Have had a few musings on here last few days about going to a Soul as only MTB (also have CX and road). So for those who ride their Soul most or all of the time, what's it not good for ? I'd be speccing with 120mm revs and xt group set I think.
Soul as only mtb ?
not ridden another bike since riding mine and that was 6 years ago... spent £700 on new 36 forks for the bouncer, probably done less than 25 miles on them in 4 years
notgood for ? putting a smile on your face.
It's good for everything... Nothing I can't do on it that I couldn't do on my FS. I have had 3 (always thought I fancied a change or that there was something better... There isn't). My last build had X Fusion Velvet 120mm travel forks, Mavic XC717 rims, SRAM X0 rear mech, X9 shifter, Raceface cranks, SLX brakes, carbon bars and seatpost, Easton Haven stem, Hope finishing kit, charge spoon saddle, Superster flame rotors and Kenda Nevegals. It weighted just under 25lbs...
I sold if tho as I needed some extra cash at the time to put towards a house. Great bikes.
Sounding good so far. I suspect I might be getting on the classifieds to make some space next month !
Yep.. Sell everything and spec up a good Soul. U won't be disappointed.
Mine has 120 forks, it's all i've got and it does everything around here (exmoorish) with aplomb. Up, along and down at speed. Much smoother than my old alu genesis hardtail, steel definately feels nicer. It's a cheap build, 29lbs, deore, alex rims, coil fork but 720 bars, 50 stem and a reverb (which is ace btw) at the risk of sounding like a fan boi, they are really that good!
admittedly my experience is very limited but the only time i wished for something else was following mates on full sus down some of whites level at afan. It still coped fine but i could see the attraction of a less tooth rattling/pinch flatting ride at speed as they disappeared from view. Tamer trail centre stuff like haldon forest is super fun/easy. I like the idea of owning a full sus at some point but realistically for 99% of what i'm going to ride, the soul is perfect!
OK, so I know its going to be good at general xc and playing in the woods, muddy night rides etc. I ride mostly natural stuff but do like the odd Stanes weekend - would I be hankering for my 5 in a trail centre environment ?.....albeit not a huge part of my riding
Creepers - our posts crossed, useful info, thanks
Nope.. I have ridden Ae, Mabie, Kirroughtree, Dalbeattie, Glentress, Inners and Laggan on mine. Just as quick overall as I was on my 5. Just pick a smoother line on the DH bits.
Guys I rode with had a Nomad and a FS Canyon. I was first up, across and down.. Obviously the lighter bike will climb better but on the DH I just picked a smoother line while they rode over the rougher stuff.. I had just as much fun as I tend to jump, hop or pick the faster line anyway.
The guy with the Nomad sold it and bought a Solaris, he loves it now and understands why I love hardtails.
would I be hankering for my 5 in a trail centre environment ?
I love the soul round places like Nanty, Penmachno and CyB. Sure it's hard on the legs but I really enjoy the trail "chatter" from the back end as it skips and hops around. As for whether you'll miss the bouncer that's something only you can say for sure though I don't miss mine.
I was a serial frame changer till i got my soul 5 years ago, and since then i've not wanted anything else; it's had a variety of different forks and kit on, and always kept a smile on my face. I mostly ride my local trails around derbyshire, but do have an annual weeks road trip to the Scottish tc's and a weekend at CyBer and still have a blast. I do go to the alps etc, but for me that's a road bike thing. If i was going any slower than most of the guys on fs'ers i might want one, but all's good.
Been riding my Mk1 Pig for the past 3yrs as main bike. Old Kona Dawg has been partially retired. Before I got the Pig my only bike was a Bontrager Priv which I rode for 16yrs. My riding is mostly Stanes, Lakes, NY Moors and the odd foray to the Peaks.
You don't "need" a full sus of any kind to ride the Stanes or any trail centre, it just makes it different.
Having said that I am off to Dales Bike Centre this weekend to test some 29ers, Trek and 5...
The running gear on the pig is all knackered. The stuff on the Kona is all new from last years Alps trip. Kona might get stripped and frame sold with Pig inheriting the new stuff..
Have a look at the Solaris - they do a size that fits a midget like you My friend Roddy has one and it is a cracking bike to ride. I suspect it would suit the riding I know you do better than the Rock Lobster you have. It's noticeably smoother than a Soul and i suspect would be better for your old back!
Trekster, my riding is probably similar to yours and I have just turned 47, with a fair few aches and groans. I bought my 5 in 2008 and have upgraded a lot along the way and it's a lovely bike, however its not turned a wheel this year, with all my riding having been on my rock lobster. Selling the 5 and the rock lobster would fund the Soul, which going by feedback on this thread is looking likely
Cheers Sanny, might look at that although like my wee 26 ers
Know anyone after a 5 ?
Much as I love my Soul, I can't see me getting rid of the FS.
I am an old bloke and I find that on really ruff stuff my back gets a pounding even though the Soul is more compliant than previous HTs I have owned. Having said that I certainly ride the Soul more than the FS but I am in the fortunate position that I can get out at least twice a week so can enjoy both.
I originally started having both to use up spare bits from FS builds on an HT but of course I ended up buying fancy bits for the HT too!
my Souls is my only MTB. was a serial frame changer till I got this. its here to stay (unless I can get hold of a cheap Soda....)
Use mine everyday. The only thing I won't be doing with it is bolting a child seat bracket to the seat tube, a. because I'm not sure it would take it without damaging something, & b. because the front mech cable braze on is offset slightly on the right side, and the bracket wouldn't fit. Luckily I still have my old Cube for that.
For everything else that I do it's great. I'm no downhiller mind you.
Loved my Classic Soul - very agile and had no problem over fast reasonably rocky singletrack, although found it more of an issue over slow techy stuff with bigger stepdowns, but that was more to do with the rider than the frame. As mentioned above, at Haldon type trails it absolutely flies and I was able to keep up with full susser friends easily, even without knowing the trails before. It was fine in the Alps for my limited ability, braking bumps aside. Over time I settled on 20mm maxle revs at 130mm, 1x9, Arch EX, 180/180 brakes, short stem at circa 25-26lbs lbs.
However just swapped to a new Bfe, and deciding if to sell my Soul frame which looks likely.
i should qualify my post above by mentioning that my ability not the bike was probably the limiting factor at afan, that and the fact that the aforementioned mates used to race downhill!!
would I be hankering for my 5 in a trail centre environment ?
Honestly? Probably. I ride a hardtail now and I do.
LOL @ creepers
Having mailed Cotic they may be doing a full build Soul similar to my wish spec later this year, which is more attractive to me than a self or lbs build and possibly better value. Fingers crossed.
For me, trail centres are fine with hardtails. The only two places I love a full Susser are:
1. On summer dry, fast technical trails - I find it easier to get air and boost off little lips on my Susser. The same trails are definitely fun to ride on a hardtail, but going at full suss speeds definitely battles my teeth more.
2. In the alps where I just don't have the legs to stand up all day. You see guys on hardtails and I always feel sorry for them. I'd absolutely love to try my hardtail on a trip to the alps, but only on short days. When I'm limping back, totally busted after making my way round what feels like the whole Portes de Soleil, I need to be able to sit down on fire road descents! Helps when you try the downhill runs with braking bumps too.
But for most of my riding, the hardtail is just more enjoyable.
Mine was my only mtb for ages, eventually I got some more but mostly because I'm a magpie. Light-ish but sturdy, 100-130mm u-turn Revs, lovely. I think if I had to do it again I'd keep a spare set of wheels mind.
It depends what you want it to do- I think the first time I decided I wanted more bike was after I went up to Fort William, the Soul was ace on the red but made things a bit harder on the bits of the world cup route I rode, that planted the seed. And for the enduro stuff I do now I'd want a bigger bike. But for all the rest of my riding it was bang on.
Compliment to the Soul- I went through 5 hardtails trying to find its replacement, and it took a ti super-hardtail to match it. Not beat it mind, just match it- does things just as well, but differently. And there was nothing wrong with any of the also-rans.
I prefer the bouncer on rocky technical stuff. The Soul does steps etc as well as my limited abilities allow , but I am enough of a beginner to enjoy the "battering down relying on the suspension to get you through" thing. I also have a damaged hip, so being able to sit down and pedal on long distance pedally stuff means the bouncer is betterer for epic rides.
I still love blatting on the Soul though, especially twisty singletrack. It seems in its element at stuff like Llandegla. I really need to get up to Scotland to try it on a couple of the Stanes. I did the Ae Line on a 100mm Cube Ltd once which was fun but I took a battering. I'd love to try that sort of rocky stuff on the Soul as a comparison, but I know it would be just as good on the Canyonstein.
If I had to run a single 26" wheeled bike forever it would be a Soul.
Couldnt quite put my finger on what it was that made it so good, but having tried all-sorts the SIR.9 I have now comes close to the Soul. It just has something that makes it feel very lively.
I've sold my Five. It barely got ridden after I bought my Soul.
Whilst a Soul might be less comfortable through rough stuff, it's more fun and being lighter it's better uphill + shorter wheelbase it's better in tight singletrack.
I ride mainly Surrey Hills but was temporarily living in the Peaks a couple of years ago and the Soul was fine for all the rocky stuff up there.
Cheaper to maintain too.
I think I am convinced. Thinking about going with this build :
Reba solo air 120mm
XT group set
Any reccomended changes ?
Have a rough price from local dealer to get me thinking
That sounds ace IMO.
You could maybe save yourself a wee bit of money by getting 2013 SLX parts instead of XT (albeit getting the XT cassette might be worth the extra) and the weight wouldn't be too dissimilar.
At least those are the components I chose!
Tyres - I have loads of 2.1 nevegals to keep me going too, and some rampages, but I guess a 2.3 may be a bit OTT..
Just took delivery of a new Soul which Im currently building.
Sold my Heckler, as despite loving her to bits I was always concious that I was a tad overbiked. So sold the frame and got the Soul after a fair bit of online research!
Just need a headset and Ill be good to go!
Large orange Soul
Revelation RLT Ti reduced to 130
XTR shifters, BB and rear mech
SLX front mech
Mavic Crossmax ST
Hope Tech X2
Straitline stem 60mm
Tubeless Bonty XR4 front and MK2 Black Chilli rear
Penguinni - thanks for build info - very helpful
iainc - Member
Trekster, my riding is probably similar to yours and I have just turned 47, w
I'm a wee bit older
Love my old Kona which is an '05 model.
Looking at something new for next yr and possibly end up with something in the 120mm travel range. Liking the idea of a 5 simply for the ease of maintenance compared to multi link framed bikes Likely to be my last mtb so need to choose wisely....pensions won't go far in the future
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