I am in NC and ride mostly local trails around Charlotte, with some adventures to a few northern trails. I ride single track mostly, Blue and Some Black Diamond ratings (intermediate and difficult). I have been riding a hardtail Cannondale Falash 29’r for 7 years. The frame cracked and I am upgrading to full suspension.
I am looking for a playful bike that can rip, flick, hop, jump, and more. I like to have fun while riding and not just roll over things. My considerations are :
A Scott – model undecided
I am truly uncertain on which direction to go. All opinions are welcome. And while I know the biggest suggestion is to test ride them, each store that offers these around me wants $70-$100 per test ride. That means I could spend $400 across many stores before I even decide where to purchase. So thank you in advance for all the positive opinions.
I’m certainly biased, but the correct answer is The Calling. If you wanna schlep down to Roswell, GA (4 hrs +/-) we (Blue Mountain Bikes) can put you on a demo (we’ve a M, L or XL) that will not cost you other than one of us will ride with you (hold your id/cc). While you’re in town you could likely demo other bikes from shops (Sixes Pit).
I rented the Evil Calling in Washington a couple weeks ago while out there on business. I spent 3 hours at the Duthie Man Bike Park running flow trails, the race track, the technicals and jumps and drops. It is definitely a sweet ride. I only wrecked the rental bike once 🙂
The Evil is a nice bike, no doubt about that….but from a fellow NC’er; I’d want something that climbs a little more sprightly. I think that’s the Evil’s only downfall is a bit more lugging on the uphill. I’m on an Intense Recluse now, and it climbs like a goat. Super playful, super flickable, super fun. It’s not as plowable as the Evil, but can still hold it’s on at the nearest DH. Stumpjumpers are adored and easy to come by, good all around bike. I would think it’s closer to the Recluse than the Evil. I know nothing of the Scott and Cannondale.
After everyone took time to respond, I felt it was appropriate to provide a final update. After much debate and searching for the right deal, I went with the Cannondale Habit 2 (2017 model). Retail was $5,600. I got it brand new for $2,600. That was too good of a deal. And with 120mm travel front and rear, carbon fiber, XTR rear derailer, drop post, and more, I am very happy. I have about 300 miles on it already and it is playful, fast, accelerates like a race car, climbs well, and basically runs the way a great trail bike should run. No regret here at all.
Thank you for the responses and happy riding to everyone.