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  1. #1
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    3k Mid-Eastern Trail Bike

    Hi all,

    I've recently been pretty busy and unable to ride, so I've been thinking of selling my current bike and trying something new down the line. I'm hoping to get around 3k for my bike, and am looking for something new in that price range. I've been most interested in the Commencal Meta AM/Trail and the Privateer 161/141(?).

    I ride in Maryland, so mid-east trails with lots of roots, rocks, leaves, and mud - traction is definitely a priority. Trails are generally pretty tight, with steep, punchy ups and downs. Currently, I'm on a Canfield Riot, probably the most nimble 140mm bike with somewhat modern geometry. I don't feel there's anything I really dislike about the bike - I just would like to see how something longer and slacker feels. Granted, I'm not committed to selling, so if the general consensus is that it would be pointless to move to something else I would definitely stick with the Riot.

    I'm about 5'10," so I'm thinking a large across the range (though I could pull off an XL on the Metas for the even more Pole-like reach). The Privateer 161's spec ticks all my boxes and comes in at the lowest price. Top-spec RS suspension, Magura brakes, Shimano drivetrain, and nice alloy wheels. The 161mm of rear travel is a bit much for me, but if they release a 141 with similar specs and price it would be perfect for me. The 161's main downside - no availability until October. It's not the end of the world, but a little sooner would be nice.

    The Meta TR Essential looks nice, but I'm not a huge fan of the spec. Worse wheels, Shimano brakes, and basic Fox suspension - and it costs more than the 161. I'm mainly concerned about the suspension, especially the DPS. Swapping it out after purchase is expensive and would require me to sort out a sale on the stock stuff. I'd prefer to avoid the hassle. The Race spec has nice suspension, but SRAM drivetrain and brakes, which I'm not crazy for - it's also 4k.

    Finally, there's the Meta AM Essential. I like the spec a bit more than the TR Essential, but it still has a pretty basic fork and shock and less than great wheels. It also costs a bit more and is burlier than I need.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on these bikes and any recommendations in case I've missed other good options.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    Hi all,

    I've recently been pretty busy and unable to ride, so I've been thinking of selling my current bike and trying something new down the line. I'm hoping to get around 3k for my bike, and am looking for something new in that price range. I've been most interested in the Commencal Meta AM/Trail and the Privateer 161/141(?).

    I ride in Maryland, so mid-east trails with lots of roots, rocks, leaves, and mud - traction is definitely a priority. Trails are generally pretty tight, with steep, punchy ups and downs. Currently, I'm on a Canfield Riot, probably the most nimble 140mm bike with somewhat modern geometry. I don't feel there's anything I really dislike about the bike - I just would like to see how something longer and slacker feels. Granted, I'm not committed to selling, so if the general consensus is that it would be pointless to move to something else I would definitely stick with the Riot.

    I'm about 5'10," so I'm thinking a large across the range (though I could pull off an XL on the Metas for the even more Pole-like reach). The Privateer 161's spec ticks all my boxes and comes in at the lowest price. Top-spec RS suspension, Magura brakes, Shimano drivetrain, and nice alloy wheels. The 161mm of rear travel is a bit much for me, but if they release a 141 with similar specs and price it would be perfect for me. The 161's main downside - no availability until October. It's not the end of the world, but a little sooner would be nice.

    The Meta TR Essential looks nice, but I'm not a huge fan of the spec. Worse wheels, Shimano brakes, and basic Fox suspension - and it costs more than the 161. I'm mainly concerned about the suspension, especially the DPS. Swapping it out after purchase is expensive and would require me to sort out a sale on the stock stuff. I'd prefer to avoid the hassle. The Race spec has nice suspension, but SRAM drivetrain and brakes, which I'm not crazy for - it's also 4k.

    Finally, there's the Meta AM Essential. I like the spec a bit more than the TR Essential, but it still has a pretty basic fork and shock and less than great wheels. It also costs a bit more and is burlier than I need.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on these bikes and any recommendations in case I've missed other good options.

    Thanks!
    I'm hoping Canfield puts out a better version of the Riot. At the moment I'm on a works head set and 160mm fork on the riot. Added almost 2" to the WB and still turns sharp. 140mm in the rear is a little overwhelmed in The Watershed but more than enough everywhere else.its still very nimble for the twisty stuff. The Kona 134 and 153 are worth a look at as well. Ive seen a lot of Ibis Ripmo AF bikes lately as well in my area. The hard part is giving up efficiency for our punchy climes where a climb switch isn't ideal.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    ... I just would like to see how something longer and slacker feels...
    Normally longer/lower/slacker is contraindicated for the riding you describe, but no harm in trying. Any chance of a demo or renting something to try?
    What, me worry?

  4. #4
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    Ripmo AF.

    Swap tires to something faster for your trails.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Ripmo AF.

    Swap tires to something faster for your trails.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    For the price point, for the area riding this is IMHO the best bike. Really steep STA isn't ideal for MD to much flat land. Phoenix PM me if you're interested in modding the Riot it'll cost less and can be put back if long and slack isnt for you.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all for the suggestions.

    Cerberus75 - The Riot does work quite well for around here. I guess between some of the small complaints I have about the Riot (a bit flexy, rather long seat tube, slightly steep HTA), not being able to ride much, and looking a new bikes online I might be overestimating how much better something else would be. I've looked at Kona's stuff - their geo is pretty nice, but Kona has really lost it on the pricing. $3500 gets bottom of the line everything. I certainly would not be happy with the spec coming off my Riot. Commencal and Privateer still have nice geo while offering far better specs for the price.

    I actually forgot about the Ripmo AF - it looks like Ibis dumped the NX build for Deore. $3300 with the Jade coil and an acceptable drivetrain, brakes, and wheels is pretty nice. My only thing with the Ripmo AF is the geo - it looks solid, but I wonder if it's different enough from the Riot to be worth the hassle of selling and buying.

    I personally like a steeper STA. I don't really mind the additional pressure it puts on my hands and knees and really appreciates it when it comes to the short, steep climbs we have around here.

    Lone Ranger - Yeah, that's mainly what is keeping me from going all-in on a long/slack bike. What's caused me to even consider something long and slack is the debate over how much worse long bikes are in tight stuff. I'm sure I could take advantage of a more composed, slacker bike on some of the steeper descents near me - I hit 30mph on descents every ride. It isn't that there is a lack of steeper stuff in my area, it's just that there aren't miles of downhill at once. In tight stuff, I've heard some say that a longer bike is just fine, while others feel that longer bikes are much more cumbersome.

    Unfortunately, no one locally offers demos on actual trails. The best I could do would a parking lot ride, which frankly doesn't tell me much about a bike. I would also feel a bit weird asking to demo a bike I had no plan to buy.

  7. #7
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    Ha.
    When I first looked at the thread's title I thought you were looking for bikes made in Israel or Egypt. Guess I'm used to mid-Atlantic.

    As far as demos, look at the company web-site of the bikes you're looking at, they usually have a travelling team and post the schedule and definitely demo at trails although you may have to wait a month or 3. Maybe a local FB group could provide some info too.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

  8. #8
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    Look at the norco range a2.... long, low, slack and a coil rear shock

    Or look at the norco sight a3
    The bike is never to heavy, you are just to WEAK!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstateSC-rider View Post
    Ha.
    When I first looked at the thread's title I thought you were looking for bikes made in Israel or Egypt. Guess I'm used to mid-Atlantic.

    As far as demos, look at the company web-site of the bikes you're looking at, they usually have a travelling team and post the schedule and definitely demo at trails although you may have to wait a month or 3. Maybe a local FB group could provide some info too.
    Factory demos are great, but it seems like everyone (justifiably) has shut down their factory demos for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MUSTCLIME View Post
    Look at the norco range a2.... long, low, slack and a coil rear shock

    Or look at the norco sight a3
    Unfortunately, I feel the range is a downgrade from my Riot - it has nearly identical geo and a much worse spec. The Sight's geo looks pretty good, but I don't think I could live with the spec coming off what I have on my Riot.

  10. #10
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    I would really look at bottom bracket height. I've never ridden back east, but I feel you might hate some of these super low bottom brackets and find yourself smashing your pedals all the time.

    I really like longer and slacker, I just think the low part has gone too far (terrain dependent).

    The good news: with these really steep seat tubes, you can overfork by 20mm and it will raise the BB and your seat angle won't get too slack. I also love my 165mm cranks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by laurenlex View Post
    I would really look at bottom bracket height. I've never ridden back east, but I feel you might hate some of these super low bottom brackets and find yourself smashing your pedals all the time.

    I really like longer and slacker, I just think the low part has gone too far (terrain dependent).

    The good news: with these really steep seat tubes, you can overfork by 20mm and it will raise the BB and your seat angle won't get too slack. I also love my 165mm cranks.
    That's a good observation, thanks. I certainly appreciate the higher BB hight of the Riot when clumsily getting over logovers and other larger features. The Riot has a fairly high BB (22mm of BB drop). The 161 and the Ripmo AF have 30mm drop (if my understanding is correct, they have an 8mm lower BB), and the Meta TR has a 33mm drop for an 11mm lower BB.

    I haven't really ridden anything besides the Riot for the last year, so I'm not sure how much of a difference 1cm of BB hight makes on the trail. Would the difference be noticeable on the trail?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    Hi all,

    I've recently been pretty busy and unable to ride, so I've been thinking of selling my current bike and trying something new down the line. I'm hoping to get around 3k for my bike, and am looking for something new in that price range. I've been most interested in the Commencal Meta AM/Trail and the Privateer 161/141(?).

    I ride in Maryland, so mid-east trails with lots of roots, rocks, leaves, and mud - traction is definitely a priority. Trails are generally pretty tight, with steep, punchy ups and downs. Currently, I'm on a Canfield Riot, probably the most nimble 140mm bike with somewhat modern geometry. I don't feel there's anything I really dislike about the bike - I just would like to see how something longer and slacker feels. Granted, I'm not committed to selling, so if the general consensus is that it would be pointless to move to something else I would definitely stick with the Riot.

    I'm about 5'10," so I'm thinking a large across the range (though I could pull off an XL on the Metas for the even more Pole-like reach). The Privateer 161's spec ticks all my boxes and comes in at the lowest price. Top-spec RS suspension, Magura brakes, Shimano drivetrain, and nice alloy wheels. The 161mm of rear travel is a bit much for me, but if they release a 141 with similar specs and price it would be perfect for me. The 161's main downside - no availability until October. It's not the end of the world, but a little sooner would be nice.

    The Meta TR Essential looks nice, but I'm not a huge fan of the spec. Worse wheels, Shimano brakes, and basic Fox suspension - and it costs more than the 161. I'm mainly concerned about the suspension, especially the DPS. Swapping it out after purchase is expensive and would require me to sort out a sale on the stock stuff. I'd prefer to avoid the hassle. The Race spec has nice suspension, but SRAM drivetrain and brakes, which I'm not crazy for - it's also 4k.

    Finally, there's the Meta AM Essential. I like the spec a bit more than the TR Essential, but it still has a pretty basic fork and shock and less than great wheels. It also costs a bit more and is burlier than I need.

    I would appreciate any thoughts on these bikes and any recommendations in case I've missed other good options.

    Thanks!
    The Commencal AM 29 Ride 170mm x 160mm works for me. It was delivered to the front door for $3600 CDN all in. You are 5'10 so a large will be a good fit if you are interested. I ride on flat ground and the steep STA and slack HA are not an issue when I ride this bike. The wheel flop which people warn about from the slack HA 65.5 is not an issue, no problem at all. What are they talking about?

    The 2021 line up is out and the AM 29 bikes are longer and slacker and steeper. It is like getting a 'Pole bike' here in North America instead of all the added costs from Norway.

    When using the lock out shock and fork the bike can move at about 18 to 20 kph.

    No problem with chains or frame flex or nothing. THis bike is made to move. I have no issues. The bike works as built, well put together in Indonisia.


    Enjoy your new bike!


    https://www.commencalcanada.com/PBSC...BCATID=3872695
    2019 Commencal 29 Meta AM.

  13. #13
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    Holy hell the Ripmo AF is now a Deore build for 3199$??? Dude that is an insanely good deal...even has the Microspline hub etc. The thing about the Ripmo is that Ibis just KILLED it on the suspension. It pedals so freaking well. And the downs are tons of fun and pop, and even better with the enhancements to the end stoke (no longer super regressive). I don't see how anyone looking for a mid-travel 29er for 3k$ could possibly choose anything else unless they needed something more conservative geo-wise. The whole spec is excellent now that the NX junk is gone. I don't own a Ripmo but I've ridden my buddies XL a bunch and the suspension for a do-it-all aggressive trail bike is unbeatable. It just pedals too good and is great going down. Ibis just nailed it. You can choose a different suspension platform but they will come with compromises that the Ripmo doesn't and the spec will likely have significant flaws.

  14. #14
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    Dougiet - thanks for the feedback on Commencal.

    Svinyard - I agree - the Ripmo AF in the Deore build does look very good. Really surprising how a traditionally boutique brand such as Ibis managed to compete with direct to consumer brands in terms of value.

    I still haven't made up my mind between Commencal, Ibis, and Privateer (if I even end up selling the Riot at all) - I guess I'm just waiting to see how the Privateer 141 shapes up. Lots of good options for sure.

  15. #15
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    Those are other bikes are just Horst Link/Single-Pivot variations. I have a Commencal in the garage and a highend RockyMtn HorstLink bike as well. No matter who is making the bike, they will still have their limitations that comes with their suspension choice (its expensive to get new suspension innovations made...so they use the old stuff). They have to prioritize the downs vs the ups...the Ripmo doesn't have to make those compromises nearly as much because of their version of DWLink. If you demo a Ripmo...its a SIGNIFICANT improvement in climbing...instantly you'll go "oh shit...this is sweet, I had no idea." and still a total blast downhill. There is just no getting around it that their implementation of DWLink is fantastic for an aggressive trail/light enduro bike and a big step ahead. Couple that with an insane value package in the Deore AF...there unfortunately isn't anything that really competes. And this isn't me saying "I have X bike therefore its the best and you should buy it".

    I like the sound of the Revel Rascal and their CBF implementation but haven't ridden one. Plus I don't think I want a bike called "The Rascal" lol.

  16. #16
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    Ripmo AF is a great suggestion. Also check out the Banshee Prime.

    You might also like the Banshee Phantom if you are willing to live with a little less travel. I have been riding a Phantom quite a bit this summer and it is a really fun bike. I also own a V1 Ripmo, FWIW.

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