Make Me a New Man - New Bike Recommendations- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Make Me a New Man - New Bike Recommendations

    Ladies and Gents,

    I just got my ass handed to me - hard, over the bars, through the rocks and out on my back - on some technical parts of the mountain that go down. It knocked the curmudgeon right out of me, and even the wife's on board, I'm switching out the hardtail for something a bit more capable (and forgiving).

    I live in a mostly flat area, but am about 3-4 hours from serious trails and do a few marathong and stage races a year out there. My other races are mostly flat, rooty, sandy, etc, which is why I've held out on FS for so long (there is some logic to buy the bike for the trails you ride 90% of the time, but that logic got left on the trail).

    Basically - my budget is around $5000. I'm open as to manufacturer for the recommendation, though I'll definitely land on something I can test ride and buy at an LBS. It's a bike for racing, so it needs to be light but well built. It needs to be an XC bike that climbs well. A manufacturer's warranty and crash replacement would also figure pretty high on my list of considerations.

    I already have some opinions, but am looking for some others. I'm looking to buy new, am looking to buy for next season (2019) and would like to by something out of the 2017/8/9 model year that is fresh off a overhaul (so it's a little future proofed).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Sniper

  3. #3
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    Simply head into your LBS's and look for a reputable brand full suspension XC bike that's within your budget. The list will be lengthy. In that price range, the usual supects should be Trek, Specialized, Giant, Santa Cruz, Yeti, Cannondale, etc.

    My recommendation would be a Trek Fuel EX 29er. It's (in my opinion and theirs) the perfect combo of trail riding and XC racing. It's a do it all bike. Your budget of $5000 will get you a really well dressed model.
    2017 Trek Top Fuel 9.8 SL

  4. #4
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    Check out the Orbea Oiz M20. MSRP is 4,900 but just placed an order for one at my LBS for 4,300. It checks off the boxes you mentioned.

  5. #5
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    I, like you was in the same boat on the hardtail and pretty much was looking for the same bike as you are to replace it with.

    I researched, looked, demo'd, etc. but ultimately went with the trek top fuel. Couldn't be happier.

  6. #6
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    Both the Trek Top Fuel and the Orbea Oiz M20 are certainly nice bikes, but I don't think at least the Trek really got an overhaul/redesign recently. I'm pretty sure the Top Fuel was redesigned in 2015 for the 2016 model year (at least BikeRadar reviewed an identical to the 2018 model in June 2015), so I imagine Trek's got something up their sleeve for the coming year. Orbea did the Oiz in 2016 for the 2017 model year, so it's bit more interesting.

    One of my HTs is a Trek Procaliber 9.8SL, so the Wisconsin made stuff has a place in my heart, but the update cycle would put me in a worse position when looking to sell/upgrade 3 years down the road. I'll check out both bikes nonetheless

  7. #7
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    Top Fuel (if itís refreshed)
    Sniper
    Lux (if you can wait for the redesign)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zgxtreme View Post
    Top Fuel (if itís refreshed)
    Sniper
    Lux (if you can wait for the redesign)
    Yeh, I'm in Europe, so Canyon weighs big here. I'd prefer to get something from a local shop, and I have probably one of the largest and definitely the oldest Scott dealer in the city about a block from my apt, so it feels a shame not to use them.

    But looking at Canyon's build kit and price point - they make a powerful argument. I've seen pictures from Stellenbosch and two bottle cages looks nice - if they slacken out the headtube and steepen up the seattube to bring the Lux in line with modern cross geometry, it'll be hard to resist.

    Comparing their "bottom line" offerings: Scott's RC 900 Comp gives you a 30lb Alu frame with mid range components (Fox Float 32, etc) - Canyon puts you close to 25lbs with carbon, a Sid XX front, etc.

  9. #9
    jms
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    Maybe the new Santa Cruz Blur, Intense Sniper [as stated previously], Giant Anthem or Niner RKT - whichever fits you best.
    Last edited by jms; 06-03-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the recommendations - any reason the Scott Spark RC or the Specialized Epic in some form isn't a more popular recommendation? They were two on my "short list" starting out.

    Also - does anyone know where I can find weights of stock builds manufacturers list on their website. It's not the most important thing, but it is a field in my comparison table and OCD tells me it needs to be filled. While I know what companies put on their website isn't necessarily accurate to the gram, at least it is a ball park. I was looking at C'dale and others and couldn't find anything on a lot of them. Weightweenies only has frames and individual components...
    Last edited by peter85; 06-04-2018 at 02:32 AM.

  11. #11
    17j
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Thanks for all the recommendations - any reason the Scott Spark RC or the Specialized Epic in some form isn't a more popular recommendation? They were two on my "short list" starting out.

    Also - does anyone know where I can find weights of stock builds manufacturers list on their website. It's the the most important thing, but it is a field in my comparison table and OCD tells me it needs to be filled. While I know what companies put on their website isn't necessarily accurate to the gram, at least it is a ball park. I was looking at C'dale and others and couldn't find anything on a lot of them. Weightweenies only has frames and individual components...
    The bikes you mentioned should be in the list in my opinion. They probably are not suggested because some people have lost interest in them due to:
    Scott: Race focused, (less trail friendly) low bottom bracket, Scott warranty reputation is lacking
    Epic: Race focused, Some people hate brain (I do not) the last generation had bad aggressive angles and hard shock valving (old school XC) and therefore many have written it off (While majority haven't ridden the new one)

    Given your area and wish list they are bikes you should consider.

  12. #12
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    The warranty reputation is something that means quite a bit to me, but it's difficult to quantify. I saw Canyon has a really straight-forward, no questions asked frame replacement program, which I actually prefer to the standard "we might"/"for some amount"/"if your LBS can make a case" crash replacement policy that I hear a lot about.

    I like the new Epic, even if it looks like a 2016 ASR in geo, but I'm not a huge fan of Specialized as is. I'm gonna ask around about Scott's reputation a bit here - I know sometimes European companies treat their European customers better than their American distributor does (Tacx comes to mind).

  13. #13
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    There are some really good recommendations in here for race bikes. If you are looking for something a little more well rounded, the Pivot Mach 429 is a great choice.

  14. #14
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    Really the Sniper doesnt interest you?

  15. #15
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    I had the same issues with my hardtail. Got my butt kicked and my back wrecked so I went FS. Ended up with a Kona Hei Hei. If you can find a LBS in your region the new for 2017 carbon frame is super light, geometry is modern and on point, and warranty work is supposedly very good with Kona (although I'm not sure what that will look like on your side of the Atlantic). Price was a factor for me and the build for the Kona was low enough to throw on a great pair of Knight race wheels for under $5K.

    The Canyon Lux is getting a redesign I hear. Might be worth waiting for that to drop.

  16. #16
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    The Sniper definitely interests me, just that it's a fair bit of cheese. From what I understand , it is the same frame across the entire line, just different components - is that correct?

    As for Canyon - I'm not going to buy anything until after they release the new Lux. I imagine it'll be in July at Eurobike, so that isn't far off and I'm going to keep racing my HT until the end of the year anyways.

  17. #17
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    Someone mentioned the Giant Anthem, and at $5k, the Advanced Pro is an awesome bike. In fact, I like it as much as any bike in this class and price range. However, Giant are likely weeks from announcing the 2019 models, and it sounds like you can easily hold off until then. Props also to Giant for starting to sell bikes directly on their website. Though you can find them at many LBS, for out of the way places, this is smart business I think.

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/an...anced-pro-29-1

    Obviously I'm a fan of buying direct, so if you get a chance to ride a Canyon, or just know for sure the numbers and geo work for you, I'd seriously consider one. If you're looking for even more travel, but something you can still race XCM on, think about a YT Jeffsy CF (Pro) 29.

    Not a fan of Trek, but the bottom line is, if you find one that works for you, ignore me and go for it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    The Sniper definitely interests me, just that it's a fair bit of cheese. From what I understand , it is the same frame across the entire line, just different components - is that correct?

    As for Canyon - I'm not going to buy anything until after they release the new Lux. I imagine it'll be in July at Eurobike, so that isn't far off and I'm going to keep racing my HT until the end of the year anyways.

    Your budget was 5k? The Expert is mid 4k

  19. #19
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    Yeh, but just cause I've got 5k to spend doesn't mean I need to spend it all

    I'm kind of in love with the Sniper. I have the thread in the Intense forum and I read it on my phone when I'm board. I'm thinking of ways to justify the Pro build (that graphite...) or if I could nab a frame with shock a build it up closer to $5k for now (and I know that's basically impossible). It's a dangerous mindset for my wallet

    All that said, experience tells me to at least wait and see what Canyon has in the pipeline. There's a bike park here that has an Intense dealer/rental, but right sure they only have 2017 rigs. I'm trying to find out if it wouldn't be possible to demo or even rent a Sniper for a day.

  20. #20
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    You know - in reflection - I can wait for next season and don't need the bike tomorrow. But since I started looking with a mind to buy, it gets hard to resist.

  21. #21
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    You seem to be giving this way too much thought.

    Go see your LBS, see what you can demo and try a few.

    The answer may be the Spark, it may be a Top Fuel, it may be a Whyte S160 or it may be a Giant something... Bikes are not THAT individual to 99% of riders. They're not night and day, there's not a clear winner as 'best' they're all pretty darn decent.

    Whichever you like the look of and has the best deal on

  22. #22
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    Check out the Rocky Mountain Element, It will be my next ride and Im Leaning toward the Carbon 50 but it will really depend on what drive train they go with for the 2019 bikes.
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  23. #23
    eri
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    What was your old hardtail? Modern hardtail with big fork and dropper are very capable. Kona Honzo? Canfield EPO? Transition Vanquish? I'm no more capable on my fs bike than my hardtail.

  24. #24
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    Eri, a Salsa El-Mariachi steel and, more recently, a 2016 Trek Procaliber. The Trek feels a bit more stable than the Salsa, but it's kind of a horses for courses thing - I don't think the Salsa was really designed for racing, but much more for bikepacking.

  25. #25
    eri
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    Eri, a Salsa El-Mariachi steel and, more recently, a 2016 Trek Procaliber. The Trek feels a bit more stable than the Salsa, but it's kind of a horses for courses thing - I don't think the Salsa was really designed for racing, but much more for bikepacking.
    Oh well shoot, that trek is a pretty nice bike, ignore my ht suggestion, for significant upgrade probably actually need a bigger bike. Excuse me.

    Pivots are really nice, the giants pedal well and are a good value. Main thing is buy something you love. Enjoy!

  26. #26
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    I just organized a rather large Demo Event up here in my local trails - we had 14 different brands... but being the organizer I only had time to try 2 bikes - the Santa Cruz Blur C and the Scapel Si. Considering the Blur C is $13000 (cdn) it should have been the bees knees! And although awesome, I could not wrap my mind around spending that much on it - but it needed a bit of tweaking on the set up of the controls which I think hampered it for me.

    The Scalpel Si though.. damn! it was the black non-high mod carbon version ($6500cdn) and double damn! I found i could drive it into the corners hard and it would whip me back out on an effortless pedal stroke. The guy I was with was amazed it was my first time on the bike. I was trying to figure out how I could tell the wife I wanted a new bike!

    As the other guys were saying, test ride and see, the numbers on the page donít always tell the complete story.
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  27. #27
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    Yeh, I love the Cannondale - my only gripe with it is that the wheels won't be cross-compatible with anything. If I'm correct in my understanding, even if I do a non-lefty version, the rear wheel is dished differently that on a "normal" bike....

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter85 View Post
    The warranty reputation is something that means quite a bit to me, but it's difficult to quantify. ... I know sometimes European companies treat their European customers better than their American distributor does (Tacx comes to mind).
    Most of us on here cannot help with that; you are correct, different companies have different warranty reputations across nations.
    I have a Scott Spark (not the RC). I love it, but I can see how the proprietary nature of it would be a major deterrent. Same with the Epic.
    Decide whether you are going to wait on the 2019s, and decide what 'kind' you want 100mm F/R, 120 F/R, 120/100, dropper, etc. After you decide on those your options become more clear.

  29. #29
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    I'm in the same boat except that I might just go hardtail to keep things simple and have that extra cash for a power meter.

  30. #30
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    slim,

    I've got an NGeco MTB powermeter - I honestly am super happy with it. I was a little worried about the battery cover, but it's really holding up without any sign of damage. Wait for an end of the year sale or something and you can probably grab it for under $500. IMO there's no reason to plop $1000 on a PM until someone can sell us good MTB pedal based power meters like PowerTap P! or Garmin Vector 3s (because those can just got from bike to bike).

  31. #31
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    I've been eyeing the 2inpower cranks by rotor since they seem worth it but something that I can use both on my road bike and mtb would be great

  32. #32
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    slim,

    I was looking at those too, but I kind of got a little turned by the price - I'd happily pay >$1000 for a pedal based option, like I did for my Powertap pedals at the time, but for a one bike system, it seems steep with all the options available.

    AFAIK there is currently no option for MTB that lets you switch between road and MTB or even easily between MTB. I'm really happy with my Power2Max NGecos, they are close enough to my road set up (Powertap Pedals) that I don't have to worry about it. They read differently than both my Powertap pedals and my Tacx trainers (a Neo and a flux) but are consistent across a range, so it's ok.

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