100+ mile update on TX29X0
100+ mile review
So I have had my TX29X0 for almost a month. I have down the best job I can for a "break in". For those that are familiar with my area of Fl, I have done the following parks consecutively:
San Felasco (Gainesville)
Carter Rd. (Loyce Harpe Park)
Alafia River St. Park
At this point I feel I have enough saddle time to offer some solid opinions on the bike and its potential. I know it sounds silly, but I am continually amazed at the XT brakes. Their power, modulation, and SILENCE are truly impressive. I am still working out the 2x10 drivetrain. I am used to a 1x9 and deciding when to be in the big ring or small ring still confounds me, although I am dialing it in. The Shadow plus rear der. is a gem! It keeps the bike so quiet and I don't need a chain stay protector. I defy anyone to use one of these and be OK with going back to a regular der. My bike is a large and I have chronicled my changes elsewhere, but my bike sits at 28 lbs. I am guessing the frames is 6 lbs or so. I will be using this bike to do some endurance races in the next few months and am confident I can get it to 27 lbs or under (a number I tend to shoot for). I believe the AX29er has the same or a hair less weight to it. My point being, that with similar components, you could end up with a 120mm travel all day comfy ride. This is important to me since I am not a competitive racer, but enjoy the events and only have one bike (have to sell the Nimble 9). I will enjoy the TX more for my trips to the mountains than any of my other XC oriented bikes that I have had.
Some ride impressions. The bike instills a ridiculous amount of confidence. I rode Santos and hit up all the red trails in rather poor conditions and never felt as confident as I did on the TX.. I made several climbs that were always hit or miss even in good conditions. I will admit most of it is due to the 2x10, but being able to sit and climb over rocks and roots on the steep, short climbs was great. Descending the rocky rooty sections were equally as satisfying, especially utilizing the incredible feel of the XT brakes. On the open XC sections the bike carved turns as well as any of my other bikes (except the N9), and the extra travel was welcome in fast technical turns. I never felt the bikes weight was a hinderance and a simple tire change would yield a significant weight savings as well as decreased rolling resistance. I am not a big fan of the "quiver killer" title, as ALL bikes are a compromise, but I will say this bike most matches the compromises I am willing to make for the ride and feel I most enjoy.
A few words about the suspension and set up. I have a regular carbon post (no setback), that does shorten the reach. I have tried the 100, 90, and 70mm stems. I am waiting on the 80mm. I have settled on the 90 for now and will give the 80 a go when it arrives. I noticed better front suspension response with the 90 over the 70. Obviously due to the extra weight forward. I also preferred the handling better. The 70 had it a bit too twitchy. I keep changing up air pressure and rebound to help dial in the suspension, but am VERY pleased with the ride characteristics. On real techy trails I have started keeping the setting on Descend instead of trail. I prefer the extra cush and small bump compliance. On the faster less technical trails and even the XC sections I just keep it in Trail mode. I feel like it pedals well enough to just set and forget for the most part.
I re-read my initial impressions and they still hold true. The biggest thing about this bike is it is FUN! I enjoy riding it and don't feel I am missing anything at this point. Would I love to have a set of AC/Enve wheels for XC and endurance stuff? Sure, but I already have to sell off my other bike to pay for this one. For my needs, this bike is a home run and has exceeded my expectations.
"No good deed goes unpunished"
Thanks for the post Coach! Been eagerly waiting my opp to see these in Denver and they are now trickling in and if they'd been here a month back I believe one would be in my garage. Looking to get a demo soon. So - while I've been waiting - I decided to get some comparisons out of the way and be sure of my choice - so have demoed the Yeti SB 95 and kona Satori - 2 days each - I decided to try em all on my list - and as Im keeping my Anthem 20 so the girlie can ride, I will have a 2 bike stable.
Impressions of SB and Satori:
SB - i believe i shoulda been on a small(demo was only avail as a med) and the inch of WB and other subtle geo - may have made the difference to me not enjoying this bike as anticipated - just didnt disappear - except on the downhill where it rolled over and thru everything very solid. Sus was firm even wide open, but the fork may have been set too fast and even with some tweaks couldnt get her comfy for me
Satori - this one was the real surprise - disappeared immediately beneath me - and left me smiling and giggling like a schoolgirl - so impressive in every aspect, handled all the tight and tech so easily - and once hit the downhill just slayed it - cant say enough about it - and it's the new benchmark for trail/am rigs in my book - if you like a 29. as a longer travel version than any other 29 I've ridden there were no compromises - except weight - but right about 30lb with the Kronolog seat dropper - thats squarely in the range of a long travel rig regardless of size wheel
Trance X - as said - cannot wait and this has been the "top of list" target... hope to ride one in the next week or so - and will post up my review once I do.
whether the trance or satori gets the final nod - it's great to have the options and technology in mtb'ing to make it so fun - and both offer some great value - who needs to spend $6k!!
kamper11, i will be interested in your comparison of the Kona and TX29. Surprised to read you didn't get along with the Yeti. Maybe not set up properly.
"No good deed goes unpunished"
I agree - thought the Yeti would've potentially salted away my search - for a lot of reasons - it wasnt bad, I just think the small would've been the better fit - and in comparison to the Kona - the kona had the instant comfort and fun factor. Ill post up once I get the Trance ridden
Got to ride the Trance - in a freekin parking lot - nobody has a demo in the frt range of Denver shops which really stinks - as I've learned in my demos over the years a lot test is not a true indicator of a bike - none the less - Couple of observations:
the bike looks way better in person than any pic I've seen - in case thats important, but some of the pics make it look "wonky" with all the swoops and angles, dont get that same effect in person
the 0 is quite light for that much bike, and I believe noticeably lighter than the kona or yeti - need to see if that feel is noticeable on the trail as well
I ride a small Anthem 29 and the small T29 fits real well - can u say standover?? nice
Like many other posts by early adopters - I was lookng at saddle placement(fore/aft) and the stem - this one had all the shims below and stem flipped "up". felt I was sitting very upright and expect I would flip the stem and mount lower for aggressive riding.
Bars - better than the funky flat bars that came on my anthem - yet still a strange angle/rise?? Im an Easton fan so - would like ditch for an Easton Carbon bar
The switch contact seat dropper works well, but seemed they had no clue how/where to mount the thumb switch - ez fix but come on guys. It worked quite nice and smooth once I contorted my wrist and thumb to activate it. My only other dropper experience was on my demos of the Kona with the kronolog - which worked perfectly.
had spent a good amount of time on the Anthem in the past 10 days taking advantage of fall weather and light workload - also rode it after my T29 lot ride - i felt right away the differences in the geo and xtra sus... i found some good sized curbs - one set measure 18-20" (i actually checked after) and steps behind the strip mall and manualed up quite easily - surprise how ez you can pull the front wheel up - also wheelying off these same "obstacles" didnt require much input and felt natural - yes - only curbs - and not trails conditions...
I believe this has a lot of potential as my next bike - may need to take a longer drive out of town to one of the western CO shops that have a demo - as Im itching
I think if you get an opportunity for a real demo, the bike won't disappoint. But obviously the bike can't be all things to all people. Fortunately for me, the bike fits me to a T.
"No good deed goes unpunished"