Author Topic: The Search  (Read 27070 times)

mynameismud

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The Search
« on: April 11, 2010, 10:13:33 AM »
Well I have been looking for a new MTB for over a year now.  I figured I would start tracking the search.

Bikes that I have tested
 
Santa Cruz TB, LTc, XC and Nomad.  
 - The LTc is a great climber and jumper.  This bikes just seems to inspire confidence.  3 test rides so far.
 - The Nomad was just to much for what I want.  
 - The TB is very stable and fantastic light weight cross country bike.  The suspension is a bit firm.  Jumps well.  Climbs very well out of the saddle.  Has a neutral feel.  The carbon gives a feel that the aluminum bikes do not have since the vibrations are way different.  Noticed this a bit with the Rockstar but it seems to ride a bit different that the TB.  4 test rides so far.
 - Really like the TB and the LTc.
Ibis Mojo
 - The Mojo is perhaps the ultimate play bike for bikes with this amount of travel.  A bit to responsive for me but if I could have a play bike this would be it.  I thought the LTc climbed better and was more solid going down, but the Mojo is just pure fun.
Trek Remedy
 - Remedy rides quite well for a 6" travel bike and has a fantastic warranty.  The ABP suspension seems to be a compromise of the Horst Link.  Not quite as active but still active while pedaling.  Nice riding bike.
Gary Fischer High Fi.  
 - GF with the reduced trail fork is just to twitchy for me.
Pivot Mach 5, 429 Medium and Small.  
 - medium 429  was very stable especially in the air.  Felt good going fast.  Climbed qood.  This is a stiff bike, something that Chris C is known for.  The medium 429 and the Medium TB ride much the same.  The TB is a bit lighter and perhaps the better XC race bike the 429 felt a bit more cush and more stable at speeds and in the air.
 - The small 429 climbed the best in technical climbs being a bit more agile.  Was surprised at how much I was able to play on this.  Like a 29" Mojo.  Cannot explain how much different it seemed to ride compared to the medium.  I just wonder if this will make it tiring on long rides.
 - Medium 429 Coe 10 k.  I was the limiting factor.  Fun bike did very well.
 - Medium 429 Water Dog.  Bike did every thing I asked.  Going down a couple of tight switch backs was just a tad bit more techie but manageable.  
 - The Mach 5 just did not turn me on.  The steering is a bit to quick for a 5" travel bike.
Titus FTM, El Quapo,  Rockstar.  
 - The FTM is light and very responsive fun bike.  Felt fast.
 - The El Quapo surprised me in how well it climbed.  I did not do much on this but the two short hills, that I did, were not an issue.  Perhaps needs more rear tire clearance.
 - The Rockstar did well, light 4" travel 9er.  Need to do a more substantial ride.
Niner RIP 9
 - medium RIP 9 Climbs well through rock gardens.  Descends very well (big surprise).  Steers quickly.  Front end feels a bit light on tight technical switchback climbs.  Fun bike.  This bike is stiff.  Plush rear suspension.  A good 140 - 120 or 110 adjustable fork on this thing would make for an amazing All Mountain rig.
 - small RIP 9 technical climbs it does well.  A bit heavy on long sustained steep climbs that many people do not clean.  An absolute blast going down.  A very good AM bike.  Steep HA is noticeable on long rides but not disconcerting. Fun.  When I was done I wanted more.
 - Medium RIP 9 Just a fun bike for descents and jumps.  Climbs fairly well.  Very good in technical chunk.  Chain Suck, if the chain comes off and drops inside it can be bad.
Moots Mooto xz
 - Large Mooto xz A fun lively 29er that steers quickly and feels agile.  I liked it on the climbs even though with the long Chainstays this should not be the strong point of this bike.

In order to keep tracked of everything this is a list of the bikes that have my interest.

Bikes that I have ridden

Pivot 429 Small - Still in the running. Fun and agile for a 9er.
Pivot 429 Medium - Still in the running. Fun, Fast.  Liking more than the small.  Stable bike.  Stiff frame.
Pivot Mach 5 - ruled out.  Front and a bit to twitchy.
Santa Cruz LTc - Still in the running, good climb and jumper.
Santa Cruz TB - Medium - Still in the running.  Very predictable.  Fast.
Santa Cruz TB Large - ruled out.  Just to big.
Santa Cruz Nomad - ruled out.  A bit to squish.
Gary Fisher High Fi  - ruled out.  Front end to fast, reminiscent of old Racer X.
Trek Remedy Large - Still in the running.  Fun for a 6" travel bike.
Titus FTM Large - Still in the running. Fun bike.
Titus EG large - ruled out - Nice bike, but perhaps to much for all day rides.
Titus Rock Star - Still in the running.
Specialized SWorks Enduro Carbon - basically ruled out but a possibility.  Rails corners very well.
Specialized Enduro - Still in the running but a distant runner
Ibis Mojo - A medium travel play bike.  Seems to like popping up in the air.
Niner RIP 9 - Medium - Stiff, good in funk, fun, a bit heavy, steers quick, jumps well.
Niner RIP 9 - Small - Same as medium.
Moots Mooto xz - Large - Supple, quick steering, active suspension, lively.
 
Bikes that are on the list that I have not ridden.

Rock Mountain Altitude 29
Turner 5 Spot
Turner Sultan
Trek Fuel EX 9.8
Trek Fuel EX 9.9
Giant Trance X
Giant Trance X SL
Giant Anthem 29
Intense Tracer - ruled out
Intense Tracer 29 - ruled out

Here's to sweat in your eye

mynameismud

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Re: the Search
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2010, 10:50:49 AM »
A separate post for my demo test rides yesterday 10 April at Santa Teresa park in San Jose.  This test demo was hosted by Tread Bikes in Campbell.  This is a real nice shop and Sean the proprietor has always been very good to work with.

The course I used to demo all the bikes was to ride from the parking lot up to the top of  Rocky Ridge and back.  This trail is aptly named.  There are a lot of rocks and some short sections of loose baby heads.

We got there fairly early since I wanted to test ride the Pivots.  There are not many opportunities to ride these bikes so I did not want to miss this.  Thankfully it was a bit cold with some minor sprinkles so a ton of people were not there.  It was however a good turn out.

The only bike available in a size close to me at the Pivot trailer was a small 429.  I was a bit amped and quickly headed up Rocky Ridge.  I made it to the top with one dab mostly because I was winded.  I took a quick 30 second stop, to catch my breath, then rode to the top.  For a 9er it was very agile and I was able to move it around with ease and yet the front end was not twitchy.  I had a lot of fun on this bike.  Going up and coming down.  Coming down I was really surprised at how well it hopped and jumped over little things.  Not as stable as the medium on the big high speed stuff.

Next up with a Medium Mach 5.  I did not do to well on this.  It is a nice bike and very stiff laterally.  However the front end was just a bit to twitchy for me.  I like a more predictable/stable front.  I had several dabs going up and just could not find a rhythm.  I had difficulty controlling the front.  Some people like this but it just does not mesh with me.  Dropping down from the top I was cruising around 20 or so when the front wheel caught something.  Without any real notice I was down and hard.  My head and shoulder smacked a rock.  I heard a bit of a crack from my helmet and was very glad it was there.  I slowly began to move all my parts and make sure every worked.  My ankle was sore and my shoulder stiff.  As I rode the rest of the way down the sore parts began to loosen up.  Half was down almost had a low speed header to add to the previous spill.  I think the rebound on the rear shock was a bit fast/hard and the front a bit slow/soft.  A bad combination.  The result is I have ruled out the Mach 5.  Perhaps an unfair judgment, but putting my shirt on today is a major chore as is lifting my elbow up to shoulder height.  I am not going into detail on the elbow, knee and ankle.

Santa Cruz medium TB, had two or three dabs to the top.  The suspension is a bit harsh but it climbs well and has a neutral feel that I really like.  This bike had a 120 front instead of the standard 100.  I think I prefer the 120.  Nice bike.  I think this is my 4th demo of the TB, I just keep coming back.

Pivot Medium 429, it was good to ride the medium TB and the medium 429 back to back.  These two bikes ride very similar.  The cockpit setup and feel is almost identical.  The suspension and handling is also very similar.  The 429 might have just a tad bit more clearance.  The 429 felt just a bit more plush and a bit more comfortable in the air.  Even though the 429 had a 4 inch instead of a 5 inch fork it felt just as comfortable on the descents.  Coming down Rocky Ridge the medium 429 felt the best of all the bikes.  Again 2 or 3 dabs going up.  Very similar to the TB.  I think between the TB and the medium 429 it comes down to this, the TB is lighter and perhaps better as a pure lightweight cross country bike, the medium 429 is a bit heavy and perhaps a better choice for someone that wants to do a bit more jumping or will be riding a lot more in the rocks.  With a 120 on the 429 this difference could be even larger.

Had to check out the small 429 a second time in order to confirm whether or not what I felt on the first ride was correct or just early morning excitement.  I had a couple of dabs going up but part of that was being tired.  There were times when my legs were burning and I was really huffing and puffing.  To me the small 429 is more agile, not quite as stable at speed in the air but in the tight techie stuff there is a difference.  Fun surprise on the decent running into Jeannie and her brother.

I would have liked to have taken out the LTc but I was tired and beginning to get quite stiff and sore. I ate some food that was supplied by Tread Bicycles, relaxed and talked bikes with a few people.  Jeannie and her brother came back.  While Jeannie's brother checked out a 429, Mudworm and Jeannie talked bikes, racing, and weather.

From here Mudworm and I went to the climbing gym.  I did not do so well, I think I made it up 3 routes then gave up.  Mudworm did a few extra laps then we called it a day.

Good fun (except for the crash)

Next weekend is Sea Otter I will probably go there and try and test a few more bikes.  

Niner bikes tried to be at the Tread Demo but could not get parts there in time.  So they will be letting Tread bicycles Demo these bike for free until the end of the Month.

Here's to sweat in your eye
Here's to sweat in your eye

Brad Young

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Re: the Search
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 12:24:39 PM »
That's an awful lot of work for a non-climbing activity. I'm worried about you ;D

Seriously, though, if you're looking to sell an older bike, I'm in the market for something used and cheap.

mynameismud

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Re: the Search
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 02:13:55 PM »
If I see something I will let you know.  Once I get a new bike I plan on setting the current bike as either a dirt jumper or more of a downhill rig.

What are you looking for?  Full Suspension? hard tail?  Free ride?
Here's to sweat in your eye

Uncle Stinky

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Re: the Search
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2010, 02:50:01 PM »
I got a couple of old ones kicking around , but I think even your daughters would be to tall for them.   :)

Brad Young

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Re: the Search
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 03:24:57 PM »
Yeah, that's what I'm going to do with the old Subaru. Since this one is so used from so many hard roads, I'm going to keep it and use it for... hard roads. The new one should last better with the hardest 10% of the use left to the old one.

I'm just looking for something inexpensive to ride with the girls on the railroad grade.

mungeclimber

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Re: the Search
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2010, 04:14:56 PM »
brad, I've got just the ticket. my old pondo. hard front and rear. index shifters. super cheap!
On Aid at Pinns... It's all A1 til it crumbles. - Munge

mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 01:02:51 PM »
Did a couple of rides in the Medium RIP 9.  I picked the demo bike up on Friday at lunch ended up working late so was denied the Friday night ride.  I worked part of Saturday then drove down to Santa Teresa park to see how it would do on the Rocky Ridge Trail.  I have ridden a couple of other test bikes on this trail and have ridden the two other 29'r bikes that I am interested on this trail.

Saturdays ride went well.  Not great and not as well as I had expected.  It was not bad, just not as good as I thought it would be.  Bikes with 29 inch wheels tend to have steeper head tube angles.  The RIP is no exception and is on the steeper side.  It steered quick.  I did average on the climbs.  I was riding a bit cold since I have not been riding much lately.  I had hoped to get in a big ride Sunday to really give this bike the test.

The Plan was to ride at Coe on Sunday.  Sunday morning we awoke to rain.  Packed up and went to Coe anyway.  At Coe it was pouring and I began to slip into a near fatal funk.  I had a bike that I had been itching to ride for over a Month and it was dialed.   Tread bikes did a fantastic job building this quickly for me.  Did not miss a shift ever, all parts were tight, I was very happy with their work.   I had been working my butt off and had a day when I could get away, just to be shutdown by the weather gods.

We talked it over and decided to go up to Santa Teresa and ride there.  If the weather cleared we would not be that far away and could run back down to Coe.  Once at Santa Teresa there were dark clouds all around us but none above.  We quickly geared up and rode.  

Jumped on Rocky Ridge Trail again and got the entire trail clean no dabs.  A first and I was feeling better already.  We ended up riding for about 4 hours, al little more, and were able to do some exploring and find some good trails.  I flatted at the very end so the Mudworm rode to fetch the car while I pushed out.

My Summary of the RIP 9.  Climbs well in technical chop.  The slightly higher bottom bracket helps with this.   Is capable on very steep fire roads.  Feels good in the air and jumping.  If you just do not want to actually try and pick a line it is possible to just plow through a lot of junk/funk.  Caution is needed though if you do this and run low pressure in your tires, since you may end up pushing the bike the rest of the way to the parking lot.  

The build I rode was for a demo so not real light.  I did not really notice it except on the real steep fire road pitches.  I was still able to ride these and do fine but a heavy bike is a heavy bike.  Other than weight the one thing that I noticed is, for whatever reason, the suspension seemed to clang on occasion.  Perhaps a rock was kicked up I do not know what caused this.  Not a deal breaker for me at all.

Over all.  I like it.  Really nice bike.  It is on this list.
Here's to sweat in your eye

F4?

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Re: The Search
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 07:49:05 PM »
Okay, I will sleep better with the above information.  :-*
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mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2010, 08:50:51 PM »
This is a week old.  Got a small RIP 9 demo from Trailhead Bike is Cambell.  They had free demo's until the end of the Month.  Mudworm and I went to Coe and did a nice 27 mile and 6400 footies ride.  We did a good combination of trials that had some good climbs, jumps, drops, rocks and ripping downhills.

I think I like the small RIP 9 over the large.  I will say the RIP climbs well.  I think it would have climbed better with a different rear tire.  This bike is an absolute blast going down and it is a rare day I feel this good going off of drops and jumps.  It is a bit heavy on the steep sustained climbs which makes me wonder if this is the bike.  But, going down, wow.

For Downieville this bike would be a lot of fun.

On the trails with switchbacks it did not seem to handicap me in any way which surprised me a bit.  

Over all I have to rate it fairly high.  My conditioning isn't very good and I survived some of the climbs better than I thought I would so who knows.

I had fun on this bike.
Here's to sweat in your eye

mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 12:15:26 PM »
Another old post from the previous weekend.  12 June.

Rented a Medium RIP 9 on a last minute decision after working most of Saturday.  Called up Tread and verified they had a Medium RIP.  Mudworm was on a Coe ride the weather was beautiful.  I was supposed to wait for her to return then go to the gym.  I guess I was just looking for an excuse.

After picking up the RIP drove up to ECDM up on Skyline.  Rode about 25 miles.  The one thing I got out of this ride is this bike goes downhill very well and is quite capable in rocky situations.  I consistently to do better on the RIP on my first try than I do on my personal bike.

I like it.  Rode up Manzanita twice, down Manzanita once, Down Steam Donkey, Cross Over, Cross Cut, etc.

Thankfully Mudworm did not come backup early looking for a gym partner.  She did get home before I did but barely.

Sunday 13 June
Demo.  The first part of the ride went very well.  Rode up the road then some obscure trail with bacon in the name which was very fun.  Next took ridge trail and managed to get in a couple of good jumps before flatting.  Took Sawpit down since it is the shortest got in one more good jump.

Pushed before, with the help of others, decided to try and use a 26'r tube.  That is when I found the pinch flat.  I thought was the stem.  Lesson learned.  

Rode up Sulfur then down Brail.

Conclusion: This is a good bike for Demo.  Hmm, is it a good bike for Coe?
Here's to sweat in your eye

squiddo

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Re: The Search
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2010, 03:55:47 PM »
MUD- just buy it already. You know you want it. You keep waiting and eventually something better, lighter, cheaper (ha!) will come out. DEEEW IIIIT!
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Every climb gets 3 stars from me until I climb it.
-Anonymous spirited climber

mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 04:58:32 AM »
I am thinking of taking a 429 to Coe this weekend to see how it compares.  Some people are telling me to just get a Tallboy since it will be light.  Then there is the new Rocky Mountain Altitude 29.  So many nice bikes out there.

If I did not do my homework the decision would be so much easier.  
Here's to sweat in your eye

squiddo

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Re: The Search
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2010, 07:39:45 AM »
then let me do it, get the Tallboy
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Every climb gets 3 stars from me until I climb it.
-Anonymous spirited climber

mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2010, 08:24:51 AM »
Tough call between those two.  Tallboy is lighter, 429 is heavier but has a better main bearing pivot setup.  Plus I think it would be almost impossible to break a 429.  Perhaps that is a reason to buy a Tallboy.
Here's to sweat in your eye

skully

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Re: The Search
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2010, 01:10:20 PM »
Light, heavy....I'm riding a 14 year old bike.
You know why? Easy.....I'm poor.
Simplifies everything. Good luck! :)
Holy crap! oh, please little hook stay, please stay, that's right you're fine........And  Yes! off THAT manky shit. Whew.

mynameismud

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Re: The Search
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2010, 09:28:55 PM »
Thanks.
Here's to sweat in your eye

Delbomber

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Re: The Search
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2010, 07:31:50 AM »
Are you ever going to pull the trigger and buy a bike?  I think you enjoy the hunt more than you do riding.  LOL

F4?

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Re: The Search
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2010, 09:29:24 AM »
Quote
Are you ever going to pull the trigger and buy a bike?  I think you enjoy the hunt more than you do riding.  LOL

Yah, I remeber it took him forever to decide on what he's riding today. Shit, if he can't decide on what bike to how does he decide on what shirt to wear?
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squiddo

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Re: The Search
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2010, 03:51:20 PM »
Yah, I remeber it took him forever to decide on what he's riding today. Shit, if he can't decide on what bike to how does he decide on what shirt to wear?

Easy, use your technique and wear the same one worn yesterday.  ;D
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Every climb gets 3 stars from me until I climb it.
-Anonymous spirited climber