Agile and playful Bike recommendation for New England single track?

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    • #604696

      Hi Folks. I had my 2016 Cannondale Habit 4 (27.5″) stolen, and I’m looking for a replacement. I ride various cross country trails that are a mix of climbing, downhills, and single track, and I want a good all-around bike that’s sporty an fun to ride. The local shop carries Specialized and Cannondale (and Trek at another), but of course choices are limited due to COVID-19. The few I’ve tried in my size (I’m 5’9″, 165 lbs) and my price range (~$3500) such as the Specialized Stumpjumper Comp Alloy (S4) have felt like boats – the opposite of an agile and playful bike that I’d enjoy. I’d love some recommendations from you for bikes that would fill the bill. Ideally I’d like to try one first, but I’m open to suggestions. I hope that’s enough detail. Thanks!

    • #604726

      A good match for the type of bike that you describe would be a Downcountry bike—short-travel light-weight progressive-geo 29er.  However at your price point, most of the bikes will be aluminum and not particularly light.  If you could spend just a few more dollars,  you can shed a few pounds.  Here are what I consider to be some of the best Downcountry bikes.  Some come in more affordable aluminum versions while others only come in carbon fiber versions that cost $4000+.

      Rocky Mountain Element

      Transition Spur

      Trek Top Fuel

      Ibis Ripley AF

      I tried the $4700 Stumpjumper Comp Carbon and was disappointed to find out that it weighed 32 pounds while my son’s $3300 aluminum Ripley AF also weighs 32 pounds.  One thing you need to be aware of is that many bikes come with heavy slow-rolling Enduro-ish tires and that can really make a bike ride like a tank.  Switching to a set of 2.4 Maxxis Rekons or similar tires can really free up a bike.

    • #604734

      Thank you, Bike Nerd.

    • #606250

      Pivot Trail 429.

    • #606681

      429 base price of 7500 sure seems to exceed the OP’s budget like a congressional budget… Seriously!


      Pivot Cycles


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