel 29er is the Evil Following or Canfield Riot. These other bikes like Ripley etc are very nice bikes and super efficient but they aren't downhill bikes built to get really rowdy. You can talk to a bunch of guys doing 10ft drops etc on a Following out here in the PNW because its designed with that in mind. These other bikes are not and are better all arounders. I'd pass on Smuggler, its a LONG bike and not what I'd want for a short travel whip for tight twisty stuff.
    Last edited by svinyard; 04-19-2018 at 05:18 PM.

  43. #43
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    Riding in the Smokeys, Pisgah, it's more similar to the riding in the PNW than most other places in the states, lines are cleaner out West and tend to be bigger, but the wet ugly roughness is all the same.

    That said, I rode the shite out of an Atlas, big lines in BC, and it was doable. I got whooped by a girl half my age running a stock Atlas while I was rocking a mixed Mutz. Skill and nerve are important too.

    I only rode 29ers in the East, the roots and rocks are just too raw for smaller wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    THE DEFACTO rowdy short travel 29er is the Evil Following or Canfield Riot. These other bikes like Ripley etc are very nice bikes and super efficient but they aren't not downhill bikes built to get really rowdy. You can talk to a bunch of guys doing 10ft drops etc on a Following out here in the PNW because its designed with that in mind. These other bikes are not and are better all arounders. I'd pass on Smuggler, its a LONG bike and not what I'd want for a short travel whip for tight twisty stuff.

  44. #44
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    Sniper Trail

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  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have never ridden in that area so I have no way to gauge the trail requirements. I expect the riders that have know these much better. Right now you are getting a list of everyone's Favorite bike based on what they consider to be "rowdy". Heck I don't even know what that means. I guess it is like playful, but in an angry way? Heck was it is "playful" for that matter? So many useless meaning less terms tossed around all time it is hard to make any sense of things.
    I get what you're saying by all the terms. A lot of the XC trails by me are getting pretty boring as I'm getting more into technical and AM riding. But XC trails make up about 90% of the trails. So I'd like a bike that is well suited to fly through those, but can get "rowdy" (go fast on rocky, somewhat technical downhills).

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I ran the full jump line at the local bikepark (Skypark) after an XC race on my race HT. Seat all the way up and all.

    Modern XC bikes aren't holding you back.
    I have an AIR 9 RDO that has about a 72 deg head angle. Not the best for steep, rocky descents.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's not about the bike.
    I get what you're saying and I never want to be the worst rider with the best bike. But the better I get, the more I realize how much a dialed bike and have full confidence in that bike helps. There are a lot of bikes mentioned that I've never heard of so I'm excited to take a closer look and hopefully demo some of them.

    I don't think I'm great but am always in the lead pack on group rides and get comments about getting good air, so it's not like I'm a beginner

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I ran the full jump line at the local bikepark (Skypark) after an XC race on my race HT. Seat all the way up and all.

    Modern XC bikes aren't holding you back.
    This man knows what's up.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post

    I only rode 29ers in the East, the roots and rocks are just too raw for smaller wheels.
    Lol, for you maybe.😂

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I get what you're saying and I never want to be the worst rider with the best bike. But the better I get, the more I realize how much a dialed bike and have full confidence in that bike helps. There are a lot of bikes mentioned that I've never heard of so I'm excited to take a closer look and hopefully demo some of them.

    I don't think I'm great but am always in the lead pack on group rides and get comments about getting good air, so it's not like I'm a beginner
    If you require boingo boingo at both ends, please check out the new Santa Cruz Blur.

  51. #51
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    Better on those OP trails than my old Heckler or Titus El Guappo , is my new Anthem 29 Zero


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  52. #52
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    I also ride all the core Pisgah stuff on one wheel, just saying... maybe doing it on a XC bike ainít all that.

    Carry on.

    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    Lol, for you maybe.

  53. #53
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    Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy

    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I have an AIR 9 RDO that has about a 72 deg head angle. Not the best for steep, rocky descents.
    And itís not even close in geometry to most modern FS XC bikes.

    Check out the courses from the Pisgah Stage Race, then see how the racers from last week stack up all time. Iím guessing there are a couple of guys punching into the top 10-20 all time on XC bikes.

    ...Just like they do Moab.


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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    THE DEFACTO rowdy short travel 29er is the Evil Following or Canfield Riot. These other bikes like Ripley etc are very nice bikes and super efficient but they aren't downhill bikes built to get really rowdy.
    Disagree. I sold my Following MB and kept my Ripley LS which gets rowdy AF while XC'ing like a champ.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I also ride all the core Pisgah stuff on one wheel, just saying... maybe doing it on a XC bike ainít all that.

    Carry on.
    Mountain uni?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    It's not about the bike.
    Agreed. 100%

    -you dont need a 68 degree HTA to party
    -What you want is good tires (especially front and a maybe a dropper for Bigger jumps where whips and doubles are present. It allows you to tuck the bike up and use more of your legs in a landing. Most drops can be learned with a high post over the course of time.



    I'm currently rocking a Top fuel 9.8. Its 24 pounds with Hans dampf and Ikon 2.35 on it and is super smooth in the chunk and I have ridden everything you mention with no dropper. I may run the new stepcast 120 on the bike and HTA will be around 69.0. Total weight will be under 25 lbs. Good enough to ride the Scarrier places you could probably come up with.


    If my wife can ride Triple H on 90/90 XC bike, you can learn to.

  57. #57
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    Muni, yup, ten years worth, 20Ē to 36Ē. Love them big wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by HacksawReynolds View Post
    Mountain uni?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Muni, yup, ten years worth, 20Ē to 36Ē. Love them big wheels.
    Damn dood that sh1ts hardcore for real. I ride with a guy that also rides those off-road.

    Mucho respect Nurse Ben.🙌

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I get what you're saying by all the terms. A lot of the XC trails by me are getting pretty boring as I'm getting more into technical and AM riding. But XC trails make up about 90% of the trails. So I'd like a bike that is well suited to fly through those, but can get "rowdy" (go fast on rocky, somewhat technical downhills).
    If you want to go fast on rocky somewhat technical down hills then maybe all you need a slacker XC bike. My 2018 Epic has 69.5 deg HA and does well on fast rocky somewhat technical downhills. I consider "some what technical" to be steep and rocky with drops that you tend roll of maybe 12-18" max. Rocks are just normal course of business here in Arizona. Not much in the way of roots. I did a run down a steep twist bit of trail with 3-4 18" drops that I rolled last evening on my Epic. I was slight faster than on my 130/125 Stanta Cruz 5010 which has a dropper post and 68 deg HA. I save my 5010 for trails like this.

    Waterfall section on National on South Mtn

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Right.
    Santa Cruz V10?
    Perfect XC race bike since, you know, its not about the bike.

  61. #61
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    It's amazing how butt hurt people get when they read advice that doesn't align perfect with their views on what a bike CAN do.

    You can get a long travel bike, and just HTFU with the weight and pedaling and have a bike that is a ton of fun (my E29):
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1446683718

    Or you can get a VERY capable short travel bike and just develop your skills (Epic FS demo):
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1484171194

    Or get something that is in between (130mm 650b):
    https://www.strava.com/activities/738720127

    And I'll just refrain from sharing my opinion when people make a public request for experience.

  62. #62
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    I don't believe OP asked if an XC bike can be used for technical riding. He asked for "any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s. "

    There's too many people itching to tell everyone about how little travel they need, how steep their bike is or whatever at every opportunity. It's like thread cancer anytime some poor soul asks for actual advice.

    OP, your time would be better spent by never visiting this thread again, looking at a bunch or mfg's sites for bikes that meet your requirements and then going to demo what you can.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I don't believe OP asked if an XC bike can be used for technical riding. He asked for "any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s. "

    There's too many people itching to tell everyone about how little travel they need, how steep their bike is or whatever at every opportunity. It's like thread cancer anytime some poor soul asks for actual advice.

    OP, your time would be better spent by never visiting this thread again, looking at a bunch or mfg's sites for bikes that meet your requirements and then going to demo what you can.
    Out of curiosity:

    Why aren't you bagging on the guys that suggested 140mm bikes as well?
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Out of curiosity:

    Why aren't you bagging on the guys that suggested 140mm bikes as well?
    I don't care about actual bike suggestions, although it would be nice if they matched OP's requirements.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I don't care about actual bike suggestions, although it would be nice if they matched OP's requirements.
    The OP wants to ride certain trails. He "THINKS" he needs a certain bike spec to do it based on marketing hype, but still wants nimble bike. The truth is you don't always need a big heavy bike to get the job done. The latest crop of XC FS bikes are actually very good downhill. Much better than the marketing types pushing longer travel bikes really want to you to believe.
    Joe
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    I don't care about actual bike suggestions, although it would be nice if they matched OP's requirements.
    Well, there are XC bikes that match his requirements. And some of the other bikes most certainly do not.


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  67. #67
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    Thank god the internet experts are here to straighten the OP out from what he THINKS he needs. I mean, you guys certainly know better than him.

    Before all the d!ck-swinging, there were several good suggestions made. Iím sure heíll find the appropriate bicycle. Now, back to the expert analysis.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  68. #68
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    Did you say full suspension?
    Cuz if not a Nimble 9 fits the bill.
    Quote Originally Posted by pvd
    Time to stop believing the hype and start doing some science.
    29er Tire Weight Database

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    The OP wants to ride certain trails. He "THINKS" he needs a certain bike spec to do it based on marketing hype, but still wants nimble bike. The truth is you don't always need a big heavy bike to get the job done. The latest crop of XC FS bikes are actually very good downhill. Much better than the marketing types pushing longer travel bikes really want to you to believe.
    OP said...
    "any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s. "

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    OP said...
    And there are XC bikes that suit his requirements. What JoePAz said is not incorrect. Not sure why this is a hard concept to grasp.
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  71. #71
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    Despite the blather (some of it is mine) this thread is great for building out your demo dance card. You have a nice list. Pick some headliners and go demo them.

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    Sniper
    /Thread
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Sniper
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    That would be my pick, too.


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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    And there are XC bikes that suit his requirements. What JoePAz said is not incorrect. Not sure why this is a hard concept to grasp.
    Because you think I'm saying he shouldn't get an XC and totally missing the point.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Thank god the internet experts are here to straighten the OP out from what he THINKS he needs. I mean, you guys certainly know better than him.

    Before all the d!ck-swinging, there were several good suggestions made. Iím sure heíll find the appropriate bicycle. Now, back to the expert analysis.
    Definitely.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    The OP wants to ride certain trails. He "THINKS" he needs a certain bike spec to do it based on marketing hype, but still wants nimble bike. The truth is you don't always need a big heavy bike to get the job done. The latest crop of XC FS bikes are actually very good downhill. Much better than the marketing types pushing longer travel bikes really want to you to believe.
    I don't THINK I need. I KNOW I want. Big difference. This is from owning a bunch of bikes with different geometries and knowing the trails that I enjoy riding the most.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Out of curiosity:

    Why aren't you bagging on the guys that suggested 140mm bikes as well?
    Perhaps because they're not saying stuff like "you don't need a sub-24lb bike to ride up hills" and "forget the marketing bs, I ride a long-travel bike and still climb fast"?

    One thing people seem to be missing is the OP wants a 2.4 tyre on wide rims. If he's talking an actual 2.4 (not a Maxxis 2.4) that rules out a fairly large number of XC bikes doesn't it?

    Also "get rowdy" needs to be better defined, it's about as meaningless as LeDuke's favourite term "capable". Yes the new wave of XC bikes like the SB100 and Blur are going to be more "capable" and able to "get rowdier" than XC bikes of old, but are they as "capable" of "getting rowdy" as something like a Transition Smuggler or Knolly Fugitive running 140/120mm travel? Of course not. Horses for courses....

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryguy79 View Post
    Perfect XC race bike since, you know, its not about the bike.
    Silly silly silly, a V10 is not a bike. It's a dirt bike with the engine missing lol.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Sniper
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    Within the OP guide lines...this is the perfect match.
    IMHO the WNC doesn't favor the longer bikes. The Appalatians have a lot of trees to work around. And some slow tech that a shorter wheel base is better for.

  80. #80
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    2018 Rocky Mountain Element. 120mm Fox34 and adjustable geo.

  81. #81
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    A Knolly Fugitive possibly , just thinking of a bike for myself that's kind of what your looking at maybe ! My old sultan has held up well but needs a replacement ! Also , I ride a Chromag surface hard tail which is nice too !

  82. #82
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    OP, have you looked at the Transition Vanquish? You did not specify full suspension, this is a hardtail. But I believe it checks your boxes in your first post. A friend has one and he prefers it over all his other full sus bikes (mostly Treks) for rowdy xc.

    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Vanquish.cfm
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattMay View Post
    OP, have you looked at the Transition Vanquish? You did not specify full suspension, this is a hardtail. But I believe it checks your boxes in your first post. A friend has one and he prefers it over all his other full sus bikes (mostly Treks) for rowdy xc.

    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Vanquish.cfm
    I would prefer a FS but that looks like a fun bike

  84. #84
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    I am in North GA and occasionally ride in WNC. I currently own a GG Trail Pistol and think it would work great for the riding that you describe. I was a little worried about the longer wheelbase on the TP vs. some of my previous bikes (Riot, Ripley LS) but it has been a non-factor. The Trail Pistol handles better than most (maybe all) bikes I have owned. It is also a great climber which is important for the constant up/down on most of the trails I ride regularly.

    FWIW, I also have a GG Pedalhead set up with 29x2.6 tires that is a ton of fun and would probably also fit your needs if you decided you could live without FS. I doubt I would want to ride a hard tail in Pisgah but I would take it to DuPont in a heartbeat.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmb View Post
    2018 Rocky Mountain Element. 120mm Fox34 and adjustable geo.
    I typically put down 80-100 miles a week between Sedona, Prescott, and BCT on my Element 70. It has been holding up really well and I have not had issues with chunk or drops (I don't try to hit much over 3' with the short travel). Only carnage so far has been a broken spoke and chips from kicked up rocks.

    That being said, its not going to give you the confidence of an enduro bike hitting the chutes on hi-line, but 99% is rideable.


    Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy-rme.jpg

    Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy-648654.jpg

  86. #86
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    Since I have owned several of the suggested bikes, here is how I would rank them. Just my two cents and a disclaimer that all of these are great bikes. It really is hard to go wrong these days.

    1. Trail Pistol
    2. Banshee Prime
    3. Banshee Phantom / Ibis Ripley
    4. Canfield Riot

    Trail Pistol is awesome. See previous post.

    I believe the Prime geometry has changed a little since I owned mine so my experience may not be 100% accurate to the latest model.

    Phantom and Ripley were pretty similar IMO. Ripley was lighter, but the Phantom was more versatile with the flip chips to change geo and the ability to run larger tires (I even ran my Phantom with 29 x 3.0 tires for a bit).

    The Riot was a blast going down but not as fun going up. For whatever reason I liked my Riot but never loved it. I think the super steep seat angle with a shortish top tube was not the best combination. The super short CS were nice at times but I honestly haven't missed them since I sold the Riot.

    One question for all the people suggesting a Riot -- can you even buy a new one these days? I was under the impression that Canfield was out of stock on Riot/Toir frames and everyone was waiting for a new carbon version with an unannounced release date.

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    Iím a bit surprised that no one has suggested the Pivot 429 trail. It descends well and pedals even better. 130/116mm of travel front and rear with a 67.5 degree head angle. Itís worth a test ride.

  88. #88
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    Think the OP wanted max 120mm front.
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    The wheels and frame clearance really is the deciding factor. You can take most XC 100mm travel FS bike, with a decent 68-69 degree HTA and put a 120mm fork. Then get a nice wheel set with i30mm rims with decent 2.35-2.6" tires and your have a rowdy bike that inspires confidence. The take those narrow 29er wheels you replaced and use them on your disc road bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    I'm looking as well. The 2018 Ibis Ripley looks good on paper, at least, with the ability to run 2.6" tires, so there's plenty of room.
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    LOL, Yes, Maxxis tire 2.4 is like a 2.25 Schwalbe. I was thinking of getting some Maxxis 2.1 Crossmark's and using on my gravel bike. It's about the same size as 700x45cc tire.

    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    One thing people seem to be missing is the OP wants a 2.4 tyre on wide rims. If he's talking an actual 2.4 (not a Maxxis 2.4) that rules out a fairly large number of XC bikes doesn't it?
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    Evil Following...
    So so so true...this is a super fun, punky, nimble, short travel that definitely does not feel like a 120 at all. So f'n fun! and the MB wa a nice upgrade from the Ver1 making is super Rowdy Short Travel. I mean check out the shock options, unreels!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AOK View Post
    Since I have owned several of the suggested bikes, here is how I would rank them. Just my two cents and a disclaimer that all of these are great bikes. It really is hard to go wrong these days.

    1. Trail Pistol
    2. Banshee Prime
    3. Banshee Phantom / Ibis Ripley
    4. Canfield Riot

    Trail Pistol is awesome. See previous post.

    I believe the Prime geometry has changed a little since I owned mine so my experience may not be 100% accurate to the latest model.

    Phantom and Ripley were pretty similar IMO. Ripley was lighter, but the Phantom was more versatile with the flip chips to change geo and the ability to run larger tires (I even ran my Phantom with 29 x 3.0 tires for a bit).

    The Riot was a blast going down but not as fun going up. For whatever reason I liked my Riot but never loved it. I think the super steep seat angle with a shortish top tube was not the best combination. The super short CS were nice at times but I honestly haven't missed them since I sold the Riot.

    One question for all the people suggesting a Riot -- can you even buy a new one these days? I was under the impression that Canfield was out of stock on Riot/Toir frames and everyone was waiting for a new carbon version with an unannounced release date.
    They can still be bought, you brought up a good point. IMHO Canfield bikes seam better suited for shorter to average rider. And GG bikes seam better suited for average to taller Riders.
    If you are over 5'10" chainstay at 17" shouldn't be a problem under it's more of a choice. I ride mine with the seat slammed back and 45mm stem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    They can still be bought, you brought up a good point. IMHO Canfield bikes seam better suited for shorter to average rider. And GG bikes seam better suited for average to taller Riders.
    If you are over 5'10" chainstay at 17" shouldn't be a problem under it's more of a choice. I ride mine with the seat slammed back and 45mm stem.
    I'm short at 5'6" and went from a '16 size small Riot to a '17 size medium because I too feel like they fit just a bit weird. Love the bike but I could never get totally comfortable on the small. Not enough time on the medium to say that it has solved that unease.

    But honestly, I see this everywhere, shouldn't we all question how the heck does a measurement from the bottom of our feet to the top of our heads has anything to do with how we fit on a bike?

    I had a discussion about this with a couple of friends at a bike club fund raiser over this winter. Of the three of us, I'm the shortest in height. Others are 5'8" and 5'10". But when we all extend our hands straight up in the air, my finger tips are higher than both of theirs. My arms are just longer. We all currently ride size medium bikes.

    I guess I'm saying that I wish fit wasn't be generalized by height. IMO, hip height, shoulder height and arm length play a much bigger role than we give them credit for.

    To the OP. I also love the Riot (bought two) and should definitely be a consideration for you.
    2017 Canfield Riot

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    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails by me are tight twisty XC trails with rolling hills. So I'd like a bike that is "nimble" and pedals well, especially out of the saddle. But there's some more technical stuff with tough climbs, jump lines, plenty of rocks, some fun short downhill runs all of which I tend to prefer. It seems like the trend is for bikes to get bigger in terms of travel, but any recommendations for short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s.
    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    Most of the trails in North Carolina. I would like to take more trips to the mountains (Pisgah and some of the bike parks) but not sure I'll have the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I get what you're saying by all the terms. A lot of the XC trails by me are getting pretty boring as I'm getting more into technical and AM riding. But XC trails make up about 90% of the trails. So I'd like a bike that is well suited to fly through those, but can get "rowdy" (go fast on rocky, somewhat technical downhills).
    Quote Originally Posted by bank5 View Post
    I have an AIR 9 RDO that has about a 72 deg head angle. Not the best for steep, rocky descents.
    Going back to the original post.

    "Most of my trails are tight twist XC trails" - To me this sounds like you need an XC bike.

    "Like bike that is nimble and pedals well out of the saddle" - To me this sounds like you need and XC bike.

    "But ... more technical stuff with tough climbs, jump lines, rocks.." - Ok this a little different, but depending how rocky and how tough modern XC bikes can do this better than XC bikes of a few years ago.

    "It seems like the trend is for bikes to get bigger in terms of travel.." - This where I am seeing the idea of following trends and marketing.

    "short travel (120mm or less) 29er with progressive geometry - 68 or slacker HTA, short chainstay and wheelbase, can fit wide rims with 2.4s." - There are "XC" bikes that fit this. And 2.4's... It is pretty easy to get 2.4 or even 2.6 on the front. Rears get more of a challenge, but even most XC bikes can fit at least 2.3 and some 2.4. Do you need 2.4 on the back? Maybe may be not. Why do you think you need 2.4s? I run 2.6 on 35mm internal wheels on my Santa Cruz 5010 because I want bigger tires for better roll over. I bought the bike used and the 27.5 lacked the roll over of 29. Too late to swap out for 29" wheels so I have tried 2.6. Seems to work pretty good for what I want from the bike. My 29er XC bikes run 2.2 rear and 2.35 front over rocky terrain, tough climbs and I feel they are fine. Love 2.35 front and don't really want the weight of the 2.4 in the back. The XR3 I run in the back is 2.2 and the 2.4 is really seems bigger than want I need. Even so I believe the 2.4 will fit in the back of my 2018 Epic if I want to do it.

    So going back again to the idea of what you want vs what you think you want. If you have not tested one the latest crop of 100mm rear travel XC bikes you might be surprised what they can do. It sure seems like they are worth a demo ride especially if 75% of the riding you will do is twisty XC trails and 25% is "rowdy" and you want to do it on one bike. I have a feeling that most of the bikes listed here can "get rowdy" but maybe a bit of dog on what you ride most of the time.

    Then again maybe I am wrong. One big reason I have 3 bikes is some bikes are no fun on certain terrain where as others are a blast. However If I had to have just one bike my 2018 Epic FS would in fact do all of what I want pretty well although I might install a dropper post for select rides just for more margin.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  95. #95
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    I'll put in a 2nd vote for the Turner Czar.

    Climbing: In general, I believe DW-Link bikes to be some of the best (if not the best) full-suspension bikes when it comes to climbing.

    HTA: 68.2 degree HTA with 525 A2C fork (not quite as slack as you want, but close)

    Short Wheelbase: My XL Czar has a 44.75" wheelbase. If I were to buy a Yeti SB100, it would be a Large, and that has a 46.4" wheelbase. The Large Intense Sniper has a 46.4" wheelbase.

    Chainstay Length: The Czar, at 17.4", is longer than the SB100 at 17.2" and Sniper at 17.3". So while not the shortest of the three, I'll go out on a limb and call it "comparable".

    2.4" Tires: As mentioned by others, will be heavily manufacturer dependent, so I can't really comment on that.

  96. #96
    2 minutes turkish
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    I just picked up a Cannondale Scalpel SE. 115mm of travel keeps be fast but lets me play.

    Quick look at it


  97. #97
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    Iíve gone from a Yeti ASR-C which was good, to an Ibis Ripley LS Gen 3, which is great. Could be right up your alley.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by vazzwells View Post
    Iíve gone from a Yeti ASR-C which was good, to an Ibis Ripley LS Gen 3, which is great. Could be right up your alley.
    If only the reach was a little bigger on the Ripley's I could not feel comfortable on it. So I chose my Spot Mayhem. To me it climbs and descends better than the Ripley ls

    Attachment 1194590
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Short travel 29ers that can get rowdy-screenshot-2-.jpg  

    2018 Canyon Spectral
    2016 Ibis Ripley OG
    2016 Salsa Bucksaw

  99. #99
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    The Scalpel Se looks like the perfectly described bike to me

    Scalpel SE
    115mm rear
    120mm front fox 34
    68.5 head angle
    29er with 26mm inner rims and ardent 2.4 tires
    Eagle

    Pivot 429sl also comes to mind then 429 trail and a Ibis Ripley LS. Each one a little beefier than the last

    All a little beefier than your nomal xc. These 4 bikes would be perfect for pisgah like trails

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupps5 View Post
    Pivot 429sl also comes to mind then 429 trail
    These two are reportedly getting a revamp in the relatively near future.

    Interesting times. As an at least semi-retired racer who gets a little bored on bigger, squishier bikes sometimes, I'm in the market for a 100 or 110 x 120 bike, so my timing may be perfect for having several choices.

    I'm really hoping Trek does something between the Top Fuel and Fuel EX. My younger friend and team mate raced one last season, and I found it to be an absolute rocket, held back only by the Stepcast 100 fork.
    Whining is not a strategy.

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