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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Solo vs Tallboy 2

    Hello folks,

    I am looking to make the plunge into full suspension. Right now I have a 29r Specialized Rockhopper Comp which has been my first foray into mountain biking. It's time to move on, though.

    My local trails are really rough. There are some areas where there are 2-3 foot drops, and there is lots of climbing all over the place. I am a strong rider technically (I grew up riding BMX), but am not a great climber. I have been doing pretty well riding big drops and that kind of thing on my Specialized.

    I have done as much reading as I can about both the Solo and the Tallboy, it and it seems like every review for both bikes ends with calling it an "all around amazing bike," or something to that effect.

    From what I have been able to discern, the Tallboy would be a better climber, and the Solo would be better in Technical stuff. Is this accurate? Does anyone have any wisdom to impart on me? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Trail Rider
    Reputation: mlx john's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Disclaimer : I have a TB2 AND think it's the sh1t!

    Obviously, it would be ideal to demo both bikes on your local trails.

    Barring that, it sounds like the Solo would be the better choice. The TB is no slouch on tech stuff, but the Solo's slacker head angle and extra 25mm of travel give it an edge on the types of trails you are describing (mostly the drops).

    It's also been described as a capable climber and the extra rear travel would probably come in handy on technical climbs.

    Just to make your decision relatively difficult, if you're pretty comfortable riding the Rockhopper on those trails, the TB might be a good choice.

    The TB with a 120mm fork has a slacker HA than the Rockhopper (70.2 vs 71).

    Put some burly tires on it with a dropper post, and shred.
    Trek Fuel EX 9.8

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I found this post in another thread. It's a very interesting way to break it down:

    Quote Originally Posted by chuyler1 View Post
    You're reading into it the wrong way. I was not grading the bikes. I was grading the percentages of each type of terrain the rider typically experiences...which affects their choice in bike.

    However, I screwed up. I had in my head that the Solo was competition for the Rocky Mountain Altitude...but its not. It has less travel than the TBLT. With that in mind, here's some adjustments to my original percentages...

    Climb / Descend / XC
    TB: 20% 20% 60%
    Solo: 25% 25% 50%
    TBLT: 25% 35% 40%
    Bronson: 20% 60% 20%

    Remember, this is typical trails the owner rides, not performance. For instance the TB is probably the best climber but the typical owner won't be doing huge elevation with it, they'll be sticking to rolling terrain that has more gradual descents. The Solo sacrifices some of that easy rolling ability for a little more capability on the fast descents so owners who occasionally like to ride fast under the power of gravity will pick it over the TB...or they'll pick it because they don't want to be seen on the 29er bandwagon. If going faster on those descents is important to you, but you still need to pedal...or perhaps your local XC trails are super gnarly...then step up to the TBLT. If pedaling really isn't your thing unless there's massive runs with with big jumps on the way back down, get the Bronson and lock out the suspension for the climbs and engage for the way back down.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I've been riding a Solo C for almost 3 months now. The Solo is plusher and more capable of the two bikes. Compared to the 29er HT you're riding now, the TB would fall somewhere between your HT and the Solo. In other words, the TB would be closer to what you are riding now, whereas the Solo would have less overlap. They are both outstanding bikes.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Everything seems to be pushing me toward the Solo.. Hmm..

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Depends, I ride a TBc, but I put a Fox 34mm fork shimmed down to 120mm, but the AC is still higher than the 32mm 120 so slackens the heat tube a little. Also running flats, shorter stem and hope2 Evo with FlowEx rims.
    I personally think it makes a great trail bike.

    I'll admit when the Solo came out I've been tempted by it, but like you I suck at and hate climbing. This is what makes it a hard decision.

    I weight 200-210 and my TBc isn't having any problems with 2-3ft drops at all.

    The quote you have above, the poster makes a lot of assumptions on what owners of their bikes do. While I'm not out west I've taken my TBc to a local lift assisted/bike park a couple of times and it did well.

    One thing I did notice at the bike park on the flow/jump trails, when my buddy who still rides a 26er was in front, he had to do a more pedaling between jumps, where on the Tbc I maintained more of my speed.

    Just trying to give you another perspective. I still haven't made up my mind. If all goes well, I'll be trying a Bronson at the bike park and my local trails. I have I feeling I'll be sticking with the TBc though because it is capable enough for those few times I need it for the 2-3ft drops, but does everything else I need better than the smaller wheel.
    OG Ripley v2
    Carver 420 TI

  7. #7
    rdb is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    It may help if you would define "rough". Rough to me means lots of roots and rocks on the trail and no clean line to get through them, you have to go over them. Rough to other riders may mean smooth trails with larger obstacles, but you can find a clean line if you do some weaving, maybe take a drop now and then off a large rock or boulder. In the first case, a Tallboy may be better, in the second case, a 5010. Also, if you have long descents where you don't need to pedal, maybe a 5010, as it will track a little better at speed, because of the slack (68 degree) head angle. As other posters have indicated, either bike should be fine, it is a matter of personal preference. For the record, I ride a Superlight 29er and really like it. I have demoed a Blur Tr (similar to 5010, 26 inch wheels) and really liked it. I plan on demoing a 5010 and a Tallboy next summer, may get a new bike based on the demo.

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