"What bike would you recommend?"

Forums Mountain Bike Forum "What bike would you recommend?"

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  fishboy316 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #175725

    People come to me for bike buying advice all the time, and I generally start by asking about their budget (be sure to check out Jeff’s recent thread). But sometimes people are looking for a no-holds-barred, best MTB they can find. One such reader emailed me with that question, and since we spend so much time talking about what bike to buy here on the forums, I asked him if I could post his question and my response. Here it is:

    Hi Greg,

    I’m a fan of your writing and have read every bike review that you’ve posted in the past several months. I live in Vail, CO and am looking to buy a new mtn bike…currently on a 2009 Scott Genius 20…so its time.

    I was at the Vail bike demo area on Saturday and tried the Scott Genius 700 tuned plus based on your review. I really liked it but am not 100% sold yet. Climbing up is important as going down. At 54 and keep the governor on the descents now. I really liked the Ibis Mojo HD on the climb and decent especially. The Ibis Riddley climbed amassingly but didn’t descend like the Mojo. Didn’t get to ride the Scott Genius (non-plus) because the bikes were always out.

    I don’t want to break the bank and wondered of all the bikes you’ve tested or ridden, what you’d suggest for a 54 year old, 5’11, 155lb old guy who rides a lot. I was originally sold on the Cannondale Trigger Carbon 2 after your review from a race in Crested Butte but am thinking the shock maintenance and repair costs could be really scary. I road a friends new Trigger 2 a few months ago and it was sweet for sure.

    I’m not in a big hurry to buy since our season could be done in a few weeks. Sorry for the long email but really would appreciate any thoughts that you have on the matter.

    Here was my response:

    It’s tough to give a recommendation, as there are SO MANY great bikes out there! I think ultimately it comes down to what you do the MOST of on your bike, and finding a bike that can do that really well as well as venture into uncharted territory.

    Personally, the Scott Genius LT + is my favorite bike right now 🙂 If you want a more pedally version, the 20mm-shorter travel Genius Plus is a great choice–but you said you rode it and weren’t stoked on it?

    Beyond that, the Ibis Mojo HD has always been a favorite of mine, and the latest HD3 rendition is superb! However, if you’re not super into going fast on descents, it’s possible the HD is overkill.

    Two other great bikes are the Yeti SB5c and SB6c. They’re both vary similar, but the 6 is more oriented towards aggressive descending, and the 5 is a bit more pedally. However, I managed to rail the 5 down PMT and another black-diamond DH trail at Vail, and while I wished for a bit more travel at times, I could still confidently handle most obstacles!

    Finally, if you’re looking for a 29er that isn’t super aggressive, I’ve LOVED the Niner Rip 9 RDO. Awesome bike that pedals great, and descends like it has much more travel!

    For more info, here’s my review of last year’s Ibis Mojo HDR:
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/review-ibis-mojo-hdr-27-5-and-the-new-ibis-41mm-carbon-rims/

    Here’s Paul’s review of the latest HD3 (which I just rode at Vail as well):
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/test-ride-review-the-new-ibis-mojo-hd3/

    Here’s my two-part review of the Niner RIP 9 Rdo:
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/on-review-niner-rip-9-rdo-specs/
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/final-review-niner-rip-9-rdo-ride-impressions/

    Here’s Paul’s review of the SB5c (I rode it at Vail, and think this review is on-point):
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/review-the-new-yeti-sb5c/

    Here’s my review of the SB6c:
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/review-the-long-awaited-yeti-sb6c/

    Also, another great bike on the market today is the Pivot Mach 6. I haven’t personally ridden it yet, but here’s Paul’s review of that bike:
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/on-review-pivot-mach-6-carbon-xx1/
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/final-review-pivot-mach-6-carbon-xx1/

    That said, there are tons of great bikes on the market today… but these are a few of my favorites.

    What bike would YOU recommend to this user?

  • #175825

    How about the Giant Reign and the Specialized Stumpjumper FRS Expert carbon

  • #175914

    I demo’d a Rocky Mountain Instinct 950MSL recently.  Man, what a nice bike that was!  Climbing was incredible and it handled well all around.  The bike lists for $4k http://www.bikes.com/en/bikes/instinct/2016#/models/instinct-950-msl

  • #175926

    I don’t have any recommendations to add but +1 for posting this here. We get a fair # of these types of direct messages and the answers are often applicable to other riders as well!

  • #176345

    These all sound like good bike options.  I’ve heard from a local bike shop that Rocky Mountain is coming out with another Plus size bike other than the Sherpa on the Instinct frame.  I like the plus size idea to have the option of going to a 29″ wheel size if you get tired of riding a phatty.

     

  • #176359

    Since I sent this email to this user, I’ve had the opportunity to ride the Intense Cycles Tracer 275c–one of the best bikes I’ve ever ridden! I’d highly recommend it!

    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-reviews/test-ride-review-intense-tracer-275c-pro/

  • #176380

    This is one of those impossible questions. There are SOOO many varibles; riding style, riders ability, riders build (heigJr., reach, inseam, weight etc) just to name a few.

    When I get asked this question, I ask a few of my own in return before answering. I always ask what type of riding do you want to get into. I can’t recommend a 6″ travel full squish all mountain killer for a guy that wants to climb 5-6k a ride, but maybe he is a beast and can handle that….so thise are the things I need to find out.

    So onto my personal favorites, I ride “all mountain”, “enduro” whatever you want to call it, I have to grind out 2-4K and then get to bomb down some technical singletrack most days here in NorCal. I need a bike that can climb, but handle some technical fast downhill.

    I think it is hard to beat a Pivot Mach 6 or a Knolly bike with 4×4 suspension. Both are great climbers and are hard to beat when headed down. Are you going to win a race to the top….? Probably not but you will make up for it on the downhill…..that is if you have the ability to ride fast and technical downhill….but like I always tell guys, take your time and demo as many bikes as possible!!!!!

  • #176382

    Forgot, my short answer……Pivot Mach 6 carbon.

  • #176384

    The Santa Cruz    5010

  • #176490

    “What bike would you recommend?”
    The question that just leads to more questions!

    Anything with full-suspension and a dropper post!

    Generally 120-140mm front and 120-130mm rear travel unless they’re looking for something more all-mountain, then 150-160 front/rear. The only exception is if they’re looking for an xc race bike or if they have a fairly limited budget/are just starting out. Then I’ll suggest a hardtail for the beginners/racers or a bit smaller squish for the racers.

  • #177252

    Have checked out a Fezzari? I bought a Fezzari last summer. Great bike and great price. And very good service.

  • #177465

    So many bikes, so little time.  I’ve had a chance to ride both the Scott Genius 910 and Scott Genius 710 and enjoyed them both.  The 910 climbs so nicely and rolls over big terrain features like a monster truck.  The 710 descends amazingly well, hooks up on turns and Billy-goats thru technical gnar.  I want them both but can only get one.  5’11” 150 lbs.  Ride in Colorado front range and enjoy climbing as much as descending.  I don’t race but like to keep up.  Any thoughts???

  • #177475

    I’ll throw the Camber in the hat, if you’re not a evil S hater. 🙂  kinda a do all trail bike, 120mm travel. starts at $1950, skies the limit.  Comes with 2Bliss ready tires, but i don’t think the lower end wheels will set up.

  • #177476
  • #177566

    So many bikes, so little time.  I’ve had a chance to ride both the Scott Genius 910 and Scott Genius 710 and enjoyed them both.  The 910 climbs so nicely and rolls over big terrain features like a monster truck.  The 710 descends amazingly well, hooks up on turns and Billy-goats thru technical gnar.  I want them both but can only get one.  5’11? 150 lbs.  Ride in Colorado front range and enjoy climbing as much as descending.  I don’t race but like to keep up.  Any thoughts???

    Well you’ve summed up the differences quite well 🙂 Personally, I’d go with the 29er wheels, but that’s my personal preference. Ultimately, since you know the differences in handling, deciding what you want to compromise and what you want to emphasize is up to you!

  • #177684

    Thanks Greg – am leaning towards the 29er.  The bigger wheels on this bike don’t seem to be that big of a compromise on the descending tech gnar that I find myself getting into unless I take a road trip west to Fruita or Moab.  If I road Captain Ahab regularly, the 27.5 would be a no brainer…but I don’t.

    • #177707

      Thanks Greg – am leaning towards the 29er. The bigger wheels on this bike don’t seem to be that big of a compromise on the descending tech gnar that I find myself getting into unless I take a road trip west to Fruita or Moab. If I road Captain Ahab regularly, the 27.5 would be a no brainer…but I don’t.

      Personally, I LOVE 29er wheels for tech and gnar. The only thing that I don’t like them for is slow speed handling in tight, twisty situations. As for Captain Ahab–I’ve only ridden it on a 140mm-travel 29er similar to the Scott Genius, and it was a blast!

  • #178828

    Try the Remedy 9.8 29″

  • #178832

    TRIGGER For sure!  I have a 2013 flash 29 al1 and the shock maint has been nill. Gave me a little leak once but lbs fixed it gratis. They said “When you pay that much for a bike it should not leak.” Was just a Tiny leak. The lefty is SWEET! The thing handles like it is on rails! Have thought about getting a trigger but for my style of riding the flash is great.

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