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11/8/2018 8:00 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/8/2018 9:08 AM

I'm located in NW Arkansas and our MTB scene is growing significantly. Majority of our trails are xc, but we have plenty of enduro style runs with features, drops, and jumps. I also recently raced my first xc race and fell in love. majority of my riding is xc, but I want the capabilities to ride more aggressive trails. I'm currently on a 2014 trek fuel ex 7. It has served me well for a good all around bike. However, it's heavy for xc racing and doesn't offer the travel I need to feel confident on hitting some of these features.

That's my quick background, here is where you can help me. Should I buy:

XC
-trek top fuel 9.8 (carbon wheels is a +)
-Sanata cruz blur R or S build
-XC bike won't help me that much keep riding the Fuel ex and upgrade to a 1x12.

Enduro/trail
-Bronson R/Carbon 27.5 I need advice on the rockshox yari fork. I've heard mixed reviews.
-Trek Remedy 9.7 (I think this build is best value, but I'm concerned the seat angle is to slack for a trail bike vs. Bronson)

I appreciate any and all advice.

edit. I will be buying one from each category and keeping the fuel ex.

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11/8/2018 8:54 AM

If the majority of the riding you are doing is XC with a little bit of more aggressive riding thrown in, I would think about a "Trail" bike with and XC racing pedigree. Something like the Intense Sniper trail, or the Specialized Epic Evo. Both of them have 120 forks and 100 rear (Or 120 on the Intense Trail build.) They are both Short travel 29ers build to fly on the ups, and charge the DH.

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2017 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR expert 29er
2015 Specialized Camber Comp Custom Build

11/8/2018 9:02 AM

Camb3r15 wrote:

If the majority of the riding you are doing is XC with a little bit of more aggressive riding thrown in, I would think about a "Trail" bike with and XC racing pedigree. Something like the Intense Sniper trail, or the Specialized Epic Evo. Both of them have 120 forks and 100 rear (Or 120 on the Intense Trail build.) They are both Short travel 29ers build to fly on the ups, and charge the DH.

Great advice for my main bike thank you.

I am also wanting a second bike for the days I want to hit larger obstacles. Do you have any experience with the Bronson or remedy?

My local shop is santa cruz and trek dealer so that is the main reason I'm looking at those brands.

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11/8/2018 9:14 AM

Camb3r15 wrote:

If the majority of the riding you are doing is XC with a little bit of more aggressive riding thrown in, I would think about a "Trail" bike with and XC racing pedigree. Something like the Intense Sniper trail, or the Specialized Epic Evo. Both of them have 120 forks and 100 rear (Or 120 on the Intense Trail build.) They are both Short travel 29ers build to fly on the ups, and charge the DH.

Panic_rev wrote:

Great advice for my main bike thank you.

I am also wanting a second bike for the days I want to hit larger obstacles. Do you have any experience with the Bronson or remedy?

My local shop is santa cruz and trek dealer so that is the main reason I'm looking at those brands.

I've ridden both bikes extensively.

The Remedy is pretty balanced. I rode the aluminum Remedy 8 pretty solid build kit for $4,000, Lyrik, GX Eagle, SRAM Guide Brakes, respectable rubber..... that said, she wasn't one bit light.

The Remedy 100% needs the climb switch or else you get quite a bit of pedal bob. The geometry is pretty conservative and it is an easy-riding bike. Some bikes need to be ridden hard and fast to feel good, the Remedy is much more user-friendly. The rear suspension is super smooth and linear.

The Bronson is a bit slacker. I think the Bronson is a way better bike if you're riding it hard. I rode it a few days at the Northstar Bike Park and also did rides with 4000 feet climbing... it does it all. The pedal platform is excellent, even with the shock in the open position. Descending blows the trek out of the water. That said, it is pretty expensive .

Hope that helps.

Pat

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11/8/2018 11:19 AM

As an NWA resident, I'd say go to Mojo. They have a lot better selection (Evil, Intense, Transition, Ibis, and Orbea), are friendlier, and are more likely to cut you a deal.

As for bikes, the Transition Smuggler, Ibis Ripmo, Ibis Mojo HD4, Evil Offering, Evil Following MB, and Orbea Rallon seem to be the favorite mid- to long-travel bikes people love around here. I have the HD4 and love it. It may be the perfect bike for someone who wants an efficient longer travel bike, but will also have an xc bike. The Transition and the Following MB have the potential to be do-it-all bikes that can also be raced in xc races. I've heard the Ripmo can also be a surprisingly good xc performer.

If you really want to have two bikes and are willing to wait a few months for your trail/enduro bike, the Commencal Meta TR 29 looks perfect for this area, and is really well priced.

On the more xc end of the spectrum, the Yeti SB100 seems to be able to take on any xc race, while also being able to handle some bigger stuff. Same for the Blur and that new Cannondale. The Ibis Ripley would also probably do well in xc races around here.

In short, I think there is real potential to buy a bike that can handle everything in NWA and still be a solid xc racer. However, if you really want a pure xc racer, there are some rad trail and enduro bikes out now that thrive on the NWA trails and would make excellent Coler and Lake Leatherwood bikes.

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11/8/2018 12:43 PM

Short Travel Options
Santa Cruz Tallboy 29
Santa Cruz Blur
Specialized Chamber 29
Specialized Stumpjumper ST 29
Yeti SB 100
Scott Spark 29

Longer (assuming you want 27.5?)
Santa Cruz Bronson (if your're worried about the fork, just add the new charger damper to it)
Evil Calling
Transition Scout
YT Jeffsy

For the longer travel bike, i'd look for quality of suspension design and ramp up for all the fun freeride hits on the Ozark Trail. A bike with good ramp up in the rear suspension means more than 130mm or 150mm of rear suspension.



I'd stay away from the Trek's since they rely on that special shock to perform and i owned a remedy, didnt really care for it.

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11/8/2018 12:45 PM

hd4rider wrote:

As an NWA resident, I'd say go to Mojo. They have a lot better selection (Evil, Intense, Transition, Ibis, and Orbea), are friendlier, and are more likely to cut you a deal.

As for bikes, the Transition Smuggler, Ibis Ripmo, Ibis Mojo HD4, Evil Offering, Evil Following MB, and Orbea Rallon seem to be the favorite mid- to long-travel bikes people love around here. I have the HD4 and love it. It may be the perfect bike for someone who wants an efficient longer travel bike, but will also have an xc bike. The Transition and the Following MB have the potential to be do-it-all bikes that can also be raced in xc races. I've heard the Ripmo can also be a surprisingly good xc performer.

If you really want to have two bikes and are willing to wait a few months for your trail/enduro bike, the Commencal Meta TR 29 looks perfect for this area, and is really well priced.

On the more xc end of the spectrum, the Yeti SB100 seems to be able to take on any xc race, while also being able to handle some bigger stuff. Same for the Blur and that new Cannondale. The Ibis Ripley would also probably do well in xc races around here.

In short, I think there is real potential to buy a bike that can handle everything in NWA and still be a solid xc racer. However, if you really want a pure xc racer, there are some rad trail and enduro bikes out now that thrive on the NWA trails and would make excellent Coler and Lake Leatherwood bikes.

Thank you. The price of the yeti is just beyond my comfort level even though it is a great build. I will look into Mojo, but I am in Fayetteville so I would rather have a closer shop.

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11/8/2018 12:46 PM

Bikes like the Evil Following, Transition Smuggler, Fuel Ex, stumpy ST will be better at doing both things great but neither particularly well.

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11/8/2018 12:49 PM

What about the SC 5010? I think that bike would be great for the type of riding you are describing

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11/8/2018 12:55 PM

MPH24 wrote:

What about the SC 5010? I think that bike would be great for the type of riding you are describing

I've thought about the 5010 with a fox 34 on the front. My concerns are how well with 140m travel handle a miss hit or OJ a gap? A 150/160 suspension will be more forgiving when I make a mistake.

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11/8/2018 12:56 PM

Panic_rev wrote:

Thank you. The price of the yeti is just beyond my comfort level even though it is a great build. I will look into Mojo, but I am in Fayetteville so I would rather have a closer shop.

Can't blame you on the price of the Yeti.

To me, Mojo really is worth the drive. The owner is super helpful about sales, service, advice, and warranty issues.

If you really want two bikes and want to keep price low overall, your best bet may be a direct sale and/or aluminum bike, and then a used xc bike. Longer travel bikes have changed quite a bit in just a few years, while xc changes have been more incremental IMO.

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11/8/2018 12:59 PM

Panic_rev wrote:

I've thought about the 5010 with a fox 34 on the front. My concerns are how well with 140m travel handle a miss hit or OJ a gap? A 150/160 suspension will be more forgiving when I make a mistake.

If that's the size you are interested in and you want a 27.5, you're welcome to try my Ibis HD4. It's 153 rear, 160 front. I've been wanting to ride near Fayetteville anyways.

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11/8/2018 1:27 PM

MPH24 wrote:

What about the SC 5010? I think that bike would be great for the type of riding you are describing

Panic_rev wrote:

I've thought about the 5010 with a fox 34 on the front. My concerns are how well with 140m travel handle a miss hit or OJ a gap? A 150/160 suspension will be more forgiving when I make a mistake.

If you really come up short on a gap, you are going to blow through the suspension on pretty much any bike. I normally set my suspension up with a little "oh shit" room at the end but we are talking a few millimeters for larger hits to flat.

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11/8/2018 1:37 PM

hd4rider wrote:

If that's the size you are interested in and you want a 27.5, you're welcome to try my Ibis HD4. It's 153 rear, 160 front. I've been wanting to ride near Fayetteville anyways.

Let me know when you want to ride.

My brother is in town from AK so we have a group riding Coler and Slaughter tomorrow for my birthday at 1 if you want to jump in with us.

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11/9/2018 7:28 AM

MPH24 wrote:

What about the SC 5010? I think that bike would be great for the type of riding you are describing

Panic_rev wrote:

I've thought about the 5010 with a fox 34 on the front. My concerns are how well with 140m travel handle a miss hit or OJ a gap? A 150/160 suspension will be more forgiving when I make a mistake.

again, you need to pay attention to the quality of the travel vs how much travel.

a 130mm bike with a real progressive curve will handle that hit better than a 140/150 with a real linear curve in the linkage.

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11/10/2018 6:15 AM

I pulled the trigger on the Bronson carbon R build.

For anyone who might be on the fence for this bike you will not be disappointed. I was extremely impressed with how well it climbed and the lower grade nx performed. This bike increased my confidence and just screamed take me downhill and off some drops. On my fuel I never felt this. The two biggest improvements this build needs are stronger breaks for my preference and there seems to be a slight hesitation/free spin of the pedal before it engages with the rear wheel. I assume this is the rear hub.

Thanks again for the comments.

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