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  1. #1
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    Bucksaw rear shock options

    So the Salsa Bucksaw comes with a regular RockShox Monarch RT3.

    I saw some pics awhile back of some sort of show-only Bucksaw all blacked out with a Cane Creek DBInline. I'd love to upgrade to one of those, but that's WELL outside the budget.

    However, for a whole lot less, I can mod the existing rear shock with a DebonAir high volume air can.

    https://www.sram.com/rockshox/produc...ir-upgrade-kit

    In theory, it should make the rear end of the bike a bit more supple with better small bump compliance.

    There's been quite a bit of discussion about the suspension quality of the Bucksaw's rear end and many have discussed that there's room for improvement. I am curious who has actually DONE anything about it, if anyone has done THIS (and what they thought of the change).

    What say ye?

  2. #2
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    I've swapped from an LV can to a DebonAir can on a few of my (non fat) FS bikes. It does as you say--makes the top end more supple, gives a wider range of tuning options for mid stroke wallow and end stroke ramp. Nowhere near as many options as the DB Inline, but if you like what you have now and just want to make minor tweaks, DebonAir is a good option.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    I've swapped from an LV can to a DebonAir can on a few of my (non fat) FS bikes. It does as you say--makes the top end more supple, gives a wider range of tuning options for mid stroke wallow and end stroke ramp. Nowhere near as many options as the DB Inline, but if you like what you have now and just want to make minor tweaks, DebonAir is a good option.
    Good to know that it does improve the shock.

    Have you done this on any of the plus-sized bikes you ride? I'm curious if larger rubber alters the way the shock's performance affects the ride.

  4. #4
    All fat, all the time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    .... with better small bump compliance.
    I thought that's what the fat tires were for

    Hah, sorry no input from me, but sounds like an interesting upgrade to try whenever the rear shock service is due. What's the $ on it?

  5. #5
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    I emailed Salsa and asked them about adding the DebonAir upgrade. Here is what they had to say on the matter.

    Hey Nick, stoked to hear you are loving the Bucksaw! So hereís the deal, yes the Debonair can will work, and below are numbers that you can share with Rock Shox to make sure you get the right set of spacers for the tune. Will you notice it? hard to say only one engineer here has been riding it that way, but its his job to work all this stuff out. Hereís the thing, if you have a few bucks to burn and you are confident that youíll be able to tell the difference, then by all means go for it. But on the other hand, if the RT3 right now feels great set up the way it should be, then why change? For what itís worth the Debonair likely would have been specíd, but it would have driven up the cost of that build. In any case , its not Rock Shox marketing hype; itís legit. It will help with the initial bump compliance, but will it be enough to make that big of an impact on your ride? I always tend to compare stuff like this to liquor. Most folks can relate, right? Iím from Kentucky and I feel like I have a good handle on our great stateís contribution to spirits. But I can tell you that there are few differences that even a hillbilly like myself can tell from some $25 bottles of bourbon to the $40 bottle. Both are probably awesome, a few probably suck, but Iím not sure in the end Iím going to know the difference between the high and the top shelf. like I could between the well swill and the top shelf. Make sense? FWIW, if it were me Iíd just keep the RT3, and spend that money on upgrading the bars and/or the saddleÖ I wish you well on your decision, and on your tour of our great country with that bike.
    -Zach


    RT3 Debonair can tune: 184x44 MNR RT3 DB5 LL3 S320

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Good to know that it does improve the shock.

    Have you done this on any of the plus-sized bikes you ride? I'm curious if larger rubber alters the way the shock's performance affects the ride.
    Yes on plus bikes.

    Not sure how to answer the 2nd question.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I thought that's what the fat tires were for

    Hah, sorry no input from me, but sounds like an interesting upgrade to try whenever the rear shock service is due. What's the $ on it?
    Hence my reason for asking here if any Bucksaw (or other FS fatbike riders) have done so. It seems to me the tires already do some of that work already, so I'm not sure how much I'd notice the shock being better in that department. It costs about $115 MSRP. So probably less than a new wide range cassette when my existing one wears out. Even considering shop employee discount pricing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ianick View Post
    I emailed Salsa and asked them about adding the DebonAir upgrade. Here is what they had to say on the matter.

    Hey Nick, stoked to hear you are loving the Bucksaw! So hereís the deal, yes the Debonair can will work, and below are numbers that you can share with Rock Shox to make sure you get the right set of spacers for the tune. Will you notice it? hard to say only one engineer here has been riding it that way, but its his job to work all this stuff out. Hereís the thing, if you have a few bucks to burn and you are confident that youíll be able to tell the difference, then by all means go for it. But on the other hand, if the RT3 right now feels great set up the way it should be, then why change? For what itís worth the Debonair likely would have been specíd, but it would have driven up the cost of that build. In any case , its not Rock Shox marketing hype; itís legit. It will help with the initial bump compliance, but will it be enough to make that big of an impact on your ride? I always tend to compare stuff like this to liquor. Most folks can relate, right? Iím from Kentucky and I feel like I have a good handle on our great stateís contribution to spirits. But I can tell you that there are few differences that even a hillbilly like myself can tell from some $25 bottles of bourbon to the $40 bottle. Both are probably awesome, a few probably suck, but Iím not sure in the end Iím going to know the difference between the high and the top shelf. like I could between the well swill and the top shelf. Make sense? FWIW, if it were me Iíd just keep the RT3, and spend that money on upgrading the bars and/or the saddleÖ I wish you well on your decision, and on your tour of our great country with that bike.
    -Zach


    RT3 Debonair can tune: 184x44 MNR RT3 DB5 LL3 S320
    Good info. I don't think there are any mods I can make to mine that have a prospect of improving the bike as much as this, for the price. I already have comfy carbon bars. I already love the saddle I'm using. I'm sure a DBInline would be better, but considering the price, I doubt I'd go that route at this point unless I completely blew my existing shock.

    Also worth noting is this PinkBike review:

    First Look: RockShox DebonAir - Monarch Shock Hop-Up Kit - Pinkbike

    where they say that the DebonAir upgrade seems more suited to longer travel bikes. Though the way they talked about things, I wonder if their test bikes may have benefited from a little more time tweaking settings to get it to perform the way they wanted. Then again, the Bucksaw sorta behaves as though it's more than just a 100mm travel bike.

  8. #8
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    I would contact craig at avalanche racing and see what he has to say about a custom tune on your existing shock. I don't know if I have read ONE negative review about the work that guy does. I am itching to have a open bath made for my Pike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    I would contact craig at avalanche racing and see what he has to say about a custom tune on your existing shock. I don't know if I have read ONE negative review about the work that guy does. I am itching to have a open bath made for my Pike.
    FWIW, I just looked at the services offered for the Monarch shock, and they don't even offer anything right now unless you already have the DebonAir already.

  10. #10
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    I don't like whiskey, more of a dark beer kinda guy.

    Just get it, make it work, you know you want it

  11. #11
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    Send that shock to Avalanche!


    Rockshox Monarch SSD/HSB Modifications

    It says they mod the RT3. Call Craig!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

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    Very interested in following along here for nothing but the geek factor, as I'm an average requirements type guy. Works well enough for me with the few settings it has. I can't imagine making the back end any better while still utilizing a Bluto up front. I'd put my money there first.

    Got my gopro mounts located, just need to clamp them on the frame and see what's going on with the suspension motion.

  13. #13
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    And he only problem with having Avalanche mod your shock is it will make you hate your fork, as the rear end will work so much better.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Send that shock to Avalanche!


    Rockshox Monarch SSD/HSB Modifications

    It says they mod the RT3. Call Craig!
    yeah, the RT3 with DebonAir already. Hit the dropdown menu.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    And he only problem with having Avalanche mod your shock is it will make you hate your fork, as the rear end will work so much better.
    Good point. Not too many options for the fork yet. Curses that the new fat lefty won't be available aftermarket for a good while yet. I'm not hating the Bluto yet...but I am pretty ambivalent about its performance.

    Wife was bugging me about the budget last night, asking me if there will be no more bike parts for the rest of the year. So maybe this one is out of the budget for now, too.

  15. #15
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    Since my rear shock needed service for the upcoming season anyways, just went ahead and ordered the debonair can. We'll see how it is!

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    Don't hate the messenger...

    So I bought a Devinvi Hendrix, it came with a Monarch R, not a lot of adjustment in that shock, so I started thinking of upgrading.

    Fortunately, the Devinci folks left enough clearance in the suspension to overshock the bike, so I got a DB Inline and boosted travel from 100mm to 120mm. The ride improved significantly.

    So here's the thing: changing the shock in my case was definitely an upgrade because I gained lockout/climb switch, but the ride quality mostly improved because I increased travel by 20%.

    The BS is a fine bike, but you can't make it something it's not, like putting lipstick on a pig... you want a more supple ride, you need a longer travel bike.

    The email from Zach at Salsa is awesome

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Since my rear shock needed service for the upcoming season anyways, just went ahead and ordered the debonair can. We'll see how it is!
    Nice! It comes standard on the 2017's so it should be a worthwhile upgrade.
    '07 Spec Enduro
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    '16 Salsa Bucksaw GX1

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    Since my rear shock needed service for the upcoming season anyways, just went ahead and ordered the debonair can. We'll see how it is!

    I was talking to some suspension tuning guys this past weekend and the Debonair can seems to be recommended pretty soundly, and in large part because of the increased tuning options.


    Now that I'm happier about my fork situation on the Bucksaw, I will probably be looking at the rear suspension more.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    The BS is a fine bike, but you can't make it something it's not, like putting lipstick on a pig... you want a more supple ride, you need a longer travel bike.
    Not looking to make the bike into something it's not. Pretty much just looking to be able to tune the suspension better. The Monarch on my BS is an RL, so I've got a touch more adjustment on it. But being able to tweak volume with the Debonair can should be a pretty affordable way to gain a touch more adjustability without having to fork over a lot more money for a shock like the DB Air Inline. And yeah, if I had a longer travel bike, I'd probably be looking at something like the PUSH elevensix. Got to check those out this past weekend and the adjustability on them is incredible.

    I am seriously tempted by the Quarc ShockWiz, to better direct tuning adjustments. For as long as I've been riding, I've never really spent as much time on suspension tuning as I have with the Bucksaw. I'm diving into a lot of stuff that's conceptually new to me, and it's taking me awhile to dial things in. I noticed that I had to adjust my Wren fork in Sedona last weekend, for example. Pressures that work well at home weren't quite right for those trails. And considering that tweaking pressures in the pos/neg chambers of the Wren is the primary adjustment for that fork, I feel like the Shockwiz would help to speed dialing the settings for the fork. First, I'm going to see if the shop where I work (which has been advertising suspension setup services lately) will buy one (or two) to rent out to customers. If not, I may consider one for myself.

  19. #19
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    Once the Manitou fork is available, the Fatillac will be an easy frame swap

  20. #20
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    I'm not interested in a 160mm travel bike thank you. I can ride plenty of chunky trails, and not be the last to the bottom, with my 110mm bucksaw.

    We are talking about an $80 upgrade, relatively cheap when you compare it to$300 cassettes.

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    The Fatillac can be set up with long or short rockers. I think Mikesee is riding his with 140mm rear travel.

    I'm not sure you can have too much travel as long as the suspension doesn't cause climbing problems.

    I'll run 140/140-150 on the Fatillac, just like I ran on the Mutz. It'll be my enduro ride.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    I'm not sure you can have too much travel as long as the suspension doesn't cause climbing problems.
    IMO, you absolutely can have too much, just like you can also have too little.

    for my local trails, you do get to a point where too much travel results in losing feel for the trail. You feel like you're floating over everything and it dulls the ride far too much. No thanks. There is a sweet spot, and I feel like the Bucksaw is in it.

    And yeah, I felt the same way as Shark last weekend in Sedona. I was never the last in my group (either to the top or to the bottom), and I rode a lot of chunky stuff. And anything I didn't ride wasn't the fault of the bike.

  23. #23
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    So, I have decided to blow my bike budget for the decade and go for a 2017 BS XO1. Before I go and make the purchase I have a question about the rear shock. It seems that there has been both a downgrade and an upgrade between 2016 and 2017. I have ridden the 2016 model at my LBS and it had a RT3 (non debonair) monarch. According to the salsa webpage it now comes includes the RT (with debonair) monarch. Is it possible/easy to make a conversion to the three position compression lever? This is now a requirement for me based of my local trails. Finally, If a conversion is possible, Is there any sort of three position remote I can install? After riding a few demo bikes I am done reaching in between my legs with every terrain change.
    Thanks,
    -Ben

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    I have had both now, IMO the stock Debonair on the 2017 woks so well there is no need for a third setting.
    More to the point, a properly adjusted suspension should not require locking and unlocking of the shock, esp with a good suspension design (Weagle).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benskoning View Post
    So, I have decided to blow my bike budget for the decade and go for a 2017 BS XO1. Before I go and make the purchase I have a question about the rear shock. It seems that there has been both a downgrade and an upgrade between 2016 and 2017. I have ridden the 2016 model at my LBS and it had a RT3 (non debonair) monarch. According to the salsa webpage it now comes includes the RT (with debonair) monarch. Is it possible/easy to make a conversion to the three position compression lever? This is now a requirement for me based of my local trails. Finally, If a conversion is possible, Is there any sort of three position remote I can install? After riding a few demo bikes I am done reaching in between my legs with every terrain change.
    Thanks,
    -Ben
    Hey Ben! Great name, so powerful

    Before you buy, take a look at the Farley Ex 9.8
    $5500
    Carbon frame, cranks, wheels, bar
    X01, Ti seat, 27.5 wheels
    68.8hta, 73.8 sta, 443mm cs (BS 444mm cs).
    Fox Float Evol with120mm rear suspension travel
    and a Manitou Mastodon fork! (Late 2017).

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    Looks great except for that pile of a rear shock!
    My wife has one, works great, set it and forget it.

    It's your money, but the Trek gives more bang for the bucks. Only downside I can see for either bike is the long chainstays, a solid inch longer than my Wozo.

    I'm looking at a Fatillac, 140mm rear with swappable rockers, ~420mm chainatays. gonna look into adjustable drop outs to accomodate a range of tire heights 27.5 ◊ 4 to 29 ◊ 3.

    Just waiting on the Manitou fork...

  27. #27
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    Psst Ben- not everyone wants super short chainstays and their bike to handle like a unicycle.
    '17 Cutthroat
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    Yea, but it says Trek on it. Can't get past that either.
    Three years ago I had nothing but Treks in the garage. This weekend I'm putting my last Trek up for sale.
    '17 Cutthroat
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paochow View Post
    Psst Ben- not everyone wants super short chainstays and their bike to handle like a unicycle.
    I don't know, it seems like being able to lift your front end to negotiate obstacles (manual) is important for mountain biking, but if they're only riding on rails to trails paths, then I suppose it would only be helpful going up and down curbs

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paochow View Post
    Three years ago I had nothing but Treks in the garage. This weekend I'm putting my last Trek up for sale.
    Trek is built in Taiwan, as is Salsa, so I'm not sure how the name printed on the box matters.

    I tend to look at function, value, and reliability. Trek has that down as does Specialized. I'm also a Toyota fan, comes from having wrenched on cars for a bit.

    Enjoy your Salsa.

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    Not sure where this ^^^ is going but it seems to have very little to do with the thread titled "Bucksaw Rear Shock Options" ?
    '07 Spec Enduro
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat-in-Fundy View Post
    Not sure where this ^^^ is going but it seems to have very little to do with the thread titled "Bucksaw Rear Shock Options" ?
    Lol- Sorry for getting Ben off track, just seems on every thread he has to rant about short chainstays.
    '17 Cutthroat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat-in-Fundy View Post
    Not sure where this ^^^ is going
    Following other Bucksaw threads this seems par for the course.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paochow View Post
    Lol- Sorry for getting Ben off track, just seems on every thread he has to rant about short chainstays.
    Yup, some of us got an agenda ; )

    That said, the Farley EX and Bucksaw have the same chainstay length. The only short cs full suspension fat is Lenz.

    I'm not really off topic here, at least no more than normal for MTBR.... we are talking about suspension mods, new Salsa BS, Trek vs Salsa, etc...

    Enjoy those long chainstays

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantTurd View Post
    And they also screw their dealers over, Salsa on the other hand promotes their dealers.
    Our localTrek store carries Salsa, they had nothing negative to say about either as they felt that each brand had different strengths. Funny how one person's experience can be called a trend.

    The local Trek shop has sold a couple BS on special order, a few Beargrease, a bunch of Farleys, and no Farley EX.

    I tried to talk them into carrying the Farley EX, they said it was too expensive, they said they'd need to see some interest before making the investment.

    Great shop, motivated folks, give back to the community, located across the road from a Specialized dealer who has the same attitude. In a small town, It's nice to know that we have good dealers.

    Full disclosure, I don't own a Trek or a Salsa, my wife had a Trek ~ 6 yrs ago, gave it to my daughter, good bike, purchased from a good dealer. I had a Salsa, bought it from our local dealer, sold it recently. We have one Specialized, wife's Levo, she's had a few Specialized over the years.

    I ride a Kona, a Devinci, a Surly, and a UDC. Next purchase: Lenz Fatillac

    My buddy has a Salsa Bucksaw, he likes it just fine . He also owns a Trek, a Specialized, n+1 in his garage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Hey Ben! Great name, so powerful

    Before you buy, take a look at the Farley Ex 9.8
    $5500
    Carbon frame, cranks, wheels, bar
    X01, Ti seat, 27.5 wheels
    68.8hta, 73.8 sta, 443mm cs (BS 444mm cs).
    Fox Float Evol with120mm rear suspension travel
    and a Manitou Mastodon fork! (Late 2017).
    Thanks for the suggestion! However I took that bike off the list because of 27.5 fat. While I understand the benefits of the platform, There are not enough options when it comes to tires (yet). I only know of one that can fit that bike right now and I would be making a 26in conversion from day one. That is why I like the BS and its normal carbon wheels.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Our localTrek store carries Salsa, they had nothing negative to say about either as they felt that each brand had different strengths. Funny how one person's experience can be called a trend.

    The local Trek shop has sold a couple BS on special order, a few Beargrease, a bunch of Farleys, and no Farley EX.

    I tried to talk them into carrying the Farley EX, they said it was too expensive, they said they'd need to see some interest before making the investment.

    Great shop, motivated folks, give back to the community, located across the road from a Specialized dealer who has the same attitude. In a small town, It's nice to know that we have good dealers.

    Full disclosure, I don't own a Trek or a Salsa, my wife had a Trek ~ 6 yrs ago, gave it to my daughter, good bike, purchased from a good dealer. I had a Salsa, bought it from our local dealer, sold it recently. We have one Specialized, wife's Levo, she's had a few Specialized over the years.

    I ride a Kona, a Devinci, a Surly, and a UDC. Next purchase: Lenz Fatillac

    My buddy has a Salsa Bucksaw, he likes it just fine . He also owns a Trek, a Specialized, n+1 in his garage.
    First off it's a thread called "Bucksaw rear shock options", which at least in my case I clicked on to see what other shocks would improve my Bucksaw. Judging from others responses here, it seems that is what most were looking for in this thread and not a Trek vs Bucksaw vs Lenz thread.

    Second, You haven't owned a Trek in 6 years and want to lecture me on dependability and reliability of Treks? I've owned four Treks since your last and now own one- enough said.

    Third, up until you told me the chainstay length on a Bucksaw, I wouldn't have known it. I stopped buying bikes on specs alone a while ago. Now I ride it, if it feels good I wait a few days ride it again somewhere different, still good, then I think about buying. I've found this method works much better for long term bike bliss and no buyers remorse like I got from the spec sheet method.

    Finally, For whatever reason you are just mean. I say that not everyone wants short chainstays and your response is to attack my ability and imply I ride bike paths. Seriously? Grow up and seek help for whatever from your life is causing your issues.
    '17 Cutthroat
    '16 Bucksaw Carbon
    '15 Fatboy Expert

  38. #38
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    Whatever Ben's flavor of the month is tends to be greatest bike of all time. Ben, you have a longstanding habit of derailling virtually every Bucksaw thread on these boards. First it was Mutz ad nauseum, now it's the (apples to oranges) Wozo and the (potential) Fatillac. Get over the fact that a lot of BS owners find these bikes ideal. You don't, we get that. Nobody was talking about Trek Vs. Salsa except you.

  39. #39
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    I swapped my suspension last year to a fox factory plus fork and the rear to fox factory float with evol sleeve. I had a 15 bucksaw 1 and then the 16 carbon and the fox kills the rt3 in every way IMO. I can also get any 4" fat In the fork and run plus all summer. Love the bucksaw!


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