Another what bike thread - short travel trail bike edition- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Another what bike thread - short travel trail bike edition

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for some feedback on a short travel trail bike. I'm 5'11", 185lbs. Live in Minnesota. Mostly ride trails around the metro so nothing too gnarly. I feel like there's just too many choices in this category. Trying to keep it around $3000. Got to test a Trance, Hei Hei, and Tallboy last year (nonot the current version) and came out really liking the Trance. BUT, theres others out there...what have people ridden around here they like?

    I made a breakdown of the models I've found in that category - let me know what you knowledgeable people think!

    Bike: Make/Model Price MSRP Fork Shock Duerlilleur Shifter Brakes Tires (F) Tires (R.)
    Giant Trance 29 2 $2,900 Fox Float 34 130mm Fox Float DPS perf. 115 Shimano SLX 12sp Shimano SLX Shimano MT520 Maxxis Minon DHF 2.3 Maxxis DHF II 2.3
    Marin Rift Zone 3 $2,649 Marzocchi Bomber Z2 130 Fox Float DPS 125 Shimano SLX 12sp Shimano SLX Shimano BR-M420 Vee Tire Flow Snap 2.35 Vee Tire Flow Snap 2.35
    Norco Fluid FS 1 $2,799 RS Pike Select 130 RS Deluxe Select 120 Shimano XT 12sp Shimano SLX Shimano BR-M420 Maxxis Minon DHF 2.6 Maxxis Forecaster 2.6
    Devinci Django 29 SX/NX $2,699 Fox Rhythm 34 140 Fox Float DPS Perf. Elite 120 Sram NX 12sp Sram SX Sram Level T Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 Maxxis Aggressor 2.5
    Trek Fuel EX 7 $2,899 RS 35 Gold 140 Fox Fload Perf Evol 130 Sram NX 12sp Sram NX Sram MT401/400 Bontrager XR4 Team Issue 2.6 Bontrager XR4 Team issue 2.6
    YT IZZO Comp $2,999 Fox 34 Float Rhythym 130 Fox Float DPS Perf Elite 130 Sram NX 12sp Sram NX Sram G2 R Maxxis Forecaster 2.35 Maxxis Forecaster 2.35
    Salsa Horsethief SLX $3,199 RS 35 Gold RL 140 RS Deluxe Select+ 130 Shimano SLX 12sp Shimano SLX Shimano MT520 Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 Maxxis DHR II 2.4
    GT Sensor Comp $2,750 RS 35 Gold RL 140 RS Deluxe Select+ 130 Sram NX 12sp Sram SX Tektro M745 Schwalbe Nobby Nic Perf 2.35 Schwalbe Nobby Nic Perf 2.35
    Specialized Sumpjumper ST Comp Alloy 29 $3,020 Fox 34 Float Rhythym 130 Fox Float DPS Perf. 120 Shimano SLX 11sp Shimano SLX Shimano MT501 Specialized Eliminator 2.3 Specialized Purgatory 2.3
    Nukeproof Reactor 29 Expert Alloy $2,789 RS Pike Select 140 RS Super Deluxe Select+ RT 130 Sram NX 12sp Sram NX Sram Guide RE Maxxis Assegai 2.5 Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4
    Rocky Mountain Instinct Alloy 30 $2,599 RS 35 Gold RL 140 RS Deluxe Select+ RT 140 Sram SX 12sp Sram SX Shimano MT400 Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4 Maxxis Minion DHR II 2.4
    Canyon Nureon CF 8.0 $3,199 Fox Rhythm 34 130 Fox Float DPS Perf. 130 Sram GX 12sp Sram GX Sram Guide T Maxxis Forecaster 2.35 Maxxis Forecaster 2.35
    RSD Wildcat V2 (SLX Build) $2,999 RS Pike Select RC 140 RS Monarch RT 120 Shimano SLX 12sp Shimano SLX Shimano SLX M7120 Maxxis Minion DHF 2.5 Maxxis Aggressor 2.5
    Orbea Occam H20 $2,999 Fox 34 Float Performance 140 Fox Float DPS Performance 140 Shimano SLX 12sp Shimano XT Shimano MT501 Maxxis High Roller II 2.5 Maxxis Rekon 2.4
    Jamis Portal A1 $2,999 RS Revelation RC 130mm RS Deluxe Select R 130 Sram SX 12sp Sram SX Magura MT4 Vittoria Martello 2.35 Vittoria Martello 2.35













































    ALL SZ L







    Bike: Make/Model STA HTA Top Tube Lentgh Stack Reach Chainstay Length Wheelbase
    Giant Trance 29 2 74.5 66.5 632 613 462 435 1196
    Marin Rift Zone 3 76 65.5 632.51 611.7 480 425 1213
    Norco Fluid FS 1 76 66.5 623 612 470 429 1204
    Devinci Django 29 SX/NX 77.3 66.5 614 636 470 440 1217
    Trek Fuel EX 7 75.5/75 66/66.5 633 609 475 435 1210
    YT IZZO Comp 77/77.5 66/66.6 616 621 472 432 1209
    Salsa Horsethief SLX 73.4/73.6 66.8/67 639 634 450 432 1185
    GT Sensor Comp 77/76 66/65.5 620 598.5 475 434 1121
    Specialized Sumpjumper ST Comp Alloy 29 75.1 67.5 624 635 455 437 1192
    Nukeproof Reactor 29 Expert Alloy 75/75.5 66/65.5 640 620 480 440 1235
    Rocky Mountain Instinct Alloy 30 74.5 66 626 621 455 436 1206
    Canyon Nureon CF 8.0 74.5 67.5 626 623 453 440 1190
    RSD Wildcat V2 (SLX Build) 76 65 635 619 481 425-440 1258-1273
    Orbea Occam H20 77 66 619 627 474 440 1224
    Jamis Portal A1 74.5/75 67.5/68 635 634 482 437 1198

  2. #2
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    The Izzo Comp in large won't be available till October.

    The Spec on the Neuron looks pretty good. Nice list of bikes to choose from though.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I'd cross everything off the list with RS gold or revelation. So many good bikes with better suspension. No reason to make that compromise imo. Fork is not a cheap upgrade. I love my 2020 Occam but there's a lot of good bikes on there.

  4. #4
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    Good feedback with the forks. I've never ridden anything with those so that's good to know. Been hearing a lot of good things about the Occam as well!

  5. #5
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    The Revelation should be fine unless you take it on some really rough trails. The Moco damper can get overwhelmed. It uses the Pike chasis. You can upgrade to the RCT damper at a later time.

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    Good to know, had no idea the Revelation and Pike shared the same chassis.

  7. #7
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    Ive liked my revelations.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    Ive liked my revelations.
    Me too. Have had two of them on 2 different bikes. Currently on a 2018. I ride aggressively, do the jumps and drops,
    bounce off and over any rock or log I can use to get a little air, and just generally abuse the heck out of it. I do, service it when needed.

  9. #9
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    Glad to hear the feedback on the forks. Sounds like for most my riding a Revelation would be fine for most of the riding I'd be doing. Sounds like steer clear of the 35 though?

    Anyone have experiences with any of the mentioned bikes? Pros cons?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvachon View Post
    Glad to hear the feedback on the forks. Sounds like for most my riding a Revelation would be fine for most of the riding I'd be doing. Sounds like steer clear of the 35 though?

    Anyone have experiences with any of the mentioned bikes? Pros cons?
    I have experience with the 2020 Marin Rift Zone 3. I would describe the bike as “planted”- it really hugs the trail.
    I like it but have replaced lots of parts. When I first bought it I intended to replace the rear hub/wheel because I enjoy a hub with a lots of POEs for the technical trails I ride.
    I replaced:
    -Rear wheel as planned
    -front tire because I like more volume
    - seat because it was so creaky (covered under warranty)
    -fork- the Z2 rattled and vibrated and Fox Could not fix it so they ended up replacing it with a 34
    - cranks - I like shimano better
    -bars - when fox replaced the Z2 they cut the steerer tube much shorter than the one it replaced and I found I needed bars with more rise
    -rear brake lever- I had an old XT lever sitting around and wanted to see how it would work with the 4 pot brakes
    -cassette (soon) apparently Marin speced a sunrace 12 speed cassette that is not compatible with a shimano drivetrain and they will be sending the right cassette out to shops sometime in the near future.
    -stem- had a stem with 5mm more reach so swapped it in and liked it better.

  11. #11
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    I recently was also looking for a short travel 29er trail bike. I ended up ordering an Evil Following v3. I also looked at the Knolly Fugitive and Norco Optic as well.
    Kokopelli Racing

    "Curb drops to flat, or curb drops to transition? There's a BIG difference there." Qfactor03

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by noosa2 View Post
    I have experience with the 2020 Marin Rift Zone 3. I would describe the bike as “planted”- it really hugs the trail.
    I like it but have replaced lots of parts. When I first bought it I intended to replace the rear hub/wheel because I enjoy a hub with a lots of POEs for the technical trails I ride.
    I replaced:
    -Rear wheel as planned
    -front tire because I like more volume
    - seat because it was so creaky (covered under warranty)
    -fork- the Z2 rattled and vibrated and Fox Could not fix it so they ended up replacing it with a 34
    - cranks - I like shimano better
    -bars - when fox replaced the Z2 they cut the steerer tube much shorter than the one it replaced and I found I needed bars with more rise
    -rear brake lever- I had an old XT lever sitting around and wanted to see how it would work with the 4 pot brakes
    -cassette (soon) apparently Marin speced a sunrace 12 speed cassette that is not compatible with a shimano drivetrain and they will be sending the right cassette out to shops sometime in the near future.
    -stem- had a stem with 5mm more reach so swapped it in and liked it better.
    Interesting notes. Appreciate that

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangpei View Post
    I recently was also looking for a short travel 29er trail bike. I ended up ordering an Evil Following v3. I also looked at the Knolly Fugitive and Norco Optic as well.
    Nice group of bikes to choose from. I love the looks of the Evil. Unfortunately my pockets aren't that deep at the moment!

  14. #14
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    I would be looking hard at the Occam personally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hox013 View Post
    I would be looking hard at the Occam personally.
    The Occam is definitely an intriguing bike. Don't thinkI've seen a bad review of one. Currently just trying to find one to get my butt on!

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    If you could track down an Ibis Ripmo AF in the Deore build, it will set you back $3199. Now a 160/147 travel bike is a bit outside the range you were looking at for travel, but you would be getting the best suspension of any bike you listed with the DVO Diamond and DVO Topaz Fork and Shock combo IMO. As a fellow MN rider, there are plenty of trails that have some very challenging and technical sections that will push your skills to the limit. I don't think those specs are too much travel for our area plus it will also give you some flexibility if you decide to try something more demanding like Cuyuna that a short travel bike would struggle on IMO. Good luck finding a Ripmo or anything that is popular on your list with the high demand right now. After trying to track a Ripmo down along with several other bikes I was interested in, I had to give up and move on since the lead times were pushed out to the fall for 2020 models. I settled on a 2021 Commencal Meta TR Race edition which will be here in July and will give me the rest of the Summer and Fall to ride while everyone else is still waiting on their back ordered 2020's to arrive. Good luck on your search.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBro View Post
    If you could track down an Ibis Ripmo AF in the Deore build, it will set you back $3199. Now a 160/147 travel bike is a bit outside the range you were looking at for travel, but you would be getting the best suspension of any bike you listed with the DVO Diamond and DVO Topaz Fork and Shock combo IMO. As a fellow MN rider, there are plenty of trails that have some very challenging and technical sections that will push your skills to the limit. I don't think those specs are too much travel for our area plus it will also give you some flexibility if you decide to try something more demanding like Cuyuna that a short travel bike would struggle on IMO. Good luck finding a Ripmo or anything that is popular on your list with the high demand right now. After trying to track a Ripmo down along with several other bikes I was interested in, I had to give up and move on since the lead times were pushed out to the fall for 2020 models. I settled on a 2021 Commencal Meta TR Race edition which will be here in July and will give me the rest of the Summer and Fall to ride while everyone else is still waiting on their back ordered 2020's to arrive. Good luck on your search.
    I honestly was looking at a Ripmo very hard just because of the spec for the price. Ultimately ruled one out because I haven't seen one in stock all summer.

    Good to hear you're also from MN. Still think it may be too much bike as during the week I mainly live at Theodore Wirth or Elm Creek but I do venture to Leb and Battle creek quite often and am planning to get to Cuyuna as well.

    Really leaning towards the Occam at this point. Found one in a shop but would really like to do more than a parking lot demo on it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bvachon View Post
    I honestly was looking at a Ripmo very hard just because of the spec for the price. Ultimately ruled one out because I haven't seen one in stock all summer.

    Good to hear you're also from MN. Still think it may be too much bike as during the week I mainly live at Theodore Wirth or Elm Creek but I do venture to Leb and Battle creek quite often and am planning to get to Cuyuna as well.

    Really leaning towards the Occam at this point. Found one in a shop but would really like to do more than a parking lot demo on it.
    I've only seen the reviews on Pinkbike and Bikemag for the Occam but it looks very capable. Those were the more expensive carbon versions so I'm not sure how much you would be sacrificing in a lower priced build, but the Geometry is spot on for a modern trail bike.

    Let me know when you get your new bike and we will have to get together for a ride this Summer.

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