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  1. #1
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    Enduro/Trail Bike Reliability

    Follow up question I forgot to ask in my last post. What brands of Enduro (or longer travel Trail) bikes does everyone usually agree are high quality? Have little to no problems overall? And most people would agree are top end bikes while also offering great value. Not looking at brands like Santa Cruz, Intense, Yeti, etc. Those are far too expensive and not good values.

    What I'm looking to get, is my first Full Suspension 29" wheel bike here soon. I came into some money But I'm also on a budget in general, so this bike purchase has to be a high quality bike, that is very durable, has little to no known problems, and will last me at least 7-10 years or longer with little to no major maintenance costs or major part replacements. I will mostly be riding what I think is All mountain or Enduro type trails. It's 60-70% down, and about 30-40% uphill, but those uphill parts are short. The majority of the riding is flat or down. And there are some pretty gnarly features in the trail as well as some crazy jumps and other cool stuff like that. So I don't want to get a Trail bike that is leaning more towards XC. I want something with a lot of travel, I can get nuts with it, and just bomb down anything and suck up all the bumps, trees and rocks with no problem.

    A buddy of mine recently got a Trek Fuel EX 8 last year and it is NIGHT AND DAY different from my old mid 90's hardtail Stumpjumper. I could literally just go as fast as I wanted down the trail and not have to worry about almost anything unless it was a foot or taller. It was the most fun I've maybe had in my life ever! I was laughing like I was on shrooms or something the entire first 20 mins, haha. So I want that type of bike but even MORE travel and even more bomber. Not quite a DH rig, but somewhere in between my buddies Trek Fuel EX 8 and a DH bike. But also have decent climbing ability and decent maneuverability. I don't want a DH sled that just goes straight 80mph, haha. It has to have some decent ability to climb and turn fairly quickly. But overall, I'm just looking to have a ton of fun going really fast DOWN!

    It's been FOREVER since I used to ride, and I used to know all the brands and bikes and technology innovations going on in the industry, read all the MTB magazines, etc. But after many years away from the sport, I hardly recognize anything. And there are a thousand more brands to choose from now. But I'm back baby, and ready to get back into it big time!

    So I know enough about bikes in general (road or mtb) to make smart choices. But I do need help from the experts out there on navigating all these new brands. It used to be Specialized, Trek, Cannondale and maybe a few others. But now I see SOOOO many brands I've never heard of. And I just need some general advice from everyone on what brands are great, which ones are alright, and which ones I should stay away from.

    So if you guys can list as many brands as you can think of that are generally known in the industry as being very high quality, reliable, durable, good to great customer service, and great values, that would be SO helpful.

    So far, the few bikes I've researched that seem to be great bikes and a good value are the Canyon Strive, the YT Capra Comp, Marin Alpine Trail, and the Trek Fuel Ex, and Trek Slash (seems to be on the more expensive side of all these Enduro bikes though). I'm sure there's loads more, but those are the ones I've found that have a great frame, great long travel suspension fork and rear shock, good components, and are priced well. Some of the Specialized and a few other brands I've seen in the process are crazy expensive for a similar bike and want to stay away from brands that charge more for the same thing.

    Thanks everyone

  2. #2
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    Just give folks an idea where you ride and what your actual budget is.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  3. #3
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    Ibis Ripmo AF is $3000 with really nice suspension that has user-friendly serviceability. Everything else seems solid enough quality to ride as is. Top 3 choice, assuming you're of average height.
    "Never use absolutes" - a wise man, probably.

  4. #4
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    Since you like the FEX 8, and you're not opposed 27.5 wheels, demo a Remedy 8. A bit burlier.
    2020 SC Hightower

  5. #5
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    Awesome, I'll look into that one! Thank you

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlx john View Post
    Since you like the FEX 8, and you're not opposed 27.5 wheels, demo a Remedy 8. A bit burlier.
    So that bike would be a great option, but it has 27.5" wheels and the stack is way to short for me even in XL. I'm 6'8" and only looking at 29 bikes, that's why I'm posting in this forum The stack on that thing in XL is only 615mm! The other bikes I'm looking at are all around 645-655mm. That's way too short for me

    But thanks for the suggestion. That bike looks sick, just wish it had 29" wheels and more stack. It would be one of the top contenders for sure. That Remedy 7 in the teal color is the TITS!!!

    So far, here is my list of bikes that have acceptable stack, reach, suspension travel of 150mm or more, is affordable, a good brand, and has 29" wheels:

    - Trek Fuel EX 8 Plus

    - YT Capra Comp and Base

    - Canyon Strive CF 7.0

    - Marin Alpine Trail 8

    - Niner RIP 9 RDO in a few different builds

    I also see some good bikes that are very similar to the above from Devinci? Never heard of them. Are they really good or just alright quality and performance wise?

    And I need to stay in the $2500-3500 range to answer the other persons question.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Where do you live that is 60-70% down, 30-40% up?

    Are you shuttling every ride? Bike park?
    Death from Below.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where do you live that is 60-70% down, 30-40% up?

    Are you shuttling every ride? Bike park?
    Right? That was my follow up question, but didn’t want to get into a math debate. Wherever it is, I need to move there.

    OP: At your height, you need to be looking at XXL bikes. Or search for a used Guerrilla Gravity Smash on Pinkbike in XL (they run big).
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where do you live that is 60-70% down, 30-40% up?

    Are you shuttling every ride? Bike park?
    Just do the math right?
    A bad day of cycling is better than a good day at work

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  10. #10
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    Most of the ones you're considering are for people of average proportions, besides the Niner RIP9 and Trek Fuel EX.

    Alternatives:

    Banshee Titan
    Spec Stumpjumper
    Nukeproof Mega 290

    *Some bikes have a weight limit of around 250 to 300 lbs. Not sure which is which, but I wouldn't trust the lightweight ones.

    If you're open to e-bike (motor pedal assist), check out the Fezzari Wire Peak.
    "Never use absolutes" - a wise man, probably.

  11. #11
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    Propain Tyee should be on this side of the pond by mid-year in AL with build yourself capability, possibly...

    AND 1 thread read is enough, you don’t need 3 or more on the topic... the New Posts search makes sure it is seen by most users...d;o)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Where do you live that is 60-70% down, 30-40% up?
    This seems like a magical place.

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    Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition is a great bike. Climbs will and bomb the downhills.

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    My 18 stumpy has a 686 stack. Id look at the canyon for new bikes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrightcs77 View Post
    Rocky Mountain Instinct BC Edition is a great bike. Climbs will and bomb the downhills.

    That bike looks incredible and I would be all over it. But it's kind of on the small side. The stack is only 630 and the reach 481. I'm going to need something around 650ish or more and reach around 500 or more. I've already have been fit professionally for a few road bikes and had my father help me as well (he's a long time super nerd road biker that knows almost everything there is to know about fitting and bikes, haha). And I need around 650 or more stack and 500 or more reach. But thanks for the suggestion, that bike looks insane and is outfitted with great stuff for the price. Best

  16. #16
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    Santa Cruz Hightower comes in XXL in the carbon models. Not cheap but a great bike with a reach of 518 and a stack of 660 plus a lifetime frame warranty.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    Anyone have any first hand experience with any of the following brands? Or if no first hand experience, are any of these brands known to be super reliable great bike brands in the industry?

    Niner, YT, Marin, Nukeproof, Devinici, Kona, Evil, and Norco to name a few I'm looking at? Also, some of these I can't seem to find for sale from American retailers or American online retailers. I'm assuming some of these brands might be made in other countries?

    I found some killer bikes from all of these companies that are also big enough for me, but know little to nothing about most of them. The only brands I've even heard of before today are Marin, Kona and Norco. But I don't know that much about them either.

    The few bikes I'm leaning towards other than the Canyon Strive CF7.0 are the:
    - YT Capra Comp 29

    - Niner RIP 9 in a few different builds

    - Marin Alpine Trail 9 or 7

    Are these considered high quality reliable bikes/brands?

    Thanks

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnarzt View Post
    Santa Cruz Hightower comes in XXL in the carbon models. Not cheap but a great bike with a reach of 518 and a stack of 660 plus a lifetime frame warranty.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


    Damn! That is a KILLER deal on a really good bike that is huge! I think that bike is going to the top of the list for possibilities! 660 stack and 518 reach with a lifetime frame warranty, great components and great suspension! Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't know Santa Cruz made any affordable bikes (thought they only made super high end outrageously priced bikes for pros). Best!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    So that bike would be a great option, but it has 27.5" wheels and the stack is way to short for me even in XL. I'm 6'8" and only looking at 29 bikes, that's why I'm posting in this forum ..
    Well at 6'8" I have to ask about weight. Many riders are 150-230lbs and are not 6'8". I will assume you are heavier than 230 even if slender just due to height. As such all components will be more stressed as compared to most riders.
    Joe
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    Anyone have any first hand experience with any of the following brands? Or if no first hand experience, are any of these brands known to be super reliable great bike brands in the industry?

    Niner, YT, Marin, Nukeproof, Devinici, Kona, Evil, and Norco to name a few I'm looking at? Also, some of these I can't seem to find for sale from American retailers or American online retailers. I'm assuming some of these brands might be made in other countries?

    I found some killer bikes from all of these companies that are also big enough for me, but know little to nothing about most of them. The only brands I've even heard of before today are Marin, Kona and Norco. But I don't know that much about them either.

    The few bikes I'm leaning towards other than the Canyon Strive CF7.0 are the:
    - YT Capra Comp 29

    - Niner RIP 9 in a few different builds

    - Marin Alpine Trail 9 or 7

    Are these considered high quality reliable bikes/brands?

    Thanks
    The brands are quality and reliable, but that's over-generalizing.

    Like I said before, what works for someone average height and weight, goes different for someone big and tall. Alpine Trail will handle massively differently for you, than it did for Richard Cunningham of pinkbike. Test ride it back to back with a RIP and I have absolutely no doubt that you'd be confused by why the Alpine gets rave reviews and why the RIP9 seems to be a sleeper hit, each in size XL. As someone 5' 7", I'll take an Alpine Trail without hesitation over RIP9. Test ride... don't trust reviewers who are average height. Check the Clydesdale section.

    Gotta take my word for the Mega 290. The Capra 29 has an XXL, but I'd say the XL is better, other than the fact that the actual seat angle is overly slack (seatpost appears slacker than fork, which may pose a problem for long legged folk) and probably wouldn't be too friendly for climbing unless you customize the rear shock to not sag excessively.

    Also, 685 stack on that 2018 Stumpjumper actually sounds ahead of its time. I rode a 2013 Spec Enduro 29 in med that had 650 stack and that bike rode really well. Now the stack heights on bikes are around 600 mm, and I'm ending up running spacers under the stem. That and it artificially inflates the reach #, and messes with the reliability/trustworthiness effective seat angles and ETT.
    "Never use absolutes" - a wise man, probably.

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    My stumpy is still a compromise

    I run 35mm riser bars, uncut steerer tube and then a 70mm Flat stem to try to recover some reach. It is really stable at speeds i want to ride probably sags out to 66 degrees seated. But the stem is way too long and begs for about 40mm more reach as configured.

    My dream trail bike would be something like this...
    470 chain stays
    700 stack
    720 top tube
    540 reach
    67 hta
    140/160 travel
    350 bbh
    29er w 32 spoke wheels on an onyx hubs, 35mm id 2.8” tires
    Fox 36 grip2
    Fox x2
    tubing oversized to carry an extra 100lbs with ease.

    Ive tried all the rocky bikes and they are way too small.

    Santa cruz only makes the xxl in carbon models So pretty pricey given poor spec at the bottom model in carbon.

    The canyon strive looks like a bargain next to it.

  22. #22
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    At the OPs height, possible weight and budget, he should buy one of these:

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2650989/

    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/2637261/

    I'm not associated with either.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    this bike purchase has to be a high quality bike, that is very durable, has little to no known problems, and will last me at least 7-10 years or longer with little to no major maintenance costs or major part replacements
    I stopped reading right there. Not possible.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuse6F View Post
    My stumpy is still a compromise

    I run 35mm riser bars, uncut steerer tube and then a 70mm Flat stem to try to recover some reach. It is really stable at speeds i want to ride probably sags out to 66 degrees seated. But the stem is way too long and begs for about 40mm more reach as configured.

    My dream trail bike would be something like this...
    470 chain stays
    700 stack
    720 top tube
    540 reach
    67 hta
    140/160 travel
    350 bbh
    29er w 32 spoke wheels on an onyx hubs, 35mm id 2.8” tires
    Fox 36 grip2
    Fox x2
    tubing oversized to carry an extra 100lbs with ease.

    Ive tried all the rocky bikes and they are way too small.

    Santa cruz only makes the xxl in carbon models So pretty pricey given poor spec at the bottom model in carbon.

    The canyon strive looks like a bargain next to it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I stopped reading right there. Not possible.
    Clydesdale riders break stuff, but it's relative. What's bombproof to average folk, works normal for them. Open up to e-mtb for reinforced parts, long CS to match the long front ends that come on XXL.

    Spec Kenevo 2020 https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ke...=273440-173664
    Trek Rail https://ebike-mtb.com/en/first-ride-...trek-rail-9-8/
    YT Decoy https://us.yt-industries.com/shopwar...&sArticle=2379
    Commencal Meta Power https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-po...am-c2x29149314

    Trail:
    Fezzari Wire Peak https://www.fezzari.com/wirepeak

    Santa Cruz's emtb is coming soon. A lot of emtbs are too long in CS in smaller sizes, but likely just right for someone on XL/XXL.

    Problem with Strive and GG Smash is that their CS are too short in XL, and you'll fight issues regarding lack of front end grip. I don't think a DH Assegai front tire is a good long term fix, for someone wanting to go fast. The rear wheel will likely get smashed up the moment you take a bump while you're in the saddle, tired/resting from lugging a slow rolling tire.

    You want a long wheelbase for going downhill fast, but 1300+ starts to not fit on outdated and cheap racks too well. E-mtb can sort of offset that, due to less dependency on car transport. Gotta up your budget for this stuff though.
    "Never use absolutes" - a wise man, probably.

  25. #25
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    Even if you were to use ebike parts, ten years or more with little to no maintenance costs isn’t realistic. Parts need servicing, parts wear out. Tires, drivetrain, and brake pads are all disposable items. Suspension needs attention to work right. I suppose if a person doesn’t give a damn about how the bike is performing then they could just not do any routine care but things won’t be right.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    Anyone have any first hand experience with any of the following brands? Or if no first hand experience, are any of these brands known to be super reliable great bike brands in the industry?

    Niner, YT, Marin, Nukeproof, Devinici, Kona, Evil, and Norco to name a few I'm looking at? Also, some of these I can't seem to find for sale from American retailers or American online retailers. I'm assuming some of these brands might be made in other countries?

    I found some killer bikes from all of these companies that are also big enough for me, but know little to nothing about most of them. The only brands I've even heard of before today are Marin, Kona and Norco. But I don't know that much about them either.

    The few bikes I'm leaning towards other than the Canyon Strive CF7.0 are the:
    - YT Capra Comp 29

    - Niner RIP 9 in a few different builds

    - Marin Alpine Trail 9 or 7

    Are these considered high quality reliable bikes/brands?

    Thanks
    Devinci is Canadian. Frames still made in North America. Cool and unusual as heck outside of Quebec. Seems that the components are just a bit below similarly priced completes from other companies.
    Norco is west coast Canadian, og as heck, been riding the roughest stuff since it started in the north, but some of the product has been watered down a bit lately with the push into mass markets.
    Kona, also somewhat Canadian, west coast, used to be the shit to grab for a fun ride, but reputation has taken a hit in the last few years as the designs haven't really kept up with the most modern geo.

    Beware, you are entering into dangerous territory: bike buyer's paralysis caused by information overload. Just get out there and ride, you might not make the perfect purchasing choice, but you will be out there riding!
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    Clydesdale riders break stuff, but it's relative. What's bombproof to average folk, works normal for them. Open up to e-mtb for reinforced parts, long CS to match the long front ends that come on XXL.

    Spec Kenevo 2020 https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ke...=273440-173664
    Trek Rail https://ebike-mtb.com/en/first-ride-...trek-rail-9-8/
    YT Decoy https://us.yt-industries.com/shopwar...&sArticle=2379
    Commencal Meta Power https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-po...am-c2x29149314

    Trail:
    Fezzari Wire Peak https://www.fezzari.com/wirepeak

    Santa Cruz's emtb is coming soon. A lot of emtbs are too long in CS in smaller sizes, but likely just right for someone on XL/XXL.

    Problem with Strive and GG Smash is that their CS are too short in XL, and you'll fight issues regarding lack of front end grip. I don't think a DH Assegai front tire is a good long term fix, for someone wanting to go fast. The rear wheel will likely get smashed up the moment you take a bump while you're in the saddle, tired/resting from lugging a slow rolling tire.

    You want a long wheelbase for going downhill fast, but 1300+ starts to not fit on outdated and cheap racks too well. E-mtb can sort of offset that, due to less dependency on car transport. Gotta up your budget for this stuff though.

    Thank you for your suggestions, as well as everyone else. I appreciate it!

    So just to answer some of these questions and update you, I'm not a clydesdale, haha. I may be 6'8", but I'm in shape, athletic, nimble, and my weight won't make a difference. I'm usually in the 230-235lb range depending on my workout cycles. I've always been very nimble, quick and athletic for my size and have never had a problem with anything (including bikes) break on me because of my height or weight. I'm sure if I was around 250 or more, then it mmmmight be an issue, but I'm not worrried about it at all.

    Second, I'm not interested in an E-MTB. I just don't want one, I can't afford one, and I they don't have any different geometry as far as reach, stack, top tube length better than regular bikes. So that's a no go right off the bat (mostly because of the cost). But thank you for those suggestions.

    And after lots of research and digging around, I've narrowed my search down to just a few bikes/brands.

    I'm looking at the Santa Cruz Hightower and the Niner Rip9 as the two main bikes I'm going to probably look at for purchase. I still have the Canyon, Trek and Specialized in my sites as well, but those are all more expensive and they will have to come down in price if I'm to consider them. I can get the Hightower or Niner Rip 9 for around 2800-3400 with great components. Where as the equivalent bikes from Canyon, Trek and Specialized start out around 3500 and go up from there for there.

    I've watched and read a ton of reviews in the last few days on all 5 bikes and Santa Cruz and Niner seem to be my best bet overall. They both seem to handle and ride exactly like what I'm looking for, which is they crush downhill, they go fast, they steer really well, and do well over rougher sections of the trail and yet do a fairly good job climbing. Nothing incredible, but they won't hold you up or slow you down. Plus they are both in the US, I can do a warranty claim easy, and Santa Cruz is sold at a nearby LBS!

    Thank you for all the suggestions and advice. You guys are very helpful and this has helped me a lot. Can't wait to start demo'ng some of the bikes, checking them out in person then getting out there and ripping it up! Best

  28. #28
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    You've received a lot of good suggestions. I would note though that most of the costs of maintenance of these type of bikes comes from stuff that even choosing the most durable bikes won't help much: You're going to need to service the shock and fork. You'll wear out tires and drive train. That is just from normal use.

    Where are you finding the Hightower so cheap with "great components"? Is it the previous generation bike? That's still a great bike so I wouldn't hesitate, but rarely do I see Santa Cruz's bikes with good components for the price (and I ride a Santa Cruz, so not dissing them).

  29. #29
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    Regardless of your fitness or level of athleticism, in MTB world, you’re still a Clyde. It’s not a pejorative, it’s a reflection of your height and weight relative to the “average” rider.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Regardless of your fitness or level of athleticism, in MTB world, you�re still a Clyde. It�s not a pejorative, it�s a reflection of your height and weight relative to the �average� rider.
    He seems very sure of his opinions and stated riding interests ("Freeride" in profile) for someone who is truly a beginner.

    Every part of a bike is a wear item. Ride it long and hard enough, and everything wears out. Everything. A 235lb dude has a lot of potential and kinetic energy. A lot more than a 130lb person, a 160lb person, etc.
    Death from Below.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    He seems very sure of his opinions and stated riding interests ("Freeride" in profile) for someone who is truly a beginner.

    Every part of a bike is a wear item. Ride it long and hard enough, and everything wears out. Everything. A 235lb dude has a lot of potential and kinetic energy. A lot more than a 130lb person, a 160lb person, etc.
    Yeah, I should have stated early on... I've ridden bikes my entire life. So definitely not a beginner as far as handling a bike Just new to full suspension bikes.

    I was a bomber as a kid on my BMX bikes, then got a front suspension Stumpjumper when I was like 11 or 12 and had a blast getting into MTB'ng. Then got into road biking about 5-6 years ago, and now that I can afford one, I'm FINALLY going to get a FS bomber and rip it up! Sooo excited.

    I know what you mean about my size. And I appreciate the info, but I already know what I'm getting into as far as that. Not trying to be a know it all (I don't know everything), I was more concerned with any specific brands being MORE durable then any others. And with Santa Cruz and Niner being built here in the US (plus Santa Cruz lifetime frame warranty), I feel much more comfortable going with one of them.

    I know that a FS bike is going to have more wear and maintenance than other bikes. I just wanted to get people's opinions on WHICH brands are more durable and have fewer problems. So thanks everyone. Best

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    Yeah, I should have stated early on... I've ridden bikes my entire life. So definitely not a beginner as far as handling a bike Just new to full suspension bikes.

    I was a bomber as a kid on my BMX bikes, then got a front suspension Stumpjumper when I was like 11 or 12 and had a blast getting into MTB'ng. Then got into road biking about 5-6 years ago, and now that I can afford one, I'm FINALLY going to get a FS bomber and rip it up! Sooo excited.

    I know what you mean about my size. And I appreciate the info, but I already know what I'm getting into as far as that. Not trying to be a know it all (I don't know everything), I was more concerned with any specific brands being MORE durable then any others. And with Santa Cruz and Niner being built here in the US (plus Santa Cruz lifetime frame warranty), I feel much more comfortable going with one of them.

    I know that a FS bike is going to have more wear and maintenance than other bikes. I just wanted to get people's opinions on WHICH brands are more durable and have fewer problems. So thanks everyone. Best
    Neither Santa Cruz nor Niner are made in the US anymore. Really the only thing that fits your description if you want something made in the US is the basemodel Guerrilla Gravity Smash, size 4. I don't think it has a lifetime warranty, but it is made in the US and the company has an excellent reputation for customer service.

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    As stated, neither SC nor Niner are made here. That’s why I linked earlier to a couple of early GG Smash aluminum bikes. Big enough, made in CO, within the stated budget.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Neither Santa Cruz nor Niner are made in the US anymore. Really the only thing that fits your description if you want something made in the US is the basemodel Guerrilla Gravity Smash, size 4. I don't think it has a lifetime warranty, but it is made in the US and the company has an excellent reputation for customer service.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    As stated, neither SC nor Niner are made here. That’s why I linked earlier to a couple of early GG Smash aluminum bikes. Big enough, made in CO, within the stated budget.

    Santa Cruz is in Santa Cruz, CA, Niner is Fort Collins, CO. The frame may or may not be actually built here in the US, but the companies are here. So warranty issues will be much easier to handle then a company that is out of the country That's what I was getting at. Whereas Canyon, YT and Nukeproof/etc are all out of country. Canyon being the ONLY one I think I would consider, seeing as how they are so big now, and I've read enough warranty reviews for their road bikes and mtbs to know, I'd probably have a fairly good experience IF I had a warranty issue.

    And trust me, I'd LOVE to be able to look at a Guerrilla Gravity Smash as an option on my list. Those bikes look INSANE, are big enough, and spec'd well. I looked at them right away when one of you suggested them. But it's out of my budget. The cheapest base model is $3900 and only goes up from there. The upper end of my budget (which I want to stay away from, so I have money leftover to the extras) is around $3500 total. So I can't afford to get a bike that costs $3600-4000. I mean, unless you guys can definitively tell me that one of these Guerrilla Gravity Smash bikes is HEAD and SHOULDERS above a Santa Cruz and Niner?
    But the Santa Cruz Hightower actually has a 660mm stack compared to the largest GGS at 646mm. And the reach is 518 on the SSH vs 510 on the GGS. So the SSH is going to be my largest option of the group of bikes I'm looking at. And I need every cm/mm I can get at 6'8", haha

    But If by chance, lots of people can definitively tell me that GGS are WAY better bikes and totally worth the extra money, than that's a different story. And something I might have to consider. Possibly putting off my purchase, saving up a bunch of extra for a year, and getting the bike next year. But I'm pretty confident after doing my research that either the Santa Cruz or Niner bikes will be top end bikes and give me exactly what I'm looking for. As well as offering me the largest stacks and reaches.

    And be within my budget, so I can actually purchase all the extras I'm going to need (helmet, googles, pedals, hydration pack, pads, gloves, extra bike parts, repair kits, etc etc.) That stuff adds up REAL quick and I'm on a budget, so I probably can't and don't want to spend $3500-4000 JUST for the bike. That is why I dropped the Canyon off my list, as it's actually just past my limit. If money were no issue, that would be a different story, but it is unfortunately.

    But please, let me know if the GGS bikes are way better and worth it. I might have to take a look at waiting until next year if that is in fact the case.

    Thanks for the info, both of you. I appreciate all the help from everyone so far! Best

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    Another question just popped into my head, and I "think" I know the answer, but would like to ask anyways. Just to make sure.

    So the type of riding I want to do vs what I'm usually going to do, is going to be different. Not completely, but enough to where there's a different style of riding needed and possibly even a different bike. Or at least setup.

    So the local Trails we have here in Ohio are NOT what I would like to be riding, but it's all I have. And I've been on a few with my buddy, and they're still pretty rad and I'll have a ton of fun, that's for sure!

    So the trails I'll be riding most of the time are more what I'd call Trail riding. A little XC here and there, and a little Downhill sometimes, but overall, I'd call it Trail riding. My friends Trek Fuel 29er with 120mm front and back is plenty of bike and travel to handle basically anything these trails around here can throw at us.

    But.... I WANT to get a bike that will allow me to take trips out West or East to Snowshoe a few times a year and just bomb! Enduro/DH type stuff. Here is a perfect example of the type of riding I'd "like" to do on trips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nhLNBKHjUM
    So my question is. Will the Santa Cruz Hightower, Niner Rip 9, Canyon Strive, Guerrilla Gravity Smash type bikes allow me to do trail riding I'm usually going to be doing week to week AND allow me to take trips out to places like this video above and do well?

    Are the bikes I'm looking at going to give me enough suspension travel to handle gnarly, real fast down hill like enduro trails? Enough durability and suspension to handle fairly large jumps and drops like in that video? I don't know what kind of bikes will and will not handle trails like that. And how much travel of fork/suspension do I need? I "think" 140-170mm or so, seems to be what most Enduro bikes come with. And the bikes I'm looking at are all around 150-160. So will that be enough to handle fairly big jumps, drops, tree roots, etc? I just want to make sure this bike I get allows me to not only ride my local trails, but also take trips out West or to Snowshoe and be able to handle more gnarly, steep, fast descents in time as my bike skills get better and better. It needs to be more versatile then specialized. I don't want to get a Trail only bike. Or a DH only bike. I want something I can climb with and ride on a Trail ride fairly well and yet also allow me to easily transition to a pretty gnarly Enduro/DH type trail/ride as well.

    Thanks again in advance for the advice/info

    Best

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    What version of the Hightower are you looking at? You keep talking about it as an insane deal, but I'm not sure which version you're looking at.

    The difference between a brand like Canyon and Santa Cruz in terms of warranties isn't that Santa Cruz is based in the US (it's actually owned by a foreign conglomerate, even if they still have most of their offices here). It's that they're sold via bike shops and have a good warranty reputation. If you got a Santa Cruz, you'd almost never interact directly with the CA office. You'd be interacting with your nearest Santa Cruz dealer. That still gives you a human point of contact unlike Canyon which is a direct sales brand. That can be helpful, especially as in the case of a brand like Santa Cruz, part of the price premium pays for a relatively good warranty.

    If you were buying a foreign based bike through a shop though, warranty would be the same deal. For example: Giant is Taiwanese, but there are shops everywhere and warranty claims would be just as easy it goes through them.

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    Another option for you, though, could be the Transition Sentinel. It comes in an XXL in allow with a 515 reach and 646 stack. Transition is known for bikes that take a beating and have a very good rep as a company that you can actually call up.

    The NX and GX builds are current on sale. The NX is at a low price (~2500), though I would sell the shock it came with and buy something with a piggyback, esp. at your size. The GX comes extremely well specced at $3550.

    Now the rub, the website says they're sold out of the full builds in XXL. They do say they have the frames though. If I were you, I'd be tempted to call Transition and inquire. They are the type of company that you can just call up. See if they'll sell you an NX/GX build in XXL alloy. Don't be offended if they won't - there might be supply chain reasons like the bare frames shipping from somewhere else than the complete bikes making it hard - but they very well may too, esp. if you all and say "Hey, I'm a 6'8" guy looking for a really durable frame. I've heard that your bikes might fit that bill. What do you recommend?"

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    What version of the Hightower are you looking at? You keep talking about it as an insane deal, but I'm not sure which version you're looking at.

    The difference between a brand like Canyon and Santa Cruz in terms of warranties isn't that Santa Cruz is based in the US (it's actually owned by a foreign conglomerate, even if they still have most of their offices here). It's that they're sold via bike shops and have a good warranty reputation. If you got a Santa Cruz, you'd almost never interact directly with the CA office. You'd be interacting with your nearest Santa Cruz dealer. That still gives you a human point of contact unlike Canyon which is a direct sales brand. That can be helpful, especially as in the case of a brand like Santa Cruz, part of the price premium pays for a relatively good warranty.

    If you were buying a foreign based bike through a shop though, warranty would be the same deal. For example: Giant is Taiwanese, but there are shops everywhere and warranty claims would be just as easy it goes through them.
    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Another option for you, though, could be the Transition Sentinel. It comes in an XXL in allow with a 515 reach and 646 stack. Transition is known for bikes that take a beating and have a very good rep as a company that you can actually call up.

    The NX and GX builds are current on sale. The NX is at a low price (~2500), though I would sell the shock it came with and buy something with a piggyback, esp. at your size. The GX comes extremely well specced at $3550.

    Now the rub, the website says they're sold out of the full builds in XXL. They do say they have the frames though. If I were you, I'd be tempted to call Transition and inquire. They are the type of company that you can just call up. See if they'll sell you an NX/GX build in XXL alloy. Don't be offended if they won't - there might be supply chain reasons like the bare frames shipping from somewhere else than the complete bikes making it hard - but they very well may too, esp. if you all and say "Hey, I'm a 6'8" guy looking for a really durable frame. I've heard that your bikes might fit that bill. What do you recommend?"


    I'm looking at the base model D Hightower $2899 on their site. And I don't think I ever referred to it or any other bike as an "insane deal". Just that for the price, you get a great bike. And that to get a similar bike, I'd have to pay $3500-3700 from Trek/Specialized. The only "insane" deal going on right now is one of the Niner Rip 9 bikes i'm looking at. It's normally like 4500-5000 and on sale and in XL for like $3300-3400 or something crazy! It's a full model or two above what I'm looking at, carbon fiber frame, lots of upgraded higher end components, and priced in my range. So that would be the only bike I've seen that I would say is an "insane" deal right now. But yes, the Santa Cruz Hightower bike is a great deal and a lot of bike for less money than the big guys. Plus I've known about Santa Cruz bikes for a long time and they always have been known as a top end bike. So that's another reason I'm leaning towards it. Plus EVERY single review or video review I've seen or read raves about it and talks about how versatile it is. Isn't the best climber, but gets you to the top fine. And then it really shines on the down. And has very subtle fine tuned suspension that makes people feel very safe and secure in how it handles. Same with the Niner Rip 9.

    And thanks for the Transition bike suggestion. Looked them up and that also looks like a really good option! And good to hear they are known for having such good service and making durable bikes. I'll have to get in touch with them like you said and see if that can be an option. They have two bikes on sale right now (the Alloy and Carbon NX) that are both in my range. So I'll definitely add that to my list of bikes to check out. Thank you so much.

    One question I should have asked a while ago I just thought of (I keep thinking of new things after each conversation with you guys, haha), is about forks. I notice a lot of the forks in the price range of bikes I'm looking at are usually budget forks like the Rockshox 35 Gold/DVO Beryl/Etc. I looked up the Rockshox 35 Gold, and it is one of the least expensive 35mm upper leg forks, but most reviews are saying it's actually really good. That 3-5 years ago, it would have been top of the line, but since newer ones have come out, it's no longer top, but still great.

    So I'm wondering if you guys think it's best to just go with the fork that comes with the bike I get and see how it feels and reacts. Then in a few years upgrade, when I know more about what I want out of a fork? Or just get the upgraded fork now instead of wasting time and money on the budget forks that come with these bikes I'm looking at? I don't know enough about forks or suspension to know if it's worth the money to get the upgrade done now, or get used to the one that it comes with THEN upgrade later. Any ideas there?

    And yeah, I understand about the warranty stuff. That I would be dealing with my LBS possibly. It all depends on who I buy from. Jenson USA has the bikes I'm looking at, so I might go with them. It "says" (on the Santa Cruz site) that one of my LBS is a dealer for Santa Cruz and has 2 demo's (not the specific model I'm looking to buy) for me to try. But I've never seen anything in their store except Specialized and Raleigh.

    But we'll see how they are. I haven't had a good experience at most bike stores over the years to be honest. Snarky rude sales people. Only willing to help if you tell them you're willing to spend a ton of money, and ALWAYS trying to upgrade you to more expensive bikes. Even when I tell them exactly what I'm looking for and I've been riding bikes all my life. Talking down to me like I don't understand, etc. So we'll see. I have no preference as far as buying direct from the company or at a LBS. Like I said a few posts ago, I'll give my LBS's a chance, but if they can't offer me good service AND good prices on a bike, then I'll happily buy direct from a company or someone like Jenson to get what I want

    And any info about my other post below would be MUCH appreciated (about the bikes I'm looking at being able to handle pretty gnarly enduro/dh runs as well as working for Trail riding).

    Best

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    I mean no offense, but maybe bike shop employees are picking up on something that you’re not. Riding bikes all your life doesn’t mean you know anything about bikes. Based on your questions on this site, I’d venture you’re not an expert.

    Don’t be offended. Just be what you are, a dude trying to get into the sport. Nothing wrong with that.

    Couple basic things people are trying to impart that you keep blasting over in your huge waves of text. You’re not an XL rider, other than a couple brands (Guerrilla Gravity, maybe Mondraker) that run big. You are an XXL rider.

    I’m 6’2 and ride XL in most brands. You are well outside that at your height.

    Santa Cruz only offers XXL bikes in carbon, so the cheap alloy bike is not an option.

    And you’re riding in Ohio. Buy a bike for what you actually ride, not what you want to ride someday. Hardtail or a sub-140 trail bike will be fine. Go search Pinkbike for sale ads and buy a used XXL bike that fits your budget.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    I'm looking at the base model D Hightower $2899 on their site. And I don't think I ever referred to it or any other bike as an "insane deal". Just that for the price, you get a great bike. And that to get a similar bike, I'd have to pay $3500-3700 from Trek/Specialized. The only "insane" deal going on right now is one of the Niner Rip 9 bikes i'm looking at. It's normally like 4500-5000 and on sale and in XL for like $3300-3400 or something crazy! It's a full model or two above what I'm looking at, carbon fiber frame, lots of upgraded higher end components, and priced in my range. So that would be the only bike I've seen that I would say is an "insane" deal right now. But yes, the Santa Cruz Hightower bike is a great deal and a lot of bike for less money than the big guys. Plus I've known about Santa Cruz bikes for a long time and they always have been known as a top end bike. So that's another reason I'm leaning towards it. Plus EVERY single review or video review I've seen or read raves about it and talks about how versatile it is. Isn't the best climber, but gets you to the top fine. And then it really shines on the down. And has very subtle fine tuned suspension that makes people feel very safe and secure in how it handles. Same with the Niner Rip 9.

    And thanks for the Transition bike suggestion. Looked them up and that also looks like a really good option! And good to hear they are known for having such good service and making durable bikes. I'll have to get in touch with them like you said and see if that can be an option. They have two bikes on sale right now (the Alloy and Carbon NX) that are both in my range. So I'll definitely add that to my list of bikes to check out. Thank you so much.

    One question I should have asked a while ago I just thought of (I keep thinking of new things after each conversation with you guys, haha), is about forks. I notice a lot of the forks in the price range of bikes I'm looking at are usually budget forks like the Rockshox 35 Gold/DVO Beryl/Etc. I looked up the Rockshox 35 Gold, and it is one of the least expensive 35mm upper leg forks, but most reviews are saying it's actually really good. That 3-5 years ago, it would have been top of the line, but since newer ones have come out, it's no longer top, but still great.

    So I'm wondering if you guys think it's best to just go with the fork that comes with the bike I get and see how it feels and reacts. Then in a few years upgrade, when I know more about what I want out of a fork? Or just get the upgraded fork now instead of wasting time and money on the budget forks that come with these bikes I'm looking at? I don't know enough about forks or suspension to know if it's worth the money to get the upgrade done now, or get used to the one that it comes with THEN upgrade later. Any ideas there?

    And yeah, I understand about the warranty stuff. That I would be dealing with my LBS possibly. It all depends on who I buy from. Jenson USA has the bikes I'm looking at, so I might go with them. It "says" (on the Santa Cruz site) that one of my LBS is a dealer for Santa Cruz and has 2 demo's (not the specific model I'm looking to buy) for me to try. But I've never seen anything in their store except Specialized and Raleigh.

    But we'll see how they are. I haven't had a good experience at most bike stores over the years to be honest. Snarky rude sales people. Only willing to help if you tell them you're willing to spend a ton of money, and ALWAYS trying to upgrade you to more expensive bikes. Even when I tell them exactly what I'm looking for and I've been riding bikes all my life. Talking down to me like I don't understand, etc. So we'll see. I have no preference as far as buying direct from the company or at a LBS. Like I said a few posts ago, I'll give my LBS's a chance, but if they can't offer me good service AND good prices on a bike, then I'll happily buy direct from a company or someone like Jenson to get what I want

    And any info about my other post below would be MUCH appreciated (about the bikes I'm looking at being able to handle pretty gnarly enduro/dh runs as well as working for Trail riding).

    Best
    Sorry, a "KILLER deal".

    In any case, as has been pointed out. The model you reference doesn't come in XXL. And really, I don't see it as being that great spec. The drivetrain is really low spec and the suspension isn't great. The Trek Fuel EX at $2899 is actually a nicer spec, mostly in the drive train which is a solid level better than the Hightower, while having the same fork. The Fuel EX 7 (and the EX 8 which slips in at the top of your price range), both come in XXL in aluminum, which is good for you. They aren't nearly as "enduro" as something like the Sentinel, but a 66 degree HTA 130/140 29er is a bike that you can rally a lot of places. I missed where you're from, but if you are in Ohio as someone mentioned, something like the new Fuel EX might be ideal. It's much more capable than the old version on the downs, but would still seem fun on less steep trails.

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    Don't buy a bike that only shines on 10% of the trails you ride. Buy a bike that works great for the 90% of what you ride and just hang or be bit slower for those 10%. The problem is that a bike that shines on those 10% trails will be dull, boring or simply won't work well when you ride it 90% of the time. You have this idea that you "want" to ride some big terrain based on videos you have seen. Well if you buy a bike just for that it will be slow and sluggish on the trails you ride every day in Ohio. The other thing to consider is those big features take time to learn and master. You don't see that in video and most of these guys not only edit out the flubs, but also have enough runs down that trail or similar stuff to manage. If all you ride are smoother simpler trails you won't have the skills set to ride big terrain even if you have the big. One more thing is that if you have good skills often there are lots of places you can actually ride tough trails without a big bike. Skills are needed and often speed is slower, but that does not mean you can't. I have Ibis Ripmo and it is great bike, but there is certain minimum level of tech and rocks that takes for the bike to really come alive and be worth is weight. Even then is amazing what even HT can do. Did 3 moderately rocky descents yesterday and on each of them I was with in seconds of my best time on my Ripmo and one case faster. I was on my 29 HT singlespeed with XC geometry. Those were with 7% downgrades and with some sections to 23%. All rocky to some extent. Point is while the Ripmo does well in those areas even HT can be pretty good and it takes some really serious terrain to convert from riding to walking. I still love my Ripmo, but I need to find the right trails to ride it on to really make use of its capabilities. Otherwise less travel and less weight tend to be more fun. Don't by the bike you for the terrain you hope some day to ride. Buy the bike for what you know you will ride and enjoy it on.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", 19' Vassago Optimus Ti SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    ^^^ Those are solid words. Many have to become more seasoned riders before grasping that concept. It's difficult to have the wind taken outta your sails when you have your sights set on something a little more burly when you really might not need it as much as you think. Choose your next ride with at least 80% of the trails that you'll ride and compromise or adapt for the remaining 20% or so of the stuff you'll ride that's steeper and faster. It's not that difficult to adapt quicker than you think. I have ridden XC bikes on lift served terrain and it was a hoot after I adapted and rode within my skill set.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    ^^^ Those are solid words. Many have to become more seasoned riders before grasping that concept. It's difficult to have the wind taken outta your sails when you have your sights set on something a little more burly when you really might not need it as much as you think. Choose your next ride with at least 80% of the trails that you'll ride and compromise or adapt for the remaining 20% or so of the stuff you'll ride that's steeper and faster. It's not that difficult to adapt quicker than you think. I have ridden XC bikes on lift served terrain and it was a hoot after I adapted and rode within my skill set.
    Yep. I agree completely. I actually did my first ever lift served rides on an old Fuel EX5: 120mm on both sides, 68.5 HTA, 26 in wheels. That new Fuel EX I suggested above is much, MuCH more capable. There aren't too many places that a skilled rider can't go on it, but it's more fun for everyday riding than some of the big enduro bikes.

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    When you buy a Canyon bike in the U.S., you are dealing with Canyon USA in California. You will work with them directly rather than a shop, but you won't have any issues. And any LBS will work on Canyon bikes.
    I would take this bike all day every day over the base Hightower. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/outlet/...18G0344-2.html
    It's a 27.5 bike rather than a 29er, but you said you were open to that and this bike is better in every way. Including being an actual killer deal.
    Their outlet site has a handful of XL bikes, and a simple phone call to them will find if there are any other XLs in the pipeline for the outlet center and alleviate any concerns you might have with them. They had a killer deal on XL Strives not too long ago when I was looking for a medium.
    Up to you.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by brex17 View Post
    When you buy a Canyon bike in the U.S., you are dealing with Canyon USA in California. You will work with them directly rather than a shop, but you won't have any issues. And any LBS will work on Canyon bikes.
    I would take this bike all day every day over the base Hightower. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/outlet/...18G0344-2.html
    It's a 27.5 bike rather than a 29er, but you said you were open to that and this bike is better in every way. Including being an actual killer deal.
    Their outlet site has a handful of XL bikes, and a simple phone call to them will find if there are any other XLs in the pipeline for the outlet center and alleviate any concerns you might have with them. They had a killer deal on XL Strives not too long ago when I was looking for a medium.
    Up to you.
    The problem is that OP is likely too big for an XL Strive. I would likely be on an XL and I'm 5 inches shorter than OP. The slack seat angle might make the 500mm reach feel a bit longer when pedaling, but it's still a smaller bike than the XXLs offered by other companies.

  46. #46
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    Marcus, you beat me to the size topic.
    Too bad the Strive might be too small because that does look like a good deal. Even though it not a new bike, it does have a nice set up. I was going to point out to the OP that seeking a used bike might offer some higher level components that he could consider finacially 'out of reach' on a new bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Marcus, you beat me to the size topic.
    Too bad the Strive might be too small because that does look like a good deal. Even though it not a new bike, it does have a nice set up. I was going to point out to the OP that seeking a used bike might offer some higher level components that he could consider finacially 'out of reach' on a new bike.
    That would make sense in a lot of cases, but OP seems really focused on having warranty and a used bike wouldn't have one. You can of course argue that the cost savings outweigh the potential benefit of warranties, but some people just feel better with warranties.

    He also seems to be interested in minimal maintenance. Obviously eventually bikes are going to need maintenance, but with a used bike you can't tell how close they are to that point. My used bikes have needed more maintenance sooner than my new bikes (which was fine with me, but I knew what I was getting into).

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    Sorry, a "KILLER deal".

    In any case, as has been pointed out. The model you reference doesn't come in XXL. And really, I don't see it as being that great spec. The drivetrain is really low spec and the suspension isn't great. The Trek Fuel EX at $2899 is actually a nicer spec, mostly in the drive train which is a solid level better than the Hightower, while having the same fork. The Fuel EX 7 (and the EX 8 which slips in at the top of your price range), both come in XXL in aluminum, which is good for you. They aren't nearly as "enduro" as something like the Sentinel, but a 66 degree HTA 130/140 29er is a bike that you can rally a lot of places. I missed where you're from, but if you are in Ohio as someone mentioned, something like the new Fuel EX might be ideal. It's much more capable than the old version on the downs, but would still seem fun on less steep trails.
    I'm not sure how I didn't notice that about the Santa Cruz You're 100% correct. That's a HUGE bummer and that bike is no longer on the list. I was reading reviews and watching videos, and didn't even realize the models I was looking at had the upgraded specs and suspension. And that the base model has such generic or lower end specs. I also didn't realize the Hightower ONLY comes in XXL in carbon. The cost for a Santa Cruz that is spec'd around the same as the Fuel EX8 and the other bikes I'm looking at is MUCH more expensive. So that's off my list. Thanks for making me double check as I was reading reviews for the Carbon framed upgraded bike, yet seeing the price for the base model, haha

    Quote Originally Posted by brex17 View Post
    When you buy a Canyon bike in the U.S., you are dealing with Canyon USA in California. You will work with them directly rather than a shop, but you won't have any issues. And any LBS will work on Canyon bikes.
    I would take this bike all day every day over the base Hightower. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/outlet/...18G0344-2.html
    It's a 27.5 bike rather than a 29er, but you said you were open to that and this bike is better in every way. Including being an actual killer deal.
    Their outlet site has a handful of XL bikes, and a simple phone call to them will find if there are any other XLs in the pipeline for the outlet center and alleviate any concerns you might have with them. They had a killer deal on XL Strives not too long ago when I was looking for a medium.
    Up to you.
    Great to know. And goes along with what I've read in the past about Canyon road bikes. I've read a few bad reviews, but most of those sounded like very unreasonable people just b*tching. I've mostly read great to amazing things about people's experience buying a Canyon bike the last few years. And I will DEFINITELY be looking to find a Strive in their outlet section. But I don't recall ever saying I was open to a 27.5" wheel. I think I stated early on, and then again later in another post, that I'm posting in this forum, since it's the 29er forum. Hence, I'm only looking for 29" bikes. Plus the more I read about the topic, 29" wheels are the way to go for taller riders. But Thank you for the advice, I appreciate your input!

    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    The problem is that OP is likely too big for an XL Strive. I would likely be on an XL and I'm 5 inches shorter than OP. The slack seat angle might make the 500mm reach feel a bit longer when pedaling, but it's still a smaller bike than the XXLs offered by other companies.
    I'm VERY confused by this. The Strive is the largest stack and reach of any of the bikes I'm still looking at (minus the Santa Cruz). It has a stack of 658! And a reach of 500. Plus the top tube or effective tt length is 695! 30-60mm longer than any other bike I'm looking at! And the stack and reach are taller and longer than any other bikes I'm looking at. In fact, other than the Santa Cruz, no other bike has a taller stack, and only a few have a similar 500-510 reach. And that can easily be remedied by a slightly longer stem if the reach were shorter. But it isn't. So I'm very confused by what you mean here, and would love for you to explain. Maybe I'm missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleared2land View Post
    Marcus, you beat me to the size topic.
    Too bad the Strive might be too small because that does look like a good deal. Even though it not a new bike, it does have a nice set up. I was going to point out to the OP that seeking a used bike might offer some higher level components that he could consider finacially 'out of reach' on a new bike.
    I don't really want a used bike, but definitely will be looking at the Outlet section of Canyon. So that path has already been on my radar. So thank you for mentioning it

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    That would make sense in a lot of cases, but OP seems really focused on having warranty and a used bike wouldn't have one. You can of course argue that the cost savings outweigh the potential benefit of warranties, but some people just feel better with warranties.

    He also seems to be interested in minimal maintenance. Obviously eventually bikes are going to need maintenance, but with a used bike you can't tell how close they are to that point. My used bikes have needed more maintenance sooner than my new bikes (which was fine with me, but I knew what I was getting into).
    Just to clarify this stuff. I would RATHER get a new bike. Because it will have a warranty, but I'm not 100% blindly committed to that. I just feel it would be best for this purchase (because it's going to be so expensive, and I won't be able to afford lots of costly repairs) to be a new bike and have a warranty, as well as be a bike and brand that is KNOWN to be durable and not need constant maintenance. Like I'd love a Ferrari, but I'd NEVER buy one because of how often it would need to be in the shop, and how much it costs to repair. I'm looking to stay away from brands like that. High end brands that might perform well, but are known to be finicky and have maintenance issues often.

    What I am looking for is brands or models of bikes that are KNOWN by everyone as being high quality, durable bikes, that have little to no maintenance issues. I know I have to take care of my bike. I want to learn that! I think it will be fun to learn all the in's and outs of my new bike and take great care of it! It's a full suspension bike that has lots of moving parts that can wear out, along with lots of bearings and sealed parts that will need attention. I'm not talking about NEVER touching the bike.

    I do appreciate the concern and your guys help. I may know what I want and know a lot about biking and bikes, but when it comes to these FS bikes, I'm more of a beginner, hence all the questions. So thank you

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    I'm not sure how I didn't notice that about the Santa Cruz You're 100% correct. That's a HUGE bummer and that bike is no longer on the list. I was reading reviews and watching videos, and didn't even realize the models I was looking at had the upgraded specs and suspension. And that the base model has such generic or lower end specs. I also didn't realize the Hightower ONLY comes in XXL in carbon. The cost for a Santa Cruz that is spec'd around the same as the Fuel EX8 and the other bikes I'm looking at is MUCH more expensive. So that's off my list. Thanks for making me double check as I was reading reviews for the Carbon framed upgraded bike, yet seeing the price for the base model, haha



    Great to know. And goes along with what I've read in the past about Canyon road bikes. I've read a few bad reviews, but most of those sounded like very unreasonable people just b*tching. I've mostly read great to amazing things about people's experience buying a Canyon bike the last few years. And I will DEFINITELY be looking to find a Strive in their outlet section. But I don't recall ever saying I was open to a 27.5" wheel. I think I stated early on, and then again later in another post, that I'm posting in this forum, since it's the 29er forum. Hence, I'm only looking for 29" bikes. Plus the more I read about the topic, 29" wheels are the way to go for taller riders. But Thank you for the advice, I appreciate your input!



    I'm VERY confused by this. The Strive is the largest stack and reach of any of the bikes I'm still looking at (minus the Santa Cruz). It has a stack of 658! And a reach of 500. Plus the top tube or effective tt length is 695! 30-60mm longer than any other bike I'm looking at! And the stack and reach are taller and longer than any other bikes I'm looking at. In fact, other than the Santa Cruz, no other bike has a taller stack, and only a few have a similar 500-510 reach. And that can easily be remedied by a slightly longer stem if the reach were shorter. But it isn't. So I'm very confused by what you mean here, and would love for you to explain. Maybe I'm missing something?



    I don't really want a used bike, but definitely will be looking at the Outlet section of Canyon. So that path has already been on my radar. So thank you for mentioning it
    A number of the bikes you're looking at have reaches that are above 500. The Sentinel is 515, the Fuel EX is 520 (515 in the low setting). Stack factors in too, obviously, but it's not clear to me that the Canyon is as large as those two bikes. Canyon's own sizing chart suggests a maximum rider size 1.5 inches or so shorter than you. It has a pretty slack actual seat tube angle and that means when you run the post really high, it will seem even slacker. Combine that with pretty short chainstays and you're pretty far over the back wheel.

    I do like the Strive and think that it would be a good bike for what you're interested in as you could run it in the high, progressive setting when in Ohio. I think that you might have missed the Strive blowout though. There were some pretty good deals on them at the end of the year, but they seem to have disappeared on Canyon's website.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    The brands are quality and reliable, but that's over-generalizing.

    Like I said before, what works for someone average height and weight, goes different for someone big and tall. Alpine Trail will handle massively differently for you, than it did for Richard Cunningham of pinkbike. Test ride it back to back with a RIP and I have absolutely no doubt that you'd be confused by why the Alpine gets rave reviews and why the RIP9 seems to be a sleeper hit, each in size XL. As someone 5' 7", I'll take an Alpine Trail without hesitation over RIP9. Test ride... don't trust reviewers who are average height. Check the Clydesdale section.

    Gotta take my word for the Mega 290. The Capra 29 has an XXL, but I'd say the XL is better, other than the fact that the actual seat angle is overly slack (seatpost appears slacker than fork, which may pose a problem for long legged folk) and probably wouldn't be too friendly for climbing unless you customize the rear shock to not sag excessively.

    Also, 685 stack on that 2018 Stumpjumper actually sounds ahead of its time. I rode a 2013 Spec Enduro 29 in med that had 650 stack and that bike rode really well. Now the stack heights on bikes are around 600 mm, and I'm ending up running spacers under the stem. That and it artificially inflates the reach #, and messes with the reliability/trustworthiness effective seat angles and ETT.

    I forgot to ask you about somethings you said in here. So you talk about a bike handling different for different people. But how would that work if the bikes change in size according to the size of the person riding it?

    So meaning, if a small 5'7" guy gets a small bike and it has geometry (stack, reach, etc) that is correct for him, and he says it rides well and handles downhill well. Then wouldn't the same be true for a taller person that gets the same bike in a larger size? I don't quite follow how you are claiming the Alpine Trail gets rave reviews from a small guy, but that I wouldn't like it, and instead would love the Niner Rip9. Yet, right after that, you say you'd take a Alpine Trail over a Rip9 without hesitation. That extremely confusing and contradicting.

    And also makes me wonder if you're talking more about feel and bro science, or actual fit. Like if I get a bike with 640-660mm of stack and 500-520mm reach, that is what my body requires. I know this because I have been professionally fitted before and know all my measurements. So if both companies make a bike that have the correct sizing for my body, and similar geometry, etc, then wouldn't they both be incredible and ride very similar? And yet you're saying they wont. So if you can explain this more and back it up with actual reasons, that would be really helpful instead of just telling me to trust you and giving me one persons opinion on how two bikes handle or ride. Because I'm not following this, but I'm intrigued about what you are trying to get at.

    Thanks so much

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    I'm not Varaxis, but here's a go:

    Most bikes change their overall geometry as they change sizes in a number of ways. The XL bikes aren't just proportionally scaled up Mediums. The biggest difference is that most companies keep chainstay length the same while increasing the size of the front triangle (and all the measurements that go with it). So an XL bike is going to have proportionally much shorter chainstays to its front center than a S bike. That means the XL bike may feel less "balanced" as you'll have to more actively shift your weight forward when you need to get weight on the front tire (steep climbing and aggressive cornering). Edit to add: Some brands have started to increase CS length proportionally with size. That would lead to a much more similar feel for bikes across the range of sizes.

    When actual seat tube angles aren't the same as effective seat tube angles, where the rider is in comparison to the bike's center of mass depends on how high you raise the seat post. Effective seat tube angles are measured as the angle between the bottom bracket and top of an imaginary continued seat tube at the height of the center of the top of the head tube. Some bikes move where the seat tube starts way in front of the bottom bracket to give the wheel/suspension space, though, so if you keep putting the seat up higher, the angle gets slacker and slacker. Most people ride with their seat higher than the HT, but how much higher depends on how long a person's legs are compared to the size of the bike. Tall people tend to have the greatest difference between the listed effective angle and the angle they're riding at. This changes where your weight is centered when seating, so changes the feel of the bike.

    It also just doesn't totally make sense to think of being fitted and told your perfect reach and stack as immutable. Almost every bike 5-10 years ago (or even 3) had way shorter reach for a similar size. The seat tube angle matters a lot, as does the size stem being run. As STA have gotten steeper and stems have gotten shorter, guys are on much longer reach bikes than they would have been a few years ago for an optimal fit.

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    ^^^ To add to that as well, bike companies rarely change their tubing wall thickness on frame sizes. So small for a 5’5” 150 rider might feel really stiff, but a XXL for a 6’5” 250 rider might feel super flexy.

  54. #54
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    Lots of great opinions in this thread to consider, and I think they have you on the right track. My opinion, based mostly on reading countless threads on this sight in pursuit of my own recent bike purchase, is to reread Blatant's advice. Specifically post #22. Big, bad bikes made by big dudes to fit big dudes. Priced well. Customer service second to none (even as a second owner). Might be worth digging a little deeper. In the end, it's a great time to be buying a bike, it's hard to get it wrong.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post

    What I am looking for is brands or models of bikes that are KNOWN by everyone as being high quality, durable bikes, that have little to no maintenance issues. I know I have to take care of my bike. I want to learn that! I think it will be fun to learn all the in's and outs of my new bike and take great care of it! It's a full suspension bike that has lots of moving parts that can wear out, along with lots of bearings and sealed parts that will need attention. I'm not talking about NEVER touching the bike.
    I believe that you understand this, but I'm addressing it. For long term service life and years of intended service, mountain bikes need to be maintained. They need preventative maintenance to remain in optimal condition. Ongoing service will do much to extend your rides life, so make efforts to learn your bike and learn how to properly maintain it. You will likely find much personal gratification from this relatively simple task.

    Don't confuse maintenance issues with required maintenance.
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  56. #56
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    @MarcusBrody @NorCal_In_AZ Well answered!

    I suspect that brands don't really do much but make a mule that fits their test riders, in most cases a L. They then add or subtract a bit of length to the seat tube, and the front triangle to create the full range of sizes when they put it to production.

    I applaud the brands that change CS length according to the front end length to maintain the balanced feel, so you don't need to shift weight forward or back to get enough for traction, riding well from a centered position. Privateer is the latest brand to do this, which I have little doubt will rise to greatness. I also applaud brands doing size specific suspension too, like Cannondale. A taller rider's mass is a bit higher, and that would affect how much weight is shifted to the rear when the bike accelerates. I suspect brands just "eyeball" the CoG point in their modeling software, since they probably think that riders come in all shapes and sizes and that they can't please them all, just hoping to get a happy medium.

    I admit that I was judging if the CS long enough, compared to the wheelbase, in the largest size, and seeing if the frame was well reinforced and had tube diameters large enough for perceived stiffness. I was at the Niner RIP9 RDO demo event at JensonUSA and I was impressed by how girthy it looked. Things like the SDG dropper's actuation gave me the impression that they put care into the specification, daring to go with something relatively unknown, but confident that the performance would impress prospective buyers. Jenson also carried Banshee, which I was also impressed by. Demo'ing one which runs the same tire combo I run, helped a ton in feeling the differences in the frame and suspension, getting my senses and understandings better calibrated.

    P.S. I have a ride buddy that has a Niner WFO9 who upgraded to a newer one, who likes the plush ride. We share an elitist ride buddy who criticized him for riding a "bike park" bike for XC rides, but the WFO9 owner pulls us along at a fast pace, giving us a great workout. His XC racy stuff is rotting in storage, a S-Works Epic and some HT, despite our trails appearing to be 95% XC. Being able to hit those rare optional drops, jumps, rocky chutes, unmaintained jank, etc. with minimal hesitation apparently made it worth it, and he gets a better workout for any given pace. Same elitist buddy calls the XC bike cheating... regarding brand prestige, this might be a stretch of an opinion, but I see Niner serving as a charged-up enthusiast boutique brand that might attract Giant's customer base (suspension and comfort oriented trekking types?), Pivot attracting Trek's (blue collar engineering oriented types?); Spec, Ibis, Yeti, Santa Cruz all targeting what I consider the discerning fashionable crowd. Intense can be pretty competitive on price.
    "Never use absolutes" - a wise man, probably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    I forgot to ask you about somethings you said in here. So you talk about a bike handling different for different people. But how would that work if the bikes change in size according to the size of the person riding it?

    So meaning, if a small 5'7" guy gets a small bike and it has geometry (stack, reach, etc) that is correct for him, and he says it rides well and handles downhill well. Then wouldn't the same be true for a taller person that gets the same bike in a larger size? I don't quite follow how you are claiming the Alpine Trail gets rave reviews from a small guy, but that I wouldn't like it, and instead would love the Niner Rip9. Yet, right after that, you say you'd take a Alpine Trail over a Rip9 without hesitation. That extremely confusing and contradicting.

    And also makes me wonder if you're talking more about feel and bro science, or actual fit. Like if I get a bike with 640-660mm of stack and 500-520mm reach, that is what my body requires. I know this because I have been professionally fitted before and know all my measurements. So if both companies make a bike that have the correct sizing for my body, and similar geometry, etc, then wouldn't they both be incredible and ride very similar? And yet you're saying they wont. So if you can explain this more and back it up with actual reasons, that would be really helpful instead of just telling me to trust you and giving me one persons opinion on how two bikes handle or ride. Because I'm not following this, but I'm intrigued about what you are trying to get at.

    Thanks so much
    You don't even need to extend this to bikes of different sizes. You can look at the same size bike and have it handle differently under different riders because those riders are proportioned differently, even though the bike "fits" both of them. Or, you can look at two riders the same height, but due to differences in body proportions, they require different size bikes, or they require very different setups on the same frame size (more seatpost sticking out w/shorter stem, or less seatpost sticking out w/longer stem). This is going to strongly affect how a given bike handles under a particular individual.

    It's not something you see people discussing eloquently (because it's really hard to tease these issues out on a test/demo ride), but it absolutely does play into the "personal preference" side of the equation.

    When it comes to selecting a bike, there's a multitude of factors that play into it. If you're a top level pro with all kinds of testing gear at your disposal, maybe it's worth diving into those things. But for the rest of us, IMO, it's better to ignore those details and focus instead on whether it fits and whether it's fun to ride or not. A lot of beginners have this problem of diving too deeply into the weeds of the irrelevant details and they lose focus on the big picture. "Failing to see the forest for the trees" if you will.

    Step back and look at the big picture. Is the bike comfortable, and is it fun to ride?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    I'm not Varaxis, but here's a go:

    Most bikes change their overall geometry as they change sizes in a number of ways. The XL bikes aren't just proportionally scaled up Mediums. The biggest difference is that most companies keep chainstay length the same while increasing the size of the front triangle (and all the measurements that go with it). So an XL bike is going to have proportionally much shorter chainstays to its front center than a S bike. That means the XL bike may feel less "balanced" as you'll have to more actively shift your weight forward when you need to get weight on the front tire (steep climbing and aggressive cornering). Edit to add: Some brands have started to increase CS length proportionally with size. That would lead to a much more similar feel for bikes across the range of sizes.

    When actual seat tube angles aren't the same as effective seat tube angles, where the rider is in comparison to the bike's center of mass depends on how high you raise the seat post. Effective seat tube angles are measured as the angle between the bottom bracket and top of an imaginary continued seat tube at the height of the center of the top of the head tube. Some bikes move where the seat tube starts way in front of the bottom bracket to give the wheel/suspension space, though, so if you keep putting the seat up higher, the angle gets slacker and slacker. Most people ride with their seat higher than the HT, but how much higher depends on how long a person's legs are compared to the size of the bike. Tall people tend to have the greatest difference between the listed effective angle and the angle they're riding at. This changes where your weight is centered when seating, so changes the feel of the bike.

    It also just doesn't totally make sense to think of being fitted and told your perfect reach and stack as immutable. Almost every bike 5-10 years ago (or even 3) had way shorter reach for a similar size. The seat tube angle matters a lot, as does the size stem being run. As STA have gotten steeper and stems have gotten shorter, guys are on much longer reach bikes than they would have been a few years ago for an optimal fit.

    Ok, this is great info. So right away, getting into the chainstay length issue. I've read about this, I know enough to know that getting a proportionately longer CS as the bike gets bigger is usually a good thing, and gets the rider more centered, so that climbing is better, overall balance on the bike gets better and pedal efficiency is transferred better. But one thing I'm noticing, is that 99% of all the bikes I'm considering, and looking at, have the same CS lengths, and don't get bigger or smaller as the bike does. So 99% of the bikes have a 435-440mm CS length.... so .19 of an inch. So basically the same size. And none of them change from S-XXL. So when you guys talk about "trying" to find a bike that has a longer CS, what companies/models do that? Because I'm not finding ANY that are longer than ~440mm (give or take 5mm which is nothing). And what do you guys consider short CS length and what do you consider long CS length? I have found a few bikes with shorter CS lengths of around 430. But I'm staying away from those.

    Then moving on to your second point about ST angle or effective ST angle. I think I understand this to some degree, maybe not fully though. So I understand that the stack of a bike is MUCH more important for getting the proper height bike then anything else. I know this from road bikes and getting fit multiple times by a professional fitter, as well as my dad (who is a long time/expert road biker). And in order to get the best fitting bike for your given height, you need to be in a range that fits your body. So me being super tall, I NEED a stack of at least 640 and possibly up to 660 or even a little more. But 99% of bikes don't have stacks more than 650-660. So I'm not going to be able to find the perfect bike in that regard. But... getting a taller stack bike is ALWAYS going to be key for me. And the taller stack I can get, the less saddle height I will need to get into the proper pedaling position.

    And I understand the ST angle or effective angle. In that as angle gets more slack or the saddle height gets taller, the effective angle is going lower and farther back. Which is not good for overall balance and handling of the bike. Correct? Which would mean, that I want to try and and get the tallest stack bikes I can find WITH a stepper ST angle. Because that will not only get my legs in the proper pedaling positions (instead of all scrunched up) because of the taller stack, but also get my whole body more forward, because of the steeper ST angle or effective ST angle that will put my body farther forward. Correct? So meaning, I want to stick to finding bikes with larger stacks.

    I'm not trying to say I HAVE to have some specific stack/reach bike. But I do in fact need to be in a range that is for my height. And when I've been fitted professionally or not, I always come out to needing a stack of 640-660 and a reach of around 500 give or take. So then the only other thing I need to be aware of, is like you guys said, longer CS if possible, a steeper ST angle and possibly more reach. But reach is something that can be easily micro adjusted with stem length as long as I'm in the correct reach "range".

    So thanks for walking me through this. All of this is great info and this is all helping me a lot. Also now that I'm looking at the shocks and forks on these bikes, I am seeing that Trek does have a pretty good selection of bikes for the price. And I'm thinking I'm definitely not going to be able to get a bike I want, unless I come up with some more money All the bikes I'm looking at now that meet all these criteria we're discussing and are big enough are all in the $3300-3900 range or more. So I'm definitely going to have to think about how to make this work. I'm not going to buy a bike that compromises significantly from what I want. Which means, I'm going to have to figure out a way to get more money.

    Thanks

  59. #59
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    Sweet madre de dios, dude. This is a bicycle, not a life commitment. If you like the sport, you’ll be buying another one next year.

    Stop typing, go buy a bike and ride it. Wait, are you an engineer?
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    So chainstay length is like everything else: a trade off. Proportionally shorter chainstays can make a bike feel playful and make wheelies/manuals easier. As front ends get longer though (via longer reach and slacker HTA), short chainstays put the rider's weight closer to the back wheel and so the rider needs to more aggressively shift weigh forward to maintain front end track when cornering hard and climbing steep stuff. It just is what it is. As you say, most brands don't change their size, but it means that their bikes will ride differently at different sizes.

    I'm a bit unclear why stack height is going to affect saddle height. It will affect how much above the point where effective STA is measured though, so if that is what you mean, then yes: A higher stack will make the difference between actual and effective STA less important.

    I think that you're definitely on the right track. You're really big. You should be looking for a bike with a nice, high stack. Don't get too caught up with trying to match road bike fitting , though. In the last few years especially, mountain bikes have really diverged from road bikes in a lot of ways so things don't always transfer perfectly.

    If I were in your position, I would buy either the Trek Fuel EX 7 or the Jeffsy Comp 29 XXL. Both are at or under $3000 with very respectable spec and would seem to have a good chance at fitting.

    There are some Jeffsy XXLs in YT's outlet if you want a carbon fiber version at the 3000 mark.

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    As others have stated, buy a bike that fits your local trails. As much as you think you will travel with the bike to the east and west coasts, you will still very likely ride your local trails much more often. Plus, there is hardly any riding on the east coast that requires a true enduro bike. Heck, I live on the Colorado front range and have 130 front / 120 rear and hardly ever feel under gunned outside of bike parks.

  62. #62
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    I'm going to throw out a suggestion for a Pole Evolink 140, https://polebicycles.com/polestore/p...k-140-29-v1-3/

    It's a big bike in XL with a 535 reach, 639 stack, 455 chainstay, and 78 effective STA. 140/150-160mm travel.

    The TR build is $3440. It's an aluminum frame that's on the heavier side, some see that as a bad thing but for clydes I think it's a positive. The biggest negatives I see are the company is based in Finland which can make warranty issues tougher and they aren't known for excellent customer service.


    For all the bikes you're considering keep in mind that stack can be increased with spacers and riser bars, it's not ideal but it's an option.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorCal_In_AZ View Post
    ^^^ To add to that as well, bike companies rarely change their tubing wall thickness on frame sizes. So small for a 5’5” 150 rider might feel really stiff, but a XXL for a 6’5” 250 rider might feel super flexy.
    Good to know and makes sense. So does anyone know of any specific brands that DO change the tube wall thickness as the bikes get bigger? Does Guerrilla Gravity Smash, Transition Sentinel, Niner Rip 9, etc do that?

    Quote Originally Posted by G_T View Post
    Lots of great opinions in this thread to consider, and I think they have you on the right track. My opinion, based mostly on reading countless threads on this sight in pursuit of my own recent bike purchase, is to reread Blatant's advice. Specifically post #22. Big, bad bikes made by big dudes to fit big dudes. Priced well. Customer service second to none (even as a second owner). Might be worth digging a little deeper. In the end, it's a great time to be buying a bike, it's hard to get it wrong.

    So I added the GGS bike to my short list a few days ago and I'm seriously considering it now. But... can you or anyone explain WHY you and Blatant are suggesting it? What specific things about that bike make it so good for a tall or big guy? I see you mention: "Big, bad bikes made by big dudes to fit big dudes." I'm assuming you are referring to Guerrilla Gravity bikes? And that a lot of the riders for them are tall and or big guys? Can you expound on that more please? What makes them so good for big bad tall riders?

    So the GGS has middle of the road stack and reach numbers at 646 + 510 compared to all the other bikes I'm looking at (and would work for me, if we're just basing this sizing off of stack/reach). Of the 10 or so bikes I'm looking at, aprox half are smaller stack and reach and half are more stack/reach than the GGS. The only thing that jumps out to me on that bike, is the Effective ST angle is pretty steep at 76.8 and I think the steepest of all the bikes I'm looking at. But there are others that are also very steep and close. Which once again, my understanding of this, will put me farther forward (more towards the center of the bike), give me better overall balance with the bike, and helps with climbing. But... the CS length is actually one of the shortest of all the bikes I'm looking at. At 434mm. And everyone keeps saying how important that is. So how is it that the effective ST angle is steep and good for a tall guy, but the CS length is short and yet you guys are telling me it's a great bike for tall guys? I'm not following and really appreciate when people explain why and give actual reasons/proof.

    What is it, about this particular bike that makes you guys so confident that it's the bike I need? I'm asking, not arguing. Because based on the stack/reach and geometry, nothing really stands out on it as being a bike that is perfect for a really tall rider. It doesn't have a huge stack or reach or CS length, which are all things I would need being so tall. Which means I must be missing something. So hopefully you guys can explain this. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    @MarcusBrody @NorCal_In_AZ Well answered!

    I suspect that brands don't really do much but make a mule that fits their test riders, in most cases a L. They then add or subtract a bit of length to the seat tube, and the front triangle to create the full range of sizes when they put it to production.

    I applaud the brands that change CS length according to the front end length to maintain the balanced feel, so you don't need to shift weight forward or back to get enough for traction, riding well from a centered position. Privateer is the latest brand to do this, which I have little doubt will rise to greatness. I also applaud brands doing size specific suspension too, like Cannondale. A taller rider's mass is a bit higher, and that would affect how much weight is shifted to the rear when the bike accelerates. I suspect brands just "eyeball" the CoG point in their modeling software, since they probably think that riders come in all shapes and sizes and that they can't please them all, just hoping to get a happy medium.

    I admit that I was judging if the CS long enough, compared to the wheelbase, in the largest size, and seeing if the frame was well reinforced and had tube diameters large enough for perceived stiffness. I was at the Niner RIP9 RDO demo event at JensonUSA and I was impressed by how girthy it looked. Things like the SDG dropper's actuation gave me the impression that they put care into the specification, daring to go with something relatively unknown, but confident that the performance would impress prospective buyers. Jenson also carried Banshee, which I was also impressed by. Demo'ing one which runs the same tire combo I run, helped a ton in feeling the differences in the frame and suspension, getting my senses and understandings better calibrated.

    P.S. I have a ride buddy that has a Niner WFO9 who upgraded to a newer one, who likes the plush ride. We share an elitist ride buddy who criticized him for riding a "bike park" bike for XC rides, but the WFO9 owner pulls us along at a fast pace, giving us a great workout. His XC racy stuff is rotting in storage, a S-Works Epic and some HT, despite our trails appearing to be 95% XC. Being able to hit those rare optional drops, jumps, rocky chutes, unmaintained jank, etc. with minimal hesitation apparently made it worth it, and he gets a better workout for any given pace. Same elitist buddy calls the XC bike cheating... regarding brand prestige, this might be a stretch of an opinion, but I see Niner serving as a charged-up enthusiast boutique brand that might attract Giant's customer base (suspension and comfort oriented trekking types?), Pivot attracting Trek's (blue collar engineering oriented types?); Spec, Ibis, Yeti, Santa Cruz all targeting what I consider the discerning fashionable crowd. Intense can be pretty competitive on price.
    Awesome! Thanks for all this great info!

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You don't even need to extend this to bikes of different sizes. You can look at the same size bike and have it handle differently under different riders because those riders are proportioned differently, even though the bike "fits" both of them. Or, you can look at two riders the same height, but due to differences in body proportions, they require different size bikes, or they require very different setups on the same frame size (more seatpost sticking out w/shorter stem, or less seatpost sticking out w/longer stem). This is going to strongly affect how a given bike handles under a particular individual.

    It's not something you see people discussing eloquently (because it's really hard to tease these issues out on a test/demo ride), but it absolutely does play into the "personal preference" side of the equation.

    When it comes to selecting a bike, there's a multitude of factors that play into it. If you're a top level pro with all kinds of testing gear at your disposal, maybe it's worth diving into those things. But for the rest of us, IMO, it's better to ignore those details and focus instead on whether it fits and whether it's fun to ride or not. A lot of beginners have this problem of diving too deeply into the weeds of the irrelevant details and they lose focus on the big picture. "Failing to see the forest for the trees" if you will.

    Step back and look at the big picture. Is the bike comfortable, and is it fun to ride?

    And also, great info. I appreciate it! But you still haven't answered the one question that I asked originally of you.

    You mentioned the Rip 9 vs the Alpine Trail 8 and how one of them gets rave reviews and the other one not so much, but if I were to ride them, it would be totally opposite. So I'm just trying to figure out, do you think the Rip 9 and Alpine Trail 8 are both great bikes? And would both probably be good options for me? As far as geometry, size and specs go, they both seem great, but is one of them going to be better for me since I'm so tall? Or will they both be great? Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoaD009 View Post
    As others have stated, buy a bike that fits your local trails. As much as you think you will travel with the bike to the east and west coasts, you will still very likely ride your local trails much more often. Plus, there is hardly any riding on the east coast that requires a true enduro bike. Heck, I live on the Colorado front range and have 130 front / 120 rear and hardly ever feel under gunned outside of bike parks.
    Yes, I'm going to get a bike that fits my local trails. Thanks, I appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by manpurse View Post
    I'm going to throw out a suggestion for a Pole Evolink 140, https://polebicycles.com/polestore/p...k-140-29-v1-3/

    It's a big bike in XL with a 535 reach, 639 stack, 455 chainstay, and 78 effective STA. 140/150-160mm travel.

    The TR build is $3440. It's an aluminum frame that's on the heavier side, some see that as a bad thing but for clydes I think it's a positive. The biggest negatives I see are the company is based in Finland which can make warranty issues tougher and they aren't known for excellent customer service.


    For all the bikes you're considering keep in mind that stack can be increased with spacers and riser bars, it's not ideal but it's an option.

    I really appreciate this, but I'm not looking at any new bikes now. I have far too many on my list and need to get it narrowed down to just 2-3 and then start trying to demo them and/or just buy one. I'm starting to get far too deep into looking at EVERY single option. And it could never end. I have a REALLY good list of bikes that meet most of my requirements, so I'm good for now. But I'll keep them in mind for my next bike. Thanks

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusBrody View Post
    So chainstay length is like everything else: a trade off. Proportionally shorter chainstays can make a bike feel playful and make wheelies/manuals easier. As front ends get longer though (via longer reach and slacker HTA), short chainstays put the rider's weight closer to the back wheel and so the rider needs to more aggressively shift weigh forward to maintain front end track when cornering hard and climbing steep stuff. It just is what it is. As you say, most brands don't change their size, but it means that their bikes will ride differently at different sizes.

    I'm a bit unclear why stack height is going to affect saddle height. It will affect how much above the point where effective STA is measured though, so if that is what you mean, then yes: A higher stack will make the difference between actual and effective STA less important.

    I think that you're definitely on the right track. You're really big. You should be looking for a bike with a nice, high stack. Don't get too caught up with trying to match road bike fitting , though. In the last few years especially, mountain bikes have really diverged from road bikes in a lot of ways so things don't always transfer perfectly.

    If I were in your position, I would buy either the Trek Fuel EX 7 or the Jeffsy Comp 29 XXL. Both are at or under $3000 with very respectable spec and would seem to have a good chance at fitting.

    There are some Jeffsy XXLs in YT's outlet if you want a carbon fiber version at the 3000 mark.
    Thanks for more great info.

    So the stack being taller is usually going to mean that the top of the seat tube is going to be higher than a bike with a shorter stack. Not always, but usually. Especially with a road bike. And I know mtb's are different, and lots of them have severely sloped top tubes. Meaning, this idea/theory of a taller stack wouldn't always hold up in reality. Sometimes a mtb could have an unusually short or tall seat tube length, which would throw this idea off. But overall, this holds true usually and my next point below confirmed this idea. So what I'm saying, is that a taller stack usually equates to a higher starting ST height, which means I don't have to raise my saddle as high, which means my saddle isn't way above my handlebars. Which means the bike fits me better, since I'm so tall.

    Then one thing I was thinking about but forgot to mention when discussing stack is the idea of the bottom bracket height plus the seat tube length being important for fit. And using that in addition to the stack and reach to determine if a bike is going to be tall enough for me. So if bike A has a stack of 650 and bike B has a stack of 630, and bike A has a combined bb height + seat tube length of 840mm, vs bike B that has a combined bb height + seat tube length of 820mm, then bike A is going to be much taller in overall in front and back. So meaning, it would be better for me. So that's my theory/idea about stack being so important (which in reality, it is important just on it's own, let alone combined with this idea I'm purporting here).

    What do you think about this idea? In my mind it makes sense, but I've never read anything about this idea. Just something I was toying around with to help me make an even better informed decision on this purchase.

    So I've gone through all the bikes I'm looking at and wrote down those numbers, and as I suspected, a few stand out over the rest. A few of them have a tall stack, a medium to long reach and tall combined bb height + st length. And I think those bikes will be my best bet for a good fit, regardless of whether it's more trail or enduro or whatever.

    I don't have the luxury of being able to choose from lots of options or styles of bikes. I have to find a bike that first and foremost fits me and feels good, regardless of whether it has 120mm travel or 170. Whether it is trail or enduro, etc. I don't have the luxury of being able to go try on all these bikes or demo them at LBS. Do you know how rare it is for any LBS to have even 1 bike TOTAL in their store that is in my size range? Or have a demo in my size range? Or to have all these bikes in a store even? Most of these bikes I'm looking at, I'll never be able to see or get on in a store, let alone go for a test ride! So I'm going to have to do my research and make a really informed/smart choice and then just order it and hope it works out based on all my research. So anyone claiming I just need to shut up and go demo and buy a bike obviously hasn't thought much about how hard it is for me to be able to find the right bike, since you're not 6'8" with extremely limited brand choices nearby. And yes, I have to do a TON of homework to find the right bike and not screw it up by buying the wrong size. Hence all this jibber jabber and trying to get people's help on the subject. So thank you to all of you that have provided helpful info or discussion are a life saver and I appreciate it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by G_T View Post
    Lots of great opinions in this thread to consider, and I think they have you on the right track. My opinion, based mostly on reading countless threads on this sight in pursuit of my own recent bike purchase, is to reread Blatant's advice. Specifically post #22. Big, bad bikes made by big dudes to fit big dudes. Priced well. Customer service second to none (even as a second owner). Might be worth digging a little deeper. In the end, it's a great time to be buying a bike, it's hard to get it wrong.
    Still would love to hear opinions on this. This idea that a few people are saying that the GGS bikes are big, bad and burly, made by big bad burly guys. Does GG make their bikes way beefier and stronger than others or something? Why are a few people singling this specific bike out as "THE ONE" I should be looking at, when there are other bikes with larger stacks, similar reach, and just as good specs? Really curious as this bike looks insane, I'm loving the options of changing out the seat stay or headset cups to adjust the bike for different types of riding later on. Plus it's spec'd really well. So it's on my list, but need to hear more about WHY it's so good for tall/big guys. Thanks

  68. #68
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    Geezzz...trying to read this thread is like trying to read a very long dissertation. Insane.
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    Jeffsy 29 in XXL as suggested is going to be really hard to beat. It is close to large enough for the OP (outside of custom, nothing is going to be a great fit for him), has a solid build,and is well balanced.


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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    And also, great info. I appreciate it! But you still haven't answered the one question that I asked originally of you.

    You mentioned the Rip 9 vs the Alpine Trail 8 and how one of them gets rave reviews and the other one not so much, but if I were to ride them, it would be totally opposite. So I'm just trying to figure out, do you think the Rip 9 and Alpine Trail 8 are both great bikes? And would both probably be good options for me? As far as geometry, size and specs go, they both seem great, but is one of them going to be better for me since I'm so tall? Or will they both be great? Thanks
    I never said any such thing. Height is only one factor. How long is your torso vs. inseam length? How long are your arms? Those are all factors that play into choosing a bike size, and we only know one of those things about you. Based on your height, we know you need a big bicycle. But beyond that, anyone saying that one bike will fit better for you than another is throwing shit on a wall to see what sticks.

    You need to shut up and go ride some bikes.

  71. #71
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    It's awesome how stoked you are about finding your bike. I was there not too long ago, excited, pouring through forums, and pretty overwhelmed. There are a ton of choices right now, and your size/terrain/ability/style is likely pretty unique so it's tough to narrow down what might work best.

    What worked for me was to talk to my LBS and riders who matched my abilities, about what bikes they ride and why. A few bike brands/models kept popping up, and I did as much online research as possible. That led me to a few other bikes, and in the end I realized I need to ride as many as I could. I ended up demoing 7 different bikes. The one that was recommended to me the most for my local terrain was definitely not for me, during my demo ride it felt sluggish and one of my least favorite. Another, which I only rode because my LBS had it on a free demo day, was amazing. Climbed great, inspired huge confidence on descents, I loved it. The one I bought was just as good, made an hour from me, was the best value, and the company had a great customer service rep which I wanted. I really believe I would have been fine with at least 5 of the bikes I demoed, but here's why I choose what I did.

    I ended up buying a size 4 GG Smash. I'm not as tall as you (6'3"), but I read several posts on this forum from tall riders about how the brand makes big bikes well. Bobby from GG, who you can call and talk to tomorrow, is 6'8". Many riders as tall as you have talked about how well they fit on an xl GG. The brand is also known for making burly frames. This isn't a company making XC bikes, but they are built to take a beating. I also read a ton about how great their customer service is, and I will vouch for the lengths they will go to in order to get things right. They have been stellar to work with.

    I picked up my revved Smash about 2 hours ago in Denver, which is my second GG bike (I rode a Megatrail before this in size L). I have no regrets in my choice. I really enjoyed reading through the forums here to find the best bike for me, it was truly helpful. Don't get too deep, though. It's not a perfect science. Like it has been mentioned before, if this is a sport you really love, this next bike will not be the last bike.

  72. #72
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    Gotta verify your understanding of geo, susp, chassis stiffness, ergonomics, etc. by doing real world testing on different bikes on the trail.

    I find geo charts aren't very straightforward. I gotta do so much internal calculation to get consistently accurate predictions. Bike designers call it juggling, like how Transition Bikes explained their Speed Balanced Geometry (~2017), Mondraker explained Forward Geometry (~2014), Fisher explained Genesis and G2 Geo (mid-2000s), and how Geometron explained their Geolution (2018+). I did my own measuring on different bikes to find patterns, to be able to have some confidence in my predictions. I say things with more confidence after I verify specific cases. In that RIP 9 RDO comparison, I said I had experience with the Niner.

    For some, trying to understand bike design can simply be a case of feeling that change going 1 way is better than going the other way, and trying to credit something for it, being open to experiment taking it further. For others, it can be really deep and precise, with A LOT of measuring to the point you can feel confident in modeling/designing your own original work. Others just don't get it at all, and sometimes can't believe that there are no name people on a forum who claim that they do have understanding. I'm not very intelligent, so it took me exhaustive trial and error and repetition to gain a modest level of understanding. I owned over 2 dozen diff bikes in the past 12 years, and demo'd every chance I could multiple times annually. This knowledge didn't come to me easily, putting money behind my beliefs and learning how much more complicated things are and having to correct myself often. I used to arrogantly argue with "confidence" (like 99% certainty) about this stuff years ago, which I reason was immaturity and the Dunning-Kruger effect, on mere opinion and belief, based on bogus marketing. I now follow people who are trusted to make million dollar decisions regularly on this subject, which has humbled me greatly, and we've shared some chats looking back to such foolishiness. I see lots of people doing what I foolishly done in the past, being some sort of armchair engineer who spend more time pointing out how others are wrong, rather than improving myself or solving any problems. These people are happy to leave this nonsense behind, this act of worrying about others' complacent ignorance, letting PR/marketing allude people to imagine things that make their stuff sell, as if their job was merely to rake in sales, and not try to educate.

    I get excited to learn stuff, to the point I feel compelled to share, to share in my happiness in understanding stuff, so that's why I am here posting. There are some resources out there, if you wish to be more informed. Here's two that I respect:

    i-track suspension

    https://www.datumcycles.com/tech/

    Also, here's the details from some of the makers themselves, if you like marketing, on their design philosophy focuses that they stressed over:

    https://geometronbikes.co.uk/2019/01...esign-process/

    https://www.forbiddenbike.com/pages/tech

    Beware that the marketing is still opinion/belief. It doesn't imply others are wrong. They just want to allude you into trusting them. Whichever you buy into, is your choice, but the concept of scaled horizontal chainstay length, to front center length, for weight balance is a legit concept that should not be ignored, hence why your attention is being drawn to the issues of chainstays being too short for the long wheelbases found on XL/XXL sizes. 435mm CS on 29er FS enduro bikes seem to go well with 1230mm WB, and *I'd personally* (IMO) scale the WB up to 1250mm to go well with 440mm CS. 1230mm WB with 440mm CS would make the rider adapt to have their weight back slightly, and 1250mm WB with 435mm would make the rider adapt to have their weight forward slightly. Are you an aggressive/forward type, or defensive type? Test ride to find out, and spend wisely.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Enduro/Trail Bike Reliability-osx1axl.jpg  

    Enduro/Trail Bike Reliability-zifdzhs.png  

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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Sweet madre de dios, dude. This is a bicycle, not a life commitment. If you like the sport, you’ll be buying another one next year.

    Stop typing, go buy a bike and ride it. Wait, are you an engineer?
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    You need to shut up and go ride some bikes.

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post

    You need to shut up and go ride some bikes.
    Haha!!! You know you've spent too much time typing when Harold reaches his limit. He's usually exceedingly patient.

  75. #75
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    Whatever bike salesman ends up dealing with the OP will have earned his/her place in heaven. In fact, anyone dealing with the OP for anything will have earned his/her place in heaven. OMFG. For real?
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  76. #76
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    Just a recent example of what I was trying to convey regarding what big riders say about GG.

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    After researching this to my satisfaction, my first choice will be the GGS. Then my backup options will be the YT Jeffsy/Capra, the Transition Sentinel, Canyon Strive and Trek Fuel EX8.

    Now it's just time to go shopping and get on some bikes, see how they fit and get a bike! Thanks for all the help. Best

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    You can get Ibis Mojo HD4 for a song right now. That bike can blast at Warp speeds when pointed down hill and wasn't terrible to climb thousands of feet in the mountains.

    An IBIS Ripmo AF fits your parameters.

    You SHOULD actually be looking at Santa Cruz hightower. Not quite as much travel as an HD4, but is plenty good. I preferred it to the 2020 intense primer


    Don't be cheap and only look at direct to consumer brands since you might end up with an interesting experience that you end up coming back to MTBR to complain about it in an 18 paragraph post. I've had people had to send theirs back immediately due to issues. It sounds like you might have to have some level of patience if you got one. I have heard excellent feedback on them making good on their product.

    I have friends that are ambassadors for GGS. keep in mind, they just started building carbon bikes, so there is no long term experience with them.


    Also, EVERYTHING made in that category today is better than your decade older stumpy. Well maybe not a single pivot DB.

    Giant still provides the most value of any store bought brand in most models.

  79. #79
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    No bike Ibis makes will fit this guy.
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  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperWookie View Post
    Still would love to hear opinions on this. This idea that a few people are saying that the GGS bikes are big, bad and burly, made by big bad burly guys. Does GG make their bikes way beefier and stronger than others or something? Why are a few people singling this specific bike out as "THE ONE" I should be looking at, when there are other bikes with larger stacks, similar reach, and just as good specs? Really curious as this bike looks insane, I'm loving the options of changing out the seat stay or headset cups to adjust the bike for different types of riding later on. Plus it's spec'd really well. So it's on my list, but need to hear more about WHY it's so good for tall/big guys. Thanks
    Because it is?

    Two shock positions, two cup height options, modular seat stays to adapt to four different bike builds, adjustable headset, two water bottle/tool mounting options, long seat post insertion (210mm OneUp on a Sz 3 frame) hand made in Colorado, lifetime warranty, fair prices.

    So yeah, I guess that about sums it up.

    EDIT: Good for big/tall guys? Well, I'm 195#, 6' tall, so not huge, but big enough that I have found some bikes are a touch light in the way they ride. The GG bikes are very supportive through the mid stroke, so great for supporting a lot of weight and taking big hits.
    GG Megatrail (Braaap!)
    GG Trail Pistola (in process)
    Fezzari Signal Peak (frame for Sale)
    Pivot Shuttle (wife's)

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