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  1. #1
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    Help me pick a bike

    A little about me first. Im 42, 6' 180 and slowly gaining my "dad bod". I grew up riding bikes, then riding and racing offroad dirt bikes. Ive never been a serious mountain biker as i preferred riding dirt bikes. Well with 2 small kids and less time I need to get back in shape. I live in San Bruno and work in SF. From what I've looked up there are some good areas to ride in Pacifica, Waterdog and a couple other places within 30 minute drive.

    Bikes choices. I have read and watched way too many videos about this and way overthought it. I know I will use the bike for all kinds of riding, from path, camping trips and real rides. I highly doubt I will ever go to a downhill bike park. If I am going to plan a road trip I will do one to ride my dirt bike. With a background in offroad I am torn between a short travel 29 like Giant Trance, SC tallboy, Ibis Ripley or mid travel SC Hightower, Ripmo or the new Ripmo AF. Most of those bikes I will get a mid to low level build spending ~4k. I kinda want the mid travel knowing I will push the bike when I get comfortable as I have years of racing offroad dirt bikes.

    What are you guys thought for the Bay Area trails, trips to SC etc.

  2. #2
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    The Ripmo AF is the latest/greatest choice, but plenty of opinion abound here. Whatever you settle on, try to find a local bike shop (lbs) to purchase from and deal with. Support your local businesses if at all possible.

    And above all, ride the bike you buy, regularly.

  3. #3
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    I can't stress to you enough to go get on those bikes. Even if it's at the shop or in the parking lot. Give them the butt test. Otherwise, all of the bikes you mentioned are great bikes. I will also say that more travel is not better, it just makes up for mistakes and makes the ride more comfortable. I think the mid travel bikes you mentioned would be great all around bikes. The Ripmo AF has a lot of travel for a 29er. Just my opinion. Ultimately, if you can rent a few bikes from a shop that will give you credit to a purchase that would be best.
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  4. #4
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    I'm a moto guy too. I had always ridden XC bikes, my last one being a 120mm F/R Scott Spark. Late last year I felt I was pushing that bike a bit too much and felt like I was going to break it. So I bought a Hightower. I absolutely love everything about it. I will say the geometry did take me quite awhile to get used to and during that time I didn't enjoy the bike all that much. Now that I've learned how to ride it, I can't imagine anything being better.

  5. #5
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    I also started from motos,(Enduro's and hare scrambles) around 30 years ago. Mostly ride in the east bay , but have ridden over there. Also have ridden Moab ,Crested Butte, Bend , Scottsdale, Tahoe , Downeville ,SC and more, The early rides were on ridged ,later rides on a hard tail, now on a tallboy (first gen), bike before TB was a Intense 5.5 . I thought the 5.5 was too much bike for much for the riding around here. All that said ,you can ride most anything on any bike , the differences are in speed and control. Can't really go wrong with any of the those bikes. If you haven't demo'd any of them, you need to. Santa Cruz and Ibis both do this in Santa Cruz ,some shops do rental's with the fee applied to purchase if you buy from that shop. Also if you aren't opposed to used ,the rental shops are moving out their stock to make room for next years bikes.

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    Can't go wrong with a ripley. That being said you might get a nicer build kit with one of the direct-to-consumer options like YT or Canyon

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    If you haven't demo'd any of them, you need to. Santa Cruz and Ibis both do this in Santa Cruz
    That's gold advice there. I forgot you are in the bay area. It's super cheap to go grab a demo from them. I know Santa Cruz has trails you can pedal to right from their facility.
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  8. #8
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    You can also stop by Trailhead Cyclery on the way to Santa Cruz or Woodside Bike Shop if going to WaterDog, and demo a Yeti. The SB130 is a great short to mid travel bike; pedals well and descends better than the numbers suggest.

  9. #9
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    +1 for demo'ing the bikes. They are all capable, just depends on the style of riding you like.

    When riding dirt bikes, would you rather ride an XR600 or CR250?

  10. #10
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    Mid-travel 29er. The climbing you give up compared to a short travel is minimal, but the downhill capability is much better. Especially relevant for a moto guy I'd assume. Ibis and Santa Cruz are both very solid brands with excellent suspension systems, and they both have good price points. Yeti, Pivot, Evil are pretty expensive and likely not what you need at this point.

  11. #11
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    welcome to MTBR...obviously you should buy the same bike I ride because it is the best bike by default

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron View Post
    welcome to MTBR...obviously you should buy the same bike I ride because it is the best bike by default
    As much as I'd like to hop on the troll train, no one has said this, I see fair opinion and advice, otherwise telling OP to go ride bikes he's interested in...

  13. #13
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    I think your instincts are good--mid-travel. Demo a few and you'll be throwing your credit card at them! Another option is you can get some good deals in the fall on demo bikes. Happy hunting!
    Ride fast. Huck bravely. Waste no beer. Safety third.

  14. #14
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    Ripmo AF or SC tall boy 4.

    Go down to ABS (Another Bike Shop) in Santa Cruz and buy it there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Ripmo AF or SC tall boy 4.

    Go down to ABS (Another Bike Shop) in Santa Cruz and buy it there.
    Why those two over the new Hightower or the Ripley?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron View Post
    welcome to MTBR...obviously you should buy the same bike I ride because it is the best bike by default
    Oh please tell me what bike you ride so I can be like you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    You can also stop by Trailhead Cyclery on the way to Santa Cruz or Woodside Bike Shop if going to WaterDog, and demo a Yeti. The SB130 is a great short to mid travel bike; pedals well and descends better than the numbers suggest.
    Already passed by Trailhead on my way back from taking my son to Hollister Hills. Have not been able to check out Woodside bike yet. The SB130 is bit more pricey, but I have heard good things.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenErik1 View Post
    Oh please tell me what bike you ride so I can be like you.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssalinas View Post
    Can't go wrong with a ripley. That being said you might get a nicer build kit with one of the direct-to-consumer options like YT or Canyon
    I did look at YT and Canyon, almost pulled the trigger on a Canyon Spectral. I grew up in Monterey and like the idea of supporting a local company like Ibis or Santa Cruz.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
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    Had a few of those as a kid and loved them. Not sure I will fit anymore.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenErik1 View Post
    Already passed by Trailhead on my way back from taking my son to Hollister Hills. Have not been able to check out Woodside bike yet. The SB130 is bit more pricey, but I have heard good things.
    You can probably get a deal on a 2019 or a demo, as the new colors just came out. If any are left. I have a SC Hightower LT and an SB130. For MidPen, WaterDog, SC, etc I like the Yeti.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
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    As a kid, I jumped some crazy assed ramps standing up on one of these!

  23. #23
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    Too bad they don't make a Ripley AF (yet).

    Even with demo-ing, I think an alloy bike would be a better choice. Not as much of an outlay and you'll inevitably want something else in two years once you get more miles in.

    I came from the road world, wanted to ride some of the trails I saw when riding around the South Bay. Got a steel hardtail. Then decided I wanted to smash rocks, do drops and basically pretend I'm a teenager. So then I became this guy:

    https://youtu.be/yotOZVELSMc

  24. #24
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    I'm the same height as you so come on down to Santa Cruz and we can demo an Ibis and a Santa Cruz from the HQs which are next door. We can swap bikes mid-ride to get a better back to back comparison.

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    ^ That's a great idea/offer. I think they're both only charging $40, right?
    Ride fast. Huck bravely. Waste no beer. Safety third.

  26. #26
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    https://www.revelbikes.com/our-bikes/rascal/
    https://ridegg.com/trailpistol
    https://spotbrand.com/collections/mo...ucts/mayhem-29
    https://www.forbiddenbike.com/products/druid

    To me, these are some of the most exciting mid travel 29ers right now. The challenge is getting a leg over them without going to their 'home'.

  27. #27
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    Seeing you haven't ridden bikes much - literally any 130-140mm trail bike will do. There are really no bad bikes nowadays.

  28. #28
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    My two cents is mid-travel like everyone else says. I'd focus more attention to 27.5 vs 29er. I think that will be the most noticeable difference.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  29. #29
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    if you have $$$ + time, go demo a Santa Cruz and ibis. Santa Cruz sold out to a giant dutch company so you're really not supporting a small local based company anymore. pretty sure ibis is still a smaller brand. with the newest models you might have some difficulty sourcing one due to the demand.

    I'd keep maintenance/service in mind if you're going to ride frequently. are you going to do it yourself? take it to a shop? take a look at all the places dirt/rocks will get trapped on some of these newer linkage designs. when your bike's down and you wanna ride, what will you do? for some it's nice to have a spare, or even a low maintenance hard tail. I'm a few years older than you, grew up riding skateboards, bmx, early 80s mountain bikes in the Bay Area and still really enjoy a hardtail 29er. I have a full suspension bike too.

    marketing and pedaling people's carbon ripmos in parking lots really make the ripmo af look pretty sick if you don't need da carbon. might be a little too much travel locally but if you're throwing a ~250lb dirt bike around what's 33lbs? ripmo af + aggressive hardtail + tools/workstand = 6g's? watch hella YouTube make friends w/a bike mechanic, wrench on your own stuff, start your bike quiver. just my thoughts.

  30. #30
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    Hard tail

    Why no mention of hard-tail ?
    Why all recommendations of current $$$ modern geo bikes?

  31. #31
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    My recommendation is try to demo as many bikes you can, so you could have a feel of the bikes you are looking for.

  32. #32
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    these are the Marin 2020 bikes. so i am not sure if they can be demoed anywhere yet. look into the Rift Zone for 29" or the Hawk Hill for 27.5". oh...and don't let the price fool you....these are terrific rides!
    https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/typ...ull-suspension
    I bet you'd do the same if they was you!

  33. #33
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    E, you mean your finally getting a mountain bike. Wait till I tell Tracy. Iíve never ridden Ibis. I have a Santa Cruz Bronson thatís on overkill for the trails around here. I also have a Yeti SB100 but itís more XC than you would want. The SB130 is a great choice. Also the New Tallboy or Hightower. Iím not a huge fan of big box brands like Giant, Specialized or Trek. Make an apt at Santa Cruz to demo a bike for $40. You get it for 4 hours. TRailhead is $100 but goes toward the purchase.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vin829 View Post
    E, you mean your finally getting a mountain bike. Wait till I tell Tracy. Iíve never ridden Ibis. I have a Santa Cruz Bronson thatís on overkill for the trails around here. I also have a Yeti SB100 but itís more XC than you would want. The SB130 is a great choice. Also the New Tallboy or Hightower. Iím not a huge fan of big box brands like Giant, Specialized or Trek. Make an apt at Santa Cruz to demo a bike for $40. You get it for 4 hours. TRailhead is $100 but goes toward the purchase.
    Except you like my Sworks Epic EVO 😜

    E, demo as much as you can. I have a 2019 Santa Cruz 5010 and have enjoyed the capability of the bike. I demoíd a Yeti sb100 but it didn't connect with me but Vince loves his. I opted for the epic evo instead and love it. Comes down to personal preference.

    I second Trailhead as well as Family Cycling Center in Santa Cruz. Keep in mind the brand you decide on may also dictate your LBS.

    Good luck and maybe we will see on the trails!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vin829 View Post
    E, you mean your finally getting a mountain bike. Wait till I tell Tracy. Iíve never ridden Ibis. I have a Santa Cruz Bronson thatís on overkill for the trails around here. I also have a Yeti SB100 but itís more XC than you would want. The SB130 is a great choice. Also the New Tallboy or Hightower. Iím not a huge fan of big box brands like Giant, Specialized or Trek. Make an apt at Santa Cruz to demo a bike for $40. You get it for 4 hours. TRailhead is $100 but goes toward the purchase.
    Vin, heard good things about the SB130 but I haven't seen a local used one in the budget I want to spend. I think now it's between the new Tallboy or Hightower. Summit Bikes in Burlingame is willing to take 10% off, which I'm guessing is good for a new model.
    I'm sure Tracy already knows, I have been blowing up JRs phone to help me out haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by DirtNSnoGirl View Post
    Except you like my Sworks Epic EVO 😜

    E, demo as much as you can. I have a 2019 Santa Cruz 5010 and have enjoyed the capability of the bike. I demoíd a Yeti sb100 but it didn't connect with me but Vince loves his. I opted for the epic evo instead and love it. Comes down to personal preference.

    I second Trailhead as well as Family Cycling Center in Santa Cruz. Keep in mind the brand you decide on may also dictate your LBS.

    Good luck and maybe we will see on the trails!
    Only going to get one bike, as I know I wont get too hardcore about it. More to get back in shape for when I get out on the dirtbike. I did check out a Stumpjumper Expert 29 at Mikes Bikes. Really nice too, but I kinda just like the SC bikes better. Never heard of Family Cycling Center, will look them up. The bonus for my buying local at Summit would be free lifetime tuneups. I know major maintenance is not covered but it would be nice for drivetrain adjustments.

  36. #36
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    Backcountry.com is starting to clear this year's Santa Cruz stock. I got my Hightower last November for $2500 + tax (down from $4k) between the clearance price and the ActiveJunky cash back.

    Obviously local shops have merit for the usual reasons, but something to be aware of.

  37. #37
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    I would recommend you go for maximum versatility. aka. Mid-travel 29er with emphasis on good pedaling characteristics.

    Yeti SB130, Hightower (new is better than old but old is definitely going to be cheaper), Revel Rascal to name a few.

    Definitely ride some bikes to see which geometry suits you and how you get on with the reach of various bikes, etc. There are tons of variables and you're guaranteed to not jive with all options.

    _MK

    "The things you get fired for when youíre young are the same things you get Lifetime Achievements for when youíre old."

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzo View Post
    Why no mention of hard-tail ?
    Why all recommendations of current $$$ modern geo bikes?
    Because the dude listed the bikes he was interested in and said he had about a $4k budget.....so the recommendations have been geared towards what he asked.

  39. #39
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    Help me pick a bike

    Quote Originally Posted by cassieno View Post
    Because the dude listed the bikes he was interested in and said he had about a $4k budget.....so the recommendations have been geared towards what he asked.
    And a 4K budget is actually a 6k budget when MTB shopping, trust me!

  40. #40
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    E, sounds like you would really like the Hightower. I think the Tallboy might also be a little too XC for you. Knowing how you ride a dirt bike you will want a mid travel 29er. Get a demo at the Santa Cruz factory. Reserve it online and I will show you around Wilder Ranch to Demo it

  41. #41
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    The Ripmo in capable hands.....


  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenErik1 View Post
    I'm sure Tracy already knows, I have been blowing up JRs phone to help me out haha.
    Buy TJís Bronson, very similar to what you are looking at and then whenever you have questions he is more obligated to help you. Lol.

  43. #43
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    Honestly today's 140-150mm travel bikes pedal just as well as yester years 120mm bikes. There is no reason to go with anything but a mid travel bike IMO. The new Intense Primer should also be looked at IMO. From what I have read, its a pretty amazing, capable bike.

    But as someone earlier said, you really cant go wrong with any of today's top tier manufacturer mid travel bikes.

  44. #44
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    If you want to get in shape as you mention, and you are a dad with limited time, buy a used High End singlespeed off craigslist. Ride that thing as hard and as fast as you can for 47 minutes twice a week, then a 2.5-3 hour ride on the weekend. You will have an awesome bike and great fitness for under $1500. Buy comfortable walking shoes, because you will also be walking this bike a little bit until you gain fitness.

  45. #45
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    Just get a Specialized Levo. You can keep up with most people on the climb, and have a great time going down.

    In addition, the ebike is great at keeping you in that "mid-range" training zone to increase your endurance and burn fat.

    In addition to that, the ebike let's you get in that "quick loop" when you are pressed for time. You don't have to worry about that hour climb. You just use a higher assist setting and then get home faster.

    It's a good Work/Bike/Life balance tool.

    There still are a few places you are not supposed to ride an ebike. For those few places, you get the aforementioned Ripley AF.

    Since you now have those bikes, you want to stay in shape in the winter. Road riding works great because you can ride just as soon as it stops raining. There are some entry-level offerings from Cannondale (Cadd12) and Trek that will give you some road time but not break your mtb budget.
    Lead by my Lefty............... right down the trail, no brakes.

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    There are a lot of way to torture myself back into shape. Riding a single speed around is not on my list of fun ways to workout. My son is almost 5 and rides really well on his bike and dirt bike. Soon he will be able to join me out on the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R_Pierce View Post
    Honestly today's 140-150mm travel bikes pedal just as well as yester years 120mm bikes. There is no reason to go with anything but a mid travel bike IMO. The new Intense Primer should also be looked at IMO. From what I have read, its a pretty amazing, capable bike.

    But as someone earlier said, you really cant go wrong with any of today's top tier manufacturer mid travel bikes.
    There is a great reason to get a 120mm bike. The reason is because you want one....

  48. #48
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    Your list of bikes is good, you will not really go wrong with either one for your area. I would say that if you think you will ride your typical roaming area (Skyline to SF), then go with the short travel.

    If you think you will do longer trips (Santa Cruz, Tahoe) or get into more adventurous riding, like big jumps and drops, go with the bigger bikes (Hightower / Ripmo).

    Did you like hitting big stuff when you were on a motocross bike? Or more fast offloading? I can tell you doing the switch that you would lean in the same direction on bikes.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    Your list of bikes is good, you will not really go wrong with either one for your area. I would say that if you think you will ride your typical roaming area (Skyline to SF), then go with the short travel.

    If you think you will do longer trips (Santa Cruz, Tahoe) or get into more adventurous riding, like big jumps and drops, go with the bigger bikes (Hightower / Ripmo).

    Did you like hitting big stuff when you were on a motocross bike? Or more fast offloading? I can tell you doing the switch that you would lean in the same direction on bikes.
    Thanks for the reply. I was never a MX rider, always off-road. I do like to jump, but more from trail stuff and not a track. I know I will jump everything I can on the trails but donít plan to go to a bike jump park. On my dirt bike I love fast flow trails to tight technical single track. I think Iím settling on the Ripmo carbon NX build or Hightower C R build also NX series.

    The good thing is through work I get $50 a month for ďwellnessĒ and I can use it at REI. Figure over time I can upgrade whatever parts are worn or lacking on the bike.

  50. #50
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    You were on SBR right? Weíve ridden dirt bikes a few times together, but that was awhile back. (I was DoubleD on SBR) Anyway, yeah dude MTB goes really well with moto. You should definitely ride a bunch of bikes. Youíre on the right track with a mid travel bike, but you also might really dig a longer travel bike. The geometry is basically the same as a dirt bike, and they pedal uphill just fine. Most of my friends are riding some version of a Hightower now and they kick ass. Personally I donít think brand matters much, as long as your buying at the right price point. No one is making a bad bike. I got a smoking deal on a Trek and love it. (27.5 Slash) My only complaint is my lbs sucks ass, but I knew that going in.

    If you demo some bikes in Santa Cruz Iíd be stoked to show you around.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildHareAdventures View Post
    You were on SBR right? Weíve ridden dirt bikes a few times together, but that was awhile back. (I was DoubleD on SBR) Anyway, yeah dude MTB goes really well with moto. You should definitely ride a bunch of bikes. Youíre on the right track with a mid travel bike, but you also might really dig a longer travel bike. The geometry is basically the same as a dirt bike, and they pedal uphill just fine. Most of my friends are riding some version of a Hightower now and they kick ass. Personally I donít think brand matters much, as long as your buying at the right price point. No one is making a bad bike. I got a smoking deal on a Trek and love it. (27.5 Slash) My only complaint is my lbs sucks ass, but I knew that going in.

    If you demo some bikes in Santa Cruz Iíd be stoked to show you around.
    Hey man, itís been a while since we have ridden together. You still riding at all? As far as the mtb goes, Iím still torn between a few choices. Found a used 1 ride 2019 Giant Trance for 2k, mid travel 130/120 thatís suppose to be a great trail bike. Leftover 2019 Hightower LT CS build marked down from 4999 to 3399. Or the new Hightower C R build for 4299 minus 10% off. Both the Hightowerís are 150 travel and more downhill capable but obviously twice as expensive. Decisions decisions. We should get a ride down in SC scheduled with some old SBR people.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vin829 View Post
    E, sounds like you would really like the Hightower. I think the Tallboy might also be a little too XC for you. Knowing how you ride a dirt bike you will want a mid travel 29er. Get a demo at the Santa Cruz factory. Reserve it online and I will show you around Wilder Ranch to Demo it
    You have had quite a few bikes. Is the difference between the old Hightower substantial? Iím kinda thinking the leftover 2019 marked down will be 95% as good and a much better value.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenErik1 View Post
    You have had quite a few bikes. Is the difference between the old Hightower substantial? Iím kinda thinking the leftover 2019 marked down will be 95% as good and a much better value.
    While Iíve never ridden the Hightower (the new or old design) I canít give a Fair comparison . My best guess. Being your a newer rider getting into the sport is I donít think you will be able to tell the difference. Save the money. Get a left over 2019 and ride the wheels off it.

  54. #54
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    The question is not what bike - all those you listed can be great choices. The more important thing to think about before pulling the trigger is what is the right geometry and fit for you - frame size, handlebar width, stem length, stack height, crank-arm length. I've had frames that were too small AND too big! It's an expensive mistake. I don't know if it's the same in moto because you have a lot more human inputs in the push bike, but a well-fitting fun bike that you can manual and has some pop is going to be a fun bike that you ride a lot and will get fit on, and that's all a matter of bike fit / geometry.

    Most bikes these days are all going extra long reach for shorter stems, which is good, extra wide handlebars (which for some of us shorties are just too exaggerated, but you're tall so maybe that's good for you!).

    Going out and riding bikes is essential, but sometimes it's hard to know what signs you should be looking for when you ride the bike around. Will it still feel great after riding it for many many months as your skills progress? In that case knowing some numbers is also helpful.

    There are lots of bike fit resources out there. Lee McCormack is a long time instructor of mtb skills, and I think he has a really simple system of finding a good fit for a MTB, and has a free resource you can use here: https://www.leelikesbikes.com/rad-bike-setup.html
    Half the planet is deep into bloody tribal mayhem. Weíre just riding bikes (and drinking beer) here.
    ~Fairfaxian

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGenErik1 View Post
    Hey man, itís been a while since we have ridden together. You still riding at all? As far as the mtb goes, Iím still torn between a few choices. Found a used 1 ride 2019 Giant Trance for 2k, mid travel 130/120 thatís suppose to be a great trail bike. Leftover 2019 Hightower LT CS build marked down from 4999 to 3399. Or the new Hightower C R build for 4299 minus 10% off. Both the Hightowerís are 150 travel and more downhill capable but obviously twice as expensive. Decisions decisions. We should get a ride down in SC scheduled with some old SBR people.
    I stopped riding moto a few years ago. Iíve always been partial to pedals and living in SC weíve got some ok trails. The new 690 is tempting though...

    Iíd be stoked to ride with the SBR crew. I can probably get a loaner Hightower as well. I ride pretty much every weekend, so just let me know.

  56. #56
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    I haven't read through this whole thread but if MTB'ing wasn't my main source of fun, I would totally shop for a budget bike. Personally I would suggest anyone that is going to be a casual rider, I really like the GT Sensor Alloy Comp build. Less than $3K and a pretty awesome build for that price.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

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    TheGenErik1, I saw you said 2019 giant trance. What model trance? The advance line is carbon frame/wheels and IMO one of the bast bang for your buck is the trance. My brother has had 3 of them and currently has a 2019 advance 1 and the thing is awesome for the price. Great build kit, and it handles much better than the past trances. In 2019 they shortened the chainstays and the bike handles much better. I ride a Pivot mach 6 and the trance is not that far off from ride quality.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSocko View Post
    TheGenErik1, I saw you said 2019 giant trance. What model trance? The advance line is carbon frame/wheels and IMO one of the bast bang for your buck is the trance. My brother has had 3 of them and currently has a 2019 advance 1 and the thing is awesome for the price. Great build kit, and it handles much better than the past trances. In 2019 they shortened the chainstays and the bike handles much better. I ride a Pivot mach 6 and the trance is not that far off from ride quality.
    Giant bikes are underrated, and lose out in the spotlight, probably due to the endorsements and social media showcasing of other bikes. They are solid, reasonably priced, bikes that work well. They don't have the fanbase of a Santa Cruz, or a Yeti, or an Ibis, but they are a solid value, IMO. For the record, I own Santa Cruz bikes, and my son rides Ibis bikes, primarily because we've gone carbon and the glam factor of Santa Cruz and Ibis came into play. Other bikes to consider, Banshee bikes and Guerilla Gravity. I would have no problems with those bikes, for alloy. If I were more value conscious, I would definitely look at other brands.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    Giant bikes are underrated, and lose out in the spotlight, probably due to the endorsements and social media showcasing of other bikes. They are solid, reasonably priced, bikes that work well. They don't have the fanbase of a Santa Cruz, or a Yeti, or an Ibis, but they are a solid value, IMO. For the record, I own Santa Cruz bikes, and my son rides Ibis bikes, primarily because we've gone carbon and the glam factor of Santa Cruz and Ibis came into play. Other bikes to consider, Banshee bikes and Guerilla Gravity. I would have no problems with those bikes, for alloy. If I were more value conscious, I would definitely look at other brands.
    I agree. Giant used to be an even better value, they too have gotten more expensive. One of my favorite bikes back in the 2000's was the Giant Anthem.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrSocko View Post
    TheGenErik1, I saw you said 2019 giant trance. What model trance? The advance line is carbon frame/wheels and IMO one of the bast bang for your buck is the trance. My brother has had 3 of them and currently has a 2019 advance 1 and the thing is awesome for the price. Great build kit, and it handles much better than the past trances. In 2019 they shortened the chainstays and the bike handles much better. I ride a Pivot mach 6 and the trance is not that far off from ride quality.
    Its a lower build aluminum build. But I can get it for half of what the SC Hightower costs. There is a used one with 1 ride on it for 2k.
    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/pen/bid...984284278.html

  61. #61
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    Hereís what you need to do: go see and at least parking lot test your short list. Buy the one that will get you the most stoked to ride. Done.

  62. #62
    Ride On!
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    RIPMO!! Why ?? Because I have one and love it

  63. #63
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    Im just going to piggy back on this thread to avoid starting my own but i'm in the same boat.
    Looking to replace my hightower CC. wanting to get either a Ripmo AF, an Aluminum hightower v2, or a Pole Stamina 140.
    The issue is that the first 2 frames are relatively cheap at about 2000, and the pole runs about 3000 after shipping.
    Any suggestions? can't demo a Pole but that stamina looks really good, I'm leaning more towards that cause its a bit less travel front and rear and i'm planning on buying a Yeti SB165 next summer for gnarlier stuff anyways.

  64. #64
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    While I agree that for most of the trails around the Bay Area, 120-130mm travel is plenty,
    a little more around 140-150 won't hurt especially if you're not racing. New bikes in that range are dialed and won't slow you down much when climbing and riding all day. A little more forgiving of ó no offense ó your newness and age. If you're anything like me, those 40+ years means quite a few lumps and bumps through the years that are starting to be felt more and more.

    I live in Marin but I've ridden all the places you've mentioned around the Bay as well as Tahoe, Downieville, etc. I've ridden almost all those spots on everything from an old 29er XC hardtail with an 80mm fork to a newish 27.5 150/140 full suss. You can ride pretty much most trails on anything, it just comes down to how fast you want to go, how smoothly you want to or can ride and how willing you are to feel a little beat up afterwards

    I'm also currently shopping for a new full suss and all the bikes you mentioned are on my list as well. I'm also looking at the Norco Optic and hopefully soon to be revamped Norco sight. Full disclosure I already have two Norcos ó they are pretty underrated/overlooked at least around here. Not saying they're better than anything else mentioned here, just more options. Maybe worth a look for you too.

    Last thing ó prioritize geo over travel all day everyday. I just built up a Cotic BFE hardtail with 130mm fork. This bike is so fun and capable. I ride it on everything I ride my full suss on. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower but always fun. And always a little more worked afterwards.

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