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Thread: Need Guidance

  1. #1
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    Need Guidance

    I currently ride a 2014 Stumpjumper with 130mm travel front and rear. I ride mostly XC but really enjoy small jumps and do the easy trails at the lift assisted bike park. I am looking to get a new bike this Spring. My complaints about the SJ are that it doesn't pedal so great on the XC trails, and that I wish I had a more capable bike for the park. I honestly will never do more than blue trails at the bike park. I don't think I want a dedicated DH bike, as well as the fact that I really can't have more than 1 bike. I realize my needs would ideally be filled by 2 bikes at the far end of the mountain bike spectrum. I know that newer bikes really pedal substantially better that they did 5 years ago. Might it be possible to find a bike that both pedals better than my current ride and handles easy bike parks trails better as well?
    My budget is $2500. I could go new or used. I work as an elevator mechanic, so I don't love tinkering with my bike a lot, I do that all day at my job. I like to get on and ride. And I actually kind of enjoy 1 bike to do it all. My initial thoughts are a great pedalling longer suspension bike, say 160F/140R. Bike shops near me usually don't have much in the way of that type of bike. My friends are all riding xc/trail bikes or DH bikes, so I haven't ridden much in this category. Any specific recommendations?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    What do you mean by "My complaints about the SJ are that it doesn't pedal so great on the XC trails"? Out of saddle climbing, or regular pedaling or ?

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    Yes it's possible. Specialized's fsr suspension has never been the most efficient pedaler, although I don't know about the newest models. Anyway, I'd look into maybe a dw-link bike (ie: ibis, pivot, devinci ) The Giant trance is a 140/150 bike I believe..and can definitely handle both duties you describe. Probably not as efficient as dw bikes but gets the job done just fine. Are you looking at 27.5 only? If you're only interested in the blue trails at the park, you may not even need that much travel. 130 rear might be enough, depending on the bike and of course the trail system.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by fsrxc View Post
    What do you mean by "My complaints about the SJ are that it doesn't pedal so great on the XC trails"? Out of saddle climbing, or regular pedaling or ?
    All of the above. It is plush until I need to put down some power...then it's "wallowy"

  5. #5
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    Then like manny said, take a look at some virtual pivot bikes. Get on some demos if you can.
    I own a Trance and am pretty happy with it but I find it a bit mushy for stand-up climbing (might be my soft setup though).
    I demoed a Troy and liked the way it climbed.
    Troy or Trance will be closer to your budget than Ibis, Pivot, Intense, or other "boutique" brands.

  6. #6
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    The Trek Remedy is a great do it all bike if you're looking for more travel. The Trek Fuel is also very capable and can handle blue trails at the bike park, plus it will be more efficient on XC type trails. One of those would be my vote for a budget one quiver bike.

    The Giant Trance 27.5 would also be on my demo list. If you're open to ordering a bike online then a bike like the YT Jeffsy is worth a look.

  7. #7
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    You can get by with your existing bike for your park with a suspension upgrade. A Manitou Mattoc Pro IRT is exactly what you say you don't want. You can tune everything- high and low speed, bottom out and more. But once you do you're done and the performance is spectacular.
    Now your second bike can be an XC trail bike, light and speedy for those rides.

    Here's a review of the Mattoc.- https://nsmb.com/articles/manitou-mattoc-pro-fork/
    Look at bikecomponents.de for a good price.

  8. #8
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    I'm definitely not one to say that there is anything wrong with getting a new bike, I love new bikes and the stoke they provide.... but, I will say that your 2014 Stumpy is a pretty good all around bike and actually a good fit for the type of riding that you describe. The fact that you're not going to do anything above a blue in the bike park clearly makes you a perfect candidate for one bike. There are definitely newer designs that can climb and descend better, but your budget is going to make it tougher to get something new that is a lot better than what you have. If you could bump your price into the $3500-4000 I think your options open up a lot. Used might be the way to go, just factor in some additional costs for maintenance/replacement parts depending on how hard the bike has been ridden. Some great options have been thrown out there, some others are the Mach 429, Yeti SB4.5, actually even the newer Stumpys.

    With that said, I have to wonder if you're suspension is set up properly, or your shock needs service. Based on the travel numbers, I'm assuming you have a Stumpy 29", probably a comp level? You said your bike feels wallowy, but I had a 2013 Stumpy Evo expert (26" 150/150), which was a more DH oriented version of the stumpy with more travel, and it climbed great. It wasn't very wallowy even with 150mm. I'm wondering if you're running too low of pressure... it will actually hurt the bike climbing and on DH (either due to constant bottom outs, or constantly running really low in the travel). If the lack of confidence in the bike's DH ability is more on the front end, a beefier fork might be the ticket (think Rockshox Pike or similar). There's obviously pros/cons that come into play in terms of upgrading your current bike... most importantly, if you're generally happy with the geo then it's worth considering, if you're not then it's time to walk away.

    But, I would first look at set up. That won't cost anything and can make a huge difference in how the bike rides. Next, I'd check whether the shock or fork is in obvious need of service. And go from there. Of course, if you've made up your mind to get a new bike, there's nothing wrong with that either. Good luck!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Padlz View Post
    I'm definitely not one to say that there is anything wrong with getting a new bike, I love new bikes and the stoke they provide.... but, I will say that your 2014 Stumpy is a pretty good all around bike and actually a good fit for the type of riding that you describe. The fact that you're not going to do anything above a blue in the bike park clearly makes you a perfect candidate for one bike. There are definitely newer designs that can climb and descend better, but your budget is going to make it tougher to get something new that is a lot better than what you have. If you could bump your price into the $3500-4000 I think your options open up a lot. Used might be the way to go, just factor in some additional costs for maintenance/replacement parts depending on how hard the bike has been ridden. Some great options have been thrown out there, some others are the Mach 429, Yeti SB4.5, actually even the newer Stumpys.

    With that said, I have to wonder if you're suspension is set up properly, or your shock needs service. Based on the travel numbers, I'm assuming you have a Stumpy 29", probably a comp level? You said your bike feels wallowy, but I had a 2013 Stumpy Evo expert (26" 150/150), which was a more DH oriented version of the stumpy with more travel, and it climbed great. It wasn't very wallowy even with 150mm. I'm wondering if you're running too low of pressure... it will actually hurt the bike climbing and on DH (either due to constant bottom outs, or constantly running really low in the travel). If the lack of confidence in the bike's DH ability is more on the front end, a beefier fork might be the ticket (think Rockshox Pike or similar). There's obviously pros/cons that come into play in terms of upgrading your current bike... most importantly, if you're generally happy with the geo then it's worth considering, if you're not then it's time to walk away.

    But, I would first look at set up. That won't cost anything and can make a huge difference in how the bike rides. Next, I'd check whether the shock or fork is in obvious need of service. And go from there. Of course, if you've made up your mind to get a new bike, there's nothing wrong with that either. Good luck!
    Setup wise, my rear shock is a Fox/Specialized Brain. It does not accept volume spacers, which is unfortunate. My only option with the existing shock is to have the tune changed. I am fairly hesitant to drop money into it. The "brain" has never worked correctly as far as I am concerned. I definitely would never buy a bike with what I consider at this point a gimmicky suspension setup again unless it was a screaming deal. (I got a pretty good deal on the bike a few years ago.) I basically run extra pressure on my rear shock to accommodate a more responsive ride that doesn't constantly bottom out. Of course that is a two edged sword...

  10. #10
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    So I'm fairly new to the sport but just thought I should chime in anyways.

    A few years ago I bought a used Giant Stance 2. Good bike for me to get to know if I wanted to progress in the sport but the 120mm travel limited my progression and I struggled with climbing on that thing. This year I decided to really go for it and I bought a new bike. I tested out the StumpJumper, the Divinci Troy and a Santa Cruz Bronson. The Bronson outperformed all of them (for me) in both downhill and climbing. That bike is an awesome climber. My one issue with it is it has a lower BB and so I do have occasional pedal strikes but thats almost to be expected. If you can find a good deal on a Bronson I think that would be your best bet.

    The Bronson just wants to go faster and climbs amazingly.

    My 2 cents.

  11. #11
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    VPP2 (and I assume VPP3) on the newer SC's is as good (or better) than the Trance. Both are better than FSR.

    Can you put a non-brain shock with a traditional lockout on it?

    Otherwise, as 2500 for a FS bike you're really looking used. Newer frames are going to be boost, meaning new wheels (or hubs or spacers).
    2016 SC 5010
    2017 Norco Torrent
    2014 Giant Trance (the boy's)
    2014 Kona Process 134a (the other boy's)

  12. #12
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    Have a look @ the vitus escarpe

    Vitus

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHNGkBq_0FQ

    Vitus Escarpe VRX FS Bike - Sram GX Eagle 1x12 2018 | Chain Reaction Cycles


    Lot of bike for not a lot of money & in your price bracket

    Need Guidance-escarpe-vrxa.jpg
    Last edited by redtil; 09-24-2018 at 02:24 PM.

  13. #13
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    I'd say yes, you can definitely find a bike that pedals better than a 5 years old SpecialED FSR design bike, even their new stuff seems to work much better. With your budget you're not going to find a whole lot, luckily for you there's places like Jenson who right now have some killer deals on some great bikes. For me the Banshee KS Link pedals really, really well, so one of them would be my suggestion, just check out the latest posts in the Banshee Prime thread from guys who's taken advantage of those killer deals and what they have to say about it's pedaling characteristics.


    Full SLX build for $2400
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Banshee-Sp...nson-Bike-2017
    https://www.jensonusa.com/Banshee-Pr...-A-Jenson-Bike

    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  14. #14
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    I bought 2 new bikes this year. I don't need another one at the moment. But making it 3 with that one would be a needle in the haystack, cost-wise. Solid suggestion. OP? What size do you need? Only mediums left. And probably not many of them either.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    I bought 2 new bikes this year. I don't need another one at the moment. But making it 3 with that one would be a needle in the haystack, cost-wise. Solid suggestion. OP? What size do you need? Only mediums left. And probably not many of them either.
    It is a solid suggestion. I am much more a Rock Shox fan or Fox. In part because of that, the Vitus posted above really appeals to me although it is slightly abov my budget. I am researching the process of getting a bike shipped from CRC....it seems a may need to pay a bit more to get it actually in my possession.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingmike View Post
    Setup wise, my rear shock is a Fox/Specialized Brain. It does not accept volume spacers, which is unfortunate. My only option with the existing shock is to have the tune changed. I am fairly hesitant to drop money into it. The "brain" has never worked correctly as far as I am concerned. I definitely would never buy a bike with what I consider at this point a gimmicky suspension setup again unless it was a screaming deal. (I got a pretty good deal on the bike a few years ago.) I basically run extra pressure on my rear shock to accommodate a more responsive ride that doesn't constantly bottom out. Of course that is a two edged sword...
    Yeah, the brain sucks... no doubt there. In 2013, the Evo Stumpys were the only ones that didn't come with a brain shock and that was a selling point for me. I thought they got rid of those for 2014, but guess not. There are some good deals out there to be found as bike season winds down, and more sure to be on the way. Hope you find something that better meets your needs. If you can bump your price point up a little, you could get something like this, which I think would fit your needs to the T.

    https://www.competitivecyclist.com/p...oyOm1hY2ggNDI5

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by piersurf View Post
    The Trek Remedy is a great do it all bike if you're looking for more travel...
    I can attest. I have a 2017 Remedy with 150mm front and rear. Except for very rare occasions, I leave the rear shock fully open all the time.
    It may not get you to the top quite as quickly as a lighter setup but it does the job well. It descends and jumps very, very well.

  18. #18
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    If you don't mind a loss of small bump compliance at slow speeds, the Remedy will suit you really well. I had a 2017 one, the Re:Aktiv valving really works wonders to get you up hills fast and keeps you high in the travel, but you really have to be hitting things at speed or just hitting them harder to get it to feel plush and "Aktiv."
    Shorter seat tubes, taller droppers.
    Shorter chainstays, taller stacks.
    Shorter stems, taller BB's.

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