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  1. #1
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    Stolen Bike Replacement - top AM options for $3800 please!

    Hey all,

    My AM bike was recently stolen and I expect an insurance payout of $3800. What options should I be considering for my next bike?

    I live in Northern California and ride primarily in Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe, with occasional trips afield to places like Moab and Oregon. I like technical, rocky AM with moderate jumps/drops, and climbing to the goods. I'm 5'7", 145 pounds.

    requirements:
    - 26" or maybe 27.5" (no experience with anything but 26")
    - under 30 pounds
    - efficient climber
    - great descender
    - I want this bike to last minimum 5 years

    I'm a bit out of the loop on the current AM offerings. From some quick research the following look like strong contenders:

    (1) Santa Cruz Bronson Carbon R ($3599)

    (2) Ibis Mojo HDR Special Blend ($3950)

    (3) Yeti SB-66 XT build 2013 ($3499)

    (4) Pivot Mach 5.7 SLX ($3649)

    Any others that should be on my short list?

    Also interested in your recommendations as between the above.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
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    Giant Trance SX is about $4k (the aluminium one). Not much bling factor but it ticks all your boxes.

    Kona Process 134 is around that price too depending which model you get. Not sure it ticks the "efficient climber" or "under 30 pounds" boxes but I've yet to find a negative review so you'd be mad not to consider it.

  3. #3
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    Take a look at the Norco Sight Carbon 7.2, $3500. I have about 100 miles on my new Sight, and I love it. I live on the Colorado front range, and trails here are similar to how your described your local trails.

  4. #4
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    I think you should look and the Norco Range carbon, it is in your budget and it is a great bike!!!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for all the great ideas so far - keep them coming!

    I've also just noticed the Turner Burner TR build for $3499, with Thomson cockpit upgrade free until July 11.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cvega View Post
    I think you should look and the Norco Range carbon, it is in your budget and it is a great bike!!!
    +1 vote for the Norco Range carbon. Amazing bike, should be perfect for you.

  7. #7
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    Stolen Bike Replacement - top AM options for $3800 please!

    I don't trust Santa Cruz carbon frames. Do a search for "disbonding issues" in the SC forum. Unfortunately I found that AFTER I bought a Blur LTC and now I'm waiting for it to break. I know they addressed the issues in the new bikes but I am pretty ruined in their quality control. It'll take a few generations for me to consider them again.

    Likewise, I have vast experience with DW suspension and if I ever get a chance at another $6,000 build I'm going with Pivot all the way.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten." - Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8
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    To be completely honest, every bike on your short list is a great choice. They should serve you well.

    That said, I would personally recommended the Mojo HDR. It's a fantastic frame, in either travel/wheel size configuration. The Special Blend kit is a solid value too, which gets you a top-end frame into your budget. Don't be afraid of the X-Fusion suspension, either. They make highly competitive products, and that specific fork (Sweep RL2) is actually fantastic - you'll be hard pressed telling it apart from a Pike when riding.

    One thing to know going into it is that Mojos have a shorter wheelbase than is currently popular. They are nimble and playful and responsive, but they don't have quite the sled sort of feel plowing downhill that some AM bikes have. Not saying that's good or bad necessarily, just a matter of taste.

  9. #9
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    other options..knolly chili/endorphin or banshee rune/spitfire. i prefer more active initial travel options over pedalling efficiency any day so dw anything is not on my list.

    get the one that gives ya the most amount of grip for your riding style.
    that's what it's all about. you can't ride to progress without it.

    i would agree on the xfusion options like the sweep. if anything it may sit up higher thru bumps initially, which you might prefer if you ride with more attack on hitting lips and kickers

  10. #10
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    Yeti SB66 Enduro
    2010 GT Avalanche Expert

  11. #11
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    Thanks so much for all the insight. I'm leaning toward the Yeti SB66 Shimano XT build from Competitive Cyclist which just dropped to $3299. I really like the parts spec - full XT group, Stans Flow wheelset - and the value seems unbeatable. I've demoed several Yeti bikes (575, ASR5) in the past and always been impressed. I know the SB66 frames had early issues with bearings but apparently those were addressed and the 2013 frames on offer here are sound according to the Competitive Cyclist rep I spoke to. The Mojo HDR is tempting as well, but the Special Blend component list strikes me as a big step down from the SB66 XT and I'm not convinced the former is worth the $650 premium at $3950. I have similar feelings about the Pivot 5.7 - which I've demoed in the past and admired - given the build spec offered at my price level. As a total package, the value-quality proposition on the SB66 strikes me as pretty compelling. If I had an extra $3k to spend on the high-end Ibis or Pivot builds things might be different, but that's just not the case.

    Any dissenters on the SB66?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRx7 View Post
    Thanks so much for all the insight. I'm leaning toward the Yeti SB66 Shimano XT build from Competitive Cyclist which just dropped to $3299. I really like the parts spec - full XT group, Stans Flow wheelset - and the value seems unbeatable. I've demoed several Yeti bikes (575, ASR5) in the past and always been impressed. I know the SB66 frames had early issues with bearings but apparently those were addressed and the 2013 frames on offer here are sound according to the Competitive Cyclist rep I spoke to. The Mojo HDR is tempting as well, but the Special Blend component list strikes me as a big step down from the SB66 XT and I'm not convinced the former is worth the $650 premium at $3950. I have similar feelings about the Pivot 5.7 - which I've demoed in the past and admired - given the build spec offered at my price level. As a total package, the value-quality proposition on the SB66 strikes me as pretty compelling. If I had an extra $3k to spend on the high-end Ibis or Pivot builds things might be different, but that's just not the case.

    Any dissenters on the SB66?
    I'm sure it's a great bike, but I think spending multiple thousands of dollars on a 26" wheeled bike is a mistake at this point.

    Edit: I would personally go with the Bronson or the HDR.

  13. #13
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    Stolen Bike Replacement - top AM options for $3800 please!

    Turner Burner for sure! You will NOT be disappointed with Turner's implementation of the DW Link

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    I'm sure it's a great bike, but I think spending multiple thousands of dollars on a 26" wheeled bike is a mistake at this point.

    Edit: I would personally go with the Bronson or the HDR.
    Hmmm... this is an interesting point that I hadn't considered very seriously. Just so I understand: the issue is basically one of standardization, such that in a few years, I might not (a) be able to find tires; (b) be able to buy another 26" frame should I want to transfer components like wheel set? Is that the gist of it?

    Or is it also that the 650B wheels are, apart from standards, such an improvement? They don't appeal to me in any strong way but of course I've never demoed such a bike. I think the only way I can demo anything on my shortlist without shelling out at a bike shop is to drive down to the Santa Cruz factory and demo a Bronson, might be a good idea.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRx7 View Post
    Hmmm... this is an interesting point that I hadn't considered very seriously. Just so I understand: the issue is basically one of standardization, such that in a few years, I might not (a) be able to find tires; (b) be able to buy another 26" frame should I want to transfer components like wheel set? Is that the gist of it?

    Or is it also that the 650B wheels are, apart from standards, such an improvement? They don't appeal to me in any strong way but of course I've never demoed such a bike. I think the only way I can demo anything on my shortlist without shelling out at a bike shop is to drive down to the Santa Cruz factory and demo a Bronson, might be a good idea.
    It's mainly the standardization issue. So things like resale value and the availability of a broad range of parts will be worse. The reason that you see so many SB-66s on sale is because Yeti has stopped making them due to lack of demand for 26" bikes. I just built up a Bronson for my wife, and I think the value of the new budget oriented Santa Cruz carbon bikes is really hard to beat. Sure, you might want to upgrade some parts at some point, but it's a great frame that will handle basically any kind of trail riding.

  16. #16
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    Dismissing the SB66 because of its wheel size is, in my opinion, ridiculous. 26" isn't going away, there will be forks, wheels and tyres available until well after any SB66 is completely trashed.

  17. #17
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    @andy - sb66 is a great choice. it's not a mistake to go 26. that's a load to say that. you won't be running out of options anytime soon as far as rims and tires. spending thousands over a wheel size is the mistake. spend it on what compliments you're riding style. sb66 is graves approved as well! that's plenty positive 26 real life testing for wheel size.

  18. #18
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    Stolen Bike Replacement - top AM options for $3800 please!

    Who cares if it's 26", 27.5 is just a bandwagon

  19. #19
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    Thanks all. Feeling pretty amped about the SB66; may pull the trigger tomorrow.

  20. #20
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    pull the trigger

  21. #21
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    Join the tribe, you'll be happy you did. You can still get downtube shifters on line, do you know anyone who uses those? 26" tires and shocks will be available for decades.
    Last edited by viteaux; 2 Weeks Ago at 07:57 PM. Reason: When is MTBR getting spell check?

  22. #22
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    With that price drop? That's a steal. When the price is near equal, I personally world rather get the exact frame/suspension/geometry I want and let components cone later. It's understandably difficult to justify that when there is a large component and price difference. Go for it.

    Just be sure to size it well, knowing the SB66 has a reputation for a long top tube.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhillipJ View Post
    Dismissing the SB66 because of its wheel size is, in my opinion, ridiculous. 26" isn't going away, there will be forks, wheels and tyres available until well after any SB66 is completely trashed.
    Agree. 26" wheeled bikes aren't automatically obsolete just because everyone's buying 27.5". The SB66 is a great bike and because of the whole 27.5 rage you'll get a really good price on a well spec'd bike. Be sure and ride one if you can, they run long. Wouldn't surprise me if the small fits you best.

    Also at your height, there's no compelling reason to go with bigger wheels (other than to fit in with the crowd.... rolls eyes).

    Like someone else said, there's some great pricing on the Knolly Chilcotin and Endorphin right now for the same reason and if you like more active suspension and really sturdy, long-lasting quality frames you can't go wrong with Knolly.

    Having said that, if you can get a Burner or a Bronson in that price range, you will not be disappointed. Great bikes both.

  24. #24
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    Spoke to a few local Yeti dealers today and muddied the waters a bit: they advised waiting 1-2 weeks for big announcements from Yeti that could change my decision re: the SB66. Also talking to another LBS who offered some very good deals on Pivot builds. Then there is the question of driving down to Santa Cruz factory and demo-ing a Bronson. I may hold off on the pulling the trigger... Thanks again for all the help, it's really appreciated.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyRx7 View Post
    Spoke to a few local Yeti dealers today and muddied the waters a bit: they advised waiting 1-2 weeks for big announcements from Yeti that could change my decision re: the SB66. Also talking to another LBS who offered some very good deals on Pivot builds. Then there is the question of driving down to Santa Cruz factory and demo-ing a Bronson. I may hold off on the pulling the trigger... Thanks again for all the help, it's really appreciated.
    where are you located? if your near downieville there are shops that rent the bronson and i believe mojo for the day. this shop is specialized and Norco- Downieville Outiftters ::: Rental and Sale Bikes

    yuba expeditions for the Bronson and Ibis Mojo 650b All-Mountain Demo Bikes | Yuba Expeditions

    you can apply your rental to the purchase of a bike or even a used demo bike. no better place to test than that sweet downieville singletrack...

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