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  1. #1
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    Best FS 27.5 XC race machine

    After many years as a stubborn hardtail 29er guy, I am really considering a 27.5 FS for next season.

    As I have always said, here in S. Calif, a FS 29er just seemed like overkill for most of the courses.

    Sometimes it is nice to just switch things up for fun too...so...

    I am just now looking at the Scott Spark and the Giant Anthem 27.5, but have had limited time for research.

    Anyone have any thoughts on these two and how they compare?

    Anyone have any other suggestions?

    I know I am dreaming, but I want super light with a super stiff rear triangle (aka...one that can hold a line and not get noodly)

    I had the first generation Jet 9 when it launched for a "fun bike" and hated it fwiw...

  2. #2
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    I'm also interested in both of these bikes. My LBS should have a demo anthem for me to ride soon. Closest Scott dealer is ~2 hours away. Hopefully someone has some ride opinions!

  3. #3
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    I'm going to set here and patiently bide my time waiting for either a Trek Top Fuel 650b or Mach4 Carbon 650b. C'mon ya'll! You know you want to.

  4. #4
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    Not completely related to what you're asking, but I ride a Blur XCc 650b. It has a bit less than 4" rear travel. About 23.5 pounds (I posted recently about lighter wheels) with a 1x10 and durable tires. It's fast and fun, but for my races the 29er HT gets called to action. For me the few pounds difference and pedaling efficiency are worth the HT "pain" on my courses. When I judge whether or not to race the 650 FS I factor in the ascent vs descent, and all my pro buddies tell me all their time is made going up and they rest going down. And they've done week-long races in BC. Maybe if I had a bar mounted lockout it'd change my mind, but I like the HT instant pedal power.

    Maybe a 27.5 HT, and have the frame with some sort of compliance built in and high volume tires and seatpost with some give?

  5. #5
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    The anthem is the best fs I have ever ridden, and I've ridden all the big brands.
    This was all 26 bikes tho, but I don't see why wheel size would change that.

  6. #6
    LMN
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    The Xpreso sub 5 is a super sweet bike. Not as flashy as the major brands but rides just as well.

    Xprezo - Fabrication 100% canadienne
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  7. #7
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    I demoed a Giant Anthem Advance 27.5 a couple of weekends ago. I loved it. If you can get your hands on one to try, I'd highly recommend it. It was fast, maneuverable, and had a balanced geometry for xc racing. I ride a Turner Flux 26" now and it's one of the few bikes I like better. I wish Turner would put out a carbon 27.5 (the 29er Czar gets killer reviews though). Maybe next spring?? Or maybe Pivot updates their Mach 4 into a mid-wheel racing machine.

  8. #8
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    I too, race a converted Santa Cruz Blur XCc for cross country, I find on most of the races I do here in So. Cal, that this bike kicks ass. Most of my competitor's are racing 29ers handrails, but I give up nothing to them in climbing and drop them on the downhills.
    BTW, I race the cat 1 50+

  9. #9
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by southacres View Post
    I demoed a Giant Anthem Advance 27.5 a couple of weekends ago. I loved it. If you can get your hands on one to try, I'd highly recommend it. It was fast, maneuverable, and had a balanced geometry for xc racing. I ride a Turner Flux 26" now and it's one of the few bikes I like better. I wish Turner would put out a carbon 27.5 (the 29er Czar gets killer reviews though). Maybe next spring?? Or maybe Pivot updates their Mach 4 into a mid-wheel racing machine.
    Yes. Agreed. A Pivot in a FS 27.5 sounds great!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I too, race a converted Santa Cruz Blur XCc for cross country, I find on most of the races I do here in So. Cal, that this bike kicks ass. Most of my competitor's are racing 29ers handrails, but I give up nothing to them in climbing and drop them on the downhills.
    BTW, I race the cat 1 50+
    Ditto. Pro/Elite here in the Southeast.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Best FS 27.5 XC race machine-image.jpg  


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Ditto. Pro/Elite here in the Southeast.

    Awesome!!! How did you "shim" the rear shock to fit the 27.5" wheel? I've a 2012, and I want to try the wheelsize. I can't find any details on how to "shim" the fork.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velosprocket View Post
    Awesome!!! How did you "shim" the rear shock to fit the 27.5" wheel? I've a 2012, and I want to try the wheelsize. I can't find any details on how to "shim" the fork.
    I didn't shim anything. 2.25 Racing Ralph fits just fine, no seat tube contact even under hard impacts (though it could happen in theory). Fork has plenty of clearance as well.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    I didn't shim anything. 2.25 Racing Ralph fits just fine, no seat tube contact even under hard impacts (though it could happen in theory). Fork has plenty of clearance as well.
    That's good news, I'm gonna demo a set. Hopefully this weekend.

  14. #14
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    Didn't shim mine either( 2012 SC Blur XCc, large) even ran a piece of painter's blue tape on the front. derailluer cable stop for a month or so to check to see if there was any contact, none was detected. Using the 2.25 RR' s, I have plenty of clearance, also no problems using my 120mm Fox fork. I highly recommend the conversion, it makes a great bike even better and since SC doesn't yet have a fs xc 27.5 bike yet, the conversion is well worth it, couldn't say a dedicated 27.5 xc bike would b e better anyways.

  15. #15
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    I had to shim mine. 2012 large frame, Pacenti TL28 rim with Neo Moto 2.1 and Racing Ralph 2.25 had contact when all air was let out of canister and full body weight pushed on saddle while in garage. About 5mm travel reduction. Have Crossmark on now but didn't bother checking if shims needed. Fork is 2013 Fox Float 32 RLC 120. Tons of clearance with every tire on a Crest or Pacenti TL28.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Didn't shim mine either( 2012 SC Blur XCc, large) even ran a piece of painter's blue tape on the front. derailluer cable stop for a month or so to check to see if there was any contact, none was detected. Using the 2.25 RR' s, I have plenty of clearance, also no problems using my 120mm Fox fork. I highly recommend the conversion, it makes a great bike even better and since SC doesn't yet have a fs xc 27.5 bike yet, the conversion is well worth it, couldn't say a dedicated 27.5 xc bike would b e better anyways.
    Thanks. I'm in the same boat. Not ready to go all in on another wheel size. I tried a 29er for a couple years, but switched back to 26" last summer. The 29er was for sure NOT for me!


  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by westin View Post
    I had to shim mine. 2012 large frame, Pacenti TL28 rim with Neo Moto 2.1 and Racing Ralph 2.25 had contact when all air was let out of canister and full body weight pushed on saddle while in garage. About 5mm travel reduction. Have Crossmark on now but didn't bother checking if shims needed. Fork is 2013 Fox Float 32 RLC 120. Tons of clearance with every tire on a Crest or Pacenti TL28.

    Where, and how did you shim? Any chance you can post a pic of the shim?

  18. #18
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    Plastic 10mm ID (inside diameter) washers from hardware store, cut and slid over rear shock shaft. I paid about 35 cents each.

    Deflate rear shock. Open canister with hand, pop back canister body, place cut shims over shock shaft and close canister back up by hand. Compress shock to see if rear tire rubs. Add shims until there is no contact. As stated you may not need a shim. Inflate rear shock back to proper psi for proper sag.

    Like this: Shimming the Blur TRc shock for 650b

  19. #19
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    This thread has given me the itch to build a Blur. The only issue is that I'm 6'2" and I wonder if I should stay with big wheels even in full suspension form. My superfly fit's so much better than any of my 26er's...decisions decisions.

  20. #20
    Team Awesome
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    Man, now I want a blur XCc with 650b wheels...

  21. #21
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    Best FS 27.5 XC race machine

    The Scalpel, no issues on the conversion.
    We ( the ones that made the conversion), gained a much better bike.
    Last edited by VICpt; 09-15-2013 at 10:19 AM.

  22. #22
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by VICpt View Post
    The Scalpel, no issues on the conversion.
    We ( the ones that made the conversion), gain a much better bike.
    Pics please!

  23. #23
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    Here they are:







    My previous bike was a SC Blur, it was wonderful, one of the best bikes out there.

  24. #24
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by VICpt View Post
    The Scalpel, no issues on the conversion.
    We ( the ones that made the conversion), gained a much better bike.
    Is that frame a 26er or 29er? I had no idea they made a 26" version.

  25. #25
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    Itīs a 26", we had them in Europe until last year. I think that this year there were only 29" everywhere.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Is that frame a 26er or 29er? I had no idea they made a 26" version.
    Hilarious, as there has been a 26" Scalpel since the early 2000's.

    Shows how much 26" has become irrelevant, that there has only been a 29" Scalpel for 2-3 years. I bet many people think that was the start of the Scalpel line.

  27. #27
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    I picked up one of the new Anthem 27.5 a couple weeks ago and I really like it. I picked up the $2,250 3 model and have stripped almost everything of and am building it up the way I want it. The carbon model at about $3,500 is a great deal and I would have picked it up but none in stock and couldn't wait for it to come in.

    Comes with 12x142 convertible rear to stiffen up the triangle. When the rest of my parts show up Monday mine should be a very reasonable 23.5# or so. Figuring in what I sold and replaced with new parts I'll be into the bike for well under $3k.
    Hardrock 29er, Niner EMD9, Cannondale F29, Camber Expert, 650b Nickel all gone.
    2014 Giant Anthem 27.5 here.

  28. #28
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    I'm officially back on a 26er now. I threw some new tires and brakes on my old anthem x, setup as a 1x10 its 22.8 pounds. Putting the anthem 29er up for sale. I need to start riding some 27.5 bikes, but I'm thinking this will be the end all wheel size for what I need.


    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Hilarious, as there has been a 26" Scalpel since the early 2000's.
    Agreed!

    Sweet scalpel by the way. I thought about getting a 26er last year, just to convert it, but ended up going with a 29er. Oh well.

  29. #29
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    The big wheels matter!

    Quote Originally Posted by tommyrod74 View Post
    Hilarious, as there has been a 26" Scalpel since the early 2000's.

    Shows how much 26" has become irrelevant, that there has only been a 29" Scalpel for 2-3 years. I bet many people think that was the start of the Scalpel line.
    You see, having bigger wheels gives you many advantages.
    When i started riding my Scalpel with 27,5", i couldnīt believe how much better i could ride. If you ever tried one in 26", you must know itīs a fantastic bike, in 27,5" itīs super-fantastic. Havenīt had the chance to try a 29".
    Mine has 9,4 kg, for now.
    Last edited by VICpt; 09-16-2013 at 08:58 AM.

  30. #30
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by VICpt View Post
    You see, having bigger wheels gives you many advantages.
    When i started riding my Scalpel with 27,5", i couldnīt believe how much better i could ride. If you ever tried one in 26", you must know itīs a fantastic bike, in 27,5" itīs super-fantastic. Havenīt had the chance to try a 29".
    Mine has 9,4 kg, for now.
    Wow...so much clearance between the seat tube and tire!! That is why I thought maybe you went from 29er to 27.5...haha. What year is that Scalpel? They seem pretty rare here (in 26") at least..

  31. #31
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    Itīs a 2012 Scalpel 3, that iīve upgraded a lot.
    Next victim will be the Avid brakes.

  32. #32
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    Clearance

    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Wow...so much clearance between the seat tube and tire!! That is why I thought maybe you went from 29er to 27.5...haha. What year is that Scalpel? They seem pretty rare here (in 26") at least..
    The problem isnīt with the seat tube; itīs with the small link (bridge), between the rear triangles. I use 2.25 tires and never had a problem with clearance this last winter.

  33. #33
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    Has anyone taken real measurements between the 26er and 27.5? Comparing a 27.5 to my 26er (Anthem) didn't look like much to the naked eye. And then there is this article Trail Tech: Cutting Through The 27.5 Wheel Size Hype - BikeRadar

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico2000 View Post
    Has anyone taken real measurements between the 26er and 27.5? Comparing a 27.5 to my 26er (Anthem) didn't look like much to the naked eye. And then there is this article Trail Tech: Cutting Through The 27.5 Wheel Size Hype - BikeRadar
    No. With all of this hype, new bikes everywhere from almost every manufacturer, and World Cups being won on the 27.5" wheel size, no one anywhere has ever thought to take a real measurement of the new wheel size for a true comparison. /sarcasm off/

    Maybe try a search.

  35. #35
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    Chico2000, have you read the article?

  36. #36
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    I've read all of them during the past 2 years while running 650b/26er combo and then the full 27.5 setup. Here's a new one: 27.5 Technology | Technology - Giant Bicycles | United States

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by VICpt View Post
    Chico2000, have you read the article?
    I did. Maybe what I asking really is the diameter difference with different tires. If rim bead difference is only 25mm, how much variance is there in tires?

    What I'd really like to do is a blind demo.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    The Xpreso sub 5 is a super sweet bike. Not as flashy as the major brands but rides just as well.

    Xprezo - Fabrication 100% canadienne
    Never heard of them, but those bikes look cool. Interesting suspension, and Columbus steel! (Or is it steel rear and Al front? Can't figure it out from the web site).

  39. #39
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Never heard of them, but those bikes look cool. Interesting suspension, and Columbus steel! (Or is it steel rear and Al front? Can't figure it out from the web site).
    I think they are Al front steel rear. They are a really good bike, one of nicest riding bikes I have ever been on.

    A good friend races for them. Actually won a stage of BCBR on their 650b this year.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico2000 View Post
    I did. Maybe what I asking really is the diameter difference with different tires. If rim bead difference is only 25mm, how much variance is there in tires?

    What I'd really like to do is a blind demo.
    Well, its true, you could have large volume tire on a 26er rim that brings the total wheel diameter greater than a 650B with a small tire. But, so?

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chico2000 View Post
    I did. Maybe what I asking really is the diameter difference with different tires. If rim bead difference is only 25mm, how much variance is there in tires?

    What I'd really like to do is a blind demo.
    What i can tell you is that for me it was a very positive change, iīm not a gifted rider and i also like better to climb than to go down the hills, and with these wheels iīm still climbing good (even better i think), and descending i go flying above the trails. The bike is more controlled, playful and secure.
    You have to try!

  42. #42
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    I run 2.25 Schwalbe RR's on my AC 650bxc wheels, my wheels measured out to 27.5" exactly, so my wheels/ tire combo is true to size, which as we all know, are not always the case no matter what wheel size is used.

  43. #43
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    I run 2.25 Schwalbe RR's on my AC 650bxc wheels, my wheels measured out to 27.5" exactly, so my wheels/ tire combo is true to size, which as we all know, are not always the case no matter what wheel size is used.
    If you put the same tires on a 29er hoop, would the entire diameter be 29"? I never care to get into the details, as I just know what feels right to me when I am riding/racing..haha.

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