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View Poll Results: Best bike for mixed trail use with beginner drops, roots, jumps at local bike park

Voters
15. You may not vote on this poll
  • Fezzari

    1 6.67%
  • Vitus

    0 0%
  • Marin

    10 66.67%
  • Polygon

    4 26.67%
Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
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    easy poll! just pick the best bike

    Thanks to everyone on the other thread, helping me narrow down some decent options in my price range. Starting a new thread (hopeful mods don't mind) to start a poll and keep it focused on the comparison of these bikes. Comments are welcome, but if you just want to vote and run that's cool too. And if you really feel strongly that there's another amazing option, throw it in the comments.

    Here are the contenders:

  2. #2
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    Purely based on components, the polygon is by far and away the best value. My GF is actually looking at buying one herself once they are back in stock in August.

    The others are not bad, but the value isn't there in the same way.

  3. #3
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
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    Hmm, maybe if you're a size XL those choices might make sense.

    If you have the fitness and/or your area has gravity to get a bike up to speed, the Mythique stands out as a potent high speed ripper, due to its long wheelbase.

    If you don't have the fitness and your trails have a "natural speed limit" due to all the braking necessary for corners and need for narrow/precise line choice, you'd probably choose among the Marin and Fezzari due to their shorter wheelbase. Smaller wheels might synergize with this too, unless you're braking to give your body time to recover from gnarly bumps on straight sections.

    I wouldn't recommend the Polygon Siskiu to anyone with the ambition to do jumps and drops. It's best as a cruiser for someone who spends 95% of their time in the saddle, and defensively hits the brakes and gets behind the saddle on everything. Expect more nose-plants and mid-air nose-dives from it, and far less confidence going big. It's a very steep and painful learning curve to learn on these kind of bikes. You have to spend lots of time learning that the balance point for the bike needs to have your weight over the rear wheel, which is an awkward position to handle the bike from. That said, there's worse options, generally caused by a long chainstay + short wheelbase (e.g. 445mm CS with 1150mm wheelbase is even worse, but 415mm CS with 1150mm is highly recommended if your trails demand short WB).

    If you're a size M, pick something else if you don't want to compromise on your ambition of doing jumps and drops. Might have to up your budget, to get any selection good for size M, like a '21 Specialized Status $2600 or a closeout discount on a Marin Mount Vision. These have balanced geo in the smaller sizes, that vastly lowers the need for the rider to adapt, which means less of that nervous feeling that something's wrong (scary) and more confidence to progress to advanced stuff. They should feel better than whatever you've ridden in terms of balance, if not straight-up feeling "just right".

    Geo matters a lot. If you're short, don't pick a trail cruiser for jumping. It works out for tall people, to the point they don't understand why short people want slacker HA and longer travel forks. They're okay for racking up miles and elevation in simple and casual comfort. They're just not balanced for air-time and have a tendency to eject rider over the bars, and possibly rack up a large bill for the hospital visit, meds, busted helmet, braces/slings, etc., if their riders get too energetic and arrogant. Should also mention that injured pride and lingering trauma stalls progress for months/yea, and lower the threshold for repeat injuries. Don't be afraid of bikes labeled as "aggro/advanced", as if those meant injury. They're designed to make that kind of stuff more in your comfort zone, which is undoubtedly what you want for your ambition to be met smoothly.

    P.S. a 415 CS with a 1250mm WB would be extremely sketchy to ride, which might look mad stylish under someone skilled who's comfortable controlling the bike by its rear wheel, but likely not so great to race on due to the front wheel lacking weight on it and suffering from traction issues. Essentially, there's a balance sweet spot, that gets your body to have just a right % of weight on the rear from just merely standing in a neutral position. Moving the crank spindle forward 25mm, to make it 440mm CS, would shift the rider's CoG forward to better balance out the 1250m WB. Guessing some XL riders might have experienced a sketchy bike with CS too short, and reinforced their belief that short travel is best.

    P.S.S. I picked Marin. The Rift Zone 1 is also $1600 and is well balanced in size M. Hawk Hill if you're XL. If you're L, I dunno, the San Quentin hardtail is dialed in that size, and is a killer jumper.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

  4. #4
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    Wow! Awesome reply. I didn't even realize I need to consider my size when picking a bike. I'm right on the cusp of L vs XL (around 6'1"). Is it better to go up or go down in size if you're right in the middle.

    I now realize that 29" is recommended for taller rides, hence why you suggested Rift Zone. I was originally thinking 27.5 as it seems more maneuverable, but maybe I should be considering 29 and just get used to the bigger wheel size.

  5. #5
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    If it were me, and I was looking for a "Best bike for mixed trail use with beginner drops, roots, jumps at local bike park", I'd probably go with the Hawk Hill on your list. This is based ONLY on my interpretation of the geometry and MY opinion... not parts specs, price, reviews, etc.

    As for 27.5 vs 29... really has more to do with the bikes overall design than it does with rider size. Some 27.5's are more "maneuverable" then 29's, some 29's more so than 27.5's. Don't choose a bike based on its wheel size, choose a bike based on how it fits and rides.
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

  6. #6
    Trail Ninja
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    Yea, wheel size is a personalization thing. 29ers are more like trains in how fast they acceleration/decelerate, compared to smaller wheels, which some address by throwing money on wheels and counting grams on their tires. Some people don't like the passenger feel, where they're in the bike or part of the bike, but others find that it helps with their confidence and commitment, which counters some mistakes from being nervous with an all-in sort of attitude. Trains aren't designed for stop-and-go environments.

    If you went L or XL with a Rift Zone, considering its short (425mm) CS, it may feel quite loose and sketchy with any wheelbase much longer than 1190mm (which I consider to be the sweet spot for me on 425mm CS), especially if you've spent a lot of time ingraining a habit of getting your hips back. Would need to reprogram yourself to keep your hips over your feet, rather than with your legs tilted back. It's also a style personalization thing. Sam Hill (5' 9") likes longer CS since he digs in with his heels down, with his hips driving weight down from behind, for example. Someone like Ratboy (6' 1") can control the bike from the rear wheel, so he's comfortable with it being loose, with the front wheel up in the air. Sam usually downsizes to M. Ratboy has ridden L, but downsizes to M lately to get a shorter wheelbase on his smaller play bikes. I stand a lot more forward on my pedals, so I prefer more weight on the back through shorter CS, kicking the front wheel out further forward, and/or a taller handlebar height.
    "The challenge is not in developing new ideas, but in escaping old ideas."

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