Trail Enduro 27.5 options-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Trail Enduro 27.5 options

    So I am considering options for a new ride soon. Currently on a SC Hightower in 27.5+ format. Love the bike, but as I have become a better rider , I am not liking the 27.5 2.8 tires as much, and I overall want a poppier (if that is a word), more playful bike.

    I live in western Virginia so lots of uphills, rocks galore, roots, mud etc. So I want a bike with 140+ front and rear that is not a beast t pedal uphill, and really fun on a downhill. I don't do a lo of manmade trails or bikeparks. The hightower climbs very well even in 27.5 plus format so I don't want to loose that

    Considering SC Bronson V3, Pivot Mach 5.5 or Mach 6 , Ibis HD4. But open to other. I am a fan of Santa Cruz with the warranty and VPP but not beholden. I have tried 29ers and they so far are not for me. I may keep the Hightower and get 29 rims perhaps though. Anyway thoughts ?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    I just bought the Evil Insurgent. I have ridden the Bronson, Mach 5.5, and Mach 6 as well. I would consider the 5.5 more of a trail bike. It doesn't feel as stable or slack as the others. The Insurgent for me pedals and feels like a trail bike and flies through the air like a big enduro bike. I didn't feel the same way about the Santa Cruz even though I love the 5010. The Mach 6 felt a lot like a trail bike to me as well, but the demo I got didn't get it flying high enough to completely evaluate. The Insurgent is marked down right now, I believe because they're going to redesign it or at least come out with new colors for next year. Mine is showing up today and I can't wait to hit the trails with it. I'm an intermediate level rider at best and I'm not 100% sure that I bought the right bike, but given my preference for flying through the air, I will grow into it. Good luck!

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: fredcook's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    It sounds like I ride the same kinda stuff regularly as you do (kinda sorta), with the exception of mud. Roots, rocks, climbing and descending techier trails maybe? Limited bike park, traditional down hill and flow stuff, but do travel to ride that a throughout the year.

    I think I know what you mean by "poppier". Playful? Easy to body English? Easier to hop up and down obstacles? I went through period of several demos, borrowing, etc. last year, and I personally wouldn't consider the Mach 5.5 or 6 a playful bike compared to others. Climbing wasn't bad though. None of the Pivots felt overly playful for me. Great bikes, though. Not experienced with the Ibis.

    As for bikes other than you mentioned... I thought Canyon's Spectral was more "playful" and climbs better than Pivot's selections. I bought a Whyte T-130... which climbs decently and is probably the most playful and all-round trail bike I've ridden. Consumer direct sales, though, if you're open to that. But it's a 140/130 (although it feels and handles more like 150). Sounds like you're looking for more travel. Whyte, however, does boast about their bike's water tightness. They're British, so that's important to them. It's right at home riding mud, as it is flow, bike park, and going down. Loves to get air, yet stable and controllable when it's slow and techy. Like I said, just a good all-rounder.

    Based on your input, if it were me, I would first just put non plus tires on your Hightower now as is. Just to see how it feels. Yeah, you'll loose a bit of ground clearance and the rims may be a little wide, but it's just a test. It may be enough to put more playfulness into it and maybe consider 29's. I don't like the feel of plus tires either, btw. Feel too clumsy to me, and don't suit my typical riding conditions/style.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    I had a Hightower (in a 29er) and like you I was looking for something that felt a bit more nimble (for lack of a better term). Last year picked up the Rocky Mountain Altitude and was exactly what I wanted. A lot more playful and very agile. Super fun

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: AF2NR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    I would try and demo both the Bronson and 5010. On paper the 5010 doesn't completely meet your wants but you may be surprised at what it can do, and it is most definitely playful and poppy. I just picked one up Friday after several demos, including the Bronson, Mach 6, and SJ.

    A year ago I was on a Fuel EX 29 with 130/130 and it just felt "big" to me, and not poppy or playful. I picked up a Blur TR thinking the FEW was overbiked and it is a fast bike but even with extending the fork to 120 it is still a XC bike at heart, stiff and tuned for speed.
    So many trails, so little time.

    2019 Santa Cruz 5010 C S
    2019 Santa Cruz Blur CC TR X01 (FOR SALE)

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