What Enduro bike for someone new to sport?

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11/28/2018 7:28 AM

Hi VitalMTB, i'm a regular on VitalMX and decided to come over here to snag your advice. I am a motocross rider than wants to get into MTB due to constrains in my current situation that I can't ride motocross very often.

So I want to get into MTB and from reading i think enduro is the sort of bike i am after, let me remind you I am completely NEW to this scene. But i am confident that my motocross skills will transfer over and be confident with jumping. What do you guys think i should start on? I am from Tasmania in Australia, i live close to Blue Derby which we held a world championship round last weekend. It looks absolutely amazing and can't wait to hit up!

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11/28/2018 8:29 AM

What kind of riding do you envision doing? I've hopped back and forth a few times. First mtb stint after moto can be frustrating depending on what type of riding you're doing. For me, it was getting used to climbs and destroying equipment as I'm a bigger guy at 6'4"

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11/28/2018 8:35 AM

The type of riding I envision myself doing is trails and runs. Bit of jumping in between all of that. Wouldn’t mind the climb if that’s in the trail but I know I will have to get used to that. Kind of have about 80/90% idea of what I’m getting myself into. I’m about 5’10”

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11/28/2018 9:01 AM

You are in a priiiiime location to be diving into MTB!

Based on your location, you have quite a few pretty dope options. If you're planning on making MTB your new priority and investing in high-grade equipment, you can really reach for some cool bikes. The "Enduro" bike market has a lot to offer, along with the "Trail" bike market. The difference being Enduro is 160-170mm of rear wheel travel and trail is 140-150mm - as a general rule of thumb. If you want one bike to do everything, the Enduro bike is likely your top pick as you eluded to above. The trail bike options are going to be a little more fitness-oriented and slightly livelier on the trail. I won't get into the wheel size differences, 27.5 v. 29, as I would suggest going to a shop, riding both (or demo'ing) and make a decision that way.

Down Under, you have a good handful of prominent (big) brands that do really good price point and spec.
You can of course order whatever you want online, but walking into a shop and developing a relationship with your local scene would be really beneficial (if you aren't already familiar).

In no particular order, regarding Enduro bikes that would be appropriate for your interests that you can see on a showroom floor:
Intense Tracer (27.5) or Carbine (29)
Santa Cruz Nomad (27.5) or High Tower LT (29)
Giant Reign (27.5)
Specialized Enduro (comes in both wheel sizes)
Kona Operator (comes in both wheel sizes)

Bikes that you can order online and probably find at the trail head to wheel around the car park:
Canyon Torque or Strive (27.5)
YT Capra (27.5) or Jeffsy (29)
Commencal Clash (27.5) or Meta AM (29)
Zerode Taniwha (27.5) - I personally ride this bike and it's unreal. Brandon did a review of it here.

That's a huge array, I know. Just wanted to highlight the options, as it's not super straightforward.

The online bike options are going to have much stronger value for the price (generally speaking).

My personal suggestions, based on your moto background would be:

Kona Operator
Canyon Torque
Commencal Clash
Zerode Taniwha


The reasons why: all of them are sturdy, the sizing for someone who is 5'10" is strong, and they all like to be ridden in straight lines, i.e. they all will happily just plow down the trail - a helpful asset for someone who is still developing their MTB skills. They will also stick with you as you progress and only get better as you get better.

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11/28/2018 2:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/28/2018 3:00 PM

sideshow wrote:

You are in a priiiiime location to be diving into MTB!

Based on your location, you have quite a few pretty dope options. If you're planning on making MTB your new priority and investing in high-grade equipment, you can really reach for some cool bikes. The "Enduro" bike market has a lot to offer, along with the "Trail" bike market. The difference being Enduro is 160-170mm of rear wheel travel and trail is 140-150mm - as a general rule of thumb. If you want one bike to do everything, the Enduro bike is likely your top pick as you eluded to above. The trail bike options are going to be a little more fitness-oriented and slightly livelier on the trail. I won't get into the wheel size differences, 27.5 v. 29, as I would suggest going to a shop, riding both (or demo'ing) and make a decision that way.

Down Under, you have a good handful of prominent (big) brands that do really good price point and spec.
You can of course order whatever you want online, but walking into a shop and developing a relationship with your local scene would be really beneficial (if you aren't already familiar).

In no particular order, regarding Enduro bikes that would be appropriate for your interests that you can see on a showroom floor:
Intense Tracer (27.5) or Carbine (29)
Santa Cruz Nomad (27.5) or High Tower LT (29)
Giant Reign (27.5)
Specialized Enduro (comes in both wheel sizes)
Kona Operator (comes in both wheel sizes)

Bikes that you can order online and probably find at the trail head to wheel around the car park:
Canyon Torque or Strive (27.5)
YT Capra (27.5) or Jeffsy (29)
Commencal Clash (27.5) or Meta AM (29)
Zerode Taniwha (27.5) - I personally ride this bike and it's unreal. Brandon did a review of it here.

That's a huge array, I know. Just wanted to highlight the options, as it's not super straightforward.

The online bike options are going to have much stronger value for the price (generally speaking).

My personal suggestions, based on your moto background would be:

Kona Operator
Canyon Torque
Commencal Clash
Zerode Taniwha


The reasons why: all of them are sturdy, the sizing for someone who is 5'10" is strong, and they all like to be ridden in straight lines, i.e. they all will happily just plow down the trail - a helpful asset for someone who is still developing their MTB skills. They will also stick with you as you progress and only get better as you get better.

Thank you so much with the huge insight and help!! Before I started this thread i had my eye on the santa cruz nomad but its so damn expensive and im looking for stuff like half the price. The base Canyon Torque is sounding like a good option! The Zerode looks very interesting that it has a gearbox rather than a casette, never knew they existed until I read the review.

Edit: This Canyon Spectral seems like a very good price for the components listed
https://www.canyon.com/en-au/mtb/spectral/2019/spectral-al-5-0.html
Thoughts?

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11/29/2018 10:03 AM

That canyon is a good deal. This is a good one too.
https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/au/en/nukeproof-mega-275-alloy-comp-mountain-bike-2019/rp-prod170239
In trail mode it pedals so well. I have a lot of time on the old nomad a little on the new nomad they take the cake on the downs compared to this but the mega is a great all a rounder that can take danger.

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11/29/2018 10:49 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2018 10:51 AM

brycepdh wrote:

Thank you so much with the huge insight and help!! Before I started this thread i had my eye on the santa cruz nomad but its so damn expensive and im looking for stuff like half the price. The base Canyon Torque is sounding like a good option! The Zerode looks very interesting that it has a gearbox rather than a casette, never knew they existed until I read the review.

Edit: This Canyon Spectral seems like a very good price for the components listed
https://www.canyon.com/en-au/mtb/spectral/2019/spectral-al-5-0.html
Thoughts?

Glad you found that helpful!

The Torque and Taniwha would both be wicked shred sleds for your neck of the woods. They are definitely a little pricier, but you'd be very sorted with those out of the box (Taniwha has build options you'd get to pick).

That said, the deal on the Spectral is a screamin' one and an excellent option. You would not be disappointed with that bike. Comes with a sick spec, and the upgrades down the line wouldn't have to be huge, just minor improvements here and there as you learn what you like and don't like (cockpit mainly, and then perhaps a shock with a piggyback if you really start shredding hard - that's not an uncommon shock size which is also convenient). Grips are a very personal preference, but I think you'll figure that out easily enough.

My one suggestion though would be get the large, and put a shorter stem on it. Looks like it comes with a 60mm length stem - I'd go for a 35mm length (and it would need to be 35 bore as well), as the Reach is 460mm in the large (which is a good thing), but for people of our size, that longer stem can have a negative feeling on the descents, plus it would feel more "moto" with a shorter stem.
Just looked at the bar spec too - I'd recommend a different bar, something with more back sweep like 8 or 9 degrees - again, will feel more familiar swapping between pedal bike and motor bike...so a new cockpit out of the box would be a huge boon to how the bike feels: 35mm stem, 8 or 9 degree back sweep bars in a 25mm-ish rise, cut to 760-780mm wide.
A small list of bar options and their geo:
Deity: 9 back and 8 back, and 5 up.
Burgtec: 9 back and 5 up.
Renthal: 7 back and 5 up.
Cromag: 8 back and 5 up.
Joystick: 9 back and 6 up.
Spank: they have a wider range and mix than most


Other than that one area, I think you'll be fired up and ready to roll into the Tassie summer with gusto!

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11/29/2018 4:36 PM

Bryce, I'm a motocross guy turned MTB rider also. I think you are right on track in thinking that your skills will cross over (they will, with some adjustments.)
I like all the above advice, and I'd add that I went for the longer travel ("enduro") style bike. I'm glad I did, because the hits feel a lot like the 12" of travel you're used to. Anything smaller and you definitely know you're on a bicycle! (I bought a Commencal and love it, by the way.)

Get used to not having a motor to help you panic rev before you jump anything too serious or drop off a steep ledge with the wrong body position. Those are the things that I immediately noticed.

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11/29/2018 4:48 PM

sideshow wrote:

Glad you found that helpful!

The Torque and Taniwha would both be wicked shred sleds for your neck of the woods. They are definitely a little pricier, but you'd be very sorted with those out of the box (Taniwha has build options you'd get to pick).

That said, the deal on the Spectral is a screamin' one and an excellent option. You would not be disappointed with that bike. Comes with a sick spec, and the upgrades down the line wouldn't have to be huge, just minor improvements here and there as you learn what you like and don't like (cockpit mainly, and then perhaps a shock with a piggyback if you really start shredding hard - that's not an uncommon shock size which is also convenient). Grips are a very personal preference, but I think you'll figure that out easily enough.

My one suggestion though would be get the large, and put a shorter stem on it. Looks like it comes with a 60mm length stem - I'd go for a 35mm length (and it would need to be 35 bore as well), as the Reach is 460mm in the large (which is a good thing), but for people of our size, that longer stem can have a negative feeling on the descents, plus it would feel more "moto" with a shorter stem.
Just looked at the bar spec too - I'd recommend a different bar, something with more back sweep like 8 or 9 degrees - again, will feel more familiar swapping between pedal bike and motor bike...so a new cockpit out of the box would be a huge boon to how the bike feels: 35mm stem, 8 or 9 degree back sweep bars in a 25mm-ish rise, cut to 760-780mm wide.
A small list of bar options and their geo:
Deity: 9 back and 8 back, and 5 up.
Burgtec: 9 back and 5 up.
Renthal: 7 back and 5 up.
Cromag: 8 back and 5 up.
Joystick: 9 back and 6 up.
Spank: they have a wider range and mix than most


Other than that one area, I think you'll be fired up and ready to roll into the Tassie summer with gusto!

Yeah I will probably go for the spectral but it will be a couple weeks yet before I commit to it. Care to explain why go for the large and change to a smaller stem. Being 178cm tall it is right on the upper limit of medium but also right on the lower limit for large. I really like the idea of mimicking the moto cockpit, I’ll look into that for sure!

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11/29/2018 4:49 PM

Falcon wrote:

Bryce, I'm a motocross guy turned MTB rider also. I think you are right on track in thinking that your skills will cross over (they will, with some adjustments.)
I like all the above advice, and I'd add that I went for the longer travel ("enduro") style bike. I'm glad I did, because the hits feel a lot like the 12" of travel you're used to. Anything smaller and you definitely know you're on a bicycle! (I bought a Commencal and love it, by the way.)

Get used to not having a motor to help you panic rev before you jump anything too serious or drop off a steep ledge with the wrong body position. Those are the things that I immediately noticed.

That good to hear and yeah that’ll be scary by having the panic rev there haha! 160mm from and 150mm rear will suffice you reckon?

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11/29/2018 5:01 PM

I'll echo what falcon said, I always loved soaking up jumps, dropping the front wheel, and grabbing some throttle to bring it just right... can't do that anymore ha! No more seat bouncing either

On the flip side though, mentally, you'll look at the biggest jumps at the bike park, think they're not that big, and have a good guage of how much speed you'll need to hit them

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11/29/2018 7:12 PM

Short travel 29er is the way to go, just decide how aggressive you want the bike to be and how you want it to handle.
Make sure it has:

-A Dropper post
-11 or 12 speed drivetrain
-descent tires
-descent brakes
(unless you really want to upgrade after you buy)

My top 5 bike choices to check out are:

Devinci Troy
Transition Smuggler
YT Jeffsy
Santa Cruz hightower

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11/29/2018 7:38 PM

brycepdh wrote:

Yeah I will probably go for the spectral but it will be a couple weeks yet before I commit to it. Care to explain why go for the large and change to a smaller stem. Being 178cm tall it is right on the upper limit of medium but also right on the lower limit for large. I really like the idea of mimicking the moto cockpit, I’ll look into that for sure!

The rationale for getting the longer bike and shortening the cockpit is simply to give you more room to move around on the bike, it also puts you more "in" the bike than "on top of". The distance from your feet to your hands in a horizontal line is greater too, which gives you more of that "attack" stance that moto is so famous for - a bigger, more powerful stance on the bike, not hunched over or cramped up, a BMX bike's fit being an extreme example. You also get a little more wheelbase for stability i.e. going faster is a little comfortable (and fun!). We are the same height, and this is how myself and many other people have started to size our setups. I100% stand by the suggestion of a large, I have a trail bike coming my way shortly which is a 465mm reach and my DH bike is a 455mm reach (and I have headset cups which extend the reach 10mm to 465mm). As a 178cm moto dude, you'll be happy you got the size large and made the cockpit swap.

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11/30/2018 4:16 PM

Falcon wrote:

Bryce, I'm a motocross guy turned MTB rider also. I think you are right on track in thinking that your skills will cross over (they will, with some adjustments.)
I like all the above advice, and I'd add that I went for the longer travel ("enduro") style bike. I'm glad I did, because the hits feel a lot like the 12" of travel you're used to. Anything smaller and you definitely know you're on a bicycle! (I bought a Commencal and love it, by the way.)

Get used to not having a motor to help you panic rev before you jump anything too serious or drop off a steep ledge with the wrong body position. Those are the things that I immediately noticed.

brycepdh wrote:

That good to hear and yeah that’ll be scary by having the panic rev there haha! 160mm from and 150mm rear will suffice you reckon?

Probably. My bike is 160 rear / 170 front and it is sweet. I think 150/160 would be essentially the same on everything but the biggest hits.

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12/9/2018 6:05 PM

Falcon wrote:

Bryce, I'm a motocross guy turned MTB rider also. I think you are right on track in thinking that your skills will cross over (they will, with some adjustments.)
I like all the above advice, and I'd add that I went for the longer travel ("enduro") style bike. I'm glad I did, because the hits feel a lot like the 12" of travel you're used to. Anything smaller and you definitely know you're on a bicycle! (I bought a Commencal and love it, by the way.)

Get used to not having a motor to help you panic rev before you jump anything too serious or drop off a steep ledge with the wrong body position. Those are the things that I immediately noticed.

brycepdh wrote:

That good to hear and yeah that’ll be scary by having the panic rev there haha! 160mm from and 150mm rear will suffice you reckon?

Hi Bryce, just thought I would add some Aussie input ...
Agree that 160/150 is the way to go, it will get you around Derby and Maydena. Just don't get sucked in to the first bike that looks good, take your time in choosing. I would recommend going and having a chat with the guys at Vertigo or Mad Mtb in Derby about bike size and possibly hire a bike to try out something similar.
Now while the bikes that have been recommended are all good ones, price and availability in Tassie/Aus may not be ideal. You'd should probably checkout whats available in Launnie and whittle down choices from there. I would add a Giant Reign and Norco Range to that list, well priced & spec'd.

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12/12/2018 4:18 PM

RocketRod wrote:

Hi Bryce, just thought I would add some Aussie input ...
Agree that 160/150 is the way to go, it will get you around Derby and Maydena. Just don't get sucked in to the first bike that looks good, take your time in choosing. I would recommend going and having a chat with the guys at Vertigo or Mad Mtb in Derby about bike size and possibly hire a bike to try out something similar.
Now while the bikes that have been recommended are all good ones, price and availability in Tassie/Aus may not be ideal. You'd should probably checkout whats available in Launnie and whittle down choices from there. I would add a Giant Reign and Norco Range to that list, well priced & spec'd.

Hi Rod, I have shopped around in Launceston and a bike I’m after for the travel size starts at around 3k for the most basic package. I have tried identical bikes of my mates that are medium and large, I prefer the large and the longer wheelbase. It was a specialized stumpjumper, I’ve researched everywhere and I’m leaning towards the canyon spectral, it has similar frame geometry to the stumpy I liked and for 3k you have components on a bike that you see going for 5k+ in local shops. I reckon I’ll pull the trigger on one after Christmas!

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