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@nikofraser: “my current frame (transition transam) is. my wheels and fork are non boost so would be ideal to just put on a new frame. That’s why I’m asking what’s out there”
2015 is not a modern frame. Nothing was Boost at that point save maybe some Trek bikes (they invented it). If you are dead set (you should not be, but more on that in a second) on non-Boost then you’ll be buying used. A fantastic used hardtail that would be non-boost would be a Kona Honzo through ’15. Good luck finding one as they are coveted. Honestly your best bet is to buy a Boost hardtail frame, get a $20 conversion kit and ride on.February 6, 2020 at 9:28 am in reply to: What was the best trail you rode for the first time in 2019? #305187
The new trails last year for me that were impressive and surprisingly good were those in central Florida. Santos, Balm Boyette and definitely Alafia are all a trip and made me rethink what is possible in a state that I otherwise was not a fan of. Actually going back there next week with a bunch of our NICA team kids/coaches/dads.
Outside of that, I always find new ways to see/ride my local trails. Hitting lines differently on different bikes (my full-suspension vs. my hardtail and even taking an eBike out) keeps it interesting.
@MikeyFlo86: “Dr Sweets, Your comment about the stem being the factor that is giving me the length I want is what has me concerned. I am very comfortable on my current bike and it looks like even with the longer/slacker trend, that I need to size up to get a similar feeling without using a longer than recommended stem on most new bikes.
I am afraid that going to a large frame will have me feeling much too far forward on the bike, unless I shouldn’t consider the stem length when looking at frame sizing. If that’s the case, then everything makes sense again! haha
Also, I am looking at Evil bikes because of the 40% off sale they have on frames, and The Following is unfortunately sold out already.”
Please be aware of the fact that your Stache and The Calling were designed with very different handling/riding goals. Every modern bike over the last few years puts the rider more upright and centered on the bike. If you are dead set on the length you are at, then yeah, you should size up and go with a very short stem to taste. That said, don’t consider stem length when looking frames as that is variable that can be changed whereas the frame size mostly cannot. IMHO, I would still recommend you go with a large. You will be more upright and way more comfortable. Lastly, tbh I think you will find The Calling to be exponentially more capable than the Stache.
@MikeyFlo86: “Plusbike Nerd, looking at the top tube+ stem makes my current bike look HUGE compared to all the bikes I am looking at (620+90=710mm; Evil The Calling 624+40=662mm). I can’t image that my Stache hardtail from 2013 was that ahead of it’s time geometry wise to be longer/slacker than most current trail bikes, but I cannot seem to understand the geometry measurements that compare to what I am feeling on the bike.”
The Stache isn’t bigger at all, but you are using a much longer stem. 50mm is a huge difference when it comes to body position and handling. Shit, I haven’t used a 90mm stem on anything road bikes included for more than a dozen years. It’s a damn reverse tiller that puts you way too far out over the front giving plenty of opportunity to go over the bars. A longer top tube with a shorter stem provides both a more balanced and safe ride.
As for your height and The Calling, get a large. The XL is really too much for the bike it is and really doesn’t work well for any climbing. Our owner at 6’3″ had an XL and hated it as he was too far over the back of the bike for a solid pedaling position. BTW, the biggest stem he runs is a 50mm.
Lastly, I’d recommend you consider a 29er. Yes, they simply fit taller people better. The Calling is the bike to get if you want to thrash everything and be a complete hooligan on even the most tame trails. Evil’s 29ers will do this too, but also let you haul ass up, over, and off of everything as well.
@PlusbikeNerd: “I’ll likely be in the minority here but I don’t use a dropper post. While I think they will help you descend more easily and quickly, I don’t think they are are worth the added expense, maintenance, and weight. With a modern-progressive-geometry long-travel full-sus 29+ Trailbike, I’m not struggling in the least to descend without a dropper post. And I don’t care that I might have gone just a wee bit faster with the seatpost down. When I’m riding, I don’t want to manage a bunch of buttons. I like keeping my handlebar uncluttered. I don’t have or want a remote lockout either. A single 1x shifter and two brakes is enough for me. Keep it simple and uncomplicated and low maintenance.”
IMHO riding with a dropper post has never been about making things easier or faster, but instead more fun. I would be willing to bet that I personally have used a dropper post longer than anyone on this site having first employed a Descender post in ’05 and have had some type of dropper on every mountain bike I’ve had since.
So just for a second and because I’m bored on a Wednesday afternoon, I’d like to address your concerns. Regarding the added expense, yes they cost more than a rigid seat post (unless you have a Thomson or an ENVE). That said, you can get into one for under $150 and actually a good one at that (more on that in a moment). I believe that you will get an improved riding experience that will pay for that $150 ad infinitum times over. The Brand X Ascend models (same as the RaceFace Aeffect I have) from Chain Reaction are dumb simple and work great.
As far as maintenance goes…what maintenance? The most I’ve ever done with any of the droppers I’ve owned (3 Gravity Droppers, 4 Reverbs, a RaceFace Aeffect and a OneUp) was to clean them off and spray them with Maxima SC1 although basically up until discovering that wonderful product I did nothing other than clean the bike. The service interval on any of them was maybe every year-year and half where with the Rock Shox ones I’d send them to SRAM service at QBP and get them back in no more than 5 days and the most that ever cost was $40. The others I’ve done nothing, NOTHING…other than change the cable which takes maybe 10 minutes including drinking a beer and looking at social media sites simultaneously.
Finally, weight is only an issue if you are racing cross country (or racing period) and even then it’s waaaaaaaay overrated as being a mitigating factor in performance. Not to mention that you will never notice the non-rotational weight of a dropper post especially if you are riding a 29+ bike.
In my experience, employing a dropper post has become so intuitive that I use it maybe as much as or more than my brakes. At the end of the day, you do whatever turns you on. However, fourteen years ago when first got one and heard every excuse from every rider as to why they’d never need one I just laughed promising them that they would become standard gear on all bikes. 99% of those same folks that scoffed at them back then are riding them now. They make riding way more fun without any real sacrifices. Party.
Asking for opinions on any contact point (grip, saddle, pedal, etc) is right up there with opinions on underwear. I might love my rip away mankinis, but you may be more of a boxer brief type (boring). It will take you many years and many callouses to figure out what grips (g-strings?) are most comfortable, durable, grippy or whatever you are most concerned with. FWIW (not much) I have been thoroughly pleased with DMR Death Grips (thick) over the last several years.
@Phonebem: “Bring back the Kleins!!!”
I had two pre-Trek Kleins in the early/mid-90’s. They looked great and rode well, but were rather fragile. I went through a couple of sets of those screwy Mission Control stem/bar/fork combos before I finally bought a more substantial aftermarket set up. Those frames would have made phenomenal cyclocross bikes if you could’ve shoved 700c wheels into them.August 6, 2019 at 9:34 am in reply to: Have kneepads or other protection ever saved your ride, or your skin? #267478
Under the best of circumstances, we would never need any protective gear. I certainly have been on countless rides where my armor really had no use whatsoever other than to make me feel more confident. However, all it takes is one nasty yard sale to change most meat bags minds that maybe some protection despite the heat or how cumbersome it is may be better to keep one’s flesh and bone intact.
I’ve always thought helmets were an absolute when riding off road, but other pieces of armor have become standard for me as well over the years. I’ve worn some kind of knee armor since the early 00’s and rarely ride without it. It has saved my knees countless times from getting banged up and having grown up skateboarding it was not a big deal for me to get used to.
There is however one piece of armor I’ve ran since the late 90’s that I am surprised more riders do not employ. My hands are my job and after a couple of unpleasant wrecks in the late 90’s I began wearing wrist guards. This started as a medical issue brace after a nasty sprain. I rode with it and the light went on my head that I could use a heavy duty set and avoid most serious hand/wrist damage. After some trial and error my go to’s became Triple 8 wrist guards over full finger gloves. I ride with these always off road. I tend to go through several pairs a year, but at less than $20 a set it beats injury/out of work costs by a long shot. They have saved me countless times, but five years ago they became priceless.
I was doing my local ride which began with a two mile commute from my house down some sidewalks and then to the greenway that the trail is off of. I was goofing around jumping some planters along the sidewalk and wiped out hard enough to hit my helmet and see some stars. When I shook it off after a few seconds I felt my hand hurting pretty bad. One of the nylon braces in the guard was cracked and I felt kinda sick. I got up and rode back home where I found my hand and wrist were sore, but could still move everything. I set up an appointment to see a hand specialist I knew on Friday and in the interim (it was a Tuesday when this occurred) I medicated, wrapped my hand, made a special brace for it isolating the pinky where the most swelling had occurred and performed diode laser anti-inflammation therapy as much as I had time for over the next several days. Upon seeing the surgeon, initially he stated that I would need pin placement in my 5th digit due to a fracture, but upon questioning me further and seeing that my hand seemed to be doing fine he decide to reevaluate six weeks later.
As luck would have it all of this happened just two weeks before I was to go spend five days in CO at the IMBA fest in Steamboat Springs. I nearly blew it off, but went ahead after my friends hassled me nonstop. Consequently I not only rode all the crazy lift access black diamond park stuff with my buddies that weekend, but continued to ride and work without any issues. At the reevaluation the surgeon said that my bone and the surrounding tissue had actually healed up so well that surgery would be counterproductive.
Since that time, I have seen a number of friends and others sidelined by wrist/hand injuries. Some have begun wearing wrist protection devices, but most have not. It is beyond worth it to me and I always kinda imagine that it makes me look like some kind of evil robot. I see still being able to ride, work, and looking like a robot as wins.
There was a time not too long ago where you could get custom colors or at least have selection of multiple colorways on non-halo bikes. This disappeared mostly due to excess cost and low ROI for the companies. Most smaller to mid-level companies nowadays generally will offer two color schemes per frame; a wild and mild per say. The big boi’s like Trek and Specialized have custom color programs on certain models, but they are spendy and you will not find them available on anything beyond their top-shelf offerings. However, if you are an industrious type you can custom paint any frame (including carbon) yourself for really inexpensively via using Spray Bike.
I have painted a couple of frames with it and it works exceptional well. It is tougher than frames I have had powder-coated and the biggest cost is just the time you put into it.
I have the Type 1 ‘Beetus and on longer (2 hrs +) rides I carry my glucometer and insulin goodies. The only thing I am really allergic to is stupid people, but there is no known cure nor deterrent.
26″ bikes ride just fine, but hopefully you’ll be paying next to nothing for it as you a. cannot find any new bikes outside of kids bikes with 26″ wheels, b. the geometry will be out of date as changes to bike geometry have been immense in the seven years since that bike came out, and c. the components including the suspension are likely toast and even if it’s been sitting storage will at least need basic service. Finally, it isn’t likely that 27.5 wheels will fit and even if they do it will take the geometry of that bike and make it even worse. There are some older 26″ bikes that are worth riding today eg. a steel hard tail, but I would not mess that one unless you get it for free.
Mostly do it myself, however I’ve ran heavy duty carbon wheels for the last four years and they rarely need any truing.
Shoot for a hard tail. Plenty of good ones out there under $1000. You could get this one and stick a fork and dropper on it and still come in under a grand. The Marin Pine Mountain is a total sleeper and an absolute ripper that you could likely never out ride.
A few grams of weed.
@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.
I ran a Cushcore insert for my rear wheel for nine months and Huck Norris for nearly a year. I am 220 lb with gear and these were used on custom built (burly) carbon 29er wheels for my Evil Wreckoning. I also run the HN’s on my single speed which has Flow Mk 3 rims. Tires on both bikes are Maxxis DHF/DHR 2.5 & 2.3 respectively.
First Cushcore. It does what they say it does…more damped ride feel, rim protection, flat prevention. However, this comes at a cost. First, even though I am no ballerina I could definitely notice the increased rolling weight. Second while they do prevent flats/rim damage if you do flat (sidewall tear, valve failure) you are in for a bad time on the trail. The fastest I ever got one inserted was 20 minutes in a shop with a second person’s assistance. Yes, there are many tips/tricks out there to ease the process, but it is not easy. As far as the improved suspension/damping it was never enough to blow me away and not worth the trade offs. I’d recommend them if you ride in an extremely rocky area ala the Southwest or are racing Enduro/DH at the elite level or up. Otherwise you have to decide if the benefits are worth it.
Huck Norris. They are easy to set up (same as any tubeless set up), do not add any noticeable weight, prevent flats/provide rim protection and are inexpensive. No added suspension damping, but as noted above this benefit was negligible IMHO. HNs are my go to now and I have zero flats/rim damage. I run 24/26 PSI front/rear which considering my weight and my anger bear riding style is impressive.
@HalfSquish: “its not so much having weed smokers on payroll its the blatant selling of kona branded rolling papers. i have ridden a couple konas and they are fabulous bikes.”
I’m confused on this still. It’s not the illegality of it as cannabis is legal in Washington state (and many other places). It isn’t about the effects/buzz as Kona has sold pint glasses in the past and the destructive nature of alcohol consumption is well documented and obviously one could utilize the papers to roll a tobacco (also really bad, duh.) cigarette. Maybe you believe there are better options for rolling papers (J&B, Captain Zig Zag, etc?) or better smoking methods (bongs, vapes, pipes, etc?). It seems a curious thing to be offended by.
The Mason is a burlier platform and comes with a better/more appropriate spec. Put a dropper post on and tear it up.