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  1. #1
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    Range 650B vs Shinobi

    It's that time again. I'm looking for a new "All Mountain" bike. I live in SE Idaho and Race a HT 29er. So I enjoy the climb up to the top to enjoy the gravity down. I have a 150mm Scott Genius 10 that I am replacing. I have ridden 29 and 26 wheels and have felt the + & - of each, but have become a bigger fan of the 29. They roll awesome and smooth out the trail. Since I have a light racing bike I am now looking for the "do it all" bike. I do very little chair lift stuff, but I want to be comfortable doing it if I do. I have not ridden a 650 bike, but all I have read about it indicates that there is very little difference in the feel vs a 26. Hence another reason I'm leaning towards the 29er. I have ridden a Diamondback Sortie 29er and really liked the way it felt, but my LBS/sponsor wants me on a Norco.
    So back the title of this. I have looked at the Range 650B and Shinobi. I know the Range has 40mm more travel then the Shinobi, so can the Shinobi truly handle being ridden as hard as the Range? Does anyone with time on the 650 or the Shinobi have any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I haven't got any time on the range but I have had a Shinobi 1 for a little over 3 months and have found it more than capable to handle anything I can throw at it on local trails to racing enduro where it really excels.
    The 140mm Fox 34 is just a great fork and is a defining element of the bike, matched with the rear sus that may only be 120mm the bikes really supple and never feels harsh even though I'm often using full travel.
    Handling is really stable and balanced though it requires a bit more body English in quick transitions but that suits my riding style, that said after riding a slacked out 66.8 29er I'm going to eventually fit a 1 degree slack set as the increased stability is well worth the slight increase in effort required.
    The standard wheel set is pretty good but if you're lbs/sponsor is providing the bike and you can then afford a carbon Enve AM wheels set it is well worth it if you're wanting to hit the big stuff as they overcome the inherent problem with 29ers of flexy'er wheels so when you do hit big stuff they just keep tracking straight, unfortunately they are not my wheels but I was seriously impressed.
    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Noskills,
    Thank you for the input, it sounds like we have a similar riding style. I'm not a big "flier", I prfer to stay in contact with the ground most of the time. I really not how much "hard" stuff I'll hit, but will def look in the enve wheels.

  4. #4
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    Likewise although not adverse to a bit of air I don't get my thrills doing big gaps and drops much preferring to enjoy the flow and blasting through big rocks and roots which is where the Shinobi seems to excell. My comment on the Enve rims was meant to say that they don't get deflected off line as readily in this type of riding when compared to the stock Sun Ringle's or even other 26 wheels I've ridden.

  5. #5
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    I don't read this forum much so I didn't see your post.

    I don't have any info about the 650b bikes, but I've had my Shinobi (2011 flavor) for a year now. Before getting the Shinobi, my quiver was a Knolly Delirium T and a Kona Unit and I wanted a bike to fit nicely in between those two--the Shinobi has been a perfect fit!

    I don't find that the 120mm slows me down at all on the chunky stuff. It likes to be ridden hard and thrown into lines. There are two areas though where I find hang ups though. The first is very tight rocky trails--it just doesn't feel as easy to thread the needle on the long Shinobi as it does on my Delirum. If I can roll over the rocks I'm golden, but weaving through them leads to more frequent pedal strikes and hang ups than a 26er.

    The second area where the 29er (not specifically the Shinobi) sketches me out is on really steep roller moves. I frequently rub my shorts on the tire in those situations. It's never been an issue, but it does cause me a little concern. The lines I'm describing are 6-10 foot rock faces that are nearly vertical with a transition at the bottom.

    Now that I've described the only two negatives, on the positive side, it is the fastest bike I've ever used on more traditional "all mountain" trails (maybe call them overlapping blue square/black diamond advanced type trails in the ski world). It is ridiculously stable at high speeds even through chunk, and it really carves the corners well. It also climbs well so I don't think twice about doing big climbs on it to get to backcountry chunk--I've gone from one of the slowest climbers in my group to one of the fastest. This is the kind of riding I do most of the time and the Shinobi is the bike I grab for 70% of my rides now.

    I used the Shinobi for 3 out of 4 of my laps at the 24 Hours of Colorado Springs and it really did well for enduro type riding. I'm not sure if a more burly 160mm travel 650b would have faired as well for a long mileage day like that on the climbing side.

    Compared to the 650b, I think the smaller wheels would help overcome my two negatives with the Shinobi. That being said, I'm not sure it would have that ultra stable feeling at high speed that I love on the 29er. I guess for my type of riding, I need a bike that is a little more XC than freeride since I've already got a solid FR bike. I would still lean to the Shinobi if I were buying again tomorrow. Of course that doesn't mean I don't drool over the 650b and wish I had the $$ for a 4th bike in the quiver!

  6. #6
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    kristian,
    Great info, it sounds like I 'm leaning more and more toward the 29er. I normally don't ride much of the "rock face" stuff, but it's good info non the less.

  7. #7
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    Well the Shinobi came in and I took it for a ride last night. It climbed way better than I was expected. The Fox CTD fork and shock are AWESOME! Very noticeable difference in the settings when climbing. As for descending HOLY WOW it was smooth and begged to go faster. At the top of the downhill section there are some good rock gardens and I was looking for the "harder" lines i.e. bigger rocks and drops, and it just glided down them like they were hardly there. In the lower section it was all twisty single track with good berms and flat corners. I could defiantly feel the difference between my Genius and this when it came to the "flickablity" but over all I MUCH more enjoyed riding the Shinobi.
    At this point a definite +1 for the Shinobi, on the fun factor and overall fun ride scale.
    Since the 650's are not available yet I'll have to wait to ride either one of those.

  8. #8
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    great detailed analysis of the Shinobi's characteristics. mine is much the same, i find it very fun, capable, with few drawbacks, and those are minor. to expect a bike to be rock solid and stable at high speed to be great in super tight climbing twisty's well ****.... clearly, the Range killer B is going to be a burlier descend oriented trail bike, a la Slash/Enduro/Reign X/Slayer, etc. there will be overlap for sure, but the Shinobi is still more of a all trail generalist, that makes for a great comfortable, long ride bike and a reasonable XC bike. riding it up the fire road to hit the biggest lines on a long mtn descent or bike park, well, no. but for a fast trail ride with burly technical lines, it's the bomb. i'm 6'5" and the xl is perfect. i wish i had high end spec, and a light build up, but i freaking love this bike, love it. this bike has a dedicated fan base of highly impressed riders here in BC, many who are elite mtn bikers and many of them have called the bike 'dialed', meaning Norco hit on some magic geo combination for a lot of buyers.

  9. #9
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    Im wondering why you would exclude the Sight 650B?

    Ive had no time on the Range 650B or a Sight, but have owned a Range for 18 months, and took a Sight 650B out for a demo ride. I found I didnt shy away from any of the regular hits I normally take on the Range. If I wasn't still into doing the odd shuttle day or WBP day I would want to run a Sight 650B as a larger bike.

    FYI My other bike is a Chromag Surface.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    Im wondering why you would exclude the Sight 650B?

    Ive had no time on the Range 650B or a Sight, but have owned a Range for 18 months, and took a Sight 650B out for a demo ride. I found I didnt shy away from any of the regular hits I normally take on the Range. If I wasn't still into doing the odd shuttle day or WBP day I would want to run a Sight 650B as a larger bike.
    As you just said was my thinking as well. So I have stayed in Norco's classification of "All Mountain"
    The Sight 650 should be a great "one quiver" bike. That's not really what I'm looking for.
    We have some on order and I will ride one, then I'll post my thougths on that as well.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkfam3 View Post
    As you just said was my thinking as well. So I have stayed in Norco's classification of "All Mountain"
    The Sight 650 should be a great "one quiver" bike. That's not really what I'm looking for.
    We have some on order and I will ride one, then I'll post my thougths on that as well.
    Rode exactly the same stuff on a Sight 650B as I do on my Range. For intended purposes neither bike is meant for repeated WBP days but Im not going to be spending that cash on a bike to run at best 6 days a year in the park(probably have done that many last 3 seasons combined)

    I dunno, I just feel like maybe their marketing department dropped the ball on classifying the Shinobi in the AM category. I'd say Range/Sight 650B=AM, ShinobiSight=Trail

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PUNKY View Post
    Rode exactly the same stuff on a Sight 650B as I do on my Range. For intended purposes neither bike is meant for repeated WBP days but Im not going to be spending that cash on a bike to run at best 6 days a year in the park(probably have done that many last 3 seasons combined)

    I dunno, I just feel like maybe their marketing department dropped the ball on classifying the Shinobi in the AM category. I'd say Range/Sight 650B=AM, ShinobiSight=Trail
    After riding the Shinobi again and looking at the frame designs of the 650B's, I would agree with you. The Shinobi is very solid and fun to ride but looks more "trialish", then "bombish". Both the new range and sight 650's have the more, I can take more abuse, look to them. Either way I look forward to riding a 650 and getting a direct comparison between the 2.

  13. #13
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    as per usual, it all depends on how you define these categories. i'm pretty sure the Sight and Shinobi are much more comparable all around than the steep and deep Range KB. it's only the steepest 10-15% of all the trails that i ride where i feel like the Shinobi gets a bit overwhelmed. ultimately i do look forward to trying either of these new 650 bikes, but especially the Range. i'm impressed that it comes in honking large sizes, love Norco for this...

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