More reviews on the HAL 5?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    More reviews on the HAL 5?

    Just heard about the bike and am pretty interested to hear as much as I can! Read everything I could find, but I am a serious over-researcher.
    I would love to hear a bit more. I have been researching the rear suspension especially, trying to investigate it's performance.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Just put a 'small' one together yesterday. It is beautiful but I have truly zero experience with full-suspension bikes so won't be able to help you much. One very tiny note is that the "small" size (at least this one) does have water bottle bosses although specs say otherwise. It also seems to me that most anyone getting the small frame will be cutting down the seatpost if they're not going to do the seemingly very popular dropper upgrade.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I kind of want the Hal6, but 120 mm of travel should be good for my trails and better on my wallet. When I look at the specs, it seems like a good trail bike, as opposed to the Hal6 which seems more AM/Enduro.

  4. #4
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    I can also add that the bottom bracket height is 13 1/8" (to spindle). Although the bike is not for me, and although I haven't tried the medium size, and although I only really understand XC hardtail sizing, at 5' 8", I am pretty sure I would choose the small frame for myself.

  5. #5
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    I am 5'9" with a 31" inseam, but I think I have to go Medium if do purchase. Whenever I have been on the edge of 2 sizes, the bigger has been the right choice.

  6. #6
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    I'm 6'1" with a 34" inseam and the "Large" Hal 5 feels just about perfect for me.

    I don't have much of a review of mine even though I've had it for a few weeks now, it's been over 110 degrees ever since and barely dips below 90 at night. Hoping to get out on it soon.

  7. #7
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    Standover height is about 28.5" on small HAL 5. By comparison, standover height on a 2016 medium santa cruz ultralight (perhaps more of an XC setup) is about 27".

  8. #8
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    Can you post some photos of the HAL5? Thanks

  9. #9
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    well, here it is in action:


  10. #10
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    Thanks for the video! Got any riding impressions/review?

  11. #11
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    It is my son's bike and his only full-suspension experience, so unfortunately he wouldn't have anything useful to say. And my full suspension experience is zero. The bike hasn't had any problems yet except for several mysterious flat tires that I couldn't diagnose the reason for. Solved by converting to tubeless.

  12. #12
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    Here's mine after installing a RaceFace narrow-wide front ring and a dropper post -





    This was after installing some RaceFace pedals, grips and a shorter stem, and Maxis DHF and DHR II tires with tubeless conversion -




    Then switched to a Shimano CS-M771 XT cassette, Wolf Tooth 42t sprocket and their billygoat link -


  13. #13
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    Looks awesome! thanks for the pics FWP! ...what are your thoughts on the bike?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgf15 View Post
    Looks awesome! thanks for the pics FWP! ...what are your thoughts on the bike?
    It's been a great bike! The adjustability of everything is really nice, I've been able to find the sweet spot in the suspension for the trails I ride, the tires made a nice difference, I really like it. The ONLY thing I wish this bike had were 15mm thru-axles. My front skewer loosened up on me a couple rides ago and scared the crap out of me while going down hill at a rapid pace, and I had tightened it really well before the ride. It would also probably help with some stiffness front and back.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWP! View Post
    It's been a great bike! The adjustability of everything is really nice, I've been able to find the sweet spot in the suspension for the trails I ride, the tires made a nice difference, I really like it. The ONLY thing I wish this bike had were 15mm thru-axles. My front skewer loosened up on me a couple rides ago and scared the crap out of me while going down hill at a rapid pace, and I had tightened it really well before the ride. It would also probably help with some stiffness front and back.
    I'm guessing you got the comp version... Good to know about the thru axle...

  16. #16
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    I probably would have ordered the hal6 xt11 if it had XT brakes on it...there's nothing else in stock which appeals to me.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borgf15 View Post
    I'm guessing you got the comp version... Good to know about the thru axle...
    Yea, Comp. You have to go to the Hal6 to get the 15mm thru axles.

  18. #18
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    @FWP!, ah, I just posted on another thread asking if anyone's added a dropper to their Hal5 since I'm looking to do so. Did you have any issues installing the dropper? Also, what made you switch out the pedals? I just bought RaceFace pedals too, but for my Trek Wahoo but thinking of moving them over to my Hal..... once I get it one (just ordered it).

  19. #19
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    Just Got My Hal5

    Wahoo! Just got my Hal5 Comp over the weekend and was thrilled. Managed to get myself out of family duties to spend the day putting her together. Here's a few of my observations...

    1. The delivery was done by some independent driver for FedEx and with his own truck.... which rolled up in a yellow Penske... ??? At first, I was concerned thinking that quality control would take a hit.

    2. Driver took the box out and I inspected it... and sure enough, my fear was realized.... the box was pretty beat up and there was a huge partial split and box slightly crushed in on one side. So I'm thinking, great, something's damaged. But thankfully, I decided to inspect it right there and asked the driver to stay just in case. Fortunately, everything was in mint condition. The box damage happen to be right on one of the styrofoam blocks, which was padding the frame... pheeew!

    3. Took the box in the backyard, grabbed a beer (or two or three) and begin unboxing and looking over all the parts. The pedals are cheap and definitely going to be replaced. The seat is ok but will replace it sooner than later. A schrader valve cap was split... not big deal, trivial. The rear derailler was slightly off and needed a bit of adjustment, easy enough. And the rear breaks, which were already mounted, needed a tiny tweak since it was rubbing a bit.

    4. So after putting it together and doing some minor fine tuning, decided to take it to a local shop to have it "professionally" tuned since I'm no expert. Unfortunately they're backed up so I'm without my new toy for a few days

    If anyone have a good recommendations on a dropper, let me know. I'd love to get a dropper but dunno if If the wife will "allow" me to drop several hundreds on a brand new one.

    More reviews on the HAL 5?-20170429_151944.jpg

  20. #20
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    I loved my last KS eten. Just bought another for my new moto phantom for $115 shipped. Make sure you get the right size for you post. Post some pics of it on the trail when you get her back. Nothing worse than having a new bike or parts and you have to wait! I had the same thing this weekend looking for parts to mount my new fork. Waiting over an hour and luckily they found the right headset parts and installed while I waited.
    2016 Moto Fantom

  21. #21
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    Has anyone else got a small Hal5 that can confirm it comes with water bottle bosses?

  22. #22
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    So it's been just under a month since I got my Hal5 and so far hit three trails here in SoCal. Here's my simplistic review during this break-in...

    - The ride is pretty smooth. I took it on a couple of rough declines and it did well to absorb a lot of the terrain. However, I did have to dial in the rear airshock.
    - The seat isn't great, so will be replacing it sooner than later. Word of caution, be sure to check that the bolts are tightened. On my first ride, I did a few hard landings and almost got ejected once since it came loose. I failed to check it on putting it together, and it appears the shop I took it to for a "professional" tuning failed to check it too.
    - This does NOT come tubeless out of the box. I mistakenly believed (by the descriptions on the hal5 page), that it came with tubeless ready rims AND tires. Only the rims are tubeless ready, while it comes with regular WTB tires and a tubes. I ended up picking up some Bontrager XR2 TRLs, which are great. So went tubeless and they feel great!
    - Someone else had mentioned that their front tire QR came loose on a downhill ride. That happened to me earlier this weekend and scared the shit out of me! I could have sworn I tripled checked it, but it came loose and became wobbly on a fast decline. Fortunately, I was able to stop safely and address it. So be sure to really tighten that up. I hope this isn't a flaw.
    - The pedals are generic bear traps. That's the first thing I quickly replaced with some pegged flats.
    - The handlebar is fine but grips are crap. Will just replace both with prob a Race Face... prob an orange will look good in contrast with the black and yellow.
    - Finally, ripped off the million reflectors and the horrible plastic cassette guard. Blegh!

    Overall, love this bike more than my previous 'Dale FS and Trek. And for being an "inferior" quality bike to names like Trek or 'Dale, it sure rides better.... IMHO.

  23. #23
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    Ok, so just got back from a pretty technical ride, where most of the singletrack was DH with a handful of tight switchbacks, a few berms, steep slopes and drops.

    After crashing a few times.... and pretty hard, here's how my Hal5 held up...

    - Utterly destroyed the generic saddle it came with. Gashed pretty bad.
    - Rear wheel came off twice on two of the crashes. Dunno if it was due to me not tightening the quick releases good enough or if there's a flaw.
    - Frame held up well. I smashed it pretty hard against a large boulder and thought I damaged it. But, just got a few scars and scratches. Doesn't seem to be compromised.
    - Hanger was ever so slightly bent. Easily able to get it back to normal though.
    - Generic handlebar grips got destroyed. One sheered right off. It's fine, been waiting for this to happen since I've got some nice RaceFace ones been dying to put on. Just did now

    Overall, it held up just fine. One thing is for sure, this bike isn't meant to handle technical DH too well. But I suppose that's fine since it's not a DH bike anyhow. The only gripe is I wish the head was a bit more slack.
    Last edited by mrFreelancer; 08-08-2017 at 08:24 AM.

  24. #24
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    I have been eyeballing this bike as well and reading everything I could find. Thanks to all for the posts, please keep any information/impressions coming. That being said, it is "interesting" to hear about the multiple reports of the QR's releasing unexpectedly. Loosening unexpectedly on the forks doesn't sound great, falling off in a crash sounds kind of odd...

  25. #25
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    Wtf?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrFreelancer View Post
    Ok, so just got back from a pretty technical ride, where most of the singletrack was DH with a handful of tight switchbacks, a few berms, steep slopes and drops.

    After crashing a few times.... and pretty hard, here's how my Hal5 held up...

    - Rear wheel came off twice on two of the crashes. Dunno if it was due to
    Not sure how bad your crashes were, but 2 accounts of QR or wheels flying off is concerning. Maybe it was builders error - but I've never seen this before so this is concerning if it's a QA issue.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Not sure how bad your crashes were, but 2 accounts of QR or wheels flying off is concerning. Maybe it was builders error - but I've never seen this before so this is concerning if it's a QA issue.
    The crashes were pretty bad, two of them at least. I wear knee pads where the padding is about 2 - 2.5 inches thick Kevlar pads (Demon United). On the first impact, I must have hit the ground so hard, it "reverberated" (if I can use that word), right through them and still smashed the upper knee, where now it's black and blue. So my guess is the impact must have been hard enough to really dislodge the tire.... since those quick releases are the weakest link.

    Builder's error, perhaps. I honestly don't recall really checking them thoroughly for tightness. I put the bike together myself, so it's possible I just didn't do a good job tightening them. Or, perhaps the quick release itself is just crappy. Perhaps I might just replace them to be on the safe side.

  27. #27
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I got mine in June. Only have about 15 rides on it (including some tame ones with my seven year old, don't tell him that ), and I am in love with riding again. Full disclosure: this is my first FS bike, and my first new bike in 20 years. I upgraded and repaired my last bike many times, but there's only so much you can do.

    First, the water bottle thing: yes, the small frame has bosses. They're pretty useless though. It will only take a short bottle due to the frame design and placement of the bosses, and even that doesn't work. The rear shock lockout lever hits the actual bottle under full compression of the shock. You could probably make it work by deflating the shock and rotating the top cap so the lockout faced a different direction, but I don't have a shock pump yet and decided a new hydration pack was in order anyway.

    I'm 5'7", 170 lbs, and the small frame is perfect for me. As reported before, standover height is just shy of 29". It's a bit longer than my old bike and feels way more stable on climbs. The extra length and shock travel saved my bacon in the rocks at speed once already - I know I would've been pitched over the bars on my old bike in that situation. I have not fiddled with shock pressure yet, don't have a shock pump yet. It's set up pretty good for me out of the box, but I might let a bit out of the front shock once I have a way to air it back up. The WTB Trail Boss tires grip like mad on dry, dusty climbs here in CO. Can't tell you how they fare in other conditions. I shortened the bars 1.5" on each side, I felt like I was driving a bus. One of the best mods I've done so far. Pretty sure I have stubby arms though.

    I have no complaints about the saddle, it's way better than the 3-4 seats I put on my old bike over the years. A dropper post is in order though, I had a QR on my old one and didn't realize how much I used that until now. I have noticed that the grips can squirm on the bars at the end of a long ride. Anyone have a trick to stick these on better? I used compressed air to get them off when I shortened the bars. No issues with the wheel QRs coming loose, but not too many rides under my belt so far.

    Overall, I am totally in love with the thing. The price was right and it was a HUGE upgrade from what I was riding. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is for me, so I'm working on fixing what bugs me as I go!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepmankyle View Post
    I got mine in June. Only have about 15 rides on it (including some tame ones with my seven year old, don't tell him that ), and I am in love with riding again. Full disclosure: this is my first FS bike, and my first new bike in 20 years. I upgraded and repaired my last bike many times, but there's only so much you can do.

    First, the water bottle thing: yes, the small frame has bosses. They're pretty useless though. It will only take a short bottle due to the frame design and placement of the bosses, and even that doesn't work. The rear shock lockout lever hits the actual bottle under full compression of the shock. You could probably make it work by deflating the shock and rotating the top cap so the lockout faced a different direction, but I don't have a shock pump yet and decided a new hydration pack was in order anyway.

    I'm 5'7", 170 lbs, and the small frame is perfect for me. As reported before, standover height is just shy of 29". It's a bit longer than my old bike and feels way more stable on climbs. The extra length and shock travel saved my bacon in the rocks at speed once already - I know I would've been pitched over the bars on my old bike in that situation. I have not fiddled with shock pressure yet, don't have a shock pump yet. It's set up pretty good for me out of the box, but I might let a bit out of the front shock once I have a way to air it back up. The WTB Trail Boss tires grip like mad on dry, dusty climbs here in CO. Can't tell you how they fare in other conditions. I shortened the bars 1.5" on each side, I felt like I was driving a bus. One of the best mods I've done so far. Pretty sure I have stubby arms though.

    I have no complaints about the saddle, it's way better than the 3-4 seats I put on my old bike over the years. A dropper post is in order though, I had a QR on my old one and didn't realize how much I used that until now. I have noticed that the grips can squirm on the bars at the end of a long ride. Anyone have a trick to stick these on better? I used compressed air to get them off when I shortened the bars. No issues with the wheel QRs coming loose, but not too many rides under my belt so far.

    Overall, I am totally in love with the thing. The price was right and it was a HUGE upgrade from what I was riding. It's not perfect, but nothing ever is for me, so I'm working on fixing what bugs me as I go!
    Great to see a different perspective on this bike. So even though I really do love this Hal5, I've now been on it for about 3 dozen times and on various trails, and more and more realize how I wished the head was more slack. So, now I have my eyes already set on a Hal6 because it looks like the head is indeed more slack.

    Might anyone know what the Hal6's head angle is?

  29. #29
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    BD lists it at 67.5...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrFreelancer View Post
    Great to see a different perspective on this bike. So even though I really do love this Hal5, I've now been on it for about 3 dozen times and on various trails, and more and more realize how I wished the head was more slack. So, now I have my eyes already set on a Hal6 because it looks like the head is indeed more slack.

    Might anyone know what the Hal6's head angle is?

  30. #30
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    It does?? Wow, I must have overlooked it a dozen times.

  31. #31
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    They don't make it easy to find. Pretty much memorized those pages this summer though...

    https://www.bikesdirect.com/products...5-hal6-geo.gif

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