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  1. #1
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    New question here. The right bike for east coast riding

    So, I'm looking to move on from my Evil Following V1. I bought a size medium and at 6 foot while on the edge of m-l I got a good deal on a used medium and after a couple years I feel like i should have went with a large. I feel wayyyy too far back on the bike, probably because of how high the seat post is, making the actual seat tube angle ridiculously slack.

    So with limited abilities to test ride because of where I live, I'm looking for some feedback from other east coast riders here. I have read many articles, watched close to 100 YouTube videos of guys riding way faster than I would in terrain I will never ride in (out west). For reference I live in central PA and will be riding Allegrippis some and mostly Rothrock which means rocky, rooty, climbing, ridge riding and some descending.

    I'm looking for 120-130mm rear and 120-140mm front bikes. I do not like the terms, "poppy" and "playful", id prefer "plush", "supple", and magic carpet like ride. I don't jump off of stuff unless descending and I happen to hit a natural lip or something. I do like to ride somewhat aggressively and would like the ability to plow through rock gardens and such, but still be an excellent climber.

    A few bikes I have looked at...SC Tallboy V4, Alchemy Arktos ST, Canyon, YT, Ripley, Jet9/Rip9 (had a v1 rip9),Revel Rascal, Smuggler and a couple others Iím probably forgetting. Pretty much everything I can find in the 120-130mm rear travel range. But as I said all the reviews show people riding out west doing things ill never do, so I can never get a true feeling of how they will do when being ridding here in the east at much slower speeds and dealing with rocky rooty trails. Any insight is greatly appreciated and any bikes I may have missed is welcomed.
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  2. #2
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    Good choices on the bikes you mentioned. Giant Trance 29 also. 2.6" tires go a very long way at removing trail chatter, of which there is an over abundance of on PA trails. Make sure your frame fits those. Pretty much any moderate travel 29er would be a good call.

    That said I've owned several SC bikes and found their VPP a bit chattery over the rough stuff, but that was before they revamped their linkage. The Ibis I had felt the same way. The bikes that felt the best over PA chatter were four bar designs from Knolly and Spec. My Trance 29 has a great supple feel also, which is pretty close to a DW link.

  3. #3
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    I was going to recommend you not overlook the Trance 29...but I see it's already been mentioned. If you can, get a leg over one. It's a little shorter in the rear than you're looking at, but it rides like there's more there in terms of being plush, at the same time, it climbs remarkably well for the same reason - it's just a 115mm rear.

  4. #4
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    Demo a Revel Rascal. The Canfield suspension might be what you're after.

  5. #5
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    I don't think you can go wrong with any modern suspension designs. I would just make sure you have a ton of frame clearance for fat tires above all else. Big tires and low pressure will do more than anything to smooth out rocky trails. Not sure if I'd go plus but I've only ridden one 27.5+ bike and it didn't seem worth it compared to the 2.6 tires available now.

    I have a coil shock on the way. Never ridden one on a mtb yet but the first thing everyone seems to bring up is the supple feel on small bumps compared to air. Air shocks have a ton of drag from seals that need to hold back 300psi plus however high the pressure gets under full compression. Most coil shocks don't have a climb switch if you want a firmer low speed damping for pedaling but some do like the DVO Jade X. Might be worth looking into. If you do want to try coil getting a frame designed to be used with one is something to consider.

  6. #6
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    So, Iíve been thinking about a Trailpistol, with an elevensix. But I wanted to see if they would build it up with a lower tier drivetrain and high tier suspension. I have XO1 eagle on my following that I would transfer over. Also noticed I could do that with the Revel on Fanatic bike, so thatís an option. The Giant looks great, but I do not like their component spec on a 5500$ bike, so Iíll probably stay away from big name brands as the smaller guys usually offer more for your money.
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  7. #7
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    I just picked up a Diamondback Release 29. I only have a few rides on it but it has been fun here on the SE PA trails.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Clauz View Post
    So, Iíve been thinking about a Trailpistol, with an elevensix. But I wanted to see if they would build it up with a lower tier drivetrain and high tier suspension. I have XO1 eagle on my following that I would transfer over. Also noticed I could do that with the Revel on Fanatic bike, so thatís an option. The Giant looks great, but I do not like their component spec on a 5500$ bike, so Iíll probably stay away from big name brands as the smaller guys usually offer more for your money.
    Shoot the crew at GG an email and they can build up a complete custom build for you.

    good luck in your bike hunting

  9. #9
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    Regarding the Revel Rascal - While I haven't ridden one, my personal ride is a Canfield Riot which isn't far off from the Rascal. My conditions are also pretty similar to yours - I ride in the Washington DC area.

    CBF is probably my favorite linkage I've ridden. It's not picky about sag and works well with both air and coil shocks. If you're looking for a bike that is as plush as possible while still pedaling well, a CBF equipped bike with a coil shock would fit the bill very well. Great grip and nice and push, but won't blow through travel or suck the life out of you on long climbs.

    My main gripe with the Revel stuff is the geometry - it doesn't particularly stand out to me, especially for the price. The Riot has super short 414mm chainstays and a 77-degree seat tube angle - both things I really appreciate when riding tight, steep trails. The Rascal is just 'meh' - a little on the short side, but otherwise entirely average.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Clauz View Post
    So, I'm looking to move on from my Evil Following V1. I bought a size medium and at 6 foot while on the edge of m-l I got a good deal on a used medium and after a couple years I feel like i should have went with a large. I feel wayyyy too far back on the bike, probably because of how high the seat post is, making the actual seat tube angle ridiculously slack.

    So with limited abilities to test ride because of where I live, I'm looking for some feedback from other east coast riders here. I have read many articles, watched close to 100 YouTube videos of guys riding way faster than I would in terrain I will never ride in (out west). For reference I live in central PA and will be riding Allegrippis some and mostly Rothrock which means rocky, rooty, climbing, ridge riding and some descending.

    I'm looking for 120-130mm rear and 120-140mm front bikes. I do not like the terms, "poppy" and "playful", id prefer "plush", "supple", and magic carpet like ride. I don't jump off of stuff unless descending and I happen to hit a natural lip or something. I do like to ride somewhat aggressively and would like the ability to plow through rock gardens and such, but still be an excellent climber.

    A few bikes I have looked at...SC Tallboy V4, Alchemy Arktos ST, Canyon, YT, Ripley, Jet9/Rip9 (had a v1 rip9),Revel Rascal, Smuggler and a couple others Iím probably forgetting. Pretty much everything I can find in the 120-130mm rear travel range. But as I said all the reviews show people riding out west doing things ill never do, so I can never get a true feeling of how they will do when being ridding here in the east at much slower speeds and dealing with rocky rooty trails. Any insight is greatly appreciated and any bikes I may have missed is welcomed.
    I am located in northern NJ and most of what i ride is rocky, rooty, rock gardens, etc...

    you listed a lot of options but since you indicated you prefer plush, supple and magic carpet ride I would lean more toward the dual link style bikes like the Ibis, Revel,etc. I find that the horst link bikes such as the transition and the GG tend to be firmer in feel. Just a function of the suspension kinematics around anti-squat, etc,etc...

    This is little above your travel range, but have you considered Evil Offering? You can run it at 140/140. My brother has one setup this way and I've ridden it quite a bit and that thing murders the trail. Definitely fits the definition of plush, supple and plows through rock gardens. amazing how well that bike rides for a single pivot design. I just have a thing where my brother and I can't have the same bike otherwise I'd probably own one also...lol

    I haven't had time on a Revel Rascal, but have heard great things and I think would be among the top choices with your criteria of plushness...

    Somone gave me a great piece of advice once, which is to look at brands that are local to you if you can. They tend to design bikes which fit the terrain outside their door and a lot of the brands you mentioned i feel are designed for midwest/westcoast riding. Just a personal opinion but the wheelbases on alot the latest bikes are getting ridiculously long which doesn't fit well with the riding around here. The east coast riding is tight, narrow, rocky and slow moving. I have a lot of switchbacks where I ride also. Only more recently are some of our trails even incorporating berms and more manmade features.

    I have a Jamis (a NJ company) Portal (130mm 29er) with the 3VO suspension design paired with a 140mm fork.
    I find the geo which is not as aggressive as some of the other bikes you mentioned is perfectly suited for east coast riding. I took it down to Pisgah last year and had a blast with it. Great pedaling platform which is coil friendly should you choose to do that and I would say just behind in plushness compared to my brothers Evil Offering.

    also, keep in mind that everything has gotten bigger...some comparisons...

    your V1 following in medium has a 419mm reach with a 1143mm wheelbase.
    a V1 following in large has a 439mm reach with a 1163mm wheelsbase.

    the Offering in medium is a 462mm reach with a 1201mm wheelbase (recommended for 5'8 to 6'0)
    the offering in large is 482mm reach and 1225mm wheelbase (6'0 - 6'4)

    The medium offering is bigger in terms of reach and wheelbase than a large V1 Offering...

    of course slacker steeper seattube angles required all of this growth...

    The Revel recommends a Large at your height...464mm reach and 1220mm wheelbase...little more moderate reach compared to offering in large but with similar wheelbase figure...

    i know I just went down the rabbit hole of geo but that being said I would focus on the the type of ride quality you want and just go with the recommended size from the particular brand....

  11. #11
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    I have a Jamis (a NJ company) Portal (130mm 29er) with the 3VO suspension design paired with a 140mm fork.
    I find the geo which is not as aggressive as some of the other bikes you mentioned is perfectly suited for east coast riding.
    I demoíd a Portal at Dirtfest(Allegrippis) last year and it was a rocket ship on those sweet flowy trails. No idea how it would perform at Rothrock since it is pretty much the exact opposite of flowy. Iím 6í and rode a large and the fit was very good. The demo bike was also tricked out with top end components that arenít even offered on their production bikes also.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsklrdr View Post
    I am located in northern NJ and most of what i ride is rocky, rooty, rock gardens, etc...

    you listed a lot of options but since you indicated you prefer plush, supple and magic carpet ride I would lean more toward the dual link style bikes like the Ibis, Revel,etc. I find that the horst link bikes such as the transition and the GG tend to be firmer in feel. Just a function of the suspension kinematics around anti-squat, etc,etc...

    Ha !

    Almost the exact opposite of what I said !

    Except I do repeatedly hear on reviews that that GG's incarnation of the Horst link on their bikes, especially the TP, is firm, and not at all described as plush. It's the main reason I've never bought one.


    In terms of the suspension soaking up rocks/chatter my...

    Pivot Mach 6 was OK

    Ibis HD3 was horrible

    two SC VPP bikes were poor (never tried their new lower linkage set up which I hear is good)

    3 SC high SP bikes were barely OK

    Lenz "faux bar" was very good

    Giant Trance (Dw-like) is very good

    Giant Glory (DW-like) is very good - but that's a dh bike so it has to be

    Spec FSR Horst was great

    Knolly four bar Horst is unrivaled


    That is all relatively speaking. They were all good bikes that served me well except the Ibis (but I'm still considering an HD5 vs Warden).

    I bet is this has more to do with leverage ratios and shock choice than linkage design.


    But again, as I said above, a key to removing harshness from rocky trails is proper tire choice and tire pressure. Bet I could set up any bike and make it "feel" harsh just by using the wrong tires and psi.


    Born in and rode PA for many years, did some NJ DH at Diablo/Mt. Creek, but now ride in the northern Adirondacks/far Upstate NY.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post

    Knolly four bar Horst is unrivaled
    I concur - if you don't mind giving up a bit of efficiency, Knolly is definitely the best place to start when looking for maximum plushness. You'd be hard-pressed to find something more plush/compliant.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Ha !

    Almost the exact opposite of what I said !

    Except I do repeatedly hear on reviews that that GG's incarnation of the Horst link on their bikes, especially the TP, is firm, and not at all described as plush. It's the main reason I've never bought one.


    In terms of the suspension soaking up rocks/chatter my...

    Pivot Mach 6 was OK

    Ibis HD3 was horrible

    two SC VPP bikes were poor (never tried their new lower linkage set up which I hear is good)

    3 SC high SP bikes were barely OK

    Lenz "faux bar" was very good

    Giant Trance (Dw-like) is very good

    Giant Glory (DW-like) is very good - but that's a dh bike so it has to be

    Spec FSR Horst was great

    Knolly four bar Horst is unrivaled


    That is all relatively speaking. They were all good bikes that served me well except the Ibis (but I'm still considering an HD5 vs Warden).

    I bet is this has more to do with leverage ratios and shock choice than linkage design.


    But again, as I said above, a key to removing harshness from rocky trails is proper tire choice and tire pressure. Bet I could set up any bike and make it "feel" harsh just by using the wrong tires and psi.


    Born in and rode PA for many years, did some NJ DH at Diablo/Mt. Creek, but now ride in the northern Adirondacks/far Upstate NY.

    I usually recommend to demo anything before you buy, but the OP says he's limited in doing that. I would have recommended going to Outerbike in Vermont this year but with all this Covid19 stuff going on, that probably not going to take place. I did Outerbike Bentonville in Oct 2018 and rode so many different bikes over three days that really helped me narrow down the choices...

    I pretty much rode horst link bikes until recently when I picked up a the Jamis 3VO last year and more recently an esker elkat which is 27.5 Dave Weagle design.
    My experience riding the dual link stuff is more recent (2018 and on) so I can only speak to that and I most of what I've ridden is usually in the 130-150mm range with the exception of the Ibis Ripley (an that did feel firmer). Seems like the more recent execution of DW-Link bikes seem plusher when setup correctly compared to previous incarnations and compared to some of the firmer feeling horst link bikes I've ridden.

    As with anything I think it's the execution of the chosen design. Whether it is Horst Link, Dual Link or something else...

    If I was going to get another Horst Link bike I think it would be the Knolly as well from everything I've heard.

    If OP want's plush I would encourage him to lean toward the 130-140 end of the travel spectrum.

    Agree with you 110% on tire pressure...even a couple of psi can have a dramatic impact in feel...get a good gauge and really dial that in.

  15. #15
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    Take a look a Devinci Django too. Really like mine

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsklrdr View Post
    I usually recommend to demo anything before you buy, but the OP says he's limited in doing that. I would have recommended going to Outerbike in Vermont this year but with all this Covid19 stuff going on, that probably not going to take place. I did Outerbike Bentonville in Oct 2018 and rode so many different bikes over three days that really helped me narrow down the choices...

    I pretty much rode horst link bikes until recently when I picked up a the Jamis 3VO last year and more recently an esker elkat which is 27.5 Dave Weagle design.
    My experience riding the dual link stuff is more recent (2018 and on) so I can only speak to that and I most of what I've ridden is usually in the 130-150mm range with the exception of the Ibis Ripley (an that did feel firmer). Seems like the more recent execution of DW-Link bikes seem plusher when setup correctly compared to previous incarnations and compared to some of the firmer feeling horst link bikes I've ridden.

    As with anything I think it's the execution of the chosen design. Whether it is Horst Link, Dual Link or something else...

    If I was going to get another Horst Link bike I think it would be the Knolly as well from everything I've heard.

    If OP want's plush I would encourage him to lean toward the 130-140 end of the travel spectrum.

    Agree with you 110% on tire pressure...even a couple of psi can have a dramatic impact in feel...get a good gauge and really dial that in.

    Yeah, demo'ing is usually ideal but was never practical for me.

    Something that plays into the OPs concern is suspension feel under power, or under braking, or under coasting/pumping downhill.

    I'm curious if bikes that carrier higher levels of AS through most of their travel (multi link bikes) will feel differently than bikes who's AS falls off quickly after sag (four bar) on the coasting downhill segments. ???

    Bikes that have a lot a AS I guess tend to stiffen up under pedal force, where bike's who's AS falls off don't (once the AS falls off). How that all plays out on the down hill while coasting I suppose is a very different animal.


    I hear my Knolly has relatively low AS. But its leverage curve and coil shock give it a lot of mid-stroke support. So when climbing it tends not to sink into its mid-stroke as badly as other bikes despite what I presume its relatively low AS. So until it hits a bump while climbing it stays in the higher range of its AS curve. Once it hits the bump, the suspension cycles and you are in the lower AS range, but that frees up the suspension to do its think in the chunk.


    Like we both said and agree on its probably more about the execution of the linkage design. And like I said, the resulting leverage curve, and the damper. Now that I think of it I took a YT Jeffsey 29 for a spin maybe a year or two ago. A Horst link. That bike did not feel plush at all. It's leverage curve is very progressive and the damper has a very small air can. Probably great for kids doing big, hit speed jumps, on buffed out trails, but bad for trail riding in chunky conditions.


    These are things I like to think about but there's probably a lot more to it than I know.

  17. #17
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    I ride a Canfield Riot. The Revel suspension has the same type of plush, active yet efficient suspension. The offering was mentioned and its a good bike. But not as good as the Riot, it has a little peddle feedback that you may or may not care about. Not much beats a Knolly they are push and traction for days. But not the best bike to stand and hamer in the rolling terrain you're in.

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    Have you considered the Trek Fuel EX? I haven't ridden the new version, but when Pinkbike tested it against the Tallboy, they're conclusion was that it was plush, supple, and had very good traction (at the expense of pop and playfulness, which went to the Tallboy). They say that they would suit different trails/riding styles, and it sounds like you fall into the category that would be well suited by the Fuel EX.

  19. #19
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    How about a Rocky Mountain Instinct? 140/140 but it doesn't feel like it most of the time. I'm in TN and the terrain is much like yours. The bike climbs really well and it does feel smooth. I know it's a little more sus than you mentioned, but it's worth a consideration IMO.

  20. #20
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    One thing to consider for an East Coast bike, in addition to simple plushness over rough stuff, is how the suspension performs when under heavy load AND moving over rough stuff. Simple suspension designs can be tuned to not sag under hard pedaling, but doing that while remaining responsive to bumps (as a couple others have mentioned) is important when you are riding the short, steep "climbs" we have here. I find a plush but non-efficient suspension design very energy sapping when you have to repeatedly sprint up steep technical up's. Most bike reviews seem to be West Coast oriented, where climbs can last an hour or more, and riders can just drop a gear and smoothly pedal up.

    Personally, I'm riding Pivots these days, and I love the DW-Link feel. It has an almost magical ability to conform to terrain while not sagging/bobbing under heavy pedaling forces. I'm sure there are others that do this as well, but for me, DW works great here. Pivot's home terrain in AZ has lots of technical climbs, which I think helps them design bikes that work well in that terrain.

    I also think that really low BBs and really slack head angles don't work well here, but YMMV depending on riding style etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Send View Post
    I also think that really low BBs and really slack head angles don't work well here, but YMMV depending on riding style etc.
    Bottom Bracket height is one of my biggest pet peeves as an east coast rider - this whole long, low and slack geometry is making it harder and harder to find bikes that are really appropriate to the riding that I do. I don't have the experience on a wide variety of bikes as others do so I can't speak broadly on the best suspension. But I would definitely keep an eye on bottom bracket height when evaluating bikes - of course you CAN learn to avoid pedal strikes, but that doesn't mean that you want to be ratchet pedaling all the time either. If a bike is advertised as long and low, it wouldn't be at the top of my list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    Bottom Bracket height is one of my biggest pet peeves as an east coast rider - this whole long, low and slack geometry is making it harder and harder to find bikes that are really appropriate to the riding that I do. I don't have the experience on a wide variety of bikes as others do so I can't speak broadly on the best suspension. But I would definitely keep an eye on bottom bracket height when evaluating bikes - of course you CAN learn to avoid pedal strikes, but that doesn't mean that you want to be ratchet pedaling all the time either. If a bike is advertised as long and low, it wouldn't be at the top of my list.
    I agree with this. I have a GG Smash not and the BB is pretty good but I do need to ratchet and keep in mind it is lower then my last bike. Im in CT

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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    Bottom Bracket height is one of my biggest pet peeves as an east coast rider - this whole long, low and slack geometry is making it harder and harder to find bikes that are really appropriate to the riding that I do. I don't have the experience on a wide variety of bikes as others do so I can't speak broadly on the best suspension. But I would definitely keep an eye on bottom bracket height when evaluating bikes - of course you CAN learn to avoid pedal strikes, but that doesn't mean that you want to be ratchet pedaling all the time either. If a bike is advertised as long and low, it wouldn't be at the top of my list.
    One of the reasons I got the 2020 Switchblade vs a Ripmo or similar was the higher BB and flip chip that enables a higher/steeper setting for lower speed technical riding. Loving the bike with 2.6 tires - decent clearance for the chunk I ride. Also the suspension is amazing.

    That said, I like the longer reach and steeper seat angles on the newer crop of bikes. I think Pivot has done a good job with not going too far. Chris C talks about this a lot - taking advantage of modern sizing and geometry without taking things too far for most peopleís riding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Clauz View Post
    So, Iíve been thinking about a Trailpistol, with an elevensix. But I wanted to see if they would build it up with a lower tier drivetrain and high tier suspension. I have XO1 eagle on my following that I would transfer over. Also noticed I could do that with the Revel on Fanatic bike, so thatís an option. The Giant looks great, but I do not like their component spec on a 5500$ bike, so Iíll probably stay away from big name brands as the smaller guys usually offer more for your money.
    On the Pistol, you can easilly run a 2.5WT or 2.6 with the longer stroke shock, giving you 130mm travel, then for a little more aggressive use (steeper HTA) and to boost BB height, ask for the tall lower cup.

    I run my Pistola with the tall lower cup and a 29" Fox 34 140mm fork, most of the time I'm running a 27+ set up, but rotate in my 29+ wheels, great bike, easily the most overlooked because everyone wants more travel.

    I have a Megatrail and since I got the Pistola built I'm riding it most of the time.

    In terms of build, I'm a big fan of the Shimano XT drivetrain, works as good as the high end SRAM stuff, but less finicky, and way less expensive.

    In regards to suspension, I'd never spend the $$ on an ElevenSix, partly because I think a coil shock is overkill on a short travel bike, but also because you can get better overall performance from a good air shock. I like the DPX2, but I prefer the Mara Pro.

    If you really want coil, I'd put it in a fork, makes more sense because you'd already have the poppy back end with an air shock, more stroke (fork vs shock) will result in greater benefits from a coil, and you can add it aftermarket if the air coil doesn't suit your needs. Sadly, the only lighter weight fork with an aftermarket coil is the Pike, but if like SRAM Dampers then it's a good choice.

    GG is a great company and their products work well.
    GG Megatrail 27.5 (Braaap!)
    GG Trail Pistola 27+/29 (speedy)
    Pivot Shuttle 27.5 (wife's)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Clauz View Post
    So, I'm looking to move on from my Evil Following V1. I bought a size medium and at 6 foot while on the edge of m-l I got a good deal on a used medium and after a couple years I feel like i should have went with a large. I feel wayyyy too far back on the bike, probably because of how high the seat post is, making the actual seat tube angle ridiculously slack.

    So with limited abilities to test ride because of where I live, I'm looking for some feedback from other east coast riders here. I have read many articles, watched close to 100 YouTube videos of guys riding way faster than I would in terrain I will never ride in (out west). For reference I live in central PA and will be riding Allegrippis some and mostly Rothrock which means rocky, rooty, climbing, ridge riding and some descending.

    I'm looking for 120-130mm rear and 120-140mm front bikes. I do not like the terms, "poppy" and "playful", id prefer "plush", "supple", and magic carpet like ride. I don't jump off of stuff unless descending and I happen to hit a natural lip or something. I do like to ride somewhat aggressively and would like the ability to plow through rock gardens and such, but still be an excellent climber.

    A few bikes I have looked at...SC Tallboy V4, Alchemy Arktos ST, Canyon, YT, Ripley, Jet9/Rip9 (had a v1 rip9),Revel Rascal, Smuggler and a couple others Iím probably forgetting. Pretty much everything I can find in the 120-130mm rear travel range. But as I said all the reviews show people riding out west doing things ill never do, so I can never get a true feeling of how they will do when being ridding here in the east at much slower speeds and dealing with rocky rooty trails. Any insight is greatly appreciated and any bikes I may have missed is welcomed.
    The Jeffsy is NOT what you want. As mentioned above, it pops and is firm in the early travel, then opens up to suck up the big hits. But it doesn't feel plush until you're going Ludicrous Speed.

    An SB130 is worth a test-drive. The Infinity Link bikes are very good at maintaining small-bump compliance while climbing.

    Big tires and low pressures are a big part of that smooth feeling. Look for at least 2.6, and maybe run an insert in at least the rear to make the tires more progressive over East Coast chatter. We have a lot of finger- to wrist-sized rocks and roots that are mostly eaten up by the tires, not the shock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Send View Post
    One of the reasons I got the 2020 Switchblade vs a Ripmo or similar was the higher BB and flip chip that enables a higher/steeper setting for lower speed technical riding. Loving the bike with 2.6 tires - decent clearance for the chunk I ride. Also the suspension is amazing.

    That said, I like the longer reach and steeper seat angles on the newer crop of bikes. I think Pivot has done a good job with not going too far. Chris C talks about this a lot - taking advantage of modern sizing and geometry without taking things too far for most peopleís riding.
    If I were buying a new bike today the Switchblade would be at the top of the list for me. I totally agree that Pivot did a good job of embracing the modern geometry trends without going crazy - I feel like their bikes are designed more with our type of riding in mind.

    Another poster mentioned the SB130. I seriously thought about the Yeti's when I was purchasing but was scared off by the issues that were being raised on the forums here. Now that the SB100 and SB130 have been around a while combined with the Yeti's new-ish lifetime warranty, these might be decent options. They certainly are in-keeping with what the OP said he is looking for, but their bottom brackets are also on the lower side.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    If I were buying a new bike today the Switchblade would be at the top of the list for me. I totally agree that Pivot did a good job of embracing the modern geometry trends without going crazy - I feel like their bikes are designed more with our type of riding in mind.

    Another poster mentioned the SB130. I seriously thought about the Yeti's when I was purchasing but was scared off by the issues that were being raised on the forums here. Now that the SB100 and SB130 have been around a while combined with the Yeti's new-ish lifetime warranty, these might be decent options. They certainly are in-keeping with what the OP said he is looking for, but their bottom brackets are also on the lower side.
    Yeah, the Yeti SI design is cool, and from what I've heard works really well in terms of efficiency etc. My worries would be that the head angle is pretty slack for our terrain here, and the BB is really low (8mm to 14mm lower than my Switchblade). Pretty sure that wouldn't work for me.

  28. #28
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    Knolly Fugitive. Boom done.

    If you want plush and not poppy, that is the bike for you.

    Great traction over roots and rocks. Higher - ish bottom bracket.
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    How do you guys think a Stumpjumper (new geometry, so 2019 or newer) would be for East Coast riding?

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    Ripley v4 with 140mm and coil. Specifically, I have Formula Selva R fork and Ext Storia v3 coil. Both amazing for what they can handle and do in all situations. I have some posts in the Ripley forum.

    Ride everything in Maryland, Virginia, PA and WV.

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    I ride central PA trails on a Canfield EPO and mostly do very well. There are a few trails I'd like to have FS or heavier tires not so much to traverse the trails but to reduce post ride joint pain.

    There are a lot of great suggestions being made. I'll second staying away from too long and low. With many tight turns and punchy climbs a quicker handling bike will server us well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    Regarding the Revel Rascal - While I haven't ridden one, my personal ride is a Canfield Riot which isn't far off from the Rascal. My conditions are also pretty similar to yours - I ride in the Washington DC area.

    CBF is probably my favorite linkage I've ridden. It's not picky about sag and works well with both air and coil shocks. If you're looking for a bike that is as plush as possible while still pedaling well, a CBF equipped bike with a coil shock would fit the bill very well. Great grip and nice and push, but won't blow through travel or suck the life out of you on long climbs.

    My main gripe with the Revel stuff is the geometry - it doesn't particularly stand out to me, especially for the price. The Riot has super short 414mm chainstays and a 77-degree seat tube angle - both things I really appreciate when riding tight, steep trails. The Rascal is just 'meh' - a little on the short side, but otherwise entirely average.
    Keep in mind there more to the Riot. I had one, never had hand pain. Got a Ripley V4 and even on shorter rides I had hand wrist/hand pain, even though the Riot has a 77 STA and the Ripley has a 76.
    I think that came down to the shorter TTE and higher stack on the Riot made it more comfortable. I'm not convinced the new long and longer bikes with steep STA are the best for the rolling hills stuff here- at least where I ride in MD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvrpl View Post
    How do you guys think a Stumpjumper (new geometry, so 2019 or newer) would be for East Coast riding?
    I rode a 2019 Stumpjumper in Tahoe last year. I liked the bike, but I felt like it rode lower in its travel than I am used to. Given that plus it's lower-ish bottom bracket, and I don't think it would be at the top of my list personally. No doubt its a good bike - but I suspect that I'd be extending the fork or shortening the cranks pretty quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Keep in mind there more to the Riot. I had one, never had hand pain. Got a Ripley V4 and even on shorter rides I had hand wrist/hand pain, even though the Riot has a 77 STA and the Ripley has a 76.
    I think that came down to the shorter TTE and higher stack on the Riot made it more comfortable. I'm not convinced the new long and longer bikes with steep STA are the best for the rolling hills stuff here- at least where I ride in MD.
    I think how well a steep STA/slack HTA works for east coast riding can be very much specific to each person. For stuff like Patapsaco and the newer stuff in Bacon Ridge, the hills are short and steep, and I feel conducive to the climbing position offered by a steep STA and the extra stability provided by a slack HTA.

    For stuff like Fairland or Rosaryville, with much flatter, rolling terrain, I would agree - a slacker STA and steeper HTA would be more comfortable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    I rode a 2019 Stumpjumper in Tahoe last year. I liked the bike, but I felt like it rode lower in its travel than I am used to. Given that plus it's lower-ish bottom bracket, and I don't think it would be at the top of my list personally. No doubt its a good bike - but I suspect that I'd be extending the fork or shortening the cranks pretty quickly.
    Based on the published geometry charts on Specialized website, I believe the BB height was raised (less BB drop) for 2020 vs 2019. At least that is what I recall when I was looking into the 29 ST model. I agree that the previous model BB height would be a bit low for pedaling through lots of junk. 340-345mm seems to be the sweet spot for BB height on a 115-130 travel bike. That usually equates to a 30-35mm BB drop. The Trance 29 falls into that range, uses 170mm cranks, and can take 29x2.6 rubber if you need a little more BB height and cushion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix864 View Post
    I think how well a steep STA/slack HTA works for east coast riding can be very much specific to each person. For stuff like Patapsaco and the newer stuff in Bacon Ridge, the hills are short and steep, and I feel conducive to the climbing position offered by a steep STA and the extra stability provided by a slack HTA.

    For stuff like Fairland or Rosaryville, with much flatter, rolling terrain, I would agree - a slacker STA and steeper HTA would be more comfortable.
    Also the steep STA slackes when you sit on it. 77į on 140mm or more isn't as steep as 76į on a short travel bike. Once the bike is at sag.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioPT View Post
    Based on the published geometry charts on Specialized website, I believe the BB height was raised (less BB drop) for 2020 vs 2019. At least that is what I recall when I was looking into the 29 ST model. I agree that the previous model BB height would be a bit low for pedaling through lots of junk. 340-345mm seems to be the sweet spot for BB height on a 115-130 travel bike. That usually equates to a 30-35mm BB drop. The Trance 29 falls into that range, uses 170mm cranks, and can take 29x2.6 rubber if you need a little more BB height and cushion.
    Looks like the BB height of the current Stumpjumpers is 341mm (alloy frame) and 342mm (carbon frame). However, the travel is 150mm.

    What would you think about that for rocky/rooty stuff with punchy short climbs on the east coast (and more specifically, the Northeast)? Honestly, I'm fairly new to the sport. Have a few friends with Stumpies up here and just trying to learn what the tradeoffs are and what I should be looking for on these kinds of trails. Thanks for any thoughts.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvrpl View Post
    Looks like the BB height of the current Stumpjumpers is 341mm (alloy frame) and 342mm (carbon frame). However, the travel is 150mm.

    What would you think about that for rocky/rooty stuff with punchy short climbs on the east coast (and more specifically, the Northeast)? Honestly, I'm fairly new to the sport. Have a few friends with Stumpies up here and just trying to learn what the tradeoffs are and what I should be looking for on these kinds of trails. Thanks for any thoughts.
    I was referring to the ST model (https://www.specialized.com/us/en/st...oy-29/p/170585), which is 130 front and 120 rear, with a BB drop of 33mm, which yields a 341mm BB height. That is with 2.3" tires. You could gain another 5mm or so with 2.6" tires (assuming they fit the frame).

    The regular Stumpjumper (https://www.specialized.com/us/en/st...ext=93320-7002) is 150 front, 140 rear, with the same BB drop as the ST model. They spec a 2.6" tire on the front and 2.3" on the rear, and claim a BB height of 341mm (it's probably actually slightly higher, since it has a 2.6" tire).

    Since the regular SJ has 20mm more travel than the ST model, the BB height will be about 5mm lower when actually riding the bike (20mm travel x 25% sag = 5mm). With the 170mm cranks that are spec'd across all sizes, you should still be fine. You can always run a 2.6" tire on the rear (assuming it fit the frame) to raise the BB a little more.

    Specialized claims the exact same HTA, STA, wheelbase, and chainstays on either model. These figures are all rather contemporary by today's geo standards. Not too slack, not too long. Pretty much the exact same numbers to the Giant Trance 29 (Giant specs a shorter offset fork than the SJ, FYI). The one difference is the SJ has a pretty tall stack height compared to the Trance, and almost all other bikes in its class. I'd actually prefer this myself, but I still chose the Trance 29 because it is spec'd better for the price, and I think the Maestro suspension is probably a better design than the Horst link.

    Regarding the BB height. What I find is that a riding height of 12" (305mm) is about as low as I can go before getting a lot of pedal strikes. This is the height after accounting for suspension sag. For example, on a hardtail with a 120mm fork, the BB will lower ~10mm with the rider aboard. So if the static BB height is 320mm, it will end up at 310 sagged. For a 140mm front/rear full suspension, the BB will lower 35mm with the rider. So if the static BB height is 345mm, it will end up at 310mm sagged.

    If you find a geometry chart that doesn't list the static BB height, but does list the BB drop, you can calculate the static height if you know the tire size. A 29 x 2.25 tire has a diameter of ~745mm. Divide this by 2 (to find the radius), then subtract the BB drop to find the static BB height. Example (745/2)-33mm drop = 339.5mm. A 29 x 2.6 tire has a diameter of ~760mm. Keep in mind though that a lot of tires are undersized compared to their claimed width.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioPT View Post
    I was referring to the ST model (https://www.specialized.com/us/en/st...oy-29/p/170585), which is 130 front and 120 rear, with a BB drop of 33mm, which yields a 341mm BB height. That is with 2.3" tires. You could gain another 5mm or so with 2.6" tires (assuming they fit the frame).

    The regular Stumpjumper (https://www.specialized.com/us/en/st...ext=93320-7002) is 150 front, 140 rear, with the same BB drop as the ST model. They spec a 2.6" tire on the front and 2.3" on the rear, and claim a BB height of 341mm (it's probably actually slightly higher, since it has a 2.6" tire).

    Since the regular SJ has 20mm more travel than the ST model, the BB height will be about 5mm lower when actually riding the bike (20mm travel x 25% sag = 5mm). With the 170mm cranks that are spec'd across all sizes, you should still be fine. You can always run a 2.6" tire on the rear (assuming it fit the frame) to raise the BB a little more.

    Specialized claims the exact same HTA, STA, wheelbase, and chainstays on either model. These figures are all rather contemporary by today's geo standards. Not too slack, not too long. Pretty much the exact same numbers to the Giant Trance 29 (Giant specs a shorter offset fork than the SJ, FYI). The one difference is the SJ has a pretty tall stack height compared to the Trance, and almost all other bikes in its class. I'd actually prefer this myself, but I still chose the Trance 29 because it is spec'd better for the price, and I think the Maestro suspension is probably a better design than the Horst link.

    Regarding the BB height. What I find is that a riding height of 12" (305mm) is about as low as I can go before getting a lot of pedal strikes. This is the height after accounting for suspension sag. For example, on a hardtail with a 120mm fork, the BB will lower ~10mm with the rider aboard. So if the static BB height is 320mm, it will end up at 310 sagged. For a 140mm front/rear full suspension, the BB will lower 35mm with the rider. So if the static BB height is 345mm, it will end up at 310mm sagged.

    If you find a geometry chart that doesn't list the static BB height, but does list the BB drop, you can calculate the static height if you know the tire size. A 29 x 2.25 tire has a diameter of ~745mm. Divide this by 2 (to find the radius), then subtract the BB drop to find the static BB height. Example (745/2)-33mm drop = 339.5mm. A 29 x 2.6 tire has a diameter of ~760mm. Keep in mind though that a lot of tires are undersized compared to their claimed width.
    This was super helpful - thanks!

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    I had the Canfield Bros Riot for a few years, and the minute Revel announced the Rascal I jumped on it. Canít say enough good things about it. I live in the DC area, so plenty of east coast riding here along with bike parks. This bike is perfect for the rocky and rooty conditions around here.

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    I saw your bike pic in another thread.
    I also live on the east coast and like what youíve built up here. Noticing that you went with a small frame, how tall are you?

    Iíve been a solid Med for years, but with the longer bikes, one theory has me on a small and another on a Med.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwdawson View Post
    I saw your bike pic in another thread.
    I also live on the east coast and like what youíve built up here. Noticing that you went with a small frame, how tall are you?

    Iíve been a solid Med for years, but with the longer bikes, one theory has me on a small and another on a Med.
    Canfield and Revel aren't overly long bikes. I'm on a Riot with longer fork and angleset head set. I'm 5'6" on a medium. With adding 1.5 inches to the WB its still shorter than my Wife's Evil medium Wreckoning. Which is a short WB bike for its class.

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    New Revel Ranger- Short travel Riot.
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  44. #44
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    I know this was asked in a 29er bikes forum but what go you think about 27.5 bikes for east coast riding? Ive been on 29ers mostly but at 5'6" was thinking of moving to a 27.5, specifically the Revel Rail. Though it climbs real well it maybe to much bike for maybe 50% of my riding. I could of course take it to bike parks but that only happens maybe once or twice a year.

    The Forbidden Druid in size small is a 29er I have my eye on. It has 414mm chainstays in a size small and I like the geo. With its short wheelbase it should be playful but i worry about stability going downhil fast and losing traction on steep uphill tech sections.

    My chances of demoing either are pretty slim so I have to go off of the interwebs and then flip a coin.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I know this was asked in a 29er bikes forum but what go you think about 27.5 bikes for east coast riding? Ive been on 29ers mostly but at 5'6" was thinking of moving to a 27.5, specifically the Revel Rail. Though it climbs real well it maybe to much bike for maybe 50% of my riding. I could of course take it to bike parks but that only happens maybe once or twice a year.

    The Forbidden Druid in size small is a 29er I have my eye on. It has 414mm chainstays in a size small and I like the geo. With its short wheelbase it should be playful but i worry about stability going downhil fast and losing traction on steep uphill tech sections.

    My chances of demoing either are pretty slim so I have to go off of the interwebs and then flip a coin.


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    Yes, a 275 can work well for East side riding. Many trails on this side are tighter and techier IMO. Trail design may be dictated by trees and wet areas making them less open. 29ers shine in open, faster terrain. So from that perspective a 275 may be better. Rolling over the chatter is definitely better done by the bigger hoop though, so there is sort of a balance.

    My two trail bikes are a 29 and a 275 with the 275 having more travel than the 29. I probably have more fun on the 275. Maybe I'm a bit faster on the 29.

    IMO I think for the majority of East side riding something like the Revel Rail would be too much travel. That amount of travel, IMO, is only really needed when your trails provide for large amounts of super high speed dh bombing through chunk. Its rare to find that here on the East. Those longer travel bikes don't do as well on the punchy, steep climbs that are so common around here. Maybe your trails are the exception though.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmo View Post
    I know this was asked in a 29er bikes forum but what go you think about 27.5 bikes for east coast riding? Ive been on 29ers mostly but at 5'6" was thinking of moving to a 27.5, specifically the Revel Rail. Though it climbs real well it maybe to much bike for maybe 50% of my riding. I could of course take it to bike parks but that only happens maybe once or twice a year.

    The Forbidden Druid in size small is a 29er I have my eye on. It has 414mm chainstays in a size small and I like the geo. With its short wheelbase it should be playful but i worry about stability going downhil fast and losing traction on steep uphill tech sections.

    My chances of demoing either are pretty slim so I have to go off of the interwebs and then flip a coin.


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    The Druid is on my short list as well.. 414mm chainstays don't effect me on tech climbing if the STA is steep. I'm 5'6" as well, I'm long in the torso so I'd be looking at a medium. The 340mm BB height is a little low for tech climbing IMHO.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Yes, a 275 can work well for East side riding. Many trails on this side are tighter and techier IMO. Trail design may be dictated by trees and wet areas making them less open. 29ers shine in open, faster terrain. So from that perspective a 275 may be better. Rolling over the chatter is definitely better done by the bigger hoop though, so there is sort of a balance.

    My two trail bikes are a 29 and a 275 with the 275 having more travel than the 29. I probably have more fun on the 275. Maybe I'm a bit faster on the 29.

    IMO I think for the majority of East side riding something like the Revel Rail would be too much travel. That amount of travel, IMO, is only really needed when your trails provide for large amounts of super high speed dh bombing through chunk. Its rare to find that here on the East. Those longer travel bikes don't do as well on the punchy, steep climbs that are so common around here. Maybe your trails are the exception though.
    I agree with Mike here. My wife and I prefer 29ers but the wheelbase needs to be shorter than what's popular. We ride the Watershed and Pisgah. She's on a Wreckoning and I'm on a Riot. Both have short wheelbase for their kind of bike. Even the higher speed stuff in Pisgah I don't wish for a longer bike. Shorter offset forks tame any twitchiness.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Yes, a 275 can work well for East side riding. Many trails on this side are tighter and techier IMO. Trail design may be dictated by trees and wet areas making them less open. 29ers shine in open, faster terrain. So from that perspective a 275 may be better. Rolling over the chatter is definitely better done by the bigger hoop though, so there is sort of a balance.

    My two trail bikes are a 29 and a 275 with the 275 having more travel than the 29. I probably have more fun on the 275. Maybe I'm a bit faster on the 29.

    IMO I think for the majority of East side riding something like the Revel Rail would be too much travel. That amount of travel, IMO, is only really needed when your trails provide for large amounts of super high speed dh bombing through chunk. Its rare to find that here on the East. Those longer travel bikes don't do as well on the punchy, steep climbs that are so common around here. Maybe your trails are the exception though.
    What do you think about the Esker Elkat then? It seems more "trail" than the Rail. I may also wait to see if Yeti comes out with a new SB5

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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyWheel73 View Post
    Bottom Bracket height is one of my biggest pet peeves as an east coast rider - this whole long, low and slack geometry is making it harder and harder to find bikes that are really appropriate to the riding that I do. I don't have the experience on a wide variety of bikes as others do so I can't speak broadly on the best suspension. But I would definitely keep an eye on bottom bracket height when evaluating bikes....
    BB height is one of my main things. I have multiple bikes, and my favorite for South Central PA is my 2015 Remedy. Rarely do I strike anything with my pedals.
    I have a few others, which all have the newer Geo's. I flat do not trust the bike as much, due to much easier pedal strikes.
    I hate this "low, slack crap". The bikes don't want to turn, especially in tight twisties.

    I really, really like my Remedy. Climbs very well, does down incredibly well, and just is a very, very confidence inspiring bike!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa Clauz View Post
    So, I'm looking to move on from my Evil Following V1. I bought a size medium and at 6 foot while on the edge of m-l I got a good deal on a used medium and after a couple years I feel like i should have went with a large. I feel wayyyy too far back on the bike, probably because of how high the seat post is, making the actual seat tube angle ridiculously slack.

    So with limited abilities to test ride because of where I live, I'm looking for some feedback from other east coast riders here. I have read many articles, watched close to 100 YouTube videos of guys riding way faster than I would in terrain I will never ride in (out west). For reference I live in central PA and will be riding Allegrippis some and mostly Rothrock which means rocky, rooty, climbing, ridge riding and some descending.

    I'm looking for 120-130mm rear and 120-140mm front bikes. I do not like the terms, "poppy" and "playful", id prefer "plush", "supple", and magic carpet like ride. I don't jump off of stuff unless descending and I happen to hit a natural lip or something. I do like to ride somewhat aggressively and would like the ability to plow through rock gardens and such, but still be an excellent climber.

    A few bikes I have looked at...SC Tallboy V4, Alchemy Arktos ST, Canyon, YT, Ripley, Jet9/Rip9 (had a v1 rip9),Revel Rascal, Smuggler and a couple others Iím probably forgetting. Pretty much everything I can find in the 120-130mm rear travel range. But as I said all the reviews show people riding out west doing things ill never do, so I can never get a true feeling of how they will do when being ridding here in the east at much slower speeds and dealing with rocky rooty trails. Any insight is greatly appreciated and any bikes I may have missed is welcomed.
    I love dw-link for climbing efficiency, but it absolutely is not plush. My experience with VPP on my tallboy ltc was that it almost completely eliminated trail chatter. You would get this silent pftpftpft as you went over bumps. The bad part was lots of pedal bob on climbs when standing (but fine when seated).

    I just bought a ripmo and Im trying to figure out how to make it more plush. I personally would suspect that a ripley wouldnt be plush enough for you, though I am just starting my setup process so I might eventually get to nirvana.

  51. #51
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    Check out the Dirtwire channel on YouTube. Thom lives and rides on the gnarliest East Coast Trails in and around Boston plus he travels a lot as well. He takes demos from JRA Cycles and reviews them all the time. Lotís of material to check out.

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCU1F3IShyHcOJUmv8nH48kQ
    CADRE RACING

    Vassago Radimus
    Kona Wozo

  52. #52
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jeremy3220's Avatar
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    I live on the east coast and ride a Tallboy 4. Everyone has different preferences and that's fine but I don't really buy that modern bikes are poorly suited to east coast riding. The new Tallboy is 3-4% longer than the previous gen (depending on which frame size). I also ride a XXL and still manage to get around the trails just fine.

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