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  1. #1
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    Down country 120mm vs 100mm to compliment my SC Hightower 27.5+ bike?

    Currently on a 27.5+ 150mm/140mm travel Santa Cruz Hightower. Which I love for about 60% of our trails here in Phoenix and about 80% in my Four corners riding. But its big tires and squishy bottom bracket height add to a capable but at times piggish climber and a little less snappy of a XC trail carver. But still a super fun bike to ride and I dont want to give it up. So wanted to add one of the newer down country 120mm XC bikes BUT is there enough separation between my current bike and a XC styled one such as the yeti sb100 or pivot 429sl to make a difference? Or would I be better off with a more pure XC 100mm bike like a Blur, Epic or Spark?

    Im looking to use this bike to roll on less technical terrain here in AZ that climbs well and carves our loose kitty litter over hardpack XC trails with the occasional chunky sections.

  2. #2
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    Your bike is nothing like the bikes mentioned.

    Pretty much all of the bikes mentioned will do great for you.

    I race a Top Fuel with a 120mm Fox PE and a carbon dropper in Cat 1 XC. I also ride it all over the country. Its a capable bike that I prefer over almost any longer travel bike I have been on including a 5.5. It would take some big drops to flat to make me want something like that.

    A lot of the bikes you listed will work well, but they get there in different ways. There is nothing quite like a light, capable bike. I would research into the suspension design that best suits your terrain and goals and keep a keen eye on bike weight.

    I would check out all of those bikes with 100mm rear and the Stepcast 34.

    Specialized Epic Evo (requires sending the brain off annually, which is no big deal since you have two bikes) this bike could easily be 23 pounds with lighter parts, but the 5k carbon model is 25 pounds and uses some heavier components

    Yeti sb100- heavier, with same parts vs some other bikes.

    429sl these are abundant here and handle chunk very well. I have lots of extremely fast friends who choose this for their bike.

    Intense sniper

    Blur

    Rocky Mountain Element.
    Etc.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
    Currently on a 27.5+ 150mm/140mm travel Santa Cruz Hightower. Which I love for about 60% of our trails here in Phoenix and about 80% in my Four corners riding. But its big tires and squishy bottom bracket height add to a capable but at times piggish climber and a little less snappy of a XC trail carver. But still a super fun bike to ride and I dont want to give it up. So wanted to add one of the newer down country 120mm XC bikes BUT is there enough separation between my current bike and a XC styled one such as the yeti sb100 or pivot 429sl to make a difference? Or would I be better off with a more pure XC 100mm bike like a Blur, Epic or Spark?

    Im looking to use this bike to roll on less technical terrain here in AZ that climbs well and carves our loose kitty litter over hardpack XC trails with the occasional chunky sections.
    Epic trial is a 120/100 mm XC/trail bike
    Trek top fuel 100/100 many people are doing 120/100 on them
    Pivot 429sl is a awesome bike also. Only ridden one once. Didn't WOW me

    Any HT 100-120 or FS 100-130 will work pretty good. I also ride AZ trails ( live near White tanks)
    Too Many .

  4. #4
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    Instead of rehashing the same stuff- just read through this http://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/wa...e-1090539.html plenty of info for you.
    Tallboy 3.1
    OG Ripley v2

  5. #5
    Recovering Weight Weenie
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    I ride a Tallboy v3 on the daily and also a Hightower LT a few days a week. My Tallboy with a 120mm front end and light wheels feels like an XC rocket when I step off the LT. I rode the new Blur a few months back and had a rude awakening that it is *too* XC for this older version of me.

  6. #6
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    Czar with 120 front (Super fast and fun)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
    Currently on a 27.5+ 150mm/140mm travel Santa Cruz Hightower. ...? Or would I be better off with a more pure XC 100mm bike like a Blur, Epic or Spark?

    Im looking to use this bike to roll on less technical terrain here in AZ that climbs well and carves our loose kitty litter over hardpack XC trails with the occasional chunky sections.
    Just one example.

    I have a 130/125 Santa Cruz 5010 with 2.6F/R That bike is night and day different to my 100/100 Epic with 2.35/2.2. The epic is light nimble and so responsive. Flies over 80% of the trails I ride. The 5010 is big heavy beast that while it can be ridden anyway is best suited to real chunk. I would happily ride my Epic any where at PMP with the exception of cheesegrader and Hairball. National and similar stuff on So Mo going down is better on the 5010. Climbing Mormon or Javalina I can do both, but the Epic is so much lighter.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  8. #8
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    I only have 1 bike in my garage and it's a 2017 Spark 940. At 6'5" w/36" inseam, the XL fits me great. I mostly just trail ride along the CO front range and it has handled anything I throw at it without issue, including a few lift service days at Winter Park and Granby Ranch.

    I'm a fan of the twin lock suspension. It took me a minute to remember it's there, but the climb mode works great (don't ever use full lock out) and I toggle between it and descend mode often.

    Head tube is slack enough to be a great trail bike but you can take the fox 34 and swap internals to either 130 or 140mm up front. I confirmed with Scott that this is safe and they will honor warranty up to 20mm over stock.

    I love this thing and never feel like I should have bought something with more travel. Needless to say, I highly recommend a demo and try to find its limit, you'll be surprised.

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  9. #9
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
    Currently on a 27.5+ 150mm/140mm travel Santa Cruz Hightower. Which I love for about 60% of our trails here in Phoenix and about 80% in my Four corners riding. But its big tires and squishy bottom bracket height add to a capable but at times piggish climber and a little less snappy of a XC trail carver. But still a super fun bike to ride and I dont want to give it up. So wanted to add one of the newer down country 120mm XC bikes BUT is there enough separation between my current bike and a XC styled one such as the yeti sb100 or pivot 429sl to make a difference? Or would I be better off with a more pure XC 100mm bike like a Blur, Epic or Spark?

    Im looking to use this bike to roll on less technical terrain here in AZ that climbs well and carves our loose kitty litter over hardpack XC trails with the occasional chunky sections.
    A 429SL is a pure XC 100mm bike.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  10. #10
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    Is anyone else wondering what a down country bike is?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    Is anyone else wondering what a down country bike is?
    It's yet another sub-category because we need labels. Coming soon... Cross Trail bikes.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    It's yet another sub-category because we need labels. Coming soon... Cross Trail bikes.
    To be followed with Trail Country bikes.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
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    A used sb4.5 might fit the bill.

  14. #14
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    My hightower (og hightower) that is some times long shocked, some times not and built up to 31.5 lbs with a coil front fork and a 2.5" front tire... is paired with a kona heihei.

    My heihei is running a 130mm fork with 100mm rear travel. I generally run trail/xc tires on it but I also have an extra front wheel with a 2.3DHF to bridge the gap between the XC race bike feel and my hightower. Interestingly enough, my heihei can also run 650+ wheelsets for when I'm looking for a light weight 650+ setup. I do not generally run my hightower in + mode but I do have a setup for it hanging on the wall.

    I quite like the pairing of a burly hightower paired with a "downcountry" bike.

  15. #15
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    I guess I should've replied with a more in depth response. I have an sb6 and an sb4.5. The sb6 is a fairly burly 160/150 bike and the sb4.5 is a much lighter and snappier 140/114 bike that loves to sprint. It is a blast to ride on the XC type trails around town, and still slack enough to plow through some chunky stuff.

  16. #16
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    Whyte S-120 looks pretty sweet

  17. #17
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    Do you need a full build?

    For the money take a look at the Fazzari Signal Peak. Nothing to lose since you can return within 30 days.
    Tallboy 3.1
    OG Ripley v2

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