Best Bike for Techy Singletrack???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best Bike for Techy Singletrack???

    Shopping for new bikes appears all longer travel bikes are a compromise between long climbs to get to the top vs dh ability. That's great, but I do neither. I live in Southern Utah and ride hard on slick rock and tech trails, usually "blacks". I need stiff, playful/maneuverable/flickable, that can climb out of short gully tech sections where it's too short of a climb for shock switches. I never use those. If I can't have fun going up, might as well stick to hard enduro moto, where going up is pure heaven. Had a 17 Specialized Enduro Comp and with the seat up for climbing, it was 10 miles back too far, and there is no way to keep the front wheel down on a climb. Design flaw, I don't care what anyone says. Sold it, it and went straight back to moto. Ready to pedal this winter, though. The downside for this style of riding is most Long Travel enduro bikes is the long wheelbase, steeper/not climb friendly st angles, and slack ht. Step down to a shorter travel enduro bike and they're usually not burley enough, and the specs are usually lower. Looking at a Transition Patrol Carbon X01 due to the steep st angle, and relative lower weight. Also looking at a Capra Pro Race for the low weight, good specs, and so I can dial in the x2 and 36 suspension, but not sure if it will feel like a forced wheelie on the climbs, or a be a pig in the tech. Any other suggestions? Thanks

  2. #2
    Hitching a ride
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    Have you ridden the Pivot 29ers, Switchblade or Firebird, or Ibis Ripmo? Sounds like you want a higher antisquat bike like these.

  3. #3
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    I don't know how the geometries compare, but I'm on a Giant Trance Pro 29 1 at 26.9 lbs with mods.
    I'm in the Wasatch and it's perfect. In Moab, I was able to clean a climb on Slickrock - a clockwise climb up a spine, if you're familiar, that I generally have a hard time keeping the front planted on due to steepness. Usually, I've used an SB5c with a 130-160 Pike up front that I dial down for that climb. I also did better on that bike down Bull Run and Ahab than on my Yeti SB5c with the 160 fork up front. I haven't used anything other than open mode on the rear on it (DPX2), but that was true of the Yeti as well.

    For longer travel, my son is on a Ripmo with similar results. I think he's at about 29 lbs with pedals. Stays in open mode - loves it.

    Edit: looking at your choices, though, it looks like you are looking at much more DH oriented bikes. Truthfully, in that category, I wouldn't sweat the weight too much.

  4. #4
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    I'll read up on the Ripmo. With so many sports I'm involved with, and the insane pedal-bike prices, I'm maxxed at about 5k.

    Speaking of anit-squat, the X2 shock on the Capra Pro Race seams highly adjustable with the 4way comp and rebound, and could tune the squat out of it?

  5. #5
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    Bikes have been evolving to be long/lower/slacker, which is good for descending and less good for climbing and tight technical stuff. Check geo's, things like BB drop (or height), HTA, STA, EFT, etc. when comparing bikes. Bikes with higher anti-squat are more efficient pedalers, but the downside is less active suspension when on the gas climbing. They're a little more likely to get hung up on edges when going up hill. Frankly, most all the bikes I liked a year or two ago ('19 and prior) have now gotten longer/lower/slacker than I'd prefer for my riding.
    Do the math.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsta View Post
    Shopping for new bikes appears all longer travel bikes are a compromise between long climbs to get to the top vs dh ability. That's great, but I do neither. I live in Southern Utah and ride hard on slick rock and tech trails, usually "blacks". I need stiff, playful/maneuverable/flickable, that can climb out of short gully tech sections where it's too short of a climb for shock switches. I never use those. If I can't have fun going up, might as well stick to hard enduro moto, where going up is pure heaven.... Any other suggestions? Thanks
    I just got an Ibis Ripmo for these kids of trails. Enough travel and capability for the downhills, but also good enough for the techy climbs. I ride in Phoenix and I while I have XC 100mm bike for racing and general use I wanted a more slack bike for sedona tech, South Mtn tech and other techy climbs and techy descents. Doing my research it appeared the Ripmo has the chops for the downs and climbs well. So far on a few rides at South Mtn it has done well, It not a super fast climber like my Epic, but does climb stupid steep stuff well. I have no issues keeping the front wheel planted and rear provides great traction. It is 7lbs heavier than my Epic so it bulk hurts for speed in places, but I feel climbs well for what it is. I have set climbing PR's on tech climbs over my prior "bike bike" (Santa Cruz 5010) and also set PR on the downhills. I am running it with 2.6 tires for maximum rollover which comes in hand on step ups and ledgy terrain. I run the bike fully open front and rear. I might "lock out" for long dirt road climb, but it pedals well enough as is. It is also pretty nimble for a big bike. Tight climbing switchbacks are not too hard an same with DH ones. I feel I can really pick my way through stuff if want to. Track standing the bike is pretty easy. However I can still push the descents pretty good too.

    Weight is 30lbs. 145R/160F 65.9 HA, 76 SA. GX build.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  7. #7
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    So, you want it to be burly and light and stiff and with good suspension and not too long a wheelbase? And perhaps inexpensive with just the right amount to travel and the perfect angles for you. And carbon tubes filled with angel's breath and unicorn farts?

    Did I forget anything? ;-)

    Seriously, modern bikes are mostly pretty consistent now; longer, lower, slacker and heavier.

    The new Trance has a nice tight wheelbase, great angles, climbs well, descends with real authority, but it might be too short travel for you.

    The Capra is pretty much the opposite of everything you said you want. It's an enormous boat, fundamentally a downhill bike that you can pedal (but not well).

    The Ripmo (which I think is the best bike on the market) fits much of your want list, but does have a long wheelbase and isn't exactly plush.

    Sounds like you need to demo some bikes.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsta View Post
    I'll read up on the Ripmo. With so many sports I'm involved with, and the insane pedal-bike prices, I'm maxxed at about 5k.
    Its 27.5, but you can get a Mach 6 right now for $4300 with Fox Factory suspension. It will fulfill your specifications otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsta View Post
    Speaking of anit-squat, the X2 shock on the Capra Pro Race seams highly adjustable with the 4way comp and rebound, and could tune the squat out of it?
    I'd be careful on this. It's not an xc shock.

  9. #9
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    Fezarria LaSal Peak. You have a localish rep, so you can demo one before you ride. I spent 5 days on one when I was out there in March. Climbed great, and was a beast going down hills.

  10. #10
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    Was out in Moab earlier this year on my Transition Smuggler and had a blast. Never changed the shock switch for climbs and it went up everything I could pedal up. My daughter rode her Scout and did the same. Both fantastic out there going up and amazing headed back down.

    Carbon Smuggler GX - $4999

  11. #11
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    Best Bike for Techy Singletrack???

    Different perspective:

    A bike like the Intense Sniper or Trek Top Fuel. A build on the lighter side for an Ibis Ripley, maybe.

    Why? Just like going downhill, speed equals stability when going uphill. Going fast up a trail will greatly reduce your bobbles. Yes, weight and efficiency matter.

    If you canít put in a top 3% time on Zen or Ahab on a bike like those, itís the Indian, not the arrow.


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    Death from Below.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Different perspective:

    A bike like the Intense Sniper or Trek Top Fuel.

    Why? Just like going downhill, speed equals stability when going uphill. Going fast up a trail will greatly reduce your bobbles. Yes, weight and efficiency matter.

    If you canít put in a top 3% time on Zen or Ahab on a bike like those, itís the Indian, not the arrow.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It's not just the speed. We have a pro line here with constant exposure that's nothing but ledges and steeps. A smaller bike is much easier to manage than a larger one on that trail.

    Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Look at 27.5 bikes if you want a rock crawler thatíll handle tech.

    GG bikes climb great, SD or MT.
    Guerilla Gravity Shred Dogg
    Fezzari Signal Peak (For Sale)
    Pivot Shuttle (wife's)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Look at 27.5 bikes if you want a rock crawler thatíll handle tech.

    GG bikes climb great, SD or MT.
    This... seems like the OP wants something in the mid-travel range (max 140mm up front) but has the ability to hit above its weight class. There have been a few bikes that are popping up that have this title, something like the new Trance or Reign, maybe the Shreddog or Trail Pistol(a), Commencal Meta. Seems to me like the OP only wants to ride to supplement his moto habits, but really doesn't want to really ride with comments like "... its a design flaw. AND ... didn't like it so sold it and went back to moto." Maybe pedaling just isn't for you? Just a thought.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsta View Post
    Shopping for new bikes appears all longer travel bikes are a compromise between long climbs to get to the top vs dh ability. That's great, but I do neither. I live in Southern Utah and ride hard on slick rock and tech trails, usually "blacks". I need stiff, playful/maneuverable/flickable, that can climb out of short gully tech sections where it's too short of a climb for shock switches. I never use those. If I can't have fun going up, might as well stick to hard enduro moto, where going up is pure heaven. Had a 17 Specialized Enduro Comp and with the seat up for climbing, it was 10 miles back too far, and there is no way to keep the front wheel down on a climb. Design flaw, I don't care what anyone says. Sold it, it and went straight back to moto. Ready to pedal this winter, though. The downside for this style of riding is most Long Travel enduro bikes is the long wheelbase, steeper/not climb friendly st angles, and slack ht. Step down to a shorter travel enduro bike and they're usually not burley enough, and the specs are usually lower. Looking at a Transition Patrol Carbon X01 due to the steep st angle, and relative lower weight. Also looking at a Capra Pro Race for the low weight, good specs, and so I can dial in the x2 and 36 suspension, but not sure if it will feel like a forced wheelie on the climbs, or a be a pig in the tech. Any other suggestions? Thanks
    I have another suggestion that is completely different. I'm kinda like you in that I ride moto a lot and have an Enduro 29er. But based on what is bolded above sounds like you're the perfect candidate for an e-bike. I got my Kenevo this spring and after multiple trips to Moab and riding all over the Wasatch I can tell you it is absolute nirvana. Granted, you're not going to get that instant pedal feedback and flickability but it's amazing how light it feels underway. You do lose some of the subtlety of a mtb but you gain some of the flow of a moto.

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