What is everyone riding?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New question here. What is everyone riding?

    My background is in road biking. I picked up a Pivot Les Fat (rigid) last winter so I can keep riding in the snow and it's been great for that purpose. Lately, I've been taking it on some easy/intermediate trails in and around Toronto and it's worked ok for that.


    However, I'm starting to feel like the Les Fat isn't the right bike for intermediate or harder trails. For starters, the HTA is pretty steep at 69 degrees so drops feel pretty sketchy - especially with a rigid fork. Also, I wish there was some suspension to help absorb trail chatter and bumpy terrain. I don't like to say my bike is holding me back but it is really feeling that way. For instance, there's a short/steepish rooty descent near Earl Bales Park where I won't even attempt because I'll likely bounce off a root and get thrown. Oh yeah, the undamped fat bike "bounce" doesn't help very much either (and, yes, I'm running low pressures).


    Anyways, I'm looking at full suspension bikes now and I'm just curious what everyone's riding. It seems like 160mm travel enduro bikes are all the rage but they seem like too much bike for Ontario (are they?).

  2. #2
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    Fairly new here, but will give my $.02. I feel more confident on my fats, especially on the exact terrain you've mentioned, than any other bike I've ridden. Key is tire pressure. That being said I've recently gone to a front suspended bike (lefty) but my rigid fat is still more than capable. What tires are you running? Width rim? If balanced right, you should flow over most roots/small obstacles when positioned correctly.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rentalrider View Post
    Fairly new here, but will give my $.02. I feel more confident on my fats, especially on the exact terrain you've mentioned, than any other bike I've ridden. Key is tire pressure. That being said I've recently gone to a front suspended bike (lefty) but my rigid fat is still more than capable. What tires are you running? Width rim? If balanced right, you should flow over most roots/small obstacles when positioned correctly.
    I'm set up tubeless with 80mm Mulefut SL and 4.8" Jumbo Jims inflated to <10psi (don't know the exact measurement because my SKS airchecker doesn't work under 10psi). It's easily squishy by hand and has roughly 15-20% "sag" when weighted.

    I'm also considered getting a Bluto which would help absorb hits and slacken the HTA by a degree but I kinda want a trail bike for the summer and reserve the Les Fat for bikepacking trips and winter.

  4. #4
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    Especially for a new riders, something with less travel will force to you learn how to mountain bike, as opposed to just banging down the trail and letting the suspension do the rest. To each their own, but 160mm is way more than Ontario calls for.

    I would look to bikes like the Giant Anthem SX, the new Norco Optic (looks perfect for ON), or the Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. Bikes in the 100mm-120mm travel range.

  5. #5
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    One of my riding mates has a Banshee Rune (160 mm), and is looking for a bike with less travel. I think a bike in the 120 mm range is ideal for non-gravity riding in Southern Ontario. I find my Thunderbolt well-matched for the trails I ride (Halton Agreement Forest and Hilton Falls primarily). Even a 100 mm bike would be suited for 90% of the trails we have here.What is everyone riding?-img_0654.jpg

  6. #6
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    I also live in Toronto and ride a 160mm travel enduro bike. Mind you, I'm having an early mid-life crisis where I'm reliving my youth by riding like an out of control hooligan and trusting the bike to save my bacon when I do one too many stupid things.

    I can ride pretty much everything on a 100mm travel hardtail, but I've decided that more travel, more speed, and more stupidity is more fun.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aerius View Post
    I also live in Toronto and ride a 160mm travel enduro bike. Mind you, I'm having an early mid-life crisis where I'm reliving my youth by riding like an out of control hooligan and trusting the bike to save my bacon when I do one too many stupid things.

    I can ride pretty much everything on a 100mm travel hardtail, but I've decided that more travel, more speed, and more stupidity is more fun.
    Haha I have to be honest and say that I'm pretty much in the same boat right now so that's why am leaning towards more travel rather than less. How do you find your 160mm bike in and around Toronto? Is there is such thing as "too much bike"?

    Another reason I'm shying away from 100mm bikes is there would be a lot of "overlap" with the Les Fat. With my current bike, I can basically throw on a 100-120mm sus fork and light 29er wheelset to convert it to the regular Pivot Les XC hardtail (obviously at a light weight penalty). I am really wanting to try full suspension though....

  8. #8
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    I'm digging my BC edition Thunderbolt (130 front, 120 rear) as a do-it-all bike, mostly riding the Don, Durham/Dagmar, Kelso, Buckwallow and Hardwood. Sometimes I think I'd like a bigger bike, but as I age I increasingly lack the desire to hit high risk lines where 160 would be useful. Instead of going big, I tend to go long, so pedalling efficiency trumps travel for me.

  9. #9
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    for everything other than bike parks i have a cotic bfe (26er steel am hartail) with 130mm travel. works perfect, tons of fun on downs, pretty decent on the way up

  10. #10
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    Get a 27.5+/29+ bike - still can be used for snow covered trails, and they (apparently) blast through the chunder ^^

    http://youtu.be/4VXJpDmYf1Q?list=PLE...42oqhB06w2_OGB

    http://youtu.be/Npr0dvtCYw8?list=PLE...42oqhB06w2_OGB

    Once the kinks are ironed out (tires/tire options) I'd definitely be interested in one, or two (N+1)

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  11. #11
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    I moved up from a Giant Anthem X 26er with 100mm front and back to a Santa Cruz Solo/5010 27.5 with 140mm front and 125mm back. Going through same mid-life crisis and find I really like going down faster even with the slight penalty going up. It is more than I "need" for Durham/Dagmar/EDH but I don't really care because I am having a ton of fun on it. It is more about the journey than just getting to the destination as quick as possible for me.

  12. #12
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    Having ridden the don in a 160mm bike I would not recommend it. Mine was an intense slopestyle, so while newer bikes are much lighter I feel that 160mm made the trails pretty dull.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    My background is in road biking. I picked up a Pivot Les Fat (rigid) last winter so I can keep riding in the snow and it's been great for that purpose. Lately, I've been taking it on some easy/intermediate trails in and around Toronto and it's worked ok for that.


    However, I'm starting to feel like the Les Fat isn't the right bike for intermediate or harder trails. For starters, the HTA is pretty steep at 69 degrees so drops feel pretty sketchy - especially with a rigid fork. Also, I wish there was some suspension to help absorb trail chatter and bumpy terrain. I don't like to say my bike is holding me back but it is really feeling that way. For instance, there's a short/steepish rooty descent near Earl Bales Park where I won't even attempt because I'll likely bounce off a root and get thrown. Oh yeah, the undamped fat bike "bounce" doesn't help very much either (and, yes, I'm running low pressures).

    Anyways, I'm looking at full suspension bikes now and I'm just curious what everyone's riding. It seems like 160mm travel enduro bikes are all the rage but they seem like too much bike for Ontario (are they?).
    You really have to be riding fast and hard to justify a long, slack, 160mm bike.

    The also tend to handle typical trail rides poorly.

  14. #14
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    i think anything more than an XC or light trail bike is excessive for Ontario, unless you are regularly doing DH at Blue Mountain etc.

    I've run everything from a cyclocross bike to FS to fat bike in the Don and they all work.

    My current ride is a rigid fat bike but I do have a set of carbon 29+ wheels on the way for it.

    IMHO, a 160 MM travel enduro bike is total overkill for Ontario riding.
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  15. #15
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    If I am not mistaken, the Pivot Les Fat allows you to go to different wheel options with the adjustable rear drop offs. That is an option. A Bluto can also be an option for a front fork. That is if you want to stay with this bike. I would say that a 27 or 27+ bike with about 130 mm or so travel will do just about anything in Ontario except DH quite nicely. I ride a carbon Tallboy, but set up really aggressively with a short stem, wide bars, Pushed suspension, upgraded rims and big tires. I also have a carbon fat bike and road bike and jump bike. I am a Santa Cruz guy, but if I were looking at a 27 or 27+ bike now, I would really consider the offerings from Giant. They have a very good line up and a hell of an offering for the buck. I have no Giant bikes, but know lots of people on them. My two cents. Ultimately, it's going to come down to what you like to ride, and most important, what you will be riding most. May not be the same thing. I know at least two guys that have bigger travel bikes for the terrain they love, but can't get there all the time, so they suffer a bit in other areas.
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  16. #16
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    Yeah, the Les Fat can take basically any wheel/tire size with the adjustable rear. I was looking at building up a carbon wheelset and getting a bluto for the Les Fat. Through light-bicycle, it'd be ~$1400 for the wheelset + tires + taxes. The bluto would add another $800+tax. So the debate is whether to spend around ~$2500 to upgrade the Les Fat or put the money towards a new bike.

    4-5" travel bikes are starting to look really appealing. The only reason I started with 160mm bikes is all the hype around enduro bikes. The thing is, I am kind of a "plow through everything" kinda guy so maybe 6" isn't such a bad idea lol

  17. #17
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    I like my fat bike rigid. I ride it quite a bit in Hilton Falls in the rocks that way. That'll teach you to be smooth. I considered a Bluto and a 29er plus wheel set for it as well, but like you point out, the price is too much for that, specially since I have other bikes. When I bought my fat bike it was just for snow, but found it a lot of fun in dirt, so I ride it more than I thought I would. Again depending on how much dirt you're going to ride and how much you want to spend, another grand over the
    $2500.00, can put you into a pretty decent bike if you are not set on carbon. Have fun finding a new ride. It's my favorite thing to do. I have to wait for a bit myself.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by secret agent View Post
    ...I would really consider the offerings from Giant. They have a very good line up and a hell of an offering for the buck. I have no Giant bikes, but know lots of people on them.
    Seconded. My wife rides a Trance 0 29er on trails at Kelso, Hilton Falls, and the Agreement Forest and loves it. I am rather envious of her ride, the Trance is an excellent bike.

  19. #19
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    All the advice and bike suggestions have been really, really great - thanks guys! My search has shifted and I've decided to look at bikes in the the 140mm(+-10) range - which should work great on trails but will still let me let loose when wanted/needed. I mean, I am looking for more travel so 140 seems like a good middleground between the 160 I initially looked at and the 120 that many are suggesting.

    So here's my list of bikes to demo:
    Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
    Yeti SB5c
    Giant Trance Advance
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Pivot Mach 4
    Scott Genius 710
    Rocky Mountain Pipeline (if I decide to go 27.5+)

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post

    So here's my list of bikes to demo:
    Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
    Yeti SB5c
    Giant Trance Advance
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Pivot Mach 4
    Scott Genius 710
    Rocky Mountain Pipeline (if I decide to go 27.5+)
    I have a 5010 and just wanted to say I love it. I ride mostly at 3 stages and it's a perfect fit for the conditions.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    All the advice and bike suggestions have been really, really great - thanks guys! My search has shifted and I've decided to look at bikes in the the 140mm(+-10) range - which should work great on trails but will still let me let loose when wanted/needed. I mean, I am looking for more travel so 140 seems like a good middleground between the 160 I initially looked at and the 120 that many are suggesting.

    So here's my list of bikes to demo:
    Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt BC Edition
    Yeti SB5c
    Giant Trance Advance
    Santa Cruz 5010
    Pivot Mach 4
    Scott Genius 710
    Rocky Mountain Pipeline (if I decide to go 27.5+)
    That's a nice list of bikes to be looking at :envious:

    Might I suggest a Kona Hei Hei DL Trail

    http://youtu.be/81HdRwhHmYs?list=PLE...42oqhB06w2_OGB

    Sounds like a bike that would be right up your alley ;-)

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  22. #22
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    Those are almost the same bikes I am considering. The Thunderbolt 2016 with DPS shock is top of my list. Others to consider include the new Norco Optic (27.5), Norco Revolver (27.5 XC at 100mm front and rear, but can take 120mm front), Trek Top fuel but with 120mm fork, Intense Spider 275c, GT Helion

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    How do you find your 160mm bike in and around Toronto? Is there is such thing as "too much bike"?
    Depends on which set of wheels & tires I have on it. With the DH wheels & tires it's not very fun to ride unless it's pointed downhill, but as long as I have gravity on my side it's the most fun I've ever had on 2 wheels. With the lightweight wheels & tires it's a killer trail bike, it's fun on pretty much everything except flat boring stuff that sucks on any mountain bike. I've ridden it in the Don and nearly everything within an hour of Toronto and I have at least as much fun on it as I do on my 100mm travel hardtails.

    Is it "too much bike"? Probably. But I simply adjust my riding to match by going stupid fast on every downhill and taking the gnarliest possible lines.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    Get a 27.5+/29+ bike - still can be used for snow covered trails, and they (apparently) blast through the chunder ^^
    Yes they do! I have a Norco Torrent 27.5+ hard tail. With the tires at a mere 10psi (tubeless) you can hammer through some pretty wicked gnar. Kanata Lakes is my local stomping grounds (similar to Hilton Falls) and the bike does great there over all 4 seasons. What is everyone riding?-springishere.jpg

    I took it to North Shore this week and she did awesome there as well.
    What is everyone riding?-froomebigsmooth.jpg

    If I were in your situation I'd purchase a 27.5+ wheelset and 120mm fork for your Pivot and have an awesome 4 season rig.
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  25. #25
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  26. #26
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    I'm riding a 2011 Intense Tracer 2 with a 36 up front. It's a perfect bike for Newfoundland gnar. If I was riding in Ontario I'd probably want a Spider 275C. That said, I've ridden my Tracer at SMH, Fortune and other spots around Ottawa and I didn't think it was ridiculously too much bike for those places and it's not quite enough bike for the Fortune DH trails.

  27. #27
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    2011 C-dale Scalpel. Climbs like a goat, and just enough travel for XC in Ontario.
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  28. #28
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    + bikes is where things are at. Anything smaller that a 3" tire is just a road bike. I'll never go back.
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  29. #29
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    I'm on a SC 5010 and can't recommend it enough. It's the v2 but the previous version is equally a blast and is what sold me on this bike.

    It's almost like two bikes in one, and is everything a great, do it all trail bike should be. Super stable and confident on the downs yet rips along smoother trails and climbs phenomenally. Very, very stiff frame, long reach and low BB.

    I've been to Kelso and Hilton Falls the last couple weekends and the bike charged through the rocks like no other frame I've been on. And it's a joy to ride in the Don.

    IMO, if you're looking for one bike to ride everything around here (Buckwallow, Hardwood, Don, Kelso, Hilton Falls) a 27.5 with 130/140 upfront and 130mm rear is the sweet spot.

  30. #30
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    Top of my list is definitely the Yeti SB5c, SC 5010, and Pivot Mach 4. The Intense Spider looks super sweet as well but I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to demo one - will have to find a shop that carries them in/near Toronto.

    Unfortunately I may not be able to demo the SB5c in size small but will be trying out a small 6c next week to see how I fit on Yetis. Who knows... maybe I'll love the 6" travel of the 6c

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by temporoad View Post
    + bikes is where things are at. Anything smaller that a 3" tire is just a road bike. I'll never go back.
    I would totally go plus sized if I didn't already own a fatbike! What are you riding?

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    Top of my list is definitely the Yeti SB5c, SC 5010, and Pivot Mach 4. The Intense Spider looks super sweet as well but I'm not sure if I'll get a chance to demo one - will have to find a shop that carries them in/near Toronto.

    Unfortunately I may not be able to demo the SB5c in size small but will be trying out a small 6c next week to see how I fit on Yetis. Who knows... maybe I'll love the 6" travel of the 6c
    This coming Saturday May 7 the DMBA is hosting Pancakes In The Forest Mountain Bike Festival which will have demos from Yeti, SC and Pivot and more. Could be a great opportunity to try out the bikes you are looking at back to back to back.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikhs View Post
    This coming Saturday May 7 the DMBA is hosting Pancakes In The Forest Mountain Bike Festival which will have demos from Yeti, SC and Pivot and more. Could be a great opportunity to try out the bikes you are looking at back to back to back.
    That's exactly where I'll be trying out the three! And hoping there will be other models in size Small to test out as well. Reallllly looking forward to the weekend already!

  34. #34
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    My newest ride is a Xprezo Wuu 650..1x11.. Only been out on it a few times so still setting it up but I can tell you it has a quicker turning response than my 2006 norco fluid.
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  35. #35
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    Hey guys, just got back from the DMBA event at Durham Forest. I got the chance to ride the Yeti SB6c, Juliana Furtado (rebranded Santa Cruz 5010), and the Pivot Mach6. I also took my Pivot Les Fat on the same loop to see how it compared. As a noob to FS bikes, here are my thoughts. Take it all with a grain of salt:

    Yeti SB6c
    The Switch Infinity platform is solid. Of the 3 bikes, the Yeti felt closest to my rigid bikes when peddling. I left the rear shock wide open the entire time and could barely detect any pedal-bob. The bike was super stable at speed and I was able to charge down basically every section with a lot of confidence. However, it felt a little long in twisty terrain and required the most effort getting around tight switchbacks. I wished there was bigger stuff to go down to really see what this bike can do. The rolling/twistiness of the Durham Forest isn't really this bike's forté.

    Juliana Furtado
    Yes this is marketed as a women's bike. It's actually just a rebranded Santa Cruz 5010 and I rode it because they didn't have a 5010 in size small. This bike moved and worked very well at Durham Forest. I remember my first thought was how fast it was on rolling terrain - as a 130mm bike with tighter geometry, this made a lot of sense. Of the 3 bikes tested, this was the easiest to climb with and made short work of going around switchbacks. It didn't descend with as much confidence as the other two bikes but it wasn't a slouch either.

    Coming straight off the SB6c/Switch-Infinity, I wasn't a fan of the VPP suspension because the peddle bob was immediately apparent. While you can play with the CTD settings to eliminate the bob, I didn't like having to fiddle with it. Also, the tires that came on the bike weren't very confidence inspiring either (forgot to take note of which tires they were). While they rolled really, really fast, they didn't provide enough bite in sandy/loose conditions and I washed out a couple times. This really held me back and I felt like I couldn't go as fast as I wanted. With different tires, I think I would have had even more fun on this bike.

    Pivot Mach6
    Right off the bat, I couldn't believe this was a 6" travel bike. It was very playful and handled almost like the 5010. It also descended 95% as well as the SB6c. The DW-link was similar to VPP where I felt a lot of bobbling on the trail. While the bike is super fun, it did not fit me as well as the other two bikes tested. In fact, the fit on my Les Fat is not the greatest either so I think it's just my proportion on Pivots. To elaborate, in order to get my Les Fat to fit properly, I am using a set-forward seatpost and a shorter stem. If I wanted to run a dropper post on the Mach6, a set-forward seatpost wouldn't be possible. So as much as I liked this bike, I'm setting it aside for now due to fit issues. It's too bad they didn't have an XS at the event to demo. It's possible XS would have worked a lot better.

    Switch-Infinity vs VPP vs DW Link
    Of the three platforms, the SI felt most solid and unique. I liked how I didn't have to fiddle with the shock setting when climbing or descending - I just left it wide open and it felt solid always. VPP and DW-link felt very similar to each other where they both bobbed while peddling; during the climbs, the rear wheel on the VPP/DW bikes did not feel nearly as planted as the switch-infinity bike. In terms of trail feel, I'd say the SI was a little stiffer while VPP/DW were both a little more supple/comfortable to ride. At the end of the day, I think it just boils down to preference. As someone who's ridden rigid bikes his whole life, I prefer the solid feel of the Yeti.

    How did my rigid fat bike compare to these three? Well, not too bad actually. I took the Les Fat onto the trail after my demos and I noticed the difference in traction from the 5" wide tires right away - they just stick to everything. However, after experiencing damped rebound of a full suspension bike, the UNdamped rebound from the tires were very noticeable so I had to be a little more careful with linechoice and not hitting every bump on the trail. While the giant tires of a fat bike can literally roll over everything, they aren't very forgiving if you bounce off of something at speed. Although the bike has a steep head angle around 69degrees, it felt much slacker.

    All in all, today was a great day and it was a very well organized event! Of the bikes demoed today, I liked the Yeti best so I'm 95% sure I'm going to order the SB5c. I'm still going to test out one more bike (Pivot Mach 4) but based on my preference for the switch-infinity, I'm pretty sure I'm going to stick with the Yeti.

  36. #36
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    It sounds like you took full advantage of a great day of testing out the bikes you had on your short list.

  37. #37
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    Hey Stanza: I think your impressions are right on. I was looking into the same type of bike and rode the 5010 (I know someone with one) and I tested the Yeti SB5C at a demo, but not under the best conditions. I did not ride the Pivot. I really liked both bikes. I don't think you can go wrong with either one of these. I have a carbon Tallboy that has been upgraded and beefed up in every way. I am going to put the widest carbon rims I can find on it at some point as well and just ride that rather than spend several grand on a new bike. If I didn't have one already, one of those two would be my pick as well. I don't want to dissuade you or alarm you, but look into the Yeti frames further in social media. I have heard grumblings about their durability. I didn't pursue it further after I decided not to go with a new bike like this. As to performance, I have heard nothing but glowing reviews on the bike.
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  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanza View Post
    ... the UNdamped rebound from the tires were very noticeable so I had to be a little more careful with linechoice and not hitting every bump on the trail. While the giant tires of a fat bike can literally roll over everything, they aren't very forgiving if you bounce off of something at speed.
    What pressure are you running and are you tubeless? Also what tires are you running and how many TPI is in the its construction?

    My 3" PLUS NN tires just fold over rocks - no bouncing, but I have to get down to 9f & 11r psi to do that. Any higher and then they start to feel like basketballs which impacts performance.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by fritZman View Post
    What pressure are you running and are you tubeless? Also what tires are you running and how many TPI is in the its construction?

    My 3" PLUS NN tires just fold over rocks - no bouncing, but I have to get down to 9f & 11r psi to do that. Any higher and then they start to feel like basketballs which impacts performance.
    Currently running 4.8" Jumbo Jims tubeless at <10psi. I think they're 120tpi based on how smooth the inside is. My stupid SKS airchecker doesn't work below 10psi so I just inflate it to 10psi and let out a bunch of air until it feels soft enough. The gauge once read 8psi so I think it's around there? Really need to find a better gauge..

    The fatbike doesn't really bounce around like crazy. I just notice the bounce a lot more when I rode it right after demoing the SB6c.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swerny View Post
    i think anything more than an XC or light trail bike is excessive for Ontario, unless you are regularly doing DH at Blue Mountain etc.

    I've run everything from a cyclocross bike to FS to fat bike in the Don and they all work.

    My current ride is a rigid fat bike but I do have a set of carbon 29+ wheels on the way for it.

    IMHO, a 160 MM travel enduro bike is total overkill for Ontario riding.
    I disagree. Some of these new AM/enduro bikes can be a great all around bike for Ontario. Some of you people replying that all you need is an XC bike have probably never ridden a bike with a dropper post for christ sake. And if your not interested in hitting every possible natural lip/drop berm as fast as possible then go on with the XC bike.... any bike can be ridden over any terrain but Im just saying that an AM can pedal surprising well, and yet be a blast on the tech and downhill.

    Personally I came from an XC bike 100mm full sus, than a 120mm full sus (both 29ers) and now Im on a Marin Attack Trail (150mm R,160mm FR) and could'nt be more happy. Having said that my bike is 29lbs of carbon and the geo is good for an all arounder. You do have those AM/enduro rigs that are more DH oriented. Love my bike at the pines and hydrocut and still take it up to blue for DH runs.

    In all honesty I would probably go with a 140mm (or an agg 120mm bike) trail bike for XC/trail local rides if I had a seperate DH bike but I dont make it up to blue enough to justify the cost and hassle of two bikes and really I dont believe there is going to be that much pedal difference on a good AM allrounder vs a trail bike.

    Do you like to have fun and progress your skills? Or maybe its just all about the lungs and pedals, and thats it?

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