Suggestions for Mid-Travel Trail Bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Suggestions for Mid-Travel Trail Bike?

    I was just looking thread in the 29er forum about modern geometry, and it got me thinking about what, on paper at least, would be just right for my area and ability. I'm looking for a new bike, and leaning 27.5. I'm a large in most frames.

    Goldilocks bike would be about 130-140mm travel, 66-67 deg HA, 1200 mm WB, 460 mm reach, 13.5" BB, 75 deg SA, 28-29 lbs.

    Two that would fit the bill (but haven't ridden either) would appear to be the Evil Calling and Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. Calling is probably more capable in the rough stuff, but the T-bolt is probably more nimble and efficient.

    Wondering about others I should consider (and demo, if possible). Want a good, solid pedaling/climbing platform, quick under power, but reasonably capable and stable in technical stuff. I do bomb rock gardens frequently, but am not much for air (pretty earthbound).

  2. #2
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    There are a lot of great bikes in this category. My list included Pivot Mach 5.5, Evil calling, Transition Scout, Knolly Endorphin, Santa Cruz 5010. I ended up on the Pivot Mach 5.5 and love it so far, but the Evil Calling was right up there and the Knolly Endorphin not far behind it.

  3. #3
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    I have one of these and it's beyond awesome. Great pedaling and takes technical terrain extremely well.

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  4. #4
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    Add the Intense offerings in the mix as well. So many good options now.

  5. #5
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    Please check out the Spot Rollik 150 for the 27.5 and donít rule out the Spot Mayhem as a 29er. Best customer service I have ever experienced and amazing build quality. Also you canít beat the value that they put into their builds for what you pay.

    Check them out here:
    https://spotbrand.com/

    Rollik is more rowdy (150) and more travel and Mayhem is less travel(130). Both are insane climbers and also great on the descents. I just purchased a Mayhem 5 Star build on Spotís Black Friday sales that I will ride here in the rock gardens of central PA.

    Best of luck in your search but donít shy away from direct to consumer companies like Spot.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stolky View Post
    Goldilocks bike would be about 130-140mm travel, 66-67 deg HA, 1200 mm WB, 460 mm reach, 13.5" BB, 75 deg SA, 28-29 lbs.
    I'd include a Whyte T-130 on your short list. They're direct sales, but their U.S. shop is Splitrock Tap and Wheel in Fairfax (CA) right next to the Marin Museum of Biking. They demo and rent Whytes there. I have a '18 T-130. Demo'd, rented, borrowed a lot of bikes from all the major brands before getting it. Love it. Nimble, playful, stable, good on steep techy stuff, a blast on fast flow, and loves to get in the air. I was surprised with how quick it is, and climbs pretty nice as well. My opinion, the best all around jack of all trades bike. Lifetime warranty on all pivot bearings.

    https://splitrocktapandwheel.com/

    Here's how the 2019 large lines up with the dimensions you posted.

    travel, 130 rear, 140 front
    head angle, 65.5
    wheelbase, 1222
    reach, 480
    BB height, 13"
    SA angle, 75
    weight, 28.4 (carbon)
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I did demo the Mach 5.5 not long ago. Really liked it, but it might be just a bit more bike than I need. Same with the Devinci Troy, which was also terrific. Hoping if I go just a little less capable, I'll gain a bit more efficiency and playfulness. 5010 could work, but it felt a little short to me. I could try an XL, that would stretch it out some.

    The Endorphin, Shred Dogg, and Rollik all look great, but don't really have any way of trying them. It is indeed possible the Mayhem would be a better fit for the job here than the Rollik. I'll look into the Whyte, Fred, but know literally nothing about them at this point!

    Also, should I try out the Yeti SB5? I know everyone is raving on their new 29ers, but the SB5 looks promising, at least the numbers do.
    Last edited by Stolky; 01-16-2019 at 05:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    Turner Flux?
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  9. #9
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    The more I ride my calling the more I like it and the delta link. I've been a huge pivot dw link fan boy for a long time and the delta link just has such a planted feel with mid travel support. And it just rails corners. I've wiped out a dozen times just because i'm pushing the bike so hard to see how fast I can make it around the twisty sections, especially since I put on the 2.6 upfront.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I'd include a Whyte T-130 on your short list. They're direct sales, but their U.S. shop is Splitrock Tap and Wheel in Fairfax (CA) right next to the Marin Museum of Biking. They demo and rent Whytes there. I have a '18 T-130. Demo'd, rented, borrowed a lot of bikes from all the major brands before getting it. Love it. Nimble, playful, stable, good on steep techy stuff, a blast on fast flow, and loves to get in the air. I was surprised with how quick it is, and climbs pretty nice as well. My opinion, the best all around jack of all trades bike. Lifetime warranty on all pivot bearings.

    https://splitrocktapandwheel.com/

    Here's how the 2019 large lines up with the dimensions you posted.

    travel, 130 rear, 140 front
    head angle, 65.5
    wheelbase, 1222
    reach, 480
    BB height, 13"
    SA angle, 75
    weight, 28.4 (carbon)
    This was my first thought as well. They also have pretty good value imo.

    The previous design ('16 - '18) won all sorts of bike of the year awards, and the '19 looks even better. Also, the company just won another bike of the year award with their G170, and their hardtail lineup (901/905) get really high praise as well (numerous hardtail of the year awards from all sorts of publications). So it seems to me that it looks like the company knows what they're doing, even if they're not that common over in the states yet.

    I very nearly bought one of these actually.

    As the numbers show above, its pretty darn close to what you were wanting. Its HTA is a touch slacker (by .4 degrees), little lower bb (.5in), and bit longer WB (22mm). It is also worth noting that it comes with reduced fork offset, and reviews seem to indicate that it can fit a 29x2.3in tire in the back if you'd like to try that. That would gain back some of the BB height at the very least.

    The SC 5010, and Transition Scout are both pretty close to the same numbers as well actually, and both get great reviews.

    Good luck deciding on something .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    I'd include a Whyte T-130 on your short list. They're direct sales, but their U.S. shop is Splitrock Tap and Wheel in Fairfax (CA) right next to the Marin Museum of Biking. They demo and rent Whytes there. I have a '18 T-130. Demo'd, rented, borrowed a lot of bikes from all the major brands before getting it. Love it. Nimble, playful, stable, good on steep techy stuff, a blast on fast flow, and loves to get in the air. I was surprised with how quick it is, and climbs pretty nice as well. My opinion, the best all around jack of all trades bike. Lifetime warranty on all pivot bearings.

    https://splitrocktapandwheel.com/

    Here's how the 2019 large lines up with the dimensions you posted.

    travel, 130 rear, 140 front
    head angle, 65.5
    wheelbase, 1222
    reach, 480
    BB height, 13"
    SA angle, 75
    weight, 28.4 (carbon)
    My 1st choice but budget didn't allow for carbon, then found a closeout 5010 alumn which sealed the deal budgetwise. Would've got a better spec on the '19 T130 alloy but was limited by finances. Still happy with my choice.
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  12. #12
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    I've been eying the Eskar Elkat, seems to check a lot of my boxes at least.

  13. #13
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    The Mach 5.5 sounds like a good fit imo. I wouldn't worry about it being too much bike. Check out Dirtwire TV on youtube..Tom puts it through it's paces on more techy east coast stuff.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannyfnz View Post
    The Mach 5.5 sounds like a good fit imo. I wouldn't worry about it being too much bike. Check out Dirtwire TV on youtube..Tom puts it through it's paces on more techy east coast stuff.
    Thanks, that's a good review. It's true, my impression about it being too much bike are based more on the numbers than my actual demo of it, which was very fun. Maybe I shouldn't over think it.

  15. #15
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    Based on experiences with quite a few bikes, I can recomend the 5010. Its an awesome trail thumper. I have a 5010 v3 , and it will be my one bike for a long time. You can get rowdy on pretty much any bike today, because they are all so good. But the 5010 is just so much dam fun to ride pretty much anywhere. The SC description of it, is dead on. enjoy whatever you get.

  16. #16
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    how about this? I am quite satisfied with the Fezzari brand. https://www.fezzari.com/cross-country/cascade-peak

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wideawakejake View Post
    Based on experiences with quite a few bikes, I can recomend the 5010. Its an awesome trail thumper. I have a 5010 v3 , and it will be my one bike for a long time. You can get rowdy on pretty much any bike today, because they are all so good. But the 5010 is just so much dam fun to ride pretty much anywhere. The SC description of it, is dead on. enjoy whatever you get.
    5010 is nearly dead on with my target geometry, and have really liked VPP the times I've tried it. I rode the 5010 V2 once, which felt short to me, but the V3 might feel just right. I will demo one at the LBS. Thanks.

  18. #18
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    For what its worth, I have the baseline carbon version with the 2.6 tires and non piggyback shock. I rode an AL frame 5010 back to back and I found no difference in how the bikes rode what so ever. Shop made a really good deal on the carbon one, and honestly, I just really dug the matt black with grey letters. I would have been happy with either AL or carbon as far as the ride goes. bike is great as is, although i installed my usual i9 rear hub

  19. #19
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    Kona Hei Hei trail. 140mm/140mm

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stolky View Post
    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I did demo the Mach 5.5 not long ago. Really liked it, but it might be just a bit more bike than I need. Same with the Devinci Troy, which was also terrific. Hoping if I go just a little less capable, I'll gain a bit more efficiency and playfulness. 5010 could work, but it felt a little short to me. I could try an XL, that would stretch it out some.

    The Endorphin, Shred Dogg, and Rollik all look great, but don't really have any way of trying them. It is indeed possible the Mayhem would be a better fit for the job here than the Rollik. I'll look into the Whyte, Fred, but know literally nothing about them at this point!

    Also, should I try out the Yeti SB5? I know everyone is raving on their new 29ers, but the SB5 looks promising, at least the numbers do.
    I just demoed a bunch of bikes in that category since I myself am looking for the same.

    If you think the Mach 5.5 is too much you are probably right. That too me felt like the burliest of that travel category. Shoots uphill and picks up speed fast. Blasts through rock gardens fast and with ease. Feels like a monster truck. Probably a different bike with smaller rubber, 2.4 or so, but as it comes factory, it is a monster truck. Fits in with the Evil Calling, Whyte T-130.

    The Yeti SB5 is the opposite. So nimble and flickable. Tip toes through everything. Easy to pedal and pick up speed. Extremely fast feeling bike and just wants to pop and fly off of everything. Need to pick much better lines and be light through the rock gardens. Felt like the bike I need for everyday trail riding. Fits in with the Intense Spider. Already have an Intense Tracer for the downhill days. .

    The 5010 seems like the bike right in between the Mach 5.5 and the SB5 is the easiest way to put it. Fits in with the Intense Recluse, Ibis Mojo 3.

  21. #21
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    The 5.5 is a mid travel bike, DW suspension, middle of the road geo, rides well, but if itís too much bike then you need something in the 120mm travel range but with trail geo.

    The hard part is as the travel gets shorter the geo gets more like an XC bike: shorter reach, steeper STA, longer chainstays.

    Iíd get a Trail Pistol 29 or a Shred Dogg 27.5
    If you need to demo, then you narrow the field to your LBS

    There are so many ďwhat should I get threadsĒ, all that can be said has been said.

    Demo or roll the dice.
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  22. #22
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    I love my 5010, it's the best full suspension bike I've ever owned.

  23. #23
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  24. #24
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    I would personally say the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt should be on the short list of bikes to try. It's like the 5010 but I would say it's a bit more nimble and climbs much better. I live in Rocky/ Dusty AZ and there is really no place I wouldn't ride my Thunderbolt.

  25. #25
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    If you liked the feel of the Pivot Mach 5.5, had a great, fun demo on it, but still think it is too much bike, then you should seriously consider the Pivot Trail 429.

    That just might be your bike!

    I love my Pivot Mach 5.5. You just can't go wrong with Pivot. Another great dual-personality bike would be the Spot Rollik 150. That LivingLink looks wicked efficient.

  26. #26
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    Hey, Have you checked out those New Jamis Portal Bikes ? They are 140mm travel, run 29er wheels or can be set up with the 27.5 plus tires and wheels. They have two versions of the bike one set from factory with the 29ers, the other with the 27.5 plus but either can do either wheel size. They do have the hardline as a dedicated 27.5" bike but that is 160mm travel. They use a new suspsension design called 3VO. Pretty neat. They are doing demos all over the country, worth checking out.

    https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/jamis3vo.html

  27. #27
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    Meta Trail V4.2?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrothunder View Post
    I would personally say the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt should be on the short list of bikes to try. It's like the 5010 but I would say it's a bit more nimble and climbs much better. I live in Rocky/ Dusty AZ and there is really no place I wouldn't ride my Thunderbolt.
    I tried the Thunderbolt on my local trails(borrowed a buddy's). it was a revelation. so fun. i don't think i could give up moar travel for one full-time thou.

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