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  1. #1
    Don't ride a Trek anymore
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    5.5 inches or 6.5 inches?

    Alright so here's my dilemma. I currently have a Cannondale Rize 3 with a fairly aggressive setup (Stans Flow wheels, dropper post, 185mm front rotor), and would like to sell it and get something a bit more burly. It's stood up to everything I've thrown at it so far, but despite that I'm not 100% confident when the trails become lift fed. This will be an issue next fall, when I take a stab at racing downhill. I want a bike that is focused on regular trail riding (think Hall Ranch for those of you who know it). So it needs to pedal well, but It also needs to be burly and slack enough to hit some of the more gnarly, lift-fed stuff. I originally was looking at bikes in the Santa Cruz Nomad range of things, but then my friend let me know that he has the hook up with Specialized and would be willing to help me out. After checking out the Specialized site, the Stumpjumper FSR EVO caught my eye. It seems like a bit of a middle ground between the Nomad and the Rize.. Slacker and more burly than the Rize but lighter and more pedal-able than the Nomad. And it looks like I could maybe even race some XC as well with it, which I'm not sure I would be able to do on the Nomad. I'm also looking at a few others, such as the Yeti 575, Blur LT, Turner 5 spot, Intense 6.6, Pivot Firebird, etc, but I feel like the dilemma still holds for these options: 5.5" or 6.5"? One other thing to consider is that I do have my older hardtail which will either get sold (would be making around $500 on it if I decide to sell) or kept depending on finances for this new bike. If I keep it, it would be a decent option for XC racing. Not sure I could necessarily afford to keep it if I buy a new bike though.

    For a little background on me, I've been riding probably about 4 years now. I'm 150 pounds, so not terribly heavy, and tend to be a little light footed on a bike, although I do ride fairly aggressively. I NEED this bike to stand up to the lift fed stuff, and I would LIKE it to be at least rideable for a little XC racing.

    So, knowing this, which bike do you guys think is right for me? The 5.5" beefed up trail/XC bike or the dedicated 6.5" AM bike? And are there any other bikes I should be looking at?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If you've got a Specialized hook up then get an Enduro!
    Awesome bike, I have a 2011 Comp. Like it better than my old Stumpjumper.

  3. #3
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    imo focus more on geo than travel. i ride a 6'' fs but it has a 68.5* ha. so really its a big trail bike, but for my purposes it works. for you it sounds like you want to be more on the "am" side of things, slacker ha, maybe 66-67. as far as travel it really depends, some 5.5 bikes will feel like pigs and some 6.5 bikes will feel quick.

  4. #4
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    Santa Cruz Blur LT? It's a bit of a sleeper. It looks, and rides like a lightweight trail bike. But deep down, in capable hands, it can really handle some nasty stuff. I think a Fox 36 or Lyrik on the front would help as well. I'm not sure how much downhilling you are planning on... the Blur is definitely more on the XC/Trail side of the spectrum. But if you are serious about XC racing and DH? It's a tough call.

    Just an FYI, it wasn't a deal breaker for me, but if you plan on ANY kind of chainguide (double or single) you will have to get creative. Nothing fits perfect on the Blur. I have an E.13 SRS+ and it's not bad. I've also heard of people mounting the MRP G2 with okay results.

  5. #5
    Don't ride a Trek anymore
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    Yeah, that's why the Evo intrigued me. I guess what I'm still concerned about would be the durability of a 5.5" travel bike, even if the geo is right. I'd probably go with a 5.5" travel bike if I knew it could handle the abuse, but it seems that most bikes in that range arent built to handle as much as the 6"+ crowd

  6. #6
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    I say don't go by travel. Some bikes don't have that much travel but can do fairly well, like Banshee's Spitfire. I have a Knolly Endorphin, and even if it has 'only' 140mm rear travel, it's pretty good so far, and climbs pretty good.

    I thought that the Stump EVO has the same Geo as the standard but with only some changes in components, but I might be very wrong on this.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, they slackened it out, upped te rear travel by 5mm and the fork travel by 10mm, as well as giving it a chain guide, stronger wheels, dropper post, etc

  8. #8
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    You should consider keeping the trail bike and getting a real DH bike if you want to race DH...

  9. #9
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    Fan of the enduro, with the adjustable rear travel it really makes it seem like a do it all bike.

  10. #10
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    I would vote for a 2011 5 Spot with a 160mm fork or the Mojo HD which has the 67 HA and pedals really well and is light.

  11. #11
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    2011 Enduro Comp. Love mine! climbs great! Waiting for all this snow to melt so I can go to Snow Basin and check it out on the downhills.
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    Ibis Ripley.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfox90
    Fan of the enduro, with the adjustable rear travel it really makes it seem like a do it all bike.
    The new (2010+) aren't adjustable.

  13. #13
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    you wont find a bike that can do XC and DH. thats like trying do buy a dragster that you can take four wheeling

    get a bike that will do nicely on what you plan to ride the most

    that being said, Bike mag said the Enduro climbed like a Trail bike yet descended like a Freeride bike. they did a bunch of reviews in one of their issues and the Enduro and the Nomad were probably their favorite two AM bikes
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  14. #14
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    I've only done a parking lot test of the Enduro and right away I could tell the front end was slack. Too slack for me as an all mountain bike but I am used to steeper head angles. It just felt like it wanted to flop side to side. Not something I like but good for DH.

    I do ride a Nomad Carbon right now and it's been great! I've ridden it at Whistler and it was very capable. Definitely not a Dh bike but I didn't feel like it held me back. It does have an air fork and shock so if I really wanted to make this more DH'able, I'd go with a coil suspension. Push Industries is also coming out with a rear link to make the inital stroke of the Nomad more supple.

    I like the Nomad but if i was on a tighter budget I'd get the Enduro. I don't think you can go wrong with either really. Guess I didn't help much.....

  15. #15
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    I see the spitfire was mentioned, so I think the spitfire's big brother the Banshee Rune needs to be thrown into the mix as well. At 150lb, you could throw a 180mm fork up front and you should be able to have a lot of fun on the rough n tough!

  16. #16
    Don't ride a Trek anymore
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc
    you wont find a bike that can do XC and DH. thats like trying do buy a dragster that you can take four wheeling
    I know I can't get one that will do both WELL, I'm just looking for a bike that can handle both. Something that is strong enough for the gnarly stuff but something I can also pedal up the hill. I kinda feel like that's what an "All Mountain" bike is supposed to be able to do. A bike that I CAN take out on a XC/Trail ride and then the next day take it over to Keystone or Winter Park for some lift-fed terrain.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek7000rider
    I know I can't get one that will do both WELL, I'm just looking for a bike that can handle both. Something that is strong enough for the gnarly stuff but something I can also pedal up the hill. I kinda feel like that's what an "All Mountain" bike is supposed to be able to do. A bike that I CAN take out on a XC/Trail ride and then the next day take it over to Keystone or Winter Park for some lift-fed terrain.
    If you set your goal on having just one bike that can serve both I'd say it's possible but not cheap. For example Mojo HD can be 140 or 160 all you need is a shock, shock adapter, either 2 forks or forks with travel adj, 2 sets of tires and maybe an CC angleset headset and you are all good.

    Mojo HD is a bit over 6lbs so you can easily built one 26lbs for racing and beef it up for park ride.

    b-kul is right about some 5.5 bike feel slower than 6.5" that can climb. My best climbing bike is a Maverick ML8 6.5" travel and can out climb any bikes in my fleet including HT if it's the same weight. I equipped it with Hammerschmidt and Magura Wotan so it also ready for park action too

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mimi1885
    If you set your goal on having just one bike that can serve both I'd say it's possible but not cheap. For example Mojo HD can be 140 or 160 all you need is a shock, shock adapter, either 2 forks or forks with travel adj, 2 sets of tires and maybe an CC angleset headset and you are all good.

    Mojo HD is a bit over 6lbs so you can easily built one 26lbs for racing and beef it up for park ride.

    b-kul is right about some 5.5 bike feel slower than 6.5" that can climb. My best climbing bike is a Maverick ML8 6.5" travel and can out climb any bikes in my fleet including HT if it's the same weight. I equipped it with Hammerschmidt and Magura Wotan so it also ready for park action too
    I mean, my Rize CAN do everything I ask of it. I've ridden it everywhere from gravel jogging paths to the Trestle trail at Winter Park. Its by no means ideal, especially not for the downhill side of things, but it works. I just want something a bit more burly to give me more confidence when things get rougher on the trail, but not so much that I cant get up the mountain before riding down. A "one-bike quiver". I guess the questions is whether I go with a tough 5.5" travel bike (Blur LT with the right spec, stumpjumper FSR EVO, Turner 5 spot) or step it up all the way to a 6.5" travel bike (Nomad, Enduro, etc)

  19. #19
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    Based on this sentence:
    "I NEED this bike to stand up to the lift fed stuff, and I would LIKE it to be at least rideable for a little XC racing."

    An Enduro would be damn near perfect, especially if you can get a deal on one. You're probably not going to win any XC races on it but you can still have fun racing, I race XC on my AM bike just for the good times and the challenge. An Enduro should easily hold up to lift-fed downhill for someone who's 150lbs. If you were 200lbs (like me) then maybe I'd tell you to sell the Rize, replace it with a hardtail or a short-travel XC racer and also get a freeride/play/park bike for the uplifts (like maybe a SX Trail or a Big Hit).

  20. #20
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    A riding buddy has the new SJ Evo. I've tooled around on it a bit, and it's not the SJ I knew from 2004. Slack front end and relaxed geo makes it feel bigger than it is. Not sure I'd go so far as to say it's a huckster or dedicated lift bike, but if your Rize 3 is capable now I think you should take a look at the SJ Evo, I was really surprised.

    I've never seen or ridden a Banshee bike, but I spend a lot time on their website drooling...seems the Rune might be a good choice as well.

    For the Pivot, I demoed a Firebird. What a solid machine. I've never been so inspired on the downs (I'm not a big hit guy) and it pedaled like a much lighter bike. I'm told it can build out to the 28lbs range...pretty nice for a 6.6" bike.

    I'm very interested in the new Turner DW 5 Spot. Geo really looks good. There's a review in the Yeti forum where a guy mentions that the weight of the Spot (heavy for a 5" bike) is a actually a big plus on the descents, yet it reportedly climbs well. Post back if you happen to demo, would like to hear your thoughts.

  21. #21
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    I prefer the 6.5" AM rig if you can't afford a stable - I ride the '10 gt Sanction 1 with a 67 HTA, the Talas 36/DHX 5 Air and a Hammerschmidt. It weighs in at 34 lbs., climbs reasonably well and is very capable in bombing the rocky descents which PA has a lot of.

  22. #22
    Perpetual Hack
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    Knolly Chilcotin

    michael

  23. #23
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    any decent 140-160mm bike with aggressive geo will fit your bill so the real question is which bike turns you on the most? for reference, I've hit 15'+ drops, 25'+ gaps and brutal xc climbs with long dh descents on this bike and I'm never going to win an xc or dh race on this bike but i'm sure i could race either event on it and have a great time. More importantly, I have a great time riding this bike, it weighs less than a full on DH/FR bike, has better geo than an XC bike and is a blast to ride. If i had the cash to spend I would get a carbon enduro and build it to <30lbs, that bike could do pretty much everything REALLY well. FWIW, my critical numbers were sub 66HA, sub 13.5BB and ~30lbs complete build, my pitch fit the bill. The funny thing is that after spending a lot of time on my HT i don't worry so much about the amount of travel on my AM rig, haha!



    Last edited by 2w4s; 04-19-2011 at 09:27 PM.
    nothing witty here...

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