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  1. #1
    biking is fun
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    Slack 29er trail bike options?

    I've been away from the bike world for a few years due to grad school.. I'll be graduating in May and want to get a trail bike. I'm a freerider/dh guy at heart but want to get some longer days on the trails. I also have never had a 29er so I want to give it a shot. I currently ride a V3 Santa Cruz nomad which is a blast. Just looking for something possibly lighter that will be more comfortable on longer days.

    Here's what I'm looking for in a trail bike:

    Slack: 66 degrees minimum but 65 would be even better.
    Sub 29 lbs (preferably 27ish range).
    Carbon frame
    120-140 travel range
    Clearance for 2.5 tires

    The only frame I can find is the Transition Smuggler which fits most of the things on my list.

    Looking for other frames to check out. Money isn't really an issue. Also, comparisons to other bikes would be useful.

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  3. #3
    biking is fun
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    I didn't even think to look at evil bikes. That thing looks sick! I'm pretty sure my local shop demos Evil bikes so I'll have to give it a shot.

    Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by climbingbubba View Post
    ... Money isn't really an issue. Also, comparisons to other bikes would be useful.
    Well if that's the case, then I'd start doing demos. Seriously, there are so many good choices.

    The only thing I'd recommend is bumping your travel, 120mm ain't much, 140+ out back is where it's at, and with the new bikes you can have your cake and eat it too; ie good climbing, all day comfort, and downhill performance.

    The low weight thing will cost you more, all carbon helps.

    So are you going to keep the Nomad or are you going to get one bike to rule them all? That Smuggler is a nice bike, short travel, not really as capable as what you ride now. I'm on a 140/160 GG Smash, at times I'd take more travel and I'm an old guy

    Wtach the BB heights, some of these new sleds are pretty low slung.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  5. #5
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    Stumpjumper Evo ticks the boxes except carbon. I have mine at 31 lbs including CushCore inserts and very limited carbon (bars and cranks). Personally I would not focus too much on weight since it is not that consequential. Biggest difference will be rotating mass in the wheels. A 33 lb bike with light wheels will pedal better than a 28 lb bike with heavy wheels.

    By upping the travel to 160 you will see a bunch of bikes. HTLT, Spec Enduro, Yeti SB150 or SB130, Kona Process 153, Trek Slash, Scott Genius, Pivot Firebird, Norco Range to name just a few.

  6. #6
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    Head over to pinkbike's youtube channel and watch the "field test" series that should be going on for at least the rest of this week.

  7. #7
    biking is fun
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    I'm finding most of the trails I ride these days are pretty mellow and I could handle just fine on a lower travel bike but with that said I don't hold back from hitting the occasional 5 or 6 foot drop or 15 foot gap.

    The nomad is such an awesome bike. Mine only weighs 28.5 lbs and it shreds. I might sell it and get something like a YT Capra for more shuttle/park days and then a trail bike for xc days. My nomad has a crazy low bb height and I'm running 175mm cranks so I'm used to that.

    I'm a fairly smooth rider.. I've ridden pretty gnarly stuff on short travel bikes. One of my favorite bikes I've owned was a GT distortion which had 112mm rear travel. I figured 120-140 and adding 29er and fatter tires to the equation (my distortion was 26er with 2.3 tires) would make for a more comfy ride. I don't think I would want to go more than 140 though or I might as well just stick with the nomad.

  8. #8
    WillWorkForTrail
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    Don’t rule out the giant trance 29er. True, only 115 out back, but it’s a ripper. Pedals well too.

  9. #9
    -C-
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    Trek Fuel. They are slacker & lower than they advertise. I run mine with a 140mm F34. 130mm out back. Mine is 65.8 in the low setting with the 34 on it.

    I've trail ridden one, raced DH on it, raced enduro's up to EWS's * & it's done it all.

    In current build, is 26lbs. Can easily build one lighter with a bit of money thrown at it.

  10. #10
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    ^^^ Yup, don't discount the Fuel EX.

    If you want to "burly it up" swap to a Fox 36 @ 140 mm.

    Even with that fork, 27 pounds isn't much of a challenge.
    Whining is not a strategy.

  11. #11
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    If only they'd ditch the Knockblock and raise the bb a touch. I agree, they ride well.

    Quote Originally Posted by -C- View Post
    Trek Fuel. They are slacker & lower than they advertise. I run mine with a 140mm F34. 130mm out back. Mine is 65.8 in the low setting with the 34 on it.

    I've trail ridden one, raced DH on it, raced enduro's up to EWS's * & it's done it all.

    In current build, is 26lbs. Can easily build one lighter with a bit of money thrown at it.
    Lrg GG Pedalhead 29/27+
    XMed GG Smash 29/27+
    Lrg Devinci Hendrix 27+ (Loaner)
    Pivot Shuttle 27+ (wife)

  12. #12
    -C-
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nurse Ben View Post
    If only they'd ditch the Knockblock and raise the bb a touch. I agree, they ride well.
    KB is a bit of a non issue for me. Although it's fairly pointless as everyone else manages without, it wouldn't stop me buying another one.

    BB height is personal though, i'll give up a bit of pedal striking clearance for how well it rips corners for a trail bike

  13. #13
    Asswipe
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    Yeti SB130, Intense Primer (not super slack)
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  14. #14
    shredthögnar
    Reputation: bike_futurist's Avatar
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    bird am9 (although a bit on the rough side of trail)

  15. #15
    -C-
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    Only way you are building an AM9 to 27lbs is by forgetting to put the wheels on it!

  16. #16
    shredthögnar
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    true :-D 15,5kg on mine... (double coiled though)

  17. #17
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    2019 group reviews are starting to come out. Pinkbike just did one unfortunately with limited bikes. Enduro magazine just released their 2019 trail 13 bike test and you can download it for free with the app. No Yeti in that one but if you want 2.5" tires they are out of the running anyway. Bike magazine is supposed to release their bible of the bikes this month but its not out yet and someone here stated Outdoor magazine should have theirs out sometime soon.


    It's difficult to find a bad bike these days but there are some that are better than others for the same money. The Enduro magazine review shows to me there are 4 bikes I would be happy with that they show.

    Research now, demo in spring then pull the trigger.

  18. #18
    ZEN RIDER!
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    I'll 2nd the Evil Offering and the Yeti 130. The Offering would be at the top of my list due to the delta link, especially if you are an aggressive rider.
    Life in every breath

  19. #19
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    I love my Smuggler carbon. My only complaint is that I can't put bigger tires on it, but the 2.3s are working just fine, so it's a minor complaint.

    Transition has a couple of used carbon demos on their site right now for 30% off (1 Large, GX and 1 M XO1).

    I have no issue climbing anything with this, though if I've got an extended gravel climb, I'll lock out the rear. I'm really looking forward to riding this on a 3 day Kokopelli trail ride next spring.

  20. #20
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    I have an Offering.

    The more I ride it, and have the chance to ride my friends rides for comparison, I'd say it's probably at or right near the top of the heap for descending, and middle of the pack for uphill... For a 140mm trail bike, that is.

    I'm not doing huge drops on it, but I have had a few bigger launches by now, and the rear just sucks shit up, even when I come down all squirrelly (which in my case, is most of the time). It similarly feels very stable and composed over square hits and log/rock/debris.

    Climbing it's relatively efficient and, considering the travel, the front doesn't wander much even on really steep stuff. Feels as good as a few less downhill oriented set ups I've ridden. But you're not going to mistake it for an xc rig any time soon. There is a noticeable bit of squish and long drawn out fire road climbs or those extended switchback ups will drain you over time.

  21. #21
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    Clint Gibbs on Youtube has been looking at the Giant Trance 29er and the Stumpy. Also MTB Yumyum on youtube rode the trance and really liked it. It only has 115m travel on the rear but unless you ride really chunky stuff everybody seems to like it

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