Trying to narrow down first FS bike…

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Trying to narrow down first FS bike…

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    • #504882

      Hey everyone,

      So I got into MTB last year and I”m trying to narrow my choice for my first FS bike. Right now I’m looking at the Fezzari Delano Peak and the Diamondback Release 29 3.

      The Fezzari is about $3500, and the Diamondback is around $3300.

      Pros for the Fezzari – it weighs less, suspension components are a bit better, 1×12 drivetrain

      Pros for Diamondback – cheaper, XT components (to include brakes), still good suspension

      Cons for Fezzari – brakes not as good as DB, more expensive

      Cons for Diamondback – 1×11 gearing, weighs more

      I am not a SRAM fan which is why I’ve narrowed it down to these two. It seems like the majority of bikes these days come with SRAM stuff so it’s really narrowed my field.

      Anyways, what do you guys think? And, are there any other bikes I should consider? Budget is $3-3.5k.


    • #504991

      What is wrong with SRAM, or are you just trying to avoid buying from the only major american bicycle parts company?

    • #504992

      I have the Shimano SLX drivetrain with a XT shifter on my current bike and love it. I like being able to up-shift twice, pull/push the lever as opposed to a single up-shift/only push on the SRAM stuff. If the higher-level SRAMs had the option then I might consider them, but based on my little research it doesn’t appear they do.

    • #505066

      Where do you live/ride? The Delano Peak has a much more “modern” geometry – slacker head tube, steeper seat tube, longer reach, etc. If you are riding steep terrain, this will make things easier. How much? You probably wouldn’t have an issue on the DB either, but that is a 27.5 frame from a few years ago (was modern then) that they recycled into this 29er version. Not bad by any means, but it isn’t the latest and greatest.

      I’ve only heard good things about the XFusion Manic dropper on the Delano – super smooth, easy and cheap to service. The KS on the DB is going to be more expensive to service.

      Shimano doesn’t make a bad brake IMHO, so you aren’t “downgrading” with the Delano even though they are only SLX level. My M8000 brakes (same as the DB) have the typical “wandering bite point” that many Shimano brakes have if they don’t have a perfect bleed, which can be terrifying at times. That may or may not be better with the newer generation SLX models.

      DVO suspension on the Delano is top-notch, but local service might be an issue (I’m running into this right now with my XFusion forks, who only has 1 legit service center in the US). More places can do DVO, but it’s not as common as Fox. Many local bike shops can deal with Fox suspension in-house.

      The double upshifting on Shimano is great, as is the pull to upshift option, but you can thumb that button pretty quickly on SRAM as well.

      Have you looked into the new Giant Trance X 29? Cheaper than those and pretty solid components as well. If I lived in a mountainous area, that would be at the top of my list.

    • #505067

      Whoops, I should note that the brakes on the Delano are the Deore level, not SLX level. The Singletracks review of the bike states they don’t have much bite. That is probably due to the pads, so you can customize that with other Shimano options or a host of other brands.

      Also, 2 water bottles in the frame for the Delano vs only 1 under the downtube on the DB.

      I still like the Giant.

    • #505069

      I’m not a big fan of heavy 125-145mm rear-travel “mini-Enduro” Trailbikes. If you’re going to ride a 32+ pound bike you might as well have 150mm rear travel and get something like the Ibis Ripmo or the YT Jeffsy. If you ride in places where you mostly winch you way up the mountain (or take a chairlift or shuttle) just to bomb down then this is your type of bike.

      However, for most Trail riders, a light-weight 110-120mm rear-travel Trailbike is a better option. I’m guessing that 80% of Trail riders who ride a variety of terrain would benefit from the short-travel Trailbike. You’ll be much faster on the flats and the climbs and because these bikes have modern geometry they still descend quite well. In order of favorite to least favorite, I like the Specialized Epic Evo, Transition Spur, Ibis Ripley, Giant Trance 29, and Kona Hei Hei. These bike come at a variety of price points from $2150 and up.

      Either go short-travel and light-weight or long-travel and burly. To me, the middle-ground “mini-Enduro” Trailbike is the worst of both worlds. Not enough travel for All-Mountain/Enduro riding but too-heavy for fast-rolling all-around Trail riding. I currently own a ~$3500 130mm rear-travel 32+ pound “mini-Enduro” Trailbike but I keep wishing it was lighter, faster-rolling, and pedaled more efficiently. It certainly descends well but everywhere else, it’s slow.

    • #505103

      Hmm, all great advise guys! What’s funny is I was 100% sold on getting a bike with at least 140mm travel fork, BUT…Bike Nerd as I was reading yours I thought ‘you know, my bike now is 120mm and the fork works really well, so do I ‘need’ more in the front’? Maybe your suggestion about a lighter less forked bike is a good route to consider!

      edulmes, I live kinda near DC so I have a TON of trails nearby, everything from downhill to uphill, rocky, rooty, etc. ‘most’ of the trails I ride aren’t super rocky/rooty though.

      Regarding the Xfusion, I have their McQueen HLR fork on my bike now and it’s awesome, BUT, I did have their dropper post fail after about 10 months of owning it. One problem I’ve identified with the Release is their Dropper comes with a 170mm which will be too much for me, so I’d have to swap it out. That’s cost there. 🙁

      I may have looked into the Giant Trance X 29, but I’ll look at it again. I really appreciate the comments!


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