best climbing, light 27.5 trail bike with ~140mm of travel- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    dft
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    best climbing, light 27.5 trail bike with ~140mm of travel

    what are some bikes that fit this category.
    build up a ~28 pound 140mm bike. preferably still pretty slack so its good on downhill, steeps, etc.

    thanks
    Tom

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    Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
    Transition Scout
    Guerrilla Gravity Shred Dogg

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    Second the RM Thunderbolt. It was on my short list of new bikes last year (the last version, with 130mm)

    Transition Scout is probably at or well over 30 lbs. Their bikes are nice but more on the burly side. Probably a less efficient climber, but likely great at downhill. I have never ridden one of their bikes.

    My 2019 SC 5010 CC X01 is at 28 lbs, although that is 130mm of travel. Very nimble and efficient climber. The Bronson is the next up on travel, with 150mm, at probably only a small weight penalty.

    The Ibis Mojo3 is another, but again only 130mm.

  4. #4
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    If anyone mentions a Transition in a thread asking for bikes that climb well, all further posts of theirs should be immediately disregarded.


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft View Post
    what are some bikes that fit this category.
    build up a ~28 pound 140mm bike. preferably still pretty slack so its good on downhill, steeps, etc.

    thanks
    Tom
    How much do you want to spend?

    Maybe a Pivot Mach 5.5 or a Specialized Stumpjumper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If anyone mentions a Transition in a thread asking for bikes that climb well, all further posts of theirs should be immediately disregarded.


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    I just threw up a couple of 140 bikes I could even think of. Truth be told I agree with you.

    There are more in the 150-160 ďall-mountainĒ range of travel. A scant few with less travel.

    27.5 gets less and less love.

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    Devinci Troy.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    If anyone mentions a Transition in a thread asking for bikes that climb well, all further posts of theirs should be immediately disregarded.


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    What makes them climb not well?

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    Sc 5010?
    EXODUX Jeff

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    My Mach 5.5 is about 30(without the cushcore). climbs really well, but you'll pay for it to get it that light...Pretty good do it all bike.

    Why 27.5? Going to 29" opens up a realm of possibilities as well, and I am a 27.5" guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Rider View Post
    What makes them climb not well?
    I personally experienced pedal bob putting exerted efforts on climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    Sc 5010?
    130 bike... and the Bronson is 150.

    Ranges or use is better than fixated on travel. Santa Cruz is good measure of categorizing use/types.
    A 140 bike is an odd duck.

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    I think weight will be the crux of a build. Good Forks, droppers, shocks, and tires will always have an unavoidable weight

    Only way to get the weight down is carbon wheels/frame and expensive drivetrain.

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    You can run performance calculators to see just how much that weight really makes a difference. Its shockingly low. Like seconds per hour slower when climbing for full pounds. I would use good parts and disregard weight, fast is going to come from the tires rolling resistance (and you pedaling). Most good bikes these days in the 140ish range can hit 28, but dont pass up something good because it scoots a tiny bit past that!

    Transition has some low anti squat numbers. 100% means its totally neutral and will bob with your body movement but not with your pedal stroke. Body movement actually generates fairly significant bob, but at least its not coming out of your legs. But still, transitions dip below 100, which means the bike is bobbing from pedal input and body input. I dont think that makes them terrible climbers, but they'll certainly feel soft climbing.

    Orbea rallons are light and climb very well... its more travel than you want, but its still a climber. Same with the ibis HD3. The giant trance climbs well if you're good with a 30t ring.

    I would objectively compare bikes by geometry and linkage design. Everyone claims every bike is a scalded cat climber, but below 100% anti squat, bikes plainly do not pedal well.

  15. #15
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    Evil Calling fits the bill, although Evil bikes are a smidge on the heavier side but ride fantastically well - both up and down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Squeaky Wheel View Post
    Evil Calling fits the bill, although Evil bikes are a smidge on the heavier side but ride fantastically well - both up and down.
    Have to agree with the Calling. It's 130, but the DELTA suspension really is magic about having great small bump, but ramping to deal with anything big.

    Pivot 5.5 mentioned is also on the list.
    Yeti SB140 would be there.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Rider View Post
    What makes them climb not well?
    Their Horst Link design is active, but tends to be more dependent on suspension damping to control rear suspension movement than newer suspension designs.
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    I'd go with the SC 5010 as well. Yeah, it's 130 in the rear but it the difference between 130 & 140 is .4" so if your suspension is dialed, you're not going to notice the difference. I've owned the 5010 & Pivot 5.5 and demo'd the Evil Calling and Yeti SB140. I would like to try the Thunderbolt someday but Rocky Mountain dealers are few and far between in my area.

    Out of all this bikes, the 5010 was buy favorite all around bike. It did everything well and I rode it all over including trails like Hi Line, Hogs and Hangover in Sedona with no issues. The Calling would be my 2nd choice but it would be tough to get to 28 lbs. I just never connected with the 5.5, that was a spur of the moment purchase when my Mach 6 cracked (my fault). I had 2.6 tires on the 5.5 and it was slooooooow going up but a blast coming down. I didn't care how hard I pushed, I don't think I ever got this tires to break traction. I love how Yeti's look and have had two SB5's but the 140 for me was slow going up and not "fun" coming down as it lacked plushness and poppy-ness which is what I want in a 27.5 bike. I ended up going bigger and bought an Ibis HD5 and I'm sure impressed so far.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    You can run performance calculators to see just how much that weight really makes a difference. Its shockingly low. Like seconds per hour slower when climbing for full pounds. I would use good parts and disregard weight, fast is going to come from the tires rolling resistance (and you pedaling). Most good bikes these days in the 140ish range can hit 28, but dont pass up something good because it scoots a tiny bit past that!.
    Completely agree. Some suspension designs are noticeably faster climbing bikes.
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  20. #20
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    I really like my 5010. It climbs great, and is super fun to play around on. You're going to have to spend some money to get it under 30 lbs though. I will also say, that if you have chunky trails, with lots of square edged stuff, you may like the Evil better.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by d365 View Post
    I really like my 5010. It climbs great, and is super fun to play around on. You're going to have to spend some money to get it under 30 lbs though. I will also say, that if you have chunky trails, with lots of square edged stuff, you may like the Evil better.
    I agree.
    I've ridden the 5010 as well. I give the 5010 the slight nod for pure climbing. VPP works as advertised. But the Calling is far more composed when things get rowdy going downhill. But if building either bike to <30 lbs, then emphasis will be on climbing over descending in either case.

  22. #22
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    Another vote for the 5010, but I also have a transition scout and never had any issues when climbing with it either-but it is heavy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Completely agree. Some suspension designs are noticeably faster climbing bikes.
    My personal observation is that weight does affect the feel of the bike. A lighter bike will feel nimbler, easier to get up and over obstacles, quicker to accelerate. It probably doesn't make much difference in an extended steady climb situation.

    I love the feel of a light 27.5 bike, and I love my Intense Spider (130mm travel).

  24. #24
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    No mention of Mojo 3 or HD3/4/5? Mojo 3 has 130mm in the rear, 140mm front, and the Large frame is like 2600g. It's not hard to build a 25lb bike. One time a pinkbike member emailed me a parts list for his 26lb HD4; didn't seem hard to get there, either.

  25. #25
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    I had an HD3 for a very short period of time. The thing climbed like a XC bike. Problem is, I felt it descended like one too. Just could not get that rear end dialed in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TylerVernon View Post
    No mention of Mojo 3 or HD3/4/5? Mojo 3 has 130mm in the rear, 140mm front, and the Large frame is like 2600g. It's not hard to build a 25lb bike. One time a pinkbike member emailed me a parts list for his 26lb HD4; didn't seem hard to get there, either.
    I demoed a Mojo 3 once, loved that bike. Quick on the ups and solid going down. It was a 275+ setup. My wife has an HD3, loves it. She hauls ass going down.

  27. #27
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    A bike I completely forgot about despite owing one is a Banshee Spitfire. I think the V3 is 135mm compared to the 140mm on the older models. Mine currently is 31.5 lbs. Thats with 2.6 tires. When I was running 2.35's it was at just under 30lbs. It not a "great" climber...but it's a pretty capable. one.

    I think ~30lbs is going to be a more realistic number vs 28lbs.

  28. #28
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    The Mojo 3 can accomodate 140mm up front without effecting anything noticeable. I would put the Thunderbolt at the top of the list, and if not mistaken the BC edition is 140mm up front.
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  29. #29
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    Like a few of the others have mentioned, the 5010v.3 climbs really well, but it will be spendy to get it to the weight you want. Mine is an XL frame with i9 Carbon 315c wheels and an X0/XX drive train and it is 29 lbs or so. The stock build does display limitations on the downhill, but after swapping in a Topaz and Sapphire, the 5010 really came alive when pointed downhill.

  30. #30
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    It's so common for someone ask about good climbing bikes, but "climb" is never defined. Climb as in steady uphill grinding, or technical scrambling up rocks, roots, and ledges? For me, I use my XC bike for steady uphill grinds. For the technical stuff I'm on my slacker, longer travel trail bike. These two bikes are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

    Sooo... what the best climbing bike? Depends on the climb!
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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    VPP bike will pedal firmer than a Horst bike. While ascending rough terrain it will get some kickback.

    Iím not saying no to Santa Cruz. Only Original poster knows how rough he has to pedal.

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    There's still some leftover Intense Recluse's out there I think that are 140, and it's DNA is the Spider which was a great climbing bike (and very similar to the 5010) but I've never ridden the Recluse so...

    The difference between 140 and 150 isn't that big, the Spot Rollik 150 is an amazing climber and easy to get the weight down on, and if you MUST have 140, you could short stroke it with a 52.5 stroke shock and be there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbikeloco View Post
    Like a few of the others have mentioned, the 5010v.3 climbs really well, but it will be spendy to get it to the weight you want. Mine is an XL frame with i9 Carbon 315c wheels and an X0/XX drive train and it is 29 lbs or so. The stock build does display limitations on the downhill, but after swapping in a Topaz and Sapphire, the 5010 really came alive when pointed downhill.
    My V3 5010 in size large is right at 28 lb, without pedals. It's the XO1+ build with the CC level carbon frame. The normal tire width version drops about 1/2 pound, but I really like the 2.6" tires, they are unstoppable

    I agree with the quote above, to get this bike down to around 28 lb, you're going to be dropping a lot more money ($6k+) than on something like the Thunderbolt or perhaps the Mojo3. I also wouldn't recommend the 5010 if you do a lot of hardcore descending. I love this bike but I ride within its limits. That said I think the Thunderbolt would probably be overwhelmed on rough descents also.

    I never demoed the Mojo3 so I can't comment on it. I did like the Ibis Ripley that I demoed, I just didn't want a 29" wheel.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I love how Yeti's look and have had two SB5's but the 140 for me was slow going up and not "fun" coming down as it lacked plushness and poppy-ness which is what I want in a 27.5 bike. I ended up going bigger and bought an Ibis HD5 and I'm sure impressed so far.
    Why did you go with the HD5 over another Mach 6?

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    Bikes with a decent pedaling platform that donít bob will climb well, of course you can always lock out the shock...

    28#, thatís really light, certainly carbon, maybe aluminum, skinny wheels, Fox 34 or Pike, nothing burly unless youíre ready to spend a bundle.

    I find it curious that folks have a target weight, as if that really means anything if youíre not looking to be a competitive racer.

    I climb for days on my sled, itís gotta weight well over 35#, never weighed it, but itís a pig. Never has it kept from making a climb or completing a ride.

    Best climbing bikes? Anything DW except the Devinci Troy, that thing climbs like shite!

    I think GG bikes climb pretty good, which is why I ride them.
    GG Megatrail 27.5 (Braaap!)
    GG Trail Pistola 27+/29 (speedy)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wife's)

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    https://youtu.be/ffd1DpTbZfU

    Bird Aether has some good hype, but I donít think weight is an achievable goal.

  37. #37
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    Mojo 3

    Spot (can't remember their 140 model)

    Pivot 5.5

    Evil Calling

    Intense primer (purchased)

    Would all be at the top of the list for demo riding.

    There are different definitions of climbing:

    - pedal efficiency where the pedal power goes into forward momentum, aka high anti squat numbers

    - climbing chunky stuff where the bike tracks easily. This comes down to geometry and all that low, slack, long front center design comes together. But get too much of this and the fun poppyness of the bike goes away.

    -weight. The lighter the whole package is the faster the climb. This includes you.

    Weight is out the window, we're looking at trail bikes. There really is no difference between 28 and 32 pounds.

    Look for high anti squat throughout the whole suspension travel not just the narrow window of sag. Then test ride those bikes to find the geometry that fits you. A trip to Sedona where all these bikes can be rented and ridden on the same trails back to back wouldn't be such a bad idea.

    I went with the Primer. The bike climbs very well in this segment of bikes, descends incredibly and is fun to ride.

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  38. #38
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    I've owned (still own) VPP based bikes(Santa Cruz) and they do climb well, but my DW link bikes are the best climbing, pedaling bikes that I've ever owned and ridden.
    EXODUX Jeff

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott2MTB View Post
    There's still some leftover Intense Recluse's out there I think that are 140, and it's DNA is the Spider which was a great climbing bike (and very similar to the 5010) but I've never ridden the Recluse so...

    The difference between 140 and 150 isn't that big, the Spot Rollik 150 is an amazing climber and easy to get the weight down on, and if you MUST have 140, you could short stroke it with a 52.5 stroke shock and be there.
    I've looked at the Recluse and it has pretty restrictive rear tire clearance.

  40. #40
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    I was reminded again what a nice climbing bike my Intense Spider is this past weekend. I actually put the Recluse link on my Spider to bump travel up a little into the neighborhood the OP is looking for. I think my Instinct probably claws up techie stuff better, but not by much. Best thing is they have some amazing prices on some of the closeout bikes on their website, so great time to get one if you can find a size that fits.

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    I personally am a terrible climber... partly because I'm pretty big 6'3" 260~ ... blah blah

    Some people may have feels as there was some drama when this suspension design premiered.

    but my Giant Trance adv 2 (XL Sized frame , with heavy bars (deity highside), Tires 2.6 DHF EXO upfront and 2.5 DHF DD in back, climbs pretty good.... bike weighs 29.5~lbs in the XL size as equipped. My shock has a lock out I don't tend to ever use it.

    best climbing, light 27.5 trail bike with ~140mm of travel-trance21.jpg

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    Looking for one of these for my wife. I think a new Ibis Mojo 3 is going to come out. They've redone all of their other bikes. My guess is that it will be absolutely ideal for this type of bike based on how well they've done with the Ripmo. Yeti SB5 is high on my list if dropping down to 130mm being that it's traditionally been a lot more rowdy than the 5010 (stock 150mm fork!)...tho maybe newer 5010's are a bit more DH inclined. Its $$$ tho...

    Rocky makes really nice light frames. I ride their Instinct with carbon wheels. Its 140/150mm with Fox 36, 2.5 minions, dpx2 in an XL size. Only 29lbs. Their 27.5 bikes seem nice but I haven't ridden them.

    I wish the Pivot Mach 5.5 pedaled better like all of their other bikes. Its odd but I read that it was designed around Fox's live valve and hence they built more DH couch into it and the Live Valve would take care of the climbing. But no one has live valve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Looking for one of these for my wife. I think a new Ibis Mojo 3 is going to come out. They've redone all of their other bikes. My guess is that it will be absolutely ideal for this type of bike based on how well they've done with the Ripmo. Yeti SB5 is high on my list if dropping down to 130mm being that it's traditionally been a lot more rowdy than the 5010 (stock 150mm fork!)...tho maybe newer 5010's are a bit more DH inclined. Its $$$ tho...

    Rocky makes really nice light frames. I ride their Instinct with carbon wheels. Its 140/150mm with Fox 36, 2.5 minions, dpx2 in an XL size. Only 29lbs. Their 27.5 bikes seem nice but I haven't ridden them.

    I wish the Pivot Mach 5.5 pedaled better like all of their other bikes. Its odd but I read that it was designed around Fox's live valve and hence they built more DH couch into it and the Live Valve would take care of the climbing. But no one has live valve.
    The Pivot Mach 5.5 actually pedals and climbs really well, especially if you have nice carbon wheels and light tires. If the sag concerns you just flip the shock to the medium position or add a little more air pressure to it.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommelch View Post
    The Pivot Mach 5.5 actually pedals and climbs really well, especially if you have nice carbon wheels and light tires. If the sag concerns you just flip the shock to the medium position or add a little more air pressure to it.
    No...it doesn't, at least not as designed with 2.6 tires. I've owned (2) SB5's, a 5010, a Pivot 5.5, a Mach 6 and now on an Ibis HD5. For what the OP is looking for, the 5010 and 1st version SB5 would have been my picked....even though they aren't 140 in the back. The Pivot 5.5 would be my dead last choice....by far. I'm not a fast climber on any bike anymore but the HD5 has surprised me. It doesn't feel any faster as I'm going up but I had my 2nd fastest time on a 2.2 mile sustained climb at Greer Ranch (local SoCal stuff) the other day. I've done that ride on the 5010, SB5 and Ripmo but the one bike I was falser on than the HD5 was an Intense Primer 29er by 8 seconds.
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  45. #45
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    "No...it doesn't, at least not as designed with 2.6 tires".

    I think with the Pivot, which has the DW Link, which is one of the best pedaling platforms out there, its the 2.6 tires that makes your bike a bad climber and not the bike

    My main ride is a Turner RFX with 170mm fr, 160mm rr travel, weighs 30 lbs, uses the DW Link and it climbs extremely well.
    EXODUX Jeff

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    Like I said......nice carbon wheels and LIGHT tires

  47. #47
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    ^^This

    Linkage can do so much if you're running wide heavy tires on too wide rims.

  48. #48
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    This what I ride that is close to what the OP describes.

    SC5010
    Helm coil fork (140) by Cane Creek
    Inline coil rear by Cane Creek
    35mm ID carbon rims (Ibis 742)
    Hutchison "COUGARS" mounted, but now using MAXXIS Minions (2.4)
    150mm dropper (KSLev)
    XTR/XT shimano 11x2 drivetrain
    SDG Saddle (very important )

    best climbing, light 27.5 trail bike with ~140mm of travel-img_2154.jpg
    Last edited by CEB; 05-03-2020 at 08:00 AM.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane Jeff View Post
    "No...it doesn't, at least not as designed with 2.6 tires".

    I think with the Pivot, which has the DW Link, which is one of the best pedaling platforms out there, its the 2.6 tires that makes your bike a bad climber and not the bike.
    Hmmm...

    My 34# low AS Knolly Endorphin with a coil out back, a Lyric up font, and heavy DHF/DHR Maxxis 2.6" EXO + casings beat every one up the most technical climb on my last group ride. Some pretty fit riders were in the group. Everyone else ended up walking it. My rig had the traction.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by dft View Post
    what are some bikes that fit this category.
    build up a ~28 pound 140mm bike. preferably still pretty slack so its good on downhill, steeps, etc.

    thanks
    Tom
    SC 5010 CC or GG shred dogg were my 2 final choices when I was making this decision 6 months ago. 5010CC won due to the climbing traction and lighter frame weight. However, I had a whole day on a 5010 demo and only about 15 minutes on someone's personal shred dogg, so i couldn't change up anything except suspension pressures.

    this ended up closer to 29 than 28 lbs though

    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    All done. 28.7 pounds.
    Attachment 1298885
    Attachment 1298887
    Medium CC frame
    Pike 130
    Cane creek 40 hs
    Korayak 50mm stem
    Race face six c bars
    Old xt brakes 180/180
    Shimano 12 - XTR cassette, XT shifter, SLX derailleur, XO cranks, AB 30t oval, look x-trac race pedals, mrp xcg bash
    PNW bachelor 150mm, PNW loam lever, specialized power saddle
    Nextie 35mm rims, white industries xmr rear hub, hope pro4 front hub, sapim race, brass nipples, dt through bolt, Specialized eliminator grid 2.6 front, specialized ground control grid 2.6 rear

  51. #51
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    This review lists 27.5" bikes in (roughly) order of climbing efficiency vs downhill capabilities. Some of the models on the list have since released new versions.

    https://blisterreview.com/gear-revie...de-comparisons

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehayes View Post
    This review lists 27.5" bikes in (roughly) order of climbing efficiency vs downhill capabilities. Some of the models on the list have since released new versions.

    https://blisterreview.com/gear-revie...de-comparisons
    What an odd article. Some bikes from '18... some from '14. Some of them not tested in NV. All running different wheels/tires. It could be interesting if they had all those bikes together today, at the same place, with the same wheels/tires.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by 92gli View Post
    What an odd article. Some bikes from '18... some from '14. Some of them not tested in NV. All running different wheels/tires. It could be interesting if they had all those bikes together today, at the same place, with the same wheels/tires.
    I think the model years listed are the years the current bike was released, when the article was written in 2018. So, in 2018, some of the models were last released in 2014.

  54. #54
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    hi, im sort of a newbie with the mtb lingo. can someone please explain what 140mm of travel means?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrallen View Post
    Have to agree with the Calling. It's 130, but the DELTA suspension really is magic about having great small bump, but ramping to deal with anything big.

    Pivot 5.5 mentioned is also on the list.
    Yeti SB140 would be there.
    130? 150? can someone explain these references? i imagine rear travel refers to the rear suspension.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by inneed View Post
    hi, im sort of a newbie with the mtb lingo. can someone please explain what 140mm of travel means?



    130? 150? can someone explain these references? i imagine rear travel refers to the rear suspension.
    This refers to how much vertical movement the rear wheel has on the bike.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehayes View Post
    I think the model years listed are the years the current bike was released, when the article was written in 2018. So, in 2018, some of the models were last released in 2014.
    I think this article was updated several time to add newer bikes. The date of the article is listed as 6/18 but you can see some comments dating back to 2016, some of which lament certain bikes being omitted that are now in the reviews.
    Ibis Ripmo V2
    Ibis Ripley V4
    Ibis Mojo HD5
    Pivot Mach 4SL
    Pivot LES SS
    A road bike

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by panchosdad View Post
    My personal observation is that weight does affect the feel of the bike. A lighter bike will feel nimbler, easier to get up and over obstacles, quicker to accelerate. It probably doesn't make much difference in an extended steady climb situation.

    I love the feel of a light 27.5 bike, and I love my Intense Spider (130mm travel).
    I agree w/ Panchosdad!
    I understand the 35lbs can climb as good as 25lbs thoughts, but the feeling is quite different imo.
    Maybe it's strength to move the bike around, over obstacles, creating that "Pilot vs passenger feel." At over 50 and 160lbs, I just feel less agile on anything in the 30lbsplus range.
    I really agreed w/ Ferrentinos' grimy handshake in last bike,
    "I want all the squishy goodness my modern bike, but I want it at 25lbs instead of 35lbs!"

    I love my 650b stumpjumper in this niche...
    , custom built, 27lbs w/ pedals, heavy dropper, dhf front and italian tire inserts so I can run mid to high teens and not pinch.
    Yes, I spend much of my time in middle shock setting, which makes a big difference in FSR fully open plushness.
    I also have a recluse, mentioned here, as my backup, loaner, grocery bike, another good climber. Some said limited clearance, I have 2.6 rear tire on that with no issues.

    Cheers!
    W

  58. #58
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    Mojo 3 is a fun bike (because I have one, lol). DW suspension is the real deal keeping the rear end up in it's travel helping make it a fantastic climber and capable enough everywhere else. Only 130mm rear but I run a 150mm Pike up front with no issues. 130 vs. 140? What's 10mm between friends?

    If you prefer a fun dynamic bike vs. a plow bike you owe it to yourself to throw a leg over one for a good demo. Throw enough cash at it and you'll get to ~25lbs.

    Lot's of good bikes out there, good luck.

  59. #59
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    +1 for the 5010. It's my one bike for the rowdy stuff, xc with punchy climbs, and my local pumptrack.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by holiday View Post
    I agree w/ Panchosdad!
    I understand the 35lbs can climb as good as 25lbs thoughts, but the feeling is quite different imo.
    Maybe it's strength to move the bike around, over obstacles, creating that "Pilot vs passenger feel." At over 50 and 160lbs, I just feel less agile on anything in the 30lbsplus range.
    I really agreed w/ Ferrentinos' grimy handshake in last bike,
    "I want all the squishy goodness my modern bike, but I want it at 25lbs instead of 35lbs!"

    I love my 650b stumpjumper in this niche...
    , custom built, 27lbs w/ pedals, heavy dropper, dhf front and italian tire inserts so I can run mid to high teens and not pinch.
    Yes, I spend much of my time in middle shock setting, which makes a big difference in FSR fully open plushness.
    I also have a recluse, mentioned here, as my backup, loaner, grocery bike, another good climber. Some said limited clearance, I have 2.6 rear tire on that with no issues.

    Cheers!
    W
    Yeah I'm almost 60 and 150 pounds, so light is certainly right for me. Got a great 20 miler in today on the Spider, love that bike. First real ride of the season.

    Recluse as a backup? Set that baby free.

  61. #61
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    Has the original poster clarified where they live and what kind of climbing they are trying to optimize? I impressed with the technical singletrack climbing ability of my Altitude in the steep setting.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Has the original poster clarified where they live and what kind of climbing they are trying to optimize? I impressed with the technical singletrack climbing ability of my Altitude in the steep setting.
    How does the Altitude ride on stuff that isn't super gnarly? Does it feel like a bulky bike? I ride a custom 150/140 RM Instinct and it's badass, I love it. Look at the Altitude for my wife who is a solid rider but isn't pushing it often. I wonder if the Altitude with the 36 up front would be a bit bulky, or maybe not. I do like that the geo isn't super long and is more on the fun side.

  63. #63
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    I second the Mojo3. I really enjoyed mine. Great pedalling bike.

  64. #64
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    I had the same list for my wife's new bike and ended up with a lightly used Mondraker Foxy 27.5 SL.
    Not even a WW build and it weighs 27#s wiith inserts and pedals. 150mm travel. Climbs and descends very well.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Has the original poster clarified where they live and what kind of climbing they are trying to optimize?
    Yeah, without that question answered all these questions could be right or wrong.
    It is the Right of the People to Alter or to Abolish It.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farmpunk View Post
    I second the Mojo3. I really enjoyed mine. Great pedalling bike.
    The Mojo3 looks like a sweet bike and Ibis's DWLink is freaking amazing, nothing climbs like it in my experience. Not even Pivot's DWLink. Its wild nice going up and fun going down but not super squish. My only issue is that bike is really short. I think if they updated it without going nuts on the length, it would be the ideal 27.5 non-aggro trail bike. I've also heard nothing but good things about Yeti's SB5 for a straight up trail bike. It sounds like its a little better at climbing the techy/rocky/rooty climbs than DW but not quite as efficient when its not techy. I really like the 150mm fork setup and HTA too. It's also pretty short in length/reach tho and man they aren't cheap.

  67. #67
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    If you ride an XL this might be an option:
    https://www.levelninesports.com/2019...-mountain-bike

    That bike has no perceptible pedal bob for me wide open and it has the hustle/flow modes to reduce diving if you are climbing over rocks. It feels really good pushing through berms at speed. It did feel overly twitchy on lower speed tech, although my custom bar stem fork combo ma have exacerbated the issue. probaly hard to get an xl to 28 lb. XC tires and carbon wheels might do it.

  68. #68
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    Another vote for SC 5010.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    How does the Altitude ride on stuff that isn't super gnarly? Does it feel like a bulky bike? I ride a custom 150/140 RM Instinct and it's badass, I love it. Look at the Altitude for my wife who is a solid rider but isn't pushing it often. I wonder if the Altitude with the 36 up front would be a bit bulky, or maybe not. I do like that the geo isn't super long and is more on the fun side.
    I only just built it up two weeks ago, but I believe I am smitten by the Altitude. I live in an area where a bike this big is surely overkill (Upstate NY, primitive single track, small ups/down, constant slow grinding pedaling, roots all day, 0.25 sec of chunky sections..)

    But there is something magical about the Altitude how its geometry and suspension design come together on my terrain. I think you can set it up to be a ripper rather than a Enduro sled. I am running it in the Steep mode on the ride 9 setting and usually fully open. What I love about it is the HIGH bottom bracket and steeper seat tube. I wish it was even steeper and imagine in their next refresh they will address this. The high BB lets me pedal with reckless abandon through roots which we have a lot of. I really enjoy this. The downside is it does feel 'tippy' and can feel the height in corners. The high BB combined with the short chain stay makes popping the front wheel with a 1/2 stroke or 3/4 stroke a breeze, which is nice for logs.

    You know from your Instinct, that Rocky's smoothlink suspension is active, and one of the benefits is the small bump sensitivity. This can turn off some people of make a direct connection between pedal bob and climbing efficiency. On anything but smooth trail, I think the suppleness is a benefit. Here with lots of small chatter on primitive trails and spider web roots, I love it. On smoother track, fire roads keeping it fully open does hold me back and have to switch to middle mode.

    My frame came with the DPX2 and think that a shock with lots of adjustments, especially Low Speed compression (LSC) is a must with this frame. I found my sweet spot of 5 clicks out from full closed. Going one more click and I can feel the bob turn from an advantage to disadvantage.

    I'm learning to trust the 160 mm and bomb into things and it is changing my style a little to carry more speed through things. and the rear takes it up and I can get back to pedaling hard through chunk. I have a Manitou Mattoc PRO with a special high flow valve and run decent low speed compression to keep it from bobbing too much. It provides good small bump but with some mid travel support and use the bottom out control to slow down the deep diving.

    The frame is light, and I think building it up with light components will help keep it lively. I've also got 2.4/2.3 tire on it and haven't tried the 2.5 Wide trails or 2.6s. Though some XCish/trail 2.6s might keep it fast.

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