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  1. #1
    Hurdy Gurdy
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    Any point of buying 5.5 vs 6.6?

    OK, so I'm confused. Down at the bike store today, and got talked into almost buying the 5.5 instead of the 6.6 I am waiting for. Reason being weight. Checked the web-sites, and see that 6.6 is less than a pound (300 grams for us Euros) more than 5.5. Guess a longer fork will add a bit more as well. But, since they now cost the same, is there really any point of getting the 5.5 instead of 6.6? Any advice will be appreciated! To see the kind of riding we are doing here in Malaysia, have a look at this gallery;
    Mountain biking in Malaysia

  2. #2
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    How do you plan to build / ride your bike? For light freeride, resort riding, etc. a heavy duty 6.6 is the right choice. For endurance racing or all day trail riding I would build a light 5.5. For that big area in between, figure which direction your interests lie. My current choice for all around riding is a light 6.6 (TALAS 36, 2.25 tires, etc.) but I have been very happy with my 5.5 for the last two years. With similar builds, the weight and performance is very close - when built to the extremes, the bikes are quite different.
    Last edited by SuperD; 02-07-2006 at 08:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Hurdy Gurdy
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperD
    How do you plan to build / ride your bike? For light freeride, resort riding, etc. a heavy duty 6.6 is the right choice. For endurance racing or all day trail riding I would build a light 5.5. For that big area in between, figure which direction your interests lie. My current choice for all around riding is a light 6.6 (TALAS 36, 2.25 tires, etc.) but i have been very happy with my 5.5 for the last two years. With similar builds, the weight and performance is very close - when built to the extremes, the bikes are quite different.
    Realistically, 90% of my riding will be my weekly three hour ride every Saturday morning. Kids, wife, work...well, you get the drift. Riding tight single track, fairly technical, but are not doing any big crazy jumps or stunts. As long as I live in Malaysia, there will be no resort riding. Regarding the build, the plan is to start by using the components on my Giant, mainly XT stuff, Hayes brakes. Need better wheels though. I am sure I will then gradually want to upgrade pretty much everything, probably more for the Bling effect than because I need to...I might have gone down the 6.6 track mainly because it looks so cool and are getting great reviews, but now that I have started reading on the 5.5, I see it is getting equally great reviews. But, since 5.5 is a couple of years old and 6.6 is the latest model, I guess I assumed I should go for the 6.6... damn, guess I should just get'em both. Aarrgghh, help pls.

  4. #4
    Saucy Size
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    Just because the 6.6 is the newest doesn't make it the "best" for your application. They're very similar bikes build-wise. Compared to a 5.5, the frame is heavier and requires a heavier fork to maintain correct geometry. The 5.5 is going to be steeper and snappier; the 6.6 will be slacker and more stable.

    For your purposes, it sounds like a 5.5 would be an awesome choice. Do you really NEED 6-7 inches of travel for your Saturday morning ride?

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  5. #5
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    I would personally stick with the 6.6. Plus or minus a pound, what does it change if you are not racing. However 1 inch of travel and slacker geometry, that will make a big difference on your riding. You seem to enjoy the small jump here and there, the trail you ride, although not extreme, seems a bit technical. So myself I would go with the 6.6, build it light and if one day your riding evolve into bigger stuff, then you don't have to change the frame, just some of the components.

  6. #6
    SLO Mtn biker!
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    I think the 5.5 sounds right for you, especially since it sounds like you don't do big jumps/drops. It will be quicker and climb easier than the heavier bike and 4-5 hr long epic rides will not be as punishing toward the end.

    That said, if they had come out with the 6.6 at the same time I bought my 5.5 (2004), I would've bought the 6.6. We ride down lots of technical rock garden type areas as well as do a ton of climbing and that extra inch of travel and slacker head angle would come in use. I have an S-Works hardtail for racing, so I can afford to widen the gap between my bikes a bit larger than it is now. As it is, I'm still tempted to get something with more travel, like a Demo8, to cover the full spectrum. I think the 6.6 would've been enough to cure that want for more travel...

  7. #7
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    I should've bought the Uzzi right off the bat.

    I bought a 5.5,three months later I bought the Uzzi,I wanted to go bigger,and do more things.Not saying you'll want to do the same thing,but the 5.5 inspired me to do more stuff.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't knock the 5.5 for being the three year old design that it is. The fact that the design works well is why the Uzzi and now 6.6 have the *same* rear suspension (just more travel). What really matters is as expressed by the above posts --riding style and terrain.

    While I oogle at the 6.6 now, I have no plans (single speed aside) to change the 5.5 that I have. It's plenty capable for flying through forests, rocky areas, step-trails and rooty ground. My 5.5 also is built pretty strong, and I certainly wouldn't want it any heavier.

    I really think the deciding factor has to do with whether or not "freeride" is part of your riding style. If not, then my vote is for the 5.5 all the way.

    ...Oh --another argument against the 5.5 sometimes is the steeper head angle and slightly lower bottom bracket height. Both a slacker HA and higher BB can be achieved with a >130mm travel fork.
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  9. #9
    suspension whore
    Reputation: matthew's Avatar
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    5.5 or 6.6

    5.5- cross country to all mountain.... can be built light as a very snappy race bike.
    6.6- all mountain to freeride.... can be built light with a travel adjustment fork and ridden all day but not a race bike, or with a burlier fork and build can step up to drops and light resort downhilling.

    your current trails dont look too extreme so I'm guessing a 5'5 with a fork like the talus will give you a light bike with 4 too 5 inches of front travel and a great all day ride.

    if you are thinking " I kind of wish I had a beefier fork like the 36 series from fox or a 6 inch travel from marzocchi " then I would recommend the 6.6 frame to keep the bike balanced.

    As far as the technology question goes its the same VPP rear end- only the angles and frame beefyness is different to accomodate different riding styles.

    ..... Personly I went with the 6.6 because I knew I wanted a fox Vanilla 36 on front with a heavier more durable/ better descending bike, my local trail has a lot of rocks and an 8 mile, 3000 foot descent. I'm just pedaling to get to the top .... no thought of racing up the hill.
    I do think the 6.6 has a bit more range, in that you could start with a smaller lighter fork and build it up longer if you want to at a later date, but I also believe its easier to ride cross country on a heavier bike than it is too ride down hill on an under built bike- just my personal preference.
    Also bear in mind that I also have a 44 lb demo 9 that I ride a lot at the ski resorts over summer so the 6.6 at 33 lbs is my all mountain bike.
    If all this seems heavy and excessive to you the 5.5 is probably a better fit.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 6.JPG (156.5 KB, 330 views)
    Intense 6.6..... Demo 9.

    Mammoth MTN downhilling - check it out
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb_m_pb0Ns0

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew
    but I also believe its easier to ride cross country on a heavier bike than it is too ride down hill on an under built bike- just my personal preference.
    That statement is so true, well even people who will say for them it's not true, at least I don't think someone will ever be able argue that it's more fun to go down on a XCish bike than it is on a freeridish bike...

  11. #11
    011100000110111101101111
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    seems like from the pix a 6.6 will be good.. and probably give you some confidence to go bigger. I just got back from a ride and hit some nice drop offs to tranny.. glad to have some of that extra cushion... but not necessary. but it does increase the fun. (no pix... i have no riding buddies.. dammit!)
    Have you looked at the turner 5-spot? seems like some people on the turner forums are taking that bike through its paces.

  12. #12
    Hurdy Gurdy
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    Thanks for the advice!

    Thanks to all for good advice. Have finaly decided, and payed deposit for my new 6.6 tonight! Do I really need it? No. Would the 5.5 also have been an excellent bike for me? Yes. But, what the heck... I am not doing any racing, just playing around a few hours on the weekend, and I liked what Jason said in an email; "I have never regretted getting more travel, only regretted not getting enough"... Anyway, decision is made, and I should hopefully get to ride it in a week. Getting the headset in a few days, and then the Rohloff Speedhub and wheels next weekend. Might have to stick the old XT components on while I wait... Will post pics when it is all done!

  13. #13
    suspension whore
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    I guarentee you will love it, what fork?
    Intense 6.6..... Demo 9.

    Mammoth MTN downhilling - check it out
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xb_m_pb0Ns0

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