The next 29ER: Druid, Firebird, Ripmo- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    The next 29ER: Druid, Firebird, Ripmo

    Hi,

    I currently have an Ibis Ripmo. My style of riding includes : steeps rocky and technical terrain and some steep loamy terrain. Ideally, this year Iíd like to try my hand at an enduro.

    I find as my riding improves I want to push the limits more and more. I also like having the geometry to assist in this.

    I test rode an HD4 and found the bikeís geometry great but the sizing felt a bit odd. (5í11) - the Ripmo felt better. The 29 ER wheels are also killer for eating up roots etc.
    I found the HD4 felt like an oversized trail bike. It feels best at speed but doesnít need to be traveling at warp speeds and definitely likes the steeps.

    Iím looking at a firebird .. but the reviews say the bike does not come alive unless ridden at EWS speeds. Iím not an EWS racer or expert for that matter. Iíll session stuff and or slowly drop into really steep technical terrain.

    The Druid looks cool.. but the headtube angle looks fairly similar to the Ripmo.

    Any suggestions ?

  2. #2
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    Demo a Firebird, maybe even rent one so you have some time to mess with the suspension. I'd say it's fundamentally true that the longer the suspension travel on a bike, the faster you have to go to make it "come alive" - it's due to the size of the air chambers when you get that much travel. In order to get the bike to a point where it wants to spring back as much as a bike with shorter travel, you have to compress things more. As such, tokens can help a little. When I rode the FB it was easy enough for me to bring it around at lower speeds, I just pushed it into everything I wanted to pop off of. At the end of the day, I knew it was too much bike for where I ride, but it didn't mean I couldn't have fun on it, it's just that having fun on it would be more work than something with less travel. As such, here's a thought for you:

    Do you really feel like you're pushing the limits of the Ripmo, or do you feel like you're pushing your limits? If you're pushing the Ripmo's limits maybe it's time for a bigger bike - and you should throw the Megatower in for consideration too. If, on the other hand, it's your limits you're pushing, you need to figure out why. Is it confidence in the bike? Is it ability to react at given speeds in a straight line as you read the trail? Is it cornering? Maybe you can focus on one aspect of your riding, and get faster on the Ripmo.

    The bottom line is, terrain+speed is going to determine what any given bike feels like, where it comes alive, and where the bike's limits are (ie full use of travel frequently, suspension packing up, etc) with any given setup. While going to a FB will get you an extra 17mm of travel in the rear, you'll only get 10mm more in the front. So you're really at a point where returns will diminish in terms of increasing travel - that's not as dramatic an increase as those same numbers would be if you were coming from say, a 130/150 bike to the 145/160. It's just something to keep in mind when you try to decide if you could maybe do better sticking with a bike you already know rather than trying to learn a new bike.

  3. #3
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    Nothing wrong with your Ripmo for your intended usage. In fact it's a solid top 5 choice in the segment. Sounds like you just want something new.
    I like Mondrakers. So my trail bike choice is the Foxy 29 and if I wanted to race Enduro I'd go with the new Super Foxy. Foxy's are light, modern but not extreme geo, nice balance, centralized center of gravity, great ground clearance, pedal very efficiently, and look great too.

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  4. #4
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    I don't really understand either. You already own one of the nicest bikes on the market and it seems you're relatively new and/or still improving. Have you reached the edges of the Ripmo's performance? Or are you just looking for the next new shiny thing? (By the way, no shame in that if that's what it is. I do it, too.)
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  5. #5
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    I have a druid and I love it, it definitely feels like a longer travel bike in the rough. That being said, I agree with the head angle not being quite as slack as I would like. If I was looking to race enduro I would be ok with using this bike, but I wouldn't buy it for that express purpose just because of the travel and head angle. The composure in the rough is something else though

  6. #6
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    Ripmo definitely ain't an enduro bike. Especially if you're over 180 pounds. It's a long travel XC bike. I would look for something with more a more progressive leverage rate.
    Denver, CO

  7. #7
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    For example?

    So I rode a Ripmo and Iíll agree, itís not what Iíd ride for an Enduro. It felt tall and twitchy, but it climbs fine. It would not be my first choice for descending fast on ugly terrain. That said, many novice enduro races are really not all that ugly on the descent, so it might be just fine.

    Choosing an all around fun and capable bike is different than choosing an enduro race bike that is focused on descent with tolerable climbing characteristics.

    Generally itís better to run what ya got, unless what ya got ainít what ya want, but then itís hard to tell from OPs question what he wants cuz all we know is he likes his Ripmo better than the HD4, but thinks the Ripmo is not the right bike for Enduro racing.

    Something to think about: much of the riding folks do on an all mountain bikes are essentially enduro; climb up, descend as fast as possible, repeat.

    My personal choice would be a Guerrilla Gravity Smash or Megatrail. Supportive climbing platform, stiff frame, descent oriented geo, durable, coil ready. Itís not the plushest for small bumps, but put some steam under you arse and itís a bomb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    Ripmo definitely ain't an enduro bike. Especially if you're over 180 pounds. It's a long travel XC bike. I would look for something with more a more progressive leverage rate.
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  8. #8
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    OP where do you ride? As mentioned the Ripmo is more of a long travel trail bike. If you're riding tighter turns and narrow trails that are chunky. You need to look at your skills and maybe get better with suspension tuning and tire choices. If you have long straights and fast trails than I can see your bike is overwhelm along with the rider.

  9. #9
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    Hey,

    Thanks for all the awesome information.

    Iím really happy with my setup. Iím running a Fox 36 with a grip 2 damper and a luftappe installed. And am happy / comfortable with the suspension setup and I am confident that I can tune the damper for conditions and terrain. The 36 is great at slower speeds but once it gets up to higher speeds the fork is phenomenal.

    I went from larger volume/ faster rolling this year to lower volume, high grip ( WTB Verdict/ Judhe) and DD casings front and back and noticed a significant improvement in my descent times.

    I have found that I have bottomed out my X2.. ( itís a 2018)

    I ride blue, black to easier double black terrain. Geared up I can flirt with the 220 LB range as many rides are hike- a-bikeís which require extra gear. I also work shift work so many of these rides are at night.

    The bike feels great on stuff thatís less to steep. On some steep terrain the feels less confidence inspiring than the HD.

    I ride: Seymour, fromme, cypress, Squamish and the Rockies. - The Rockies are home turf.

    My next door trail center is loamy, technical blue to dark black and double black. Further afield, the trails are technical with loose rock, root gardens etc. I donít find myself on many flow trails.

    Iím looking for something in a 29 ER that feels like an HD4. I didnít feel overwhelmed on that bike at all and it felt great even if I was on trails that werenít as steep.. I just pushed harder and the bike felt amazing. When things got steep, the bike felt confidence inspiring and I felt like I could ride anything. I just missed the rollover on roots. ( and the wanted sizing closer to my ripmo.

    Yup! Thereís an element of wanting to try something new for sure. Iíd swap frames and keep as many parts as I can off my Ripmo.

  10. #10
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    If you like your kit, just buy a frame to replace the Ripmo: GG Smash, Transition Sentinel, Pivot Firebird, etc ...

    You could get enough for the Ripmo frame to pay for half or more of the replacement frame.

    Edit: what do you mean about bottoming out your shock? Thatís not really an indication that you have insufficient suspension, thatís a set up issue. All suspensions can be bottomed out.
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  11. #11
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    I'd get something that is coil friendly and a slacker HTA The rear would stay glued to the ground better. Ripmo AF, GG Smash or Norco Sight.

    With GG working on a long travel 29er you could get the smash and get the chainstay kit when they get it worked out.

  12. #12
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    The next 29ER: Druid, Firebird, Ripmo

    Quote Originally Posted by Dash8driver View Post
    Hey,

    Thanks for all the awesome information.


    Iím looking for something in a 29 ER that feels like an HD4. I didnít feel overwhelmed on that bike at all and it felt great even if I was on trails that werenít as steep.. I just pushed harder and the bike felt amazing. When things got steep, the bike felt confidence inspiring and I felt like I could ride anything. I just missed the rollover on roots. ( and the wanted sizing closer to my ripmo.

    Yup! Thereís an element of wanting to try something new for sure. Iíd swap frames and keep as many parts as I can off my Ripmo.
    Sounds like you want a full on enduro 29er like um, the new Enduro or Pivot Firebird or SC Megatower, Evil Wreckoning, Yeti SB150 etc. These all still climb pretty well but are going to totally straight line smash the descents better than the Ripmo.

    There are a few in the 135-150mm range that are more all-rounders but are perhaps a bit more descending oriented than the Ripmo, like the Fezzari La Sal Peak, GG Smash, new Santa Cruz HT, and Knolly Fugitive LT etc.


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    Last edited by KRob; 12-12-2019 at 05:19 PM.
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  13. #13
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    ďWe have always been drawn to short travel bikes with a gravity bias, so we reached out to our friends in Cumberland, BC to get ourselves the Druid for a few months of riding in Squamish, BC..."

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/gui...t-reviews/3648

    Spoiler alert. It did not disappoint.

    "...we never felt the need to use the compression lever on the shock to help with efficiency and very few can match its technical climbing prowess..."

    "Regardless of what section we rode and how we rode it, the Druid was planted and confidence-inspiring when we dropped our heels, and poppy and playful when we jibbed about. On the shorter punchy bits, the lack of pedal feedback meant we could put power to the ground easily without blowing our feet off, and the shorter-than-usual travel meant we could climb far more efficiently than the enduro bikes that tend to frequent the trail most of the time..."

    "Regardless of feeling a little badly about dragging a 130mm bike up the chairlift, the Druid took rougher trails in stride and was an absolute rocket ship on trails like Ninja Cougar. After being so fun on the rolling, playful trails in Squamish we were impressed that the Druid also felt planted and composed on such high-speed, abusive trails."

    "The Druid makes a strong case as the pound-for-pound most capable bike we have thrown a leg over. It is energetic and nimble at lower speeds, and as the speeds and terrain get more demanding, the bike lengthens and settles into itself. Forbidden has created an extremely versatile bike, and the Druid confirms that the idler excels in applications other than just DH bikes. In a place like the Sea to Sky corridor, the terrain is intimidating enough that many folks rely on a long-travel bike for the handful of gnarly bits within a given ride, but a shorter travel bike like the Druid is capable enough to absorb the heavy impacts, and much more fun everywhere in between."

    "...short travel ďdowncountryĒ bikes do not inspire the same confidence, nor can they withstand the abuse in a place like Squamish. The Forbidden Druid is truly a downhillerís trail bike: capable enough for reckless abandon, efficient enough that a recreational cross-country race is not out of the question and playful enough that mellower trails are still engaging. The Trifecta suspension design is proof that the high idler concept is effective and efficient in places other than the downhill track, and we would bet our bottom dollar that a race-oriented 160mm Forbidden offering would be an absolute weapon. The Druid is a great option for anyone but is best suited to those looking for a mini-DH bike that will allow them to climb efficiently and descend like hooligans."

    That's only one review, but it's tough to find a bad one out there. I am not aware of even one. This review followed a few weeks of riding in Squamish.

    I ordered an 11-6 for my Druid. Next move - Grip2 and Luftkappe for my 36. Should slay come spring.
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  14. #14
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    I did an enduro a few months back on my Ripmo. I finished mid pack. However the winner (or top 3 overall) was on a Ripmo. I have DPX2 and he had a X2. Must be the shock... Or the fact that he is simply better than me.

    Really it was not the bike holding me back. Just me.
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    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I did an enduro a few months back on my Ripmo. I finished mid pack. However the winner (or top 3 overall) was on a Ripmo. I have DPX2 and he had a X2. Must be the shock... Or the fact that he is simply better than me.

    Really it was not the bike holding me back. Just me.
    Yup, it's not the bike ... but the shock, hmmm, could be

    I think the OP is looking for a bike that'll go big, more straight line, so a slacker HTA woudln't hurt.
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  16. #16
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    So why a Druid? I mean, sure, it's an interesting bike, but you're doing a lateral on geo and you're reducing your travel, not sure that makes any sense whatsoever.

    My take: I have ridden 29ers for years, back before there was any such thing, and I like them for what they do well (obstacle bridging), but only a few have made me feel like I wasn't riding a horse: Trek Slash, Transition Sentinel, Kona Process 153.

    In a sense, more travel may not be necessary if you want a fun bike with more aggressive geo that'll handle enduros and still not be a dawg for all day rides, in which case maybe a shorter travel 29er is not a bad thing. I think it'd need to be a burlier bike than the Ripmo, so something like the Knolly Fugitive LT or a GG Trail Pistola.

    I have not ridden a Sight, Megatower, or Firebird. The Yeti thing ain't me.

    I'm not a Santa Cruz fan, I find their suspension to be less than optimal; maybe that's changed.

    Pivot makes great bikes with really good suspension, as does Norco.

    As much as I like GG bikes, they ride firm, so they need to be experienced; demos are hard to find.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    So why a Druid? I mean, sure, it's an interesting bike, but you're doing a lateral on geo and you're reducing your travel, not sure that makes any sense whatsoever...
    I mostly commented because it was expressly referenced in the title of the thread. And because I like to think my bikes are invincible. I thought we all did, at least to some degree

    That said, I sense that a high single pivot 150-160 rear travel missile may be on its way from Forbidden very soon. Maybe that would fit the bill a little better...
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  18. #18
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    Most people would say more is a good thing 👍

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I mostly commented because it was expressly referenced in the title of the thread. And because I like to think my bikes are invincible. I thought we all did, at least to some degree

    That said, I sense that a high single pivot 150-160 rear travel missile may be on its way from Forbidden very soon. Maybe that would fit the bill a little better...
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  19. #19
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    So many good bikes right now. If you want a true smash and grab type of bike then big options are Firebird, Megatower, Enduro, Pole, etc. If you want a more allrounder then the Hightower, Ripmo, SJ Evo, Druid and others. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, specific feel around the suspension, air vs coil compatibility and a multitude of other pieces in the puzzle. You will gain more in going with a progressive geo mid travel bike vs a progressive long travel bike as a new rider. Compare the Enduro to the SJ Evo at 170 vs 140 travel. The Evo is actually slacker than the Enduro, but the Enduro may pedal better despite more travel. You will gain a lot more skill on the Evo vs the Enduro though and personally I rode the Evo at Whistler and did not feel under gunned anywhere except the true double black diamond trails. Even then at lower speeds I was fine (well maybe not fine, but I didn't die).

    For racing, it depends on your terrain. Are the trails steep and rough or do they have more pedaling? What are your personal strengths, weaknesses, preferences, etc. A lot to think about for sure, but part of maturing as a rider is starting to conceptualize all of these things and then making equipment choices based on how the puzzle goes together for you as an individual.

  20. #20
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    Personally I'd just throw a Works angleset on the Ripmo and maybe long-stroke the fork and call it good. But if it really isn't fast enough for you I'm surprised the SB150 hasn't been mentioned... slack, long, low, speed demon. I was like Nurse Ben... "The Yeti thing aint me" but then I "actually" rode one. As much as I dislike the brand... you won't find a better bike for what you're after and they climb better too. I honestly didn't want to like the Switch Infinity system but it just flat out works and better than any DW link bike (I've owned those too) both up and down. It's like getting extra travel on the downs and just doesn't bob on climbs. The SB150 was made specifically for Enduro Racing; try a demo, I'd be really surprised if you didn't like it.

    Have FUN!

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    I'm surprised the SB150 hasn't been mentioned...

    G MAN
    I may have mentioned it.


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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Personally I'd just throw a Works angleset on the Ripmo and maybe long-stroke the fork and call it good. But if it really isn't fast enough for you I'm surprised the SB150 hasn't been mentioned... slack, long, low, speed demon. I was like Nurse Ben... "The Yeti thing aint me" but then I "actually" rode one. As much as I dislike the brand... you won't find a better bike for what you're after and they climb better too. I honestly didn't want to like the Switch Infinity system but it just flat out works and better than any DW link bike (I've owned those too) both up and down. It's like getting extra travel on the downs and just doesn't bob on climbs. The SB150 was made specifically for Enduro Racing; try a demo, I'd be really surprised if you didn't like it.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Yeah, I hear ya, they are quality bikes no doubt, but they're just not me. I'm not that convinced that any bike has a suspension that is "best", they all seem to have strengths and weaknesses.

    There is one bike that I feel could be the prize winner, a long travel Esker 29er; they are using Weagle's new suspension design (Orion). I think this bike paired with a Trust Shout could be the cat's meow, but I'm not ready to commit to that fork (yet) and the long travel 29er from Esker isn't available yet.

    My thing now is having a bike that climbs well and can handle tech and high speed chunder on the down. I'm not a jump line guy and I don't ride a ton of flow, so for this kind of riding I like my Guerrilla Gravity bikes.

    ... and to be honest, I still ain't into long travel 29ers as the cure all for big hits and going fast. I prefer 27.5 for when things get hairy, they're just far easier to throw around thana 29er. The whole "obstacle bridging" advantage of 29ers is completely overblown, esp at speed. Maybe at low speed the bigger wheels help, I've expereinced that, but at high speed the bridging advantage is negated, but the longer radius turns, weaker wheels, and gyroscopic effects of moving a larger wheel are amplified.

    If I was the OP, I'd get something like the HD4, mid travel 27.5. In fact, I am just about to suggest the same to my son in law who is looking for a bike that can handle the park, is fun to ride on trail, and doesn't climb too terribly. If the OP wants something less conventional, I'd suggest the GG Megatrail.
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  23. #23
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    Give the 2020 Enduro a try. I took one out for a couple of hours and was blown away. For me, it was a game changer. Really worth a test ride for anyone looking into a new longer travel bike.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Personally I'd just throw a Works angleset on the Ripmo and maybe long-stroke the fork and call it good. But if it really isn't fast enough for you I'm surprised the SB150 hasn't been mentioned... slack, long, low, speed demon. I was like Nurse Ben... "The Yeti thing aint me" but then I "actually" rode one. As much as I dislike the brand... you won't find a better bike for what you're after and they climb better too. I honestly didn't want to like the Switch Infinity system but it just flat out works and better than any DW link bike (I've owned those too) both up and down. It's like getting extra travel on the downs and just doesn't bob on climbs. The SB150 was made specifically for Enduro Racing; try a demo, I'd be really surprised if you didn't like it.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Mehhhh The Scott Ransom has more travel, climbs better and weighs a few POUNDS less. Won bike of the year from a lot of different reviewers including loam wolf.
    Denver, CO

  25. #25
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    Have you taken a look at the Knolly Fugitive LT?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I mostly commented because it was expressly referenced in the title of the thread. And because I like to think my bikes are invincible. I thought we all did, at least to some degree

    That said, I sense that a high single pivot 150-160 rear travel missile may be on its way from Forbidden very soon. Maybe that would fit the bill a little better...
    I'd be pretty psyched for that! I have a buddy who demoed a Druid and loved it.
    Denver, CO

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Streetdoctor View Post
    Mehhhh The Scott Ransom has more travel, climbs better and weighs a few POUNDS less. Won bike of the year from a lot of different reviewers including loam wolf.
    My understanding is that the Ransom doesn't climb great unless you utilize the suspension lock out switch, as it's a basic single pivot suspension design? Thoughts?

    If true, that sort of design works well for a location with long climbs and then a long descent. But not so much for those of us in constant undulating terrain.

  28. #28
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    Interesting discussion. My theory is that SC and Specialized rested on the laurels for a long time and were "good enough". When Yeti release the latest SI setup it forced everyone to up their game. The new lower link setups by SC and Spec allow them to control the suspension variables "more" independently compared to their previous designs. This allows for much more pedal platform without influencing small bump compliance. Both are game changers and the SC setup is so good that it has spread even into their short travel trail bikes despite the added weight and complexity.

    BTW not a Yeti fanboi, have only owned one and that was for less than two weeks.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Interesting discussion. My theory is that SC and Specialized rested on the laurels for a long time and were "good enough". When Yeti release the latest SI setup it forced everyone to up their game. The new lower link setups by SC and Spec allow them to control the suspension variables "more" independently compared to their previous designs. This allows for much more pedal platform without influencing small bump compliance. Both are game changers and the SC setup is so good that it has spread even into their short travel trail bikes despite the added weight and complexity.

    BTW not a Yeti fanboi, have only owned one and that was for less than two weeks.
    It's not innovation that swings one mfg into the fast lane over another, it's all about public perception, appearances if you will, that attract the eye and boost sales.

    People don't always buy the best riding bike, more often it's aesthetics and availability that bump sales. The big three sell more bikes because they have a bigger presence. Likewise, the bigger mfgs do better on the race circuit because they have better financed teams.

    Better suspension design plays a negligible part in what makes a bike sell.

    Not to mention, it's only your opinion that Specialized bikes ride poorly and SC/Yeti ride better. Personally, I don't like the ride of SC and though I like the ride of Yeti I don't ride one. I have ridden Specialized bikes and they ride well. I ride GG bikes because I like how they ride and I like GG.

    YMMV
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    It's not innovation that swings one mfg into the fast lane over another, it's all about public perception, appearances if you will, that attract the eye and boost sales.

    People don't always buy the best riding bike, more often it's aesthetics and availability that bump sales. The big three sell more bikes because they have a bigger presence. Likewise, the bigger mfgs do better on the race circuit because they have better financed teams.

    Better suspension design plays a negligible part in what makes a bike sell.

    Not to mention, it's only your opinion that Specialized bikes ride poorly and SC/Yeti ride better. Personally, I don't like the ride of SC and though I like the ride of Yeti I don't ride one. I have ridden Specialized bikes and they ride well. I ride GG bikes because I like how they ride and I like GG.

    YMMV
    Jumping to conclusions? I never said Specialized bikes ride poorly. My main bike is a SJ Evo.

    Each design has been a trade off between small bump compliance and mid stroke support up to a few years ago. The newer designs eliminate the requirement for that trade off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Interesting discussion. My theory is that SC and Specialized rested on the laurels for a long time and were "good enough". When Yeti release the latest SI setup it forced everyone to up their game. The new lower link setups by SC and Spec allow them to control the suspension variables "more" independently compared to their previous designs. This allows for much more pedal platform without influencing small bump compliance. Both are game changers and the SC setup is so good that it has spread even into their short travel trail bikes despite the added weight and complexity.

    BTW not a Yeti fanboi, have only owned one and that was for less than two weeks.
    I'd like to know what happened to that Yeti after only 2 weeks, SP.

    -Ray

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    I'd like to know what happened to that Yeti after only 2 weeks, SP.

    -Ray
    Nothing nefarious. I wanted to try a short travel bike, but my riding area is not great for those types of bikes. Friend wanted to buy it so I let it fly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Nothing nefarious. I wanted to try a short travel bike, but my riding area is not great for those types of bikes. Friend wanted to buy it so I let it fly.

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    That's good to know, even though I'm not in the market for a new bike. And since we both ride the same trails, it helps to know your opinions on this stuff. BTW, I should be cleared to do trail work after the next and hopefully last medical procedure, and I kinda miss not being there. Love to watch those young un's throw themselves into it!
    -Ray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    That's good to know, even though I'm not in the market for a new bike. And since we both ride the same trails, it helps to know your opinions on this stuff. BTW, I should be cleared to do trail work after the next and hopefully last medical procedure, and I kinda miss not being there. Love to watch those young un's throw themselves into it!
    -Ray.
    Glad to hear it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Jumping to conclusions? I never said Specialized bikes ride poorly. My main bike is a SJ Evo.

    Each design has been a trade off between small bump compliance and mid stroke support up to a few years ago. The newer designs eliminate the requirement for that trade off.

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    I don't think so, I think the bikes have always been like that, as good as they are and as good as we expect, because our expectations are based on experience and as our experience grows so does the technology.

    For example, take a gander at what we were riding ten years ago, then think back about how stoked we were to be riding those bikes, yet, today we see those bikes and suspensions as antiquated and no longer worth riding.

    No bike company has an exclusive concept, all that engineering is available to everyone, but they have their own slant, their own market, and so the bikes are tailored to "sell" to a target population.

    Never forget, the bike industry exists solely to sell product and make money, don't be deluded, they don't care about biking.

    Read PB long enough and you will routinely see comments about how ugly a bike is, for example in the current run off between "downcountry bikes" you will see folks write that a bike is too ugly and not worth considering. Yeah, crazy, but it's more the rule than the exception.

    The trade offs you see as being eliminated are nothing more than what has always happened as technology improves, we don't see the faults until we get better technology, then the faults are suddenly glaring and we wonder how we tolerated it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radium View Post
    I'd like to know what happened to that Yeti after only 2 weeks, SP.

    -Ray
    You know what happened, duh
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    Interesting discussion. My theory is that SC and Specialized rested on the laurels for a long time and were "good enough". When Yeti release the latest SI setup it forced everyone to up their game. The new lower link setups by SC and Spec allow them to control the suspension variables "more" independently compared to their previous designs. This allows for much more pedal platform without influencing small bump compliance. Both are game changers and the SC setup is so good that it has spread even into their short travel trail bikes despite the added weight and complexity.

    BTW not a Yeti fanboi, have only owned one and that was for less than two weeks.
    I think it's more like a brand comes out with a low shock after paying an engineer to make it peddle well. And other companies try and figure out how to do the same thing without getting sued. So they don't loose customers to the competition. Then they spend a little as possible always trying to improve the design.

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    On this topic, and I'm not an experienced bike reviewer as I'm too particular about my set up, however I pedaled an SJ Evo around the other week for just a moment (a bike that is really appealing to me) and even with not nearly enough sag for my weight, it still seemed to pedal just terrible, like all the Spesh bikes I've ridden (which isn't to many).

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    The new Deviate Highlander is due to be released imminently, 140mm, high single pivot with an idler, 65* HA, 76* STA. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and will be preordering. Not ideal if you aren't in the UK, but they can ship internationally

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Howard View Post
    The new Deviate Highlander is due to be released imminently, 140mm, high single pivot with an idler, 65* HA, 76* STA. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and will be preordering. Not ideal if you aren't in the UK, but they can ship internationally
    Gearbox?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SyT View Post
    Gearbox?
    Nope, regular olí derailleur. The gearbox is great for winch and plummet riding that the Guide is aimed at, but this is more of a trail bike, which suits a mech better. That said, it will take a 160mm fork if bigger hits/enduro are your thing.

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    Posts like this just drive me nuts. This is not a personal attack; I'm sure you're a good person and rider. But I read stuff like this far too often: "I rode XYZ bike, that wasn't my size, wasn't set up for me and I pedaled it for 10 seconds in the parking lot. Here's my review ..."

    It's a completely meaningless data blip that inevitably will get latched in some new or less discriminating rider's mind as fact.

    I know I'm screaming at the wall here, but I truly wish folks would stick to posting stuff that is based on real knowledge.

    Again, not a personal attack; this post was just the latest in a string of similar things I've read here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    On this topic, and I'm not an experienced bike reviewer as I'm too particular about my set up, however I pedaled an SJ Evo around the other week for just a moment (a bike that is really appealing to me) and even with not nearly enough sag for my weight, it still seemed to pedal just terrible, like all the Spesh bikes I've ridden (which isn't to many).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Posts like this just drive me nuts. This is not a personal attack; I'm sure you're a good person and rider. But I read stuff like this far too often: "I rode XYZ bike, that wasn't my size, wasn't set up for me and I pedaled it for 10 seconds in the parking lot. Here's my review ..."

    It's a completely meaningless data blip that inevitably will get latched in some new or less discriminating rider's mind as fact.

    I know I'm screaming at the wall here, but I truly wish folks would stick to posting stuff that is based on real knowledge.

    Again, not a personal attack; this post was just the latest in a string of similar things I've read here.
    Fair enough.
    Although to be clear, it was just the peddaling performance I mentioned because it wasn't a real ride at all.
    But you are right in that maybe the guy had dramatically low rear tire or shock pressure that I didn't notice, or a very draggy drivetrain for some reason, or more likely draggy brakes.
    All I know is that it was slow when I attempted to put down some pedal strokes.

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    Lol. Youíre accustomed to Mondraker levels of anti squat. Of course the Stumpy will feel mushy in comparison. Kinematic tradeoffs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Posts like this just drive me nuts. This is not a personal attack; I'm sure you're a good person and rider. But I read stuff like this far too often: "I rode XYZ bike, that wasn't my size, wasn't set up for me and I pedaled it for 10 seconds in the parking lot. Here's my review ..."

    It's a completely meaningless data blip that inevitably will get latched in some new or less discriminating rider's mind as fact.

    I know I'm screaming at the wall here, but I truly wish folks would stick to posting stuff that is based on real knowledge.

    Again, not a personal attack; this post was just the latest in a string of similar things I've read here.
    I rode 2 different enduros and think they pedal pretty poorly. Mainly on the steeper stuff when you hit a bump you feel it hang up and drop into its travel and you have to overcome that big sag event with you legs. On a fire road they climb just as good as anything else with the lockout on. Ride something with CBF suspension and you will judge pretty much all others compared to that.

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    Dude, I'm not talking about Specialized in particular or even in general. That wasn't the point. If you've actually set up a bike properly, test rode it on trail and didn't like it, fair enough. That's valid data.

    As for CBF, I owned a Riot. I suppose I was too alarmed at both the weight and the incredibly flexy rear end to be wowed by the suspension performance. Riding it at pace down Geronimo on South Mountain was one of the most frightening experiences of my riding life.
    Just like a raindrop, I was born to fall.

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    CBF is okay, but itís not earth shattering, and it certainly wouldnít be a deciding factor for or against buy a CBF bike.

    Seriously, what made Canfield cool was the vibe and the ultra short chainstays. No one raved about the suspension design, though folks certainly complained about the noodle frames and twitchy handling.

    The only bike Iíve ridden recently that stood out above all others was the Esker Elkat with Dave Weagleís Orion suspension. It was the only bike Iíve ridden that didnít get hung up or feel harsh on square hits. It was the rear suspension mate to the Trust Performance Shout fork.

    Would this ^ work for everyone? Probably not, but it was damn good and it gives me faith that suspensions will continue to improve.

    and though I donít ride Specialized, they make a good bike and their suspension design is top shelf ... if it has the feel you desire and you take the time to set it up correctly.

    Speaking of which, folks gotta know more about how to set up a suspension if theyíre gonna post comments about how a bike rides. When I take a demo bike for a test ride, I bring a multi tool and a shock pump. I spend a fair amount of time setting up the cockpit and adjusting suspension feel. Itís time consuming, but itís the only way a demo makes sense. And even after a test ride, I still donít know much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    CBF is okay, but itís not earth shattering, and it certainly wouldnít be a deciding factor for or against buy a CBF bike.

    Seriously, what made Canfield cool was the vibe and the ultra short chainstays. No one raved about the suspension design, though folks certainly complained about the noodle frames and twitchy handling.

    The only bike Iíve ridden recently that stood out above all others was the Esker Elkat with Dave Weagleís Orion suspension. It was the only bike Iíve ridden that didnít get hung up or feel harsh on square hits. It was the rear suspension mate to the Trust Performance Shout fork.

    Would this ^ work for everyone? Probably not, but it was damn good and it gives me faith that suspensions will continue to improve.

    and though I donít ride Specialized, they make a good bike and their suspension design is top shelf ... if it has the feel you desire and you take the time to set it up correctly.

    Speaking of which, folks gotta know more about how to set up a suspension if theyíre gonna post comments about how a bike rides. When I take a demo bike for a test ride, I bring a multi tool and a shock pump. I spend a fair amount of time setting up the cockpit and adjusting suspension feel. Itís time consuming, but itís the only way a demo makes sense. And even after a test ride, I still donít know much.
    If you want to talk square hits, then we are back to the Druid. In fact, if you want to talk suspension design with no apparent weaknesses, we are back to the Druid.

    For reference, I have owned over 2 dozen high end bikes of all makes. I generally use 2 ShockWizes to confirm my suspension set up.
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    Hopefully Esker has a 29'r by spring, I'd definitely like to check one out. Or maybe we'll see the Orion on other brands...Devinci? Speaking to Orion, doesn't Cove have a very similar suspension design? I think one of their bikes literally had it's lower pivot at the bb. There were 2 huge bearings at the end of the bb.

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    I got a ShockWiz, itís not all that, works best if you know how a suspension should feel before you hook it up, but then why use it you know ...

    I have no idea how that Druid rides, never looked at kinematics and I ainít rode one. It could be the cats meow or it could be the koolaid talking.

    I ride GG bikes, have had four, and I like them as a company and for most if my riding, but Iíd tell you the truth about how they ride, form, no koolaid.

    Iím trying to get my son in law to buy an Elkat, heís been riding my old Devinci Hendrix, likes the DW feel, but wants a longer travel 27.5 that takes plus tires.

    Dream bike: Elkat + Shout, but damn that fork is hard too look at 🙄

    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    If you want to talk square hits, then we are back to the Druid. In fact, if you want to talk suspension design with no apparent weaknesses, we are back to the Druid.

    For reference, I have owned over 2 dozen high end bikes of all makes. I generally use 2 ShockWizes to confirm my suspension set up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    If you want to talk square hits, then we are back to the Druid. In fact, if you want to talk suspension design with no apparent weaknesses, we are back to the Druid.

    For reference, I have owned over 2 dozen high end bikes of all makes. I generally use 2 ShockWizes to confirm my suspension set up.
    I'm a total CBF fanboi best suspension up and down in chunk, no peddle feed back, while still being efficient I've ridden. Most the new wonder bikes from SC, Piviot and Ibis still hang in the climbs. GG is decent but Moondraker was better. Most bikes either climb well but get overwhelmed. Or can have great traction and decend well Knolly is the first to come to mind here.

    That new Druid is the real deal. I rode one and it climbed chunk as well as it went down it. And it was set up for someone 25lbs more than I was. I was quite impressed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I'm a total CBF fanboi best suspension up and down in chunk, no peddle feed back, while still being efficient I've ridden. Most the new wonder bikes from SC, Piviot and Ibis still hang in the climbs. GG is decent but Moondraker was better. Most bikes either climb well but get overwhelmed. Or can have great traction and decend well Knolly is the first to come to mind here.

    That new Druid is the real deal. I rode one and it climbed chunk as well as it went down it. And it was set up for someone 25lbs more than I was. I was quite impressed.
    Wow. Super stoked you got to ride one. They are still pretty tough to find in the wild.

    I had a bit of trouble at the front end getting the shock set up. I was 30 pounds too high. Itís tricky getting access to the shock stanchion, thatís buried in the frame. Once I figured things out though and got things dialled, I almost cried with joy I was so happy.

    That said, I couldnít resist and threw down on an 11-6 at the sale price. Not sure if I can improve on where things were with the stock shock, but I am about to find out.

    I know I am overly stoked on the bike but the fact is that there are SO MANY awesome bikes out there right now. We are in a true golden age for bikes. I have never ridden a Canfield so I cannot comment on them. That said, I know you are stoked on them, which speaks volumes to me.

    All that said, at the risk of stating the obvious, whatís good for one may not be for another. Different anatomy, riding skills, technique, style, ride profile and terrain all factor in. Probably a ton of other things as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Dude, I'm not talking about Specialized in particular or even in general. That wasn't the point. If you've actually set up a bike properly, test rode it on trail and didn't like it, fair enough. That's valid data.

    As for CBF, I owned a Riot. I suppose I was too alarmed at both the weight and the incredibly flexy rear end to be wowed by the suspension performance. Riding it at pace down Geronimo on South Mountain was one of the most frightening experiences of my riding life.
    Fair enough, I dont let a number on a scale tell me if a bike is good or not so that one is of little factor to me and I must not be bothered or not ride hard/fast enough to feel and flex the frame hard enough for it to bother me let alone terrify me. I ride like a jackrabbit and pop of everything and play around the bike enough that I never really need to plow and try to go as fast as I can on my riot. To each their own, that is why I am glad we have options.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Wow. Super stoked you got to ride one. They are still pretty tough to find in the wild.

    I had a bit of trouble at the front end getting the shock set up. I was 30 pounds too high. Itís tricky getting access to the shock stanchion, thatís buried in the frame. Once I figured things out though and got things dialled, I almost cried with joy I was so happy.

    That said, I couldnít resist and threw down on an 11-6 at the sale price. Not sure if I can improve on where things were with the stock shock, but I am about to find out.

    I know I am overly stoked on the bike but the fact is that there are SO MANY awesome bikes out there right now. We are in a true golden age for bikes. I have never ridden a Canfield so I cannot comment on them. That said, I know you are stoked on them, which speaks volumes to me.

    All that said, at the risk of stating the obvious, whatís good for one may not be for another. Different anatomy, riding skills, technique, style, ride profile and terrain all factor in. Probably a ton of other things as well.
    I'm a sucker for custom tuned suspension. A bike with a good suspension layout and custom tuned damper curve to the leverage curve and your weight is amazing. The only problem is that you'll need to address the fork to keep up with the rear next lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I'm a sucker for custom tuned suspension. A bike with a good suspension layout and custom tuned damper curve to the leverage curve and your weight is amazing. The only problem is that you'll need to address the fork to keep up with the rear next lol.
    Trust Performance Shout.

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    The Mezzer really impressed me. First out of the box fork that the damper is worth a damn. And if you're really light or heavy you could reshim it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    CBF is okay, but itís not earth shattering, and it certainly wouldnít be a deciding factor for or against buy a CBF bike.

    Seriously, what made Canfield cool was the vibe and the ultra short chainstays. No one raved about the suspension design, though folks certainly complained about the noodle frames and twitchy handling.
    Your comments in this thread lead me to believe you're making judgement calls on bikes you have little to no experience with. Canfield's the ONE with their CBF suspension design is what put them on the map - the first true mtb that could slay trail and climb but also DH like a true DH bike. It wasn't the short chainstays (17.5" actually which is quite long by today's standards) nor "cool" reputation that made them popular. It was because CBF flat out works. I have a Balance and can honestly say CBF is better than any DW link or VPP bike I've ever owned or ridden, especially on the downs. The only suspension I've ridden that does better on the ups is the Switch Infinity system of the new Yeti designs which I'm a big fan of now that I own one and have a lot of seat time on one. It beats CBF on the ups and doesn't hang up at all and is just a hair behind CBF on the downs. We're all entitled to our opinions but the proof is in the actual riding of said designs. If you really have ridden said designs then my guess is you didn't have the rear shock set up properly which is critical for those designs whereas 4-bar (like GG) can get away with sag values all over the place and still ride well (tho you will be reaching for that pedal platform switch often).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Your comments in this thread lead me to believe you're making judgement calls on bikes you have little to no experience with. Canfield's the ONE with their CBF suspension design is what put them on the map - the first true mtb that could slay trail and climb but also DH like a true DH bike. It wasn't the short chainstays (17.5" actually which is quite long by today's standards) nor "cool" reputation that made them popular. It was because CBF flat out works. I have a Balance and can honestly say CBF is better than any DW link or VPP bike I've ever owned or ridden, especially on the downs. The only suspension I've ridden that does better on the ups is the Switch Infinity system of the new Yeti designs which I'm a big fan of now that I own one and have a lot of seat time on one. It beats CBF on the ups and doesn't hang up at all and is just a hair behind CBF on the downs. We're all entitled to our opinions but the proof is in the actual riding of said designs. If you really have ridden said designs then my guess is you didn't have the rear shock set up properly which is critical for those designs whereas 4-bar (like GG) can get away with sag values all over the place and still ride well (tho you will be reaching for that pedal platform switch often).

    Happy Holidayz,

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    Yeah, you're right, I've never ridden one, never seen one, I know nothing but what I read on the internutz.

    It doesn't matter that I rode with a bunch of Canfield fan bois back before they were cool, my best buddy rides one, nah, that means nothing.

    If this helps you validate your opinion, good for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    The Mezzer really impressed me. First out of the box fork that the damper is worth a damn. And if you're really light or heavy you could reshim it.
    It's where I'm going next, just gotta unload a fork ... and then another fork

    I was all in on coils, shock and fork, but I'm dropping weight and going for a more active feel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    Yeah, you're right, I've never ridden one, never seen one, I know nothing but what I read on the internutz.

    It doesn't matter that I rode with a bunch of Canfield fan bois back before they were cool, my best buddy rides one, nah, that means nothing.

    If this helps you validate your opinion, good for you.
    Out of curiousity... is your friend's bike a Riot by chance? That was a bit of an anomaly for the CBF design IMHO as the ultra short chainstays didn't create enough leverage for the air shocks that came with that bike (which is also why there is a huge thread in the CB forum about what coil shock to use on a Riot) and made them ride rough. The 2 piece swing link, to save weight, didn't do that bike any favors either as it created the rear-end flex problem that Blatant referred to (and doesn't surprise me in the least). Creating an opinion on CBF based on the Riot would be a shame but to each their own. I'll be real interested to see what Lance comes up with for the next iteration.

    Have FUN!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Out of curiousity... is your friend's bike a Riot by chance? That was a bit of an anomaly for the CBF design IMHO as the ultra short chainstays didn't create enough leverage for the air shocks that came with that bike (which is also why there is a huge thread in the CB forum about what coil shock to use on a Riot) and made them ride rough. The 2 piece swing link, to save weight, didn't do that bike any favors either as it created the rear-end flex problem that Blatant referred to (and doesn't surprise me in the least). Creating an opinion on CBF based on the Riot would be a shame but to each their own. I'll be real interested to see what Lance comes up with for the next iteration.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    I ride a Riot, have ridden the balance and Jedi. Yes, the big issue with the Riot is it needs the high speed compression to blow off easily but still be supportive enough to handle landing a jump. With such short stays. Everything thing is happening right under your feet, and it's a lot of movement for 140mm travel. All CB needs to do is lengthen the stays to say 425 and it will have an increase in travel and slow things down a bit. I'm happy with the bike with an Avalanche shock. But would like to have a lighter stiffer version. I agree that switch infinity is nice. I feel my bike climbs tech better as long as I have a 30t chainring. SI works independently of the chainring so a 28t wont hinder it.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    Out of curiousity... is your friend's bike a Riot by chance? That was a bit of an anomaly for the CBF design IMHO as the ultra short chainstays didn't create enough leverage for the air shocks that came with that bike (which is also why there is a huge thread in the CB forum about what coil shock to use on a Riot) and made them ride rough. The 2 piece swing link, to save weight, didn't do that bike any favors either as it created the rear-end flex problem that Blatant referred to (and doesn't surprise me in the least). Creating an opinion on CBF based on the Riot would be a shame but to each their own. I'll be real interested to see what Lance comes up with for the next iteration.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    You care far more than I do, just saying, it's a suspension design, some people like it, but it's not magic. I am glad for all the Canfield lovers that their brand is being resurrected, but it's still just one of many options out there.

    I don't drink koolaid, been there, done that, too much sugar, not enough protein.

    My approach to mountain biking is to treat it as a hobby, so I'll ride a piece of gear for a while, tweak on it, then in time I'll try something different.

    I will agree that short chainstays play havoc with how a suspension functions, but then that's up to the mfg to resolve or not.
    Guerilla Gravity Shred Dogg
    Fezzari Signal Peak (For Sale)
    Pivot Shuttle (wife's)

  63. #63
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    The new Banshee KSv.2 is worth a look. I rode the OG Prime until it was stolen from my garage, replaced with a SC OGHT to try something different...but recently got back on a Banshee...Titan. The numbers don't accurately convey the ride. Currently set up as a mullet (27.5 x 2.8rr/ 29 x 2.6fr) & couldn't be happier.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The next 29ER: Druid, Firebird, Ripmo-side-build_web.jpg  



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