Riot for rocky rooty twisty climby Northeast trails- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Riot for rocky rooty twisty climby Northeast trails

    Iíve been looking for a new bike. The new Ripley, Tallboy, and Hightower have gotten most of my attention. Then I stumble upon the Riot.

    The idea of slack geo, longer reach, short chain stays, and of course CBF really seems to make sense for the rocky and rooty technical trails I ride. Climbs tend to be short and full of rocks and roots. Some trails have short and steep rock features or rollers. I also like that you can reduce travel to 125mm to make the bike a bit more 'connected' and less of a monster truck rollover beast.

    But I have a few concerns and questions:
    -parts and service seem sketchy. Iíd buy used so can get the frame, but should I be concerned about parts availability?
    -some (Revel Bikes for one) say on steep technical climbs the riot has a tendency for the front wheel to lift, is that true?
    -short seated cockpit due to super steep sta (77deg), do you really adjust to this? Sean said you get used to it. Effective top tube length is quite short and I'm a seated climber 90% of the time. The Reply v4 XL felt cramped when pedaling flat trails.
    -The Riot DH oriented so maybe not right for my XC and ďTrailĒ trails. Are there any issues on more XC trails? Slow speed tech, turns, and switchbacks?
    -Is it an "on" or "in" the bike feel?
    Last edited by Doug; 09-04-2019 at 07:15 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Iíve been looking for a new bike. My current bike is a bit too small and has dated geometry. The new Ripley, Tallboy, and Hightower have gotten most of my attention. Then I stumble upon the Riot.

    The idea of slack geo, longer reach, short chain stays, and of course CBF really seems to make sense for what I ride.

    The trails are a always rocky and rooty. Climbs tend to be short and full of rocks and roots. Some trails have short and steep rock features or rollers. Most are fairly easy but full of rocks and roots. Iím not into park, DH, or maxing out speed.

    I find my current Tallboy LTc numbs the trails a bit. Itís long stays (350ish mm) make it hard to get the front wheel up or ďplayfulĒ. The steep hta (68 with angleset) make for less than confident moment s when it gets steep.

    Ive ridden the new Ripley and it feels great. What I liked was the way it carved corners, was easy to manual, climbed tech like a goat, and was very stable at speed downhill.

    The Riot looks like it may be a before itís time ďmodernĒ bike....but:
    -parts and service seem sketchy. Iíd buy used so can get the frame.
    -some (Revel Bikes for one) say on steep technical climbs the riot has a tendency for the front wheel to lift
    -short seated cockpit due to super steep sta (77deg)
    -DH oriented so maybe not right for my XC and ďTrailĒ trails.

    It it seems to be a rare capable bike going down, but really good on technical climbs. All while keeping the Trail feel and making easy trails more fun with the poppy, playful, [otherbuzzwords] ride.
    Is there a question here?

    Iím a Riot owner and hereís my take.
    -pedals great
    -climbs tech like crazy, goes DH like crazy.
    -manualling the front is super easy
    -very playful; super fun jumping off any feature and so easy to
    Push around in the air
    -NOT an XC bike
    -not super awesome at slow tight twisty tech, but pedals great with amazing traction
    -Itís heavy vs a carbon bike
    -front wheel only lifts on super steep climbs if you donít pay attention and get sloppy.
    -It is on the shorter side of reach

    Itís not a bike thatís for lazy riders; the more you actively drive it, the better it is.

    FWIW - I bought it after breaking a carbon Yeti SB-95 and the Riot crushes it.




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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogidave View Post
    Is there a question here?

    Iím a Riot owner and hereís my take.
    -pedals great
    -climbs tech like crazy, goes DH like crazy.
    -manualling the front is super easy
    -very playful; super fun jumping off any feature and so easy to
    Push around in the air
    -NOT an XC bike
    -not super awesome at slow tight twisty tech, but pedals great with amazing traction
    -Itís heavy vs a carbon bike
    -front wheel only lifts on super steep climbs if you donít pay attention and get sloppy.
    -It is on the shorter side of reach

    Itís not a bike thatís for lazy riders; the more you actively drive it, the better it is.

    FWIW - I bought it after breaking a carbon Yeti SB-95 and the Riot crushes it.




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    Thanks for the feedback. I did update my post with actual questions.

    What is it that you donít like in slow tight trails?
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  4. #4
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    I'll second what yogi said. I have a lot of slow twisty trails in Western MD. The BB is higher than most bikes these days. Which is great for peddling through chunk, but when going slow it can be more work with its higher center of gravity. Once used to it your going to love it. The only parts you may need are bearings and they are common sized.

    The Riot is one of the best tech climbing bikes while still being efficient out there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    I'll second what yogi said. I have a lot of slow twisty trails in Western MD. The BB is higher than most bikes these days. Which is great for peddling through chunk, but when going slow it can be more work with its higher center of gravity. Once used to it your going to love it. The only parts you may need are bearings and they are common sized.

    The Riot is one of the best tech climbing bikes while still being efficient out there.
    Not sure what you mean by more work. Harder to turn the pedals over or just require more upper body balance and effort?

    Do you notice the higher cog on steep rollers or other features? I want to avoid any over the bars inducing traits.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Not sure what you mean by more work. Harder to turn the pedals over or just require more upper body balance and effort?

    Do you notice the higher cog on steep rollers or other features? I want to avoid any over the bars inducing traits.
    Just more balance needed, but nothing really to fear and you get used to it quick. I'm 5'6" on a medium fits me perfectly. The stack and head angle make over the bars a hard thing to do. The BB is only 5mm higher than the Evil offering and other mid travel bikes. You only feel it in slow turns. I take the bike to Pisgah twice a year and its perfect.

  7. #7
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    It's not that I don't like it...

    It is NOT an XC bike and takes more effort to drive it through slow, tight twisty sections. It certainly can do it, but it requires perhaps more active rider input than, say, a bike with a steeper head tube. That said, almost every watt you pump into the pedals makes it go forward. And, as others have said, it climbs tech shockingly well.

    One thing I have really noticed is that dropping the stem down and going slightly longer has improved the steering and front end control a lot because it gets more weight over the front end helping it stay planted. For me, the whole super short stem turned out not to work perfectly.

    There's very few things it won't do, provided I have the watts to give! And it has a relatively short wheelbase, so it is nimble - like more than you'd expect for a 29er with 140mm travel.

    After nearly 2yrs of riding it, I still grin when I ride it. I recently swapped the Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 for a DVO Topaz and DAMN! it got even better - especially in tech/slow/climbing. This really highlights that proper set up it key.

    But, it's not going to hold your hand and let you ride on auto-pilot.

  8. #8
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    Good to hear. Iím not the type to want to let the bike do all the work, I want to ďdrive itĒ so to speak. Itís probably like my current Tallboy LTc. Iíve slacked it out and itís a handful in slow tight stuff. However in faster steep stuff it gets sketchy. Also short (435mm reach) with long chain stays. So a good do it all well but not great bike. The Riot seems to be better at th things I want to improve.

    I have DVO front and rear. Great stuff. I plan to call them to see if they have any tuning tips. They have a riot in their demo fleet I believe.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by yogidave View Post
    It's not that I don't like it...

    It is NOT an XC bike and takes more effort to drive it through slow, tight twisty sections. It certainly can do it, but it requires perhaps more active rider input than, say, a bike with a steeper head tube. That said, almost every watt you pump into the pedals makes it go forward. And, as others have said, it climbs tech shockingly well.

    One thing I have really noticed is that dropping the stem down and going slightly longer has improved the steering and front end control a lot because it gets more weight over the front end helping it stay planted. For me, the whole super short stem turned out not to work perfectly.

    There's very few things it won't do, provided I have the watts to give! And it has a relatively short wheelbase, so it is nimble - like more than you'd expect for a 29er with 140mm travel.

    After nearly 2yrs of riding it, I still grin when I ride it. I recently swapped the Rockshox Monarch Plus RC3 for a DVO Topaz and DAMN! it got even better - especially in tech/slow/climbing. This really highlights that proper set up it key.

    But, it's not going to hold your hand and let you ride on auto-pilot.
    Every year I try the new bikes in this category. Nothing climbs tech as well and still peddles so efficiently. Most the "dream bikes" hang up.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Every year I try the new bikes in this category. Nothing climbs tech as well and still peddles so efficiently. Most the "dream bikes" hang up.
    I rode the new Hightower last night on some technical terrain with climbs. It did really well. Iíll see how the Riot compares.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    I rode the new Hightower last night on some technical terrain with climbs. It did really well. Iíll see how the Riot compares.
    I'm eager to try the HT with the lower linkage, the new Broson felt great but I prefer 9ers. Wish it had shorter stays.

  12. #12
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    I think that the riot works fine as a longed legged trail bike. It pedals well. I've raced mine in some local XC races and have faired well.

    The short cockpit takes a bit to get used to.

    The steep seat angle is great for climbing.

    With lifting the nose up. Its a bike with a short wheel base, so it is easier to lift the nose.

    Shorter wheelbase will sometimes be an advantage while climbing, sometimes not. Just depends on the climb

    For the tight techy stuff, the short wheelbase shines. I can maneuver through stuff that other trail and XC bikes have a hard time with.

    With descending, this bike can be a blast. When it gets really chunky, you notice the short wheelbase again, as you will get more feedback with it. Its definitely not a plow bike on the descents. Stuff that you might be able to squash with other bikes, this one is gonna want to send

    I've ridden this bike for the last 3 years, solely in Maine. Haven't found another bike yet that I'd rather have. Next year might be new bike time, and I might be moving to something with a longer reach and little bit longer wheelbase as well and the Ripmo AF has gotten me curious, but its lacking that CBF magic that I lov

    For a bike designed when it was, it hasn't really become outdated yet.
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  13. #13
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    I have a nimble9 boost balance riot and epo and is like a new bike but nothing out there jumps out and says this it. That Canfield magic is pretty damn hard to beat Iíve had my riot and balance to Pisgah the riot sends black mountain where the balance just plows down the mountain so much fun


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  14. #14
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    Iíve had a few rides on the Riot. On tamer local trails it was great. Great on the climbs and very easy to jump and manual.

    Today really tested it on slow tight technical trails in the Adirondacks. Same stuff in BKXCs last ADK trip report (ďToday I get a n over my headĒ). It handles the tight chunky stuff great. Much better than my Tallboy LTc could.

    There really is something great about CBF. Definitely a sleeper pedaling system. Iíve ridden All the others and this really does feel more consistent.

    Very happy with the bike and it really does hold up well against even the 2020 Rioley, Hightower and Tallboy.
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