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  1. #1
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    Maestro or VPP for smaller clyde?

    I'm looking at a new bike and am down to a Giant Anthem x29 or a Santa Cruz Tallboy. I'm 6'4" 235 geared up and tend to get out of the saddle and mash to get up steep technical stuff.

    I'm coming from a hardtail 29er and my bike before that was a 26er 4 bar suspension bike that tended to bob when I would mash. I'd like to retain some of the hardtail feel, but make riding a little easier on my back.

    I've only been able to do parking lot rides on Large bikes (Dallas suffers in selection a little), so I'm going to have to buy pretty much blind. What suspension system overall do you think is going to have less bob and be more efficient? I've read plenty of threads comparing the two bikes generally, but wanted to see if my fellow clydes have any specific input. I want to avoid bob-induced pedal strikes on technical climbs, but still have some good plushness to make riding a little easier on the body.

  2. #2
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    I'd like to throw in my vote for a Niner Rip9 with its CVA suspension design. The bike is an awesome climber.

  3. #3
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    I know you're going to dislike what I'm about to say given you're looking at a FS style bike... believe me, I want one so bad it hurts.

    But as a Clyde with the same riding style I've never had any luck on FS bikes. I find that they sag, bounce, and rob you of a lot of power heading up a hill unless you're sitting and spinning your face off. Not to mention unless you have extremely good skill, standing and mashing pretty much walks hand in hand with pedal strikes on more technical climbs where you'd be better off sitting and spinning.

    I'd go with a carbon hard tail with some big tubless tires. You'll negate everything you don't want out of a FS bike, and gain a bit more of a plusher ride.

    That and futzing with the settings for a FRONT and REAR shock is just a level of added annoyance. Judging from what you're saying, you're riding more XC then anything with a bit of gnar. A hardtail will suit your style more.

    Summary: Bought a FS blind once, got mad, sold it, bought a FS non blind, still got mad. Continue to ride my HT, not mad anymore. First was VPP, Second was CVA.
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  4. #4
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    I'm about the same as you, I ride an Intense Tracer VPP and have ridden the Giants before as well. No problem setting up the suspension on either, and I ride hard. They are both great designs, I guess I would go with the better deal, honestly you won't go wrong with either. I would also throw into the mix the Intense Tracer 29, or the Carbine 275.

  5. #5
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    14stone: I hate it when people tell you exactly what you've thought about, but don't want to hear. I do miss full suspension quite a bit though, especially when I am feeling lazy and just want to ride. I may end up keeping my hardtail so I can go with what fits my attitude on a given day.

    rossluz and skogorbet: II'll take a look at the Tracer/Carbine and RIP 9. I have a friend in UT that rides a RIP, but I thought it was maybe a bit much for TX. I'll drop by the Niner dealer and see what they've got.

    Part of the appeal of the Tallboy is SC's garage sale right now. The Tallboy Al frames are a killer deal. Nothing else is even close on price, which is hard to turn away from. Plus it gets seemingly endless praise. I am partial to the Giant dealer around here though.
    Last edited by seancs14; 12-11-2012 at 09:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    I just checked and that is a great deal on the Tallboy. I would jump all over that. They do fit a little different, I found the top tube to be a bit longer than other bikes of the same size, so if you have a chance to get on one before buying I would do that. You will have no problem setting up the suspension to work correctly for your size.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by seancs14 View Post
    rossluz and skogorbet: II'll take a look at the Tracer/Carbine and RIP 9. I have a friend in UT that rides a RIP, but I thought it was maybe a bit much for TX. I'll drop by the Niner dealer and see what they've got.

    Part of the appeal of the Tallboy is SC's garage sale right now. The Tallboy Al frames are a killer deal. Nothing else is even close on price, which is hard to turn away from. Plus it gets seemingly endless praise. I am partial to the Giant dealer around here though.
    Yep I live in UT too, the Rip9 is a great bike for the type of trails around here
    For me a hardtail is too rough on my back and I get fatigued too quickly because of it.

    I actually ordered a Tallboy frame from the SC sale, but it ended up being out of stock and my order was cancelled so I went with the Rip9. Both are great frames. The Rip has a bit more suspension travel and the convertible rear dropouts to 142, but is a heavier frame. The Tallboy has less travel and 135 dropouts for the sale frames, but is also cheaper, almost a pound lighter (maybe not quite as stiff?), and made in the USA.

  8. #8
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    I forgot to mention another bike worth looking at is the new frames by Marin bikes, they redesigned them last year and are using something similar to the Maestro link (I think pretty much the same) and they ride really nice as well.

  9. #9
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    I demoed a Tallboy and ended up with a Tallboy LT. I'm shorter and heavier than you and I absolutely love it. 15 miles on it feels like 5 felt on my old hardtail 29er. I don't notice much bob, but I'm way more sit and spin than stand and mash.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the suggestions. I finally caved last night and bought a Tallboy frame from the Santa Cruz garage sale. It was too good a deal to pass up. Hopefully the order doesn't get cancelled and they actually have it in stock. I'm really excited.

    Now I've just got to figure out the headset issue since I have a straight steerer fork and don't want to buy a new fork or a $150-200 headset. I'll probably post something in the suspension forum, but anyone have any suggestions for a reasonably priced tapered headset that I can get a reducing race for the bottom cup on? The Tallboy is semi-integrated on top and normal external cup on bottom. It looks like the cane creek 40 series might be what I am looking for.
    Last edited by seancs14; 12-12-2012 at 07:27 AM.

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