June 13, 2019 at 12:09 pm #264173
Hi! I’m new. Just looking for some buying advice. Both bikes are the same price. I’d appreciate any input on frame/ components/ ride/ etc. TIA!!!
Salsa Timberjack SLX 27.5+
Orbea Alma H30 EAGLE 29
June 13, 2019 at 1:01 pm #264178
I currently ride a Salsa Timberjack but it is a 29er. Great bike.
I think the first question is what kind of bike do you want. I couldn’t get the Orbea link to work. Probably my computer not our link. I looked it up on the Orbea site and on there it is a fully rigid bike. Looking at the bike and design and reading the description the Orbea Alma is more of a cross-country bike.
The Salsa Timberjack is a trail bike. If you like the Orbea brand look at the Laufey model. That is more an apples to apples comparison with the Timberjack and the price is similar. I almost picked up a Laufey this summer as second bike but stumbled across a Santa Cruz Chameleon.
If you are leaning towards cross-country style bike go Alma. If you want a trail Timberjack (personally I have a blast on mine and I still have room to push it to more levels.) Timberjack has the additional feature in that it is versatile. Its frame will take a 29″ wheel a 2.4 maybe bigger depending on fork should you want to change it up later.
If you don’t know the difference between trail and cross-country bike do a little research. I don’t think I could do it justice explaining it here myself. This will help you buy the bike that best suits what you want the bike for.
June 13, 2019 at 2:54 pm #264196
Thank you for the reply. I’m still learning about the different types of MTBs but my understanding is XC bikes are more for racing/ climbing while trail bikes are more focused on singletrack technical downhills. With that understanding, I’m assuming that it’s fine to use a trail bike for XC style riding but the same can’t be said for XC bikes. I’ve read that the Timberjack is a pretty versatile bike so even though I’m more interested in XC riding, the TJ would work just fine. Also, technical downhills do sound like something I’d like to dabble in eventually. I narrowed it down to these two bikes because of price. They are least expensive 1x’s I could find. I also considered the Specialized Chisel Comp 1x but it’s over $200 more than both bikes. What do you think about the Chisel?
Thanks again for the response!!!
June 13, 2019 at 2:53 pm #264195
It would depend on your riding style.
The Timberjack is of the newer “Longer Slacker” trail style. While the Orbea is more of an XC bike.
The longer, slacker Timberjack will handle descents better and feel more stable at speed. I find this style to be more versatile.
If I were you, I would look at doing the Timberjack as a 29er instead of the 27.5+, it comes both ways and you can always pick up a 27.5+ set down the line if you so choose.
I have both 29ers and 27.5+ wheels for my bike and I like the 29ers a lot more. Less vague in their handling.
I also prefer the SLX set up to NX. SLX is pretty bullet proof, NX is not what I would consider bulletproof.
June 13, 2019 at 3:01 pm #264198
“The longer, slacker Timberjack will handle descents better and feel more stable at speed. I find this style to be more versatile.”
Thank you, Frank. I’m more interested in XC but would also like to be able to do some trail style riding. Are the forks pretty much the same?
How about the Specialized Chisel Comp 1x? Thank you for the reply.
June 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm #264200
The Chisel will be an XC focused bike as well. Both the Chisel and the Orbea come with 100mm travel forks. Nice and efficient, but if you want to do anything closer to trail riding you can blow through 100mm of travel rather quickly.
The Timberjack comes with a 130mm fork that will give you more to work with. Its not as beefy as a Pike, but it will take care of some descent trail riding.
I also think the Timberjack is an easier bike to upgrade as your riding style changes. It may not, but a lot of people take on more and more as they advance.
June 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm #264223
I should back up and say welcome to the mountain bike community. I appreciate the effort to learn. I am still learning more intricacies of mountain biking all the time.
I see you mentioned the Specialized Chisel. Like FrankS29 mentioned that is more of an XC bike but the Specialized Fuse would be more trail comparable to the Salsa Timberjack and Orbea Laufey. I could go on and on mentioning bikes that are very similar. It is kind of like the car industry each brand (Specialized, Trek, Salsa, etc) has bikes that are similar just like Toyota and Honda would. Two factors that help me narrow down all the options is price point and availability. Your local bike shop will be capable and willing to work on any brand. But if you buy one of their bikes they will help with the initial set up making it just right for you and usually (ask for it) have some kind of service plan, maybe 6 mos, 1 yr or lifetime depending. Plus you build that relationship and they know you and what you like or they help educate you. Most bike shop employees love to talk the sport. Every time I need to go in I pick their brain.
All that being said here is my two cents on what to choose. I have a Salsa Timberjack 29er with 2.4 tires and a Santa Cruz Chameleon 27.5 with 2.8 tires. Both bikes are built to run on 29 or 27.5 wheels and very similar specs, geometry and price. Both are a blast to ride. I was very specific on getting trail bikes. In my opinion I think the 27.5 wheel size is more forgiving especially if your new. I say that and my first bike was a 29er and loved learning on it. You really can’t go wrong.
Choosing between a cross country and trail bike is personal preference. Trail bikes will climb and cross country bikes can handle tech downhill. The modern mountain bikes really can do so much. I think a trail bike is more versatile and forgiving but either way you will be out riding on a capable bike and enjoying. Either choice is good. It is not a matter of the wrong choice, but a matter of which good choice do you want to make. You have quality bikes at a good price point for where you are in the game.
Enjoy the heck out of whatever you choose.
June 13, 2019 at 10:48 pm #264237
You might want to consider the Ibis DV9 Hardtail. The DV9 has a carbon frame, 29×2.6 tires, 120mm fork, and XC geometry . The base model sells for about $2000.
June 13, 2019 at 11:15 pm #264238
The DV9 is well above what he was looking to spend based on above comments.
I caution on maxing out your budget or over spending on JUST the bike. There are a lot of other things to consider when mountain biking.
Helmet, gloves, shoes, shorts/liners, jerseys, hydration/packs, tools/repair items and maintenance concerns…
June 14, 2019 at 9:28 am #264253
I think FrankS29 has given the best advice. I’d say you should change your mindset and stop thinking about buying an XC bike or a 27.5+ bike. Instead, think about buying a bike that can be either of those. The Timberjack can do that. Granted, the Timberjack has more trail geometry vs. XC geometry, but in my experience (at least where I live) there doesn’t seem to be many bona fide XC trails anymore. Trails just seem to be getting harder and more gnarly. Partially because there’s a loud contingent of folks railing against the “dumbing down” of trails. This means a tree falls across a trail, and suddenly that becomes a feature lest the trail gets “dumbed down”. Also, bikes are so advanced now (29ers, full squish, plus and fat bikes, modern geometries) that smooth trails are undesirable by many.
I have an SLX 27.5+ (2018 version) and I love it. I debated the 29er version (last year it wasn’t a 2.6″ tire on the 29er, more like 2.35″, I believe), but the 27.5+ is much plusher than my old XC hardtail such that I consider it the poor man’s full suspension. The TJ 29er I demoed last year was kind of a harsh ride as well, maybe it’s better this year with 2.6″ tires. Anyway, my 27.5+ is a much more comfortable ride than a skinny (hardtail), and the grip is immense. I can ride longer on this bike without feeling beat up. Granted, I’m older (49), so that’s a factor. I also have had a few falls in recent years that have made me more fearful and cautious in sand, on loose stuff and off camber roots and such, and those instances of fear are pretty much completely gone on the 27.5+. And my 27.5+ is faster than my old bike.
Regardless, the point is the 27.5+ has definite benefits but if it turned out you wanted to go to a 29er, you’d just have to upgrade the wheelset. This can be pricey, but it’s less pricey than buying a whole new bike.
June 14, 2019 at 1:45 pm #264292
If you buy the 29 Timberjack, Salsa says that the bike will only fit 29×2.6 max. However, push the adjustable dropouts all the way back, 29×2.8 tires will easily fit. My local Salsa bike shop has a Timberjack set up with 29×2.8 tires and they fit just fine. It’s not even a tight fit and there is more than a quarter inch of space around the 2.8 tire. 29×2.8 tires are my favorite tire size. If I was buying a Timberjack, I would want it shod with 29×2.8 Tervail Coronado tires.
June 14, 2019 at 2:13 pm #264297
Marin’s are seriously on sale at chainreaction. The prices have been fluctuating. The Nail Trail is comparable to the bikes you have identified but with dropper and better for less.
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