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  1. #1
    Living the Dream
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    Choosing between a Carbon bronson or Tallboy LTc

    I have been on 29ers for the past 5 years and love them. I have a carbon Highball and a sultan. I am looking to replace my Sultan with something lighter. I like the the tallboy LTc, but I wish it was slacker by 1-1.5 degrees (think Intense Spider Comp). The bronson looks perfect, but I have never ridden A 650B. I was wondering if anyone has gone from 29er to 650B. Was looking for comparisons of overall fun vs momentum vs rollover ability vs overall speed. Thanks for any feedback. Thanks for any help.
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  2. #2
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    I donīt have actual input for you. But I am really interested in that comparison myself.
    Some of us asked Francis (from the mtbr staff, rode the Bronson and the LTC already) for that exact experience.
    He said heīd include that specifically in his ride review of the Bronson, which will be published in a couple of days on the landing page of mtbr.com

    I feel that the overlap between the Bronson/Tallboy LTC and even the Blur TRC will crack the brains of a lot SC customers.
    I think that Iīll have to fly over to a big SC dealer and ride them back to back. Too many variables...

    Iīd love to own all three. But thatīs not going to happen.

    Greetings and good luck with your decision

    Znarf

  3. #3
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    I can compare a TBc to a TRc 650b.

    I think the 29er wheels roll through rock gardens a little better, but the 650b wheels with the TRc's slacker geometry and longer travel make up for most of it.

    I think the TBc is faster overall, and maintains momentum better. It's a better XC race bike.

    The TBc climbs a little better. I this is due to the steeper geometry and longer chainstays rather than wheel size. The TRc's front end tends to wander and lift on steep climbs. Both have excellent climbing traction on rocky & rooty climbs.

    Both bikes are pretty playful, but the TRc more so. The TBc is pretty flickable for a 29er, but it's easier to loft the front wheel on the TRc so it really encourages you to hop over small obstacles and drops instead of just rolling them.

    The TRc is plusher and more stable and faster downhill. It especially shines on really fast twisty trails. You can really push it into a turn and it just squats down and rails.

    At 5'7", the TRc just seems to fit me better. I feel very balanced on the bike compared to my 29ers.

    I would say the TRc is more playful and fun. I would attribute most of this to the shorter chainstays and shorter wheelbase. The TBc is a more efficient pedaler and probably the better all-arounder, working well for everything from racing to technical trail riding. I don't do big jumps or drops, so I have no need for a long-travel heavy-duty all-mountain bike.

    Lately I've been mostly riding the TRc because it is so fun and so balanced and comfortable. I'd choose the TBc for a race, though.

  4. #4
    dwt
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    Choosing between a Carbon bronson or Tallboy LTc

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
    I have been on 29ers for the past 5 years and love them. I have a carbon Highball and a sultan. I am looking to replace my Sultan with something lighter. I like the the tallboy LTc, but I wish it was slacker by 1-1.5 degrees (think Intense Spider Comp). The bronson looks perfect, but I have never ridden A 650B. I was wondering if anyone has gone from 29er to 650B. Was looking for comparisons of overall fun vs momentum vs rollover ability vs overall speed. Thanks for any feedback. Thanks for any help.
    I think you have a good point. Same dilemma Scott bike riders have deciding between Genius 700 and Genius 900. Less suspension + better roll with bigger hoop vs. more suspension + not as good roll with smaller hoop. Some would also look at agility differences in tight single track and switchbacks, with the nod to the smaller, lighter & stiffer hoops. Only way to decide is personal choice after demo. Owning both would make you go crazy.

    As far as HTA, an angled headset such as Works or Cane Creek solves that issue for a tad over $100.


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  5. #5
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    I'll have both soon and am planning on exactly this comparison.

    My TBLTc is fast, fun, and capable as all get-out, but I'm hoping the Bronson is more playful.

    I'm working on getting my TBLTc as light as reasonably possible without reducing it's capabilities. Added Easton Haven Carbons today - wow. It sits at 29lbs right now with pedals (CB Mallet DH Race) - carbon bars, Fox DOSS, Chunky Monkey 2.4 front and Ardent 2.4 rear. XL frame. Next step is swapping the Saint cranks for X9 or XX1 with Bling Ring - that should save another .5lb.

    The Bronson will be the bike park ride - coil shock and 160mm fork. It'll have alloy wheels until Easton have a 27.5 Haven Carbon set.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either bike - especially if you're big enough to feel comfortable on the TBLTc. At 6'1-2" I feel I've got the proportions to throw the TBLTc around pretty well.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alpenglow View Post
    I have been on 29ers for the past 5 years and love them. I have a carbon Highball and a sultan. I am looking to replace my Sultan with something lighter. I like the the tallboy LTc, but I wish it was slacker by 1-1.5 degrees (think Intense Spider Comp). The bronson looks perfect, but I have never ridden A 650B. I was wondering if anyone has gone from 29er to 650B. Was looking for comparisons of overall fun vs momentum vs rollover ability vs overall speed. Thanks for any feedback. Thanks for any help.
    Any reason not to just go with the SpiderComp?

    What about the LTc with an angleset?

    Just something I posted on another thread to keep you guessing.

    When I read about the Fox 34 Talas 150/120 and it was OEM only I emailed Intense about the fork as I thought it would be a perfect match for the Sipder Comp. They respond with something is in testing, keep an eye out. Be nice to have the choice of runing XC/Trail at 120/120 then going anywhere bigger going Trail/AM with 150/130.

    Just a thought.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Any reason not to just go with the SpiderComp?

    What about the LTc with an angleset?

    Just something I posted on another thread to keep you guessing.

    When I read about the Fox 34 Talas 150/120 and it was OEM only I emailed Intense about the fork as I thought it would be a perfect match for the Sipder Comp. They respond with something is in testing, keep an eye out. Be nice to have the choice of runing XC/Trail at 120/120 then going anywhere bigger going Trail/AM with 150/130.

    Just a thought.
    If Intense really wanted to make a splash, they'd release a Tracer 29 in carbon with 150mm rear travel. Maybe this is what they are working on?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    If Intense really wanted to make a splash, they'd release a Tracer 29 in carbon with 150mm rear travel. Maybe this is what they are working on?
    Not sure. My email specifically asked if I could run a 150 on the Spider Comp and if it's a yes, would they consider offering a frame and fork package since the 150/120 was OEM only.

    The response was basically they are testing the frame with a longer fork and doing some fine tuning.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  9. #9
    Living the Dream
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    Thanks for all the great replies. Looking forward Noah and Francis's comparisons/reviews. I do some ultra endurance 100 mile races and I like my Highball for them. I am looking for an all day fun bike to replace my Sultan. I want a shorter chainstays, carbon frame, and slacker head angle. I will probably use the new Pike whether I go 650 or 29. The playfulness and geo and weight of the 650B has me curios. I lover 29ers, but it is hard to manual and bunny hop my sultan compared to my old 5Spot. I know about the benefits of going from 26 to 29, but I will be interested to hear from folks going from 29 to 27.5. I am also considering the Spider Comp.

    Thanks again
    "And I shout that your all fakes and you should have seen the look on your face"

  10. #10
    Keep on Rockin...
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    If I had money to burn, a 2 bike quiver with something like...

    TBLTc set up on the lighter side of a trail bike with a lighter build. Sort of a longer travel xc bike. For the rides where you like to pedal hard and go fast.

    Bronson - on the AM side of trail. Heavier build for play riding and getting more fun out of the downhills.

    I think they'd likely both make great middle of the road, trail bikes. But, might give the edge to the TBLTc with it's lesser travel and likely better climbing ability. While rarely spoken of these days, most riding time is still spent slowly, painfully grinding uphill. A bike that takes the edge off that jagged little pill always gets my vote. Out of the saddle pedaling on a 150mm bike is a drag.

  11. #11
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    Great response so far!

    I am really curious how big the difference in front wheel lifting flickability between the Bronson and the Tallboy LTC is.

    The chainstays aren't that much shorter, but the bottom bracket to axle relation is quite different. Test rides will reveal what's going on there.

    I am pretty much set on a Blur TRC, as I am also after a good climbing, nimble fun bike, as I miss pumping, manualing and hopping on the little stuff with my 29er.

    The Bronson is immensely tempting as well though. But I guess it is designed more for speed and stability than flickability.
    It's very sad that the new Pike doesn't come in 140mm for the 26er. Would love that on a TRC.

    For Enduro racing at my size 6ft long inseam, I'd any day choose the TB LTC. Those 29ers are really fast and efficient. For everything not racing, where maximizing fun is the highest priority, I'd probably go with a smaller wheel this time and look for relatively short chainstays.

    With all the long travel bikes out there I keep forgetting what stuff I rode with 130mm in the past. In my area the trails haven't kept up with the advances in suspension amount, action and geometry. A lot of the once demanding trails feel very easy and almost boring on my current AM 29er. Of course I can just ride them faster, but at the same time the risk of severe injury also grows.

    I might therefore downsize a bit and migh get cheaper burly bike for shuttle and lift assisted riding,

    For racing and if you've got burly terrain in your neighborhood the available options are definitely breathtaking. Good times.

    Greetings Znarf

  12. #12
    MountainGoat aka OldGoat
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    I had a TBc built light with a reverb and Enve XC wheels and I LOVED THAT BIKE!! I now have a TBLTc stock build from SC XTR Enve AM and of course a Reverb. It is a very fun bike and it is more fun on the rough downhills but is a touch slower on the climbs. It weighs about a pound and a half more then the TBc. I just ordered a Bronson with the stock XTR Enve kit from SC and I suspect it will be similar to the jump from TBc to TBLTc. The Bronson should be better going downhill and jumping. I think I will give up a little on the climbs. My riding style has moved in that direction ever since I started to go to Whistler Bike Park. I ride almost every day on OC Cal and I will post a full comparison when the bike comes in in two weeks.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pachaven View Post
    I had a TBc built light with a reverb and Enve XC wheels and I LOVED THAT BIKE!! I now have a TBLTc stock build from SC XTR Enve AM and of course a Reverb. It is a very fun bike and it is more fun on the rough downhills but is a touch slower on the climbs. It weighs about a pound and a half more then the TBc. I just ordered a Bronson with the stock XTR Enve kit from SC and I suspect it will be similar to the jump from TBc to TBLTc. The Bronson should be better going downhill and jumping. I think I will give up a little on the climbs. My riding style has moved in that direction ever since I started to go to Whistler Bike Park. I ride almost every day on OC Cal and I will post a full comparison when the bike comes in in two weeks.
    I am CLEARLY in the wrong line of work. Living in the O.C., two $10K rigs AND time to ride everyday?!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    I am CLEARLY in the wrong line of work. Living in the O.C., two $10K rigs AND time to ride everyday?!
    I miss living in Cali, did a 2 year stint there while in the military. Living in Cali sounds great until you think the state has 335 billion in debt.... Things could go downhill fast! Pun intended

  15. #15
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by h20-50 View Post
    I miss living in Cali, did a 2 year stint there while in the military. Living in Cali sounds great until you think the state has 335 billion in debt.... Things could go downhill fast! Pun intended
    I was born and raised there. Most of my family still lives in Norcal.

    California finances not as bad as many states:

    California's debt still a heavy cloud over state's future - Los Angeles Times

    I now live in upstate NY, worse off financially:

    The New York state debt threat - NYPOST.com

    Nonetheless, I don't miss the population density of Norcal and trail access hassle. I live in the country with very good trail access and variety

    If I want density, I can take a weekend trip to the Big Apple
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
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    This is a bump, as I've also been wondering about this comparison & figure some folks will have put in some saddle time on Bronsons by now. I've been riding the hell out of a Tallboy LTc and loving it, but I'd be interested in something with a bit more jumping/descending chops.

    Curious how adding 15mm of travel but shrinking the wheels changes things; guessing the LTc and Bronson would roll over rough stuff with similar aplomb, but that the LTc would climb a little better while the Bronson would huck and descend steep stuff a little better. Anyone actually done a back-to-back?

    Enduro 29er also has my attention, though it's hard to go back to wallowy FSR after getting used to something with lots of anti-squat built into the design.

  17. #17
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    I have 3 rides on my new Bronson and am loving it. I am coming off a dual Sus Trek Superfly 100 CC bike. My strava times for both climbing and decending got better on the Bronson. I live in AZ where our trails are rocky and rough, so the extra suspension on the Bronson is making it easier for me to climb. I demoed a TBLTc and the Bronson is very similar. At 5'8, it was the right bike for me.

  18. #18
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    I'm 6'4" and ride a Nomadc and a first gen Pivot 429. The Santa Cruz demo is rolling through town in a couple weeks. The demo is at some very familiar trails so I really look forward to demoing the TBLTc and the Bronson. I'm really hoping to come away totally content with my Nomadc as the clear winner

  19. #19
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    Keep your eye on the Spider Comp. Intense is not going to fall behind the Spec Enduro.

  20. #20
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    Great discussion, I have a TBLTc which I ride in the Fruita/Grand Junction/Moab trails. I think its the best do everything bike I have owned, and I have owned too many. I am also interested into the bikes ability to accelerate up rock lifts,slabs, quickly. I have briefly ridden the Bronson and 3 things stood out in comp. to my LTc. The Bronson turned in nicely, carving a tight inside line, second the front fork rake was more pronounced than the LTc, and 3 the BB was higher. I think for all around trail riding the LTc would suit me better but I need more time on the Bronson to say outright. If you are riding knarly trails like Lunch Loop/Porc. Rim/ huck off every rock you find the Bronson would win, there is allot of overlap with these bikes.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitafrank View Post
    Great discussion, I have a TBLTc which I ride in the Fruita/Grand Junction/Moab trails. I think its the best do everything bike I have owned, and I have owned too many. I am also interested into the bikes ability to accelerate up rock lifts,slabs, quickly. I have briefly ridden the Bronson and 3 things stood out in comp. to my LTc. The Bronson turned in nicely, carving a tight inside line, second the front fork rake was more pronounced than the LTc, and 3 the BB was higher. I think for all around trail riding the LTc would suit me better but I need more time on the Bronson to say outright. If you are riding knarly trails like Lunch Loop/Porc. Rim/ huck off every rock you find the Bronson would win, there is allot of overlap with these bikes.
    Good stuff, informative... Even though I have a Jet 9 RDO, I am still interested in the LTc, but now the Bronson is in town, and then something is going down June 1st! Man it just keeps getting better and better, but more complicated as what to choose.

  22. #22
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    Have no input on the Bronson but have the TBLTc and at first I didn't like the 69.5 head angle. Got a Works 1.5 angle set and it made all the difference. So if the geo is what you don't like about the TBLT there are options.

  23. #23
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    This mirrors my experience, after tons of time on a TBLTc and now having initial impressions on the Bronson. Both are great, and there is definitely lots of overlap. Biggest immediate differences:

    1) Slacker head tube makes for confident descending, but the bike still feels snappy and maneuverable due to smaller wheels;

    2) Small wheels change speeds WAY easier. After years of only riding 29ers, I'm amazed at how quickly you can accelerate the smaller wheels, even with relatively heavy tires. This makes the bike climb better too; technical climbing has lots of speed changes.

    3) Easier to pick up the front wheel. Shorter stays+smaller wheels=easy wheelies and manuals. This is great for climbing (picking up the front over ledges) and also technical descending (picking up the front going off low-speed drops to avoid nosedive).

    All in all the Bronson is just a bit more playful; TBLTc is a tank that will demolish rocky descents at extreme speeds, but it's really a bike that prefers to keep its wheels on the ground in my experience. The Bronson will do that OR dance all over the trail, hit kickers, rail berms etc.

    TBLTc would be a bit more at home as a marathon racer (still not perfect for that, but it'd do OK) or aggressive-XC kind of deal; if you want a bike for long days in the backcountry that will eat up the miles and take whatever you throw, TBLTc is fantastic. But I have another bike for that; when the goal is to have fun on the trails and hit some features along the way, it's the Bronson for me.

  24. #24
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    Pretty accurate summary.

    I love(d) my TBLTc - but I haven't touched it since I got the Bronson.
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  25. #25
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    I have very little time on the Bronson so with that I have spent alot of time on the LTc and I found that wheels and tires make a big difference in how the bike handles. I switched from the Ardent 2.4 [monster truck tire ] to a Spec.Purgatory front and Spec. Ground Control back. the steering went from secure but a bit numb to quick , turn in was much quicker with the Spec. combo. Second IMO the TBLTc jumps well and is balanced, I look for things to launch of never did before with other bikes. With that I think the Bronson will accelerate, turn, and manual quickly and hope that Noah gives us more feedback as he gets familiar with it. The only steering trait that was diff. for me was a bit of wheel flop with the Bronson at slow speed. Maybe just the diff. from my LTc ?

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