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  1. #1
    Hyperlite3009
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    Next Hardtail XC Bike

    Hi Everyone!
    New to the forum. Excited to get some helpful advice. I started riding XC this past year (2018). I live in west Michigan so I really only have XC style trails to ride. We don't have any mountains. I bought my first bike this spring (Giant Fathom 2 29er). The bike has been a lot of fun. I competed in a few races this fall and I'm looking for the next step up. I've been looking a few options:

    Sticking with Giant and going up to the XTC Advanced
    and
    Santa Cruz Highball

    Wanting to go Carbon and hoping to keep it below $3500

    Loved the 29er so sticking with that

    Debating between a 1by system

    Hardtail is all that is necessary in Michigan in my opinion so i'd rather spend money on better components instead of a full suspension and decent components.

    If I'm missing anything please let me know (Again, ROOKIE here)

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    Lot a money. And Giant isn't really in the game for geo. Too steep head tube > at 70*. And not steep enough seat tube > 72*. And too short of reach at 423 for a L. I can't even ride an XTC. That bike needs a short torso and long legs. Make sure it fits. I'd put other bikes on your list and drop Giant.
    But it's not easy because light carbon hardtails for trail riding aren't as much of a priority for manufacturers. They make more money on the short travel fs bikes that everyone races on the World Cup XCO circuit. Like a Scott Spark. 120/120mm travel. 67.2* head tube angle. 73.8* seat tube angle. 460mm reach on a L. Space at the rear for 2.6 x 29 tire and more for the Fox 34 front fork. Scott could update the Scale with that geo. They haven't.
    The Chameleon is very close but not carbon light. Specialized carbon Fuse can run 2.6 x 29. Geo is 440mm reach for L.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Giant xtc is a great race bike and a great value.
    My buddy just built up a Highball and is really enjoying it. Really nice looking frame.
    I would say definitely go 1x.

    I'll throw in the new Ibis Carbon HT (dv9?) as well. Pretty diverse bike and Ibis is a great company.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Lot a money. And Giant isn't really in the game for geo. Too steep head tube > at 70*. And not steep enough seat tube > 72*. And too short of reach at 423 for a L. I can't even ride an XTC. That bike needs a short torso and long legs. Make sure it fits. I'd put other bikes on your list and drop Giant.
    But it's not easy because light carbon hardtails for trail riding aren't as much of a priority for manufacturers. They make more money on the short travel fs bikes that everyone races on the World Cup XCO circuit. Like a Scott Spark. 120/120mm travel. 67.2* head tube angle. 73.8* seat tube angle. 460mm reach on a L. Space at the rear for 2.6 x 29 tire and more for the Fox 34 front fork. Scott could update the Scale with that geo. They haven't.
    The Chameleon is very close but not carbon light. Specialized carbon Fuse can run 2.6 x 29. Geo is 440mm reach for L.
    eb1888, Did you even read his request? He's looking for hardtail suggestions and all you give him is fat tire and full suspension bikes. He said he doesn't have gnarly trails and just wants a fast, lighter 29er hardtail.

    To answer OP's question, I'd go with the new Santa Cruz Highball over the Giant XTC. If you have a Scott dealer nearby also take a look at the Scott Scale. Then there is the direct mail Canyon Exceed which has a great reputation for an XC hardtail.

  5. #5
    slow
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    For XC I prefer a more traditional geometry over a slack front end. I like the way my Niner AIR9 RDO rides on my XC trails. I've heard that the company has had issues, but I bought the frame second hand and haven't needed to deal with customer service.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stonerider View Post
    eb1888, Did you even read his request? He's looking for hardtail suggestions and all you give him is fat tire and full suspension bikes. He said he doesn't have gnarly trails and just wants a fast, lighter 29er hardtail.

    To answer OP's question, I'd go with the new Santa Cruz Highball over the Giant XTC. If you have a Scott dealer nearby also take a look at the Scott Scale. Then there is the direct mail Canyon Exceed which has a great reputation for an XC hardtail.
    The OP is spending a lot of money on a hardtail. He needs info not to waste it.
    If you had some capacity for reading comprehension you'd be able to comment better. I gave him the info to evaluate what's available and see why getting a good bike will be hard. The Chameleon is close to the geo I'm suggesting by using the Spark as an example. But it's only aluminum. The Fuse is carbon and 29 and can take 2.6 tires, if he decides that might be useful,. It's close.
    Another bike to consider is a Stache 9.7 carbon and with short chainstays for a fun handling but trail capable bike you can race.

    More info- The Exceed is an 'old' design off the Grand Canyon. It still uses a 142 rear with limited clearance. Canyon should be updating that line soon.
    The Highball has old steep geo without room for wider tires like a 2.6 rear.
    The Isis DV9 has a 422mm reach with a 120mm fork in a L. Built for the designers daughter so that may be why.
    The Scale geo hasn't been updated and the frame doesn't have space at the rear. If Scott can bring a version with the Spark geo that would be a light trail hardtail also good to race.
    The Niner geo makes it twitchy.

    Ride these bikes and decide for yourself. You may need a fit that will make one a good choice for you.
    If all you want to do is mainly race find a way to get a Spark 910.

  7. #7
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    The ibis DV9 is an interesting option. Great price for a light carbon frame.

  8. #8
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    I'm about done building up my Ibis DV9. I'm a hardtail rider through and through. Coming from a Stache. I wanted a lighter bike. Yeah, spending 3-4k on a hardtail is crazy to some people, but if it is what you ride it's what you are willing to spend your hard earned money on. I'm building it with a 120 fork and 2.6 tires though for the more playful feel.

    Good luck. Lot's of awesome options available.

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