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  1. #1
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    Pivot Mach 5.5 for Bay Area?

    I'm thinking about getting a Pivot 5.5 as a second bike to complement my light XC-build Pivot 429SL. I ride primarily in Marin, so the 429SL is well suited to the majority of riding here, but it is not ideal for places like Tamarancho with more technical singletrack and a flow trail. I also like the idea of having two distinct bikes to choose from to suit the terrain and my riding mood, so I'm trying to avoid a lot of overlap between the bikes.

    My assumption is that a higher travel 27.5 bike with a dropper and platform pedals would be more fun on rocky singletrack with switchbacks and a flow trail, but being a long-time XC type guy, I'm not sure if the 5.5 would be a good match for the terrain at Tamarancho, or perhaps overkill. I've also thought about a Yeti SB5, but with 127mm of rear travel, it doesn't seem differentiated enough from the Pivot 429SL to justify it as a second bike.

    I am planning to demo both the Yeti and Pivot, but if anybody has ridden the Pivot 5.5 or a similar travel bike (140r/160f) in the Bay Area, I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I don't know anything about Tamarancho as I live in SoCal but I owned both the 5.5 and the SB5. Unlike most people, I wasn't impressed with the 5.5 as I though it was a sluggish climber and while you could plow through anything doing down, that's not my style. On the flip side, the SB5 is the only bike I regret selling in my life. That bike could do it all well. That 127mm of rear travel is plenty capable. Yeti is offering that in a "Lunch Ride" build now with a 160 up front.
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  3. #3
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    You maybe able to change tires to ride Tamarancho with the 429SL a bit more confidently, but I understand why you want another bike. Both the Pivot 5.5 and Yeti 5c are very good all around bikes. Where else in the Bay Area would you want to ride the second bike? If you donít ride steep technical stuff (Pacifica, Santa Cruz) both those bike would be great. Maybe even a Switchblade, Yeti SB5.5, or Ibis Ripmo?
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    ibis ripmo is a lot of bike if youre not riding steep stuff. If you just want something for tamarancho/more technical marin stuff, the 5.5 will be great. Rode one at china camp a few weeks ago and was very pleased with it. Pedals well and handles the rough stuff without sacrificing too much for more flowy trails. I generally ride a SC hightower, and with 135mm rear, its plenty of bike for tamarancho (though i dont ride the entire tamarancho loop much anymore, mainly just stop at the flow trail for a few laps when im coming down white hill)

    as for the yeti sb5, remember that a lot of what is going to make the bike feel more comfortable on technical trails is the geometry. the sb5 has pretty relaxed geo for its 125mm rear, so donít be surprised if it handles a lot differently than your xc bike

  5. #5
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    How do you ride a bike in Marin? Chinese riddle???



    The Mach 5.5 is a sweet bike and super capable. It often gets lumped into the same category as the Evil Calling so you may as well check it out as well. Maybe overkill for the trails you mentioned but they are both comfortable and satble when the trail turns to chunk and gets steep. The extra pedaling effort is minor for how much more capability you get out of these "trail bikes". The Calling serves as my do-it-all bike. Since you already have an XC bike you don't need extreme pedaling efficiency. Go for fun mode!

  6. #6
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    Get the Yeti SB100 as a single bike. With a dropper post, modern geo, and non-xc tires it is very capable.

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    I alternate between a Scalpel and Ripley LS at Tamarancho. Most other Marin trails I ride Ripley LS. Ripmo and 5.5c would be for Santa Cruz/Pacifica type trails.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    How do you ride a bike in Marin? Chinese riddle?
    Being sneaky...

  9. #9
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    I find Tamarancho-----China Camp to be fine on my Pivot 429T---that bike is fine there---so I'd put some better tires on your 429SL and a bit less pressure in the suspension and save your money.

    If you ride Rockville you may want more for sure but then the question is do you have the skills for the tech there.

    I also find the 429T good 90% of the Santa Cruz area---for sure there are places but for the most part it is fine as would be a RIP LS-----the 5.5 is a ton of money and may be overkill for you

  10. #10
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    heres a good idea, sell your 429SL and buy one of these
    https://www.pinkbike.com/news/pivot-...irst-ride.html

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Pivot 5.5 as a second bike to complement my light XC-build Pivot 429SL. I ride primarily in Marin, so the 429SL is well suited to the majority of riding here, but it is not ideal for places like Tamarancho with more technical singletrack and a flow trail. I also like the idea of having two distinct bikes to choose from to suit the terrain and my riding mood, so I'm trying to avoid a lot of overlap between the bikes.

    My assumption is that a higher travel 27.5 bike with a dropper and platform pedals would be more fun on rocky singletrack with switchbacks and a flow trail, but being a long-time XC type guy, I'm not sure if the 5.5 would be a good match for the terrain at Tamarancho, or perhaps overkill. I've also thought about a Yeti SB5, but with 127mm of rear travel, it doesn't seem differentiated enough from the Pivot 429SL to justify it as a second bike.

    I am planning to demo both the Yeti and Pivot, but if anybody has ridden the Pivot 5.5 or a similar travel bike (140r/160f) in the Bay Area, I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts. Thanks!
    I demo'd a 5.5 a few weeks ago and have logged 100s of rides through Tamarancho over the years. I don't think it's overkill at all, although you can ride Tamarancho on a rigid bike, there are a few sections where the extra travel and relaxed geometry are more fun. Head across the street to Solstice and the 5.5 will really start to shine. I owned an SB-75, which while fun, always felt like it could use a little more travel on trails like Solstice and up in Downie. If you already have an XC bike I'd go the 140-150 rear route assuming you want to have fun on more technical trails.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Pivot 5.5 as a second bike to complement my light XC-build Pivot 429SL. I ride primarily in Marin, so the 429SL is well suited to the majority of riding here, but it is not ideal for places like Tamarancho with more technical singletrack and a flow trail. I also like the idea of having two distinct bikes to choose from to suit the terrain and my riding mood, so I'm trying to avoid a lot of overlap between the bikes. Thanks!
    Reminiscent of a similar post for a Mach 6. Too funny....an OP spells out their specific needs only to have the peanut gallery chime in with their off tangent recommendations.
    You weren't asking for a one bike quiver killer after all. I go along with your 2 different bike analogy too myself.

    PM sent.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  13. #13
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    From Pivot's line, I demoed the Switchblade, Mach 429 trail, Mach 5.5, and Mach 6, and landed on the M6 to compliment my XC bike. It felt just as efficient going up, had a slightly steeper seat tube angle, and had a little extra travel for when I run out of skill.

    I've had it for a month now. It's awesome!
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    I have the 5.5 in medium and am selling it to probably get the large since I was between sizes. Iím in San Mateo if you wanted to take it for a spin. I think having 2 bikes gives you way more versatility, you are thinking way too inside the box. The 429 sl is a pretty decent tamo bike. The 5.5 will be great in a totally different way, definitely not overkill, youíll have way more fun jumping off stuff and in the rough, the 429sl will be better on the uphill and real smooth sections. The 5.5 will be much better for the illegal trails off tamo that Iím sure you donít ride! But the real game changer for you will be having a bike for Tahoe, Downieville, Santa Cruz, Pacifica.

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    It's funny how every comment on this forum is "oh you can ride [insert name of your favorite spot] on 100mm hardtail no problem", yet you go ride there and everyone is on 170mm enduro bike

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    Thanks everyone for the perspectives, especially the guys who've ridden Tamarancho and the 5.5! To reiterate, I do want two bikes for the variety, and I don't want to swap out my 429SL, which at 22.7lb. is a friggin' rocket uphill, a super efficient pedaler, and as plush as they come (I did demo a SB100 last week and wasn't impressed relative to the 429SL). As one poster noted, the Calling could be a gamer, so I may try that out. Other than that, I've always been a boutique brand guy and always have done custom builds on Yeti, Titus, Lynskey, Tomac, Pivot bikes, so I just sort of shy away from the bigger manufacturers. The local Pivot dealer is getting a 5.5 for me to demo, so I'll report back after that. :-)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    The local Pivot dealer is getting a 5.5 for me to try demo, so I'll report back after that. :-)
    I got my Pivot from Frame Up. Good dudes, if for some reason your current dealer drops the ball, keep them in mind!
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    Quote Originally Posted by noblige View Post
    It's funny how every comment on this forum is "oh you can ride [insert name of your favorite spot] on 100mm hardtail no problem", yet you go ride there and everyone is on 170mm enduro bike
    Roger that. The fact is that anyone who's been mountain biking for a long time has ridden everything on a hardtail, from Repack to Tahoe to Moab. It's doable, but technology just increases the bikes' capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noblige View Post
    It's funny how every comment on this forum is "oh you can ride [insert name of your favorite spot] on 100mm hardtail no problem", yet you go ride there and everyone is on 170mm enduro bike
    This is one of my pet peeves as well, but most of the posts on this thread have been in the spirit of helping the OP. Bay Area has very diverse terrain. OP has a 100mm FS XC bike and wants something distinct from a 429 SL for Tamarancho Flow Trail leaves a lot room for interpretation. Even in Marin, Solstice and Split Rock would require a bigger bike and depending on how the OP rides, you could ride either a Ripley or an HD4 on those trails. I ride a XC 100mm FS bike roughly 30% of the time at Tamarancho and the rest of the time 130/120 bike, which honestly is very common to see at the trail head at Tamarancho. I see very few 160mm bikes at Tamarancho.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dpca10 View Post
    I have the 5.5 in medium and am selling it to probably get the large since I was between sizes. Iím in San Mateo if you wanted to take it for a spin. I think having 2 bikes gives you way more versatility, you are thinking way too inside the box. The 429 sl is a pretty decent tamo bike. The 5.5 will be great in a totally different way, definitely not overkill, youíll have way more fun jumping off stuff and in the rough, the 429sl will be better on the uphill and real smooth sections. The 5.5 will be much better for the illegal trails off tamo that Iím sure you donít ride! But the real game changer for you will be having a bike for Tahoe, Downieville, Santa Cruz, Pacifica.
    I may be interested. How tall are you, and are you selling the frame or the whole bike?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by noblige View Post
    It's funny how every comment on this forum is "oh you can ride [insert name of your favorite spot] on 100mm hardtail no problem", yet you go ride there and everyone is on 170mm enduro bike
    Bugs me when people do that. Good for you if you can ride UC on an xc bike, i guarantee its way less fun than on a 160mm bike though. Same goes for tamarancho and solstice, if OP is asking about getting a longer travel bike because he thinks it will be more fun on those trails, don't tell him the bike he has is fine, that's his decision to make. Tamarancho is a ton of fun on a big bike cause you can go a lot faster a lot more comfortably (descending i mean, cause you're not gonna go faster on the climbs )

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sosburn View Post
    Tamarancho is a ton of fun on a big bike cause you can go a lot faster a lot more comfortably (descending i mean, cause you're not gonna go faster on the climbs )
    That depends on your skill set. Those trails are more mellow than most everything I ride, so I would think I would be most comfortable and fastest on a short travel 29er. Thatís way recommending a bike for a completely random stranger can yield so much diversity in responses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    That depends on your skill set. Those trails are more mellow than most everything I ride, so I would think I would be most comfortable and fastest on a short travel 29er. Thatís way recommending a bike for a completely random stranger can yield so much diversity in responses.
    I'm mainly talking about wagon wheel and the old solstice, which i think are pretty damn chunky if you're going over 15 mph, but maybe my "skill set" is not as refined as yours.

    plus, if you're already looking at getting a bigger bike, why not consider that it will allow you to ride places like santa cruz and tahoe as well? an sb100 is kind of a lateral move, even if it is more capable than a 429sl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sosburn View Post
    an sb100 is kind of a lateral move, even if it is more capable than a 429sl.
    Not being argumentative here at all, but I demo'd the SB100 last weekend and rode it back to back with the 429SL and came away with the distinctly opposite impression. I was all set to swap frames with my 429SL because of the better/modern geometry on the SB100 and (admittedly) the bike's gorgeous looks. What changed my mind? The rear suspension on the SB100 is noticeably less plush than the 429SL at, from what I could determine, about the same pedaling efficiency. Uphill, downhill, small bumps, big hits- all the same- the Yeti delivered a harsher ride, less traction, and bucked a lot more at speed in technical conditions. In addition, the Yeti's frame felt like it had more lateral flex in the rear triangle than the Pivot. I was actually pretty bummed because I've come to feel that my 429SL Medium is too small for me, and the SB100 Large fits me really well (5-10" with long arms). Back to waiting for the modern geometry rev of the 429SL.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    Not being argumentative here at all, but I demo'd the SB100 last weekend and rode it back to back with the 429SL and came away with the distinctly opposite impression. I was all set to swap frames with my 429SL because of the better/modern geometry on the SB100 and (admittedly) the bike's gorgeous looks. What changed my mind? The rear suspension on the SB100 is noticeably less plush than the 429SL at, from what I could determine, about the same pedaling efficiency. Uphill, downhill, small bumps, big hits- all the same- the Yeti delivered a harsher ride, less traction, and bucked a lot more at speed in technical conditions. In addition, the Yeti's frame felt like it had more lateral flex in the rear triangle than the Pivot. I was actually pretty bummed because I've come to feel that my 429SL Medium is too small for me, and the SB100 Large fits me really well (5-10" with long arms). Back to waiting for the modern geometry rev of the 429SL.

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    Thats kind of what i meant. Its a more capable bike in terms of geo, but the suspension is gonna feel about the same (or i guess worse than) your current bike. I meant its more of a lateral move vs getting a longer travel bike

  26. #26
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    429 Should be just fine for Tamarancho, especially if you've got a 120mm Fox 34 up front. As others have said, you may want to look at your tire choice, but also perhaps, considering tweaking your suspension air pressure + damping settings to manage some of the more technical sections like on Wagonwheel. I can't imagine needing a 160 fork anywhere at Tamo. I have a hightower, and honestly, it's overkill for 99.9% of Tamo. If you're riding a lot of stuff like Solstice or some of the more technical trails on the backside of China Camp, the 5.5 would probably be a lot of fun (that's where my hightower really comes to life!)-- maybe a new bike will help expand your trail horizons

    Since you're looking at other bikes... What about an SC Tallboy (you can run a 130mm fork on it) or a Devinci Django (140 fr / 120 rear)-- 29er trail bike that was built with more aggressive trail riding in mind.

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    Azalea Hill? Wanna give me a ride up BoFax next time you're driving to the top ~

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    I'm thinking about getting a Pivot 5.5 as a second bike to complement my light XC-build Pivot 429SL. I ride primarily in Marin, so the 429SL is well suited to the majority of riding here, but it is not ideal for places like Tamarancho with more technical singletrack and a flow trail. I also like the idea of having two distinct bikes to choose from to suit the terrain and my riding mood, so I'm trying to avoid a lot of overlap between the bikes.

    My assumption is that a higher travel 27.5 bike with a dropper and platform pedals would be more fun on rocky singletrack with switchbacks and a flow trail, but being a long-time XC type guy, I'm not sure if the 5.5 would be a good match for the terrain at Tamarancho, or perhaps overkill. I've also thought about a Yeti SB5, but with 127mm of rear travel, it doesn't seem differentiated enough from the Pivot 429SL to justify it as a second bike.

    I am planning to demo both the Yeti and Pivot, but if anybody has ridden the Pivot 5.5 or a similar travel bike (140r/160f) in the Bay Area, I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts. Thanks!
    Check out the review on the SB100! Itís more trail than XC and from the videos I watched they enjoyed it over the SB5 in many of the more technical areas.


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    ^^^^^^^^
    I demoed the SB100 last weekend. My brief review is above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhosinski View Post
    Check out the review on the SB100! Itís more trail than XC and from the videos I watched they enjoyed it over the SB5 in many of the more technical areas.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    They did mention that the SB100 felt stiffer. Iíve ridden the PIVOT 429c and but none of their trail or all enduro bikes. I have ridden the TURNER RFX, and FLUX. Both excellent bikes. I currently own a TURNER CZAR.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    Thanks everyone for the perspectives, especially the guys who've ridden Tamarancho and the 5.5! To reiterate, I do want two bikes for the variety, and I don't want to swap out my 429SL, which at 22.7lb. is a friggin' rocket uphill, a super efficient pedaler, and as plush as they come
    What kind of tires are on your 429? At 22.7lbs my guess is something not very confidence inspiring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ac1000 View Post
    What kind of tires are on your 429? At 22.7lbs my guess is something not very confidence inspiring.
    You are absolutely right- 2.25 Rocket Rons are pretty squirrelly on loose over hard pack. Have any suggestions for tires with more traction descending without adding a ton of rotating weight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    You are absolutely right- 2.25 Rocket Rons are pretty squirrelly on loose over hard pack. Have any suggestions for tires with more traction descending without adding a ton of rotating weight?
    It depends what you value and want to ride. I value a balance of downhill capability and reasonable climbing ability. My favorite combo is DHF front/rear. I'd much rather have a bike with minimal suspension and these tires than a bike with way more travel and super light tires for anything challenging.
    A step up would be a forecaster/nobby nic/ground control front with your current rear. Next would be one of those tires in the rear with a DHF/butcher in the front.
    In the last week it seems to me that a lot of trails have dried up and really fast tires are now sketchy.
    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ac1000 View Post
    It depends what you value and want to ride. I value a balance of downhill capability and reasonable climbing ability. My favorite combo is DHF front/rear. I'd much rather have a bike with minimal suspension and these tires than a bike with way more travel and super light tires for anything challenging.
    A step up would be a forecaster/nobby nic/ground control front with your current rear. Next would be one of those tires in the rear with a DHF/butcher in the front.
    In the last week it seems to me that a lot of trails have dried up and really fast tires are now sketchy.
    Good luck!
    Thanks for the recommendations! I'm going to try the NN in 2.25 and 2.35 and see how that works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlloyd007 View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations! I'm going to try the NN in 2.25 and 2.35 and see how that works.
    That'll do it! Make sure and go to and from the flow trail sometime by porcupine trail. Its no solstice but you can get a little more speed on your new tires than you get on the main Tamarancho loop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ac1000 View Post
    That'll do it! Make sure and go to and from the flow trail sometime by porcupine trail. Its no solstice but you can get a little more speed on your new tires than you get on the main Tamarancho loop.
    If you go on a weekday you can really fly down porcupine, there's hardly anyone ever on that trail.

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    I grew up in the Marin poaching all the trails in the area, only back then it wasn't totally illegal. My folks live backing up to China Camp and I am very familiar with Tamarancho. I have a Yeti SB 5c with a Pike 150 and picked up a M5.5 last week. They Yeti is amazingly capable, consistently flying by friends on Bronson's, Yeti Sb6's alike. I have been in Truckee for 20 years but do bike in the Bay a few times a year. Anyway, the SB5c is the most versatile bike I have owned and I have about 20 bikes or so. It is probably the best climbing bike I have owed and will surprise you downhill too, it's also pretty darn light. It works great for Tahoe loose and chunky but better on longer all day style adventures. I wanted something a with a little more travel and beef to try for the jumping and more technical trails so I bought the M5.5. So technically the 5c is now my wife's, her climbing has improved about 50% and her descending 25%. The Yeti feels like it has more than 127 in the back. So the M5.5 I am bonding well with it. Confidence inspiring, makes me want to send it more and pick out the nasty lines instead of the faster flowing lines. It's a very good climber but not even close to the 5c. It does NOT have the quick snap pedaling out of turns as the 5c, it takes a few strokes to settle in before it starts to hum. However, as much as I LOVE the 5c it might be too close to what you have if you are sticking with a 2 bike quiver. Is the 5.5 too much for Marin, yeah for the most part. Will it put a smile on your face and pull double duty for Tahoe, Truckee, Moab, Sedona, Downiville, Oregon, Idaho etc YES. I did build it up with some light carbon wheels but it feels more like a Raptor truck and the Yeti more like a Porsche. So despite the 5c being one of the best bikes I have owned I think something with a little more gap from the XC ripper you are riding. I also demoed lots of other bikes and ridden friends bikes from the Yeti 5C plus, Mach 6, Switchblade, Intense Tracer, Nomads, 5010's etc etc etc So if you are trying to go race pace 5c, if you want to step up to a trail/enduro ride the 5.5 fits in perfectly and is a much bigger gap from what you have. The 5c is a nearly perfect one bike quiver. The 5.5 is more suiting for harder charging and gnarly trails. I also think the 2.6 tires are the sweet spot. I picked up the Pivot 8 days ago and have 7 rides on it. It's 27.7 but feels much more stout than the 5c.

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    On my Yeti the DHF and HR2 are the preferred setup. Rocket Ron's roll well and are light and good for the groomers but if you want to get after it pick up some real tires not tires for the scale. Don't get me wrong Rocket Rons are great for what they are and would probably be on them for most Bay Area and Bend type riding but I would rather pick up a lb and get some tread, fun and traction and you will still have one of the lightest bikes around!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truckeemtb View Post
    I grew up in the Marin poaching all the trails in the area, only back then it wasn't totally illegal. My folks live backing up to China Camp and I am very familiar with Tamarancho. I have a Yeti SB 5c with a Pike 150 and picked up a M5.5 last week. They Yeti is amazingly capable, consistently flying by friends on Bronson's, Yeti Sb6's alike. I have been in Truckee for 20 years but do bike in the Bay a few times a year. Anyway, the SB5c is the most versatile bike I have owned and I have about 20 bikes or so. It is probably the best climbing bike I have owed and will surprise you downhill too, it's also pretty darn light. It works great for Tahoe loose and chunky but better on longer all day style adventures. I wanted something a with a little more travel and beef to try for the jumping and more technical trails so I bought the M5.5. So technically the 5c is now my wife's, her climbing has improved about 50% and her descending 25%. The Yeti feels like it has more than 127 in the back. So the M5.5 I am bonding well with it. Confidence inspiring, makes me want to send it more and pick out the nasty lines instead of the faster flowing lines. It's a very good climber but not even close to the 5c. It does NOT have the quick snap pedaling out of turns as the 5c, it takes a few strokes to settle in before it starts to hum. However, as much as I LOVE the 5c it might be too close to what you have if you are sticking with a 2 bike quiver. Is the 5.5 too much for Marin, yeah for the most part. Will it put a smile on your face and pull double duty for Tahoe, Truckee, Moab, Sedona, Downiville, Oregon, Idaho etc YES. I did build it up with some light carbon wheels but it feels more like a Raptor truck and the Yeti more like a Porsche. So despite the 5c being one of the best bikes I have owned I think something with a little more gap from the XC ripper you are riding. I also demoed lots of other bikes and ridden friends bikes from the Yeti 5C plus, Mach 6, Switchblade, Intense Tracer, Nomads, 5010's etc etc etc So if you are trying to go race pace 5c, if you want to step up to a trail/enduro ride the 5.5 fits in perfectly and is a much bigger gap from what you have. The 5c is a nearly perfect one bike quiver. The 5.5 is more suiting for harder charging and gnarly trails. I also think the 2.6 tires are the sweet spot. I picked up the Pivot 8 days ago and have 7 rides on it. It's 27.7 but feels much more stout than the 5c.
    Hey, thanks for taking the time to write up some really insightful and helpful information. You've motivated me to demo a SB5 and ride Tamarancho, hopefully this weekend. Still waiting for the 5.5 demo- seems like the Pivot reps are busy with the new Trail 429.

    BTW, I'm a Marin native as well. Grew up in San Anselmo and rode BMX bikes on Tam before mountain biking was a thing.

  40. #40
    NedwannaB
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    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

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