Short or Mid-Travel Bike???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Short or Mid-Travel Bike???

    Iím getting into MTBín again after years off & its obvious to me that I need a new bike. My old Stumpy just doesnít cut it anymore. Too uncomfortable, harsh, twitchy, etc.

    Over the last week my closest LBS had brought in some Niners for demo. First rode a Jet 9 RDO. 120 mm travel front & rear, large frame as XL wasnít available, much more comfortable than my Stumpy, rolled over everything so smoothly, etc. Trail I was on was fairly easy, fairly flat terrain with rolling hills, and didnít really get to push the suspension too hard. Overall nice ride though probably a touch small for my 6í3 240lb frame.

    Today I got to ride a Rip 9 RDO. 150 mm fork, 140 mm shock, XL frame, 3 star build. Much better fit over the Jet. Ride this time was much more technical, which Iím crazy rusty at, very rocky in sections, tight single tracks, out n back type ride. 5 miles of climbing then when tired of climbing ya turn around and head downhill. Iím way out of practice, but damn this thing soaked up the rock gardens nicely, climbed well, etc.

    So, now that Iíve ridden these bikes Iím more convinced than ever that I need a new ride. Problem is that the two demos I did were on vastly different trails and not sure how the Jet 9 would do in the rocky stuff compared to the Rip 9. For someone my size would I be better off going with a bike designed to be more of an XC full squish with 120mm of travel or more of a trail bike with 140/150mm? A lot of the trails I ride are rocky and technical. With my size, and after my demo on the Rip, Iím wondering if this type of bike would be a better for me than a shorter travel bike.

  2. #2
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    How much travel you need to ride a given trail will be somewhat dependent on how fast you plan to go. At some point, as you slow down, it will become easier to pick your way through more technical stuff on a the shorter travel bike than the long travel one, but if you maintain speed and plow through the whole thing, the longer travel will be better. Also, demo a lot more bikes. Maybe the niner stuff will be what you like, maybe you'll find something you like better. I've got a couple of friends who really like their niners, but I prefer other stuff. Don't limit your options just yet if you're coming off an older bike.

  3. #3
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    Like Cotharyus says, riding style will dictate a LOT.

    Where I live, most of the trails can be ridden on just about anything. You can show up on a rigid singlespeed, or a long travel FS. The only sorts of bikes that are generally out of the question are downhill bikes because of the lack of practical shuttles. There are a couple that are possible, but they're so impractical (takes nearly as long to ride the climb as to drive it) that not a lot of people actually shuttle them.

    So the real question is how you want to ride.

    I tend to be a bit more of a finesse rider than a "plow through it" sort of rider, and I don't tend to get as much air. That leads me to underbike more often than not.

  4. #4
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    Definitely demo more bikes before you buy if you can. That's just a good idea regardless of how much you ride I think.

    These days, bikes that have good pedaling suspension designs don't really give up much efficiency between 120-140 travel bikes, so going for the bigger bike isn't a negative. Try out Santa Cruz, Yeti, Pivot, Ibis, etc. Try riding their 120 and 140ish bikes back to back and see if you like one a lot better. The nice part about the extra travel is that you have a bit more safety cushion and lets you ride a little more comfortably.

    Now if you think you prefer the XC flat courses, then maybe the shorter travel is the way to go. Personally, I like the idea of the new 120mm bikes, but every time I think about where I would ride it over my 140 bike, I realize it would sit on the wall. Trails around me are all natural and pretty rocky, so that affects my decision. If you live somewhere with a lof of smoother trails, you may lean the other way.

  5. #5
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    Where do you live?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    How much travel you need to ride a given trail will be somewhat dependent on how fast you plan to go. At some point, as you slow down, it will become easier to pick your way through more technical stuff on a the shorter travel bike than the long travel one, but if you maintain speed and plow through the whole thing, the longer travel will be better...
    Sums it up nicely. I'll add an associated factor is geometry. Longer, lower, slacker geos also favor plow over rather than pick through, and longer travel bikes are generally longer/lower/slacker for this reason, but there is some variation. Maintaining speed through tech stuff is difficult to impossible climbing and way easier when descending, so longer travel longer/lower/slacker bikes essentially favor descending over climbing.
    Do the math.

  7. #7
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    A lot of it is simply which do you prefer. Like previously mentioned, on most trails you'll see people riding all sorts of bikes from hardtails to enduro bikes. So even beyond the question if capability, there's the question of simple preference. In fact that's generally the primary consideration.

  8. #8
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    I like to have a bike with a little more travel than I need because it will be my only bike.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all in input! I definitely need to demo more bikes & I actually have the Rip 9 for two more days as the shop is closed on Sundays & Mondays. To answer some of questions listed...
    I live & ride around the Reno NV area.
    Trails around here, with only a few exceptions, are typically very rocky. Lots of climbing no matter where you want to go around Reno and Lake Tahoe. Tahoe can be smoother as Reno trails are almost all very rocky & technical. Tahoeís Marlette Flume trail is nearly smooth compared to Renoís Peavine Mtn thatís got several little rock gardens on every trail. Lots of climbing and no shuttling to the top type stuff.
    Iím not the fastest rider around, no where near. But I do like some speed and itís not unusual for me to get scolded by the wife for doing something too risky.
    I am getting older too, Iíll be 56 in October and donít like crashing. The older I get the more crashing hurts. Especially in the rocks. So Iíd rather work on picking decent lines than blasting over everything.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale-Calgary View Post
    I like to have a bike with a little more travel than I need because it will be my only bike.
    Thatís me too. Itíll be my only bike as Iíll be looking to sell the old Stumpy. Looking for versatility in my next bike. Something that can do everything.

  11. #11
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    I have a 120 Jet 9. I ride it everywhere. Up in Tahoe Southern Utah, Moab and all over Arizona. I bumped the fork travel up to 140mm from 130mm. Itís a great do all bike

    That being said. If you donít have any plans to do any type of racing or endurance type stuff

    Iíd go Rip all day . The Rip climbs great. I like to do some 50 mile rides and races. So I opted for the Jet. Iíd I wasnít doing them. Iíd ride the Rip.

  12. #12
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    I'm with fiveo. For a doitall bike on often rocky terrain, I think it's hard to beat a 130-150 trail bike (I say trail as I wouldn't go for the most radical geo when you're getting to the top of that range as some of the 150 bikes can be pretty descending focused). Modern trail bikes are pretty darn good climbers and give you a little bit more margin of error. If you're not racing, they seem the best of both worlds in what you give up vs. what you get for owning only one bike.

  13. #13
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    I had a 160/160 27.5 bike I used for trail riding. I found it sloppy on the climbs and flats.

    My current 150/130 29er is a good balance for me, given the terrain I ride.

    Obviously, different bikes will yield different results but I have rented and demoed lots of bikes as well, and my experience so far has been pretty consistent.

    There are so many factors involved, as many have stated above. Another one I would add to the list is how much abuse your body can take. How much are you willing to take? While longer travel may dumb down some of the terrain for the purists, it may allow you to ride longer and more often.

    As everyone has said, demo like crazy. Every single opportunity you get.
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  14. #14
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    I demoed a lot of bikes and ended up buying a 160/150 bike. If more "trail" oriented bikes pedal better, I guess I can't notice anyway. If it takes me another 2 minutes to climb, the descent is well worth it. I had thought it'd feel sluggish because I wouldn't have the balls to really use the bigger bike, but I was so wrong. Given that many of the boutique bikes have over 100% antisquat in all of the climbing gears, if I gave anything up, I can't tell. Maybe on flowier terrain, a 140/130ish bike would feel more flickable, but if so, the difference is so minute at this point that it no longer matters. I have demoed a ton of bikes and ended up buying one that was somewhat different from many of the trail bikes I demoed. So far I'm very happy, but I suppose we'll all have that question in the back of our mind as to whether we're on the wrong bike on any given day. I wouldn't own any kind of suspended bike that didn't have at least a 140mm fork though, so perhaps I'm the wrong person to ask. Apparently I like rocks more than others, or that's just what I ride.

  15. #15
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    I was in the same boat a few months ago; old old bike and wanting to upgrade for some added comfort. I ended up going short travel (130/115 front/rear) and have some small regrets. My initial complaints that made me go short travel was I have lots of techy climbs and flat rides in my daily ride zone. I want my climbs to be as easy as possible because I can generally handle a lot going downhill on my hardtail. My thoughts were any rear shock would only help. Well it did and it didn't.

    I have been feeling like I wish I had more squish in the rear overall for rocky descents. I personally like drops and jumps and I'm easily maxing out the rear shock. My bike was easily outgunned in the bike parks I visited. I had fun but I know something with more travel would have been tremendously better. Eventually I am going to buy another bike with at least 140mm rear travel, but if I had to pick a one I would lean towards more travel.

    Also...the 27.5 vrs 29 is definitely a big deal if you are coming from 26. I felt super uncomfortable on the 29 even though its supposed "smooth out the trail" and "go faster." Make sure you go nuts with demos. I wish I had tried more bikes. I dig my bike a lot, but it's not "the one."

  16. #16
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    Thatís part of my dilemma. Donít race anymore, that was a long time ago. My rides are just for fun and to work on my fitness (which needs work).

  17. #17
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    Donít mind dumbing down some terrain at all as Iím not a purist. Longer rides and more often is definitely something I have on my list while being somewhat comfortable and not killing my body.

  18. #18
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    Some great advice here, trail bikes today are pretty amazing...seems like it would hard to get a bad one other than maybe some of the extreme longer lower slacker models that are focused on screaming the fun downhill part of the rides and going up on less tech trails. I like going up and down the trails so some were just not for me.... wasn't that they only took longer to climb on but they were just not fun navigating up rocky rooty trails with tight switchbacks

    Really just wanted to say be careful with the extreme trail models some really lean more to enduro race bikes and watch those reach and especially stack numbers... Im also 6'3 (being more leg than torso doesn't help) but I found on several 120-140mm trail bikes the stack was so low once I set my saddle height it towered 4 inches above my grips like a time trials bike doable at speed but slow/moderate speed tech sections felt sketchy and long rides were less than pleasant. Couple were close with a riser bar and would have been better with another 10mm of fork steerer but manufacturers cut the steerers off short for some reason $$

    So many great bikes hardly worth mentioning one make and model but I after trying some more "aggressive" low BB raked out fork models I found the Intense Primer and have been thrilled, a little roomier than my old Spec EVO Camber, little slacker HTA, little steeper seat tube angle, similar wheel base but shorter chain stays so it turns much "smaller" than it is, lighter, more travel. They have a new model Primer due out very soon that I assume will have more travel more aggressive geo as that seems to be the current trend but if this model works for you they have some deals going, I got another $250 off code and a free set of E13 carbon wheels on the way in addition to the stock wheels that came with the build.

  19. #19
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    The biggest difference between those two bikes is the geo, not the travel. The jet 9 geo is a bit outdated, while the rip 9 has more modern capable geo. If you tried a true modern geo short travel bike like the new Trance advanced 29, or new Ripley it wouldn't feel that much less capable than the Rip 9. I bet $10 Niner updates the jet 9 soon.

    So once you're comparing apples to apples, I'd ask do you only care about the downs? or do you also look at your strava times for complete loops, climbs, etc? I built up a 140/150 modern geo bike for down here in So cal. It doesn't flinch on rocky terrain but isn't that efficient. If I had to do it all over again I'd go a little shorter travel because I care about overall efficiency and can give up a little on the dh.

  20. #20
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    If you're riding purely for fun, go the RIP 9 for sure. Much more versatile if you end up travelling. It will be good for lift/shuttle days at bike parks, and the way lockouts etc work now days it will be fine on flatter trails.

  21. #21
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    It sounds like what you want is a bike with the travel of the Jet and the geometry/fit of the Rip. The Jet is a bit outdated (for a modern bike) and could do with a bit more reach, shorter and steeper seat tube, and maybe a degree off the HTA. Sounds like you'd be happy with something like the new Ibis Ripley, or Pivot 429Trail, or the new SC Tallboy when it's released, but as everyone has said, demo demo demo!

  22. #22
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    You've got great options and suggestions here.

    What I've found important is the following.
    Where I ride most often - flowy single track, rock gardens, jumps, tech climbing / descending.
    How I like to ride, XC - trail - bike parks etc,
    Who I ride with - if they're on XC bikes and you're on an enduro rig you'll find it compromises things a touch.
    What I've already got - little point in having bikes with too much overlap.

    Definitely demo as much as you can, check the forums for ownership issues as the site And mag reviews seldom give the full story.

    Don't get hung up on brand / suspension design / material / wheel sizes / aspects of geometry. Some bikes ride better / worse than their spec and numbers suggest.

    Good luck and happy hunting! :^)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by gfourth View Post
    I'd ask do you only care about the downs? or do you also look at your strava times for complete loops, climbs, etc? I built up a 140/150 modern geo bike for down here in So cal. It doesn't flinch on rocky terrain but isn't that efficient. If I had to do it all over again I'd go a little shorter travel because I care about overall efficiency and can give up a little on the dh.
    Nope, don't care only about the downs but also don't look at strava times. I bike loops and out-n-back type rides. A bike that's good at climbing is #1, comfortable #2, fun overall #3.

  24. #24
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    All great input and advice. I am looking to demo more bikes. The Rip 9 was a good starting point for now & a great reference to compare other bikes. The problem with more demo's is finding them. Multiple shops have told me they don't have a demo program, but can take a spin in the parking lot. The Giant dealership said they didn't have anything my size in their demo fleet. And the last shop I stopped in, which carries Specialized,Trek & Pivot, said they've got a couple demos available for a cost of $125 per day.

    The Niner stuff was nice & i did like the Rip 9 more than the Jet. Could have been just because of fit as the Jet was a touch too small & really needed an XL. I think the extra 30mm travel up front didn't hurt either. Did think the seat post was a little odd on the Rip as I had to kind of push it forward to get it to go down cuz of the seat tube angle. It also had a noisy bottom bracket as it'd creak/squeak when digging in hard on a climb. Probably just a little loose is what I'm assuming.

    So, for now I'm looking to demo more bikes if I can find 'em. Also looking online at a couple offerings from Canyon (Spectral is a 160mm bike or the Neuron at 120mm) or YT Industries Jeffsy in the middle in both geo & travel. I used to be a bike mechanic back in my college days so turning a wrench and building my own is not an issue for me. Plus the cost savings is very appealing. Can save over $2k compared to a similarly set up Niner.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve76t View Post
    Nope, don't care only about the downs but also don't look at strava times. I bike loops and out-n-back type rides. A bike that's good at climbing is #1, comfortable #2, fun overall #3.
    I would lean toward the Jet, but consider other bikes in the same 120/130 mm class. I have 100/100 XC bike that I ride pretty much everywhere I love how it climbs and descends. This bike is 23lbs. I also have 130/125 27.5 trail bike that is good in the chunk, but is 30lbs. I would rather climb on my light XC bike any day on any trail. Smooth or techy. There are only a few trails where I really need even extra of a 130/125 bike. But given that I want do these more I have decided to replace the 130/125 bike with an Ibis Ripmo. 160/145 bike very similar to the Rip 9. I consider that way too much bike for most of the riding I do now, but I think it expands what I can do overall and separates it from light XC bike. Given my 130/125 bike is a few generations old and will weight the same it should climb as well, and descend better. If I did not have the XC bike I would not be going for the bigger ripmo. I would be looking at the Ripley instead or what is equivalent to the Jet 9 you rode. 120 rear 130 front in 29er wheel size at 27-28lbs.

    I ride Arizona trails all over the state. Some smooth and some rocky. I ride short 10-20 mile rides/races and 50-70 mile back country stuff.
    Joe
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  26. #26
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    Demo way more bikes. You have not fully explored all your available options, until you have ridden them all. Read the reviews first.... then, proceed to ride them in earnest. Research exhaustively.... choose wisely.
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  27. #27
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    If I had a dollar for every bike shop person that told me their long travel 29er climbed as well as my Hei Hei or any other short travel 29er I'd have enough cash for a second bike. Everyone likes to say their enduro bike climbs as well as an XC marathon bike but at the end of the day, it doesn't and it's not even close...

    Most people just need 120/120 at most. That kind of bike can do anything with how good suspension is nowadays.

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    I get what your saying here. Even though I haven't been able to ride one yet, I kinda like the idea of a Canyon Neuron. 120/120 bike, great climber from what I read & seen in videos, good do anything kind of bike, just under 30lbs, and cost is well below many others with sim. components & specs. Now where can I find a demo of their bikes?

  29. #29
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    it is a good bike, plenty comfortable, climbs nicely, etc. The only issue with the Rip 9 for me is price. At over $6K with sales tax it's not exactly in the same ballpark as my budget.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve76t View Post
    it is a good bike, plenty comfortable, climbs nicely, etc. The only issue with the Rip 9 for me is price. At over $6K with sales tax it's not exactly in the same ballpark as my budget.
    Sadly any carbon frame GX Eagle build will come in about that price. You can go cheaper by going NX or aluminium if available. Even then you are probably at 4k. The good thing is that bikes are really good these days. The bad thing is bikes are expensive.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve76t View Post
    I get what your saying here. Even though I haven't been able to ride one yet, I kinda like the idea of a Canyon Neuron. 120/120 bike, great climber from what I read & seen in videos, good do anything kind of bike, just under 30lbs, and cost is well below many others with sim. components & specs. Now where can I find a demo of their bikes?
    If you're going with a consumer direct brand to save money, give even more consideration than usual to the customer service reputations of the companies. Look at Fezzari, YT, and Whyte in addition to Canyon. Fezzari seems to be a standout in the CS department.

    A custom build from Fanatik or Competitive Cyclist can also be a much better deal than the factory builds from the manufacturer. Fanatik automatically applies a decent discount when you use their online bike builder. From there, you can get on the phone with them to find sale parts and other ways to save. CC looks expensive online but they'll work with you over the phone to get you the best price on a complete build.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    ..
    A custom build from Fanatik or Competitive Cyclist can also be a much better deal than the factory builds from the manufacturer. ..
    Depends on spec. If your starting 3000 for frame only then a 5k GX build is pretty good value. This once you consider all the parts. Where the Fanatik build start making sense is when you want to do some non-standard things or start looking at X01 builds. I did some pricing a Rimpo GX factory build vs Fanatik build and at the GX level Ibis was the best. Even if I bought frame only and got OEM prices on parts it was pretty much the same as Ibis factory build. Only when I started swapping parts here and there did the custom build come close to any value, but then I was at higher overall price point.

    Bottomline is pick your bike frame and do your homework on build costs both factory and custom/semi custom.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '19 Ibis Ripmo, XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Sadly any carbon frame GX Eagle build will come in about that price. You can go cheaper by going NX or aluminium if available. Even then you are probably at 4k. The good thing is that bikes are really good these days. The bad thing is bikes are expensive.
    There's still good deals to be had in the aluminum bikes.

    130/115 travel Trance 29-2 Aluminum NX build=$3100 MSRP. I got mine on Spring Sale for $900 off that price.

    140/140 travel YT Jeffsy Aluminum NX build=$2399 online price. https://us.yt-industries.com/shopwar...&sArticle=2122

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
    There's still good deals to be had in the aluminum bikes.

    130/115 travel Trance 29-2 Aluminum NX build=$3100 MSRP. I got mine on Spring Sale for $900 off that price.

    140/140 travel YT Jeffsy Aluminum NX build=$2399 online price. https://us.yt-industries.com/shopwar...&sArticle=2122

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tr...-pro-29-3-2020
    Carbon for $3,350
    Maybe not the best parts but still a great deal and bike is getting great reviews.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve76t View Post
    Nope, don't care only about the downs but also don't look at strava times. I bike loops and out-n-back type rides. A bike that's good at climbing is #1, comfortable #2, fun overall #3.
    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tr...-pro-29-3-2020
    Carbon for $3,350

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Sadly any carbon frame GX Eagle build will come in about that price. You can go cheaper by going NX or aluminium if available. Even then you are probably at 4k. The good thing is that bikes are really good these days. The bad thing is bikes are expensive.
    For a carbon framed bike yes, aluminum can be had for significantly less for sim. builds. For me, I've demo'd only carbon framed bikes, but I'll be looking at aluminum when I actually buy.

  37. #37
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    I'm 6'4"/220lbs and 59...been riding FS bikes for 20 years. For the tight techy New England singletrack, 140 - 160 is perfect for me. Especially when you factor in the newer geo bikes. They make OTB incidents much less likely to occur. Those that have ridden older XC bikes in tight rocky terrain know exactly what I'm talking about. The new geo combined with a bit more travel gobbles up obstacles and you just power through it. Coming from a more traditional bike it takes some time to get used to that front wheel way out in front. I had to change my technique to get the front up over obstacles but the more I rode the more awesome it got.

    There is a happy medium finding a bike that does ups and downs well...you will need to sacrifice a bit on one end or the other. Some of the newer bikes are def better climbers than others. The newer Kona is known to be a pretty good climbing bike for what it is and I agree. I loved that Heckler but the Kona is so much better as an all-round bike. My buddy came from a 2009 Specialized FSR (29) and just bought a Jeffsey 29er. Both of us bought 'alu' versions and we both paid under $2400, had them shipped to the door and assembled ourselves.

    Regarding demos...those of us that need XL frames know this simple fact. You are not going to find much to try out....period. The 'average' sized rider usually has all kinds of choices to demo...we don't.
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    To the op the Kona Hei Hei Is getting a full redesign this year. It's going to be 120/120. My 2018 Hei Hei has been the best mtb I have ever owned. My only wish for it is to have a wee bit more travel in the rear and it's being fulfilled with the new one.

    Also the 2020 Konas are getting a price cut which is rare in this market. The 2020 Honzo ST frame set for example is $75 cheaper than last year.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk

  39. #39
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    Thanks for your input Sturge! Input from similarly sized guys really does help. Iíve been lookiní at the Jeffrey 29er recently & really like what I see there. Also considering the AL version as thatís all the bike I need. Decent components on a solid frame. Not sure the price can be beat.

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    I would also look at the new 2020 Trek Top Fuel. Dealers typically sell at 15-18% under the advertised prices on the Trek website so take that in to account when shopping. I just got a 9.7 to replace my Fuel EX. I paid 3500.00 (the aluminum version is 2600.00). Came with NX but I already had new GX parts in my garage and a better set of wheels...It climbs amazingly well (much better than the Fuel EX) and tackles tough downhill terrain well too...I don't feel like I lost anything on the downs and definitely picked up on the climbs...I live at the base of the Italian Dolimites (Alps) so I need a bike that does everything well.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by yarbrough462 View Post
    I would also look at the new 2020 Trek Top Fuel. .
    thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to take a look at this bike & see if I can find a demo bike to ride.

  42. #42
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    I'm in the same dilemma. I keep going back and forth between SB100/new Tallboy/Ryve115 and Revel Rascal/SB130.


    The shorter bikes are perfect for where I live, but a trip to W.V. reminded me that not perfect for when I'm not where I live. The extra 20mm and Fox36 made the trails seem so much nicer while not losing much in the non-tech...however, there's not much non-tech here, so any loss is a loss.

    I'm stuck in the "we buy skis for where we dream to ski, not where we actually ski" conundrum!

    I'll prolly end up with a new Top Fuel

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
    If I had a dollar for every bike shop person that told me their long travel 29er climbed as well as my Hei Hei or any other short travel 29er I'd have enough cash for a second bike. Everyone likes to say their enduro bike climbs as well as an XC marathon bike but at the end of the day, it doesn't and it's not even close...

    Most people just need 120/120 at most. That kind of bike can do anything with how good suspension is nowadays.
    Yep. People that truly benefit from more travel than about 120mm are gravity-oriented racers, super aggressive riders that don't like to choose a line that isn't straight, and freeride types. If you are riding for comfort and miles, you probably won't benefit from more than 120mm. If your miles include 5' drops to flat or boulders gardens that you don't want to feel, then consider a 140-160mm bike. Nothing wrong with more or less travel. Whatever feels the best and makes you want to ride more is the right travel for you.

  44. #44
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    I am really surprised no one mentioned trying out a Transition Smuggler. AMAZING trail bike. My first 29er ever and I absolutely love it. If you can get your hands in a demo I highly recommend it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JHart94949 View Post
    I am really surprised no one mentioned trying out a Transition Smuggler. AMAZING trail bike. My first 29er ever and I absolutely love it. If you can get your hands in a demo I highly recommend it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Or a Trance 29. They have those at BBN too.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMac47 View Post
    Or a Trance 29. They have those at BBN too.
    Heard good things about the Trance 29, but who/what is BBN? Local shops don't have demos available in my size though.

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    I haven't ridden in Reno, but I've spent the last 6 summers riding a great deal in Tahoe and Truckee which (as you know) are very close to you. I've done everything from short tech rides to 50 mile xc marathons on a 110/110 (Specialized Camber Comp), 130/130 (Intense Primer) and 150/150 (Santa Cruz Hightower LT). You are really close to some great downhill riding including Downieville, and even though you can pick your lines on technical terrain on a 120/120, on longer rides at 245 lbs you might consider going with more travel. I'm 51 and 190lb geared up. Even though the SCLT does not climb as well as the Primer or a 120, I'm no longer getting beat up on rocky rides and I'm so much happier on the downhills--and where you live there are LONG downhills to enjoy. I'd rather be a little overbiked on mellower trails than wish I had more travel half-way into a 6 mile descent.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by drich View Post
    I'm no longer getting beat up on rocky rides and I'm so much happier on the downhills--and where you live there are LONG downhills to enjoy. I'd rather be a little overbiked on mellower trails than wish I had more travel half-way into a 6 mile descent.
    Thanks drich! Thatís what I was thinking after a very rocky ride on the Rip 9. Though I wasnít pushing the bike, or myself, that hard and fast, it was way more comfortable than my current Stumpy.

    Currently considering biting the bullet on a YL Jeffsy with a 140/140 suspension setup.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve76t View Post
    Heard good things about the Trance 29, but who/what is BBN? Local shops don't have demos available in my size though.
    Bicycle Brustop Novato. In the Northbay.
    Demo it. Post demo beer(s) it. Purchase it.
    Win. Win. Win it!😁👍😎

    Disclaimer: I am not an employee.
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  50. #50
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    Weíll I did it. Not many available demo bikes in my size so I said to myself ďdude, effín go for it already!Ē Then ordered a YL Jeffsy 29 AL Base in Grey Concrete/Black Magic. Done plenty of research, price is right, reviews are overwhelming positive, etc.
    Now my impatience gets to take over while I wait for her to arrive. Excited!

  51. #51
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    Congrats--looks like a great bike and still plenty of riding to do where you live before winter arrives!

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by drich View Post
    Congrats--looks like a great bike and still plenty of riding to do where you live before winter arrives!
    Thanks! There is a lot of great riding here, even in the winter.

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