Looking for input on a new build. I have really 4 frames I have researched and am considering. They are the following:
Evolve Alpha 27.5
Santa Cruz Bronson, or 5010
Kona process 153 DL
I am looking for a 27.5 or plus option. I will be doing flow trail riding, maybe a jump here or there when I get comfortable with it. I heard in the Chattanooga TN area these bike would be a tad too much but I like to get these and travel to other areas when I get better, rather than building a less capable bike and having to do it all over again. I realize building would be more expensive but the great thing in my thought is that I will get to select the part I want, learn my bike and it allows for me to select what I want. I realize this is more expensive but I have already taken this in consideration and I could save as I go rather than going to the store and shelling out 3 grand at once. It would motivate me to come up with money when I am ready for another part. I use to love ripping them down and building them back up, while I was growing up, so this adult build would be very fun, and who doesn’t like to build a bike? I was leaning heavy towards the Evolve Alpha frame and realize this is a Canadian brand so I was looking for input on this frame and your thoughts on the others as far as quality and price.
I have the 2018 5010 Carbon. Its a great bike. My Upper Midwest riding and preference is similar to what you describe: more flow than tech, some jumping and drops, but not bike park level. 5010 is more than capable for that style. However, with that said, I kind of wish I would have gone with the Bronson (which I have since ridden as a rental/demo). Even though the 5010 is very capable and I would probably rarely push the limits of a Bronson, I feel like the suspension is so good now that you wouldn’t be sacrificing any climbing performance with a Bronson, and now you’d have a little more freedom to push the limits.
With that said, either 5010 or Bronson are great choices, and likely so are the Kona and Evolve. Whichever you choose, its going to be a great bike. Don’t over-analyze – make the choice and GO!
Although I haven’t ridden the Evolve, I have demo’ed the other three bikes. Whereas all these bikes are highly capable, I have to say that I’m partial to the 5010 as the best all-rounder of the three, particularly for flow/xc trails. I demo-ed the 5010 at Kingdom Trails over 3 days and found it to be very nimble and highly responsive. For me, it climbed and descended extremely well. If you were going to ride mostly enduro or do more advanced lines at a bike park I’d steer you toward the Bronson.