New member intro and looking for some advice on a new hardtail- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New member intro and looking for some advice on a new hardtail

    Hi everyone!
    My name is Dane and I'm from Southern California. I'm 48 and have been an avid cyclist since I was 16. I currently ride a road bike - a Giant Propel, which I love! Last year I gave my nephew my beloved Cannondale M400. He loves the bike but I do miss it!

    Anyway, I've been out of the mountain biking scene for some time but have started doing some research to get me acclimated to the changes. I'm hoping some of the members here can give me some advice! Feedback is appreciated.

    For a male, I'm a short rider at 5' 4" (roughly 163 cm). I'm looking for a hardtail and it looks like a 27.5" wheel is probably best for me. My budget is roughly $2K, give or take. I haven't seen it in person yet, but a bike that is a little above this price point is the Trek Procaliber 9.6. I would prefer a carbon frame but I know that this limits my options at this price point. Something in the 26 pound weight range is what I'm looking for.

    Any thoughts on the Procaliber 9.6? What other bikes should I be looking at? I'm not opposed to a women's specific bike. I saw the Scott Contessa Scale 900 online for about $2100 but am having a heck of a hard time finding that particular model in the Southern California area; not a lot of Scott dealers here for some reason. Any other suggestions?

    Thank you so much for any feedback and for reading my post!

  2. #2
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    Welcome! Do you have plans to XC race by chance?


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Welcome! Do you have plans to XC race by chance?


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    Hi and thanks for the reply!
    I have no intentions of doing any racing; just looking to get back into a sport that I miss.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka_dane View Post
    Hi and thanks for the reply!
    I have no intentions of doing any racing; just looking to get back into a sport that I miss.
    Nice! I love Trek carbon bikes. My Trek Emonda SL6 is OCLV 500 carbon and it's a great bike. It seems you are interested in bike weight. The Procaliber isn't a bad XC bike to ride. Seeing that you have plenty of road bike experience, jumping on this bike with a steeper head tube angle might be just fine for you.

    If you want to shave a little bit more weight off that bike, I would recommend upgrading the drivetrain to X01 Eagle and get rid of the NX Eagle. It's the heaviest of all the Eagle drivetrain sets. If you are budget minded, I would go for the GX Eagle instead of X01.

    If you want another bike to check out, look up the Specialized Epic. The Epic is another XC bike and comes as a short travel full suspension or hardtail model. Now the Epic is primarily a 29er and I'm not entirely sure if they make them in 27.5" flavors. If you are ok with XC 29er bikes, then definitely scope out the Epic too!
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Nice! I love Trek carbon bikes. My Trek Emonda SL6 is OCLV 500 carbon and it's a great bike. It seems you are interested in bike weight. The Procaliber isn't a bad XC bike to ride. Seeing that you have plenty of road bike experience, jumping on this bike with a steeper head tube angle might be just fine for you.

    If you want to shave a little bit more weight off that bike, I would recommend upgrading the drivetrain to X01 Eagle and get rid of the NX Eagle. It's the heaviest of all the Eagle drivetrain sets. If you are budget minded, I would go for the GX Eagle instead of X01.

    If you want another bike to check out, look up the Specialized Epic. The Epic is another XC bike and comes as a short travel full suspension or hardtail model. Now the Epic is primarily a 29er and I'm not entirely sure if they make them in 27.5" flavors. If you are ok with XC 29er bikes, then definitely scope out the Epic too!
    Thanks so much for this great feedback! I have looked at the Epic but it's a bit above my budget. Great recommendations on the drivetrain upgrades, as I was just looking at the different options last night. Appreciate the feedback!

  6. #6
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    If you want more "all-mtn" rather than XC, that can do some good drops, jumps etc, and can come up with a little more $....Then Transition has the Throttle GX which is normally $3700 on sale right now for $3144. This has killer build, gets great reviews, Larges come in around 26.25# and could easily be lighter just by changing tires. Also has dropper post. Subject to opinion, but this gets you a better fork and components spec and does not lock you into all the trek branded bontrager stuff. If you like that, then cool, but it is opinion.

    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bike...ThrottleGX.cfm

  7. #7
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    If you really want more on the XC side, then this is about best bang for buck and comes right in your price range. Good specs, about 24# in med.

    https://www.canyon.com/en-us/mtb/exc...-6-0-pro-race#

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLAYER2015 View Post
    If you really want more on the XC side, then this is about best bang for buck and comes right in your price range. Good specs, about 24# in med.

    https://www.canyon.com/en-us/mtb/exc...-6-0-pro-race#
    Nice! Thank you!

  9. #9
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    Call around for a 27.5 highball left over from last year.

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't be so quick to assume that you're restricted to 27.5 because of your height. I'm about 5'6" and comfortably ride a 29" Specialized Stumpjumper FSR medium. I will admit to having longish arms and legs for someone my height, 33" sleeve and 32" inseam. The only way to know what fits you is to go sit on a bunch of bikes, having the 29" option opens up some more bike choices.

    I was a little surprised that you're looking at carbon, coming from a Cannondale M400, but hey, it's your $$. IMHO weight isn't nearly the issue with mountain bikes as it is with road bikes. There's just so much more out on the trail to sap your energy besides the weight of your frame.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    I wouldn't be so quick to assume that you're restricted to 27.5 because of your height. I'm about 5'6" and comfortably ride a 29" Specialized Stumpjumper FSR medium. I will admit to having longish arms and legs for someone my height, 33" sleeve and 32" inseam. The only way to know what fits you is to go sit on a bunch of bikes, having the 29" option opens up some more bike choices.

    I was a little surprised that you're looking at carbon, coming from a Cannondale M400, but hey, it's your $$. IMHO weight isn't nearly the issue with mountain bikes as it is with road bikes. There's just so much more out on the trail to sap your energy besides the weight of your frame.
    Thanks for the feedback! My inseam is pretty short at about 28". I've ridden carbon road frames for the last 10 years, which is a primary driver behind wanting a carbon frame. I haven't been on a mountain bike in a while, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the sport. I'm also looking at the Trek Procaliber 6, which has an aluminum frame and is about 1.5 pounds heavier than the 9.6 (carbon). Going to go look at some this weekend. Appreciate the feedback!

  12. #12
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    For another 29 hardtail in carbon you can look at the Ibis DV9. It'll take up to 2.6" tires and has shorter reach numbers than some other options.
    https://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/dv9/

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka_dane View Post
    Thanks for the feedback! My inseam is pretty short at about 28". I've ridden carbon road frames for the last 10 years, which is a primary driver behind wanting a carbon frame. I haven't been on a mountain bike in a while, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the sport. I'm also looking at the Trek Procaliber 6, which has an aluminum frame and is about 1.5 pounds heavier than the 9.6 (carbon). Going to go look at some this weekend. Appreciate the feedback!
    Think about getting a steel or aluminum frame in whatever wheel size you prefer, and putting the savings into a lighter, stiffer wheelset. Depending on the trails you ride this can go a long way towards making the bike feel more nimble and faster.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka_dane View Post
    Thanks for the feedback! My inseam is pretty short at about 28". I've ridden carbon road frames for the last 10 years, which is a primary driver behind wanting a carbon frame. I haven't been on a mountain bike in a while, so I'm looking forward to getting back into the sport. I'm also looking at the Trek Procaliber 6, which has an aluminum frame and is about 1.5 pounds heavier than the 9.6 (carbon). Going to go look at some this weekend. Appreciate the feedback!
    Trek's carbon is pretty strong and can handle a lot of weight. I believe all of their OCLV carbon fames (both road and mtb) handle up to 300 pounds in total weight. I weigh 250 pounds myself and my Emonda is still riding perfect after owning it nearly a year. I know you don't weigh anything remotely near 300 pounds, but it gives you an idea what Trek emphasizes during the design process for their carbon bikes. I don't recall which level of carbon they use on their mountain bikes though. They list the carbon level for their road bikes but I didn't recall seeing it on their mountain bikes too.
    Cannondale Synapse Neo | Salsa Timberjack

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Trek's carbon is pretty strong and can handle a lot of weight. I believe all of their OCLV carbon fames (both road and mtb) handle up to 300 pounds in total weight. I weigh 250 pounds myself and my Emonda is still riding perfect after owning it nearly a year. I know you don't weigh anything remotely near 300 pounds, but it gives you an idea what Trek emphasizes during the design process for their carbon bikes. I don't recall which level of carbon they use on their mountain bikes though. They list the carbon level for their road bikes but I didn't recall seeing it on their mountain bikes too.
    This is great information. Thank you! Trek lists the frame material for the Procaliber carbon as OCLV Mountain; perhaps it's a heavier duty form of carbon that's used in their OCLV road frames? I'm hoping to be able to talk my wife (haha) into the price point for the Procaliber 9.6, which is about $600 above my budget. The aluminum equivalent of the 9.6 (the 6) is spec'd the same for the components but total bike weight is about 1.5 pounds heavier - not too shabby. Hoping to be able to get down to the shop this weekend or next. I really appreciate the feedback!

  16. #16
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    Rumor is there's a Supercaliber coming with a small shock parallel to the top tube and hopefully including rear space for 2.6 tires. The pics got posted but removed recently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Rumor is there's a Supercaliber coming with a small shock parallel to the top tube and hopefully including rear space for 2.6 tires. The pics got posted but removed recently.
    Interesting! thank you!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairbanks007 View Post
    Think about getting a steel or aluminum frame in whatever wheel size you prefer, and putting the savings into a lighter, stiffer wheelset. Depending on the trails you ride this can go a long way towards making the bike feel more nimble and faster.
    Great suggestion. Thank you!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    For another 29 hardtail in carbon you can look at the Ibis DV9. It'll take up to 2.6" tires and has shorter reach numbers than some other options.
    https://www.ibiscycles.com/bikes/dv9/
    I just looked at the specs on this bike and it's pretty awesome. Thank you so much!

  20. #20
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    I would also recommend the Ibis DV9. Probably one of the best deals on a full carbon hardtail from one of the best and most respected brands in the business that can do XC racing or gnarly trail riding. They are also in Northern California if you want to take a trip up to their headquarters to get a demo ride in.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucythefin View Post
    I would also recommend the Ibis DV9. Probably one of the best deals on a full carbon hardtail from one of the best and most respected brands in the business that can do XC racing or gnarly trail riding. They are also in Northern California if you want to take a trip up to their headquarters to get a demo ride in.
    Thank you!

  22. #22
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    I always advise against carbon for new people. I know you're in good shape and road bike and have other experience, but worrying about the bike is the last thing you want when you're getting back into it.

    I'm not a specialized fan but the chisel is a pretty racy bike for AL. the salsa timberjack is very cool as well. Are you SD, OC, LA, IE, or somewhere else? The nice part about socal is that we have a ton of shops, you might get some good suggestions on which to go to with good stock if you say your area more specifically.

    If you're set on carbon then I agree with the above... DB9 is awesome.

    Coming from a previous roadie I'll tell you a beefy tire up front and a dropper are worth the weight penalty. Food for thought!

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfinator View Post
    I always advise against carbon for new people. I know you're in good shape and road bike and have other experience, but worrying about the bike is the last thing you want when you're getting back into it.

    I'm not a specialized fan but the chisel is a pretty racy bike for AL. the salsa timberjack is very cool as well. Are you SD, OC, LA, IE, or somewhere else? The nice part about socal is that we have a ton of shops, you might get some good suggestions on which to go to with good stock if you say your area more specifically.

    If you're set on carbon then I agree with the above... DB9 is awesome.

    Coming from a previous roadie I'll tell you a beefy tire up front and a dropper are worth the weight penalty. Food for thought!

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
    Great feedback and much appreciated! I'm in the IE. Great points about carbon. I'm hoping to make it out this weekend to go check out some bikes. I've bought some previous bikes at Incycle (all Cannondale) and bought my current road bike at Coates, which is no longer in business. I'll definitely check out some of the options you mentioned. Thanks!

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    I found 4 models that are just under $2000. Three of them are older models. If you can go to $2200 you look at the IBIS DV9.

    https://www.jensonusa.com/Mountain-B...aterial=Carbon

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