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  1. #1
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    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity

    Hi. I just built up a TRc through Competitive Cyclist. It hasn't shipped yet - they are waiting on the frame to arrive in my size (small). It's expected to arrive at the end of the week and then I assume it will take a few days to build up.

    A few things to put out there. I'm a 5'1" chick (28.5 inseam) and my first mtn bike was a 29er hardtail. I am a weak climber and the 29er helps, but I'm still usually the last one in our group when we go uphill. But I like rollers and going down and I like the roots and rocks and I want to get better on the technical. And I was going over some stuff on my hardtail that really made me want a FS. I tried a Niner XS (which just felt a little big for me), a Pivot Mach 4, Mach 5.7, and TRc. The TRc was the undisputed winner, so I sold my motorcycle and placed the order. I wanted to try a 27.5, but couldn't find one that fit to test - so I've never ridden one.

    Wine the Juliana Furtado came out last week, I was definitely tempted and intrigued, but to be honest, and as silly as it may sound, I don't want a women's branded bike. I don't need the graphics, and to date, I haven't had any issues with the size of my grips.

    But now the Solo is out. And I'm having a crisis of confidence with my purchase. Competitive Cylclist has excellent customer service, and I'm sure I could call them and cancel the order to swap for another bike. But it does seem crazy to me to spend that kind of money on a bike I've never ridden (and a size I've never ridden).

    My friend tells me that I should just stick with the 26" because I'm short. But he's not a fan of 29ers in general, and thinks they are gonna go away. With the Solo coming out, I wonder if the TRc will go away. I really did like riding the TRc, but now I'm suddenly questioning my decision. Am I crazy? I feel crazy.

    Thoughts, advice, suggestions welcome.

    Thx,
    laine

  2. #2
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    Well, you found a bike that you really like riding. I think you have your answer.

    Also, you said you are a weak climber... the Solo is an AM build and will be a little heavier (versus the TRc's XC builds). Having said that, my next bike could very well be the Solo. But I am a strong climber and need more help on the downs!

  3. #3
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    Aloha Laine,

    I have not ridden the Solo nor the TRc. I have ridden other bikes (many) equiped 29, 26, and some 27.5. What I have found is the 27.5 in general just smooths things out just a wee bit, certainly not anything close to what a 29er does. What I do like about the 27.5 vs. the 29 is how easy it is to still flick the bike in and out of turns, especially in tight, jungle single track I ride all the time. I know the new crop of 29ers are getting better but what I've found is the 29ers tend to kind of like a tandem. Not as severe mind you but that's the idea.

    The Solo has a slightly heavier frame (carbon's still light though) compared to the TRc. Oh, I am assuming you are comparing with the SoloC though. Both have about the same BB height in the end, my guess is both bikes are going to ride about the same except for the wheels. And based on my experience, the wheels do make a difference. With the larger wheels and same BB height, the stability of the bike is going to be better on the Solo vs. the TRc. Your climbing is not going to change much between the TRc and the Solo. The effective gearing (because of the size change of the tires) will cause the 27.5 to be slightly slower unless you have the conditioning.

    I'd say (my opinion) is you can't go wrong with either. If you can get the Solo, you won't be disappointed. If you get the TRc, you already know you're getting a super bike. I'd personally go with the Solo. Good luck with that.

  4. #4
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    a fork with a shorter axel to crown, on the trc. will get you really close to the solo. on my medium with a 120mm lefty the bottom bracket was 12.5" on 26" wheels. on 27.5s is 13.25 standover height is 28.5 wheelbase is 43.5.
    bikes like the trc usually don't have very long runs. cannondale had one the trc is sc second rendition. but the trc frame is lighter than the solo.
    i would see if competetive cyclist will put an internal cup headset on the bottom.

  5. #5
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    If I were you, I would get the SC Solo carbon and if you are not comfortable with the 650b wheels on a daily basis, you can easily slap a set of trusty 26s" on it, for day to day use and keep the tweener wheels for endurance rides.

  6. #6
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    Your friend is nuts if he or she thinks 29ers are going away. Cancel the TRc and get the Solo. You sound like a perfect candidate for 27.5. You liked the 29er feel, but couldn't get the sizin right. The Solo adds stealth routing and the newer rear triangle design, which should be stiffer.

  7. #7
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    If you liked the TrC stick with it. At your height, I think 26" wheels would be a benefit. They are lighter and easier to excelerate. The bike will be easier to throw around as well. Who ever talked you into a 29er HT should be hung out to dry. I think you will be surprised how much better you climb on a smaller bike. The 29er might have an advantage on a smooth fire road but I think you will be surprised how well a bike like the TrC climbs.

    I really don't see advantages of the Solo over the TrC. The differences look negligible. There is a lot of hype surrounding 27.5 wheels. If you feel you need the latest and greatest maybe it is worth it to you. People have been loving the TrC. Now something new comes out and people act like the wheel has been reinvented. Clever marketing sells bikes. Santa Cruz has some very clever people working there.

    Don't forget you will probably have to wait a while for a Solo. Get the TrC now and don't look back.

  8. #8
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    The 29er was her first mountain bike. How would she know what feels better. Doesn't sound like she really liked the feel of a 29er, hence a new bike.

  9. #9
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    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity

    I ride a TRc with 650b's. if I were getting a bike today I'd get the Solo or a Bronson. Had a chance to ride a buddies BronsonC yesterday and was very surprised at how immediately I felt the difference between his bike and mine. Major bike jealousy. Even with the Bronson being overkill for most everything I ride I'd still really consider it because it pedals so amazingly well. Don't know if that's the new CTD vs my 2012 RP23.
    Also, I believe they've fixed the circular crack on the lower pivot issue on the newest gen frames.

  10. #10
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    Hi Laine, Your crisis of confidence is well founded. You kind of answered your own question when you felt that the 29er helped your climbing. 27.5 will be perfect for you, giving climbing benefit and secondly being easier for you to wield as well.

    If you have the time to wait, and if you can change frames etc, then it would be worth your while.

    The Solo will be very competent at XC riding and it is light. The old Trc has 10mm axles, this will have 15mm axles as in the Bronson, as in the V10. So it isn’t as light as a Trc, but it is very good with improved strengths, reliability and suspension. For example, lighter than the even older Blur Ltc that people happily XC.

    You won’t have a problem with a Solo, you will be better off. I second mestapho’s experience. The Bronson is an amazing pedalling bike. In my experience it pedals better than the Trc you are looking at. SC claim they have continued the same suspension tweaks to the Solo. Call it VPP 2.5 if you want.

    With less travel than a Bronson, the Solo is going to be a stunningly good pedalling bike. Weight or pure XC heritage won’t be your problem, your problem will be that you will need to order bigger brakes. Good luck with your choice, the Trc is very classy, the new Solo will be streets ahead.

  11. #11
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    Tough choice (and yet one of those first world problems). Really, you can't really go too far wrong either way. I am perfectly happy with my TRC - now on its second season. The fact that the Solo is pretty much the same geometry as the TRC but with a slightly bigger wheel is validation of the design. Solo is going to cost you another $600 and probably at least a few weeks wait. Despite all the new product on the market, tires and wheels are still a bit rare in the 27.5, though all that will all change by 2014. With the Solo you get the latest and greatest and that's probably what I would do if you don't have to wait until half way through the summer. The Solo comes with a reverb which accounts for about half the price difference.

  12. #12
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    Han Solo 100% Princess Laine.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    Your friend is nuts if he or she thinks 29ers are going away. Cancel the TRc and get the Solo. You sound like a perfect candidate for 27.5. You liked the 29er feel, but couldn't get the sizin right. The Solo adds stealth routing and the newer rear triangle design, which should be stiffer.
    X2 on this one. I can see a where a 650b would be perfect for smaller riders.
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  14. #14
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    This is intriguing...please let us know what you end up doing.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Thoughts, advice, suggestions welcome.

    Thx,
    laine
    Are you in a rush? If not cancel the order and wait for some reviews to come out and see if you can track down demo. You can alway buy the TRc later.

    If you want to ride better in the tech [up or down] I would point you at bigger wheels and not put you on 26ers.

    I'm in the market for a new MTB myself and just waiting for a few more 650B models to come out before making a choice.

    Just going to bigger tires on my Nomad makes a huge difference in the tech. My bike rolls through chunk more easily and doesn't get hung up over roots. Switched my GF to the same tires and she made big leaps forward.

    For tech riding not stopping or putting your foot down will be faster up and down often that means not riding the lightest bike, but the bike which rolls through it best.

    I've got 29er wheels on my rigid bike and enjoy the wagon wheels there. I think 650B is going to be a great compromise between the two sizes - especially for a FS bike.

    On a practical note I suspect trying to get much $$$ out of a high end 26er in a year or two is going to be hard...just like selling a highend XC 26er hardtail is now that 29ers are the wheel size of choice for that part of the bike market.
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  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone. I'm still unsure. I like the idea of the slightly larger wheels for climbing, but my boyfriend thinks I should stay with the TRc for two reasons: 1) it's less money and 2) for that lower price, I'll get better hubs and wheels with the TRc build I put together.

    Me, I'm not as sure. I sold my motorcycle to pay for this, and if I end up paying a couple hundred more to get a bike I will love for the next 5-10 years, that's ok with me.

    I'm gonna call Competitive Cyclist in the morning and talk to them. It does seem like maybe I should put my order on hold until I can figure this out.

    Does anyone know when the Solo is supposed to ship?

  17. #17
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    Get the Solo, a new and improved TRc...why not?

    One thing to keep in mind and would be worth asking SC is whether the Juliana line might be shock/fork valved/tuned for lighter weight riders. So as much as you think girly bikes might be foo-foo, the shock and fork may work better for you IF there is a difference in the stock tunes.

  18. #18
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    I'm not going to lie, I've not read the rest of the posts (I'm too lazy . . . ) so sorry if this has been said . . .

    Personally, I'm very interested in the Solo, but if I already had a TRc on its way, I would not change my order for several reasons:

    1) The Solo is going to be at least $5-600 more . . . that does buy you some nice custom bits (see #2)

    2) The TRc can take 650b wheels, and lots of people have done it with tremendous success.

    3) The Solo is probably going to only be available as complete bikes for at least the next several months.

    4) SC bikes take FOREVER to get . . . you may get lucky if you switch to a Solo, but you could wait months for your bike.

    5) The release of the Solo does not change the fact that the TRc is a GREAT bike.
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  19. #19
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    For info, I ride a TRC. My next bike will likely be a solo mk2 or whatever comes after. Maybe. I'm going to wait another year or two and see what happens with 650B.

    The Trc is a stellar bike - its now well proven, and has all the kinks worked out.
    There are a lot of people here saying how great the Solo is. remember, they HAVEN'T RIDDEN ONE! It might suck (although given SC's record, that is unlikely). You would NOT be disappointed - any limitation with the Trc is generally the rider not the bike.
    That said, if you can hold off a few more months, and don't mind wait waiting then sure, wait for some reviews, maybe a test bike, and see how things shape up. Just beware, in a few more months, there might have been a different bike announced which might look attractive... and so on... and so on.

  20. #20
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    I rode my Nomadc to the Santa Cruz demo here in Albuquerque today. I rode the XL Bronson, the XL TBLTc, and the XXL TBLTc. I'm 6'4" 200lbs. I also own a 1st gen Pivot 429. I already know that I love 29ers and long top tubes from my Pivot(25.75" top tube).
    I walked away completely surprised with what I discovered. I expected to love the Bronson and was afraid that I would feel the need to sell both my bikes to get one. There's no doubt its a great bike, but definitely not for me with the way that it is currently sized. I felt extremely cramped and unimpressed. I have to say it had the same sized stem and Havoc bars just like my Nomad (which is also an XL). If it came in XXL my feelings might be different. I did really love the TBLTc. Very monster truck. The one I rode had Enve wheels (what an appropriate name!). I would love a XXL with 800mm bars and a 50mm stem. The bike just feels right at my height.

    The HUGE surprise was how much both of those bikes made me appreciate my Nomad!
    The nimbleness is just so much fun! If I gave a damn about Strava times or racing I would probably give anything for the Tallboy, but since I don't, the Nomad is just so much fun! Which is what I really care about. The Nomad is most definitely easlily as fast on the tech stuff, it just requires a little more fitness and a lot more skill. But if you have the skill, the Nomad is an unbelievable trail weapon. I really missed the travel of the nomad on the other bikes. Also the feeling that the bike can handle much more abuse than I can give it. The Bronson just wasn't nearly as fast at changing and picking lines atthe Nomad and its extra rollover ability seemed negligible. I guess I just like the extremes instead of the middle of the road. When I dopurchase my next bike I would still consider 27.5 but with a different attitude (maybe with more travel?). At the moment I feel like I still have a lot to learn from riding 26" wheels.

  21. #21
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    Stick back with trc. the bike make u jump,Not u make the bike jump.super light weight fullsusp frame so far i think is the lightest. Lighter than epic sworks. Works perfect with fox talas 140mm fork.

  22. #22
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    Yeah, I know there's always a new bike around the corner. But I feel like this case is different. It's not like I'm shopping around for other bike options. I had decided on the TRc, and suddenly, there's another variation on that bike with almost identical geometry, but one big change. I'll call Competitive Cyclist and see what they say.

    What do people think the ETA is on the Solo?

    Or when it might be available to test out?

  23. #23
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    If I were your height I would feel like 26" wheels were made especially for me. The instant acceleration is great for standing and sprinting up technical features. Dropper post is a must though.

  24. #24
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    Stick with what you know you like. 26" isn't going away (if at all) for a while yet, people have been loving 26" for a long time and having fun on their TRc's before the Solo was on the horizon.

    You could potentially wait forever for 'the next big thing' in this industry. Life's too short to wait around when you could be riding

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-AIR View Post
    If you liked the TrC stick with it. At your height, I think 26" wheels would be a benefit. They are lighter and easier to excelerate. The bike will be easier to throw around as well. Who ever talked you into a 29er HT should be hung out to dry. I think you will be surprised how much better you climb on a smaller bike. The 29er might have an advantage on a smooth fire road but I think you will be surprised how well a bike like the TrC climbs.

    I really don't see advantages of the Solo over the TrC. The differences look negligible. There is a lot of hype surrounding 27.5 wheels. If you feel you need the latest and greatest maybe it is worth it to you. People have been loving the TrC. Now something new comes out and people act like the wheel has been reinvented. Clever marketing sells bikes. Santa Cruz has some very clever people working there.

    Don't forget you will probably have to wait a while for a Solo. Get the TrC now and don't look back.
    Have you ridden a 27.5 bike yet?


    Laine- I was looking at the Julianas for my wife, but with the solo coming out I will say that the head angle has me leaning toward the Solo. My wife is an ok climber, but isn't confident on the downhills at speed. I'm hoping the Solo might help in that regard.

    Keep in mind many of the people that say it's a fad probably haven't ridden one yet. I rode a 27.5 on my local trails and noticed a difference right away. It was enough to get me to test a 29er for the hell of it. I had hated 29er for a while, but that was based on paring lot rides. After a trail ride, I sold my 26er and bought a 29er.

    You may also want to post in in this forum and get some womens feedback. Women's Lounge

    Also, as I researched for my wife, there are a few short women riding and loving their Trance X in XS and Small- a 29er. Giant Trance X 29er - long...


    I'm I really bad climber, but I think in the rocky rooty east coast trails I ride, 29er helped, not made it worse.
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  26. #26
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    are you people really touting the stiffness/strength of a Solo over a TRc for someone who is 5'1 and probably weighs under 110 pounds? really?

    id go with the TRc. theyre not that different. you can put 650b wheels on it if you feel you need slightly larger wheels. its cheaper, and you wont have to wait several months for it. yes, at this point, if you havent already ordered a Solo, you will almost certainly be waiting several months for it

  27. #27
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    I WAS in the same boat, kind of. I had an LTC, but wanted something a little snappier. Rode a TRC, loved it.Rode the Bronson... Meh. Too much like my LTC. Ready to pull the trigger on a TRC. Then I heard a very reliable rumor that I may want to wait.
    Not totally sold on the new hyped up wheel size, plus I am 5'7" and like to throw my bike around. So went with the TRC. Maiden voyage yesterday. Couldn't be happier. Bike completely rips. No remorse at all.
    And as my surfboard shaper once said to me when I was worried about my next board choice:"It's probably not the last board you will ever get."
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  28. #28
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    One thing no one has brought up - you say you're having difficulty climbing & you're the slowest of your riding group. With the same gearing on all 3 bikes, a 26" bike will be easier to pedal than a 27.5, which will be easier to pedal than a 29er. The larger wheels effectively change your final gear ratio, so it's going to be easier to sit & grind on a 26" bike (ignoring issues like terrain where a larger wheel may have some advantages).

    I have a TRc and I love it. I demo'd a Carbine 27.5 a while back and felt that it was slightly harder to pedal (gearing), but it kept its momentum better. A buddy just bought a Bronson and loves it, you really can't go wrong with any of these bikes. I don't think you'll notice a HUGE difference between 26 & 27.5

  29. #29
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    If you are climbing smooth trails and having issues you need lower gearing. Depending what's on your existing bike you could go from a 26" wheel to a 650B wheel and still get lower gears.

    If you are having issues climbing techy stuff a lower gear usually hurts folks IMO. I convinced my GF to try tech sections she always got stalled on in a gear or two higher and she's cleaning them now. When people drop to a granny they get so much torque and so little distance per crank turn they often break the rear tire loose and/or run out of juice before they can turn the cranks enough to clear it.

    Bigger wheels will also help make climb tech easier. So will a well tuned rear suspension if the climb is chunky.

    So it really depends what the challenge was in particular.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve.E View Post
    Stick with what you know you like. 26" isn't going away (if at all) for a while yet, people have been loving 26" for a long time and having fun on their TRc's before the Solo was on the horizon.
    Tell that to the folks loving their Nickels and Butchers. If the sales of 26er models drops enough SC will kill them plenty fast and resale value will be poor.
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  31. #31
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    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity

    Quote Originally Posted by sooner518 View Post
    are you people really touting the stiffness/strength of a Solo over a TRc for someone who is 5'1 and probably weighs under 110 pounds? really?

    id go with the TRc. theyre not that different. you can put 650b wheels on it if you feel you need slightly larger wheels. its cheaper, and you wont have to wait several months for it. yes, at this point, if you havent already ordered a Solo, you will almost certainly be waiting several months for it
    I'm touting the climbing and pedaling characteristics of the Solo over the TRc. This is based on the assumption that it will carry over those traits from the Bronson. The difference isn't subtle at all.
    The other factor that I believe is important to consider is the cracking at the lower pivot. I assuming the Solo has the improved hardware/carbon that is on the Bronson.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    I'm touting the climbing and pedaling characteristics of the Solo over the TRc. This is based on the assumption that it will carry over those traits from the Bronson.
    What makes it climb and pedal better, compare to the TRc? Are the pivot points moved? Is it the shock tuning? Something else?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    What makes it climb and pedal better, compare to the TRc? Are the pivot points moved? Is it the shock tuning? Something else?
    its newer so it must be better. duh.

    (even though the geometry's are nearly identical)

  34. #34
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    So it sounds like the OP hasn't really been informed of the trade-off's involved in changing wheel sizes. While there are benefits to all the sizes there are also draw backs to each size.
    I think the OP should stick with her original choice, here is why:

    Bigger wheels ALWAYS weigh more than smaller wheels ( apples to apples comparisons).
    More weight will ALWAYS make climbing harder and slower.
    Here is the part that the advertisers will never tell you:
    Bigger wheels don't turn as well as smaller wheels( per I-MTB.com's side by side comparison of a nomad and Bronson " the rider needs to be clear about their turning intentions with the Bronson. It will not allow for rider mistakes at the same speed that 26" bikes will.)
    To balance this comment, bigger wheels will plow through chunk much better.

    It just seems to me that this particular rider would benefit more from 26" lightweight XC FS more than she would from a bigger and heavier 650B bike.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    What makes it climb and pedal better, compare to the TRc? Are the pivot points moved? Is it the shock tuning? Something else?
    It definitely could just be the new CTD vs my 2012 RP23. I think the longer chainstays and steeper seat tube also play a role in the improved feel climbing.
    I'm not sure if the pivots have changed at all. All I can say is that it feels different and it was immediately noticeable to me.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    It definitely could just be the new CTD vs my 2012 RP23. I think the longer chainstays and steeper seat tube also play a role in the improved feel climbing.
    I'm not sure if the pivots have changed at all. All I can say is that it feels different and it was immediately noticeable to me.
    I have a TBc and a 650b TRc. My main complaint about the TRc is its climbing. The front end tends to wander, it gets bounced off line easily, and I really have to sit on the tip of the saddle to keep the front end down. I also installed a 100mm stem to help its climbing. The TBc climbs much better.

    Regarding the shock tuning, my TRc has the RP23. I think it feels wallowy mid-stroke, and I often prefer it with the ProPedal set to #3. If I raise the air pressure to reduce sag, then I only use about 2/3 of the travel. I keep thinking that it would work better with a different shock tune.

  37. #37
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    Hi All- OP here. I called Competitive Cyclist this morning and talked to Mike there for about 20 minutes (really great customer service, those guys). He was very friendly and patient and we talked through some of the downsides with the Solo, if I wanted to purchase now.

    1) Solos won't be in for a while (he said he should find out today or tomorrow when they will start getting bikes in). If I did want to go that route, he suggested I go for the Juliana Furtado Primero because he's getting them in sooner - same build, women's seat, smaller handgrips, silly stickers/branding. He said they expect the first Juliana to come in on June 12. I'm not a huge fan of women's branded bikes - I don't mind a WSD - I just hate when they try to make it "girly".

    2) For both the Furtado and the Solo, Santa Cruz is only going to sell full builds for the first couple of months.

    3) I built the TRc from the frame (as opposed to going with a standard build), and Comp Cyclist price-matched it from another site, so it's a better build for less money. Same drivetrain (XT 3x10), but I9 XC hubs/wheels, Talas 140 fork, Chris King headset. Though if I go this route, I may add in a dropper post - which would make the cost about the same for both bikes. (He recommended the KS Lev or Thompson over the Rockshox.)

    Mike also said that they're cool with whatever I want to do - he can add me to the list for one of the other bikes if I want. It was very pressure-free. (He also shared his personal experience with the Bronson - he liked it, but wasn't thrilled with the stock wheelset.)

    I think I'm leaning towards my current build - just seems like it may be a better deal, and given I'm 5'1", it is probably a slightly better fit.

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    Whichever way you go you won't be disappointed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Hi All- OP here. I called Competitive Cyclist this morning and talked to Mike there for about 20 minutes (really great customer service, those guys). He was very friendly and patient and we talked through some of the downsides with the Solo, if I wanted to purchase now.

    1) Solos won't be in for a while (he said he should find out today or tomorrow when they will start getting bikes in). If I did want to go that route, he suggested I go for the Juliana Furtado Primero because he's getting them in sooner - same build, women's seat, smaller handgrips, silly stickers/branding. He said they expect the first Juliana to come in on June 12. I'm not a huge fan of women's branded bikes - I don't mind a WSD - I just hate when they try to make it "girly".

    2) For both the Furtado and the Solo, Santa Cruz is only going to sell full builds for the first couple of months.

    3) I built the TRc from the frame (as opposed to going with a standard build), and Comp Cyclist price-matched it from another site, so it's a better build for less money. Same drivetrain (XT 3x10), but I9 XC hubs/wheels, Talas 140 fork, Chris King headset. Though if I go this route, I may add in a dropper post - which would make the cost about the same for both bikes. (He recommended the KS Lev or Thompson over the Rockshox.)

    Mike also said that they're cool with whatever I want to do - he can add me to the list for one of the other bikes if I want. It was very pressure-free. (He also shared his personal experience with the Bronson - he liked it, but wasn't thrilled with the stock wheelset.)

    I think I'm leaning towards my current build - just seems like it may be a better deal, and given I'm 5'1", it is probably a slightly better fit.
    A few comments:

    -Either way, check out the Lev. It's terrific.
    -Seriously consider not getting a Talas, and Float or Talas, make sure the fork is a 2014 Fox. They've redesigned the Talas and changed the spring curves for the CTD forks for 2014.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Whichever way you go you won't be disappointed.
    Quoted for truth. We are spoiled with lots of great options these days. It's a luxury - truly a first world problem! Chances are good you will be stoked with whatever you get, and chances are also good that from time-to-time you'll see the other bike and think "what if...?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by hillharman View Post
    A few comments:

    -Either way, check out the Lev. It's terrific.
    -Seriously consider not getting a Talas, and Float or Talas, make sure the fork is a 2014 Fox. They've redesigned the Talas and changed the spring curves for the CTD forks for 2014.
    Yeah, Mike at Competitive Cyclist said the Lev remote integrates with lock-on grips.

    Why not a Talas?
    It is the 2014 Talas 140 CTD w/ Trail Adjust.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by OGRipper View Post
    Quoted for truth. We are spoiled with lots of great options these days. It's a luxury - truly a first world problem! Chances are good you will be stoked with whatever you get, and chances are also good that from time-to-time you'll see the other bike and think "what if...?"
    I know. First world problems.
    Makes me feel a little silly even for asking these questions.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    I know. First world problems.
    Makes me feel a little silly even for asking these questions.
    You're spending a lot of money, nothing to feel silly about.
    NTFTC

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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Yeah, Mike at Competitive Cyclist said the Lev remote integrates with lock-on grips.

    Why not a Talas?
    It is the 2014 Talas 140 CTD w/ Trail Adjust.
    TALAS shocks have more intricate parts, which thus means a) more room for failure, b) more expensive and more complicated maintenance and c) added weight. In addition, I have never met a TALAS owner who used the travel adjust feature past the first month. After that it just becomes a heavier, more complicated (and more expensive) Float.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    TALAS shocks have more intricate parts, which thus means a) more room for failure, b) more expensive and more complicated maintenance and c) added weight. In addition, I have never met a TALAS owner who used the travel adjust feature past the first month. After that it just becomes a heavier, more complicated (and more expensive) Float.
    I strongly agree...having used a TALAS for years....I watched how Fox improved the TALAS over the years (FIT from open bath, now CTD FIT etc.) I almost freaked out during the last maintenance check that the TALAS cartridge may soon fail...so I sold it...got a RS Revelation WC XX 150 and never looked backed....I would go for simplicity rather than be burdened with technicalities...IMHO...peace

    I am in the same road as you Laine....torn between the TRC frame which I saw at the LBS here in HKG...when the BronsonC built bike was unveiled on the day I actually visited a shop...now comes the Solo....

    Personally, I would go for the TRc as a light trail bike..taller than you by just a few inches....I am still loving my small 2013 Turner 5.Spot frame for my Enduro/AM rides...and the TRc may just fill the void created when I sold my small Trance XO.

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    Have you tried out the TRc? I was in the same predicament as you are now... Luckly, enough I was able to test ride both the TRc and the Bronson at the Santa Cruz mtb festival a couple of months ago. I actually did not like the TRc at all for some reason. Now I want to try the Solo since I like the Bronson a lot.

    Like thegweed said... you're spending a lot of money. Do all the research you can. Though with Competitive Cyclist... they have a lifetime return policy .

    I ended up getting a 2013 Pivot Mach 4 frame 3 weeks ago since it was the cheapest route for me. It allowed me to move most of the components from my Blur Classic (I just had to get a new fork). I could not justify buying a new wheelset/tires for the Bronson and couldnt afford the complete setup.

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    Good idea to wait, try to test the solo. Its a lot of money, so better safe than sorry. Even if they TRC will be amazing (which it will) it will always sit on the back of your mind that you may have gotten something better.

    I agree with you on womens bikes, just get a mens bike with womens cockpit kit.

    I was really impressed with the bronson, but my plans changed too. I think the Bronson is little too much bike for me, so a trimmed down version would be great, but at the same time I never liked a santa cruz bike like the bronson and I suspect the longer wheelbase has a lot to do with it. So no blind purchase here as well. Must demo.

    Santa Cruz has a demo tour, look at their calendar and also call local shops that sell their bikes. A demo is really the best thing you can do now.

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    With SC the lifespan of new model is often quite long anyways, My LT2 is getting old now (as model), but has been up to date since 2009 with some modifications to angles etc. Get new modell and probably be happy following next 5 years, old one and it feels old after 2 years from now on. Just my experience.

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    good forum, lots of useful info here. I am 5'5" and considering the Solo. The Furtado only offers 2 build options. Is it worth spending the extra and getting the Carbon frame if that limits the build kit i can afford? I am currently on a Specialized Safire FSR Comp which I love but starting to race a bit and wanting to pick up a bit of speed. Also considering the Niner Jet 9 Carbon. Thanks for any suggestions.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by saidrick View Post
    So it sounds like the OP hasn't really been informed of the trade-off's involved in changing wheel sizes. While there are benefits to all the sizes there are also draw backs to each size.
    I think the OP should stick with her original choice, here is why:

    Bigger wheels ALWAYS weigh more than smaller wheels ( apples to apples comparisons).
    More weight will ALWAYS make climbing harder and slower.
    Here is the part that the advertisers will never tell you:
    Bigger wheels don't turn as well as smaller wheels( per I-MTB.com's side by side comparison of a nomad and Bronson " the rider needs to be clear about their turning intentions with the Bronson. It will not allow for rider mistakes at the same speed that 26" bikes will.)
    To balance this comment, bigger wheels will plow through chunk much better.

    It just seems to me that this particular rider would benefit more from 26" lightweight XC FS more than she would from a bigger and heavier 650B bike.
    Little over simplified.
    My 29er wheels may weigh more than my 26ers did, but I climb faster and better on it. Weight isn't the only factor to climbing. Not getting hung up on roots and rocks as easily has helped my climbing.
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    Love this forum. Somebody asks about getting a bike that will help them climb, and people suggest changing wheel sizes will help (it won't) and NOT using a fork that will lower the front end (which actually WILL help climbing.).

    If it helps you at all, a guy out here that rides like a MADMAN, races semi pro and can climb anything (seriously, the guy is amazing) said the difference between 650 and 26 is so negligible its almost not even a point.

    I would think getting a bike thats sized properly for you and has a travel adjust fork will make a much bigger difference than wheelsize.

    If you don't like the Talas, look into the RockShox Revelation or the X-Fusion Velvet DLA.
    Stuff.

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    ^^ I agree about the fork, but not about wheel size. Unlike some people here I've owned TALAS forks for years with zero issues, and I actually use the travel adjust. So for someone who is looking at a bike with relatively slack angles yet wants to be a better climber, a TALAS or other adjustable fork seems like a good call/no brainer.

    As for wheel size, your personal experience would be more helpful, and in any case, sounds like that dude would rip on pretty much any bike. I noticed an immediate improvement in technical climbing when I got my bronson (compared to a nomad and TR), and I attribute at least some of that to the bigger wheels. It's not a huge difference but it's definitely there.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropmachine.com View Post
    Love this forum. Somebody asks about getting a bike that will help them climb, and people suggest changing wheel sizes will help (it won't) and NOT using a fork that will lower the front end (which actually WILL help climbing.).
    Every single person I know with an adjustable fork has given up using it and has not bought a second. If you are climbing tech I'd much rather have bigger wheels than a a shorter or adjustable fork [I ride a 160mm Float].

    If you are climbing smooth uber steep trails and you can't keep the front end down I'd buy the usefulness of an adjustable fork. It's not clear that's the OP's problem.

    For my local trails I noticed a huge difference in techy sections going between two different tires that were only 20mm in diameter difference. If you live somewhere smooth maybe there would not be a difference.

    There is no one size fits all MTB solution.
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  54. #54
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    Laine,
    At 5'1", I think you did great sticking to the 26"! On the 26", tire selection can drastically change how well a bike climbs...as will your wheels! At a buck 10 or less, you have ALL sorts of choices to drop weight and get a wheel that'll spin up fast. I'd worry about traction more than any other factor for your uphill...forget about how well a bike can plow chunks, you can learn how to deal w/ chunks as you get better. And at a buck 10 or less, you can run low enough pressures in your tires that would compare well w/ the amount of contact patch of a larger diameter wheel. Plus, like OO7 said, a TRc can take a 650b like it was designed for the thing. Get the fit of the bike dialed, then get another set of wheels if you want to experiment...it'll be like having two bikes!
    If I was to build a bike for you, I'd build the sucker LIGHT and simple! Light, to match your weight. Simple, because unless you or your bo' really likes to tweak on things (I mean like it's your hobby to service and maintain things), grins per $$ ratio is WAY better keeping things simple. With that said, I'd steer you to the Float and not the TALAS. The other benefit for the Float is it can be mod'd to suit a light rider more easily! If you need a clue on this mod, gimme a ping once you've ridden it and found you're not using all your travel (more on this below). Most of my buddies who've bought travel adjustable forks, used the feature the 1st few rides and then set it at max and never touched it again...and I'm in the foothills of CO where EVERY ride is a huge climb.
    Additionally at your weight, you'll most likely be playing in a funky zone of the air spring curve that heavier ppl will simply not have experience dealing. If your bike comes w/ a low volume air can on the rear shock, find yourself a high volume one and swap it out. It's really simple, but if you're not comfortable doing this, I'd ask Competitive to do this before they send your bike. Higher volume for lighter riders...same idea as that mod I mentioned for the fork.

    Hey, enjoy your new bike (when you get it); I love new bikes!
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    Theres no one size fits all solution, thats true. But there is common sense.

    First, shes a girl, which means body mass sits lower. This means weight shifts are less dramatic/ impactful for her than for a guy.

    Second, shes small which means weight shifts are more difficult due to not being stretched out as far. Yes her wheelbase will be smaller, but its still not as pronounced.

    You may not use your travel adjust, and thats great, but I use mine. Nothing makes as big a difference for me as dropping the front of the bike right down, ESPECIALLY with a slack head angle. So put it all together, and its pretty obvious.

    Smaller girl (lower body mass + less obvious weight shifts) + slack head angle + tall fork= tired rider from trying to keep the front end down and not wandering. Climbing sucks.

    Drop the fork, her weight shifts forward, drops the bar height and steepens the head angle. Less energy fighting the front means more energy for going up. 650b ain't gonna do a thing here to help her out, other than the perceived or imagined boost people get from it mentally.
    Stuff.

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    Re: TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity

    I don't think Talas is a good option for a bike which is intended for 130mm travel.
    The bike is not going to be that high for climbing to be such a problem. On top of it, lower fork will push the BB even lower - lot more pedal strikes on technical climbs.
    The same happened to me with my Tallboy. I used to run it with a Talas, but it really only helped on long smooth climbs. I used the feature only the first month, after that I left it at 120, technical climbing is much better at this length.
    I even converted the Talas to a Float 120 when the fork was due for maintenance. It has also improved the ride. Talas was never as smooth as the Float. Another plus is simplicity of the Float compared to Talas, which equals easier maintenance and lower possibility something goes wrong.
    So for me Talas was not worth it.
    She would be better off with a cheaper Float and use the savings towards custom tuning for her weight and style of riding.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dropmachine.com View Post
    Theres no one size fits all solution, thats true. But there is common sense.

    First, shes a girl, which means body mass sits lower. This means weight shifts are less dramatic/ impactful for her than for a guy.
    My GF rides a 160mm fork on her Nomad as well and has no desire for travel adjust.

    Quote Originally Posted by jazzanova View Post
    She would be better off with a cheaper Float and use the savings towards custom tuning for her weight and style of riding.
    +1 - absolutely....
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  58. #58
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    At your height, if you've ridden 29ers you'll love the 650b.
    My vote is for the solo
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  59. #59
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    One more opinion....

    One more vote for the TRc. I have one which I have 650b'd. I'm 5'6" on a small frame. This bike works for me and at 24 pounds with a KS Lev seatpost it is a very capable climber. You will love it. At your size and weight the lighter the bike the better. 650b is optional if you want to go there in the future.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity-finished.jpg  

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    trc because of your height
    float because of weight

    i like the lev but have less than 15 rides with it. haven't tried anything else. never realized that a dropper post was mandatory until i bought one.

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    I would stick with the TRc, as the 27.5 will be a small diff. from it. The 27.5 bikes are a small increase in wheel size/ rollover compared to the 26. Their are many fans of the TRc so you can't go wrong with it. Other side of the coin, if you want the latest bike then the the Solo would be good. IMO 29's don't work well for short folks for several reasons. The fastest female rider I know rides a 29, which was stolen and she clearly thinks a 26/27.5 climbs better, and she is one of several shorter folks who agree. She is 5'4" btw and a very strong rider. I know I will get a ration of e-mails on this. The old saying have your wife test ride the bikes and she will know .

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    Hi All. Thanks for all your feedback and recommendations. I really appreciate folks sharing their learnings and experiences.

    I've decided to stay with my TRc build. The two changes I did make: I swapped out the Talas for a Float, and put the savings towards a dropper post.

    I'll definitely post a photo when I get the bike. It should come by the end of the month (waiting on a couple of components to come in). Thanks again.

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    Oh, I figure while people are paying attention - these are the pedals I'm considering:

    Azonic Switchback platform pedals
    DMR Vault Flat Pedals
    Spank Spike Pedals
    Straitline Components AMP Platform Pedals
    Speedplay Drillium Platform Pedals
    Kona Wah Wah Platform Pedals
    Crampon Ultimate

    Thoughts, recommendations?

    Thanks again.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juliecoleman View Post
    good forum, lots of useful info here. I am 5'5" and considering the Solo. The Furtado only offers 2 build options. Is it worth spending the extra and getting the Carbon frame if that limits the build kit i can afford? I am currently on a Specialized Safire FSR Comp which I love but starting to race a bit and wanting to pick up a bit of speed. Also considering the Niner Jet 9 Carbon. Thanks for any suggestions.
    Tough call. The general wisdom is to get the better frame and lower kit assuming that over time you will upgrade it. But at the same time if its all about speed, then saving weight on the wheels, crank, fork is better than saving the same weight on the frame, which means the aluminum bike with the better kit. Also my experience is that components last pretty well if they are maintained properly, so the "upgrade when you break it" may be a moot point, especially if you want to upgrade wheels and break a derailleur. I think in this case the devil is in the details, the exact component specs have to be compared one by one to make a decision.
    Quote Originally Posted by OGRipper View Post
    I noticed an immediate improvement in technical climbing when I got my bronson (compared to a nomad and TR), and I attribute at least some of that to the bigger wheels. It's not a huge difference but it's definitely there.
    I also noticed a big improvement in the bronson when I demoed it, and I do not think its the wheels. Its just a better designed frame than the previous generations. I think a 26" bronson would also be a sick bike, and that's how it was originally designed as a BLT3.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Oh, I figure while people are paying attention - these are the pedals I'm considering:

    Azonic Switchback platform pedals
    DMR Vault Flat Pedals
    Spank Spike Pedals
    Straitline Components AMP Platform Pedals
    Speedplay Drillium Platform Pedals
    Kona Wah Wah Platform Pedals
    Crampon Ultimate

    Thoughts, recommendations?

    Thanks again.
    Spank Spike
    DMR Vault

    If you are low on cash Kona Wah Wah or Welgo MG1. Actually Welgo makes an array of nice and cheap pedals.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    I swapped out the Talas for a Float, and put the savings towards a dropper post.
    SUPER smart move . . . you'll get FAR more use out of the adjustable post than an adjustable fork.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

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    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity

    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    SUPER smart move . . . you'll get FAR more use out of the adjustable post than an adjustable fork.
    Truth. Which dropper?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Oh, I figure while people are paying attention - these are the pedals I'm considering:

    Azonic Switchback platform pedals
    DMR Vault Flat Pedals
    Spank Spike Pedals
    Straitline Components AMP Platform Pedals
    Speedplay Drillium Platform Pedals
    Kona Wah Wah Platform Pedals
    Crampon Ultimate

    Thoughts, recommendations?

    Thanks again.
    If I may redirect your focus...if you're firm on platforms, pick up one of those plastic cage ones. You're light enough to not worry about damaging plastic, they'll be lighter, they're cheaper, and it won't break your heart to bang them off rocks which you'll do aplenty when learning how and where to place your pedals w/ respect to trail chunder. Those high dollar chi chi bling pedals...I save those for a full DH bike...but that's just me.
    I have a DH buddy whose been riding some purple cheap plastic ones and it has survived a full DH season. He's 220lbs, and LIVES at the resort!
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    i think the Straitline Amps are super sexy

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    All platforms are not created equal. I wouldn't buy cheap ones personally. The bearings will be crap and they may not have good pins.

    Also platforms are only as good as the shoes you use with them.

    Get some 5.10 Impacts or similar shoes.
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Truth. Which dropper?
    i just got a KS Supernatural remote and love it. Ive got friends with other KS droppers and they all like them as well. Id recommend although the only other dropper ive tried is the Joplin I had before this (which sucked)

  72. #72
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    You cannot beat Kona WahWahs. They're really good, and really cheap. Putting a small strip of griptape (like from a skateboard) over the middle bit makes a huge differnce too.

    Also don't get plastic pedals. The pins strip out too easily on rock hits, and they're slippery too.

    If you're going to spend big money on pedals, go either Spanks (which might actually be too big for you, they're huge!) or HT AE03s. I have the 03s on my GT and they're amazingly grippy and light.
    Stuff.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by mestapho View Post
    Truth. Which dropper?
    I went with the KS Lev. I have a friend with the Rockshox Reverb and he's already had to send it back for warranty issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    I went with the KS Lev. I have a friend with the Rockshox Reverb and he's already had to send it back for warranty issues.
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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropmachine.com View Post
    You cannot beat Kona WahWahs. They're really good, and really cheap. Putting a small strip of griptape (like from a skateboard) over the middle bit makes a huge differnce too.

    Also don't get plastic pedals. The pins strip out too easily on rock hits, and they're slippery too.

    If you're going to spend big money on pedals, go either Spanks (which might actually be too big for you, they're huge!) or HT AE03s. I have the 03s on my GT and they're amazingly grippy and light.
    I didn't really consider plastic pedals because of the lower bottom bracket on the bike (rock strikes) and I've heard bad things about the pin durability.

    I currently use 5.10 Freeriders, which are a men's size 5. So pedal size is a concern. I don't want something that large so that my shoe isn't big enough to reach the pins on both sides of the pedal. But I want something thin (again, lower bottom bracket/pedal strike) and I want something grippy, so I looked for pedals with thinner/taller pins (oh, my poor shins). I have Blackspire pedals on my hardtail and they are not grippy enough for me.

    It's amazing how difficult it is to get pedal dimensions from the retailers that don't list them. I've emailed several directly and it's been crickets. I didn't realize the Spanks were that large, since the only dimension I could find is 90+cm2 - so I figured they were in the 95x95mm range. I think the DMR Vaults may be too big, since they are 115x115, but they are damn sweet-looking. Though I do recognize I should probably rule them out.

  76. #76
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    ^^^^ If you want low-profile and sticky, consider the Canfields. They're not cheap, but they are thin and burly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    ^^^^ If you want low-profile and sticky, consider the Canfields. They're not cheap, but they are thin and burly.
    This.

    I have a TBc so I know all about low BBs. I recently went back to flats so I'll admit my technique needs work, but first ride on thicker Shimano Saint flats and I had pedal strikes on both and the pedal always felt like it wanted to roll under my foot. So I said screw it and bought the Canfields, love them, haven't had a pedal strike yet and I don't get that rolling under the foot I had before.

    Expensive, but after having them, I'd buy them again, great grip with some cheap skater shoes, so I can't imagine how good they'd be with 5-10s
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  78. #78
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    Yeah the Canfields are on my list - here it is refined:

    Canfield Crampon Ultimate - 106x106
    HT AE03 - 102x96x11
    Straitline Components AMP Platform Pedals - 90x101 (3.5"x4")

    Spank Spike Pedals - waiting to see if they get back to me on platform size
    Kona Wah Wah Platform Pedals - waiting to see if they get back to me on platform size

    off the list - Azonic Switchback platform pedals - emailed them twice about platform size and never heard back
    off the list - DMR Vault Flat Pedals - too big at 115x115x17
    off the list - Speedplay Drillium Platform Pedals - heavy
    Last edited by laine; 06-05-2013 at 03:37 PM. Reason: updated info

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    Spank Spike Pedals - waiting to see if they get back to me on platform size
    I'll shoot a pic for you.

    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity-imag0604.jpg

    BTW, Spank's service is GREAT...first hand experience.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    I'll shoot a pic for you.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BTW, Spank's service is GREAT...first hand experience.
    Thanks!

    Looking at that, it seems the actual platform area (not including the slanted area) is about 4"x4" - 101x101mm. That's a good size. (Yes, I took a tape measure to a dollar bill and compared it to this photo.)

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    Not sure if you settled on that list of pedals already. I would recommend Flybikes Ruben pedals. The bearing are really smooth... they outlast my shimano dx pedals. Let me know if you want me to measure them.

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    Lots of pedal advise, good advise. I am new to flat pedals, just trying some and have been on shimano/Cranks. I got the Spanks and they looked huge, thought I would hit alot and didn't hit at all on first ride. Very impressed with them, consider Spanks when your looking. The big platform dissapears when you ride them.

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    I'll definitely post a photo when I get the bike. It should come by the end of the month (waiting on a couple of components to come in). Thanks again.[/QUOTE]

    Great decision....same as mine....Good luck and rip the trails...pics will be much welcome....

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by fruitafrank View Post
    I got the Spanks and they looked huge, thought I would hit alot and didn't hit at all on first ride. Very impressed with them, consider Spanks when your looking. The big platform dissapears when you ride them.
    Just you wait till when you need parts for it and you contact them. The owner is REALLY cool to deal w/! I run 3 sets of Spikes. Bent an axle on the pair for my Jedi from a wooden deck strike. He hooked me up w/ two new updated version of the axle service kits at a discount, drop-shipped directly from Taiwan...and I want to say it was around $50!
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    HAH, just came across these...

    They should rename these The Fly Swatter!

    These might have some potential if the pins were a touch higher. But they're kinda spendy ($140) since you can get Spank Spikes on Jenson for $120 (but I've seen them as low as $110).

    TRc vs Solo purchase insecurity-240_azofp3_blk_0.jpg
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    They should rename these The Fly Swatter!

    These might have some potential if the pins were a touch higher. But they're kinda spendy ($140) since you can get Spank Spikes on Jenson for $120 (but I've seen them as low as $110).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I considered those Azonics - but I sent 2 emails asking what the pedal platform dimensions were and didn't get a response. So to me, that's an indication of not very good customer service.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by laine View Post
    I considered those Azonics - but I sent 2 emails asking what the pedal platform dimensions were and didn't get a response. So to me, that's an indication of not very good customer service.
    They're actually okay. I had to get some of those hex end caps for some A-Frames and 420s...they sent them out for free. But finding their phone number was kind of a joke.
    Slightly OT, but the designs w/ the hex end caps...at least w/ the Azonics...they like to crack when you go to torque them down or trying to remove them. Then cleaning out the bits to put in new ones becomes a total PITA! I've stopped buying pedals w/ hex end caps on the exterior of the pedals now. I REALLY like the updated nutted ends of the Spikes! It also sits well protected in the cage.
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  88. #88
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    for pedals, check out the Saint MX-80's. Awesome pedal. Not too big. Tons of grip with 5-10s (Impacts).




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