Little background, I've got an '11 Ruckus, '11 Zaskar 100 (26"), and up til recently an '09 Force. The Ruckus is a blast but a bit much for everyday use ('all mtn', whatever we're calling it nowadays when climbing is involved); it can be ground uphill with some effort and serves its purpose for really gnarly back-country rides. And the Zaskar is just the opposite, good for long spins and lighter 'trail' riding, but I have to remind myself to reign things in a bit in faster choppier stuff or I'm afraid I'll be carrying home pieces.
The Force has been the ultimate Goldilocks bike, set up with coil suspension front and rear (160mm Lyrik/ti-spring DHX) and thru-axle dropouts, XO 2x10 drivetrain, and I9 wheelset it's just light enough to ride all day and stout enough to handle pretty much anything I'm up for.
So I'm diggin' the look of new Force but not quite ready to buy into the 27.5 thing yet, and while the old bike is clearly lacking in some areas by modern standards, I've learned to work it. Pivot rebuilds can be done in my sleep now and with a dropper post and the longer fork (and tuned suspension), it can get down. I figured while I hem & haw over taking a leap into the new design (or wait for a carbon Ruckus with 26" wheels perhaps???) I'll just breathe another season of life into the old dog. Except the frame's done... after checking and rechecking, somehow I managed to miss a hairline crack in the rear triangle, but of course not until I'd already rebuilt the shocks and wheels, got all new drivetrain and brake hardware ready, etc. Honestly, I expected the frame to go ages ago, this bike has literally been my daily driver (up until recently I had a dream commute, singletrack everyday of the week and epics on Sunday) and it's never been babied.
Now I've tracked down a couple potential replacements and it's down to Sanction or another Force but carbon flavor this time. While I've grown accustomed to it and the longer fork helps, there's no denying that the head angle's a bit steep on the Force so for that reason I'm kinda thinking the Sanction would be fun to try. On the other hand, riding the Zaskar more often lately has made me realize that lobbing a pound or two off the frame could be nice too.
So I guess my question for the GT vets out there boils down to how stout is the Force Carbon frame? I plan to swap the whole package over from the old alum frame, including the thru-axle dropouts and coil shock. Anyone else try something similar? I'm concerned about flex but the dropouts made a huge difference when I converted the alum frame, I'm wondering if they'd work as well with the carbon version? Durability... anyone experienced anything catastrophic? I ride lots o' wheelies, front and rear, so rear triangles and head tube are areas of particular concern for me. Please PM if you're not a break & tell type, I can appreciate that!
Thanks in advance!
Mtbr's 2016 Winter Biking GearReviews and Roundups
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