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  1. #1
    Jadof
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    Help needed Canyon Strive or Spectral

    Hi, I thought I could get the answers I needed by reading all the forums and watching all YouTube videos but sadly no. So I ask for your help deciding what to buy, and will "try" to keep it short and start with the question.

    Canyon Spectral CF 8 $3500 USD (sadly not available, but perspective would be helpful)
    Canyon Spectral CF 9 SL $6000 USD
    Canyon Strive CF 7 $3600
    Canyon Strive CF 8 $4600

    In what order would you accomodate your purchase taking in account 1 would be your top choice?

    Now I'll describe my goals and personal preferences when buying.
    I'm a 41 family man [5'5 (165), 180 lbs (82 kg) 29 inseam, not fat but heavy] that do biking for 3 reasons:
    Stress out and enjoy, stay fit and push myself on personal goals (lost 30 pound recently, run and row as well) , and hang out with friends.
    I consider myself as a value shopper (better described as getting the most bang for the buck even if it's absolute expensive, but hate overkills), and there relies my dilemma with this bikes because I'm fixated at Canyon.

    I bike 2 to 3 times a week in trail going 70% up and down, and the rest neutral trails. Even when my downhills are somewhat technical (haven't done drops yet) they are not full downhills that occur on a single run. I re-took biking from childhood about 2 years ago because I had to stop running that much after a knee surgery.

    I don't still get the difference between all mountain and Enduro and I know that the reviews on the Spectral CF 8 are nothing but great. Unluckily it's not in stock and that would be my top choice, I could wait but since I don't live in the US I will go until next July when I can bring it back with me.
    So my options are for the other 3 and would appreciate your recommendations, but have to take in account that if I go for the strive I don't know how reliable is the shapeshifter now to avoid the hassle of dealing with warranties all the way from Mexico, waiting for somebody to go to the US. But fear that the Spectral CF 9 is not really worth jumping $2500 usd for my average use, when a Strive would be more than enough for me. However I also don't want to feel that the Strive wasn't enough and regret that didn't go for the Spectral for being cheap.
    Just so you know I'm currently riding a 29er Rocky Mountain Trailhead 940 2016 hard tail with RockShox 30 with 100 mm travel.
    Thanks an appreciate whoevers read this patience.

  2. #2
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    The 8.0 Spectral is a good value. The 9.0 isn't.
    2.6 tires and Boost hubs with Pike fork and Charger damper are enough on the 8. No extra money need be spent.

  3. #3
    Jadof
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    Thanks a lot, would you rather wait until it's available even if it's 6 months ahead or would you get a Strive?

  4. #4
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    A 170mm fork is a LOT of bike. Changing from a 100mm hard tail to a fs bike with a 170mm fork is enormous, the current trails you ride will become boring. I'd avoid the strive unless you're planning on drastically changing how and where you ride. It's a big bike.

    Even the spectral is a big jump up.

    I think you should consider other brands. It's a poor value if the bike doesn't work for you. Try some local enduro bikes. I think you should try some shorter travel bikes too. A 120/120 FS bike sounds like it might work for you.

  5. #5
    Jadof
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    Thanks for your advice, so yes even if I go more extreme, I won't risk breaking bones at my age.

  6. #6
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    I hear you on that. I have a physically demanding job and a family to care for. I can't spend much time hurt!

    But it's worth trying a smaller bike. I think 150mm is about the max that's still fun to lug around all day. I'm riding for a few weeks stretched out to 160, and I already think I'm going to scale back down to 140. It just gets really tall up front.

  7. #7
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    Look into the Santa Cruz 5010. Great trail bike. Can be had online if no local dealer.

  8. #8
    Jadof
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    Thanks again, I'm really sold on the spectral CF8, and was hoping somebody told me the strive was an excellent alternative at any of the given price points however based on your advises it doesn't seem to be the case, so I'm really considering wait until it is available.

  9. #9
    Jadof
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    Looks really good thanks, how would you compare this with canyons, not to sure about the 130mm.

  10. #10
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    The spectral is an awesome buy and will make for a capable fun trail bike. My buddy just got a strive, he shuttles 99% of what he rides. If you're primarily riding burly downhill type trails the Strive is a good choice otherwise go for the Spectral.
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  11. #11
    Jadof
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    Thanks, so basically the strive is not a good all around bike even with better components at the same price point unless I'm doing let's say more than 60% pure technical downhills

  12. #12
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    The Strive is for mountain trails with long faster descents and lots of rocks and big jumps. You should go to a bike park with a lift to the top and rent a bike to see if that's what you want. There's nothing like that within 1500 miles of where I ride. So a Strive would be useless.
    Not breaking bones is about the correct setup bike that's still a challenge to ride on your trails. You develop your skills and get faster and stay safe doing it. For me wide rims and wider tires that didn't fold over were a major safety advance. Plus they made riding more fun without being boring. I just don't crash any more.

  13. #13
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    Im curious how you got stuck on canyon? Especially since its unavailable.

    https://us.yt-industries.com/detail/.../sCategory/511

    Its worth checking out YT. For many reasons, Id rather own a YT.

  14. #14
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    The Strive is for mountain trails with long faster descents and lots of rocks and big jumps. You should go to a bike park with a lift to the top and rent a bike to see if that's what you want. There's nothing like that within 1500 miles of where I ride. So a Strive would be useless.
    Not breaking bones is about the correct setup bike that's still a challenge to ride on your trails. You develop your skills and get faster and stay safe doing it. For me wide rims and wider tires that didn't fold over were a major safety advance. Plus they made riding more fun without being boring. I just don't crash any more.
    Thanks a lot for your advice

  15. #15
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    Im curious how you got stuck on canyon? Especially since its unavailable.

    https://us.yt-industries.com/detail/.../sCategory/511

    Its worth checking out YT. For many reasons, Id rather own a YT.
    Thanks for your reply, I got into this high end biking world less than a year ago and before that, my idea of a bike was something below $300 USD, anything above used to sound ridiculous to me (and to my very insights, it maybe still does). However I'm mostly an online shopper for everything so I'm used to read A LOT of reviews, so the guys I go biking with suggested Canyon as a top brand and was surprised with its value, and got fixated on paper. I know it may not be the proper way to get a bike, but as I said before I believe that for what I'm paying and reading, I can't miss the target by that much. But got to tell you as well, I've looked at the Santa Cruz 5010 and now at the Jeffsy 29/27 CF PRO and it looks like a great bike, not that expensive, light and has some great reviews and best of all its available. I'm deciding between the CF PRO @ $4000 or the CF Pro RACE $5000 (going again with my value profile), but I would like a 150 mm travel at least and this has 140, also don't know how would you compare the Shimano XTR against the Sram Eagle on the Canyon CF8?

  16. #16
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    I like shimano more than sram, and im not an eagle fan for many reasons. Many people strongly disagree with me on that. I think the regular old CF has better suspension than the CF pro, or pro race. Ill gladly take a pike over foxes junk.

    Id take the CF! You'd save money, get a better bike, and have some cash leftover for nicer wheels.

    The jeffsy 27.5 is a 150mm front and back bike.

  17. #17
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I like shimano more than sram, and im not an eagle fan for many reasons. Many people strongly disagree with me on that. I think the regular old CF has better suspension than the CF pro, or pro race. Ill gladly take a pike over foxes junk.

    Id take the CF! You'd save money, get a better bike, and have some cash leftover for nicer wheels.

    The jeffsy 27.5 is a 150mm front and back bike.
    Thanks a lot for the advice.

  18. #18
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    The difference between the marketing terms all mountain and enduro is mostly a difference in suspension travel.
    So think of it in terms of your needs. Are you riding very bumpy downhills at speed? More travel. Are you doing bigger jumps or drops where having some travel can help?
    If not you might like something lighter with less travel, which would tend to do better on a climb as well.
    I actually have a Jeffsy 29 which is a great all rounder. It climbs well, descends well, lighter than other similar bikes. It fits into your bang for the buck preference also.

  19. #19
    Jadof
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    Thanks for you help, I want a fun bike but one that also has that little extra if I want to go downhill. Is there something in this terrain in which the Jeffsy falls short compared to the Spectral CF 8 which seems to have that extra on an all around bike? Also, do you know how the Jeffsy is rated 3 or 4 and if the 27 wheel choice is better for my needs?

  20. #20
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    So finally do you think the Jeffsy 27.5 CF Pro or Pro Race would leave me wanting something more that the Spectral CF8 has?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadof View Post
    So finally do you think the Jeffsy 27.5 CF Pro or Pro Race would leave me wanting something more that the Spectral CF8 has?
    Absolutely not. The Jeffsy models Pro and Pro Race are carbon as well, so the Jeffsy provides less weight than the Spectral CF8 which is aluminum. It makes a big difference, trust me.

    The Jeffsy also has a better drivetrain. The Canyon Spectral CF8 is less expensive than the Pro or Pro Race so that is part of the reason that the Jeffsy has higher end components.

    Also, Fox is not junk. Most super high end bikes come with Fox anyway.

    I think you should just get one of the carbon Jeffsy models. You have to go all the way up to 4400$ to get a carbon spectral and the Jeffsy is still lighter.

    The difference between 27.5 and 29 inch wheels is that 27.5 wheels are generally more manuverable and easier to flick around. 29 inch wheels provide more rollover, which is better for rougher stuff.

    The question you really want to ask yourself is: "Am I going to be riding in super twisty singletrack where I need more maneuverability or am I going to be doing lots of really rocky decents where it is not quite as tight?"

    If you get the Pro Race, that is all the bike that you will ever need. Same with the Pro.

    You might just want to get the Pro Race, because if you do that and have a super fun rest of your life with mountain biking, it's definitely worth getting the higher level model.

  22. #22
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimberjackJG View Post
    Absolutely not. The Jeffsy models Pro and Pro Race are carbon as well, so the Jeffsy provides less weight than the Spectral CF8 which is aluminum. It makes a big difference, trust me.

    The Jeffsy also has a better drivetrain. The Canyon Spectral CF8 is less expensive than the Pro or Pro Race so that is part of the reason that the Jeffsy has higher end components.

    Also, Fox is not junk. Most super high end bikes come with Fox anyway.

    I think you should just get one of the carbon Jeffsy models. You have to go all the way up to 4400$ to get a carbon spectral and the Jeffsy is still lighter.

    The difference between 27.5 and 29 inch wheels is that 27.5 wheels are generally more manuverable and easier to flick around. 29 inch wheels provide more rollover, which is better for rougher stuff.

    The question you really want to ask yourself is: "Am I going to be riding in super twisty singletrack where I need more maneuverability or am I going to be doing lots of really rocky decents where it is not quite as tight?"

    If you get the Pro Race, that is all the bike that you will ever need. Same with the Pro.

    You might just want to get the Pro Race, because if you do that and have a super fun rest of your life with mountain biking, it's definitely worth getting the higher level model.
    Thanks a lot for your help, so you are telling me that the Spectral is not better suited for downhill than the Jeffsy CF. I want something for trails but not to feel underbiked if I get better at it and start doing more rough stuff. Going for the CF Race 27.5 then. Thanks again

  23. #23
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    I think part of this may be language related. When someone says downhill most envision large drops/jumps at high speeds, basically riding up and then a long, fast decent.

    I think too many posters in here missed this key part of your post: "Even when my downhills are somewhat technical (haven't done drops yet) they are not full downhills that occur on a single run.

    I think you should be looking at shorter travel bikes, Ibis Ripley, Intense Primer, Santa Cruz Tallboy just to name a few.
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  24. #24
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I think part of this may be language related. When someone says downhill most envision large drops/jumps at high speeds, basically riding up and then a long, fast decent.

    I think too many posters in here missed this key part of your post: "Even when my downhills are somewhat technical (haven't done drops yet) they are not full downhills that occur on a single run.

    I think you should be looking at shorter travel bikes, Ibis Ripley, Intense Primer, Santa Cruz Tallboy just to name a few.
    thanks for your input, so not Jeffsy on 27 or 29 recommendation?

  25. #25
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    I think we need to clear something up here. The Jeffsy is a mid-travel trail bike: 140mm front and back for the 29er and 160mm front and rear for the 27.5 version of the bike.

    Here are different travel ranges for each discipline.

    Downhill: 180mm+
    Enduro/All Mountain: 150mm to 170mm
    Trail: 140mm to 120mm
    XC: 80mm to 120mm

    The Jeffsy will give you not too much travel so that you can't climb efficiently, but it will give you all the travel you will ever need, so that if you ever want to go to a bike park or do any sort of real jumping, it will provide you with the means to do that.

    My vote is still on the Jeffsy, it is a very versatile bike.

  26. #26
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimberjackJG View Post
    I think we need to clear something up here. The Jeffsy is a mid-travel trail bike: 140mm front and back for the 29er and 150mm front and rear for the 27.5 version of the bike.

    Here are different travel ranges for each discipline.

    Downhill: 180mm+
    Enduro/All Mountain: 150mm to 170mm
    Trail: 140mm to 120mm
    XC: 80mm to 120mm

    The Jeffsy will give you not too much travel so that you can't climb efficiently, but it will give you all the travel you will ever need, so that if you ever want to go to a bike park or do any sort of real jumping, it will provide you with the means to do that.

    My vote is still on the Jeffsy, it is a very versatile bike.
    Man, thanks a lot really. So CF RACE it is because its worth jumping for the components I'm getting, and if I want something that wouldn't hold me back on climbs and gives me confidence going downhill at speed and a little more if I get better at biking, because I love speed, but I'm very cautious due to my lack of expertise would you say 29 @140 mm travel or the 27@160 mm travel. Thanks.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadof View Post
    Man, thanks a lot really. So CF RACE it is because its worth jumping for the components I'm getting, and if I want something that wouldn't hold me back on climbs and gives me confidence going downhill at speed and a little more if I get better at biking, because I love speed, but I'm very cautious due to my lack of expertise would you say 29 @140 mm travel or the 27@160 mm travel. Thanks.
    They are both going to be really good on technical terrain because of the extra suspension on the 27.5 Jeffsy and the extra rollover of the 29er. The 29er will have better climbing performance because of the lower amount of travel, but the 27.5 is more nimble.

    What kind of terrain are you looking at? If you are in tight and twisty terrain the 27.5 is a better bike for that. If you are going to be doing lots of jumps and drops then the 27.5 is also better because of the travel and air feel. If not, then the 29er will do better on the climbs and is probably the better option.

  28. #28
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimberjackJG View Post
    They are both going to be really good on technical terrain because of the extra suspension on the 27.5 Jeffsy and the extra rollover of the 29er. The 29er will have better climbing performance because of the lower amount of travel, but the 27.5 is more nimble.

    What kind of terrain are you looking at? If you are in tight and twisty terrain the 27.5 is a better bike for that. If you are going to be doing lots of jumps and drops then the 27.5 is also better because of the travel and air feel. If not, then the 29er will do better on the climbs and is probably the better option.
    I'll try to upload pictures of what I do, and where is hurt myself

    https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-mountai...-angatu-247421
    https://revistabasta.com.mx/wp-conte...s-d-leones.jpg
    https://80d2853cc4def76b377d-54344bc...nal/978324.jpg
    https://www.google.com/search?client...VP-TZ3CJVTCiM:

    Thats more or less what I do going either uphill or downhill. Thanks

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadof View Post
    Ok, it looks like you are doing some technical terrain, but not super twisty stuff. In that case, I would go for the 29er. You are going to really need the rollover for all those rocks.

    Also, that looks seriously chunky! 😮

  30. #30
    Jadof
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimberjackJG View Post
    Ok, it looks like you are doing some technical terrain, but not super twisty stuff. In that case, I would go for the 29er. You are going to really need the rollover for all those rocks.

    Also, that looks seriously chunky! 😮
    Will the 140 mm travel be enough? I also hate riding in those narrow roads where the pedals hit the sides where the raised 29 might help. While I understand the principle of the bigger wheel over obstacles (by the way I fell on a hard tail 29 with 100mm travel), I'm not so sure why the more enduro oriented bikes that go well beyond technical terrains go with 27.5 even when they have longer travel. I also want to feel a plush suspension. Thanks again

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadof View Post
    Will the 140 mm travel be enough? I also hate riding in those narrow roads where the pedals hit the sides where the raised 29 might help. While I understand the principle of the bigger wheel over obstacles (by the way I fell on a hard tail 29 with 100mm travel), I'm not so sure why the more enduro oriented bikes that go well beyond technical terrains go with 27.5 even when they have longer travel. I also want to feel a plush suspension. Thanks again
    Well, the terrain going downhill looks pretty gnarly and you may want more travel just for security especially if you will be going really fast. 140mm of travel may not be enough, that terrain looks really rough. Better be safe than sorry.

    The reason many enduro bikes have 27.5 wheels is because of maneuverability. Most enduro racers are going at ludicrous speeds downhill and they need to be able to turn or dodge a rock within split seconds and they don't want the extra resistance of a 29' wheel slowing them down while they do that.

    I'm starting to think that you may want a 27.5 inch bike now because some of the rocks in your second picture are just going to fling a rider over the bars, 29' wheel or not. You need to be able just to avoid them, and let the extra travel take care of any other bumps in the trail.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jadof View Post
    Will the 140 mm travel be enough? I also hate riding in those narrow roads where the pedals hit the sides where the raised 29 might help. While I understand the principle of the bigger wheel over obstacles (by the way I fell on a hard tail 29 with 100mm travel), I'm not so sure why the more enduro oriented bikes that go well beyond technical terrains go with 27.5 even when they have longer travel. I also want to feel a plush suspension. Thanks again
    This is the problem with advice from the internet, personally none of that looks bad unless you'd be going at top speed. I'd ride any of that on a 120mm bike.

    You also look like you have a ton of flat dirt road as well. I just don't see any of that the same way Timber does.

    I rode a small local bike park with a 120F/100R bike no issues. Granted the landings are smooth transitions, but I don't see anything you posted needing 140mm rear travel.

    Help needed Canyon Strive or Spectral-brewthru.jpg
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    I guess I haven't learnt my lesson from a previous thread where people were saying the same thing when I recommended a 140mm travel bike over 120mm front and 100mm back.

    Now that I think about it a little more, he doesn't need any more than 140mm for that, and I don't see the harm in getting a Jeffsy 140mm travel 29er.

    Even though you can do a lot of that stuff on a shorter travel bike, you for one are going to be slower and have worse handling on the downhills because of the geometry differences and if you do any large drops you risk bottoming out your suspension.

    He also crashed badly on his shorter travel bike.

    Would you rather have a bike that is really good and fast on the not fun stuff (climbs) or have a bike that still climbs well enough, but is really fast and fun on the descent?

    Everyone seems to be saying that shorter travel is way better than mid to long travel, but I have yet to see any really good reasons why short travel is so much better than mid travel.

  34. #34
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    Iím going to say something different here

    Iím a strive owner who mainly pedals and I love it



    The strive is 2 bikes in one because of the shapeshifter. I was looking at bikes like giant reigns and trances. The problem with a reign is pedaling it up a hill, the rear is soft and sucks energy (tho can of course be over come with fitness!!)

    The trance doesnít suck up the hits in the same way

    My strive is both bikes. On the downs with 160mm travel it sucks up the hits and takes everything in its stride. On the ups or in technical pedalling terrain the shapeshifter activated gives a firmer platform to pedal against plus raises the B.B. a few mm reducing pedal strike. It makes a significant difference and is easy to do on the fly. I use it a lot, not as much as my dropper, maybe 25% as much but thatís still quite a bit

    I travel quite a bit. Most of my riding is self powered with only 5-10% uplift

    It works for me. Only you can decide if it will be good for you

    If you havenít ridden various length travel bikes you should demo as many as possible before investing. The more bikes you can ride the more info you will have to make a decision




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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimberjackJG View Post
    I guess I haven't learnt my lesson from a previous thread where people were saying the same thing when I recommended a 140mm travel bike over 120mm front and 100mm back.

    Now that I think about it a little more, he doesn't need any more than 140mm for that, and I don't see the harm in getting a Jeffsy 140mm travel 29er.

    Even though you can do a lot of that stuff on a shorter travel bike, you for one are going to be slower and have worse handling on the downhills because of the geometry differences and if you do any large drops you risk bottoming out your suspension.

    He also crashed badly on his shorter travel bike.

    Would you rather have a bike that is really good and fast on the not fun stuff (climbs) or have a bike that still climbs well enough, but is really fast and fun on the descent?

    Everyone seems to be saying that shorter travel is way better than mid to long travel, but I have yet to see any really good reasons why short travel is so much better than mid travel.
    It just depends on what you ride. If I lived out west and pedal up then had long descents I'd definitely want more travel.

    On rolling terrain, long travel makes the trail feel dead. No matter how good it pedals going up you can't change that swish makes it less poppy.

    He even said he hasn't even taken a drop yet, so I doubt he'll be bombing those sections anytime soon. I personally think around 120 rear is the right spot based on how much smooth double track it looks like he rides as well.
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  36. #36
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    jadof...as you can see opinions will vary because everyone is different. If I was you, I would continue research and trust your own instincts regarding what YOU want. It's good you are getting feedback but what's right for me won't necessarily be right for you.

    There are so many great bikes to choose from for the segment you are looking for. I was looking at Spectral, Santa Cruz Bronson, Jeffsy, Fezzari until a deal ($2300 usd) came up on this and I pounced on it last Dec...

    KONA BIKES | MTB | PROCESS | Process 153 AL/DL 27.5

    They have 29", 27.5", alu or carbon frames.

    Looking at the terrain in your pix this bike would be great. It climbs awesome for a big bike and is super fun on technical singletrack and downhills. Being 6'4" requires XL so went with 27.5 for maneuverability...glad I did. I'm 58 and have ridden since my 30's... the newer geo has increased my confidence and fun factor significantly in rocky technical terrain and clearing obstacles.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturge View Post
    jadof...as you can see opinions will vary because everyone is different. If I was you, I would continue research and trust your own instincts regarding what YOU want. It's good you are getting feedback but what's right for me won't necessarily be right for you.

    There are so many great bikes to choose from for the segment you are looking for. I was looking at Spectral, Santa Cruz Bronson, Jeffsy, Fezzari until a deal ($2300 usd) came up on this and I pounced on it last Dec...

    KONA BIKES | MTB | PROCESS | Process 153 AL/DL 27.5

    They have 29", 27.5", alu or carbon frames.

    Looking at the terrain in your pix this bike would be great. It climbs awesome for a big bike and is super fun on technical singletrack and downhills. Being 6'4" requires XL so went with 27.5 for maneuverability...glad I did. I'm 58 and have ridden since my 30's... the newer geo has increased my confidence and fun factor significantly in rocky technical terrain and clearing obstacles.
    Thanks a lot for your input, yesterday night I purchased the Jeffsy 27 Pro Race because spectral CF 8 wasn't available yet and the CF 9 SL was way to expensive to my liking. I think the bike looks awesome and hope I don't regret not waiting for the CF 8 because of the downhill robustness of the Spectral. But overall very excited.

  38. #38
    Jadof
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    Thanks everybody for the help, I think I took a better informed decision and at the end of the day I got a great bang for the buck and a great alternative to the bike I initially wanted. Hope it performs well during my Rocky descents and be enough bike to grow my skills.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sturge's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    804
    Congrats...Sounds like you're mind was made up to get into a FS bike. I'm sure you will quickly learn to love it. Let us know how it turns out.
    12 Santa Cruz Heckler
    18 Kona Process 153 AL/DL (27.5)...

  40. #40
    Jadof
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    Great Purchase

    Happy to report I got my Jeffsy 27 Pro Race and couldn't be happier. Thanks everybody
    Help needed Canyon Strive or Spectral-img-20180826-wa0001.jpg

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