Long travel bike for north of Boston riding- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Long travel bike for north of Boston riding

    Hoping the denizens of MTBR can help recommend a long-travel (150mm+) bike that works well at places like Billerica, Harold Parker, Lowell, and the chunk up on the North Shore.

    Concerns are that the long wheelbases and slack angles that are customary on bikes in this class tend to work great on long, fast downhills, but perhaps not so great on techy trails in our area.

    Looking for a bike that can hop up on rocks and handle small/medium drops/jumps. Short list is currently:

    - Specialized Enduro 29er
    - Transition Patrol (2017 or prior)
    - Nomad 3

    If new, would purchase at Wheelworks (local LBS), hence the list above. Would also be looking on Pinkbike.

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    I primarily ride all the NS trails and HP on a Nomad 3, its the perfect bike for me with how and where I ride. There are lots of riders I know on the same bike so Im certainly not in the minority. The other bike Id personally consider is the SC Hightower in the 27.5+ setup.

  3. #3
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    Love my 29er enduro ( 2013) works well. Pivots are very popular with the folks I ride with too.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCbos View Post
    Concerns are that the long wheelbases and slack angles that are customary on bikes in this class tend to work great on long, fast downhills, but perhaps not so great on techy trails in our area.
    I think long wheelbases and slack angles work great on this type of stuff. The Bronson v2 (which is similar to a Nomad 3) works great for me in big chunk. The slack head angle provides excellent rollover, the longer wheelbase provides stability in the chunk, and it has a shorter chainstay which brings manuverability. Certainly you should demo but I find the newer geometry can be really good in Massachusetts chunk.

    That said, I tested the '17 Specialized Enduro 29 for a few long rides and I did not like it. It is a really big bike that handles like a bus when you're going slow. It is great going downhill at speed and seems to liven up, but in tough techy stuff that you can't just bull over I found it really cumbersome. But I'm 5'8" and 210lbs so I'm built like a dwarf. If you're a clyde, the Enduro might be something that you like.

    So I would vote for Nomad 3, mainly because it is similar to the Bronson v2 that I know and love. I haven't had any time on the transition patrol.

  5. #5
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    I suggest something like the bronson, switchblade, recluse or pivot 5.5. Personally I ride all the gnar north of Boston has to offer with my 160/140 recluse. Rather than looking at mm of travel I suggest investing in proper suspension or go custom tuning. Nomad type bike works too but it's a different experience and bit more challenging on the power moves and accelerating.

  6. #6
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    I suggest a trip to J.R.A. cycles in Medford. They have tons of bike options and ride all of the north shore. You might be set to purchase at WW -which is great, but the more bikes you personally try and the more input you receive, will only help you make a more informed purchase. 2cents.


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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I will look at the N3 and Bronson more closely.

  8. #8
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    I'd recommend the Canfield Riot. I think it is an amazingly capable bike for the type of trails you mentioned. Slack, very short chainstays, appropriate BB height for solid handling and reduced pedal strikes and great reach. With a steep seat angle it climbs like an xc bike but it excels everywhere else a xc bike would fall short.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy43 View Post
    I'd recommend the Canfield Riot. I think it is an amazingly capable bike for the type of trails you mentioned. Slack, very short chainstays, appropriate BB height for solid handling and reduced pedal strikes and great reach. With a steep seat angle it climbs like an xc bike but it excels everywhere else a xc bike would fall short.

    Sent from my SM-T550 using Tapatalk
    Another vote for the Riot. It really handles tight technical climbs surprisingly well for a bike better known for descending.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Anyone riding a stumpy?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dundundata View Post
    Anyone riding a stumpy?
    No but I used to ride a 2007 version, and have demo'd a 2017 6fattie. Great bike, but you can say that about most of the new bikes these days. We are in a golden age for mountain biking.

  12. #12
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    I almost bought an '07 black w/red

  13. #13
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    It is a good time for bike buying. You would have to work hard to get a bad bike. The Pivot Switchblade is a solid prospect as well.
    My name is Chris and I ride a Ripmo now.

  14. #14
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    I love my Ibis Mojo HD3. 160mm front and back, wide rims with 2.6" tires and GX Eagle. Just enough of everything without feeling like you are lugging around too much of anything.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  15. #15
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    I wish i tried a Yeti SB6 (27.5") or SB5.5 (29er) before i bought my Ibis Mojo 3. I am not so sure that plus tires are the greatest thing for the techy trails. I go through a lot of tires. I would also have demo'd some Evil bikes but they don't seem to come out to New England.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    ...I am not so sure that plus tires are the greatest thing for the techy trails. I go through a lot of tires.
    I have 2.6 tires on my HD3 with no problems, but the HD3 and Mojo 3 can downsize to standard width tires with no perceived change in geometry. Maybe give that a try.
    Figuring this all out as I go!

  17. #17
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    Recently switched to a firebird in a size smaller than I usually ride and it has been so far very promising after a couple of LW rides. Takes 2.6 front and rear.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by idbrian View Post
    I am not so sure that plus tires are the greatest thing for the techy trails.
    I tried 3.0 tires and I tend to agree. I do like 2.3's and I wonder if 2.5 or 2.6 might be good.

  19. #19
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    After bouncing (not really literally) around between different tire sizes between 2.3, 3.0, and 4.6 over the last few years I keep coming back to 2.3 at 20 psi front and rear for all riding conditions except for snow where I'm running 18 psi like today.

    There's just something about 2.3....

  20. #20
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    I also had a 3.0" bike for short while and hated it. The only reason I haven't made the jump to 2.6 is because I have about 3 pair of 2.8's hanging around my garage. Not including the pair on my bike. HP is the cause of most of my tire woes.

    Lots of guys on the Mojo 3 thread have settled with 2.6".

  21. #21
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    I don't know why you'd need a long travel bike for riding around here. I can ride it all fine on a 29er hardtail.

    I ride a 2017 Trek Fuel EX and like it a lot. Modern geo and 130/130 seems to be a good balance of capability and efficiency.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Or https://m.pinkbike.com/video/481667/

    Or
    https://m.pinkbike.com/video/460491/

    Granted I did hit almost all of the lynn features on my 140/130 29er primer and it certainly works but would not want to do it on a regular basis. Too hard on my bones and the bike. I went just recently from a 160/140 setup to a 170/170 for lynn and B&T specifically. It pedals as well as the 140 bike did on those trails and the bigger suspension makes everything more stable and faster. I also used a 180/190 bike as trail bike for lynn woods....the modern long travel bikes are exceptional technical climbers and you will get all the ups you get on the shorter travel rigs including the trials bike style features.

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