Light Trail/Agressive XC bike options? Edumicate me!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Light Trail/Agressive XC bike options? Edumicate me!

    Got my present bike (Niner Rip 9 RDO) back in 2017 when I was just riding a lot and not looking at internet posts or YouTube videos on latest trends. My riding buddies asked in disbelief how I could still be riding my outdated Jet 9 carbon XT 1X10, Stan's Arch (narrow?) alloy rims, bike weighing well under 25lbs with pedals and bottle cage. I said "What?" Comments like "Bro you won't believe the sick new geo bikes, long and slack, these bikes are faster than a speeding bullet and handle better than that dinosaur you are riding!" Gotta get with the program bro, you can stick the McDougal 9000 off the Big dipper jump!.

    I mean I was happy riding my 24lb 120mm bike with 1X10 but I hadn't been on the forums and didn't read reviews so what did I know? the new bikes go to 11! And even though my jumps are more accurately measured in inches rather than feet, the thought of pulling a McDougal 9000 had me thinking it must be the bike holding me back!

    So, I started surfing the internet and YouTube. Sure enough every rider on the "New Geo" was shredding gnar, getting sick air and raving about these revolutionary bikes. I was a neandrathal, basking in the bliss of ignorance! That was it I had to ditch the old bike and get with the program.

    Enter the Rip 9 RDO. Did a demo in Utah, killer terrain, Ogden bike park, BST in the Wasatch (I live and ride 99% of time in Florida) rode a couple similar bikes, big Trail bikes like the Rip, Hightower, the Trek version and a couple others. All rode spectacular and handled some chunky sketchy high speed descents and climbed better than I expected but the Rip just felt better especially climbing and pedaling and the Orange color was so sick!

    Anyway, sold my Jet and got the Rip. Even in Florida, the new geo was amazing handling weaving thru turns and more travel made the difficult sections of trail easier and bigger margin for error. With the Jet I had to pick line and with the Rip it didn't matter and way easier on my wrists, elbows and shoulders. Been in the game for over 30yrs and broke a lot of body parts so more travel was nice. Plush ride was nice.

    But...

    All these new bikes are heavy! Yes they pedal lighter than their weight but I started to notice on extended rides and just moving the bike around. Here in Florida especially summer, the heat is brutal and fatigue factor high as your heart rate at 90 degrees/90% humidity. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new frames/suspension are a little heavy"

    Also, pedal strikes! I hit so hard I've almost gone over bars just going straight and fast. Thought I could get used to it but after a year of riding it's only a little better. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new bikes all pedal strike, but you get used to it."

    So...

    The Rip is awesome bike but way more bike than my Florida trails require. I'm looking for lighter 130-140mm front/120mmrear travel bike and the Jet 9 RDO might be better but the builds I've seen still looks almost as heavy. I don't race and I don't mind spending extra for light weight but I don't want to spend more than the GDP of a small country. I ride singletrack Florida trails that have challenging technical segments with lots of roots and average speed is 9-12mph. I do have a nice carbon wheelset that I can use on an 11speed boost bike.

    I realize that I will never stick a McDougle 9000 so that requirement in a bike is not important....unless.... but maybe shorter chainstay, slacker head tube angle, 44m offset, ya that should do it! Demos in my area are few and far between as most LBS are road/gravel oriented.

    Anyway, what suggestions do you you internet geniuses have that will get me pumped on new bike, score hot chicks and elevate my riding so sponsor ships start coming my way. Free Decals and keychain with beer opener would be living the dream

  2. #2
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    IBIS Ripley. Fast, fast and fast. Would be great for the FL trails because it is fast but good enough when you go out of state. You can pick up a LS frame right now at a discount.
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  3. #3
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    I am a believer that all the new "Geometry Hype" is highly overrated. I have been comparing the new vs old geometry numbers for a while and all that was done is move the rider forward by about an inch, shorten a bit the chainstays and widen the handle bar to the point of being not usable on tight wooded single track, and steepening the HA so you apparently one can bomb decents and never fall. It is overhyped because the industry needs to sell more stuff and people who buy into it have to justify their purchase convincing themselves that 1 deg of HA change makes the bike sooo much better. There probably is an improvement but I bet it is not nearly as huge as claimed.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kk2 View Post
    widen the handle bar to the point of being not usable on tight wooded single track.
    This is true! Most of the trails around here have many sections that are possible to ride with 780mm+ bar but you barely clear it.

    Think new geometry has some benefits but like most things there is that trade off. Over aired up shock helps with pedal strike but I only end up using 50% travel.

    Gotta check that Ibis Ripley. Didnt get a chance to demo that but heard some good reviews.

  5. #5
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    If you can find some 2018 Ripley LS's...they are still really good bikes. I picked one up for my GF about a month ago. After trying both the LS and V4...she picked the LS. I asked why she liked the LS more...she just said that it was more comfortable to pedal. IMO...if you don't have a bunch of long steep downhills...a sled length bike really isn't necessary.

    Realistically...I don't think there are bad bikes in the 120mm segment. It'll be up to you on which particular geo you get along best with.

  6. #6
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    >>>Light Trail/Agressive XC bike options?<<<

    You mean 'downcountry' bikes?
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    >>>Light Trail/Agressive XC bike options?<<<

    You mean 'downcountry' bikes?
    Yep, maybe? I got Travis Tritt and George Straight on my ride playlist. But I got some Zappa on there too!

  8. #8
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    It doesn't matter how light a bike is, only how efficiently it turns potato chips into speed/elevation. The 30+ pound 29er(s - three of them) I demo'd were all slightly faster on a 45 minute test climb in the Wasatch that I'm familiar with than the 25-ish pound 27.5 I owned....which of course means it took less power to go the same speed or climb to the same elevation. So, I bought the 29er and lightened it up.
    This is certainly a topic that has been explored ad nauseam. It may or may not work for you, your riding style or your trails. That's okay. No need to hurry, they'll just keep getting better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Got my present bike (Niner Rip 9 RDO) back in 2017 when I was just riding a lot and not looking at internet posts or YouTube videos on latest trends. My riding buddies asked in disbelief how I could still be riding my outdated Jet 9 carbon XT 1X10, Stan's Arch (narrow?) alloy rims, bike weighing well under 25lbs with pedals and bottle cage. I said "What?" Comments like "Bro you won't believe the sick new geo bikes, long and slack, these bikes are faster than a speeding bullet and handle better than that dinosaur you are riding!" Gotta get with the program bro, you can stick the McDougal 9000 off the Big dipper jump!.

    I mean I was happy riding my 24lb 120mm bike with 1X10 but I hadn't been on the forums and didn't read reviews so what did I know? the new bikes go to 11! And even though my jumps are more accurately measured in inches rather than feet, the thought of pulling a McDougal 9000 had me thinking it must be the bike holding me back!

    So, I started surfing the internet and YouTube. Sure enough every rider on the "New Geo" was shredding gnar, getting sick air and raving about these revolutionary bikes. I was a neandrathal, basking in the bliss of ignorance! That was it I had to ditch the old bike and get with the program.

    Enter the Rip 9 RDO. Did a demo in Utah, killer terrain, Ogden bike park, BST in the Wasatch (I live and ride 99% of time in Florida) rode a couple similar bikes, big Trail bikes like the Rip, Hightower, the Trek version and a couple others. All rode spectacular and handled some chunky sketchy high speed descents and climbed better than I expected but the Rip just felt better especially climbing and pedaling and the Orange color was so sick!

    Anyway, sold my Jet and got the Rip. Even in Florida, the new geo was amazing handling weaving thru turns and more travel made the difficult sections of trail easier and bigger margin for error. With the Jet I had to pick line and with the Rip it didn't matter and way easier on my wrists, elbows and shoulders. Been in the game for over 30yrs and broke a lot of body parts so more travel was nice. Plush ride was nice.

    But...

    All these new bikes are heavy! Yes they pedal lighter than their weight but I started to notice on extended rides and just moving the bike around. Here in Florida especially summer, the heat is brutal and fatigue factor high as your heart rate at 90 degrees/90% humidity. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new frames/suspension are a little heavy"

    Also, pedal strikes! I hit so hard I've almost gone over bars just going straight and fast. Thought I could get used to it but after a year of riding it's only a little better. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new bikes all pedal strike, but you get used to it."

    So...

    The Rip is awesome bike but way more bike than my Florida trails require. I'm looking for lighter 130-140mm front/120mmrear travel bike and the Jet 9 RDO might be better but the builds I've seen still looks almost as heavy. I don't race and I don't mind spending extra for light weight but I don't want to spend more than the GDP of a small country. I ride singletrack Florida trails that have challenging technical segments with lots of roots and average speed is 9-12mph. I do have a nice carbon wheelset that I can use on an 11speed boost bike.

    I realize that I will never stick a McDougle 9000 so that requirement in a bike is not important....unless.... but maybe shorter chainstay, slacker head tube angle, 44m offset, ya that should do it! Demos in my area are few and far between as most LBS are road/gravel oriented.

    Anyway, what suggestions do you you internet geniuses have that will get me pumped on new bike, score hot chicks and elevate my riding so sponsor ships start coming my way. Free Decals and keychain with beer opener would be living the dream
    Look for a used generation 1 Intense carbine 29 (MY 2014-2017 i think). 27 lbs with carbon wheels and lighter tires, 160 mm / 140 mm, 67 deg HTA, non-boost . If you can find one in good shape, I recommend. I was reading your post and it echoed everything I want in a bike. Been riding mine since 2013 and I donít give the new bikes a second look


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    This is certainly a topic that has been explored ad nauseam.
    Yes, and probably will continue for as long as time itself. I remember the debate about full squish for XC back in the early 90ís. Full suspension was reserved for full on down hill rigs and my Giant Cadex carbon hardtail ( and other hardtail bikes) 26 was the Go to XC rig. Why would anyone want full suspension for anything other than full down hill riding? You a sissy boy bro? Then Santa Cruz comes out with the aluminum Heckler and Trek carbon Y bike. Full squish for XC becomes an option but still considered overkill by most.

    The topic of suspension/weight/performance is really what gear heads will never stop discussing and thanks to R&D and tech it changes faster than ever and bikes are better than ever. I remember when the biggest game changer was disc brakes, our children will probably be discussing how 5g was the game changer for ďsmartĒ suspension 😳.

    Anyway, back to discussing what we got now, I want fun, light, fast and threaded BB please!

  11. #11
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    Well...

    Quote Originally Posted by kk2 View Post
    I am a believer that all the new "Geometry Hype" is highly overrated. I have been comparing the new vs old geometry numbers for a while and all that was done is move the rider forward by about an inch, shorten a bit the chainstays and widen the handle bar to the point of being not usable on tight wooded single track, and steepening the HA so you apparently one can bomb decents and never fall. It is overhyped because the industry needs to sell more stuff and people who buy into it have to justify their purchase convincing themselves that 1 deg of HA change makes the bike sooo much better. There probably is an improvement but I bet it is not nearly as huge as claimed.

    After building up and riding a Giant Trance 29 frame can't say I agree with all you said. Years back I was a bit of a holdout, but I've come along. About the only thing I don't agree with is the super steep STAs. Otherwise, longer reach and slacker HTAs are where it's at.

    This bike I just built up is so ridiculously competent across the board. It light, super fast, but also very capable on steep stuff. The shorter travel out back makes it snappy and a great pedaler. Our trails are about as tight as they get. All chunk, with brutal climbs - a place where'd you would think a slack bike would do poorly, but it does not. This thing just rips. No joke.

  12. #12
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    New Trance 29 looks very interesting. My first 29 was the first version of the Giant Anthem 29 aluminum, 2011 if I remember right. I was one of the first of my riding buddies to get a 29. I went from one of the guys to dropping everyone like a prom dress!

    Within 6 months nobody was riding 26Ē wheels and I went back to being one of the guys!

    Giant has made some legit bikes. My late 80ís Cadex hardtail was pretty amazing bike.

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    Where in FL do you ride? If you're local to me and it fits, you're welcome to test ride my large Ripley V4. I have it build up @ 25.3lbs with pedals, 2.6" tires and 175mm dropper.

  14. #14
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    Central East coast. My local trail is Ft Pierce and Large is my size! Would love to take you up on that. 25lbs with dropper post is exactly what Iím looking for.

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    I ride the Fort all the time. I'm in Palm City. Sending you a PM now.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Rager View Post
    >>>Light Trail/Agressive XC bike options?<<<

    You mean 'downcountry' bikes?
    Mic drop


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    Because Florida:

    Epic evo
    Blur TR
    Both are rockets.

    And look at the ďnew newĒ

    Ď19 top fuel
    Sniper Trail (if you are well under 200 pounds)
    Giant Trance 29





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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    This is true! Most of the trails around here have many sections that are possible to ride with 780mm+ bar but you barely clear it.
    Would love to see videos of this. I'm not saying you need wider handlebars than 780 by any means, but I weave my bars in between trees on a few trails and come close on others, not to mention some places I go to on vacation that are tight and twisty at speed, like a return of the jedi speeder-scene type deal. Having ridden in some of these places where this is supposed to exist, I'm still trying to understand where you need real narrow bars, where the trails really are that close.

    Anyway, I wouldn't overdo it, 120mm is a real sweet spot for a 29er. Even on the front end. Also don't let people convince you that you need some stupid slack HTA, that's one of the things that will make lightning fast tree-avoidance maneuvers harder and it's fun to have a nice fast, crisp handling bike you can throw into turns at high speed. I love DHing and I savor every second, but it's also tons of fun to ride an XC bike where you corner at speeds that you just can't match on the enduro bike, except all out downhill, and even then it's totally a totally different thing IME. Would also stay away from something like the Epic, which has the suspension-harshner brain device...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Would love to see videos of this. I'm not saying you need wider handlebars than 780 by any means, but I weave my bars in between trees on a few trails and come close on others, not to mention some places I go to on vacation that are tight and twisty at speed, like a return of the jedi speeder-scene type deal. Having ridden in some of these places where this is supposed to exist, I'm still trying to understand where you need real narrow bars, where the trails really are that close.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJSnoozer View Post
    Austin, Texas

    Gnar gnar and twisty Juniper trees. 720 will clear almost everything. 700 you can go real fast and only bust pinkies from time to time. I wear armored gloves because itís so tight.




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    Oh yeah, I rode there a year back. I didn't have the wide (normal) bars on this particular bike yet, but was no problem at 740. Is it kind of like the exposure thing where people get more psyched-out than anything?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Oh yeah, I rode there a year back. I didn't have the wide (normal) bars on this particular bike yet, but was no problem at 740. Is it kind of like the exposure thing where people get more psyched-out than anything?
    Most of the high exposure would only have a tree on one side and you would just lean the bike. There are plenty of old school Ridge riding trails that run you through a tree gate intentionally and probably with a ledge of limestone to navigate at the same time.

    Most of the stuff thatís on a fast downhill is getting cutout by bros. The trees also sag after rain and move into the trail which makes things interesting! There are hundreds of miles of off grid trails. Hit me up if you are ever in town again.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Would love to see videos of this. I'm not saying you need wider handlebars than 780 by any means, but I weave my bars in between trees on a few trails and come close on others, not to mention some places I go to on vacation that are tight and twisty at speed, like a return of the jedi speeder-scene type deal. Having ridden in some of these places where this is supposed to exist, I'm still trying to understand where you need real narrow bars, where the trails really are that close.

    Anyway, I wouldn't overdo it, 120mm is a real sweet spot for a 29er. Even on the front end.
    Jayem, there are a couple spots on my local 6mi loop that have short steep up and down. Itís Florida jungle/swamp and side of trail is so thick itís impassable, thatís how close trees are and getting chest on the bars is the only way a taller rider will clear some of those lower limbs. Club rotates trail direction every other day. 2 sections I get off my bike to clear and the 780mm bars fit thru but maybe inch on each side between trees. These sections you are either flying down or winding up for speed on the uphill day. Slow is not option if youíre riding it. Another section before a narrow bridge that crosses a perpetual mud swamp is a sharp turn with same tree width. I can clear this as itís flat slower section. Most local riders who donít trim bars have bar end/cap scrapes on the 780+ bars.

    I agree about the 120 travel! I went overboard with 160. I still would like to try 130/140 with more sag as the big travel is nice on wrists. I was sponsored skateboarding team rider back in 70ís and broke both wrists from park and pool riding, both clavicles from bike crashes, plates and screws there and other body parts, so I got ďspecial needsĒ lol!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post

    The topic of suspension/weight/performance is really what gear heads will never stop discussing and thanks to R&D and tech it changes faster than ever and bikes are better than ever.
    This was part of my point when I said, "No need to hurry, they'll just keep getting better."
    In 2016, I didn't like the 29ers on the market AND I was a weight weenie.
    I too, ended up with a Trance Pro 29 and lightened it up considerably. In your area, you can probably afford to weight weenie it out. In the Wasatch, I've seen the light. I went from a set of light tires to a 2.6 DHF/2.5 Aggressor combo. Initially, this was for Moab trips, but after setting a PR on a 9 mile 2000+ foot climb on them, I'm no longer tied to weight alone. At least, not out here. The new crop of 29ers and the new designs, though they entail subtle individual changes, have a huge overall impact on the fun factor. That will only improve!

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    I get where you're coming from.
    My suggestion for what you described would be to check out a Devinci Django 29. They are 130/120 bikes, updated geo with awesome suspension design a la DW. Pedals very efficiently and can handle some decent chunk. Weights vary but can be had easily under 29 pounds (less if you upgrade wheels etc)

    To you're earlier point. I want a Django but am very happy riding my 2014 Atlas Carbon RC (its the predecessor to Django, a 120/110 bike) and the Atlas has like a 69degree head angle, 72degree seat tube angle and still rides perfect for my "downcountry" trails.

  25. #25
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    my current experience w/new geometry has me thinking that steep seat tube angles and long reach=hard to get hand position comfortable on the flats (Florida?). ....

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RS VR6 View Post
    If you can find some 2018 Ripley LS's...they are still really good bikes. I picked one up for my GF about a month ago. After trying both the LS and V4...she picked the LS. I asked why she liked the LS more...she just said that it was more comfortable to pedal. IMO...if you don't have a bunch of long steep downhills...a sled length bike really isn't necessary.

    Realistically...I don't think there are bad bikes in the 120mm segment. It'll be up to you on which particular geo you get along best with.
    This. I currently on a Ripley V4, but I'm going to give it a month or so and see if I mesh with it. I'm in MD so lots of quick up and down, but no long climbs with long downhills. So we'll see how it works out.

    There are a bunch of new nice 120mm bikes out. Intense Sniper, Fezzari Signal Peak, Orbea Oiz, Spot Ryve. These have slightly more modern geo without going as far as the new Ripley.

    If I had the spare cash, I'd go ahead and buy a Ripley LS before they're all gone as a back up incase the new Ripley doesn't work out for me.
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  27. #27
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    If your trails are anything like Alafia then a 29+ HT should be on your radar IMO...So much fun and you can carry speed like nobody's business.
    Niner Jet 9 RDO, Scalpel 29, XTC 650b, 04 Stumpjumper FSR Pro, Trek Rigid SS - No suspension, no gears....no problem

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    Ride in Florida, demo in Florida.

    Hard to find bikes with a high B.B., look at stats, consider shorter cranks.

    Short travel 29er for fast and flowy.

    Trek Fuel EX: 120/130, 335/345 B.B.
    Ibis Ripley 4: 120/130, 335 B.B.
    GG Trail Pistol: 120/130, 340 B.B.

    Seriously, few bikes have ďhigh B.B.ísĒ, most are 335-345mm, only Lenz has a super high B.B. and thatís probably not a bike youíd consider.

    Iíd love to believe the hype, but it seems like every bike is ďthe bestĒ, every rider is their own fanboi.

    Lightweight and short travel will not be as soft and supple as your current bike.

    Things to consider in order to make a short travel bike more comfy: plus tires, coil suspension.

    But yeah, demo where you live.
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  29. #29
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    I was in the market for a bike like this, and demoed quite a few.

    +1 for the Trance 29er - fantastic and fun bike.

    Also consider a Scott Spark. They fly under the radar a bit but are broadly in keeping with modern geo trends and also a fun & fast bike to ride. Also comparatively light, and as long as you don't mind a handlebar birds nest, the switchable travel (120mm-90mm-0mm) is actually really good.

    That said, then I demoed an Ibis Ripmo and bought one of those instead...

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    This was part of my point when I said, "No need to hurry, they'll just keep getting better."
    In 2016, I didn't like the 29ers on the market AND I was a weight weenie.
    I too, ended up with a Trance Pro 29 and lightened it up considerably. In your area, you can probably afford to weight weenie it out. In the Wasatch, I've seen the light. I went from a set of light tires to a 2.6 DHF/2.5 Aggressor combo. Initially, this was for Moab trips, but after setting a PR on a 9 mile 2000+ foot climb on them, I'm no longer tied to weight alone. At least, not out here. The new crop of 29ers and the new designs, though they entail subtle individual changes, have a huge overall impact on the fun factor. That will only improve!
    Something most people don't know is how light that Trance frame is.

    My frame with a piggy back shock, headset cups, seat collar, in a large, weighed less than 6 pounds.

    The thing really is amazing.

  31. #31
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    My first new bike in many years is 5 degrees slacker, 5 inches longer, 5 inches higher, and 5 pounds heavier than my old bike, which seems to be the norm for new bikes. Itís a nice bike, but too much of a porker for me to keep, so by the end of the year it must loose 5 pounds, or it will be replaced with something weighing 25# or less.

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    Since we are talking about all the internet info it has been said that SC will release a new Tallboy this year with 120 in the rear. You could also look into the SC 5010 which has 130/130 on 27.5+ wheels which would help bite into that FL sand. The 2020 Trek Top Fuel is 115/120 also and may be easier to swing a leg over for a spin, outside on trying matt.s67's Ripley, which is on my radar.

    I had fun on my Blur TR while in Orlando for a couple weeks riding trails from Santos to Alafia and all in between. It may be a little stiffer than you are looking for and after playing on all the wood features down there it made me want for a little more travel myself.

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    You can tweak your bb height with offset bushings and/or a 5mm shorter crank.

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    Man, I gotta follow this... 100% my dilemma right now! Definitely need some climbing capability, though. Not sure I can make the best call without trying to ride all the makes/models I can locally while listening to everyone else's experiences. Maybe there's a consensus of sorts that can be gleaned from this thread, I dunno. Outerbike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwlee View Post
    My first new bike in many years is 5 degrees slacker, 5 inches longer, 5 inches higher, and 5 pounds heavier than my old bike, which seems to be the norm for new bikes. Itís a nice bike, but too much of a porker for me to keep, so by the end of the year it must loose 5 pounds, or it will be replaced with something weighing 25# or less.
    My Pivot 5.7 26er from years ago was 24.5 pounds. Then I went to a Yeti SB5c that comes in at 26.5 pounds and I immediately started posting PR's. Last fall, when I got on a 32 pound beast of a Giant Trance 29 alloy demo, I posted a 45 minute climb that was faster than my best on the Yeti. Now, on my Trance Pro 29, with big, heavy tires at about 28 pounds, I'm faster up and down than on either of my previous bikes. I'm also making tight climbing switchbacks on it that were harder on either of the two previous bikes, in spite of a 5" increase in wheelbase between my 26 and 29.

    You may have other concerns or requirements, but weight alone has not been a factor for me. Wheelbase increase, within limits, have been offset by design changes. Slacker HTA's have made the downs way more fun.

    If you are on a bike that has a 5" increase in WB and a 5 degree slacker HTA, though, that's a huge change. And 5" higher?
    My Pivot 5.7 had an HTA of 68.7 degrees. My Trance 29 is 66.5 degrees, so unless you went from a dedicated 26 XC race bike to a long travel downhill bike, I'm not sure how you're getting a 5 degree decrease in HTA. My Trance 29 seat is 1/2 inch LOWER off the ground than on my 26er.

    What bikes are you comparing?

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    I currently live on the west coast but my family is "back east" in Mass and Florida. I just demo'd an Epic EVO on the trails on Cape Cod which is constant up and down over roots and rocks and through tight trees and I thought it was the perfect setup (except for the tires). I would think that it would work just as great at places like Graham Swamp and other notable Florida trails.

    Note that I'm not necessarily recommending the Epic specifically, just the more XCish short-travel and steeper HA configuration with narrower bar width. A lot of the 120-130 bikes still have the long WB and slacker HA that is great for long descents and long climbs. But I don't think you appreciate the difference a quick handling bike makes until you've made 40 steep climbs and descents in a 3 mile loop, all while squeezing through trees and dodging spider webs every 5 feet.

  37. #37
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    Long term review, Giant Trance Pro 29 1 in Florida:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWgpU2DuxQo&t=261s

    My only comments, are that I ride fully open front and back with my biggest hit rides being in Moab. Running about 28-30% sag and not changing pressures for Moab, on Bull Run and Ahab, I used full travel front and back but never bottomed out. I know, I sound like a Giant salesman, but I think any new shorter travel 29 trail bike is going to be in the sweet spot for trail riding.

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    Take a look at the Bashee Phantom. I always seem to recommend this bike when people are ask for a frame that blurs XC. Short travel in an bigger riding 29er package. Pedals well with a good suspension design, has newish geo (since you stated you have an aversion to completely progressive geo). It's pretty modular too - you could tune the geo to your liking. I am prone to think it would kill it in FL.

  39. #39
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    I'm confused...what is wrong with your old bike?

    I have a new E29 Enduro. All carbon, coil suspension. My favorite bike. Totally awesome to ride out here in California where an easy ride is 100'/mile. Mile local trail is 200'/mile. But even still, my 2015 XC HT with a 100mm fork has taken bigger hits and jumps than I have seen half of the local long travel riding bikes hit. Hell, I remember passing a guy on a 150mm bike when he bypassed a set of jumps that I took on my XC bike with rigid post!

    So, why upgrade? You liked it. Sounds like you really liked it. It did the job for you. You didn't perceive anything wrong with it. Then you 'upgraded' and were less happy. So why not stay on the old bike?

    FYI, modern XC race bikes are amazingly trail capable. A friend of mine who regularly rides a 170 bike, damn good rider (comes from enduro style dirt bikes) loves to ride his 120/100mm XC bike on trail rides.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    My Pivot 5.7 26er from years ago was 24.5 pounds. Then I went to a Yeti SB5c that comes in at 26.5 pounds and I immediately started posting PR's. Last fall, when I got on a 32 pound beast of a Giant Trance 29 alloy demo, I posted a 45 minute climb that was faster than my best on the Yeti. Now, on my Trance Pro 29, with big, heavy tires at about 28 pounds, I'm faster up and down than on either of my previous bikes. I'm also making tight climbing switchbacks on it that were harder on either of the two previous bikes, in spite of a 5" increase in wheelbase between my 26 and 29.

    You may have other concerns or requirements, but weight alone has not been a factor for me. Wheelbase increase, within limits, have been offset by design changes. Slacker HTA's have made the downs way more fun.

    If you are on a bike that has a 5" increase in WB and a 5 degree slacker HTA, though, that's a huge change. And 5" higher?
    My Pivot 5.7 had an HTA of 68.7 degrees. My Trance 29 is 66.5 degrees, so unless you went from a dedicated 26 XC race bike to a long travel downhill bike, I'm not sure how you're getting a 5 degree decrease in HTA. My Trance 29 seat is 1/2 inch LOWER off the ground than on my 26er.

    What bikes are you comparing?
    Yes, coming from an old school cross country race bike, used for light trail riding, too a modern trail hardtail. 72 degrees minus 67 degrees equals 5 degrees. Weights determined by scale and all dimensions determined by tape measure. Thereís been a slow, but inexorable creep in mountain bike weight and size over the years thatís probably not as noticeable to someone who buys a new bike more often.

    The increase in size is tolerable because thereís a commensurate increase in some aspects of a modern mountain bikeís performance that I can use, but the weight isnít. Essentially, the bike is overbuilt for my needs, and I need to lighten it up by selectively replacing components to tailor the bike to my terrain and riding style.

    Alternatively, the same bike is offered in carbon fiber with lighter, higher quality components. Havenít decided which way to go yet, but either route will be expensive. I understood what I was getting into when I bought the bike though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schulze View Post
    You can tweak your bb height with offset bushings and/or a 5mm shorter crank.
    This ^, the OP might even be riding a 175mm crank, so going to a 165mm crank would be nearly a 1/2" of additional root clerance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm confused...what is wrong with your old bike?

    I have a new E29 Enduro. All carbon, coil suspension. My favorite bike. Totally awesome to ride out here in California where an easy ride is 100'/mile. Mile local trail is 200'/mile. But even still, my 2015 XC HT with a 100mm fork has taken bigger hits and jumps than I have seen half of the local long travel riding bikes hit. Hell, I remember passing a guy on a 150mm bike when he bypassed a set of jumps that I took on my XC bike with rigid post!

    So, why upgrade? You liked it. Sounds like you really liked it. It did the job for you. You didn't perceive anything wrong with it. Then you 'upgraded' and were less happy. So why not stay on the old bike?

    FYI, modern XC race bikes are amazingly trail capable. A friend of mine who regularly rides a 170 bike, damn good rider (comes from enduro style dirt bikes) loves to ride his 120/100mm XC bike on trail rides.
    It's too big, too much, too heavy, etc...

    He also wants the "magic bike", which is what we are all chasing, but in reality does not exist.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    It's too big, too much, too heavy, etc...

    He also wants the "magic bike", which is what we are all chasing, but in reality does not exist.
    Nailed it bro!

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    Pivot Trail 429. Great bike.

  45. #45
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    Also, good point ďDemo where you rideĒ.

    My demos were in Utah on amazing trails in perfect conditions. Coming from Florida, most all the bikes I tried were great, and part of my post was the futility testing bikes in epic MTB terrain when your every day trails are really fun but not in same league. Kinda like demo surfboard at sick point break when your local spot is beach break.

    Some great insight on newer bikes, Ripley V4, new Giant Trance 29 and Devinci Django are looking good. Most stuff Iíve seen/read has the Ripley on top so far. I lived in Santa Cruz for 4 years going to college and that area has always been a magical place for MTB design, a lot of revolutionary ideas came out of that special place.

    Thanks for all the cool feedback!

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannyfnz View Post
    Pivot Trail 429. Great bike.
    Yes!

    Guy I met on Strava, snowboard and MTB guy, is on a Pivot and he shreds on that bike. He travels around from NC, AZ to Montana. That is one versatile trail bike. Wish I could demo that bike!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I'm confused...what is wrong with your old bike?.
    Not much, but...

    It had press fit BB and I was starting to get some creaking. Might have been pivot bolts too but Iím a threaded BB guy. I like the idea of grease and screwing threads. Dry humping and pounding the carbon frame doesnít turn me on 😉🤠.

    2 - Speaking of pivot bolts, the Jet had one on drive side that would get loose and needed to be checked almost every ride. And yes I used the right loctite and followed the routine Niner advised.

    3 - The 10 speed and Arch wheel set was fine but I wanted nicer, stiffer carbon wheels and if I upgraded they wouldnít work on any new bike as everything now is boost.

    4 - the 120 32 fork was a Sid which was very good but at my weight 185 with out gear, I could feel the flex. Performance was more on race side than playful which the fork was probably designed for. It was definitely fast and light but I couldnít dial it in to my liking which made it dive with more sag and was too stiff and but flexy (does that make sense?) with less sag. 32mm is better for racers or light riders imo.

    Finally as Nurse Ben said, Iím looking for magic bike that doesnít exist. But Iím gonna scratch that itch.

    Maybe Iíll do scientific video like the ďHot - CrazyĒ graphic analysis of women and apply those principles to mountain bikes 🤣.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Not much, but...

    It had press fit BB and I was starting to get some creaking. Might have been pivot bolts too but Iím a threaded BB guy. I like the idea of grease and screwing threads. Dry humping and pounding the carbon frame doesnít turn me on 😉🤠.

    2 - Speaking of pivot bolts, the Jet had one on drive side that would get loose and needed to be checked almost every ride. And yes I used the right loctite and followed the routine Niner advised.

    3 - The 10 speed and Arch wheel set was fine but I wanted nicer, stiffer carbon wheels and if I upgraded they wouldnít work on any new bike as everything now is boost.

    4 - the 120 32 fork was a Sid which was very good but at my weight 185 with out gear, I could feel the flex. Performance was more on race side than playful which the fork was probably designed for. It was definitely fast and light but I couldnít dial it in to my liking which made it dive with more sag and was too stiff and but flexy (does that make sense?) with less sag. 32mm is better for racers or light riders imo.

    Finally as Nurse Ben said, Iím looking for magic bike that doesnít exist. But Iím gonna scratch that itch.

    Maybe Iíll do scientific video like the ďHot - CrazyĒ graphic analysis of women and apply those principles to mountain bikes 🤣.
    Unfortunately a threaded BB is going to limit you. Yea I know everyone on here say PF is fine, but I'm like you- no thanks and I shouldn't have to buy a band-aid BB that screws together on a 3k+ frame.
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Unfortunately a threaded BB is going to limit you. Yea I know everyone on here say PF is fine, but I'm like you- no thanks and I shouldn't have to buy a band-aid BB that screws together on a 3k+ frame.
    Don't get me wrong, people have every right to prefer a threaded to PF BB. One poster mentioned the ease of removing the threaded BB to run cables and such, and that's legit, for sure.

    But I've owned 4 carbon bikes with PF BB's (can't comment on alloy) and I've had plenty of times where I had creaking. I've always suspected the BB....and it has NEVER been the PF BB that was the culprit. I just yesterday removed and replaced a PF BB on one of my bikes and it's a breeze, but you do have to have specialized tools for the job. I've also had threaded BB's and never had problems with those either.

    I tend to pull the cranks off and clean the interface regularly regardless of BB design, maybe that helps, and I'm in a very dry climate.

    For the OP, based on your preference for a threaded, I'd pass on the Giant (which is a shame, IMO) and go Ibis or Santa Cruz, or the new Niner, as those do have threaded BB's. If you are adverse to PF, you'll just never be happy with one, I suspect.

  50. #50
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    Update for those interested in comparison, and perfect example of the benefit of this forum. Got chance to demo Large Ibis Ripley V4.

    Forum contributor Matt S is local rider who has ridden a few Ripley models as well as Santa Cruz Blur in his quiver of bikes. Skilled rider who knows the geo numbers and different component groups in their latest iterations. Dude has shock Wiz on this Ripley and has the rebound/compression dialed in for his weight and riding. He probably makes way more on his day job but could easily work for high end bike brand as R&D and team bike tester. Felt like I had personal factory rep for bike demo.

    Got the chance to ride Matt Sís Ripley V4 on my local trail so legit demo. Iím taller and only slightly lighter so only adjustment was seat post height. He told me size large was probably gonna be on tight side for my 6í2Ē height and he was right. It rode fine but I knew XL was proper size for me. Valuable info I didnít get from size/geo chart.

    Bike was tricked out with latest SRAM electronic drive train, Shimano brakes, Fox suspension and Ibis carbon/I9 wheels. Light, smooth and solid. Black carbon frame and gold Kashima parts look great. Bike had pop and handled well thru twisty single track roots, bermed turns, climbs/drops that are typical Florida jungle trail riding.

    Positives:

    Zero pedal strikes! That is huge for me as itís one of the things that pissed me off about most new geo bikes. Acceleration was excellent and the V4 weaved through the twisty single track easily for a bike I wasnít used to and not perfect size frame. Light weight even with 2.6 tires felt great and very nimble.

    Over all this is exactly what Iím looking for, lighter and less travel but still plenty for anything I will ever ride and no pedal strikes.

    There were some cons:

    Size. As Matt guessed the Large is pretty cramped for 6í2Ē rider. Most of my bikes have been size Large and fit well, my current Rip 9 RDO is Large and itís perfect size. The Ibis Large isnít even close and the smaller fork offset makes it even worse for reach. If youíre over 6í donít even think about Large unless you like a short reach bike. Even with 80mm stem it would still be too tight for me and I donít have unusual long torso or arms.

    Shifting. Matt had latest SRAM E shift group and it was amazing how quickly you could dump gears but I wasnít used to it and just slight pressure from my glove unintentionally would shift gears when I didnít want it. Nothing wrong with this except for operator error but it would take me a long time to get used to it and shifter placement is very critical as only slight touch will engage the shift. Kinda messed up the flow of this very smooth bike. Iím not sure I could adjust as Iím so used to pushing/pulling my Shimano mechanical stuff. His KS Lev dropper post had some play at the seat rails, not much but my year older KS dropper post is still solid so not sure if mine or his is norm.

    These cons are picking nits as 99% of the bike was positive and ride really did live up to hype.

    Awesome to meet cool rider thru the forum I probably never would have met otherwise, and he let me ride his new tricked high end trail weapon. Thanks again Matt!

    Yeuwwwww!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Update for those interested in comparison, and perfect example of the benefit of this forum. Got chance to demo Large Ibis Ripley V4.

    Forum contributor Matt S is local rider who has ridden a few Ripley models as well as Santa Cruz Blur in his quiver of bikes. Skilled rider who knows the geo numbers and different component groups in their latest iterations. Dude has shock Wiz on this Ripley and has the rebound/compression dialed in for his weight and riding. He probably makes way more on his day job but could easily work for high end bike brand as R&D and team bike tester. Felt like I had personal factory rep for bike demo.

    Got the chance to ride Matt Sís Ripley V4 on my local trail so legit demo. Iím taller and only slightly lighter so only adjustment was seat post height. He told me size large was probably gonna be on tight side for my 6í2Ē height and he was right. It rode fine but I knew XL was proper size for me. Valuable info I didnít get from size/geo chart.

    Bike was tricked out with latest SRAM electronic drive train, Shimano brakes, Fox suspension and Ibis carbon/I9 wheels. Light, smooth and solid. Black carbon frame and gold Kashima parts look great. Bike had pop and handled well thru twisty single track roots, bermed turns, climbs/drops that are typical Florida jungle trail riding.

    Positives:

    Zero pedal strikes! That is huge for me as itís one of the things that pissed me off about most new geo bikes. Acceleration was excellent and the V4 weaved through the twisty single track easily for a bike I wasnít used to and not perfect size frame. Light weight even with 2.6 tires felt great and very nimble.

    Over all this is exactly what Iím looking for, lighter and less travel but still plenty for anything I will ever ride and no pedal strikes.

    There were some cons:

    Size. As Matt guessed the Large is pretty cramped for 6í2Ē rider. Most of my bikes have been size Large and fit well, my current Rip 9 RDO is Large and itís perfect size. The Ibis Large isnít even close and the smaller fork offset makes it even worse for reach. If youíre over 6í donít even think about Large unless you like a short reach bike. Even with 80mm stem it would still be too tight for me and I donít have unusual long torso or arms.

    Shifting. Matt had latest SRAM E shift group and it was amazing how quickly you could dump gears but I wasnít used to it and just slight pressure from my glove unintentionally would shift gears when I didnít want it. Nothing wrong with this except for operator error but it would take me a long time to get used to it and shifter placement is very critical as only slight touch will engage the shift. Kinda messed up the flow of this very smooth bike. Iím not sure I could adjust as Iím so used to pushing/pulling my Shimano mechanical stuff. His KS Lev dropper post had some play at the seat rails, not much but my year older KS dropper post is still solid so not sure if mine or his is norm.

    These cons are picking nits as 99% of the bike was positive and ride really did live up to hype.

    Awesome to meet cool rider thru the forum I probably never would have met otherwise, and he let me ride his new tricked high end trail weapon. Thanks again Matt!

    Yeuwwwww!
    Yes, the Ripley runs small and I think that has always been the case. I am 6"1 and fit easily on a XL. To me, it is a great example of what 29er are really capable of. Fast and fun.
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  52. #52
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    My brother just got a NIB 2018 Carbon 27.5 Django. I built it up for him and took it for a spin, super nice bike, light and efficient, very nice riding suspension if you like DW (I do).

    I like Devinci, had a couple Atlas and a Hendrix, real nice bikes, aluminum frames welded in CAN.

    Only downside is tire clearance, donít think a 2.6 will fit, maybe a 2.5 but hard to say in a 29Ē.

    I bet that new Ripley is Sweet, kinda surprised it fits small ....

    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    Also, good point ďDemo where you rideĒ.

    My demos were in Utah on amazing trails in perfect conditions. Coming from Florida, most all the bikes I tried were great, and part of my post was the futility testing bikes in epic MTB terrain when your every day trails are really fun but not in same league. Kinda like demo surfboard at sick point break when your local spot is beach break.

    Some great insight on newer bikes, Ripley V4, new Giant Trance 29 and Devinci Django are looking good. Most stuff Iíve seen/read has the Ripley on top so far. I lived in Santa Cruz for 4 years going to college and that area has always been a magical place for MTB design, a lot of revolutionary ideas came out of that special place.

    Thanks for all the cool feedback!
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  53. #53
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    I agree, the raked out head angles might work for burmed turns but not much grip other wise. The current trends are just the latest fashion in the industry. 5 years from now, the industry fashion might be back with 3x 8 and 26 wheels or 26.5 wheels.
    Moving the seattube more upright will result in lengthening the rear triangle for more grip. Recently rented a Pivot 429 trail. worked fine on banked turns but on flat or offcamber turns did not get any grip. Keeping my Turner Czar with a 70HA and 2x.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by BacDoc View Post
    But...

    All these new bikes are heavy! Yes they pedal lighter than their weight but I started to notice on extended rides and just moving the bike around. Here in Florida especially summer, the heat is brutal and fatigue factor high as your heart rate at 90 degrees/90% humidity. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new frames/suspension are a little heavy"

    Also, pedal strikes! I hit so hard I've almost gone over bars just going straight and fast. Thought I could get used to it but after a year of riding it's only a little better. When I mentioned my bros said "Oh yeah these new bikes all pedal strike, but you get used to it."
    I'm thinking there may be other things there, too.

    I recently pedaled my (carbon) Smuggler 140 miles in 3 days on the Kokopelli Trail, which includes lots of single track, climbing and heavy chunk, especially on Porcupine. I'm thinking that qualifies as an "extended ride" and I didn't notice any weight disadvantage. And on our trails out here in WA where I ride regularly anywhere from 2 hours to all day (coaching at kid's MTB camp), I can climb at the end of the day and week just as well as the first morning. And moving the bike around is easy and natural. Yeah, it did take a few rides to make it that way, but once you get it, moving the bike isn't even something you think about.

    Oh, and my 13 year old daughter pedaled her Al Scout with me on that ride and had no issues climbing, riding extended length spins and, of course moving the bike around. That bike is heavier than my Smuggler by 3-5#.

  55. #55
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    You mentioned that you want something ďlighterĒ... what do you consider lighter? The new Ripley can be built at 24lbs but costs both kidneys or the same frame with NX etc can be 28+ lbs. The same goes for many of these other bikes being recommended. So weight will have to go along with how deep you plan to dig into your pockets. Unless of course you already have all the lightweight bits already and just need the frame.
    Last edited by cue003; 07-14-2019 at 11:08 AM.

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    The next "big thing" will be aggressive short travel modern geo bikes. There are a few right now, and you will see all you other favorite 120mm travel bikes morph into this. Groan all you want about the new geo trend but there is a very good reason for this:

    The modern geo renaissance started with 130-160 trail/AM/enduro bikes, where it was needed most. At the same time suspension tech has improved leaps and bounds just in the past few years. The result is a 'mid-travel' bike nowadays is a completely different and capable beast. I suspect all the moaning and groaning about the new geo is all of us salty old timers expect a 130-150 travel bike to be ridden on a certain type of terrain- truth is the categories are being redefined. We're experiencing being over biked.

    The recent build of my 140/150mm travel modern geo 29er is a prime example of this. It's coiled front and rear. It doesn't even flinch at speed on terrain here in So Cal that I used to have to walk my old 130mm trail bike down. But it's 34 pounds and not that fun on climbs/epics, not spritely, and boring on more mild trails. Even if it were down to 31/32# I suspect it would still feel the same. Whats even crazier I hooked up a Suss my bike device to the rear coil and I only use 75-80% of the 140mm available travel. That means I'm only using 115-120mm max.

    Enter new bike #2. Similar geo to my new 29er. 150mm travel fork, 27.5+ "hardcore hardtail". ~28 pounds. I straight up FLY on this bike. I haven't ridden a hardtail in 8 years and this thing shits on everything uphill, downhill and especially on everything in between. On uphill minute long sprint segments it's shaved off 15-20 seconds. On segments of mixed up/down/flow/chunk its taken a minute or two off 15 min. segments. On downhills I'm in the average range of all my 29er times- it's just much scarier and not as comfortable.

    So anyway if I were to do it all over again it would be a bike right in the middle of these two. 115-120mm rear travel, light-ish at ~28-30 pounds. Think new Trance Advanced 29, new Ripley, etc. but there will be a lot more in this new category soon. I put a lot of emphasis on new category.

    The other thing I'd add is I spent a lot of time (and money lol) adapting to the new geo. I approached it with an open mind, relearned a lot of things, addressed bad habits, or simply learned that I actually didn't have any technique. Checked my ego. I had some really bad crashes, I wanted to sell the damn thing or even quit the sport. But it's clicked and I can confidently ride these things over any type of terrain- especially the ones all the naysayers say you can't ride them on.

    Death to road bike geometry on mountain bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gfourth View Post
    Groan all you want about the new geo trend but there is a very good reason for this:.
    Come out to the East Coast and ride that modern geo on the typical trail that most of us have and then you'll have an understanding. Right now you're riding the trails they were designed for.
    Ripley LS v3
    OG Ripley v2 handed down to son

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    Since you are in FL, I would say majority of your terrain warrants no more than 120m of travel front and rear... 130/140 max travel for front.


    Recommend (marathon class of bikes):

    - Santa Cruz Blur TR
    - Spot Ryve 115
    - Intense Sniper Trail
    - Fezzari Singal peak
    - Scott Spark 900 or 910
    - New Trek Top Fuel's
    - Orbea OIZ TR

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Come out to the East Coast and ride that modern geo on the typical trail that most of us have and then you'll have an understanding. Right now you're riding the trails they were designed for.
    I rarely ride flow trail... mostly natural chunky and tight. Again, it's a different technique with the new modern geo. We were so used to trying to ride that road bike geo off road for years and years. When you ride something actually designed for the mountain you need to adapt and change your technique. It's the indian not the arrow... etc
    Last edited by gfourth; 07-14-2019 at 06:55 AM. Reason: added more detail

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Come out to the East Coast and ride that modern geo on the typical trail that most of us have and then you'll have an understanding. Right now you're riding the trails they were designed for.
    It looks like you're on a Ripley V4. Isn't that a modern geo bike?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    It looks like you're on a Ripley V4. Isn't that a modern geo bike?
    Yes and I've said in other posts, now a days you don't have much choice. I still have my OG Ripley. After more time on the V4 I'll switch back to the OG and decide which to keep.
    Ripley LS v3
    OG Ripley v2 handed down to son

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfourth View Post
    I rarely ride flow trail... mostly natural chunky and tight. Again, it's a different technique with the new modern geo. We were so used to trying to ride that road bike geo off road for years and years. When you ride something actually designed for the mountain you need to adapt and change your technique. It's the indian not the arrow... etc
    You'd be right if that was the issue I have with the bike- it's not. Not sure what you're riding, but the steep seat tube angle is putting a lot more pressure on my hands. I've never spent as much time with my palms on my grips resting my hands on any other bike. I already have alt bars and it's still bad. I'm waiting to see if it gets better, but that has nothing to do with 'technique'. It's the same with the knee pain. Experiencing more of it riding the V4 than any other bike.
    Ripley LS v3
    OG Ripley v2 handed down to son

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by dc40 View Post
    Since you are in FL, I would say majority of your terrain warrants no more than 120m of travel front and rear... 130/140 max travel for front.


    Recommend (marathon class of bikes):

    - Santa Cruz Blur TR
    - Spot Ryve 115
    - Intense Sniper Trail
    - Fezzari Singal peak
    - Scott Spark 900 or 910
    - New Trek Top Fuel's
    - Orbea OIZ TR
    You right!

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfourth View Post
    The next "big thing" will be aggressive short travel modern geo bikes. There are a few right now, and you will see all you other favorite 120mm travel bikes morph into this. Groan all you want about the new geo trend but there is a very good reason for this:

    The modern geo renaissance started with 130-160 trail/AM/enduro bikes, where it was needed most. At the same time suspension tech has improved leaps and bounds just in the past few years. The result is a 'mid-travel' bike nowadays is a completely different and capable beast. I suspect all the moaning and groaning about the new geo is all of us salty old timers expect a 130-150 travel bike to be ridden on a certain type of terrain- truth is the categories are being redefined. We're experiencing being over biked.

    The recent build of my 140/150mm travel modern geo 29er is a prime example of this. It's coiled front and rear. It doesn't even flinch at speed on terrain here in So Cal that I used to have to walk my old 130mm trail bike down. But it's 34 pounds and not that fun on climbs/epics, not spritely, and boring on more mild trails. Even if it were down to 31/32# I suspect it would still feel the same. Whats even crazier I hooked up a Suss my bike device to the rear coil and I only use 75-80% of the 140mm available travel. That means I'm only using 115-120mm max.

    Enter new bike #2. Similar geo to my new 29er. 150mm travel fork, 27.5+ "hardcore hardtail". ~28 pounds. I straight up FLY on this bike. I haven't ridden a hardtail in 8 years and this thing shits on everything uphill, downhill and especially on everything in between. On uphill minute long sprint segments it's shaved off 15-20 seconds. On segments of mixed up/down/flow/chunk its taken a minute or two off 15 min. segments. On downhills I'm in the average range of all my 29er times- it's just much scarier and not as comfortable.

    So anyway if I were to do it all over again it would be a bike right in the middle of these two. 115-120mm rear travel, light-ish at ~28-30 pounds. Think new Trance Advanced 29, new Ripley, etc. but there will be a lot more in this new category soon. I put a lot of emphasis on new category.

    The other thing I'd add is I spent a lot of time (and money lol) adapting to the new geo. I approached it with an open mind, relearned a lot of things, addressed bad habits, or simply learned that I actually didn't have any technique. Checked my ego. I had some really bad crashes, I wanted to sell the damn thing or even quit the sport. But it's clicked and I can confidently ride these things over any type of terrain- especially the ones all the naysayers say you can't ride them on.

    Death to road bike geometry on mountain bikes.
    Great synopsis bro!

    After riding new geo I did learn plenty even after couple decades of Mtb riding. I also came to the conclusion that new geo 120/130 is probably sweet spot for east coast trails. That Ripley V4 demo was the ticket. It felt great and no pedal strikes plus it was easy to get my kind of air, hitting small trail features at speed and leaving earth! Well at least 1í off the dirt lol 😂 bike does have pop!

    Got XL on order - XT build, Ibis Carbon Wheelset and bar, Bike Yoke 185 dropper. Only bummer is the wait but it is Africa hot now and early am road bike is my Florida summer plan until V4 arrives.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Yes and I've said in other posts, now a days you don't have much choice. I still have my OG Ripley. After more time on the V4 I'll switch back to the OG and decide which to keep.
    Could be frame size issue? Both bikes same size? Be interested to see your height/frame size.

    I was really surprised at how small Ibis frame runs as I am ok on Giant, Niner and Trek Large. Maybe at the max end of window but perfectly rideable. Ripley Large wasnít even close. Guy who owns bike I demoíd told me before I rode it the XL would be my size even after I told him I like to ride the smaller frame if Iím in between sizes. He was right.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    You'd be right if that was the issue I have with the bike- it's not. Not sure what you're riding, but the steep seat tube angle is putting a lot more pressure on my hands. I've never spent as much time with my palms on my grips resting my hands on any other bike. I already have alt bars and it's still bad. I'm waiting to see if it gets better, but that has nothing to do with 'technique'. It's the same with the knee pain. Experiencing more of it riding the V4 than any other bike.
    Dude I went through the same thing. I love the steep STA but you must revisit bike fit or you will be too much on the bars like your experiencing:
    • Raising your handlebar height a smidge
    • Lower your seat post a smidge
    • Angle up your seat. If itís pointed down it pushes you towards the bars


    Specific to wrist pain:
    • Bar roll: too far forward and you put more strain on the outside of your palm. Too far back and you put more strain on the inside of your palm.
    • Brake levers: the angle is important- too flat and it puts an awkward bend on your wrist. Also adjust the reach to the lever and try bringing in the lever closer/further.


    I donít think Touch points (grips, bars, seats) are the problem/solution alone. For example most people suggest new grips when wrist pain comes up. But the problem isnít the grips itís overall fit and weight distribution.

    With all these adjustments Iím talking about a few millimeters or degrees making a huge difference. My bike felt pretty dialed and comfortable but I was getting wrist pains and numb ring/pinky fingers. After making these slight tweaks all the pain is gone and Iím balanced on the bike to the point where my hands Ďhoverí at the bars and I feel a lot more comfortable. Itís like walking down the stairs, if youíre death gripping the handrail then something is wrong.

    If those don't work I'll gladly take the v4 Ripley off your hands

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    Listen to gfourth.
    There is no reason that you should get more pain on a newer bike, unless you don't adapt your body position for the geo of the bike.
    If you have to much pressure on your hands, either go to a shorter stem or increase your bar height.
    Get your seat angle dialed, and be sure to use a saddle that fits your current riding position, some are designed for an aggressive pedaling position, some are designed for a more upright position.
    Flatter brake levers reduces arm pump, and if you have problems with your thumbs, it also helps with that, as you rest your weight more on your wrists, and less on your thumbs (think bench press).

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    Same here looking for a 120-130 agressive xc that's 27lbs or less. @140lbs I'm sick of pedaling that extra weight. And don't tell me it doesn't make a difference knocking 15 sec off a .7 mile Strava segment tells me different.

    Anyway I ended up going with this https://forums.mtbr.com/29er-bikes/l...d-1101497.html.
    And am eagerly awaiting delivery. It's the only frame that checked all boxes for me. I'm coming from a Recluse that I would describe as a trail slug. Can't wait.

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