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  1. #1
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    Plushest low to mid travel 29er...

    ...in the root infested terrain and square edged repeated hits at speed?

    Are there any/many? Or is this one of those things where there simply is no substitute for mad skillz, a carefully chosen line, and poppy, graceful riding? Or bottomless suspension travel?

    Can one have it all? Or at least most of it? Comfortable, low effort, high traction climbing, snappy handling, and the ability to tame the chunk at “just on the edge” rates of speed?

  2. #2
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    Honestly, I was rather impressed by the Top Fuel. Surpassingly plush but very fast.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

  3. #3
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    Friend just got the Ibis Ripmo, he seems to he doing fine with it!

  4. #4
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    Well, unless you become a student of suspension leverage curves, it's going to be shooting in the dark. It's not too hard to grasp suspension leverage curves, much easier than anti-squat curves and other data. The thing is that many bike manufacturers do not mach their shocks well to the bike. Some do, but others often have wacky curves or they spec an air shock when the bike is really set up for a coil. This can make the suspension behave very poorly. And then there's shock quality and tune.

    A custom tune always beats the OEM stuff. The tuning range is too wide on OEM stuff to get anywhere close to maximum performance. Avalanche will revalve your shock (usually, depending on model) and this makes a huge difference. Imagine having a firm setup that doesn't dive off of curbs, yet when you hit those square edged bumps, it reacts like butter and sucks it up like nothing was there.

    The closest you will have to "having it all" will be to have a bike with decent suspension leverage curve for the type of shock on it and to have a good enough shock. Go to the suspension page and you'll see a lot of riders are upset with many of the OEM offerings, but going the custom route, you can "have your cake and eat it too".

    Good luck. It's hard just relying on word of mouth and what one guy says. It takes me around a week to usually dial in a bike's suspension, riding through varied terrain and making adjustments.
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  5. #5
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    Plush? I'm guessing DW link, or it's variations. Ibis, Pivot, Giant, etc.

  6. #6
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    There are several things at play, taking the shock out of it, I've found the axle path of a low-pivot to "hang up" a bit more, but when the pivot point gets too high, your feet on the pedals interferes with the suspension absorbing bumps. Luckily, the latter is a rarity anymore, save for a few bikes. I find with the DW they can be good, but often the shock tune is too light IMO, gobbling up square edged stuff, but providing for poor chassis stability. Again, a good shock tune can fix this and this trait is by no means all DW bikes, but IME, leverage curve is much more important than whether it's a DW, Delta, Switch, Intense, VPP, FSR, etc., when it comes to absorbing bumps. All of these can be great at pedaling and absorbing bumps with the right kinematics and shock tune.
    "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

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Plush? I'm guessing DW link, or it's variations. Ibis, Pivot, Giant, etc.
    yep!

    If you want plush, these will work well!

    If you want something that is going to pedal much better, look at some of the VPP offerings (Intense, Santa Cruz)

    They arent going to be near as plush on initial hits (small bump) but once you get into the travel though they are butter.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    There are several things at play, taking the shock out of it, I've found the axle path of a low-pivot to "hang up" a bit more, but when the pivot point gets too high, your feet on the pedals interferes with the suspension absorbing bumps. Luckily, the latter is a rarity anymore, save for a few bikes. I find with the DW they can be good, but often the shock tune is too light IMO, gobbling up square edged stuff, but providing for poor chassis stability. Again, a good shock tune can fix this and this trait is by no means all DW bikes, but IME, leverage curve is much more important than whether it's a DW, Delta, Switch, Intense, VPP, FSR, etc., when it comes to absorbing bumps. All of these can be great at pedaling and absorbing bumps with the right kinematics and shock tune.
    Very good points as well! But, shock tune can only overcome so much of the linkage kinematics.

    DW link style bikes just tend to have much better small bump compliance.

    VPP tends to pedal better but at the sacrifice of some small bump chatter.

    Of course, just my opinion of course. Im not expert.

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    Thanks guys. That's helpful. I really need to get a serious ride in on some VPP and DW Link bikes. Apparently I have some top spec'd bikes available right now for a demo - Tallboy, Hightower, Switchbalade and Mach 5.5. The LBS has not yet seen the new Trail 429 and I just missed the Pivot demo van.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Thanks guys. That's helpful. I really need to get a serious ride in on some VPP and DW Link bikes. Apparently I have some top spec'd bikes available right now for a demo - Tallboy, Hightower, Switchbalade and Mach 5.5. The LBS has not yet seen the new Trail 429 and I just missed the Pivot demo van.
    Take out the tallboy/hightower and then the Mach 5.5 back to back. I'm betting you will notice a marked difference between the two.


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  11. #11
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    I demoed the Hightower tonight. "Plush" is not a word I would use to describe the rear suspension.

    I am starting to think (very quickly) that I am a monster truckin, long travel, 27.5 squish bomb kinda guy.

    Horst Link.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I demoed the Hightower tonight. "Plush" is not a word I would use to describe the rear suspension.

    I am starting to think (very quickly) that I am a monster truckin, long travel, 27.5 squish bomb kinda guy.

    Horst Link.
    Yep. That's VPP for the most part. Test out the Pivot next and let us know. Interested to hear what you think.

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    The VPP functioned very nicely on the climbs and flats. I did not sense any pedal kickback (then again, I ride one of the highest anti-squat bikes ever made, I believe). But on the downs? Let's just say I have a whole newfound appreciation for my current bike (which I almost sold today, to buy a VPP or DW Link bike).

    I am going to try a 5.5 next (the new Trail 429 is still a way's away). Then, I am going to try the new Stumpjumper S Works. Yes. I know I will now go to hell for even uttering the blasphemous S word. Whatever.

    I am going to put the potential buyer of my bike on hold for now...
    Last edited by mtnbkrmike; 06-12-2018 at 06:45 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The VPP functioned very nicely on the climbs and flats. I did not sense any pedal kickback (then again, I ride one of the highest anti-squat bikes ever made, I believe). But on the downs? Let's just say I have a whole newfound appreciation for my current bike (which I almost sold today, to buy a VPP or DW Link bike).

    I am going to try a 5.5 next (the new Trail 429 is still a way's away). Then, I am going to try the new Stumpjumper S Works. Yes. I know I will now go to hell for even uttering the blasphemous S word. Whatever.

    I am going to put the potential buyer of my bike on hold for now...
    I have a feeling that you will notice a drastic difference in the DW-Link over the VPP. You will like that bike.

    It won't pedal as well (VPP is hard to beat when you pedal a lot) but will eat up the small bump harshness much better!

    Oh, and I don't think you will be satisfied with the s-works small bump either. But I could be wrong.

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  15. #15
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    When people say plush they typically mean glide over the choppy smaller bumps. If this is what you mean, and is what's most important to you. Look into a Knolly with a cool and custom tune.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    yep!

    If you want plush, these will work well!

    If you want something that is going to pedal much better, look at some of the VPP offerings (Intense, Santa Cruz)

    They arent going to be near as plush on initial hits (small bump) but once you get into the travel though they are butter.
    Even within the VPP users, the end product can vary wildly.

    Prime examples are the Sniper and the Blur.

    Completely different suspension feel. And, one doesn’t need a lockout, and the other comes stock with one.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    When people say plush they typically mean glide over the choppy smaller bumps. If this is what you mean, and is what's most important to you. Look into a Knolly with a cool and custom tune.
    I’m talking more point and shoot on downs at speed through repetitive square edged hits.

    I am not all that concerned about slower speed small bump compliance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Even within the VPP users, the end product can vary wildly.

    Prime examples are the Sniper and the Blur.

    Completely different suspension feel. And, one doesn’t need a lockout, and the other comes stock with one.


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    Agreed. If anyone wants to suggest specific bikes as opposed to linkage designs, that would be most appreciated. Thanks.

  19. #19
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    Yeti 4.5.

    Mark

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    2017 Yeti SB4.5c, stock, except for a Wolf 28T oval chainring

  20. #20
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    Pivot Mach 429 seems right up your alley.

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    I thought my new Blur fits this bill perfectly. But I haven't ridden SB100, Epic, 429, Sniper, Etc.

    The handling on the blur is insanely good and it just eats up roots and rock gardens. I pedal through everything and my time on the local courses is miles better. My favorite local trail is all roots and rock gardens and the Blur basically turns it into a fast flow trail with gobs of traction.

    I pedal through so much stuff I would normally be off the seat for I actually really get annoyed with all the pedal strikes. I think I would normally have struck those on a higher BB bike too but I just feel so confident pedaling every second I've really started to ratchet a lot better.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    Pivot Mach 429 seems right up your alley.
    That’s what I thought too, and it is still in the running, but it got beaten up pretty badly after it’s Moab launch. Plus the top end spec will end up being heavier than my 160/160 Range. And don’t even get me started on the Super Duper Boost Plus 157. Jeezus. Seriously?

    EDIT: Oh wait. Never mind. I thought you were talking about the Mach 429 replacement - the Trail 429.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by givemefive View Post
    I thought my new Blur fits this bill perfectly. But I haven't ridden SB100, Epic, 429, Sniper, Etc.

    The handling on the blur is insanely good and it just eats up roots and rock gardens. I pedal through everything and my time on the local courses is miles better. My favorite local trail is all roots and rock gardens and the Blur basically turns it into a fast flow trail with gobs of traction.

    I pedal through so much stuff I would normally be off the seat for I actually really get annoyed with all the pedal strikes. I think I would normally have struck those on a higher BB bike too but I just feel so confident pedaling every second I've really started to ratchet a lot better.
    Wow. That’s quite the endorsement. I am
    starting to think that I must just be a very delicate flower, given that my hands are still sore from my Hightower ride last night, which was on a local buff flowy ripper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Wow. That’s quite the endorsement. I am
    starting to think that I must just be a very delicate flower, given that my hands are still sore from my Hightower ride last night, which was on a local buff flowy ripper.
    I had a terrible ride on a hightower once that beat me up... it had a 36 on it with stiction issues. I rode another one, and the experience was much different. Bike setup could have been part of your bad experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I’m talking more point and shoot on downs at speed through repetitive square edged hits.

    I am not all that concerned about slower speed small bump compliance.
    With that information most the bikes mentioned would be good. I'll throw in Devinci Diago as well.

  26. #26
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    I demo'd a '18 Pivot Mach 5.5 and loved it. I couldn't find one in my price range and time line so I ended up with a 2017 Bronson with a '17 Fox 36 and the stock Monarch Plus. There was basically no small bump compliance. I spent a little money, had Avy tune the shock, and get a piston with a larger negative air chamber for the fork and it's a completely new bike. Rides is basically as supple as the Pivot.
    I wouldn't **** you, you're my favorite turd.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Even within the VPP users, the end product can vary wildly.

    Prime examples are the Sniper and the Blur.

    Completely different suspension feel. And, one doesn’t need a lockout, and the other comes stock with one.


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    I'm aware of this. But neither shares the same characteristics as a dw bike..

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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    I had a terrible ride on a hightower once that beat me up... it had a 36 on it with stiction issues. I rode another one, and the experience was much different. Bike setup could have been part of your bad experience.
    Yeah my Hightower LT is not the most active while pedaling but eats up the chunk pretty well going downhill. It's probably not the most plush bike from a comfort standpoint but it's great from a performance standpoint. There's a few threads on the Fox 36 coming with too much grease from the factory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MudderNutter View Post
    I had a terrible ride on a hightower once that beat me up... it had a 36 on it with stiction issues. I rode another one, and the experience was much different. Bike setup could have been part of your bad experience.
    I had a similar experience my first test ride. A year later rode one with a coil and it was much better.

  30. #30
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    The OP asked about low/mid travel bikes and he's getting suggestions of 5+ inches, lol. I'm old but did I miss something.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    The OP asked about low/mid travel bikes and he's getting suggestions of 5+ inches, lol. I'm old but did I miss something.
    Mid travel is 5" anymore. 140mm is mid travel these days. Low would be 100-120 IMO. With today's linkage/shock design the old "I can't use 140mm of travel, it's too much" pretty much gets thrown out the window.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    Mid travel is 5" anymore. 140mm is mid travel these days. Low would be 100-120 IMO. With today's linkage/shock design the old "I can't use 140mm of travel, it's too much" pretty much gets thrown out the window.

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    I ride a great pedalling 140mm and assumed it was in the upper end of mid travel. I assumed anything 5.5 is long travel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I ride a great pedalling 140mm and assumed it was in the upper end of mid travel. I assumed anything 5.5 is long travel.
    Probably right in line.

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    140mm and assumed it was in the upper end of mid travel. I assumed anything 5.5 is long travel.
    140mm = 5.5 inches

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    140mm = 5.5 inches
    Yes. I believe he was referencing my post on 140mm being mid travel.

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  36. #36
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    I find these threads confusing. Of course, everyone has a definition of mid-travel. And “plush” certainly appears to have no concrete meaning. I mean, Yeti 4.5? 429 Trail? I’ve owned both those bikes and plush would not be the first (or 30th) adjective I’d use.

    Similarly, DW bikes are not known for plushness. Snappy, good pedaling? Yep.

    VPP tends to be similar, but my Nomad was incredibly plush.

    In the general sense — discounting custom shocks, which can polish a lot of turds — Horst and single pivot bikes are typically the most plush. You may or may not like the way they pedal, but that’s another story.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Agree here-----plush at this travel is not common in the least---firm and efficient yes--but typically not plush. I ride a Pivot 429 and no way would I say it is plush but it is efficient.

    Have also ridden HT/Ripley/new Stumpy----none would be called plush----

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by pctloper View Post
    ...Have also ridden...new Stumpy----none would be called plush----
    Seriously? 150/140mm of Horst Link cush and it’s not plush? What did you ride? 29er or 27.5? What spec level?

    When I came back from my Hightower mountain demo last night, I blasted around my LBS on a 27.5 Comp that seemed plush as hell (although that remains to be seen on the trail, obviously).

    If it’s not “plush” (however one defines that term) that would seem to be a radical departure for the Big S. I speak from experience being a prior SJ owner.

    I have actually spent a good chunk of my work day reading about the new SJ. I was hoping it could be “the one”.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Seriously? 150/140mm of Horst Link cush and it’s not plush? What did you ride? 29er or 27.5? What spec level?

    When I came back from my Hightower mountain demo last night, I blasted around my LBS on a 27.5 Comp that seemed plush as hell (although that remains to be seen on the trail, obviously).

    If it’s not “plush” (however one defines that term) that would seem to be a radical departure for the Big S. I speak from experience being a prior SJ owner.

    I have actually spent a good chunk of my work day reading about the new SJ. I was hoping it could be “the one”.
    Granted like said above, each person has different perspective.

    I've never ridden one myself.

    I do hope you keep this thread updated with your choice and opinion though! I like reading threads like these!

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    Last edited by R_Pierce; 06-12-2018 at 09:44 PM.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    I find these threads confusing. Of course, everyone has a definition of mid-travel. And “plush” certainly appears to have no concrete meaning. I mean, Yeti 4.5? 429 Trail? I’ve owned both those bikes and plush would not be the first (or 30th) adjective I’d use.

    Similarly, DW bikes are not known for plushness. Snappy, good pedaling? Yep.

    VPP tends to be similar, but my Nomad was incredibly plush.

    In the general sense — discounting custom shocks, which can polish a lot of turds — Horst and single pivot bikes are typically the most plush. You may or may not like the way they pedal, but that’s another story.
    That’s a pretty good synopsis, I’d say.


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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    I watched multiple video reviews on it and none of them claimed plushness. Most also claimed it tended to run through mid stroke travel rather quickly.

    Granted like said above, each person has different perspective.

    I've never ridden one myself.

    I do hope you keep this thread updated with your choice and opinion though! I like reading threads like these!

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    I briefly rode a friend’s SJ with coil shock.

    If I was racing Enduro, that would be the bike I’d do it on. And, FWIW, I’ve never owned a Specialized. Just haven’t been a fan. But wow. That thing was smooth.

    I didn’t hit anything huge (<3ft, smooth landing) and I tend to like my XC bikes set up rather stiff, so take my perspective with a grain of salt as it pertains to 140mm frames.


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    At the risk of being disagreeable, I own both a ‘17 and the new Stumpy. I’d venture both are among the most plush bikes I’ve owned or demo’d in the travel range and wheel size.

    The ‘17 might be a touch plusher, but it has a Topaz while the new one is stock.

    FWIW, I’m only speaking about bikes I have direct experience with. And I spend most of my ride time on South Mountain in Phoenix so I know about square edges.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I briefly rode a friend’s SJ with coil shock.

    If I was racing Enduro, that would be the bike I’d do it on. And, FWIW, I’ve never owned a Specialized. Just haven’t been a fan. But wow. That thing was smooth.

    I didn’t hit anything huge (<3ft, smooth landing) and I tend to like my XC bikes set up rather stiff, so take my perspective with a grain of salt as it pertains to 140mm frames.


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    My buddy at my LBS is pushing me towards exactly that - a new SJ coil sprung.

    Makes me wonder whether I should just Push the bejeezus out of my Norco Range, which is a Horst Link. 11-6 and an ACS-3 coil conversion. Or maybe just leave the fork air sprung but add an Avy cart.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    At the risk of being disagreeable, I own both a ‘17 and the new Stumpy. I’d venture both are among the most plush bikes I’ve owned or demo’d in the travel range and wheel size.

    The ‘17 might be a touch plusher, but it has a Topaz while the new one is stock.

    FWIW, I’m only speaking about bikes I have direct experience with. And I spend most of my ride time on South Mountain in Phoenix so I know about square edges.
    Whoa...do tell.

    What new SJ do you have? 27.5 or 29? What spec/model? Can you please tell me more about it? Can you please describe the suspension on the ups, flats and downs, especially on the balls to the wall downs through repeated square edged hits? Does it get hung up at all? Do your retinas ever feel like they are in the process of detaching? Does you bike feel like it is on the verge of exploding? All feelings I experienced last night on my demo ride. And like I said, that was on probably the flowiest, buffest trail in my area, which also happens to be one of my favourite 1 hour after work blasts.

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    29 of course, I’m a large mammal.

    I wrote a thesis on the subject on the specialized board.

    My old one is comp carbon, new one is the cheap alloy one. I’ve ridden these bikes on most of the steepest jankiest stuff in Phx, Sedona and Flag. I’ve owned bikes that we’re marginally better in the scenario you’re outlining. Namely an E29 (not the 2017) with an Ohlins coil or a Nomad with DHX2 or Avy’d Monarch.

    The Stumpy is probably 80% of those bikes in that scenario, but far superior throughout the remainder of the ride.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    29 of course, I’m a large mammal.

    I wrote a thesis on the subject on the specialized board.

    My old one is comp carbon, new one is the cheap alloy one. I’ve ridden these bikes on most of the steepest jankiest stuff in Phx, Sedona and Flag. I’ve owned bikes that we’re marginally better in the scenario you’re outlining. Namely an E29 (not the 2017) with an Ohlins coil or a Nomad with DHX2 or Avy’d Monarch.

    The Stumpy is probably 80% of those bikes in that scenario, but far superior throughout the remainder of the ride.
    Sonofa B, that is good to hear. Thanks for posting that. I will track down your thesis when I get home from work after my pavement blast.

    All hope is not necessarily lost. Yahoo!

    Any thoughts on the previous comments about lack of midstroke support and the shock blowing through its travel?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    I briefly rode a friend’s SJ with coil shock.

    If I was racing Enduro, that would be the bike I’d do it on. And, FWIW, I’ve never owned a Specialized. Just haven’t been a fan. But wow. That thing was smooth.

    I didn’t hit anything huge (<3ft, smooth landing) and I tend to like my XC bikes set up rather stiff, so take my perspective with a grain of salt as it pertains to 140mm frames.


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    Right on!!

    I wish I could jump on one here in these parts.



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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Sonofa B, that is good to hear. Thanks for posting that. I will track down your thesis when I get home from work after my pavement blast.

    All hope is not necessarily lost. Yahoo!

    Any thoughts on the previous comments about lack of midstroke support and the shock blowing through its travel?
    Take that with a grain of salt. As I've never ridden one. Just going off of the video reviews I have watched (I'm a junky and watch YouTube reviews constantly)

    I should try and dig back through and see if I can find them.

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    Well, there are a lot of folks who don’t like how Spec. bikes pedal. The older ones certainly lacked some mid-stroke, but that was mostly a climbing issue. The DVO shock solved that for me. The new one is firmer while climbing. It is a pretty basic Fox shock, so my next upgrade is there.

    That said, I rode an unexpected high-speed 4-footer to flat in Sedona last weekend and it didn’t flinch. Blowing through travel MAY be more an issue with a coil as the bike is relatively linear. No direct experience, though.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    Yes. I believe he was referencing my post on 140mm being mid travel.

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    Honestly I was really referring to the HTLT and Ripmo suggestions. And making sure I didn't miss anything since 140mm used to be considered long for a 29er. More of a joke since bikes are getting better XC bikes have more travel now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    Take that with a grain of salt. As I've never ridden one. Just going off of the video reviews I have watched (I'm a junky and watch YouTube reviews constantly)

    I should try and dig back through and see if I can find them.

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    Please let me know, PM or otherwise, if you find any. Thanks for all your input. Much appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Honestly I was really referring to the HTLT and Ripmo suggestions. And making sure I didn't miss anything since 140mm used to be considered long for a 29er. More of a joke since bikes are getting better XC bikes have more travel now.
    HTLT is more my style I suspect, but my LBS can't get any for a while, which will potentially abort the sale of my current bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Well, there are a lot of folks who don’t like how Spec. bikes pedal. The older ones certainly lacked some mid-stroke, but that was mostly a climbing issue. The DVO shock solved that for me. The new one is firmer while climbing. It is a pretty basic Fox shock, so my next upgrade is there.

    That said, I rode an unexpected high-speed 4-footer to flat in Sedona last weekend and it didn’t flinch. Blowing through travel MAY be more an issue with a coil as the bike is relatively linear. No direct experience, though.
    Thanks for all your help. I am going to PM you with some specific questions if you don't mind.

    As for pedalling, I have no idea about a lot of things I read. For example, why some prefer hardtails climbing, or lock outs. I can barely use the "trail" mode on most shocks without my rear tire breaking free. I assume that the terrain I ride is typical of most - roots, rocks, natural ledges, etc. - on the way up, and down. I like ACTIVE suspension, both down and up. To each their own.

    EDIT: I tracked down and read your review in the S sub-forum. Excellent. Very helpful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Thanks for all your help. I am going to PM you with some specific questions if you don't mind.

    As for pedalling, I have no idea about a lot of things I read. For example, why some prefer hardtails climbing, or lock outs. I can barely use the "trail" mode on most shocks without my rear tire breaking free. I assume that the terrain I ride is typical of most - roots, rocks, natural ledges, etc. - on the way up, and down. I like ACTIVE suspension, both down and up. To each their own.
    What region do you ride? For where I ride I like a shorter wheel base bike. Currently on a Riot, hoping the updated model comes out this year. If not the Trail fox is high on my list. I also like an active suspension that doesn't suck to peddle. But hanging up is my pet peeve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    What region do you ride? For where I ride I like a shorter wheel base bike. Currently on a Riot, hoping the updated model comes out this year. If not the Trail fox is high on my list. I also like an active suspension that doesn't suck to peddle. But hanging up is my pet peeve.
    I'm in Calgary, Alberta. Western Canadian Rockies. I typically ride in Canmore, West Bragg Creek, Banff, and Kananaskis Country, and am often in BC as well, namely Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke and sometimes, but not nearly often enough, Whistler and Squamish. I also make it to Utah once a year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I'm in Calgary, Alberta. Western Canadian Rockies. I typically ride in Canmore, West Bragg Creek, Banff, and Kananaskis Country, and am often in BC as well, namely Fernie, Golden, Revelstoke and sometimes, but not nearly often enough, Whistler and Squamish. I also make it to Utah once a year.
    If you dont care if it's not carbon Knolly and Gorrila Gravity make some good bikes.

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    I owned a GG Smash. Would love to try the new Knolly Fugitive.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    The more I read and watch, the more I am liking the new Stumpy. That said, maybe it’s time to abandon the whole mid travel 29er thing and go full on kamikaze with a Nomad. Or maybe 3/4 kamikaze with a CR/DL 153 Process. I hate getting bounced around like a rag doll out there. It may be time to get real and acknowledge that try as I might, I am addicted to travel. Oh well. Things could be worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The more I read and watch, the more I am liking the new Stumpy. That said, maybe it’s time to abandon the whole mid travel 29er thing and go full on kamikaze with a Nomad. Or maybe 3/4 kamikaze with a CR/DL 153 Process. I hate getting bounced around like a rag doll out there. It may be time to get real and acknowledge that try as I might, I am addicted to travel. Oh well. Things could be worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    I'm kinda kidding on this. But only kinda.

    I am going to do a full court press on a new Stumpy 29er. If I like it, I will buy it.

    I am out on the new Pivot Trail 429. I am out on the HT. I can't get access to an HTLT.

    If it wasn't so beefy I would look more seriously at a Process 153 CR/DL (even though it's a 27.5).

    Fingers crossed on the Stumpy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    The more I read and watch, the more I am liking the new Stumpy. That said, maybe it’s time to abandon the whole mid travel 29er thing and go full on kamikaze with a Nomad. Or maybe 3/4 kamikaze with a CR/DL 153 Process. I hate getting bounced around like a rag doll out there. It may be time to get real and acknowledge that try as I might, I am addicted to travel. Oh well. Things could be worse.
    My wife has the previous version of the Process. She loves that bike. She tested the new one and is saving her money for one. She prefers 27.5 but both wheel sizes felt similar.
    The new one peddles better but it's still an active platform.

    A lot of the bikes that are not DW link that are mentioned are very similar. Knolly, Kona and GG have more ramp up in the suspension. Spec has more of a falling rate feels good going down but relying on the shock for peddling and bottoming out.

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    Interesting thread. One thing lacking is any mention of the forks contribution to said “plush”ride. Just the right feel up front is as important to me as the rear end. Of course bars and grips play in there as well.

    I’m very satisfied with the combination of DW out back PLUS a MRP ribbon air up front on my 429T


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    My wife has the previous version of the Process. She loves that bike. She tested the new one and is saving her money for one. She prefers 27.5 but both wheel sizes felt similar.
    The new one peddles better but it's still an active platform.

    A lot of the bikes that are not DW link that are mentioned are very similar. Knolly, Kona and GG have more ramp up in the suspension. Spec has more of a falling rate feels good going down but relying on the shock for peddling and bottoming out.
    In 2015 when I bought my Range, I felt guilty so I also bought my daughter a Process 134SE. Best move I have ever done. I lightened up the already lightened up version of the Process and threw a 26 tooth ring on it - that ended up being a great move because (unbeknownst to me at the time) it added a bit of anti-squat to the pedalling.

    I waited a long time for a carbon Process 134. Instead, Kona mothballed it, along with the 111. Please don’t get me going on Kona’s 2018 product launch. I have owned countless Konas and currently have 5 in my garage (2 of which are my daughter’s). I love Kona but I feel like they have lost their way in life.

  64. #64
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    As someone else mentioned, the Specialized horst link is pretty plush. I came off a Yeti SB5 and went to a new Enduro, and it's a lot more plush. I loved the way the Switch Infinity climbed because it felt stiffer. The Enduro climbs pretty well but I feel like it descents much more "floaty" (if that make sense).

    If you were looking for a plush mid travel do-it-all bike, on top of my Pivot Mach 429 recommendation I would also throw the Camber into the works.

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    Might wanna take a look at some YTs. Horst link, hot prices.

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    Change in direction. Looking now at Rockys. Instinct, Instinct BC Edition, and Altitude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Change in direction. Looking now at Rockys. Instinct, Instinct BC Edition, and Altitude.
    Make sure you ride one first. Rocky Mtn and Scott seem to be getting popular in my area, and I tried riding both and found that they felt super goofy. Granted, different bikes fit different bodies, but something felt off to me on the RM.

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    So much for plush.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    So much for plush.
    Yeah. Ok. What the hell was I thinking? Sorry. A brief spiral into madness. Back to the Stumpy...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Yeah. Ok. What the hell was I thinking? Sorry. A brief spiral into madness. Back to the Stumpy...
    Bro, go ride some bikes brother. Seriously give that pivot a shot. Then give the stumpy a shot. With riding those three bikes you will have gotten a pretty vast array of suspension in. That will give you a much better idea.

    Just my .02

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    Just got back from an evening long date with a Stumpy...

    Some extremely quick thoughts (that I will add to later)...

    Large 27.5 Expert. Hipster blue and pink. Colorway is not my thang.

    Burly. Heavy. Tank like. LOTS of carbon going on. I have never sweated as much as I did tonight in my life, and I was not even wearing a CamelBak. I only had a t-shirt and biking shorts on, and it was 17 C (63 F). I climbed continually for 40 minutes and my thoughts for my little review here changed dramatically as I neared the top of that climb. I was pretty gassed at the top. I can't imagine how tired I would have been with those big 2.6s on a 29er.

    Fit me like a custom made frame. Maybe better. [I'm 5'11", 185 without gear, lanky - long arms and legs]

    Geo is dialled. Absolute perfection (for me).

    Seemed like it has a relatively high stack compared to other bikes I have ridden of late. Loved it.

    Railed corners. RAILED. Those 2.6 tires are something else in terms of traction. Wow.

    Liked to go fast on the downs. No. LOVED to go fast.

    Nowhere near the pedal bob of the Stumpys of old. I climbed with the shock wide open, and loved it. That said, I had a few pedal strikes.

    The Command Post worked well, but it was bizarre. Definitely a nut crusher as reported by so many. And a very odd noise - like a fishing reel amplified.

    No idea if the bike was in the high or low position (assuming there is a high and low position). No idea how to even open the SWAT door.

    Nowhere near as plush as my Range (also horst link). The 2 bikes ride completely differently.

    All in all, a nice bike but I can't get past the weight and burliness of it. Being the puss that I am, I would really try to lighten it up if I bought one [to the extent I could - the medium S-Works without pedals was 28+ pounds]. Fast, but not nearly as plush as my Range, but I much preferred the suspension over the Hightower's VPP. Geo was way better as well. The HT climbed a little more efficiently but I chalk at least some of that up to the weight difference.

    Did I say that the Stumpy was big and burly?

    EDIT: I took the bike as is (although they presumably set it up for me before I arrived). I did not screw with any suspension settings. I did not check the tire pressures. I had no time. I tossed it out of my truck, hopped on it, and blasted off. Presumably I could dial the suspension in much better than where it was set. I did note that SAG was around 30 for the shock.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Just got back from an evening long date with a Stumpy...
    Well, and?

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    Well, and?
    Well, any response to my comments?

    And before anyone shits all over me - my tiredness climbing was not due to the shock being wide open, but to the weight of the bike. I actually liked how the rear wheel hugged the ground all the way up, as I clawed up and over numerous roots, rocks and other ledges. It was slow, but steady.

    Getting back to the original question:

    "Can one have it all? Or at least most of it? Comfortable, low effort, high traction climbing, snappy handling, and the ability to tame the chunk at “just on the edge” rates of speed?"

    I would say it was a least medium effort climbing, but with high traction. I wouldn't say the handling was snappy, but man did that bike hold a line. It seemed to tame the chunk at speed, but it was not what I would equate to a "squish bomb-like" experience. Perhaps I needed to free up the rebound. No idea as I didn't check. I got on and did not stop until I got back to the trailhead.

    And before I forget, it pedalled nicely through the chunk. No pedal kickback that I
    noticed.

    Next up...DW Link...

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Well, any response to my comments?

    And before anyone shits all over me - my tiredness climbing was not due to the shock being wide open, but to the weight of the bike. I actually liked how the rear wheel hugged the ground all the way up, as I clawed up and over numerous roots, rocks and other ledges. It was slow, but steady.

    Getting back to the original question:

    "Can one have it all? Or at least most of it? Comfortable, low effort, high traction climbing, snappy handling, and the ability to tame the chunk at “just on the edge” rates of speed?"

    I would say it was a least medium effort climbing, but with hight traction. I wouldn't say the handling was snappy, but man did that bike hold a line. It seemed to tame the chunk at speed, but it was not what I would equate to a "squish bomb-like" experience. Perhaps I needed to free up the rebound. No idea as I didn't check. I got on and did not stop until got back to the trailhead.
    Sorry, that part wasn't there when I replied. I'll read it quick here

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    Sounds like you had a good time on it! And liked the bike. Do you know roughly what the weight is? Also the 2.6 tires are going to be a lot more sluggish than a standard 2.35 or 2.4 as far as rolling resistance.

    I didn't believe it until I went from a 2.8 to a 2.4. was a totally different animal. Much easier to pedal.

    Sounds like you may have found the bike!

    Cant wait to hear what you think of the DW link bike!

    Right on man!!

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    And for what it's worth.. I'm not a believer in lock outs. Always ride in open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Well, any response to my comments?

    And before anyone shits all over me - my tiredness climbing was not due to the shock being wide open, but to the weight of the bike. I actually liked how the rear wheel hugged the ground all the way up, as I clawed up and over numerous roots, rocks and other ledges. It was slow, but steady.

    Getting back to the original question:

    "Can one have it all? Or at least most of it? Comfortable, low effort, high traction climbing, snappy handling, and the ability to tame the chunk at “just on the edge” rates of speed?"

    I would say it was a least medium effort climbing, but with high traction. I wouldn't say the handling was snappy, but man did that bike hold a line. It seemed to tame the chunk at speed, but it was not what I would equate to a "squish bomb-like" experience. Perhaps I needed to free up the rebound. No idea as I didn't check. I got on and did not stop until I got back to the trailhead.

    And before I forget, it pedalled nicely through the chunk. No pedal kickback that I
    noticed.

    Next up...DW Link...
    Tech climbing and really high antisquat normally dont mix well. But you dont want it to squat too much either. It might be personal preference. But I like around 90ish% efficient but when you hit the rear wheel square on a climb the the suspension move enough that the wheel goes over the object.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Tech climbing and really high antisquat normally dont mix well. But you dont want it to squat too much either. It might be personal preference. But I like around 90ish% efficient but when you hit the rear wheel square on a climb the the suspension move enough that the wheel goes over the object.
    Doesn’t that depend on a few things, notably the speed at which you’re climbing?

    I mean, hitting a 5” square edged rock is going to compress the rear end more at 10mph than it would at 6mph.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Doesn’t that depend on a few things, notably the speed at which you’re climbing?

    I mean, hitting a 5” square edged rock is going to compress the rear end more at 10mph than it would at 6mph.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Tech climbing and really high antisquat normally dont mix well. But you dont want it to squat too much either. It might be personal preference. But I like around 90ish% efficient but when you hit the rear wheel square on a climb the the suspension move enough that the wheel goes over the object.
    What is "high"? 80% 100% 120% 160%?

    In my experience, high is well over 100%, low is significantly less than that. Around 100% you don't get hanging up due to suspension interfering with pedals, but you also don't get it bogging down or riding really low in the uphill tech, allowing you to ride "over the top" of stuff rather than get bogged down in between.

    I noticed that on my lower AS bikes, particularly the ones that had low AS around half-travel, as you climb through a tech section, the suspension compresses, you try to keep forward momentum, apply more power, the suspension compresses even more. You get this "mega-plush" feel while climbing, but you also get the rear end sinking way down, making the front light, and requiring a lot more energy to move forward in the same section.

    IME, this lower-antisquat tendency feels like it uses "more" travel going uphill on the same size bumps than it would just coasting downhill. This is your "wow, it really digs in!" feeling, but also your "uh oh, the front end is coming off the ground!". It's not right or wrong, it could be helpful in some situations, but could also be detrimental.

    There were a significant amount of complex root-sections that I was able to make by just keeping my feet spinning after I went to something that wasn't a low-AS bike.

    Had a race last night and I definitely think this was one of the helpful factors on my ride, there were several significant root-obstacles uphill.

    It feels more to me on my pivot 429 (or RFX) that the rear end moves the same amount for bumps uphill or downhill. Shock tune though has a lot to do with this, any many OEM shock tunes are crap compared to what they could be. I can't emphasize that enough.

    When I first tested a DW turner, it was being compared to my avalanche-equipped horst RFX at the time. At slower speed, the DW gobbled up some of the smaller square edged bumps better, but it also had more chassis movement and wouldn't take just being thrown down a hill at mach 6 like the RFX, the suspension on the 5.5 spot just couldn't keep up. So in some ways it was more plush, and in others it was not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What is "high"? 80% 100% 120% 160%?

    In my experience, high is well over 100%, low is significantly less than that. Around 100% you don't get hanging up due to suspension interfering with pedals, but you also don't get it bogging down or riding really low in the uphill tech, allowing you to ride "over the top" of stuff rather than get bogged down in between.

    I noticed that on my lower AS bikes, particularly the ones that had low AS around half-travel, as you climb through a tech section, the suspension compresses, you try to keep forward momentum, apply more power, the suspension compresses even more. You get this "mega-plush" feel while climbing, but you also get the rear end sinking way down, making the front light, and requiring a lot more energy to move forward in the same section.

    IME, this lower-antisquat tendency feels like it uses "more" travel going uphill on the same size bumps than it would just coasting downhill. This is your "wow, it really digs in!" feeling, but also your "uh oh, the front end is coming off the ground!". It's not right or wrong, it could be helpful in some situations, but could also be detrimental.

    There were a significant amount of complex root-sections that I was able to make by just keeping my feet spinning after I went to something that wasn't a low-AS bike.

    Had a race last night and I definitely think this was one of the helpful factors on my ride, there were several significant root-obstacles uphill.

    It feels more to me on my pivot 429 (or RFX) that the rear end moves the same amount for bumps uphill or downhill. Shock tune though has a lot to do with this, any many OEM shock tunes are crap compared to what they could be. I can't emphasize that enough.

    When I first tested a DW turner, it was being compared to my avalanche-equipped horst RFX at the time. At slower speed, the DW gobbled up some of the smaller square edged bumps better, but it also had more chassis movement and wouldn't take just being thrown down a hill at mach 6 like the RFX, the suspension on the 5.5 spot just couldn't keep up. So in some ways it was more plush, and in others it was not.
    This is my opinion.... high is over 100%. 120% or more is getting common for the non multi link bikes to climb well.

    I agree with you that you dont want it to fall as you go into travel either. Ideally 90-100 through most the travel is best, it moves enough but does not squat at half travel.
    IMHO Turner has DW on point for chunky terrain.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Doesn’t that depend on a few things, notably the speed at which you’re climbing?

    I mean, hitting a 5” square edged rock is going to compress the rear end more at 10mph than it would at 6mph.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yes it does. And if the antisquat fall off a lot the faster you go the bike squats too much. If the Antisquat is to high you'll cause too much rise and it fight you on a climb.

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    i checked. Geo was in the "high" setting. Not sure if I would ever go "low". It was plenty slack in the high setting, and I would be worried about repetitive pedal strikes pedalling in the chunk if the BB were any lower.

    As for AS, this bike (IMHO) hits the bullseye. I noticed little to no pedal feedback. I could easily pedal over techy, chunky sections with ease (without having to surge forward and coast in places, which is what I do with my Range - on the 2015 Range, unless you are using a 34 tooth ring or bigger, the shock EXTENDS under load). As for climbing, as I said - WFO baby. No trail/pedal mode for me. I switched it into pedal mode for a very short section and lost the incredible feeling I had running it wide open, of the rear tire completely hooking up in the techy, ledgy shit.

    Everyone's preferences are different. For me, Specialized nailed the kinematics/tune. If you are used to an old Stumpy, I am pretty sure you would find a huge difference in how well they have tamed the new one on the climbs.

    One final thing - the shock seemed way over damped to me. I have this bike until Saturday. I need to try to dial the suspension in much better than it currently is (which I will do).

    Really, the only thing I am not happy about is the weight of this bike. Is there some kind of industry conspiracy to overbuild all carbon frames these days? Or are they using cheap, shitty, heavy carbon? From what I have seen, they are all overbuilt or at least heavier, compared to my already burly 2015 Range (that weighs in around 28 pounds with a 2.5 DHF and 2.3 DHR II on it, and 160/160 travel). Why is this? I found that Stumpy too fkn heavy for this delicate little flower. Apart from that, thumbs up. Way up.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Yes it does. And if the antisquat fall off a lot the faster you go the bike squats too much. If the Antisquat is to high you'll cause too much rise and it fight you on a climb.
    Liking the discussion about squat, literally. 🤣
    Similarly, tire pressures seem to parallel these effects. That “sinking feeling” at or near stall speed can be a little unnerving.


    Sent from my iFern using Tapatalk while not riding, dammit!

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    You can't credit just 1 thing to plushness in general.

    If you want plush feel over bumps while pedaling, you want to make sure your anti-squat is falling rate.

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    - This WFO has one of the steepest falling rate anti-squat curves i know of. I haven't ridden one, but I expect it to be very cushy over bumps while pedaling.

    In contrast, if you want your bike to feel like a hardtail over bumps while pedaling, the anti-squat curve should be rising.

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    - This Intense Spider 29 Comp was marketed to climb like a hardtail. I imagine those with single-speeds in their quiver, and other out-of-the-saddle mashers, will like it.

    The above covers what can be summed up as the pedaling response of a suspension. There's the braking response too, if you look at "brake squat" (AKA and anti-rise) curves, which also affects plushness while on the brakes. I'm not sure how the braking response is related, so I'll leave that for someone who's more informed to explain.

    If you want to talk about general plushness, with or without pedaling or braking consider, you can look at the shock's spring rate curve and how the suspension's leverage rate modifies it. The easiest method to check this out is to look at the forces chart (which is what the spring rate looks like after the leverage rate modifies it), specifically the gradient curve. Plush bikes generally have a very deep "hammock" appearance.

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    - The Enduro 29, modeled with a generic inline air shock, requires the least amount of force to go through its travel among all the bikes here, at a rate of 5 Newtons of force per mm of travel in its mid-stroke. The WFO is linear in comparison; it may have been modeled with a Debonair inline air shock.




    Once you get a few ride experiences on a wide variety of bikes and relate them to such graphs, you can understand them enough to plan your future purchases to hit that sweet spot you're looking for. The plushest bikes won't suit aggressive riders, since they'll blow through all the travel--plushness is the opposite of a firm/supportive mid-stroke. Aggressive riders need the supportive mid-stroke for consistent and confident grip levels.

    Also beware that human senses mainly detect changes in feelings, filtering unchanging/consistent ones from registering. If you're judging bikes by the seat of your pants, a bike won't feel plush unless there's something to compare and contrast it to. A bike that's firm in one part of a stroke, but soft in another, may feel plusher than a bike that has more consistency. I would not trust a judgment based on senses unless the whoever was sensing it had an extremely accurate understanding of their senses, which I expect they'd need training and education to attain.

    The trend towards linear suspension is fueled by the demand for higher perceived capability. People are moving away from compact poppy playful bikes, inspired by the riding from freestyle BMX and slopestyle, to modern race oriented bikes. These linear/consistent designs don't raise the maximum ability of their bike, such as adding "progressivity/rampiness" or whatever, but instead they raise the minimum ability of the bike. These minimums/weaknesses instill fear/worry/doubt in the rider, hampering their confidence in the bike. Think of it this way, say you're riding don't a wet trail: the grip's actually surprisingly good (tacky hero dirt), but you know there's a few rocks and roots that are slimy/greasy (most others are grippy) and you can't really spot them. The fear of crashing on one of these rare slimy bits drops your overall speed, since they affect your confidence levels to actually ride the trail to its maximum. Not sure if this metaphor gets the message across, but just wanted to make at least some attempt to try to convey my perspective on the matter.

    In the end, it's not about judging things as good or bad in general, it's about judging what's closer to your personal ideals (your sweet spot). Don't be convinced by casual judgment. People can play the popularity contest game, voting up their favored nominations, but I highly doubt the "consensus" (majority winner) is actually ideal for anyone in general. I think people just want others to spend their money supporting something they think deserves it, and appease their own insecurity in their choices and beliefs. Voting with your money shapes the future, and I'd prefer if people made educated decisions, and not decisions rationalized with logic/reasoning that's bordering on imagination/BS. People reason that they want progressivity to address their insecurity over casing jumps and hucks to flat, but they might be unfairly judging linear suspension to be undesirable since it doesn't address such a strong sense of insecurity. Heck, they might even reason that they don't want to go fast, irrationally citing they're too old and can't afford an injury, even shunning 29" wheels for the same reason. It's as if speed itself correlates to injury, rather than speed typically just being an outcome of higher confidence and capability and a rider just riding at a certain comfort level (e.g. going 80%).

    If anyone asks me what's my favorite suspension design, I confidently say it's the latest iterations of Yeti Switch Infinity. I really liked the original ones, such as the SB66 and SB5c. I bought a SB5c. I'm undoubtedly biased, but I'd like to believe that it's a more educated conclusion than most casual/enthusiast consumers make. I do not think there's any "outdated" suspension designs--there's just some that are overly complex that make me question if any benefit it brings is worth it, and some that are just poorly made that reflect poorly on similar designs. I wouldn't call Yetis plush, but they are fast and confident. I'm more about crediting the creators behind the individual design, rather than the design categorization, or the brand, itself.

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    I need to re-read that when I have a few minutes.

    I checked my settings. Zero rebound on the shock. WTF? It actually felt slow to me. Fork had zero LSC and 10
    of 20 clicks of rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karmaphi View Post
    ...I'm more about crediting the creators behind the individual design, rather than the design categorization, or the brand, itself.
    Me too. I feel privileged to say that I personally know the co-inventor of VPP and former co-owner of Outland Bikes. Still though, I do not see a Santa Cruz (or Intense) in my immediate future. Nor a Yeti for that matter.

    If I could get past the weight of the Stumpy, it would be done. My search would be over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I need to re-read that when I have a few minutes.

    I checked my settings. Zero rebound on the shock. WTF? It actually felt slow to me. Fork had zero LSC and 10
    of 20 clicks of rebound.
    Could have blown through travel/ not enough air in shock

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Could have blown through travel/ not enough air in shock
    No idea how what the pressure was, but it measured approximately 30% SAG when I checked. I assume 30 is fine for this shock and linkage.

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    If I can somehow work a reasonable deal, I may throw down on a 29er Stumpy. I will just have to grow a pair to deal with what seems to me to be a completely whacked out weight for the frame. I may pull the trigger before I demo any more bikes, including a Pivot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I need to re-read that when I have a few minutes.

    I checked my settings. Zero rebound on the shock. WTF? It actually felt slow to me. Fork had zero LSC and 10
    of 20 clicks of rebound.
    Wasn't really a post directed to anyone. Just a general response to all the talk about leverage curve and anti squat. The leverage curve is used to choose what spring rate and damping would work well with the bike for a certain riding style. It's not really something to buy a bike based off of--even if you get the same leverage curve, and the same tune, the two different bikes will ride much differently due to chassis stiffness, pedaling and braking response of the suspension, geometry, spec, and fit adjustments. Its role is extremely minor in the big picture.

    Anti-squat can be tuned with gearing a bit. Changing the chainring size can proportionally increase or decrease anti-squat, but the curve generally remains the same shape, and is what matters more, rather than saying it's 100% at sag or whatever. Amount of anti-squat desired is a subjective thing--some people prefer less and some prefer more, according to how they like their bike to pedal. The curves I posted are just the curves in a specific gear combo--the shapes are different in each gear combo, but not drastically so.

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Me too. I feel privileged to say that I personally know the co-inventor of VPP and former co-owner of Outland Bikes. Still though, I do not see a Santa Cruz (or Intense) in my immediate future. Nor a Yeti for that matter.


    If I could get past the weight of the Stumpy, it would be done. My search would be over.
    I mean creator of the individual bike model, not the creator of the original concept. Like Peter Denk (Denk Engineering) played a major role designing the Cannondale Scalpel Si and FSi and the new Specialized Epic FSR and HT. David Earle (Sotto Group) played a major role designing the Santa Cruz Blur LT, Yeti SB66, Breezer M-Link stuff, Alchemy Arktos, and more. Chris Cocalis and Dave Weagle... I like following the creators to hear their philosophy behind their creations, to gain a better understanding and give context to all the consumer "feedback". I liked to follow brant (e.g. On One Codeine) and Banshee bike's creator (mtbr user builttoride), when they were actively sharing their insights. I gain respect for them and am more likely to buy from them, rather than from faceless brands and marketing campaigns that condition me to believe my bike's getting outdated and could use an upgrade despite being adequate for getting out on the trails. xD

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    Oh yeah. Trust me. I understand AS, bigger rings, gearing and other related impacts on AS. I just spent 3 years fine tuning and fking around with my 2015 Range, which has pretty damned high AS relatively speaking. And with my daughter’s 2015 Process 134SE, which is the opposite. It has been a very good, non-graph, practical trailside learning experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    No idea how what the pressure was, but it measured approximately 30% SAG when I checked. I assume 30 is fine for this shock and linkage.
    I would pump it up more than you would need. And let air out to hit sag to sure. Could need some volume spacers to provide ramp up. This would give faster rebound.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    If I can somehow work a reasonable deal, I may throw down on a 29er Stumpy. I will just have to grow a pair to deal with what seems to me to be a completely whacked out weight for the frame. I may pull the trigger before I demo any more bikes, including a Pivot.
    These days, if the frame is more than a pound less than the aluminum version I'd be wary. Not sure what the bike is equipped with but eagle NX is pretty heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Oh yeah. Trust me. I understand AS, bigger rings, gearing and other related impacts on AS. I just spent 3 years fine tuning and fking around with my 2015 Range, which has pretty damned high AS relatively speaking. And with my daughter’s 2015 Process 134SE, which is the opposite. It has been a very good, non-graph, practical trailside learning experience.
    Expensive learning experience. The '15 Range design was released in '13, and yes its AS was quite high, looking it up, but I don't typically agree with the judgments from others about whether that's good or bad. You're cool as long as you're not quoting a certain % or making generalized judgments like the others are.

    The Stumpy chassis and tune is what I consider to be a mainstream tune. It's made for plushness/comfort; basically it's what you're looking for. The Stumpy might feel heavy due to the lack of responsive feedback. The way it "carries" its weight comes from a lot more than from the suspension. For example, a set of Enve rimmed wheels might feel super accurate and unforgiving, while a set of Industry 9 system wheels might feel sporty and feedback-rich, and a set of DT/Roval might feel "solid". It's like changing from a pair of 5.10s, to vulcanized skate shoes, to low cut hiking boots. Might be worth checking the spec, since that's a huge contributor to ride experience feel. Acceleration is not only speeding up, but turning and slowing down--I also recommend some nicer brakes to perk up your ride: Trickstuff DIRETTISSIMA if you can afford it, else Code or other 4-piston options if you are more budget oriented. Generally speaking, I find that Ibis bikes kind of ride in a manner that feels like a step in the enthusiast direction from Spec, but close enough that Spec customers generally feel at home.

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    The quest is officially over. Well, for me anyway. A new 29er Stumpy is on its way.

    Thanks guys for all the really valuable info you took the time to share in this thread. I read and re-read, and carefully considered it all. Very much appreciated.

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    Did you try a Trek Fuel or Remedy?

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    No.

    But tonight I went for a ride on a lowly, non-sexy, low spec, Norco Sight that my shop lent me while my Stumpy is in transit. Jeezus. The thing slayed. No shit. That Sight was unbelievable, and it must have weighed 34 pounds. Maybe more. I can knock 4 or 5 pounds off no problem. And save $3k in the process. Even if I get the top speced model.

    It’s probably too late to abort the Stumpy deal. Oh well. I will love that Stumpy too. But man. That Sight climbed absolutely effortlessly. It was incredible how it climbed. I did not even have to shift my ass on the seat in the steeps. None. I sat and spun and it fired uphill like a rocket. Crazy shit.

    The Sight was not plush. But damn, was it fun. Super easy to manual. Wow. Blown away.

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