Although I'm temped to get a fatbike for next year - I think gravel biking is getting me through the lack of snow, so I may convert my Karate Monkey back to full cyclocross status next year. But that is only if I have two MTB - I always need two trail bikes because I'm not willing to miss days riding if one is broken.
I've been thinking of something to compliment my current hard tail, which is a carbon AM HT with 120mm front travel, 29in wheels. I'll still use this is as my main trail bike, but I want something for
a) longer old-school trail rides in the southern tier. This is typically rough, rolling terrain with few man-made features.
b) perhaps some lift-served? Or at least the longer descents where my hands go numb and my knees are screaming.
This has me wanting a full suspension bike, although it probably doesn't need to be to the caliber of the my HT. Lesser suspension and drivetrain comps are OK because I probably won't put as many miles on it total.
I have two bikes in mind:
1) YT Jeffsy AL 27 - this is the bike I recommended Harv get, except in the lowest build spec.
Although I probably should consider a FS XC bike from the big brands, because it would probably do just as well, although I'm not sure my riding style would be the best for a XC race-type bike.
The YT is $700 cheaper but the GG is made in the USA, which is a big plus. I'd also imagine the customer support from GG to be superior.
As far as the two builds, I actually like the YT better. I prefer FOX suspension to RS, although I've ridden the Revelation fork that comes on the GG, and it's a nice fork. Both drivetrains are similar - I prefer Shimano, but SRAM NX is OK too. I don't love SRAM brakes, but both have them, and they'll do. I don't know much about either of the droppers, but I'm willing to chance either. If it sucks, I'll replace it later.
Now to the real thing - the two bikes are going to be radically different. One is a 150mm travel 27, the other is a 120mm 29er. I really think my riding would be fine with either, but I figured the 27 YT might be something different to the two 29ers I already have. GG makes a similar 27 bike, but I don't like the build spec as much.
What would you buy, and why? It might all come down to $$$ in the end. Not sure if I'll have an extra $700 this spring to dump on a new bike. I'm pretty sure I can swing the $2300 though.
I've done quite a bit of searching and keeping up with the industry, so I those two bikes I listed are high on my list - actually there are some reasons perhaps the GG won't make the cut, but I won't go into that.
The pony rustler is an interesting bike, but in carbon, is far beyond my budget. The AL version doesn't quite come with a suspension I like and is rather heavy (34lbs). I also feel pretty good with the grip/weight level of 2.3" tires.
I really don't need "comfort", but I like to ride fast. I tend to set my current suspension up fairly stiff, but it's so I can handle jumps and drops and bigger obstacles when I'm going 15-25 mph - typical descent speeds. I don't much care about most slow speed stuff except maybe some old-school rough singletrack where I want to pedal in the saddle and not get a prostate exam in the process.
Technically speaking, nothing I ride is needing of a FS bike or larger tires.
If weight was less of an issue, and I had the money now, I'd probably buy this bike:
Also, to confuse things more that YT I linked is going to change for 2019, and I don't know how. It might not be what I'm after. Not sure what they might do to the comp spec, pricing and geometry. That could definitely change my mind.
They all look good when you're riding them (I can never actually see my bike)!
I'm trying to give myself a reason not to go YT. But I can't. It is (was) a great design. The value of bike for the $ is unbeatable. The base comp spec is good.
I'll see what the 2019 looks like. It should be better, but of course, that is subjective.
I don't know how it's possible, but my last three bikes got better and better with almost no tradeoff. My current bike is the longest bike I've ever owned and yet it handles better than any bike I've ever owned. Somehow it manages to be super stable at speed yet very agile in tight, slow sections.
Well - I asked my wife yesterday, "Can I buy a bike?"
I expected her to say no. To my surprise she said I could if she could work more hours! Wow - man does that work out, I get a new toy and she works to pay for it The downside is I have to work more (without compensation) and have less free time. Oh well, this winter sucks anyway...
I did a lot thinking in the past few days and actually came upon some good deals on some Transitions. And god knows I'm a sucker for Transition. They were still more money than a YT, but it was now between a Scout and a Smuggler, a 27 vs a 29er. Both short travel bikes, which is what I would actually prefer.
Waffled a lot, but decided I'm fully invested in the 29ers and my riding is very much XC orientated.
I almost ended up with this bike last year with my warranty replacement, but decided to get my carbon HT. I don't regret it, and now I'm going to have both.
I was glad to pick up an older (2017) Smuggler. The new ones are way bigger and heavier. Because I'm in between sizes, I decided that sizing up would be closest to modern geometry - the numbers are within a few mm of the new medium and pretty close to what I am riding now. I like that these bikes are a little steeper with a shorter wheelbase. It's still about an inch longer than what I'm riding currently, but I think for what I'm going to ride with it, it won't be too bad.
Cool thing is, the bike I bought has a SWEET spec. GX Eagle, Pike and Monarch, and some decent Raceface wheels. I'm going to sell the tires it comes with (Schwalbe Nobby Nics) and replace with MInions and ditch the Reverb dropper, which I have no interest in. Hopefully someone will buy that stupid thing.
Thanks! I hope so! I've never actually ridden any of the last 4-5? bikes before I bought them. Never disliked any of them.
My wife has a 27.5 bike. It's tough for me to evaluate it because it's too small for me, but honestly, I haven't ridden many. I've ridden a few plus bikes at the LBS and my friend had a DB plus FS bike. I always noticed they felt a little sluggish to me. The one I liked the most was the Big Honzo, but I like that bike more with regular 29in tires.
Anyway - I didn't need another bike, but I was really wanting something for long, punishing rides that would still be fun to ride. My HT is sweet for the smooth stuff near home, but I get beat up pretty good in the rougher stuff.
This bike is closest to my HT but it has 115mm of rear suspension. It's supposedly wicked efficient but also can soak up stuff far more than the travel would suggest.
I thought of getting the Scout because it would be more "playful" but I had to be honest with myself. My HT is super playful and fun to jump. The stuff I want to ride with a FS bike has very little of that kind of stuff.