One month on the new 'short' Behemoth- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    One month on the new 'short' Behemoth

    I originally posted this in the "Drastic..." thread, but it's kinda buried there so I'm starting a new thread.

    If anything below isn't clear, check the 'Drastic' thread and it'll probably become crystal.

    + + + +

    Much to the chagrin of the rest of the bikes in the garage, I've ridden the new Behemoth for all but two rides in the last month. I'm tired and sore (and happy) because every chance I get to ride (average ~5 days a week right now) I reach for the Behemoth and head to the local tech trails, which are very steep (up and down), techy (in every way possible) and one of my favorite places to ride on this planet.

    In a nutshell, I've never owned such a versatile bike. I have two wheelsets for it, two forks, and two rear shocks, effectively giving me two completely different bikes. I have a small garage and most of it is filled with rims and wheelbuilding stuff, so although it'd be *nice* to have a light XC/all day Behemoth and a heavy AM/FR Behemoth, in reality by switching out the wheels, fork, and rear shock (less than 10 minutes from the time I pull it off the hook to the time I'm riding down the driveway) I *do* have two bikes.

    The XC version weighs 28 lbs even. It's built with a 130mm WB air fork, Rock Shox MC 3.3 air rear shock, and an XC rated wheelset that can take a lot of abuse in case I forget or can't reign myself in. I ride it this way on our local xc loops or when I head into the mountains for all-day epics in Crested Butte, Durango, etc...

    The AM version weighs 32.5 lbs even. It's built with a 135mm (soon to be 140mm) WB single crown FR coil fork, Fox Vanilla R coil rear shock, and a DH rated wheelset that is virtually indestructible. I ride it this way on our local tech loops, as well as in Moab, Gooseberry/Little Creek, Boulder City, etc...

    I suspect that most people considering this frame would probably build it with one middle-of the road wheelset, in which case they'd be looking at a ~29lb bike.



    The numbers on this bike (HTA, STA, CS, BB, ETT, LMNOP, AEIOU, etc...) were about 97% perfect in every situation that I've encountered so far. Devin asked my opinion on the good and the bad in everything, and he'll be making a few minor changes for the production bikes. Those changes will undoubtedly be some combination of his experience, my experience, and his perception of the market for this bike. Not to mention that WB is extremely likely to be offering a 140mm travel single crown fork, and a 150-160mm travel dual crown. In other words, don't ask me for the exact numbers on the production bike, because I don't know where they'll fall just yet. Some of it will depend on the TBD A-C numbers of the aforementioned WB forks.

    Okay, okay--so what about the ride? Well, I gave quite a few ride perceptions (in the "Drastic..." thread). It's an incredibly intuitive bike. And what I mean by that is there is no break in or adjustment period, like many of us have experienced with other 29" FS bikes. Sometimes, on other 29" FS bikes, the adjustment period is only a few minutes, other times it takes a full ride. From the get-go I've been able to hop on and ride as fast, fluid, or aggressively as I choose to, with zero break in period. Current 29" riders will appreciate that fact, and although I don't think Devin envisioned this when he designed this bike, the intuitive feel is a cinch for anyone just converting from 26". The handling doesn't feel different from their current 5 x 5 or 6 x 6 26" ride, but they get the benefit of big wheels. Win/win.



    My favorite part about owning/riding this bike is that it cannot be pigeonholed. When I show up at the local tech trails I can ride with the XC geeks (raises hand) or the shuttle monkeys and the bike is equally adept at either. It's not a pure xc bike and it certainly ain't no FR huckin machine, but it can blur the lines between the two like no other bike I've ridden. It doesn't hold me back in the slightest on any climb of any grade, and it is capable of far more on the descents than I'll ever dream of.



    I spoke with Devin last night about availability. As we chatted on the phone I could hear his mill cutting away in the background--he was already making some of the small parts in batches so that he could bring this frame to production ASAP. He expected he'd have the first batch done and ready to ship in 6-8 weeks. For the first time in far too long (my opinion--yours may vary), he's raised his prices to reflect the additional labor that goes into this frame (tube bending and significant extra fixturing). Cost will be $1950 for the frame, rear shock (Manitou Swinger 3 Way or Fox RP23 are stock), and seat collar.

    If for some reason you'd prefer the original Behemoth design (with 18.3" CS) he said he'd be happy to build it for you.

    It was, at times, hard to hear him over the noise of the mill cutting in the background. But if I understood him correctly he said that he's set to introduce a new (or updated??) website sometime this month. That's been a long time coming.

    Any questions, don't hesitate.



    Apologies for the lack of climbing or carving shots--it's hard to slow down and take those when I'm having this much fun. The only pics I tend to get are where I stop to scope a line and someone has a minute to whip out the camera. Thanks to Scott Morris and Tom Nix for the photos above.

    Cheers,

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 10-21-2006 at 03:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Bike looks and sounds amazing, and so are the pictures.

    Thanks for the write up.
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  3. #3
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    Mike, Devin will be selling the frame with the Fox RP23 or Manitou 3-way rear shock, yet you have been riding the bike with the Rock Shox MC 3.3.

    Have you tested the bike with the other two shocks as well? Could you comment on how it affects the riding qualities in XC mode?
    Last edited by the_eleven; 10-21-2006 at 01:20 PM.

  4. #4
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    This looks like it could be the ultimate 24hr/ ultra endurance 29"er FS machine. Am I thinkin' straight here?
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  5. #5
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    This looks like it could be the ultimate 24hr/ ultra endurance 29"er FS machine. Am I thinkin' straight here?
    Sounds pretty close to me..

    I have been watching the development of this frame and setup with a lot of interest. I believe that Devin is on the edge of producing the ideal "do it all" 29'er suspension frame.

    The way Mike has his dual setup is sweet, enabling the owner to quickly switch between XC and FR modes easily to adjust for the ride on the day.

    The whole thing makes a lot of sense to me, the frame looks like it can take a bashing and keep on going, and Devins' R&D coupled with Mike's riding feedback looks to have paid off.

    The finished production frame should turn out to be a killer setup, imo.


    R.
    It is inevitable ...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_eleven
    Mike, Devin will be selling the frame with the Fox RP23 or Manitou 3-way rear shock, yet you have been riding the bike with the Rock Shox MC 3.3.

    Have you tested the bike with the other two shocks as well? Could you comment on how it affects the riding qualities in XC mode?
    I haven't ridden it with either of those shocks, so I can't comment.

    MC

    ...

  7. #7
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    Which rim ????

    Mike, what rim/spoke count do you use on your "heavy duty" wheel set? What is the strongest rim out there right now for 29ers.

    I'm curious as my 36H Delgados don't seem to be cutting it for XC use (I weigh 280#). They go out of true WAY too easily. I've got a 700c Rhynolite on the way to lace up a new rear wheel. The XT/Delgado29 rear will eventually be diassembled and remade into a front wheel. But I would like to know what is really the STRONGEST so I know what to use for a second rear wheel (in addition to an XT/Rhynolite).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    The AM version weighs 32.5 lbs even. It's built with a 135mm (soon to be 140mm) WB single crown FR coil fork, Fox Vanilla R coil rear shock, and a DH rated wheelset that is virtually indestructible.
    140mm is sounding pretty nice. It seems that for 29" wheels once you get past 100mm you enter the realm of thru axels, big brakes, beefy wheelsets, etc. In my mind I'd want to have a healthy (5.5 or 6") of travel to make all that worth it.

    So you're liking the 'Moth with a Vanilla rear? I thought at one point you didn't like the ride with coil shocks, but maybe you were talking about the Leviathan? 5.5" and dual coil sounds scrumptious.
    ''It seems like a bit of a trend, everyone trying to make things longer over the last couple of years" Sam Hill

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Cost will be $1950 for the frame, rear shock (Manitou Swinger 3 Way or Fox RP23 are stock), and seat collar.
    Sigh.
    When the going gets weird its bedtime.

  10. #10
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    Since we're cutting and pasting:

    Mike:

    Thanks for the update. Looks like a winner.

    I have been seduced by long travel and have a little wheeled bike in transit with 5" rear and 150mm front travel for the days when I know it's going to be rough, and I'm willing to suffer it up climbs. This bike will have relatively too short for me 17" chainstays, so I can tell it will be work to keep it climbing.

    Going back to the Curtana and riding with a stronger friend who recently made a switch to 5X5 26" from years of rigid 29", I found that nothing really climbs like this bike. My friend is a way stronger rider than me, but I just plow up technical steeps that he spins out or otherwise can't get up. He leaves me downhill, however.

    Here is a question for you (actually two):

    Do you think the climbing improvement seen with 1st generation (read 18+" CS) 29"ers is due more to the long stays/steep SA, or more due to the wheelsize?

    I wish I could separate the issues to identify the things I want:

    Compare a 18" CS 26" bike to an 18" CS 29"er, or a 17" CS 26" to 17"CS 29"

    For my saddle height, there is no doubt that the longer stays and steeper SA's put me where I want to be for climbing, I'm actually worried that if I went to a shorter CS/slacker SA, I would lose that climbing advantage (while gaining some descending improvement). That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but your saddle is no where near as high as mine, and therefore not as far back towards the rear axle. Do you think my concern is unfounded?

    Finally, what I really want to see are the long travel forks come out.
    It seems the 29"ers are where the 26" bikes were a few years back when frame makers were way ahead of fork makers....6" rears stuck with 3" "long travel" forks.

    I have no doubt that I will eventually land in about a 5" rear, 150mm front 29" bike. This for me would be the great "one bike." For now I am going with the proven longer travel 26" technology and "two bikes."

    Luckily, I have room for two bikes...5" rear, 4" front 29"er all arounder, and a 5" rear, 6" front 26" for the rough days.

  11. #11
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    It is doubtful Mikesee's "ideal" bike will be the ideal bike for everyone. Too many differences in riders vis a vis their build, height, weight, skill level, riding terrain etc. I guess it would be boring if this behemoth with a short CS was the be all end all bike to everyone. A bigger rider might be better served by longer chainstays.

  12. #12
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    It is doubtful Mikesee's "ideal" bike will be the ideal bike for everyone. Too many differences in riders vis a vis their build, height, weight, skill level, riding terrain etc. I guess it would be boring if this behemoth with a short CS was the be all end all bike to everyone. A bigger rider might be better served by longer chainstays.
    That may be so, but Devin's and Mike's R&D on this frame setup is only going to help the handling of 29'ers in general, because once a designer hits on a really good design others tend to follow and copy.

    I think that in the long run, any sort of forward thinking R&D on 29'er frames and handling will generally benefit us all as 29'er riders.


    R.
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  13. #13
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    Wow. Amazing stuff.

    Sooo... (as a shorter guy who stands out of the saddle a lot and likes short chainstays) ... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan?
    "People like GloyBoy are deaf. They are partisan, intellectually lazy & usually very angry." -Jaybo

  14. #14
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    Finally

    a FS 29er that won't steer like a limo. I love the idea. Also,it should hold traction better while standing and hammering than the longer CS bikes.

    ... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan???[/QUOTE]

    I'm curious about this as well. Is Devin considering this? Seems intuitive (to me anyway) that he would have considered this for the Lev (snappier handling for XC) versus the All Mountain Moth.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    This looks like it could be the ultimate 24hr/ ultra endurance 29"er FS machine. Am I thinkin' straight here?
    Depends on the person and terrain, of course. It's certainly one of the more efficient designs out there, although the weight may be a turnoff to some. I'd think a Leviathan would be better suited to that niche, simply because they're ~1lb lighter.

    Although, there's a local XC guy that upgraded his Lev frame to a 'moth because he wanted more travel. He's not a full-fledged weight weenie, but he picks his parts deliberately with weight as one of the primary concerns. His 'moth is exactly 27lbs, and it's got room to get lighter.


    Quote Originally Posted by willtsmith_nwi
    Mike, what rim/spoke count do you use on your "heavy duty" wheel set? What is the strongest rim out there right now for 29ers.
    Kris Holm 36h on both counts. 38mm wide and 870g/rim. Nothing else even comes close.


    Quote Originally Posted by miles e
    So you're liking the 'Moth with a Vanilla rear? I thought at one point you didn't like the ride with coil shocks, but maybe you were talking about the Leviathan? 5.5" and dual coil sounds scrumptious.
    I've never ridden the Lev with a coil over. The Lev is so active on small stuff that it's not necessary to use a coil--you've already got a supple ride on the smallest of bumps. The Behemoth is less active on small stuff, and the new WB forks have become soooo supple that (IMO) a coil rear was needed to balance it all out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    Do you think the climbing improvement seen with 1st generation (read 18+" CS) 29"ers is due more to the long stays/steep SA, or more due to the wheelsize?
    To a small degree, some combination of those is responsible, plus the added stability brought on by their extra weight. That weight is enormous (pardon the pun) in keeping the bike planted and the tire digging. Weight weenies will never get it, but added mass helps technical climbing immensely. The best, most proficient tech climbers I know are on 38lb bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    I'm actually worried that if I went to a shorter CS/slacker SA, I would lose that climbing advantage (while gaining some descending improvement). That doesn't seem to be the case with you, but your saddle is no where near as high as mine, and therefore not as far back towards the rear axle. Do you think my concern is unfounded?
    I don't know. Too many variables, and I've never ridden with you to see how you handle the bike. Not sure I agree on your estimation of saddle position relative to rear axle. Drop a plumb line from the center of your seat clamp and measure the distance from it's intersection with the chainstays to the center of the rear axle. I'll do the same.


    Quote Originally Posted by GlowBoy
    Wow. Amazing stuff.

    Sooo... (as a shorter guy who stands out of the saddle a lot and likes short chainstays) ... any word from Devin about a shorter-CS Leviathan?
    (copied and pasted from the Drastic thread...)

    The Lev doesn't really need shorter chainstays. The reason Devin shortened the stays on the 'moth is that it's typically ridden with a heavier fork and a heavier, more durable wheel that can take the abuse that people dish out when riding this frame. If you add ~a pound to the front end of the bike, it's suddenly a lot less nimble and it gets a lot more difficult to get the front wheel up quickly, whether climbing a tech track or manualing on short notice.

    The Lev is built lighter all the way around, and as such it rides really light and nimble as currently built.

    MC

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    That may be so, but Devin's and Mike's R&D on this frame setup is only going to help the handling of 29'ers in general, because once a designer hits on a really good design others tend to follow and copy.

    I think that in the long run, any sort of forward thinking R&D on 29'er frames and handling will generally benefit us all as 29'er riders.
    Good points.

    The look on David Turner's face (when he grasped that the CS length was 17.2", not 18.2") was positively priceless.

    It may take a few months to as long as a year for the results to show, but any high-end frame builder that wants to stay competitive is already looking at ways to acheive what Devin has done with this frame.

    MC

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Good points.

    The look on David Turner's face (when he grasped that the CS length was 17.2", not 18.2") was positively priceless.

    It may take a few months to as long as a year for the results to show, but any high-end frame builder that wants to stay competitive is already looking at ways to acheive what Devin has done with this frame.

    MC
    Mike, don't start messing with the homers!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    Mike, don't start messing with the homers!
    Not singling anyone out. Bottom line is that Niner, Ventana, Intense, Titus, Turner, et al will need to make some changes to get their handling up to snuff. The only question is how they'll do it, and how long it'll take.

    I also wonder how long it'll take until Smellsworse claims to have invented the Behemoth and the Sultan...

    For now, the Behemoth sits alone at the top of the trailbike heap.

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 10-24-2006 at 04:14 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Not singling anyone out. Bottom line is that Niner, Ventana, Intense, Titus, Turner, et al will need to make some changes to get their handling up to snuff. The only question is how they'll do it, and how long it'll take.

    I also wonder how long it'll take until Smellsworse claims to have invented the Behemoth and the Sultan...

    For now, the Behemoth sits alone at the top of the trialbike heap.

    MC
    Ahhh...lol.. "Smellsworse"...heheheheh.




    On a nicer note...

    If only I had the terrain here to make full use of the 'Moth' ... I would probably buy one.

    But ... I will have to be content with what I have..


    As you say ... it will be interesting to see which way the other manufacturers jump now.


    R.


    [ Ps. If you can get your hot sticky paws on some big 29'er tires for me...let me know. Nevegals or Rampage's, I don't mind...]
    It is inevitable ...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainman
    :


    As you say ... it will be interesting to see which way the other manufacturers jump now.


    R.
    Not sure I see other manufacturers jumping any time soon...not because Devin's product isn't good but because he can only put out an extremely limited number of frames....that number will in no way scare them into getting in the game.

    And again...it can't be said enough that the Behemoth (the "long" and the "short" version) is a frame about 2 years ahead of a fork that can match its prowess.

  21. #21
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    And again...it can't be said enough that the Behemoth (the "long" and the "short" version) is a frame about 2 years ahead of a fork that can match its prowess.
    while i'm not involved with a manufacturer, i still don't get this part. there are an infinite number of available 26" forks, it can't be that hard to put out a few 29ers...it's gotta be a supply vs. demand thing?
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Not sure I see other manufacturers jumping any time soon...not because Devin's product isn't good but because he can only put out an extremely limited number of frames....that number will in no way scare them into getting in the game.
    It's a good point, but I only partially agree with it. Devin's churning out ~300 frames a year right now, 90% of which are Leviathans and Behemoths. Granted, ~130 Behemoth frames isn't going to make Specialized or Fox jump on and make a worthy fork, but it's gonna make Niner and Intense (and Ventana, Titus, and Turner) take notice.


    And again...it can't be said enough that the Behemoth (the "long" and the "short" version) is a frame about 2 years ahead of a fork that can match its prowess.
    A month ago I'd have mostly agreed. Today, I disagree wholeheartedly. The updated WB fork I've been riding is completely and totally on a different level than the ones you've ridden. I've got two here, and I'm so pleased with the ride (and so sure that you'll agree) that I'll be happy to send one to you to demo on your Behemoth. Seriously. Just say the word.

    MC

  23. #23
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    So let's get this straight:

    Turner, Ellsworth, Niner and all the others have to catch up? I think all these bikes are perhaps not addressing the same market as the behemoth
    Short chainstays are not a revolution as I see it in fact it might conspire to work against a lot of the guys who are taller since it might put them over the rear wheel too far.

    I always take the latest and greatest with a huge grain of salt particularly when you have parties who are in some way tied into the company doing all the reporting.

    For a guy the same height, build, skill level riding the same type of terrain it might be the cat's meow. I don't think I will sign up anytime soon though.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    A month ago I'd have mostly agreed. Today, I disagree wholeheartedly. The updated WB fork I've been riding is completely and totally on a different level than the ones you've ridden. I've got two here, and I'm so pleased with the ride (and so sure that you'll agree) that I'll be happy to send one to you to demo on your Behemoth. Seriously. Just say the word.

    MC
    I would like more info on the WB fork. Is it an upgrade, or an entirely new fork? Production dates?

  25. #25
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    Hi Mike,
    I spoke with Paul at WB yesterday, he was glad to hear you are digging the fork..
    Get back with him and let the man know!
    the tweaks Mike are referring to might be a running change in production
    I have an interest for sure in a good quality TA fork
    keep up the good work

    I need to get with Devin, I had spoken to him before about being a dealer..
    With no direct experience with his frames it's sort of hard to make that leap of faith and sell something I don't "know"
    Your feedback on the product helps out immensely and it's appreciated

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    Hi Mike,
    I spoke with Paul at WB yesterday, he was glad to hear you are digging the fork..
    Get back with him and let the man know!
    the tweaks Mike are referring to might be a running change in production
    I have an interest for sure in a good quality TA fork
    keep up the good work

    I need to get with Devin, I had spoken to him before about being a dealer..
    With no direct experience with his frames it's sort of hard to make that leap of faith and sell something I don't "know"
    Your feedback on the product helps out immensely and it's appreciated

    It is too bad that your new Intense's handling "isn't up to snuff"

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    Hi Mike,
    I spoke with Paul at WB yesterday, he was glad to hear you are digging the fork..
    Get back with him and let the man know!
    Well, Paul's just a sales guy... I'd rather let him find out all the details from the engineer and tech once they're finalized. But it's no secret over there that the changes have made a world of difference. Apparently Paul was just the last to find out...

    the tweaks Mike are referring to might be a running change in production
    I have an interest for sure in a good quality TA fork
    keep up the good work
    I gotta go back over today to talk shop with those guys, and to get a few of the tweaks tweaked. From the sounds of it, these changes could be adopted relatively quickly.


    I need to get with Devin, I had spoken to him before about being a dealer..
    With no direct experience with his frames it's sort of hard to make that leap of faith and sell something I don't "know"
    Your feedback on the product helps out immensely and it's appreciated
    Just get one of his frames (doesn't matter which one; 3.0, 4.0, or 'moth) and you'll see. Ride it and you'll understand completely.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    It is too bad that your new Intense's handling "isn't up to snuff"
    You seem to specialize in being a dingleberry.

    Everyone's gotta have a specialty--at least we know what yours is.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    It is too bad that your new Intense's handling "isn't up to snuff"

    You can hand it out but you sure can't take it.

    You are the one that disses all these other products but when someone dares questions you or your motives you get all bent out of shape.

    I am not saying that the Lenz products or your wheel building is not "up to snuff" but I dare say there are other wheel builders and other frame makers out there that know their stuff too.

    Don't you think when you say something as sweeping as these people not making bikes whose "handling is not up to snuff" that someone might question you on it?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    So let's get this straight:

    Turner, Ellsworth, Niner and all the others have to catch up?
    Yes. Next question.


    I think all these bikes are perhaps not addressing the same market as the behemoth
    Full suspension, 29", trailbikes. Same market.


    Short chainstays are not a revolution as I see it in fact it might conspire to work against a lot of the guys who are taller since it might put them over the rear wheel too far.
    Well, your opinion is noted, but your experience on the matter seems to be lacking. I don't have the time to dig for a quote, but you seem to remark with some regularity that you don't ride fs, don't need fs, and don't want fs. So how exactly are you suddenly an expert on fs? Or on other people's needs?


    I always take the latest and greatest with a huge grain of salt particularly when you have parties who are in some way tied into the company doing all the reporting.
    I'm the same way. And I encourage you to remain a skeptic WRT the Lenz frames. They're probably not worth your time or money.


    For a guy the same height, build, skill level riding the same type of terrain it might be the cat's meow. I don't think I will sign up anytime soon though.
    Your logic eludes me. Just the same, since you prefer your HT's (and your position as self-appointed internet skeptic), I can't see a good reason for you to sign up.

    Carry on.

    MC

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    Mike,

    Until the bulk of 29" riders contains a few more folks who ride with a more aggressive style, you're not going to convince them of your views here. My take on this forum is that it is largely XC oriented riders to whom being able to manual on a moment's notice is totally irrelevant, and to whom climbing a 38-lbs FS rig is an abomination.

    Don't get too bent out of shape by people like richwolf. Roadies-on-dirt are not the audience for the points you're making here.

    But I definitely appreciate and am grateful for your perspective and insights. Thanks for sharing.

    PS: I'll bet that Dave Turner will shorten his Sultan's chainstays... the 5-Spot, which is what the Sultan emulates, has 16.75" chainstays and manuals quite easily!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    You can hand it out but you sure can't take it.
    Huh?

    You are the one that disses all these other products but when someone dares questions you or your motives you get all bent out of shape.
    I haven't dissed any of these products. Making the statement that the rules have changed (WRT CS length) is far from saying that their products suck. And I'm not bent--I'm laughing at your desire to have an internet argument over something you (admittedly) know very, very little about.


    I am not saying that the Lenz products or your wheel building is not "up to snuff" but I dare say there are other wheel builders and other frame makers out there that know their stuff too.
    Devin's frames and my wheels are drops in the proverbial bucket. Neither of us have any designs on being the 'only' one doing what we're doing. We take pride in our work and strive to improve it, just the same as the others doing what we do. To think otherwise is ludicrous, and it's not something I've ever suggested nor implied, much less come straight out and said. Perhaps a course on reading comprehension is in order?


    Don't you think when you say something as sweeping as these people not making bikes whose "handling is not up to snuff" that someone might question you on it?
    Of course. And I'd be willing to see their points and/or argument if they'd ridden any of these bikes at any time. The point of MTBR is to review and share ideas on mountain bikes. That's what I've done. Questions?

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo_b
    Until the bulk of 29" riders contains a few more folks who ride with a more aggressive style, you're not going to convince them of your views here. My take on this forum is that it is largely XC oriented riders to whom being able to manual on a moment's notice is totally irrelevant, and to whom climbing a 38-lbs FS rig is an abomination.
    You're absolutely right that most of the 29" board is comprised of dirt roadies. Until about 2 years ago I was the same way. But in the last two years I've had my eyes opened and the carpet yanked out from under me. I haven't had this much fun riding MTB's since I can't remember when. Perhaps my style is a bit too pushy and my enthusiasm is easily misinterpreted. Just trying to share the stoke that has me psyched to ride again.


    Don't get too bent out of shape by people like richwolf. Roadies-on-dirt are not the audience for the points you're making here.
    Agreed. I just find it curious that someone who has no experience with bikes like this, and admits to no desire to owning one, purports to knowing so much about them. <shrugs shoulders> Whatever.

    But I definitely appreciate and am grateful for your perspective and insights. Thanks for sharing.
    Cool. My pleasure.

    PS: I'll bet that Dave Turner will shorten his Sultan's chainstays... the 5-Spot, which is what the Sultan emulates, has 16.75" chainstays and manuals quite easily!
    I'm willing to bet on that too. Dave seemed really interested in the Behemoth once he grasped the CS length was over an inch shorter than the Sultan's.

    MC

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    ...Just get one of his frames (doesn't matter which one; 3.0, 4.0, or 'moth) and you'll see. Ride it and you'll understand completely...MC
    Yep, it only takes one ride on a Lenz bike (on a worthy trail) to see the light...

  35. #35
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    I'm really into the development of longer travel 29er market myself. I was forced to get a new frame because my 293 kept breaking all the time. I went with the Monk because it was available and would fit me and my style of riding, best I could tell by the #'s. 4.5" rear travel and 17.7" chainstays, shorter than the 293 and the original 'moth. Sure, it weighs 34.1# but I don't care, I have climbed stuff that I never could before on any other bike. That is really saying something about how the Monk climbs because I'm 49 now and I know that I was stronger and lighter at times in my 20+ years of MTB thrashing.

    Mike, I think this 29er, longer travel, shorter chainstay and not getting too concerned about the weight approach of yours is already working for me.

    29erchico

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    are XC racers "dirt roadies"?

    just wondering...

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    My reading comprehension skills are actually pretty good.

    You are the one that said they are not up to snuff and they need to catch up, not me. If I were Niner or Intense or Ellsworth or Turner I would be a little put off by those remarks. Seems to me that people like these bikes. One man's idea of what a trail bike is for may be different from anothers. The extreme end of your riding probably doesn't even enter into the minds of most mountain bikers.

    Rider size and height makes a big difference on fit to a bike. Will a taller rider be better served by longer chainstays? Perhaps.

    I have had full suspension bikes, and have riden numerous makes and models. Just because I don't prefer or ride one now makes me unqualified to state an opinion?

    And this forum is about opinions as you have stated. Just because I question your opinions and you have questioned mine doesn't mean it should deteriorate into name calling.

    Have a nice day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    are XC racers "dirt roadies"?

    just wondering...
    They know who they are (raises hand).



    .

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    You are the one that said they are not up to snuff and they need to catch up, not me. If I were Niner or Intense or Ellsworth or Turner I would be a little put off by those remarks.
    I can see where they *might* be put off. If I were a manufacturer that had just invested into a new design, only to find it trumped within a few days of release, I'd be rightly frustrated. But that's the way it works. Innovation improves the breed.


    Seems to me that people like these bikes.
    Sure. And I used to love my 26" Marin Mt Vision Pro.


    One man's idea of what a trail bike is for may be different from anothers. The extreme end of your riding probably doesn't even enter into the minds of most mountain bikers.
    Terrain and riding style dictate a lot of things, and proper design can accomodate a wide range. For example, the pics above depict the "AM" side of my riding. But I also use the same bike (with different wheels, as detailed above) to do 8+ hour epics, at altitude, on narrow ribbons of singletrack in the mountains of CO and UT. This bike does both very, very well, because that was the original intent. I didn't want two bikes, I wanted one with no compromises. That's what the Behemoth has become. You don't need to be a tech trail rider to appreciate an efficient climber or a razor sharp descender. Can we agree on that?


    Rider size and height makes a big difference on fit to a bike. Will a taller rider be better served by longer chainstays? Perhaps.
    CS length is but one factor in bike fit. STA is equally important, especially for a taller rider. None of the numbers for this bike have been published yet, yet without having ridden the bike (nor seen any numbers) you seem confident that it won't take taller riders needs into account. Why?


    I have had full suspension bikes, and have riden numerous makes and models. Just because I don't prefer or ride one now makes me unqualified to state an opinion?
    No, that's not what I'm driving at. Your opinion regarding the bikes you've ridden is valid. But extrapolating that opinion into fact, despite the fact that you've not ridden the Behemoth, RIP, Spider, Sultan, Leviathan, Asylum, 292, etc... is BS.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    And this forum is about opinions as you have stated. Just because I question your opinions and you have questioned mine doesn't mean it should deteriorate into name calling.
    Fair enough. I apologize.

    FWIW, I wasn't name calling for the sake of it. I was merely pointing out that you seem (in this thread and others I've read this week) to have found a niche as one who brings up info that is useless and/or lacks pertinence to the subject at hand.

    By way of example, I've tried and disliked Jones and Mary bars. I don't like them, and they don't work for me. But I don't drop into every thread about them to point out that "They may not work for every hand size or wrist shape", nor do I caution folks to "Beware new ideas--take 'em with a grain of salt". Most folks here (14 year old girls masquerading as huckers notwithstanding) understand that not everything is for them, and are capable of drawing these conclusions on their own.

    If I've misinterpreted, say so, and please give more detail so that I (and others) can understand where you're coming from.

    G'day.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    are XC racers "dirt roadies"?

    just wondering...
    they are if they don't know how to have fun on a bike, and think that the only form of riding worth doing is on a superlight bike designed to go UPHILL fast and downhill slow.

    just like nordic skiers are "snow roadies".

    basically, anyone who's a Type A about MTB riding is a dirt roadie.

    and if you shave your legs, the answer is YES.

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    The extreme end of your riding probably doesn't even enter into the minds of most mountain bikers.
    I haven't seen Mike post anything that resembled "extreme," so I have to wonder what you're talking about here. If his pictures of him riding trails looks "extreme" to you, that probably explains your perspective's difference from his or from mine.

    According to what I like to ride, the pictures and stories I've seen from Mike look like fun trail riding, mostly. I haven't seen anything "extreme."

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo_b
    I haven't seen Mike post anything that resembled "extreme," so I have to wonder what you're talking about here. If his pictures of him riding trails looks "extreme" to you, that probably explains your perspective's difference from his or from mine.

    According to what I like to ride, the pictures and stories I've seen from Mike look like fun trail riding, mostly. I haven't seen anything "extreme."
    Cloxxki glues tires together...now THAT is extreme.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Padre
    Cloxxki glues tires together...now THAT is extreme.
    That's UBER-extreme!

  45. #45
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    pablo, there are a few strikes against the "roadie on dirt" theory:

    -I've been one of the few people, along with mikesee, clamoring for bigger 29" tires and forks since forever
    -I own a 38 pound 6" travel bike, a full-face, and pads
    -I ride chairlifts sometimes and don't feel guilty
    -I once bottomed out 6" front and rear by dropping a loading dock to flat pavement
    -I ride flats and several of the pins have been ripped out by rocks

    I'm not going to make any claims about my riding ability, and that's not the point. The point is that you can't assume everyone here owns purple ano bar ends.

    On the one hand, it's good for me that by the time next spring rolls around, there will probably be enough people trying to follow fashion and ditch their 18+ chainstay bikes in favor of bent seat tube designs that I can pick one up for a good price.

    On the other hand, I think a lot of riders, particularly taller ones, benefit strongly from longer stays. It'll be sad if everything turns out as mikesee implies, the window of opportunity closes, everyone goes back to judging designs solely on chainstay length, and us six-footers are back to short, tippy wheelbases and falling off the rear end on every climb. I'm glad Devin is keeping the current design around for those of us that realize the tradeoffs and advantages.

  46. #46
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    Depends on the road ....

    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    are XC racers "dirt roadies"?

    just wondering...
    This depends on the road. I have been around MTBers whose sole obsession is to remove every possible obstacle and piece of technical riding from the local trail. This reduceds it to nothing more then a smooth, straight dirt road. There are lots of folks who ride smooth fireroad (without a singletrack as a destination) and unpaved rail-trail.

    Yes, dirt roadies exist. But since most XC racers ride singletrack, I would say the answer to your question is no.

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    El Caballo,

    Please notice that I said "largely" XC riders, not "exclusively" XC riders.

    Besides, if you don't fit the profile of "roadie on dirt," why would you feel the need to defend yourself against that label?

    I apply the label only to those who fit the profile. I didn't say that every single person who posts in here is a roadie on dirt. In fact, that would be illogical, because I was complimenting Mike C on his perspective and his information offered. And he's not posting information from the roadie-on-dirt perspective.

    Don't feel attacked, El Caballo. If you aren't a roadie-on-dirt, then you're not one. No need to be paranoid about possibly being one.

    And I didn't see Mike C saying that all chainstays need to be short.

    You over-react, El Caballo. You extrapolate overgenerality from specific statements. You're reading too much breadth into narrow observations.

    Go drink some chamomile tea.

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    they don't know how to have fun on a bike
    I don't know anyone that doesn't have fun riding a bicycle.

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    Bottom line is that Niner, Ventana, Intense, Titus, Turner, et al will need to make some changes to get their handling up to snuff. The only question is how they'll do it, and how long it'll take.
    Not to harp on this but can you really compare a 5", 135mm fork bike with a 3", 80mm fork Spider? In my mind they are 2 different animals. I would not ask the Spider to descend like the Behemoth as I would not ask the Behemoth to climb like the Spider. If you are saying the Behemoth does it all I will take a serious look at it.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo_b
    Go drink some chamomile tea.
    Don't bait people with insulting generalities and then tell them to calm down.

    Note: I agree with mikesee on just about everything except the chainstay issue. This is because I've got several inches of height on him and probably ride more upright than he does -- therefore what's right for him is not right for me.

    What I react to is people jumping in and saying "That's what's wrong with 29ers, the chainstays are too long! We'll fix it!" when, like top tubes, it's clearly dependent on the size of the rider. We've dropped all the other silly 1990 fashions, like elevated chainstays, neon splatter paint jobs, and chainstay-mounted U-brakes, but this one, like the undead, staggers on.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bral
    Not to harp on this but can you really compare a 5", 135mm fork bike with a 3", 80mm fork Spider? In my mind they are 2 different animals. I would not ask the Spider to descend like the Behemoth as I would not ask the Behemoth to climb like the Spider. If you are saying the Behemoth does it all I will take a serious look at it.
    Well, I was under the impression that the Intense was either a 4" or even 4.5" travel rear. I rode it with a 100mm coil Manitou fork that was very supple on small stuff and (dare I say) plush on medium to big hits. The fork didn't match the rear of the bike at all.

    While the Intense was a very efficient pedaler and climber (pretty similar to the Behemoth, actually), the Spider felt more like a softtail in the amount and general feel of the travel. Not much going on back there. Maybe that was the VPP--dunno, but I rode it just a few minutes after doing a lap on a Dos Niner, and there was not a very big difference in the rear sus feel between those two bikes.

    So, although by the numbers the Behemoth and the Spider should be somewhat comparable as medium travel trailbikes, you're right in that they are very, very different animals on the trail.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo
    Don't bait people with insulting generalities and then tell them to calm down.
    There was no "bait" and no "insulting generality."

    Man, you are Type A out the ass. Calm the phoque down, Francis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    I don't know anyone that doesn't have fun riding a bicycle.
    Dude, stressing out about efficiency, the weight of your wheels, spokes, tires, tubes, nipples, hubs, stem, seatpost, saddle, headset, handlebar, grips, brakes... that's not fun. That's stress. You can lie and relabel stress as "fun" but it's not fun if you're stressing.

    And the roadies-on-dirt are stress monsters.

    FUN INCLUDES RELAXING. Being psychologically balled and knotted up is not relaxing, and unless you're a masochist and therefore somehow twisted psychologically, it's not fun.

    Please try to keep up. And please quit inserting extra meanings into my statements just to create an argument, Type A Boy. And go drink some chamomile tea with El Caballo.

    Jeezus.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Caballo
    Don't bait people with insulting generalities and then tell them to calm down.

    Note: I agree with mikesee on just about everything except the chainstay issue. This is because I've got several inches of height on him and probably ride more upright than he does -- therefore what's right for him is not right for me.

    What I react to is people jumping in and saying "That's what's wrong with 29ers, the chainstays are too long! We'll fix it!" when, like top tubes, it's clearly dependent on the size of the rider. We've dropped all the other silly 1990 fashions, like elevated chainstays, neon splatter paint jobs, and chainstay-mounted U-brakes, but this one, like the undead, staggers on.
    Speaking of generalities...

    No doubt you are taller than I. But I doubt you ride more upright than I do on this bike. My bars are 2" higher than my saddle, the TT is 3/4" shorter than I'd ride on an xc bike, I'm running a setback post, AND the saddle is pushed back on the post. All of which is a long way of saying that I'm exaggeratedly upright and purposely pushing myself closer to the rear axle.

    Know what? Still no problems with the chainstay length. No looping out or what someone (you?) described as 'manualing uphill'. Front end stays planted on granny gear grunts.

    Devin's riding his with the 6" DC fork, which slacks out the HTA and STA, raises the front end and the bb, and puts him closer still to the rear axle. He said he can make the front end "Too light" if he wants to, but he has to make an effort to do that.

    I understand that you've had past experience that tells you there's such a thing as too short on the chainstays. No argument there. But there's more going on here than just short-ish chainstays--you gotta look at the whole package of CS, STA, BB height, COG, cockpit length, bar height, and finally wheel size.

    The sum of those factors, done right, can make any one number look wrong. And I think you're getting stuck on that.

    Hopefully you can try it soon and see. Where do you live?

    Cheers,

    MC

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    the Spider felt more like a softtail in the amount and general feel of the travel. Not much going on back there.
    mikesee

    Clearly, you were doing it wrong. Not sure what shock you had in there or what the settings were... but mine is plush. more plush than the 26" 4" Titus I had and obviously more so than the 3" Asylum that I'm selling.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    Clearly, you were doing it wrong. Not sure what shock you had in there or what the settings were... but mine is plush. more plush than the 26" 4" Titus I had and obviously more so than the 3" Asylum that I'm selling.
    Here we go...

    I'm not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, just like everyone else. It IS possible that something wasn't properly adjusted to make the bike feel plush.

    That said, when I demo a bike, I understand that suspension setup is crucial to the feel of that bike. So I take the time to set up the suspension to my preferences on every bike that I demo, and I won't throw a leg over it and go ride until I'm confident that it's where it needs to be.

    When I rode the Intense it had a Manitou Swinger 3 Way air shock on it. I demoed the bike from the Manitou booth, and I had Bobby Acuna from Manitou working the shock pump to dial in the right setting for me. Once the sag was set right, the SPV chamber set as low/plush as it could be, and the rebound damping was set 'just so', I took off and rode.

    And it rode just exactly as I described above.

    I'm glad you like your bike and I in no way intend to disagree with your perception of it. My perception was simply different.

    MC

    P.S. Telling someone that you don't know that they were "doing it wrong" (when you have no clue how they were "doing it") is rude, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablo_b
    Dude, stressing out about efficiency, the weight of your wheels, spokes, tires, tubes, nipples, hubs, stem, seatpost, saddle, headset, handlebar, grips, brakes... that's not fun. That's stress. You can lie and relabel stress as "fun" but it's not fun if you're stressing.

    And the roadies-on-dirt are stress monsters.

    FUN INCLUDES RELAXING. Being psychologically balled and knotted up is not relaxing, and unless you're a masochist and therefore somehow twisted psychologically, it's not fun.

    Please try to keep up. And please quit inserting extra meanings into my statements just to create an argument, Type A Boy. And go drink some chamomile tea with El Caballo.

    Jeezus.
    First of all Dude! is the other guy. He's bought an Intense too. He'll probable be bummed that it's not "up to snuff"


    Second. - you are one funny mo fo. I think we'll be pals...

    It is HILarious that you can tell me what I think is fun or what I worry about. That is awesome.

    extra meanings? You said "they don't know how to have fun on a bike" How many meanings does that have?! Tell me what is fun again!!

    Keep up? Uh, OK... I'll try, but it probably won't be a problem... Seeing as how you'll be RELAXING n all...

    Is there something about the chamomile tea I don't know about? Sup El Caballo? Wanna have some tea?

    Peace.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Telling someone that you don't know that they were "doing it wrong" (when you have no clue how they were "doing it") is rude, IMO.
    all the same, if it felt like a softtail, you had it set up wrong.

    I'm not trying to be rude. I've ridden a softail... It seems crazy that you would say that.

    Are you really objective here?

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    but mine is plush. more plush than the 26" 4" Titus I had and obviously more so than the 3" Asylum that I'm selling.
    Don't let me get in the way of the love-fest going on here but since I am in the market for a new FS 29er and the Titus and Asylum are high on my list I would like to hear why you are selling the Asylum in favor of the Titus.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjay
    all the same, if it felt like a softtail, you had it set up wrong.

    I'm not trying to be rude. I've ridden a softail... It seems crazy that you would say that.
    You don't have to like or agree with my opinion, but telling me (twice!?) that I set it up wrong IS rude. After I took the time to explain the process I use to get an objective ride on this (and every) bike I demo, for you to respond the way that you have I think that obnoxious is an even better descriptor, with a sprinkle of condescension thrown in.


    Are you really objective here?
    Yes. Are you?

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bral
    Don't let me get in the way of the love-fest going on here but since I am in the market for a new FS 29er and the Titus and Asylum are high on my list I would like to hear why you are selling the Asylum in favor of the Titus.
    I thought this thread had gotten as off-topic as it could.

    Now, I'm sure of it.

    MC

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    it's the rear shock
    I hate those things
    an RP23 on the plushest settting would have completely been a different ride

    my spider is every bit as plush as a motolite in 5" mode, same for the 5.5
    both I had been riding immediately before the spider 29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bral
    Don't let me get in the way of the love-fest going on here but since I am in the market for a new FS 29er and the Titus and Asylum are high on my list I would like to hear why you are selling the Asylum in favor of the Titus.
    Bral,

    I had a Titus 26" that I sold and bought the 29" version. Asylum. It's in the classifieds now.

    I bought an Intense Spider 29er last week.

    A few reasons..

    1) - for the standover height - I've got short legs and just barely had clearance on the Asylum.

    2) - the steeper HA of the Intense was appealing to me with the tight twisty trails we have in this area.

    3) - 4 inches rear travel instead of 3 ain't bad.


    honestly, I really liked the color too.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I thought this thread had gotten as off-topic as it could.

    Now, I'm sure of it.

    MC
    maybe you start another one on the same topic then...


  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammerheadbikes
    it's the rear shock
    I hate those things
    an RP23 on the plushest settting would have completely been a different ride

    my spider is every bit as plush as a motolite in 5" mode, same for the 5.5
    both I had been riding immediately before the spider 29
    Charles-

    You could be right. Definitely possible.

    Devin rides both the RP23 and the Swinger 3 Way air on his Lev's and Moth's. He was once a devout RP23 fan, but now he's a bigger fan of the Swinger's. He thinks the Swinger is more supple on small stuff and at least as good on big hits as the RP23.

    From the few times I've demo'ed his personal bikes, I'd tend to agree with him.

    MC

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Are you?

    MC
    I'm pretty sure.

    I can tell you that I don't call the builder personally.

    nor do I know dims before they become available to the public.

    ...if that helps you determine my objectivity.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashtestdummy
    I would like more info on the WB fork. Is it an upgrade, or an entirely new fork? Production dates?
    Sorry about the delayed response--I just caught this question.

    AFAIK, the changes in the fork will most likely be upgrades to the existing fork. You won't need to buy a new one if you've already got one. Production dates I have no clue on, except to say that I was told it'd be a 'running change'--no need to wait for a new model year.

    Keep in mind--I'm not a WB spokesperson or employee, so I could be wrong on the above.

    I'll be sure to post it when I have more concrete news on this.

    MC

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Sorry about the delayed response--I just caught this question.

    AFAIK, the changes in the fork will most likely be upgrades to the existing fork. You won't need to buy a new one if you've already got one. Production dates I have no clue on, except to say that I was told it'd be a 'running change'--no need to wait for a new model year.

    Keep in mind--I'm not a WB spokesperson or employee, so I could be wrong on the above.

    I'll be sure to post it when I have more concrete news on this.

    MC
    Thanks for the response, that's the answer I was hopeing for. Now back to the love fest. Oh yeah, what tires should I be running on my MonoCog?

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Charles-

    You could be right. Definitely possible.

    Devin rides both the RP23 and the Swinger 3 Way air on his Lev's and Moth's. He was once a devout RP23 fan, but now he's a bigger fan of the Swinger's. He thinks the Swinger is more supple on small stuff and at least as good on big hits as the RP23.

    From the few times I've demo'ed his personal bikes, I'd tend to agree with him.

    MC
    I have had the exact opposite experience on everybike I have tried both back to back on...
    interesting..

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