"perfect" bike for Tiger and Raging River- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    "perfect" bike for Tiger and Raging River

    Iíve got a long winded question 

    Iím trying to decide if I should upgrade my suspension or get a different bike. I have a Santa Cruz 5010 and absolutely love it, but it feels overwhelmed on tiger and upper poppin tops (itís awesome on flow state). I guess what Iím wondering is if a 130mm travel bike is just too little travel for those trails and maybe itís time to get a Bronson.
    How much travel is ďidealĒ for tiger and raging river?

  2. #2
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    Everyone will have a different opinion; what matters is how you feel. I ride a 180mm Knolly Delirium, which most would call complete overkill, but it's the bike that feels best for me. That said, when I was at Tiger last week, I couldn't keep up with my friend who was on a carbon hardtail. He shredded the trails, but his hands hurt afterwards.

    Most enduro bikes are around 150/160mm which seems to be a sweet spot, and the most popular for Washington trails. Lots of enduro options out there.
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  3. #3
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    Do you mostly ride predator, NOTG, EBAD, Invictus, No Service, or other steeper rougher trails? or do you stick to flowier less technical trails? Do you seek out difficult techincal climbs at the expense of the downhile trails you can then access, or do you usually pick the uphill trail based mostly on what downhill trails it accesses?

    Do you want to ride faster downhill on harder trails, or do you want to ride further on the same level of trail you currently ride?


    IMO the PNW is one of the spots where a rider should be erring on the side of overbiking instead of underbiking. We have the long grinds up and steep rough descents that make a bigger bike very worth it.

  4. #4
    I'm really diggin it!
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    Hard to go wrong really. I ride a 170/160 Enduro bike a Whyte G-160. Seems to work fine. Some days I take out my hardtail a Whyte 905. Iím running a 170mm DVO diamond on it. I can connect the dots on all of the features at Poppin Tops and mostly it holds its own on the rest of the Tiger/Raging network. Although it is a bit slower at times than the Enduro.


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  5. #5
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    Used HD3's are going for pretty affordable numbers right not, great 160mm bike. If you want to go new Kona's 153 29'rs look pretty impressive.

    I've just brought up my budget backup bike a Kona process 153 (older design) & it's a blast up there.

    But there are SO many great options out there used or new. It seams like just about every bike mfgr out there is getting things dialed. Fun times indeed.

    And yes I would consider 130mm a bit undergunned if you're an aggressive rider. Hell even 160mm is tough to keep from using all the travel on my Kona. My older Ibis Mojo HD with 170/160 coil sprung takes the hard hits in stride much better but is 26" with old geometry... the short reach and tall seat tube just doesn't cut it anymore.
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  6. #6
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    I would put the upgrade money into a new bike if I were you. Upgrading your suspension will give you a really good 130mm bike. Sounds like you really want more travel and upgrading your suspension wonít do that. Get a big enduro bike like a Giant Reign, Enduro, or Nomad and set the 130mm bike up with light tires for long XC rides.

  7. #7
    I'm really diggin it!
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    Personally Iíd do some research on forward geometry and how a longer front center benefits stability. Iíd base my bike purchase on geometry alone. Most bikes have great component spec and the suspension works but the geometry is where the differences are.


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  8. #8
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    Iím also looking for a new bike for raging, tiger, tokul, etc. Iíve been out of the scene for about a decade but I used to race DH and ďfreerideĒ back when that was a thing. I demoed a bunch of bikes last year and actually took a Transition Scout up to Tiger and rode Predator on it. Excellent bike but I agree with the others, when you get into the chunk you are a little undergunned. I mean you could send some big shit on that bike and be fine but for the chunky technical sections I would rather have more travel (and dare I say bigger wheels.)

    I pretty much narrowed my bike choice down to a Yeti SB150 and a Santa Cruz Megatower. My rationale is that both of these bikes are not awful to pedal the ups in this region but will be plenty capable for the downs. Cliche to say but maybe a slightly better choice than going full enduro. If I was going 27.5Ē a Bronson would be high on my list as well.

  9. #9
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    My buddy just recently put a longer stroke shock on his 5010, prob gets around 140 ish and some change of travel now. He also put a 150 fork on. He says he wants to bring the fork travel back down to 140 because itís starting to feel too much like a enduro bike but heís taking that everywhere. Something to consider.


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  10. #10
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    Iíve done tiger with my Kona Process 153 27.5 (2017) and both with my older school alum Guerrilla Gravity Smash (was 140 Pike front and 140 RS super deluxe air rear at the time) and really enjoyed both. I preferred the Smash overall (would probably prefer it even more in its current form with 160 Pike), especially at Raging. I didnít ever make it to the backside stuff at Raging FWIW....Smash felt awesome on Predator to me

  11. #11
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    ultimately, if you are happy on it the bike you have is perfect, but for around here it's no coincidence that most people are on 5" or 6" trail bikes. i was on a Nomad MKII for years and I loved that bike-- it was great on all types of descents and I climbed it wherever we went. I'm on a 5" travel carbon 29er now, climb way, way faster than on the Nomad, and can descend just as fast on a lot of stuff (except super steep stuff where I miss the Nomad a great deal). Damn this new bike climbs fast though-- I'm not nearly as slow as I thought (still damn slow though).
    I'll be along... eventually.

  12. #12
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    I've seen people rocking OTG on some 110-120mm bikes fast, but...when I turn my bike down to gnarlier stuff like Predator, I like to have at least 6" for that kind of stuff. I also run tuned suspension, so that helps and makes up for some travel deficiency, but IMO, running a 130 bike down Predator will be more like fighting your bike down the mountain the whole time. The more in shape you are, better upper body you have, better the quality of the suspension, the more you can overcome this, but at some point as the terrain gets gnarlier, it'll still end up with you fighting the bike down. The flipside is you'd then have a heavier more sluggish rig for more tame riding. My 2015 RFX is "old" compared to the newer stuff out there, but I love ripping it down Predator and it takes it well. Also, coil springs.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  13. #13
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    We donít know much about your skill level, etc. but as far as raging and Tiger, I feel there is very little actual terrain that a lower travel bike isnít more than capable. By lower travel I mean this: Ibis Ripley LS with 140mm fork. I think riders donít account for the importance of tire choice and proper bike setup as much as it should be considered, but youíre not asking about that. Iíve hit most everything at both places you mention on this Ripley. Of course on a few sections itís going to be slower going down, and Iíll fully admit I usually shy away from a couple of the larger jumps. Overall out of a three hour ride, that doesnít matter to me, but thatís me. I get to ride 1-2 times per week if Iím lucky, and only have 1 bike. I wanted a bike for more than just the Seattle area (in reality, I actually spend a lot of time climbing, just the way it is). Keep your 5010, and get a longer travel rig and youíre set if youíve got the cash. Otherwise assess your skill and goals. There are great pedaling longer travel bikes, but do you personally need it? Only you and maybe riding buddies know that. A few bling parts (think good wheels and dialing in the cockpit) can really transform an already good bike.

  14. #14
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    I actually feel that the chunkiness is much more of a need for more travel than the drops and jumps. I can manage the biggest drops at Duthie on a full rigid Karate Monkey but getting into the rocks and roots I would much rather be on a 6Ē 29er.

    To me a do it all Seattle area bike is going to climb 3,000 feet without too much shittiness and then descend with the big boys. Yes you can ride a 130 mill bike on Predator but I donít think youíll have as much fun as on a 150 or 160 bike. Just my opinion.


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  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the replies! I guess I should have mentioned that I have a pivot firebird that I use for predator and the big trails, but I wanted to see if I could make the 5010 slightly more capable so I don't have the haul the big bike up to otg or poppin tops.

    Sounds like I should focus on being a better climber on the firebird

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    Thanks for all the replies! I guess I should have mentioned that I have a pivot firebird that I use for predator and the big trails, but I wanted to see if I could make the 5010 slightly more capable so I don't have the haul the big bike up to otg or poppin tops.

    Sounds like I should focus on being a better climber on the firebird
    Tire choice and lighter wheels would help.

    So would giving up beer and training on a road bike.

    It all depends on your priorities.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post

    So would giving up beer...




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  18. #18
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    Yeah, let's not get all crazy or anything.
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  19. #19
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    With a Firebied as your second bike, I wouldn't do anything to the 5010. The 5010 seems like the perfect PNW trail bike. If you really want to make it more agressive, throw a 150mm fork on it, if you already haven't.

    At times I enjoy being under-gunned. It can get a bit boring just plowing down the trail.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  20. #20
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    Well, I rode a hardtail on poppin tops and other than rattling over the braking bumps thought it was fine. But I had a 2.8" tires, 130mm fox 34 up front and around 66 degree HA. Weird to hear about the 5010 since I had a v1 for 5 years and rode OTG, NOTG, poppin tops, etc. on it. Had a revelation front, db inline rear and 2.5 DHF front. I wonder about how it was set up? I'd start with simple, just throw a bigger front tire on it, does wonders.

    My current 'little bike' is a Following MB and it's just fine on upper poppin tops, Semper at Duthie, etc. Really everything except Predator. Geo, rubber and suspension setup matters, it's like an evolved version of the 5010 with similar playful feel but rolls better, slacker HA, better rear suspension.

    That said, the HD4 is slacker, more capable and pedals just about the same going up. today's trail/enduro bikes are awesome. I did the raging lollipop AND tiger in the same ride (car shuttle in between) on it, with 2.6" tires. If I had to pick just one bike I'd definitely go with a modern trail or enduro bike with good pedaling manners. There are several out there.

  21. #21
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    Having so many choices is it really a good thing? Do we just worry too much on what we should or could be riding vs just riding what we have and have fun. Not saying this is the issue hear but maybe it is. Get rid of both and get a Bronson or get rid of the 5010 and get a mid travel 29er or etc,etc,etc. I think this is why bikes like the Mega Tower exsist. Kind of a long travel 29er but not to the extremes as a Firebird 29er. There will always be compromises even with a large quiver of bikes. Think about finding the balance. Hence the Bronson being a very capable all a rounder. Just rode a Bronson, Nomad and a 5010. The Bronson climbed very well (smooth buff trail) with a Fox 36 with 44mm offset found the front end a little floppy at slow speeds. The Nomad seemed to jump better, felt like it wanted to get more pop forward. The 5010 was fun, quick and poppy but I would put a 140mm Lyrik or a 36 on it. Wait a month and half and attend the Festival at Duthie in June and test ride every thing you can.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock Climber View Post
    ... but I wanted to see if I could make the 5010 slightly more capable so I don't have the haul the big bike up to otg or poppin tops.

    Sounds like I should focus on being a better climber on the firebird
    I have a 2017 5010 and I have numerous laps under my belt on Poppin, OTG, NOTG, etc. When I rode those trails aggressively with the stock 130/130 setup I frequently felt like I was pushing the limits of the bike, or that it was just too much work.

    I upforked the bike to 150mm, added a RWC needle bearing kit to the lower shock mount and the combo was a total game changer. The first day I rode Tiger with that setup I felt like the whole experience was fun, and not so much 'work' to get down.

    As I'm sure you know, the 5010 is super playful and is actually a great jumper when setup correctly. I'd swap out your air shaft for something longer and give Poppin' Tops another shot before you give up on the bike.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBurn View Post
    I have a 2017 5010 and I have numerous laps under my belt on Poppin, OTG, NOTG, etc. When I rode those trails aggressively with the stock 130/130 setup I frequently felt like I was pushing the limits of the bike, or that it was just too much work.

    I upforked the bike to 150mm, added a RWC needle bearing kit to the lower shock mount and the combo was a total game changer. The first day I rode Tiger with that setup I felt like the whole experience was fun, and not so much 'work' to get down.

    As I'm sure you know, the 5010 is super playful and is actually a great jumper when setup correctly. I'd swap out your air shaft for something longer and give Poppin' Tops another shot before you give up on the bike.
    This is good to hear. Last year I was at the point with the V1 5010 that it was sell and go full enduro or do something similar to what you did. I was looking at a 150mm Pike and some form of beefier rear. I'm sure with a nice progressive fork and shock it would be just fine on those trails.

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