Opinion ? 2020 Tallboy vs Following vs Arktos ST- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Opinion ? 2020 Tallboy vs Following vs Arktos ST

    Looking to change my 2014 Carbine 275 for a 29er short travel.

    2020 or 2021 version of Tallboy or Following or Arktos ST.

    I tried in pass years 2017 Tallboy and 2018 Following MB.
    Both GREAT.

    Arktos ST seem to be another great option.

    Anyone tried them all?

  2. #2
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    I recently sold my 27.5 trail bike and built up a Following v3. Iíve only had a few rides on the bike so far, but itís amazing. I was skeptical about how much difference a few degrees steeper seat tune angle would make. But, now Iím convinced. The bike is such a blast to ride (so much so that Iím tempted to also pick up the new Wreckoning).

    I havenít tried the other 2 bikes, but did order a Joplin (Julianaís version of the Tallboy) for my wife. It should be here in a few days.
    09 Jones ti Spaceframe
    12 Canfield Formula 1 Jedi
    16 Knolly Warden Carbon
    20 Kingdom Vendetta
    20 Evil The Following v3

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by yangpei View Post
    I recently sold my 27.5 trail bike and built up a Following v3. Iíve only had a few rides on the bike so far, but itís amazing. I was skeptical about how much difference a few degrees steeper seat tune angle would make. But, now Iím convinced. The bike is such a blast to ride (so much so that Iím tempted to also pick up the new Wreckoning).

    I havenít tried the other 2 bikes, but did order a Joplin (Julianaís version of the Tallboy) for my wife. It should be here in a few days.
    Yup that new Following in Protein color looks so nice........

  4. #4
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    GG Pistol(a): pairs well with a variety of fork travels, geo adjust headset (+/10mm), short and tall lower cups, two suspension setting, two travel options (120-130mm).

    Mine is set up with a Trust Message, tall lower cup, headset in the short setting, Manitou Mara Pro 210 x 55mm (130mm travel), Trail mode. I ride it with 27.5 x 2.6 and 29 x 2.5/2.6.

    Adaptable, tough, made in Colorado.

    https://ridegg.com/products/trailpistol
    GG Shred Dogg 27+/29 (go fast!)
    RSD Wildcat V2 (backyard kicks)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wifeys)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    GG Pistol(a): pairs well with a variety of fork travels, geo adjust headset (+/10mm), short and tall lower cups, two suspension setting, two travel options (120-130mm).
    Nurse what are your thoughts on Tallboy, Following or Arktos, because OP didn't ask about GG...lol

  6. #6
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    How important is having a bottle holder on the frame? The Arktos can't do that.

    I've demoed the new Tallboy. It's very nice. In the same category of bikes, I only can compared to Giant Trance 29. Not sure why, but I gelled with the Tallboy way more than the Giant.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeventures View Post
    How important is having a bottle holder on the frame? The Arktos can't do that.

    I've demoed the new Tallboy. It's very nice. In the same category of bikes, I only can compared to Giant Trance 29. Not sure why, but I gelled with the Tallboy way more than the Giant.
    Not to important, I mostly carry on my backpack.

    My LBS carry what I'm looking for. But there is LBS not to far that do carry Giant.

    But no demo in my area for now.

  8. #8
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    I'm also looking at Intense Sniper T and Forbidden Druid......

  9. #9
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    The Arktos has way better componetry and right now they have a $1000 off 29ers sale.

  10. #10
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    Yeah, XT build with Factory 36 Grip, Factory DPS2 and wheel set with Hydra hubs for $800 less than the Santa Cruz is a no brainer. Plus the Arktos is killer.

    Quote Originally Posted by investorofmercy View Post
    The Arktos has way better componetry and right now they have a $1000 off 29ers sale.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by investorofmercy View Post
    The Arktos has way better componetry and right now they have a $1000 off 29ers sale.
    Ya saw that sale.....

  12. #12
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    And what would you guys/girl think about the Following Druid.........

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk View Post
    Yeah, XT build with Factory 36 Grip, Factory DPS2 and wheel set with Hydra hubs for $800 less than the Santa Cruz is a no brainer. Plus the Arktos is killer.
    Iíd probably do the GX build, saves $700 US and the only difference is the drivetrain and dropper. Wear that SRAM groupset out and then switch to XT or even XTR with the money you saved. Hydra hubs can be swapped from the XD driver to Microspline.

    I have an Arktos ST, and it rips. So solid and stiff but also very active rear suspension (it really does feel like it has more travel) and it climbs better than my old 2014 Fuel Ex 8 which was 4lbs lighter. Descending is so much better!

    I havenít tried the other bikes you listed (Iím an XL or bigger in most bikes, hard to find demos).

    Alchemy even helped me out with shipping costs to Canada on top of the sale (mine was also $1,000 off) not sure if they are still doing that now though.


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  14. #14
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    You are right, the GX build is a killer deal. I would spend $400 of te savings and get a set of Chinese carbon rims and build a nice wheelset with those Hydra hubs. I am getting my Arktos ST out to Park City next month, can't wait.

    Quote Originally Posted by gnarzt View Post
    Iíd probably do the GX build, saves $700 US and the only difference is the drivetrain and dropper. Wear that SRAM groupset out and then switch to XT or even XTR with the money you saved. Hydra hubs can be swapped from the XD driver to Microspline.

    I have an Arktos ST, and it rips. So solid and stiff but also very active rear suspension (it really does feel like it has more travel) and it climbs better than my old 2014 Fuel Ex 8 which was 4lbs lighter. Descending is so much better!

    I havenít tried the other bikes you listed (Iím an XL or bigger in most bikes, hard to find demos).

    Alchemy even helped me out with shipping costs to Canada on top of the sale (mine was also $1,000 off) not sure if they are still doing that now though.


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  15. #15
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    So, i Recently got the Arktos ST GX build. I put on some carbon I9 hoops built by Fanatik and an ENVE stem and bar and so far Iím really pleased with the bike. I had a following mb that I just sold and if I had to to choose between the 2...I would go with the FMB because of how the DELTA link suspension felt and bc somehow Evil made that bike lean and carve like a 27.5 bike. It was a super playful bike that still had the chops for relatively steep and chunky terrain. With that said the Alchemy makes me feel safer on more difficult terrain and fit and finish and overall frame quality is much higher than on the Evil. Also, Alchemy customer service is top notch. In a perfect world Iíd like an Arktos ST that rode and felt like an FMB. Oh, and had room for a large water bottle

    Iíve never ridden the TB v4.
    2021 Orbea Oiz
    2020 Alchemy Arktos ST
    2019 Cannondale Fat Caad
    2019 Ibis Hakka

  16. #16
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    Good job!

    I love my SC TB4. Best bike I've ever ridden. I did test ride a bunch of bikes before purchasing the TB4: a few Ibis, the SC MT, and SC HT. The TB4 blew my mind.

    The only input I can offer regarding the Arktos, Alchemy's lifetime warranty reads differently than SC's. There's a line in their warranty stating something like you have to send the frame back to Alchemy for review to be warrantieed. That's fine if you live in Denver or the front range. Not so much if you're out of state.

    I've had two warranty claims on my wife's SC TB3. The first was handled by the LBS. The second I handled direct with SC. Both times, the warranties were acknowledged and resolved within 48 hrs. Just sent them photos and brief conversation.

  17. #17
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    Was also between the TB, Fuel EX and an Arktos. I went with the Arktos primarily because a) I had a buddy with one in the right size and could really ride it and b) the build value is fantastic. My Arktos is setup in ST trim with a Nox/King wheelset. I couldnít be happier overall with how the bike performs. It has the chops to keep up with much bigger bikes on the downhills but still climbs amazingly efficient.

    I looked hard at the Following though never rode one. While maybe odd, I couldnít get over the number of pivots that rear suspension has and the potential for slop when worn. Probably completely unwarranted, but thatís where my head went with it.

    Good luck!


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  18. #18
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    I'm in the same boat right now....looking at a TB4 C-S build or Arktos ST XT build...both the same price with the current Arktos promo...

    I normally ride L, but the Arktos would need to be XL due to availability, but the feedback I've seen is that the fit should still be good for me @ 6'0.5" and 240lbs with ~33 inseam and long arms...

    TB is available at a shop 3 hrs away (or mail order) and serviceable at a local dealer
    The Arktos would be bought sight unseeen....
    or....there is a local shop that has a Blackout drunk FV3 in stock in GX trim...it's priceir..but the store gives back 10% store credit to bring it back inline....and I could test ride it....

    So torn...first FS bike...ugh....

  19. #19
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    Have a close look at the stack and standover measurements on the XL Arktos. I am 6í4Ē with long legs and I donít have a bunch of clearance with the standover. I appreciate the high stack but I am taller than you.


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  20. #20
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    Thanks for the feedback! I'm still processing all of the info that comes in, and matching it with available stock to decide if I am jumping on something now or waiting for the frenzy to die down and kitting up in the winter/spring.

    The XL Arktos is ~4" taller for standover than most of the other bikes I have been looking at according the charts and comparisons over at 99spokes...

    I did drop in a Large 2017 Fuse 6fattie as a comparison for a baseline as that was my most recent bike...and the standover wasn't a drastic jump from that (showing 826
    vs 806 for the Fuse)....

    It is still an area of some concern for me though....and the lack of slope on the top tube just adds to the frustration that they weren't able to include bottle bosses inside the front triangle....

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