Help me pick my new bike...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: Neela's Avatar
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    Help me pick my new bike...

    I was wondering if you might be able to help me pick a new bike. I'm really hesitating b/w:

    Buy an Ibis Mojo HD4 (maybe look around for a great deal now the HD5's are out)
    Buy an Ibis Mojo HD5
    Switch to a Santa Cruz Bronson
    Get a Yeti SB140
    Keep riding my bike for now and wait for the Mojo 4

    I ride primarily:

    Skeggs
    Waterdog
    Tamarancho
    Annadel
    Saratoga gap
    Tahoe - e.g. TRT Tahoe meadows to spooner, or Tahoe donner
    Demo - Braille over Flow but like both
    Hough + Downieville
    Wilder
    Pogonip to UC and beyond

    Pretty middle of the pack re speed, drops bigger than 18" scare me. So do gap jumps. But I love getting a little air off all the little one foot jumps, water bars etc. I jump off everything I can and love drops of 8-18".

    I weigh 190 + gear and have super low gearing to make it up the steep gnarly stuff.

    Yeah I know I should demo a bunch of bikes and see what I like...I've done that and I'm still stuck.

    What I ride today and why I want a new bike:

    I am the proud owner of an Ibis HDR. I love the damn thing...so much I've struggled to upgrade because of how much I love it...

    That said, after 5-6 years on my beloved 26" steed....I am starting to find that as I'm riding more and more aggressive terrain (e.g. Braille / Downieville) I am being held back by my geometry...I'm just not as confident as my friends on bigger more enduro bikes. Sure if I was a better rider I could ride it fine on my bike, but it just feels like I have less room for error...that I can get in trouble and go OTB where my friends wouldn't...Nevertheless I've loved the fact that the HDR has been a one bike quiver, allowing me to do pretty much any terrain from Arastradero to Northstar. My concern with upgrading has been that while I may gain confidence for the 5-10% of the time the terrain is super super gnarly, I don't want to be penalized for the 60% of the time when I'm climbing etc.

    Demo experiences
    So I demo'd a Ripmo, hoping I'd love it (once in Tahoe and once from Trailhead)...everyone told me I would...I so wanted to...but I just found I didn't...It's a great bike but it felt like I'd upgraded to a truck...I just wasn't used to how much I had to shift my body to get the front end up, it felt harder to jump little side jumps, slower to accelerate from trackstand/stall speed etc. Stuff that had been challenging wasn't...but that's not necessarily a plus...I go out of my way to find challenging terrain...making small rock garden feel like flat trails just made them less fun. I found myself feeling over and over, I wish I had my bike 95% of the time. I did love it on the super steep technical sections, but that's 5% of the ride.

    I then demo'd a Yeti SB140, and liked it a lot...I found the travel a little too firm/lacking and it felt a little long for my liking...But it made me wonder whether a Mojo 4 with a little more travel than the 4 if one was every built could be a great solution for me. The SB140 gelt way more familiar to me and closer to what I'm looking for than the Ripmo for me. Some friends have been pushing towards a Bronson telling me that's my perfect bike.

    I haven't demo'd a Bronson yet, feeling too much love for Ibis. I demo'd an HD4...and generally liked it...It felt quite familiar ... It was certainly longer and slacker but felt pretty good..I put it down as another great candidate..It didn't feel like it climbed quite as well as my bike, didn't seem quite as fun and poppy, but so much better on the fast steep descents. I was starting to talk myself into accepting that trade-off and then the HD5 was released...

    It sounds like a better version of the HD4...It sounds like it descends better, but I wonder if that comes with a penalty on the climbing side.

    So what do you think? Any guesses as to what will be the right bike for me? Should I demo more? Anyone know if any bay area shop has the HD5 in their demo fleet yet? Do I just need more time on one of the bikes I've already demo'd to get used to the new geometry? Should I try out the Bronson or even Nomad? Specialized Enduro? Something else?

    I'm curious for those of you who've made the jump from 26-->27.5 or 29 or 27.5 --> 29 how the adjustment has been...did you find you adjusted and never looked back or did you find you miss the old geometry. I ran into a guy who bought an SB130 and really wished he'd waited and went with the SB140...He's just not loving the new geometry.

    So what do you think I should do?

  2. #2
    Hella Olde
    Reputation: DH40's Avatar
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    I have zero recent experience with those 3 brands, but you should probably just go all in on a 29er. Even I have accepted that resistance is futile.

    I am looking for some VC to back my 29er-specific shorts and pants company - with the extra protection you'll need for the crack ov yo ass.

    BŹŻZZŹŻŹŻ!

  3. #3
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    Coming from a mojo3, it took me awhile to adjust to the bigger wheels and LLS geometry on my Transition Sentinel. But once I did, it was magic on 2 wheels. Handles quite well with appropriate user input (admittedly, takes more effort and commitment to get it to corner). I sometimes miss the nimbleness of the mojo, but overall, the long travel 29er with modern geometry has been so great for increasing confidence and expanding what I am comfortable/able to ride. Sounds like we enjoy riding the same trails.

  4. #4
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    130-140mm 29er. There are lots of great bikes in this category right now. There are only a few spots in the riding areas that you mentioned that a 27.5 might be advantageous.

    Evil Offering
    SC Hightower
    Revel Rascal
    Spot Mayhem
    YT Jeffsy
    Orbea Occam
    Yeti SB130

    All of these bikes have modern geometry and nobody makes a bad bike these days. I would choose one of these that gives you a top tube and reach that's as close as possible to what you like and suits your budget.

  5. #5
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    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
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    ^^^ Good advice. Once you get used to a 29er coming from your 26, it will be life changing. Those 18" drops will feel like little speed bumps.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Neela's Avatar
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    @SikeMo Thanks! I'm curious why would you suggest going down to 130-140? Is there an advantage to the Hightower over the Megatower or Ibis Ripley over the Ripmo...I do tend to use all 150MM of my current travel right now...

  7. #7
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neela View Post
    @SikeMo Thanks! I'm curious why would you suggest going down to 130-140? Is there an advantage to the Hightower over the Megatower or Ibis Ripley over the Ripmo...I do tend to use all 150MM of my current travel right now...
    I could go on about this for days, but... You don't want the bike to feel too much like a sled. There are plenty of places in the Bay Area that are best on a hard tail to 120mm bike. These include anything MidPen, Tamarancho and China Camp. These massive enduro bikes are only suited to the absolute top riders in the world and the steepest trails. There is very little in the NorCal area that would require one. Maybe just the nastiest trails at Northstar/Martis. Look at the top times at the Downieville Classic and the bikes that they're riding.

    Another idea is to get one of the above bikes and two wheelsets for it. One wider set with burly Maxxis WT tires for Tahoe/Sierras and a narrower set for the Bay Area with 2.3 tires.

  8. #8
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    Dark side suggestion: Stumpy (Expert Carbon), Yeti 130 if you have the money to maintain it.

  9. #9
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    You may want to add the new SC Tallboy to your list. I have the SB130 and love it, after riding the SC HTLT for a year or so. I'm about your size, 6' 195lbs. I needed a better climbing bike for Skeggs, SB130 is going great once I got the tires sorted out.

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