What All Mountain Bike to Get For Norcal- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What All Mountain Bike to Get For Norcal

    Hi all,

    I'm just trying to work through what bike to get next.

    I ride in the bay area and Tahoe mostly. I shuttle in Downieville occasionally as well. Daily rides tend to be Briones, JMP, Pleasanton ridge, Rockville, Lime ridge. Occasionally commute to Annadale, Santa Cruz, Skeggs, and Pacifica.

    My previous bike was a 2017 Devinci Troy. I liked the bike and recently sold it after and injury. That bike was a 150 front and 140 rear suspension with a 460 reach and a 67 degree HTA. I recently bought a Yeti Sb100 on a whim with an idea to use it for tamer trails in the East Bay and an occasional XC or endurance type race (e.g. planning to race the Downieville classic next year).

    As such I'd like to pair the SB100 with an all mountain or enduro bike similar to my Troy but with perhaps a bit more travel, bit longer reach, and slacker HTA. I would use this bike for an occasional enduro race and for most of my local rides that aren't too tame.

    Primary bikes that interest me:

    Transition Sentinel
    Norco Sight
    Yeti SB150

    I'm looking at the GX build or Shimano equivalent. I prefer a carbon frame but that's not a necessity.

    Just looking for outsider input because my local bike shops aren't demoing bikes now and I'm unlikely to be able to ride these bikes in the near future.

  2. #2
    I just wanna go fast!
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    I absolutely love my Intense Carbine.

    160 fork, 156 rear travel, slack head tube, long reach, feels like it has tons of traction in the rough stuff. I have ridden it everywhere from Ft. Ord, to Northstar(vista side,not just livewire), to Whistler, to Downieville. I'm 6'4" and the XL is the first bike that actually feels like it really fits me. I got the 2018 version when it came out in the summer of 2017 and I have been loving it since day one.

  3. #3
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    NorCal, there must be some Santa Cruz and Ibis consideration
    Quote Originally Posted by Forest Rider View Post
    Yeah, what Train Wreck said. Trails are ruined because e-bikes are there.

  4. #4
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    Chris- First of all, welcome aboard and happy hunting! It's a tough time to buy without being able to demo (although I bet that changes soon). I don't really have any advice, but be prepared for the #1 response to be: **My bike. Good luck!

    **But if it's RBoardman giving the advice, you should lean in.
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  5. #5
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    I just bought a new bike, and was considering those same models that you list.

    Though I had demoed some bike last summer/fall, I knew demoing was out for this year.
    Then I also realized that I could demo a lot of different bikes, trying so hard to find _the_perfect_bike and completely over-analyze my eventual purchase.

    But then I also realized that I could just buy a Santa Cruz Bronson or similar online and be completely happy that I'd have a bike that would rock in Dville, Tahoe and SC.

    And so a couple of weeks later I bought a Santa Cruz Hightower online without ever having demoed one.

    And after taking the HT to some of the Truckee's beary best trails last weekend, I'm so happy that I did just that.
    Live to Ride, Ride to Live

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm just trying to work through what bike to get next.

    I ride in the bay area and Tahoe mostly. I shuttle in Downieville occasionally as well. Daily rides tend to be Briones, JMP, Pleasanton ridge, Rockville, Lime ridge. Occasionally commute to Annadale, Santa Cruz, Skeggs, and Pacifica.

    Primary bikes that interest me:

    Transition Sentinel
    Norco Sight
    Yeti SB150

    I'm looking at the GX build or Shimano equivalent. I prefer a carbon frame but that's not a necessity.

    Just looking for outsider input because my local bike shops aren't demoing bikes now and I'm unlikely to be able to ride these bikes in the near future.
    I was also looking at those same bikes. Was coming off a 170/170 Ransom that I sized up on. Truthfully, it was a little too big for me at just over 6' on an XL. I'm often between sizes on most companies L-XL. So I was looking for a bike that is a big large if that makes sense. Also wanted to drop down in travel to 150 rear. 170 was nice for the extra gnarly stuff, but I wanted a little extra pop and pedaling support. Liked the numbers on the Sight but the bike just didn't do it for me in the looks department compared to the Yeti and the new Transition.

    Hardest decision was between the Yeti and the Transition. I could get the 150 right away but the Sentinel is at least a 2 month wait and I sold my bike way faster than I expected. They are similar in size with the Yeti having a tiny bit more reach but the Transition being a longer bike over all and slacker head angle. Not being able to demo the Sentinel made it tough, but I was able ride a buddy's S3 Evo which has super similar numbers to the Sentinel all except for seat tube angle. While I wasn't a big fan of the Evo's suspension the bike fit me really well. In the end, I was able to borrow a bike for the wait and I eventually chose the new Sentinel because it is quite a bit more progressive and liked the longer chainstays compared to the Yeti for a better balanced feel. Also, I was a bit put off on how Yeti handled the problems with the launch of the SB150 and how they will still not admit that they made changes to the rear triangle even though the pictures of the new ones show the tire centered in the chainstays and with more room. One last thing, if you compare the GX build on the Sentinel compared to the 150, the sentinel has a better build.

  7. #7
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    Donít overlook the Knolly Fugitive LT. The 135mmís of rear travel can be misleading. It can get rowdy with a 160mm fork. Progressive geo could be a match for you too.

  8. #8
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    Canyon Strive or Turbo Levo / Kenevo (if you routinely go big)
    2020 Turbo Levo Comp
    2019 Strive CF 8
    2018 Farley EX 8

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Wreck View Post
    NorCal, there must be some Santa Cruz and Ibis consideration
    I demoed the V1 Ripmo and it didn't excite me that much. I preferred my Devinci Troy to the Ripmo. I guess the V2 Ripmo might be as different beast.

    I demoed the Tallboy and liked the suspension characteristics. Maybe the Hightower would be worth a look. Megatower seems like more travel/bike than I want.

    Again I really liked my Troy and I think I would be happy if I just bought a newer Troy. I'm just keen on trying another suspension platform (Horst link, switch infinity, or other) and a bigger wheel size.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    Canyon Strive or Turbo Levo / Kenevo (if you routinely go big)
    I am going to wait for the next generation of Specialized ebikes before I go down that road.

    Canyon Strive seems on point. How do you like the shapeshifter feature? For the most part I'm not interested in altering geometry (i.e. flip chips). I just end up riding the "lo" setting and leaving it there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    I am going to wait for the next generation of Specialized ebikes before I go down that road.

    Canyon Strive seems on point. How do you like the shapeshifter feature? For the most part I'm not interested in altering geometry (i.e. flip chips). I just end up riding the "lo" setting and leaving it there.
    If you ride bike park 24/7 drop in Clack and forget about it, but you said NorCal not NorStar... Click mode is nice for pedaly sections!
    2020 Turbo Levo Comp
    2019 Strive CF 8
    2018 Farley EX 8

  12. #12
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    Honda CR 250

  13. #13
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    If going Yeti Sb130 or LR. I have a sb150 but also a sb45c. If I had only 1 bike from Yeti for the same places you and I both ride..it would be a sb130lr

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagonger View Post
    If going Yeti Sb130 or LR. I have a sb150 but also a sb45c. If I had only 1 bike from Yeti for the same places you and I both ride..it would be a sb130lr

    Sent from my GM1915 using Tapatalk
    Interesting. I have a SB100 and I'm looking to pair it with another bike. So you would go with SB100 and SB 130LR?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hemi01 View Post
    Donít overlook the Knolly Fugitive LT. The 135mmís of rear travel can be misleading. It can get rowdy with a 160mm fork. Progressive geo could be a match for you too.
    This. I ride similar trails as OP and the Fugitive is a blast.
    Don't harsh my mello

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wg View Post
    This. I ride similar trails as OP and the Fugitive is a blast.
    I've had mine for ~18 months now, really terrific bike. I'm torn between it and my 2020 Enduro as a better Norcal one bike solution. The Knolly is a jack of all trades while the Enduro is a DH prodigy that can do XC rides with the skinny kids and not get dropped.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    Interesting. I have a SB100 and I'm looking to pair it with another bike. So you would go with SB100 and SB 130LR?
    I would sell the SB100, buy the SB130LR and have a one bike quiver.

    Great review from a local rider.


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callender View Post
    It's a tough time to buy without being able to demo (although I bet that changes soon).
    I've been out of town for the past 3 1/2 months (unfortunate trip timing with covid); just got back and today I stopped by the new Specialized demo store next to the Patagonia Outlet on River St. I was surprised to see that they were open (still under construction last time I was in town), so I went in. Not only are they open, they are demoing all kinds of Spec bikes, they have a huge selection, and it's a pretty good deal. I immediately signed up to demo an S-works Enduro tomorrow (all sizes available I believe), $55 for 4 hours (they also have reasonable 8 hour and 12 hour slots).

    https://www.specializedsantacruz.com/

  19. #19
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    CR250 or an Ibis Ripmo is worth consideration and should be near the top of your list for NorCal. Maybe try the Ripmo again... it's a great bike.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5k bike 50cent legs View Post
    I would sell the SB100, buy the SB130LR and have a one bike quiver.

    Great review from a local rider.

    That seems like the most sensible thing to do. I think 130-140 rear travel is the place to be for one bike.

    However, I plan to race the Downieville Classic on the SB100 so I'm holding onto that for a bit. I looking for something a little more plush to complement the SB100 than Alex describes for the SB130.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    I've had mine for ~18 months now, really terrific bike. I'm torn between it and my 2020 Enduro as a better Norcal one bike solution. The Knolly is a jack of all trades while the Enduro is a DH prodigy that can do XC rides with the skinny kids and not get dropped.
    I've heard the hype for the new Enduro. Seems like a great bike. Might be more suspension than I'm looking for?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    Interesting. I have a SB100 and I'm looking to pair it with another bike. So you would go with SB100 and SB 130LR?
    Yes. I have a sb45c and a sb150 and I appreciate having the two...

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  23. #23
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    Look at the specialized evo

  24. #24
    orthonormal
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    I've heard the hype for the new Enduro. Seems like a great bike. Might be more suspension than I'm looking for?
    It has a lot of travel but it's not a mushy pedaling bike at all. I doubt you'll find that any of the current 150mm bikes out there pedal or climb better than the Enduro.

    I might be a bit hesitant to choose it as a one bike solution but since you already have an SB100...
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  25. #25
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    Pivot offerings? Mach 5.5, 6, Firebird, Switchblade? I'd love to get my 5.5 out there. It's been over 10 years since I've ridden out there and getting the itch.

    Everyone I have talked to that rides the new ripmo really likes it.

    I'd look at the Bronson too. My buddy that used to live in NorCal has one and really likes it.

  26. #26
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    Transition Smuggler

  27. #27
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    I'll throw in my vote for a Guerrilla Gravity Pistola or Smash. I picked up a Trail Pistol last summer when the Revved bikes came out and couldn't be much happier with it.
    So many good bikes out there.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoDakSooner View Post
    Pivot offerings? Mach 5.5, 6, Firebird, Switchblade? I'd love to get my 5.5 out there. It's been over 10 years since I've ridden out there and getting the itch.

    Everyone I have talked to that rides the new ripmo really likes it.

    I'd look at the Bronson too. My buddy that used to live in NorCal has one and really likes it.
    My local bike shop is a Pivot dealer. The Firebird is on my list but I haven't loved the DW link suspension in the past. I'm looking for something plusher.

    I'm heard the Bronson is good but I think I want a 29er.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy f View Post
    It has a lot of travel but it's not a mushy pedaling bike at all. I doubt you'll find that any of the current 150mm bikes out there pedal or climb better than the Enduro.

    I might be a bit hesitant to choose it as a one bike solution but since you already have an SB100...
    Sounds like I gotta try it out and see for myself. I have a hard time wrapping my head around 170 mm bike for my riding style and locations. But why not more travel if there's no penalty on the uphill? I might appreciate the extra margin for error.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    My local bike shop is a Pivot dealer. The Firebird is on my list but I haven't loved the DW link suspension in the past. I'm looking for something plusher.

    I'm heard the Bronson is good but I think I want a 29er.
    Take a look at the firebird and the Switchblade. I thought both were really plush. I do like the DW link. I did think the firebird was really big, but wouldn't be a problem to size it down to a medium. I beat up a Switchblade in Phoenix for several days back in March. Might be one of the best bikes I have ridden(small sample size though) It had plenty of travel 160/142 and I though it really soaked everything up really well.

    I forgot about GG like one of the other posters mentioned. They intrigue me. Would love to throw a leg over one of them.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    Sounds like I gotta try it out and see for myself. I have a hard time wrapping my head around 170 mm bike for my riding style and locations. But why not more travel if there's no penalty on the uphill? I might appreciate the extra margin for error.
    I didn't plan on it myself. I wasn't even in the market for a bike but was curious enough about the hype to rent one for the day. I took it to Nisene Marks for 20-ish miles and ~2400' and felt like it got me up to Sand Point just as well as my trail bike and added a massive margin for error.

    Via Strava, I've since learned that I am quite a bit faster climbing on my trail bike, close to 10% on long fireroad grinds. And i'm another 10% or so faster on my HT. That's why I might hesitate on the Enduro as an only bike, even though I often choose it for rides where it's far from the optimal choice.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by stoicchris View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm just trying to work through what bike to get next.

    I ride in the bay area and Tahoe mostly. I shuttle in Downieville occasionally as well. Daily rides tend to be Briones, JMP, Pleasanton ridge, Rockville, Lime ridge. Occasionally commute to Annadale, Santa Cruz, Skeggs, and Pacifica.

    My previous bike was a 2017 Devinci Troy. I liked the bike and recently sold it after and injury. That bike was a 150 front and 140 rear suspension with a 460 reach and a 67 degree HTA. I recently bought a Yeti Sb100 on a whim with an idea to use it for tamer trails in the East Bay and an occasional XC or endurance type race (e.g. planning to race the Downieville classic next year).

    As such I'd like to pair the SB100 with an all mountain or enduro bike similar to my Troy but with perhaps a bit more travel, bit longer reach, and slacker HTA. I would use this bike for an occasional enduro race and for most of my local rides that aren't too tame.

    Primary bikes that interest me:

    Transition Sentinel
    Norco Sight
    Yeti SB150

    I'm looking at the GX build or Shimano equivalent. I prefer a carbon frame but that's not a necessity.

    Just looking for outsider input because my local bike shops aren't demoing bikes now and I'm unlikely to be able to ride these bikes in the near future.
    I always wanted to try an SB-100. If you're interested I can trade you for my medium carbon Ripmo to try for a few days. PM me if interested.

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