Best 2019 All Mountain Trail Bike That Jumps?

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    • #263667

      Hi Everyone,

      I’m new to mountain biking, but already obsessed and on my way to slaying trails. I live in Kentucky so there’s great trail riding and bike parks, but no huge mountains to join the DH family. I’ve upgraded my beginner hard tail, but I’m already addicted to looking for my next level full suspension bike. I know all of these topics have been exhausted, but I’m looking for some fresh feedback. I want a bike that can do it all. I want smoother climbs, faster descents, and I want to master jumps (big priority, but I don’t want a dirt jumper). I have a big snowboarding background where bigger boards are faster, but smaller boards are more fun in the terrain park. That makes me think a 27.5 might be my sweet spot if a 29er is harder to jump. Any thoughts on that? I’m willing to spend up to about $3K USD give or take on my next bike. I’m a brand whore so I really l want Fox suspension, or at least Rock Shocks, and Maxxis tires. Must haves are a 1x drive train and a dropper seat post. The bikes that are really on my radar are the Giant Trance, YT Jeffsy, and possibly a Devinci or Specialized, but what has really caught my eye are the Orbea AM or TR bikes. They just look super bad ass to me, and I like having something that everyone else doesn’t have (all I see are all black TREK’s around here). Does anyone have any experience or feedback on Orbea? Does the high top tube get in the way or cause you to nut yourself on crashes? Are trail bikes any more or less easy to jump than enduro bikes? I know nothing about geometry, slack, head tube angles, wheelbase, etc. I know that’s a lot of questions, but what in summary what is the best all mountain quiver killer of 2019 for the value? Thanks for any help you can give me!

    • #263671

      So, I’m kinda focused on a couple things you said…  “I want a bike that can do it all” and that you’re considering a YT Jeffsy.  My most recent bike purchase zeroed in on a “do it all” trail bike.  I considered the Jeffsey, as well as Canyon’s Spectral.  Then I came a cross Whyte’s T-130.  I mention Whyte because it is also a consumer direct bike like Jeffsey.  It climbs better (grinding gradual and steep technical) than the Jeffsey, and descends better than the Spectral.  It is, in my opinion, a great jack of all trades bike.  I have been pleased with its ability to hunker low and fast on fast sweeping flow, and is very playful coming up off of ramps and table tops.  This thing is right at home in the air.  Most of my daily riding is more technical, and the T-130 is very stable and confident inspiring on slow and fast rock gardens.  I have to admit I’ve gotten lazy with picking the best lines because this things just goes wherever I point it.  It’s a playful bike that’s easy to pop around, yet is stable when you need it.  And when it comes to down hill runs… well… I’ve rented Rocky Mnt and Giant enduro leaning bikes, and I’d pick the T-130 over them any day.

    • #263747

      @MarkWeaver: “I have a big snowboarding background where bigger boards are faster, but smaller boards are more fun in the terrain park. That makes me think a 27.5 might be my sweet spot if a 29er is harder to jump.”

      This used to be sort of  true regarding wheel size and maneuverability, but not so much anymore. Another myth regarding 29er’s is that they are only for tall riders.  At 5’7″ I can personally can dispel that one. Take a look at both EWS and World Cup DH and you’ll see that most riders have moved onto 29er’s.

      However, the number one thing is to find a bike that feels comfortable for you and geometry is the biggest factor here. There really aren’t too many duds out there certainly not from any of your aforementioned choices.

      Speaking of your choices, for around $3K I’d look at The Stumpjumper EVO 29er or 27.5 or the Jeffsy CF Comp again 29er or 27.5er. For the kind of stuff you want to do look for shorter wheelbases, slack head angles and steeper seat angles. I would also throw in the Transition Smuggler or Scout at your price point.

      Lastly, many people dig the Orbeas the Rallon being their flagship enduro rig, however I am not one of them. It was fine, but just did not hold a candle to the bike I already ride.

    • #263814

      For $3000, I’d be looking at the classifieds on PinkBike for a quality used bike. If you’re patient, there are some great deals on there.

      I’m with you on 27.5 bikes, I just prefer them overall but obviously everybody has different tastes. I actually have a 29er and (2) 27.5 bikes. I’m passing on one of my 27.5 bikes to my son so I’m on the hunt for my next “long travel” bike. I’m looking at a couple 27.5’s as well as two 29er’s that I’m demo’ing next Friday.


    • #263835

      If I’m hearing you right you’re looking for a 27.5 long-travel Trailbike. If I could design my ideal Trailbike in long or short travel, 27.5 or 29, it would come with 2.7in tires, inner width i33mm rims, 1×12 drivetrain, and have progressive geomtry.  Preferably an ~$3000 long-travel Trailbike would come with a Rockshox Yari/Pike or Fox 34/36 fork and Maxxis Minion tires.  So what ~$3000 aluminum Trailbikes come close?  (And sorry if my choices go over you budget but I think you get a better bike by spending just a wee bit more.  For full-sus Trailbikes, ~$3500 is the magic price point where value and quality meet.)

      The $3500 R+ Santa Cruz Bronson R+ with 150mm rear travel, 2.6 tires, i35 rims, Yari fork,  1×12 Eagle NX drivetrain, Maxxis Minion tires, looks very good.

      The $3500 Trek Remedy 7 with i30 rims and otherwise the same spec as the Bronson looks  good.

      The $3300 Specialized 27.5 Stumpjumper Comp with 150mm rear Travel, 2.6 tires, i30 rims, Fox 34 fork, 1×12 Eagle NX drivetrain looks good.

      All of these bikes can use 2.8 tires.  If I had to pick one, it would be the Santa Cruz Bronson because it comes with the wider i35 rims which I think is a slightly better rim width for 2.6-2.8 tires than i3o rims.  The Bronson comes with Maxxis Minion tires also.

      If you would consider spending a bit more and getting a 29er, I would go for the $4200 Ibis Ripmo. It comes with carbon frame, 145mm rear travel, 2.5 tires (2.6 tires will fit!), i34 rims, 160mm Fox 36 fork,  1×12 Eagle NX drivetrain.   I  think the Ripmo is the best long-travel Trailbike made and has gotten stellar reviews.  If the Ripmo came with an aluminum frame, 2.6 tires and an ~$3500 best value price, the Ripmo would be the long-travel Trailbike I would want to buy.

      To review, here is what I would be looking for at your price point: 2.6-2.8 tires, frame clearance for 2.8 tires, i30-35 rims, 140-150mm rear travel, 1×12 Eagle NX drivetrain, Rockshox Pike/Yari  or Fox 34/36 fork.  If you buy a bike that meets these parameters, you can’t screw it up!


    • #263836

      Mark Weaver

      Welcome to mountain biking in Kentucky. I live in Lexington and ride mostly there and Frankfort. I get to Madisonville some do travel with my job.

      I have a couple of hardtails that I find can do most things. Granted I am not jumping a lot but have been learning some. I don’t think you need a FS. Plus size tires go a long way.

      That being I want to add a full suspension eventually down the road (got to wait until kids get older). I have researched bikes quiet a bit and spoke with multiple shop owners in my quest to be educated. It appears you have budgeted a good amount for the bike. From what I can see besides going used off Craigslist (got my first bike Salsa Timberjack about have price and brand new condition) or Pinkbike the most bang for you buck would be a Diamnondback or Marin. I know Diamondback has a bit of big box store rep. Seth from Seth’s Bike Hacks (YouTube) rides them and does the kind of stuff you are interested in. Solid bike and really good components for the money (all names you know). Marin doesn’t seem to get much hype but look at what they have. Check components and geometry. Seem really legit and there is dealer in Richmond that may be able to let you demo.

      I looked real close at an Orbea hardtail and was saving to get one but stumbled across a used Santa Cruz while traveling for work in Alabama and picked it up.

      Since I don’t ride a full suspension you may not listen or care for my opinion but always want to see someone get what they especially if it is a good deal.

      Maybe we cross paths here in Kentucky sometime.

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