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Thread: Solo or Bronson

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    Solo or Bronson

    If you had a Nomad and wanted to add a bike to your stable which would you choose between a Bronson or Solo and WHY?
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    Solo - because the Bronson is too similar to the Nomad, so what's the point.

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    If you are set on trying the bigger wheels but also plan to keep your nomad, a solo built up light is the way to go. I got a bronson to replace a stolen nomad and am very happy. But I would not have picked up the bronson if I still had my nomad. Different bikes for sure but I would use a bronson and nomad for a lot of the same stuff.

    Or, sell the nomad and get a solo AND a bronson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OGRipper View Post
    If you are set on trying the bigger wheels but also plan to keep your nomad, a solo built up light is the way to go. I got a bronson to replace a stolen nomad and am very happy. But I would not have picked up the bronson if I still had my nomad. Different bikes for sure but I would use a bronson and nomad for a lot of the same stuff.

    Or, sell the nomad and get a solo AND a bronson.
    Also if you looking at bigger wheels and have any interest in trying a 29er, wait. Lot's of speculation that the new bike will be something like a 120mm Tallboy.
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    Solo, if you're going to keep the Nomad. Build it up light for more XC rides, and keep the Nomad burly for the chunky downhills and shuttle days.
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    If you are looking to keep the Nomad then as said above, get the Solo.

    My dilema is that I had a TrC 650 conversion and an Al Nomad. The TrC is so fun I never rode the Nomad so I just sold it to fund my next project. Do I build a proper (non conversion) 650 trail bike by moving components over to the Solo or go bigger with the Bronson? The only time I missed the 'mad was on chunky DH, but not enough to choose it over the snappy handling pedal happy TrC. If I move to Bronson will I lose too much on the xc side for a all around trail bike?

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    Solo or Bronson

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Damage View Post
    If you are looking to keep the Nomad then as said above, get the Solo.

    My dilema is that I had a TrC 650 conversion and an Al Nomad. The TrC is so fun I never rode the Nomad so I just sold it to fund my next project. Do I build a proper (non conversion) 650 trail bike by moving components over to the Solo or go bigger with the Bronson? The only time I missed the 'mad was on chunky DH, but not enough to choose it over the snappy handling pedal happy TrC. If I move to Bronson will I lose too much on the xc side for a all around trail bike?
    I was just thinking today that the idea of too much travel is now somewhat antiquated due to the fact that these long travel bikes pedal so well. Also, the fact that the geometries seem to be designed with the idea of a dropper post in mind. The Bronson has a relatively steep ST angle 73* I think, for a long travel bike, which is great for climbing but wouldn't be great for descending without a dropper. If I had the money I'd get a Bronson right now (I also have a 650b TRc). It would be "too much bike" for most of my trails. The only penalty I would be paying for that though would be a little extra weight.

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    All depends on the type of trails you will be riding. My answer would be neither. I admit I haven't ridden the Bronson or the Solo, but a 125mm travel 650b bike has no appeal to me for the trails I ride (maybe I just don't know what I'm missing out on). I would much rather have a 29er if looking for a bike in that travel range (perhaps a Tallboy with a 120mm fork).

    The Bronson seems like it would be overkill, unless the Nomad is built up more for the bike park, in which case the Bronson might be perfect. Again, it all depends on the trails you wanna ride.

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    Once you ride a Bronson, you will want to sell your Nomad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Also if you looking at bigger wheels and have any interest in trying a 29er, wait. Lot's of speculation that the new bike will be something like a 120mm Tallboy.
    What makes you think that SC has another new bike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jet fixer View Post
    If you had a Nomad and wanted to add a bike to your stable which would you choose between a Bronson or Solo and WHY?
    That's my situation. I have a Nomad built up fairly beefy with heavy duty wheels and tires.

    I am planning on getting a 650B bike. If I were to buy one today I would get a Bronson and build it up on the lightweight side of things. Lightweight would be good for longer rides, but I still want long travel for the rough trails I ride.

    I think I could make the Bronson different enough to make keeping both bikes worthwhile.

    I don't have a use for a Solo with 125mm travel and very low BB. I would be slamming my pedals into rocks a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    What makes you think that SC has another new bike?
    The moving of the TBLT to the All Mountain column of their website.
    I could be wrong, but I doubt that the Solo is going to be the only bigger wheel trail bike for them.
    That would leave a 29er gap being filled in by a lot of their competitors.
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    There are no more new SC bikes this year! New colors for the TBLT though...no revision.

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    Bronson!

    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    I was just thinking today that the idea of too much travel is now somewhat antiquated due to the fact that these long travel bikes pedal so well. Also, the fact that the geometries seem to be designed with the idea of a dropper post in mind. The Bronson has a relatively steep ST angle 73* I think, for a long travel bike, which is great for climbing but wouldn't be great for descending without a dropper. If I had the money I'd get a Bronson right now (I also have a 650b TRc). It would be "too much bike" for most of my trails. The only penalty I would be paying for that though would be a little extra weight.
    I agree, or at least I did before I discovered how much better the TrC pedaled than the Nomad. Is that due to the 'trail' geometry vs 2009 all mtn geo, 5 lbs lighter build, Carbon vs Al, 125 vs 160 travel, or ???

    My TrC conversion is built with a 36 fork dropped to 140mm so the HT should be right around 67* like the 'mad, but it hands down pedals better and is more fun to ride. Like I mentioned, I do miss the stability on chunky downs... Is this because I'm limited to a 2.1-2.2 tire, shorter chainstays, rear end stiffness, less travel or ???

    Enter the Solo v Bronson debate:
    Solo- 142x12 rear plus can run a bigger tire
    Bronson- Plus 25mm travel

    I think I'm leaning Bronson with a Pike 275 fork as my do all 1 and only bike. Just hoping I don't regret it on 30+ miles days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Damage View Post
    I agree, or at least I did before I discovered how much better the TrC pedaled than the Nomad. Is that due to the 'trail' geometry vs 2009 all mtn geo, 5 lbs lighter build, Carbon vs Al, 125 vs 160 travel, or ???

    My TrC conversion is built with a 36 fork dropped to 140mm so the HT should be right around 67* like the 'mad, but it hands down pedals better and is more fun to ride. Like I mentioned, I do miss the stability on chunky downs... Is this because I'm limited to a 2.1-2.2 tire, shorter chainstays, rear end stiffness, less travel or ???

    Enter the Solo v Bronson debate:
    Solo- 142x12 rear plus can run a bigger tire
    Bronson- Plus 25mm travel

    I think I'm leaning Bronson with a Pike 275 fork as my do all 1 and only bike. Just hoping I don't regret it on 30+ miles days.
    The issue with the Nomad is that it hasn't been updated in awhile now. It used to be the do everything bike, but just can't keep up
    with other 6" bikes with regard to pedaling. I would almost say that by today's standards the Nomad is a bike park bike.
    A 6" travel Bronson pedals as good as if not better than the TRc. That's what I'm referring to, the current generation of bikes.
    I would put the Nomad in the "old" generation at this point.

    A Bronson with a Pike will be a beast (if the Pike is anywhere as close to the hype about it). It's what I would drop my money
    on today if I could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    The moving of the TBLT to the All Mountain column of their website.
    I could be wrong, but I doubt that the Solo is going to be the only bigger wheel trail bike for them.
    That would leave a 29er gap being filled in by a lot of their competitors.
    Well, the category labels are completely arbitrary/meaningless . . . the bike itself is exactly the same, regardless of what "category" its in. I'll be very surprised if anything else comes out this year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    It used to be the do everything bike, but just can't keep up with other 6" bikes with regard to pedaling. I would almost say that by today's standards the Nomad is a bike park bike.
    I dunno. Seems a little extreme to say the Nomad is now almost obsolete. But I guess that's the point of marketing. What other 6" bikes are you referring to that the Nomad can't keep up with?

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    Quote Originally Posted by expatrider View Post
    I dunno. Seems a little extreme to say the Nomad is now almost obsolete. But I guess that's the point of marketing. What other 6" bikes are you referring to that the Nomad can't keep up with?
    The only real world experience I have is on the Bronson, which out pedals my TRc. I know my TR out pedals a Nomad.

    I didn't mean to say that the Nomad is obsolete, but if you are going to be climbing on your rides a Bronson is going
    to be much more capable. The Nomad, I'm guessing, will still be better for straight up descending.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Well, the category labels are completely arbitrary/meaningless . . . the bike itself is exactly the same, regardless of what "category" its in. I'll be very surprised if anything else comes out this year.
    I get that, but why bother moving it. Not saying the TBLT has changed. Just that moving it might indicate something is coming in that category to replace it.
    SC is getting left behind, a lot of 120mm 29er are out, they need one in that space.
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    Thanks for the insights, all. Intriguing dialog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I get that, but why bother moving it. Not saying the TBLT has changed. Just that moving it might indicate something is coming in that category to replace it.
    SC is getting left behind, a lot of 120mm 29er are out, they need one in that space.
    I wouldn't say they're getting left behind at all. Two new 650b bikes, and a redesign on the Tallboy? And I agree with their approach going with longer than 120mm on their 29er. I've ridden a few 120mm 29ers, and it's not enough travel. However, the TBLT at 135mm feels great, as does the Stumpy 29er at 130mm. Why conform to what the industry is doing when you can do it better?
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    couple of references to new bike

    Here's Chipps from STW, might not be coming out this year but I'm hoping for a tweener TB (TBtr)

    "We were also riding the Santa Cruz Solo and another, still hush-hush bike too. All seemed pretty capable "

    Singletrack Magazine | Santa Cruz launches the Tallboy 2
    Last edited by velez3000; 06-11-2013 at 05:10 PM. Reason: no need to reference quote

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    I wouldn't say they're getting left behind at all.
    +1 - even though the exact flavour of 650B bike I want hasn't arrived yet. I don't think there is any complaining with a lot of good product to choose from and undoubtably a bunch more new bikes coming out for next year.

    I was keen on the Ibis 650B line up and when you compare what's what I think SC is well ahead in that area.
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    Bronson I wanna get, bank don't wanna give.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    The issue with the Nomad is that it hasn't been updated in awhile now. It used to be the do everything bike, but just can't keep up
    with other 6" bikes with regard to pedaling. I would almost say that by today's standards the Nomad is a bike park bike.
    The Nomad pedals fine vs. other 6" bikes:

    - Ibis Mojo HD
    - Knolly Chili
    - Specialized Enduro
    - Banshee Rune
    - etc...

    and the Nomad is under gunned at the bike park. I wouldn't pick one as my park bike if I was a regular at Whistler.

    I think calling it outdated in its category is wrong. It remains one of the top versatile all mountain bikes.
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    I can't wait until the day comes that a bike company has a bike for every wheel size, in 5 mm travel increments from 100 to 180 in carbon and aluminum. I'll have a real tough time deciding between the 145mm "all-trail" bike and the 150mm "mountain trail" bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    What makes you think that SC has another new bike?
    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Well, the category labels are completely arbitrary/meaningless . . . the bike itself is exactly the same, regardless of what "category" its in. I'll be very surprised if anything else comes out this year.
    Well just maybe the TB2 didn't count as a release and is just considered an update, after all they just announced the 650B Heckler as an update. But they also moved the LT back to Trail. Funny how simple things like that can get hope up or dash it.
    One can still hope.
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    Looking for a replacement for my old Banshee Spitfire, and am trying to decide between the Solo and the Bronson. Love that mountain rescue orange color of the Bronson, and truly hate the two colors on the Bronson...but just how much of a difference is between 5" and 6" of travel? Thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levendis View Post
    Looking for a replacement for my old Banshee Spitfire, and am trying to decide between the Solo and the Bronson. Love that mountain rescue orange color of the Bronson, and truly hate the two colors on the Bronson...but just how much of a difference is between 5" and 6" of travel? Thanks.
    I'd say roughly an inch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levendis View Post
    ...how much of a difference is between 5" and 6" of travel? Thanks.
    I'd be asking myself how happy I am with the travel on my existing bike, what terrain I want to ride most in the future, and how I want to ride it.

    You know those short chainstays on the Solo will provide a snappier ride. Are your trails/riding lower-speed tech maneuvering type stuff or more open let-off-the-brakes trails? How much do you pedal through rough terrain? Consider BB height there.

    Try to be color blind. Get the bike that will work best for your riding as opposed to aesthetic sensibilities. The color won't mean a damn if you're wishing you had (or didn't have) that extra inch.

    Cheers,

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    If you want a little ripper that jumps and cross countries pretty good, get the Solo. If you want to hit rougher downhill runs and bigger drops and jumps, get the Bronson.

    I had a Nickel, now have a Butcher. I'll be getting a carbon Solo for general rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by She&I View Post
    Try to be color blind. Get the bike that will work best for your riding as opposed to aesthetic sensibilities. The color won't mean a damn if you're wishing you had (or didn't have) that extra inch.
    +10 - great advice. You are better off getting the right bike from a different company if the finish at SC bugs you that much.

    How important having 125mm, 150mm or 160mm of travel depends entirely on where and how you ride.

    I'm on a Nomad right now. I'd probably be fine on a Bronson, but a Solo wouldn't be the right bike for me.
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    回覆: Solo or Bronson

    Quote Originally Posted by Motosc View Post
    Once you ride a Bronson, you will want to sell your Nomad.
    I just did it and happy with that


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    Like others have said, the travel itself is only part of the equation. Differences in geometry make them distinct bikes for sure. It's kinda sorta like how a TRc and a blur LT are not too far apart travel-wise, but they still have distinct personalities.

    Also, keep in mind that all things being equal there is only a small weight penalty going with a bronson, so if you are on the fence and think you want the bronson, don't worry about it being much heavier. I went full pimp but my bronson is just under 27 lbs with pedals. And that's with HR II's, not the lighest option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OGRipper View Post
    I went full pimp but my bronson is just under 27 lbs with pedals. And that's with HR II's, not the lighest option.

    sorry if I've missed it, but can you remind me of the parts spec please, or a pic?
    thanks

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    Bone-stock XX-1 Enve kit with the TR HR II's (tubeless) and XTR pedals.

    And actually, I just swapped the 34 for a 32 tooth chainring. So it's two teeth lighter, woohoo!!

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    Well played, TwoTone, I think I deserved that!
    Appreciate the helpful comments from the others too.
    Normally I'm not too fussy about colors, but then that "Mountain Rescue Orange" on the Solo is just outstanding...
    My local terrain is very varied, but most trails are hiking trails with long stairs that are about 9 inches per step, off-camber deep ruts and crisscrossing tree roots. Occasional bigger drops that I normally wimp out on. Probably bigger issue is that I haven't been riding offroad seriously for more than ten years and have lost most of my basic skills (of what little I had to begin with!)
    I would say having half an inch less of BB height is probably manageable, as well as having a head tube angle that's one degree slacker. Local shop is telling me that there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between 5" and 6" of travel front and back, and it is the suspension difference that I don't have a feel for...what do you guys think?

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I'd say roughly an inch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levendis View Post
    Well played, TwoTone, I think I deserved that!
    Appreciate the helpful comments from the others too.
    Normally I'm not too fussy about colors, but then that "Mountain Rescue Orange" on the Solo is just outstanding...
    My local terrain is very varied, but most trails are hiking trails with long stairs that are about 9 inches per step, off-camber deep ruts and crisscrossing tree roots. Occasional bigger drops that I normally wimp out on. Probably bigger issue is that I haven't been riding offroad seriously for more than ten years and have lost most of my basic skills (of what little I had to begin with!)
    I would say having half an inch less of BB height is probably manageable, as well as having a head tube angle that's one degree slacker. Local shop is telling me that there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between 5" and 6" of travel front and back, and it is the suspension difference that I don't have a feel for...what do you guys think?
    Unless you're hitting drops more then 3' I don't think you need a 6" travel bike. If its easily traversed on foot (ie. hiking trails) then I would think the Solo would be plenty of travel.

    Define "bigger drops" and that will help . . .
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    My "gnarly trails" aren't that "gnarly", and "bigger drops" are never more than 18 inches...that said the landing spots are very small and often rocky and not flat...does that extra inch of suspension make a useful difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levendis View Post
    Local shop is telling me that there is a SIGNIFICANT difference between 5" and 6" of travel front and back, and it is the suspension difference that I don't have a feel for...what do you guys think?
    If your LBS is competent I'd go with what they recommend. They know your local terrain like nobody on MTBR can.

    Both bikes are expensive so it's not like they'll lose out if you buy a Solo vs. a Bronson. So they don't have any reason to mislead you.

    I'd rather make the error of having an inch more travel than I need than an inch less.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levendis View Post
    My "gnarly trails" aren't that "gnarly", and "bigger drops" are never more than 18 inches...that said the landing spots are very small and often rocky and not flat...does that extra inch of suspension make a useful difference?
    I agree with vikb to listen to your LBS, so long as they are competent riders who know they stuff.

    That said, based on what you've described, the Solo would be my choice, hands down.
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    The boys at the LBS said that:
    1. There is a significant difference between 5" and 6"
    2. For my trails, even a hardtail would be fine assuming that I develop some "skills", but a longer travel bike would make more local terrain available for riding

    So I have been attending quite a few MTB workshops, but because I'm old / fat / not too coordinated, progress has been coming quite slowly. I guess my question is would the Solo make it easier or more difficult to learn basic trail riding, do a few jumps and ride with more confidence?

    Thanks again!

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    Im sure it's been said - but if you can - ride em both! you'd be surprised how the test ride will provide some clarity

    If at all - pick a test trail that has the elements most representative of your terrain and the riding you want to do. ride the same trail, the same direction and see what the bike tells you

    don't let color, or "perception" create an argument - let the "seat of your pants" feeling tell you which bike is right - trust me - easier said than done but if you go with the one that feels right - you are likely on track to have much better initial experiences and will increase your confidence and ability long term through simply getting out to ride because the bike works for YOU

    good luck -

    btw - what have you been riding in the skills clinics?

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    Read my comment above - the difference between these bikes goes beyond and inch of travel. Yes, 1" is "significant" but there is more to it.

    Also, although I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, the LBS comment about a hardtail sounds like typical shop-guy blabber about how awesome a rider they are compared to everyone else.

    That said, if the biggest obstacle/drop is a foot and a half, the solo is probably plenty of bike for your trails, even if your skills are not very advanced.

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    A bronson can easily replace your nomad and fill your lighter bike spot as well. Its a killer paddler. Unless something is really keeping you from selling the nomad (like a present from your wife or a sick build with 180mm fork)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motosc View Post
    Once you ride a Bronson, you will want to sell your Nomad.
    Funny, I had the opposite experience. The Bronson made me realize how amazing and "hot rod" my Nomadc is!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by kamper11 View Post
    Im sure it's been said - but if you can - ride em both! you'd be surprised how the test ride will provide some clarity

    If at all - pick a test trail that has the elements most representative of your terrain and the riding you want to do. ride the same trail, the same direction and see what the bike tells you

    don't let color, or "perception" create an argument - let the "seat of your pants" feeling tell you which bike is right - trust me - easier said than done but if you go with the one that feels right - you are likely on track to have much better initial experiences and will increase your confidence and ability long term through simply getting out to ride because the bike works for YOU

    good luck -

    btw - what have you been riding in the skills clinics?
    Perfect advise for you Levendis! I was in the same boat. Tried about 20 bikes. I was told that when the right one came around, I would know right away. I was dead set on getting a Specialized for some reason before riding one. When I did, I took it off the list right away, didn't feel right for me. Near the top of the list was a Cannondale Trigger, until I rode the Tallboy LT. Just before I picked up the LT, the Solo came out and within a minute, knew this was the one. I was fortunate to be able to take it on some trails around here when I decided on the size.

    Ended up with a L, when the book said I should be on a M. Took both back to back, same trail, but the L felt better.

    I was lucky as well, LOVE the rescue orange. Color shouldn't be a factor, I just got lucky

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuccadoc View Post
    Perfect advise for you Levendis! I was in the same boat. Tried about 20 bikes. I was told that when the right one came around, I would know right away. I was dead set on getting a Specialized for some reason before riding one. When I did, I took it off the list right away, didn't feel right for me. Near the top of the list was a Cannondale Trigger, until I rode the Tallboy LT. Just before I picked up the LT, the Solo came out and within a minute, knew this was the one. I was fortunate to be able to take it on some trails around here when I decided on the size.

    Ended up with a L, when the book said I should be on a M. Took both back to back, same trail, but the L felt better.

    I was lucky as well, LOVE the rescue orange. Color shouldn't be a factor, I just got lucky
    Love this message great info for my solo purchase.

  49. #49
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    Sold off my Nomadc(too much bike for local trails)and was thinking of getting the solo....thing is I am 6' and 275pds with gears...will the solo rear shock be able to handle my weight and should i get a size XL...my nomad was a size L and I felt cramp on it and a few times when over the handlebar. Any advice is much appreciated thks.

  50. #50
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    yes, XL for sure. The SC bikes are running small. As for the rear shock, I would think you're good...I'm 250 with gear...

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