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  1. #1
    Gravity Guy
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    New question here. Help! My AM bike decision dillemma...

    Disclaimer- I'm not trying to buy a bike based on a single forum post, and this is not a "what's the best bike" thread. I'm just trying to get some different opinions on the bikes that I've been looking at.

    That said, I am a 150lb 5'9" rider looking for a new bike to fill the void between my built hardtail and my downhill rig. I am not new to biking and I am looking to get a quality bike that will last. My background is in gravity- I race downhill but I would love to start riding trails more (up and down) so I am looking for an aggressive AM bike. Therefore, I'd like it to be a bit on the slack/low side. I will be riding this bike all over the country and BC next year.

    Budget around $3000 complete but willing to go higher if it is worth it.

    Here are some options I've been looking at. I can get some pretty good deals at the LBS so my quoted prices may be lower than the going rate.

    - 2008 Trek Remedy 8 - This bike looks fun, it's got an XT component group but the suspension isn't top notch and I'm worried about the Lyrik 2-step given what I've heard about its reliability. $2800

    - 2008 Specialized Enduro SL Expert - I didn't feel quite as comfortable pedaling around on it outside the shop, felt a bit high for me. But I've heard good things. Should I be concerned about the proprietary suspension? $3000

    - 2008 Rocky Mountain SXC 70 - This bike would come with Fox 36 Talas II R/ DHX Air 4.0 and SRAM X9 stuff. I've heard good things about the frame and it seems pretty capable. Good price also- $2600

    - 2009 Intense Tracer VP - This looks like a sweet rig, 5.5/6" adjustable travel and relatively light. Handmade in USA and looks like it can handle a lot. But, it's newer and pretty much untested. Also, the most expensive in the group. With an XT/Fox build, probably around $3800.

    Any advice? I am willing to consider other options but these are the rides that I can get a good deal on locally. Thanks
    BMX: '00 S&M DBC
    Hardtail: '04 Norco Sasquatch
    DH: '05 Giant Faith
    Road: '01 Giant TCR2
    Trail: '08 Rocky Mtn Slayer 70

  2. #2
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    From your list I really like the RM SXC.

    Also the new Versus Valor looks sick.

  3. #3
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    The new Nomad would be worth checking out. I have a new BLT2 frame waiting to be built, but I'm seriously thinking about trading it in and building a Nomad myself. It can be built to 32-33 lbs with coil suspension (Fox Vanilla and DHX 5), or under 30lbs with air units. It will definately stretch your budget, but may be worth it... As far as the bikes on your list are concerned, I haven't rode any of them, so can't help you much there.

  4. #4
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    check the Nomad out for sure, but out of those you posted i'd probably go for the Intense (If money wasn't an issue...)

    Cheers, Luigi.

  5. #5
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    I tried a few before settling on an Ibis Mojo

    light and very strong..

  6. #6
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    Go with the Tracer! In my opinion it's in a different league than the other bikes on your list. I was very close to getting it before i got my knolly delirium t. Just look at what people are saying about it. Its totally sick.

  7. #7
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    IMO, $3k buys a LOT of botique bikes - you can get a Turner (sale priced), Intense, Ibis, SC (botique? more so than trek)...I would stay away from the big brands if you are dropping that much coin! Then you don't make component compromises, etc.

    Call up Chad at red barn or Larry at mt high and see what they say.

  8. #8
    KEEP ROLLING
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    another vote for the nomad xlr8rbmx. Go with a float 36 and dhx coil thruvativ stylo SRAM X9 some spank rims and away you go. . .

    i had the enduro sl and i got rid of it and got the nomad and i am a very happy man. The frame is to thin on the SL i tore it open on a small fall. the length if the bike is more suited to XC because your body leans over the top tube unlike the nomads more upright seating position, the E150 shock on the SL is nice though but never used the travel adjust.

    also take a look at the heckler, my friend has one and i ride it all the time and love it. Its a very capable bike and beautiful design. santa cruz have great customer service as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by xlr8rbmx

    - 2008 Trek Remedy 8 - This bike looks fun, it's got an XT component group but the suspension isn't top notch and I'm worried about the Lyrik 2-step given what I've heard about its reliability. $2800
    Can please you explain why do you think the Remedy's suspension isn't top notch? Have you ridden it?

  10. #10
    Seeeriously easy Livin
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    My vote you would go trek as well, remedy's are super nice, I just wish it didn't come with all that bontrager crap on it, oh well specialized is even worse, house brand suspension
    It sound's to me that you really want a fox 36 on your new bike, so keep in mind that the trek has a tapered steer tube, and it would probably be pretty tough to sell that lyrik (even though it is a super nice fork). But don't buy the rocky mountain just for the fork if tou like the trek better.

  11. #11
    Gravity Guy
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    Thanks for the responses so far guys.

    I guess my biggest concerns with the Remedy are being limited by the E2 head tube and also the Bontrager parts (esp. the wheels).

    The new Nomad looks sweet for sure, but is it better than the Tracer? The Nomad has slightly more travel, but it also weighs more. They both use VPP. And I could get the Tracer at about the same cost. I know this is an impossible question to answer without actually riding them, I'm going to try to get my hands on them for a demo ride. I have ridden other SC's and Intenses so I don't have a problem going with either company, they are both good.

    The Ibis is beautiful and I've heard great things but I feel it is more on the XC spectrum of all-mountain. Am I wrong?


    Thanks, keep it coming.
    BMX: '00 S&M DBC
    Hardtail: '04 Norco Sasquatch
    DH: '05 Giant Faith
    Road: '01 Giant TCR2
    Trail: '08 Rocky Mtn Slayer 70

  12. #12
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    As far as the Nomad and Tracer go, which ever one feels better is the one to buy. The Nomad is a bit heavier, but are you honestly going to notice 1/2lb of frame weight?? I know I sure wouldn't.
    I actually ride a Mojo SL, and absolutely love it! I've taken it to Winter Park and Moab without any issues at all. I know there are a few guys in the Ibis forum who have them built as "heavy" AM bikes with Fox 36's and coils, beat on em all day, and have had no problems. However, with all that being said, I'm actually looking at buying a new Nomad, or waiting for the DW RFX's to come out, to build myself a heavier duty bike with coils at both ends. Do I need to do it? Probably not, as I know the Ibis can take a lot of abuse. But when it comes right down to it, I'll feel a little more confident on a Nomad (or similar) when the going gets really rough, and sometimes, that's all that matters.

  13. #13
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    I came up against the "aggressive AM" question a year ago and ended up with a Chumba Evo/36 Talas combination. Not the lightest, but not terribly heavy either, I can ride it one day on steep technical stuff and go on an all day ride the next with no complaints at all. Worth a look.

  14. #14
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    chumba evo

    i am looking into buikding up an evo but i have one question. I got to demo one but i felt like i was too far behind the pedals. I did not get a chance to adjust the saddle or stem but was wondering if your set up had this problem since it robbed me of some climbing power.

  15. #15
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    I have the older Evo with the very slack seat tube. The first time I rode it I felt way too far back and had trouble keeping the nose down while climbing. I moved some things around and by the third ride I didn't notice it. It just takes minor adjustments to your posture and setup. Now I climb very steep stuff routinely (where I live you can't go down without going up) and have no issues with it at all. I would strongly advise an adjustable travel fork; I tend to wind the Talas all the way down for steep climbs.

    What really surprised me was the results I got on long rides. I used to have a 27 lb 4" travel XC bike and a 34 lb 6" travel AM bike, the Evo replaced both. I was expecting the heavier slacker bike to be a real drag on long rides. In practice I found that on my benchmark long ride (85 km of 3rd world mountain roads ranging from rough to stupidly rough) I finished the ride in the same time, used the same gear ratios, and was no more tired than I was on the old Truth. I think that the plushness on the long rough downhills compensates for the weight difference at the end of the day. Or maybe I just got stronger? Anyway, I love the bike and would recommend it to anyone. XCL is a nice thing too, don't let the 5" fool you, it's a very tough and fully huckable machine.

  16. #16
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    The Nomad and Tracer are nice except you'll be blowing your budget out of the water. Also VPP tends to require more maintenance and cleaning, so depends on your local trails and your desire to clean out the rear linkage. If you buy form your LBS you'll also probably get free servicing for a year or two and they will also deal with the manufacturers for you if there are any problems.

    Of the bikes in the OP I would go with the Rocky - at least that's what I did. It's also handmade in Canada and rides excellent. It climbs and decends well (with the right tire of course) for a 6x6 rig. I was riding up single track that I had to walk up on my HT before. Of course like others I would recommend my own rig to anyone.

    Good luck with it and post pics of your decision.

  17. #17
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    For a $3000 budget I have to second the Turner deals that are going on. I use my 5 Spot for exactly what you described. I ride DH too and have taken it to Whistler and it handled it OK. For a 5" bike they are probably one of the best options out there. Frames are selling for $1300 or so new at the moment, giving you plenty left over to build up a nice ride.

  18. #18
    wyrd bi ful rd
    Reputation: chinaman's Avatar
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    ever consider a nicolai AM ...

    20080810 AM frame MTBR FORUM 600#450.jpg
    http://www.nicolai.net/pdf/helius-am.pdf

    with a 4 bar linkage ... you dont really need a lock out for the rear shocks during climbs ...

    have a look at a Ventana as well ...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinaman
    ever consider a nicolai AM ...

    20080810 AM frame MTBR FORUM 600#450.jpg
    http://www.nicolai.net/pdf/helius-am.pdf

    with a 4 bar linkage ... you dont really need a lock out for the rear shocks during climbs ...

    have a look at a Ventana as well ...
    What is the major engineering difference in the nicolai frame and this harvey cycle frame?

    http://harveycycles.com/Images/LaurelLg.jpg

    All I can tell are some surface joint reinforcements, and where the center tube meets the seat post.

    T

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dayuhan
    I came up against the "aggressive AM" question a year ago and ended up with a Chumba Evo/36 Talas combination. Not the lightest, but not terribly heavy either, I can ride it one day on steep technical stuff and go on an all day ride the next with no complaints at all. Worth a look.

    I have been looking at the EVO for a winter build project. I really dig the way that bike looks and I have read nothing but great things. The weight is a bit of an issue for me, considering I would run a DHX5 coil in the rear. The high straight TT also troubles me. It just seems like a bad thing for an aggresive AM bike.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_US_E30
    What is the major engineering difference in the nicolai frame and this harvey cycle frame?

    http://harveycycles.com/Images/LaurelLg.jpg

    All I can tell are some surface joint reinforcements, and where the center tube meets the seat post.

    T
    The Nicolai is a true horst link frame with pivots at the chainstay, not on the seatstay.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Mailloux
    I have been looking at the EVO for a winter build project. I really dig the way that bike looks and I have read nothing but great things. The weight is a bit of an issue for me, considering I would run a DHX5 coil in the rear. The high straight TT also troubles me. It just seems like a bad thing for an aggresive AM bike.
    I'm in the same boat as you, that I'm looking for a bike that can take some lift-assisted riding, as well as a heavier bike for Moab and such. The Evo would fit the bill perfectly, other than the high standover. I know it doesn't matter when you're actually riding, but unfortunately my skills aren't expert level, and I occasionally end up on the TT. With a short inseam, that is a major hit against the Evo in my book.

  23. #23
    Gravity Guy
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    New Bike!!

    Well, thanks for all the input guys.

    I couldn't decide on just one, so I bought a brand new Slayer and Remedy:

    trek_and_slayer.jpg







    Haha, okay not quite. I bought the Rocky Mountain Slayer SXC 70 and my buddy picked up a Remedy.

    I demoed the Slayer this past weekend and I loved it. It just shredded my local trail up and down. I couldn't justify paying $1000+ more for a different bike when this one felt so capable.

    Sorry no riding pics yet, just got oral surgery today. But those will be on the way.

    slayer.jpg


    slayer_close.jpg
    BMX: '00 S&M DBC
    Hardtail: '04 Norco Sasquatch
    DH: '05 Giant Faith
    Road: '01 Giant TCR2
    Trail: '08 Rocky Mtn Slayer 70

  24. #24
    Pin it to win it
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    Oooooooh that is a sweet looking ride. Rocky Mountain's are sweet. I've never ridden that one but I've spent some time on the Element as well as the Flatline and I have to say I was quite impressed with both.

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