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  1. #1
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    Looking for 27.5 XC FS razor

    A fair number of trails near me (and my favorite) are smoothish but super twisty.....accelerate, brake, turn, turn, accelerate, brake etc. Your heart rate gets high more from bike handling and ducking around trees than from pedaling. Some people hate it but I love it. I'm looking for a shortish travel FS 27.5 that will rip through this stuff.....shorter wheelbase, enough travel front and rear to survive the roots and rocks, but otherwise designed for acceleration and tight turns.

    I know giant has the Anthem, SC has the 5010.....what else is out there? 130mm travel would be the absolute max. 100-120 is probably more the sweet spot. Something that handles standing up and mashing to the next corner well....

    Compiling suggestions here:
    Giant Anthem SX
    Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
    Norco Revolver/Optic (only available in 29 now)
    Pivot 429 (29er)
    Pivot Mach 4
    Turner Flux
    Cannondale Habit
    Scott Spark




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    Last edited by Rumblefish29er; 10-04-2017 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    Cannndale Habit (120mm travel f/r, 130mm f/r for habit se)? If you're worried about the lefty fork, you can always go for the models using normal forks.
    Also, the Specialized Camber is 120mm travel front and rear for the 29er, and 130mm for the 650b version.


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  3. #3
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    The Habit and Scotts Spark are amazing at making quick turns and side-to-side transitions. It really pays to get the up-level models too, you don't need the highest priced version, but pay attention to wheelsets and the cranksets. The lower priced versions pickup a lot of weight and this affects how they handle being moved around. As an example of how to afford the good stuff; I saw a used low-end Habit 4 (if I wanted) I would have bought and put a light wheelset on it.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  4. #4
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    Smooth twisty trails and you want something that will accelerate out of corners while you're mashing out of the saddle? Sounds like you need a hardtail.

  5. #5
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    Rocky Thunderbolt
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  6. #6
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    Norco Revolver, Norco Optic, Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, Yeti ASRC (only 27.5 in smaller sizes), Spark 120mm, Anthem SX

    Kona Hei Hei trail ,27.5 It is outside your desired travel range at 140mm/140mm but the rear suspension is pretty tight and not super plush and the head angle is an unlikely 68 degrees for a 'trail' bike. I think this combination is a little unique in this category and think it works well for your application.

    I just got one sight unseen and undemoed and an am really enjoying it on our central NY primitive twisties. It does everything well, jack of all trades type of bike but skewed more towards tight singletrack.

    The Revolver is also an interesting design. It has some trail bike characteristics in terms of the geometry and the rear suspension design but in a 100mm rear package.
    Last edited by ashwinearl; 10-04-2017 at 10:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    I almost forgot about it, but Seth's Bike Hacks did a review on an Orange Four trail bike. It has 130f/120r travel if I'm not wrong.
    Orange Four MTB Review

  8. #8
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    If it was me I would have the Turner Flux at the top of the list.

  9. #9
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    Pivot Mach 4
    Mach 4 Carbon - Pivot Cycles | Pivot Cycles | Performance Redefined

    Pivot Mach 429 Trail (best turning 29er I have ever ridden)
    Mach 429 Trail - Pivot Cycles | Pivot Cycles | Performance Redefined

    Transition Scout Carbon (perhaps a bit too much travel)
    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_ScoutCarbon.cfm?Token={ts_2017-10-03_20:53:57}-1b4d1e872b8c41e-F72D9CEF-EA04-26DC-FEEB66A4771E5A6C

    Evil the Following
    https://www.evil-bikes.com/products/following

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashwinearl View Post
    Norco Revolver, Norco Optic, Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt, Yeti ASRC (only 27.5 in smaller sizes), Anthem SX

    Kona Hei Hei trail ,27.5 It is outside your desired travel range at 140mm/140mm but the rear suspension is pretty tight and not super plush and the head angle is an unlikely 68 degrees for a 'trail' bike. I think this combination is a little unique in this category and think it works well for your application.

    I just got one sight unseen and undemoed and an am really enjoying it on our central NY primitive twisties. It does everything well, jack of all trades type of bike but skewed more towards tight singletrack.

    The Revolver is also an interesting design. It has some trail bike characteristics in terms of the geometry and the rear suspension design but in a 100mm rear package.
    Norco Optic looks pretty sweet....never even seen that. Unfortunately for 2018 they have gone size specific 29er for M-XL, only the S and XS are 27.5. But in 2017 looks like all models were 27.5...

  11. #11
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    a few optics on Pink bike right now.

  12. #12
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    Should the SC 5010 be on the list? I am not sure if it falls into this pure agility category. It has short travel but might be more upright geo.


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  13. #13
    NedwannaB
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    New Scott Spark sounds like it would fit your needs and be the lightest and fit your 120 max travel limit. Not sure why it wasn't on your list. And you didn't set a $$ budget either which would've helped with suggestions......

  14. #14
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    Intense Spider 275C???

  15. #15
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    First question would be when was the last time you rode a modern 29er?
    OG Ripley v2

  16. #16
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    I Have a 2016 Rocky Mt Thunderbolt bc that I am still blown away how good this bike is after many many rides of different terrains and difficulty levels. Try and demo one. I demo,d 11 different short travel FS bike and for me this easily won out. Good luck on your search.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    First question would be when was the last time you rode a modern 29er?
    I've owned three FS and 3 HT. Anywhere from 2011 to 2016 vintage. Still have the 2013 Scott Genius 910, 2015 Foundry Broadaxe, 2016 Spot Honeybadger, and a fat bike. I rode my brothers spark 700 which was awesome.....some thing about the smaller wheels just feels right still.


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  18. #18
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    Alright, well, ended up with a 2016 Spark 700.....killer deal on a leftover. Will report back to let you all know how it goes with the little wheels.

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