which aggressive hardtail should i buy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    which aggressive hardtail should i buy?

    So i've decided to upgrade my beginner xc hardtail to something better for descending and jumping.

    im not sure what geo is better for jumping but it seems that most dirt jumpers have a more upright HA and shot chain stays.
    i do know that long and slack is good for descending though.

    thats mostly what i do, lap the steeper trails at my local network and hit the jump park when i can. im not a very accomplished jumper, im not good at gaps, but i can pull off whips and one handers on comfy jumps, so having a bike that can jump would be good.

    ive been looking at the marin san quentin 1, it seems like a good option but im not sure how the coil suspension would fair.

    my budget is about 1200-1300 USD

    ive also looked at the diamondback syncr, which is slightly more expensive. i have thought about getting a frame, but it seems more expensive.
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  2. #2
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    Mountain bike/trail jumps are nothing like proper Dirt Jumps, hence a very different design. Stay focused on a Trail bike, that's what you want.

    That San Quentin 1 is a pretty entry level bike, it would be worth jumping up to the San Quentin 2. Thru axles, air fork, etc.

    If you have a $12-1,300 budget, spend more than $900. Sub $1k is a really tough price point for manufacturers. Many compromises have to be made on components to hit that price. Non-tubeless wheels, QR wheels, Spring fork, etc. If you're making a new purchase get it right the first time so you don't have to "upgrade" again next year. Or, check out some lightly used bikes and get better bang for your buck.

    I'm not familiar with too many 27.5 bikes, I'm sure others will throw out some other options.
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  3. #3
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    Ragley Big Wig, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 91 Schwinn High Plain (single speed "gravel" bike), Nashbar CXSS (on trainer)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Blue Pig and Mmmbop are also worth a look.

    Nukeproof Scout 275 Race is another good option: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod183323


    Ragley and Nukeproof's hardtails are a crap-ton of bike for the money. I'm building up a Mmmbob frame right now, haven't ridden it on dirt yet but the frame quality is very impressive for the price.

  5. #5
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    i have a 2018 syncr as a second bike. i swapped out the fork almost immediately for a longer travel pike (140mm). It has been an ok bike. I exploded the rear hub beyond the point of repair after around 700 miles. There's a few irritating things about it, like the way the rear axle connects to a nut that just falls out rather than screwing into the hanger... and the way it only has mounts for 1 bottle cage (I added a wolftooth b-rad system to remedy that).
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Blue Pig and Mmmbop are also worth a look.

    Nukeproof Scout 275 Race is another good option: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod183323


    Ragley and Nukeproof's hardtails are a crap-ton of bike for the money. I'm building up a Mmmbob frame right now, haven't ridden it on dirt yet but the frame quality is very impressive for the price.
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    i really like the specs of the marly 2.0 for the price, 130mm travel and a beautiful frame to go with it, my pick it up.

    the mmmbop is... interesting.. its super slacked-out, lending itself too gnarly downhills, but a 63 degree HTa is a little much for what i want, but ill consider.

    the marly is a little bit less slack so it could perform better in the jump park, but its more the rider.

    the nuke proof scout is also a big consideration, i've heard a lot of good things about the scout 27.5 and might have to test ride it. its also pretty inexpensive.
    If You didn't start on a Hardtail you're doing it Wrong

  7. #7
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    On paper the Marley looks like it will probably jump a little better, though real-world differences might be negligible. I'm not well-qualified to say, this will be the first bike I've owned in this category. I figured I'd mention it anyway since it's definitely an "aggressive hardtail."

    I ended up with mine because I was going through my parts bin and realized I had accumulated almost an entire bike's worth of spare components, and a key part of the stash was a 160 mm Pike. I also love the purple version, and just wanted to go all-in on the "aggressive hardtail" concept.

    The Nukeproof kinda splits the difference between the Ragley choices, though the BB is lower than either Ragley.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    That's what I have for a hardtail and I really dig it a lot. However, they changed the fork from a Mattoc Comp to a RS Rekon which is a downgrade in my opinion. Still, it's a very nice frame for upgrades.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    i really like the specs of the marly 2.0 for the price, 130mm travel and a beautiful frame to go with it, my pick it up.

    the mmmbop is... interesting.. its super slacked-out, lending itself too gnarly downhills, but a 63 degree HTa is a little much for what i want, but ill consider.

    the marly is a little bit less slack so it could perform better in the jump park, but its more the rider.

    the nuke proof scout is also a big consideration, i've heard a lot of good things about the scout 27.5 and might have to test ride it. its also pretty inexpensive.
    The Marley is slack enough to take on some serious grades. It certainly feels stable enough when things get steep and hairy.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  10. #10
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    I've got an NS Eccentric that I ride pumptrack, jumplines, Xc and lift assisted downhill. An AMHT is good for everything, but not the best for anything but putting a smile on your face.

    Biggest complaint for jumplines and pumptrack is my 160mm fork, it soaks up way to much. With that said, dirt jump bikes are half the price your looking to spend, sell your old bike, save and get a dedicated dirt jumper

  11. #11
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    I used to ride a Ragley Marley and it was wild, felt way better than my xc hardtail I started off with. A mate of mine owned a Blue Pig (Enduro edition pretty much) and it looked and felt sick on the downhill.

    +1 for the San Quentin and the scout too

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    i really like the specs of the marly 2.0 for the price, 130mm travel and a beautiful frame to go with it, my pick it up.

    the mmmbop is... interesting.. its super slacked-out, lending itself too gnarly downhills, but a 63 degree HTa is a little much for what i want, but ill consider.

    the marly is a little bit less slack so it could perform better in the jump park, but its more the rider.

    the nuke proof scout is also a big consideration, i've heard a lot of good things about the scout 27.5 and might have to test ride it. its also pretty inexpensive.
    I'd go mmmbop over marley.

    -They're listing geo unsagged- 64* on a hardtail doesn't feel nearly as extreme as 64* on a fs.
    -It's a longer travel fork, so it's going to sit deeper in its travel when you're riding it
    -They have the same chainstays, but the mmmbop has a steeper seat angle and reach. Standing, your weight is centered on both, but the mmmbop will climb better
    -Same parts spec, so the weight is gonna be the same

    Overall, i see the mmmbop as being a more capable ride, with no real compromise. Just my opinion, but i've been obsessing over hardtail frame geo for like a decade.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I'd go mmmbop over marley.

    -They're listing geo unsagged- 64* on a hardtail doesn't feel nearly as extreme as 64* on a fs.
    -It's a longer travel fork, so it's going to sit deeper in its travel when you're riding it
    -They have the same chainstays, but the mmmbop has a steeper seat angle and reach. Standing, your weight is centered on both, but the mmmbop will climb better
    -Same parts spec, so the weight is gonna be the same

    Overall, i see the mmmbop as being a more capable ride, with no real compromise. Just my opinion, but i've been obsessing over hardtail frame geo for like a decade.
    Excellent. I finished mine last night, can't wait to get on dirt.

  14. #14
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    Specialized Fuse would be perfect or anything of similar geometry. I rented one down in Austin and was fairly impressed with its ability and the dropper post made it nice for tech and XC.

    The issue would be price point, but maybe you can find a 2019 on closeout OR I'm sure some folks are going to need cash with the on-going pandemic and I suspect in the next 2 months some great deals should be out there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Blue Pig and Mmmbop are also worth a look.

    Nukeproof Scout 275 Race is another good option: https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod183323


    Ragley and Nukeproof's hardtails are a crap-ton of bike for the money. I'm building up a Mmmbob frame right now, haven't ridden it on dirt yet but the frame quality is very impressive for the price.
    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    I'd go mmmbop over marley.

    -They're listing geo unsagged- 64* on a hardtail doesn't feel nearly as extreme as 64* on a fs.
    -It's a longer travel fork, so it's going to sit deeper in its travel when you're riding it
    -They have the same chainstays, but the mmmbop has a steeper seat angle and reach. Standing, your weight is centered on both, but the mmmbop will climb better
    -Same parts spec, so the weight is gonna be the same

    Overall, i see the mmmbop as being a more capable ride, with no real compromise. Just my opinion, but i've been obsessing over hardtail frame geo for like a decade.
    I'll think about the mmmbop, it is $400 more, but has a dropper post and 30mm more travel. another user posted a comment on how his NS Eccentric's 160mm travel soaked up weirdly on the lips of jumps. I've used a few friend's FS bikes, including some with 200mm of travel. the ones above 150mm performed worse on jumps, but ill still consider the mmmbop, though I might go with the Marley 2.0 since it doesn't have as much travel, and should be better for jumping. it really depends if I can find the right price at the right time.

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Specialized Fuse would be perfect or anything of similar geometry. I rented one down in Austin and was fairly impressed with its ability and the dropper post made it nice for tech and XC.

    The issue would be price point, but maybe you can find a 2019 on closeout OR I'm sure some folks are going to need cash with the on-going pandemic and I suspect in the next 2 months some great deals should be out there.
    I looked at the Fuse, and its a little more than I want to pay for a little less of the geo and components I want. I don't doubt that it can take some gnar but it seems that the 2019 and 2020 versions adapt a little more of the XC geo that I'm trying to avoid, and if I did want to spend another few hundred dollars I think I'd get the mmmbop or Marley 1.0
    If You didn't start on a Hardtail you're doing it Wrong

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Granny_Gear View Post
    I'll think about the mmmbop, it is $400 more, but has a dropper post and 30mm more travel. another user posted a comment on how his NS Eccentric's 160mm travel soaked up weirdly on the lips of jumps. I've used a few friend's FS bikes, including some with 200mm of travel. the ones above 150mm performed worse on jumps, but ill still consider the mmmbop, though I might go with the Marley 2.0 since it doesn't have as much travel, and should be better for jumping. it really depends if I can find the right price at the right time.
    400$ difference?! WTF. They have the same build kit. They cost the same amount to make. It's not 400$ better.

    I've had a lot of long travel hardtails, never noticed anything bad on jumps that i could attribute to the amount of travel. Bad geo, poor damper, set up incorrectly... YES. My current long travel hardtail has a 160 fork on it (and a 1270mm wheelbase!), and the only issue is the timing is weird on jumps with a short transfer and a steep lip. But that's cuz it's super long.

    ...i suppose i could see the long fork steepening the learning curve for hitting jumps. It's gonna move around more when you do the wrong thing.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
    Mikhail Kalashnikov

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