Updated bike check Transition Smuggler 7/21/2016 12:34 PM
C138_img_5410
Added a comment about product review Tested: 2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01 7/21/2016 11:23 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Yeah, and its one reason I can feel a bit of uncertainty toward my own review. I don't want to steer somebody wrong despite my personal feelings toward a ride. Obviously, I liked this bike. But I can't say its a 4.5 star bike for EVERYONE. For the right rider, its a 5 star performing product, no doubt. For the wrong rider, its not.

Bikes are starting to go the way of skis, surfboards etc whereby there are so many excellent options its more about getting what fits, as they are all "as good" (or close) from a function/durability/performance perspective.

My job as a reviewer is just as much to describe *why* I liked it and *what* I look for in a bike (eg: who I am) as it is to describe the performance of the bike. Ultimately, removing my own preferences from the equation allows me to arrive at a more objective review, despite the obvious hurdles such an ideal may pose.

Hopefully I've done a good job explaining to the masses that this bike may be the best tool for a number of riders, and that perhaps some should look elsewhere. For the right rider however (someone like me) its certainly a badass ride!

+1 1 0

Members who like this comment

  • Vital MTB member mtbmikeharris
    10726 mtbmikeharris http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/10726/avatar/c50_fb_picture_1452366990.jpg?1315950616 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/mtbmikeharris,10726/all 09/13/11 3

This product_review has 29 comments.

Liked a comment on the item Tested: 2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01 7/21/2016 11:16 AM

These kinds of debates are what 300 post comments are made from, there just isn't "right" answer? Haha. Who you ride with, where you live, what terrain like to ride, etc... At least there isn't as much trolling on this site vs the other one.

Anyway, I use the same argument with the lifted...more

Added a comment about product review Tested: 2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01 7/21/2016 9:20 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

First, thanks! There is an upside to having 7 monitors staring you in the face all day I suppose! (my day job is in financial services)

Second, this is a "pandora's box" sort of question. Scared to answer it as it may open up all sorts of debate. The idea that most people buy more bike than they need is one I understand and often subscribe to. I think it goes further than just the bike's travel and geometry and even extends into parts such as fork, tires, shock etc. In a way its like the guy driving a lifted pickup truck with 35s for 99% highway driving. Literally, 99% of the time that dude is lugging around stuff that is only hindering him. Same in the ski world seeing the kid who can't turn piloting 195 120mm under foot fully rockered sticks as his only ski. He's really limiting himself in most conditions.

That said, the 5.5c and many bikes like it aren't overly limiting outside their intended (enduro race) environment. I had a blast on many of my local trails on the bike (albeit the local trails I'm referring to are on the burly side of things). Still, I felt very comfortable spending 4+ hours on the 5.5c and as I noted in the video, the bike climbed extremely well.

Where I really found the 5.5c to be a bit, for lack of a better word, boring, was on your generic smooth singletrack type trail. Its a bit like driving a trophy truck to the grocery store. It can be a bit of a snoozefest. A sports car is a far better tool - something like the 4.5c, Smuggler etc.

One way I'd determine what bike to buy is by thinking how much you are really going to race it and how often you really want to go to the bike park. If the answer is never and never go with less travel, you'll be happier in the end and smoke your buddies in most of your riding situations. If the answer is a bit and sometimes, consider going with something longer travel (140-160mm) as it'll still serve you well on the bigger rides but not let you down in the burlier stuff. The final caveat is skill level. I have friends who can pilot 115mm bikes in rough terrain better than I can pilot a 160mm bike in the same environment (Dcamp for instance).

Finally, if you do end up on a bike with more travel than perhaps you need and find yourself struggling on a few climbs, considering gearing it down and working on your core. Both will help you conquer even the burliest climb on a longer travel steed with relative ease...

Hope that helps.

J

0 0 0

This product_review has 29 comments.

Added a comment about product review Tested: 2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01 7/21/2016 8:20 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

This is one of those questions I find difficult to answer. Much like "how playful is the bike" what is "in the bike" to me may be different to you. To add, body proportions, riding style, etc etc play into this subjective attribute massively.

That said, yes, I did feel "in" the bike. I had sort of an invisibility feeling that so long as I kept my body between the two wheels and lowered my COG, I'd probably come out unscathed.

I sort of felt this feeling was less the bike and more the monster truck wagon wheel effect but after more time on other aggresive 29ers I realize it really had more to do with the blend the Yeti brought forth. To my point, I still haven't smashed sections of trail on my other 29er the way I did on the Yeti. There are a few sections of trail that offer fairly challenging doubles to a monkey like me.. You have to hit a few corners just right then trust the bike's suspension to clear everything. There is only one bike I've nailed them all on despite many attempts on other steeds - the 5.5c.

I know, I sound like the bike is akin to Aladdins magic carpet or something - its not, and I'm sure there are other longer travel bikes that compare - this was just the first one I've been on that brought it all together and the first bike in a long time that really did make me a better rider. And some of these "other" 29ers I am comparing the bike to have less travel and come in at a far lower price point. Apples to oranges a bit...but as a wiser man than myself once pointed out, that's the beauty of the human brain, we can compare apples and oranges... but I digress. ha.

Anyway, there are other bikes I'm pumped to try - they may rival the Yeti but time will tell - Trek's new Slash, Niner's new RIP, Transitions (hopefully) updated Smuggler etc

0 0 0

This product_review has 29 comments.

Added a comment about video On Track with Curtis Keene: Down in Flames 7/20/2016 3:12 PM
C138x104

Albeit cheesy at times, the production value and story telling in these is incredible. Almost seems built for broadcast... (whatever that means these days...) Bruce Brownish...

0 0 0

This video has 1 comment.

Added bike check Transition Smuggler 7/20/2016 10:58 AM
C138_img_5410
Added a comment about product review Tested: 2016 Yeti SB5.5c X01 7/20/2016 8:46 AM
C50_149187_936024901533_10205078_50991835_3734911_n

Good questions agstief

To start, all the bikes you mention are excellent. I've pedaled a 429 around briefly (429 "Trail" I believe) and though I liked a number of the bike's attributes, it was simply too small for me (even in the longest size). This won't be an issue for you as you aren't as tall. That said, the 5.5c will feel a bit different than the 429 in a number of ways. The 429 feels geared a bit more toward the XC/Trail crowd whereas the 5.5c has DH bike capability in XC clothing. (if that makes any sense)

As far as which wheel size you should go with, well, that's really something I can't answer. At 5'9" I'd say you could go either way. You certainly aren't too short for the bigger wheel but my perception of how the wagon wheel rides will be materially different.

In situations like this I think the best thing you can do is to demo. One caution about demoing: Though many shops are now very attentive to detail when it comes to setting up their demo fleet, some still send them out the door without much care to even suspension setup. Even the best bike will feel like a turd if you don't get the suspension in the ballpark and fit close to reasonable (saddle position, lever position etc). Make sure you are comparing apples to apples.

0 0 0

This product_review has 29 comments.

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/20/2016 8:29 AM

I do like Norco's method of changing the rear center for every size. However, I'd like to see more growth to keep everything in proportion as, in my opinion, the change isn't enough to make the difference I'd want to see. So...here is the point to this ... more »

Liked a comment on the item USAC Marshal Meltdown - You Screw Up Everything! 7/20/2016 7:54 AM

all, take the name calling somewhere else. you can disagree all you want, but keep it civil.

Liked a comment on the item USAC Marshal Meltdown - You Screw Up Everything! 7/20/2016 7:54 AM

all, take the name calling somewhere else. you can disagree all you want, but keep it civil.

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/19/2016 2:13 PM

I've played with a number of stem lengths. To be honest, it depends on your stack height (as your bars go up, your "effective" stem length goes down), reach, where you are riding etc. I will say, in my experience, going north of 60 really isn't (ever)

... more »
Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/19/2016 1:10 PM

That's a tough call. For me, I know what I prefer 90% of the time. However, saying I recommend the Smug over the Patrol isn't totally accurate. If you are tall, trying to race and want an extremely versatile bike yes, I think its the call. If you are ... more »

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/19/2016 11:24 AM

I have a few sources indicating Richie was on a medium (like Graves used to be). Both are built like linebackers but aren't overly tall (5 10" or 5 11").

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/19/2016 10:10 AM

100%. Which is really what I'm trying to say. A bike needs to be well balanced to ride well. The funny thing is what turned me onto this idea was in fact 29ers with "longer" (compared to my other bikes) stays. I was cornering better, riding faster and ... more »

Added a comment about video USAC Marshal Meltdown - You Screw Up Everything! 7/19/2016 9:10 AM
C138x104

High five to the real winner! He was fastest down the hill. Simple as that. Nice run dude!

+4 4 0

Members who like this comment

  • Vital MTB member 2BeerDan
    41164 2BeerDan http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/41164/avatar/c50_IMG_7374_1465496806.jpg?1465496257 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/2BeerDan,41164/all 06/09/16 14 2 1 1
  • Vital MTB member kellyllek
    20722 kellyllek http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/20722/avatar/c50_fb_picture_501273759.jpg?1357144766 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/kellyllek,20722/all 01/02/13 4
  • Vital MTB member Renae_Downey
    41742 Renae_Downey /images/default/avatar/c50.png http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Renae-Downey,41742/all 07/18/16 3
  • Vital MTB member Shredsonyou
    36291 Shredsonyou http://p.vitalmtb.com/photos/users/36291/avatar/c50_seanseaotter2015steeze_1435888155.jpg?1435887973 http://www.vitalmtb.com/community/Shredsonyou,36291/all 07/02/15 8 2 2 4

This video has 52 comments.

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/19/2016 8:38 AM

Few thoughts to add but before I do I should apologize for this coffee fueled rant. There were a few things I wasn't overly clear on and others I may have blown out of proportion. Unfortunately, I drank more coffee - so this is just as likely to garner

... more »
Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/18/2016 3:55 PM

You echo some of the thoughts I've recently had. It'd be rad if there was someway to actively monitor how much weight I'm putting on each tire or the forces on each tire at any given moment. That would really help an engineer build better more natural ... more »

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/18/2016 3:02 PM

Agreed. We all wanted to boil bike handling down to overly simple isolated variables as opposed to looking at the tool as a whole.

Added reply in a thread The Internet Was Wrong: Short Chainstays Suck* 7/18/2016 1:59 PM

Respectfully, I'd argue you are contradicting yourself. Keeping a longer bike's wheelbase in check with short stays would be akin to keeping a snowboard length in check by cutting off a chunk of the tail. My entirely too long "rant" was essentially saying ... more »