Full suss that climbs well and descends safely
How deep are your pockets? Frame and build it up yourself or off the peg?
I’d look at something shortish travel (~120), fairly slack. Maybe a Yeti ASR5c.
I’d also try and have a go on a good hardtail too, something like the Soul.
If you really want a big bouncer then something like a NP Mega maybe. Though I think you’d probably have more fun and develop better skills on a hardtail or short travel in the long term.
I only own one of the above 🙂Posted 4 years agodantsw13Member
I’ve never owned a specialised, but I’d say a Stumpy fits right in that bracket, and you could get last years model for a good price on t’internet.
If you are happy with Mail Order, then a Canyon Nerve AM would be cracking spec for the money.
My All Mountain bike is a Santa Cruz Heckler, and that would be great for that, as would an Orange 5, or a Yeti 575.
So that’s 5, only 1 of which I own/Have owned!!Posted 4 years ago
I wouldn’t say that “money’s no object” but I don’t mind spending on something that will last. My main problem right now is deciding what I’m looking for. I’m currently riding a (26″) Trance and have an older Five that I’ve been playing with to get a feel for what I want from a bike. I’ve got test rides booked on an Orange Gyro and Trance 29er for later in the month and will post my thoughts on those. But during my ride last night it struck me that I tend to judge a ride by what and how fast I can climb and what (but not how fast) I can come down. So a successful ride is one where I get up or down something I’ve never managed before or climb something faster than I’ve managed before.Posted 4 years agotazzymtbMember
it may be worth seeing if you can get a test ride on a ellsworth epiphany. Of all the full sus bikes I’ve owned and ridden, including spesh, treks, giant,orange , felt, sinister,maverick, marin etc… it was the best mix of climbing/pedalling/descending and all round awesome bike. It climbed like a monkey with it bum on fire. Just lush and the only 26er I still wish I owned. Would kill to get my paws on the 29er version.Posted 4 years ago
As a former (and current) roadie whose only been riding off-road seriously for a year I’m still trying to get to grips with what I actually want from an MTB. Living in Scotland I like to ride natural stuff on “proper” mountains (so rocky trails, steps etc with lots of climbing) but am not averse to the odd trail centre.
So I want something that climbs well but also inspires confidence on the descents. When it comes to descending I’m not really interested in getting down faster; it’s much more about what I can get down than how fast. I’ll keep working on the skills (coaching etc); that’s a given. But I still wonder what the ideal bike should be. Basically I want a big skill compensator that also climbs well and I also like full suss (for comfort and just because bouncy bikes are fun). So, what would you recommend?
To make this more fun could you try and recommend at least one bike that you don’t own.Posted 4 years ago
There is nothing wrong with the Trance. But, in an ideal world I’d be looking for a bike that would climb faster than the Trance and allow me to get down some of the trickier descents (e.g. bigger steps, drops, rocks etc). Of course, both of those can be achieved by working harder on fitness and skills and I may well conclude (after all the test rides and general naval gazing) that the best course of action is just to stick with the Trance and work on my skills before considering another bike. But, no harm in thinking about whether another bike might suit me better.Posted 4 years agowreckerMember
Trek fuel ex’s are really excellent bikes. A friend has one and it just does everything well with minimal fuss. The 2013 ones have revised geometry and look very interesting indeed. Shouldn’t be too difficult to get a demo either.Posted 4 years ago
Actually, if you have a healthy budget; a turner DW 5 spot fits that bill very well.kudos100Member
in an ideal world I’d be looking for a bike that would climb faster than the Trance and allow me to get down some of the trickier descents
Sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it. The best thing I could suggest is to work on your bike handling skills.
If you want to buy anything, go for some flats and 5 10’s.
Once you are more confident offroad, you will have more of an idea of what you actually like in a bike.Posted 4 years ago
Fear not mattbibbings, long and rambling posts are bound to follow any testing 🙂
The number of options seems to be growing at an alarming rate though. I wonder whether it would help to focus on characteristics rather than specific brands/models e.g. what makes one full suss bike a better climber than another?
Let’s consider (for a simple example) a fireroad climb. So, we can assume the shock is locked and take that out of the equation. Weight obviously matters but that’s total weight of bike plus rider so a few pound here or there on the bike wont make much difference. Let’s ignore the wheels as that are easy to change. In fact, I’m really just thinking about frames at this point as I’d almost certainly want to build up my next bike myself. What’s left? Stiffness I guess. So, is that what I should be focusing on? Frame stiffness?Posted 4 years ago
Sounds like you want to have your cake and eat it.
Of course. Don’t we all 🙂
If you want to buy anything, go for some flats and 5 10’s.
Got those already. Very nice they are too, but I don’t think they are doing much for my climbing 🙂
Once you are more confident offroad, you will have more of an idea of what you actually like in a bike.
Sound advice and that may well be my conclusion too, but no harm in window shopping.Posted 4 years ago
Frame stiffness is good….
For climbing really for me it’s the shock and suspension design. Basically I can live with the lock out doing all the work but it’s far from ideal. If the suspension can help to provide some stability too then it’s great. For a good climbing bike you need a back end that tracks the ground. Take a bike that you need to run a hard lockout on and that is lost.Posted 4 years ago
I’d say the Trance was a pretty good balance to be honest, most bikes that are light enough to climb faster aren’t likely to be demon descenders as well. You could try sticking a faster tyre on the rear for less rolling resistance on the way up and maybe a slightly longer fork up front to give a bit more confidence on the downs and if you want to get really anal, maybe some sort of slacker headset gubbins.
Or you could just go medieval on your wallet and buy a Blur TRC… but really, the proper quick riders I know are proper quick whatever they ride. Personally I’d be looking at a light hardtail with a biggish fork, a Ragley Ti or similar, 456 Ti Evo maybe if you want new, but that’s just me.Posted 4 years ago
Geometry is as/more important than all of the IMHO.
For climbing? OK, I understand that you need to keep the front wheel on the ground, but beyond that it seems as though the front end geometry is more about descending than climbing and pretty much every bike these days seems to have something close to a 73 degree seat angle.
I’m not saying that you are wrong. Geometry is obviously crucial in general, but I’m struggling to see which bit of geometry is going to make one MTB climb better than another.Posted 4 years ago
Geometry is obviously crucial in general, but I’m struggling to see which bit of geometry is going to make one MTB climb better than another.
And that is why bikes need to be assessed in the flesh not on paper, or we will be back to the must have 66.163541427degree HA or it will fall over bull.Posted 4 years ago
It’s more how the bike sits in it’s travel and how the geometry goes from there. 6 FS bikes with the same paper angles will all be different when someone sits on them.jamesoSubscriber
I think (and this’ll feed bwarp’s 29er frothings) a change to a 29er will help more than anything, from the riding and wants you’re describing. Generalising yes (and edited to add ‘assuming decent geometry’), but 29″ wheels can handle steppy, slo-mo steep rocky sections more confidently and capably than a 26 and climbing is great if you accept that momentum-maintenance is what you need, not stop-start grinding where a heavier wheel will feel slower.Posted 4 years ago
Climbing-wise frame stiffness, sus type etc make some difference but you’ll need to ride a lot of bikes for a fairly long time to really figure that out. Some people like SPs, some prefer multi-links, as long as the bike puts you in a good position and suits your pedalling / riding style all’s well.bartimaeusMember
Pivot Mach 5.7… climbs as well as an Anthem, if not even better, and has more travel for getting down again. I own an Anthem, and the Pivot is the only FS bike I’ve ridden since I got it that gave me a bad case of the “I wants” after a demo. Much too expensive for me, mind!Posted 4 years agorickonSubscriber
I’ve ridden most suspension designs available, and the Maestro is up there with the best. The things making your trance feel slower ton the climbs will be weight, get a fast tyre on the rear and drop the weight of your components if you want to go faster, and plug a 140mm stiff fork up front with a through axle.
Where in Scotland are you riding, and what type of terrain?
By a country mile the Turner implementation is the best feeling design I’ve ridden. Well worth seeing if you can try one out for comparison. Its the kind of bike you can build up heavy so it descends very very well, but pedals a hell of a lot lighter.Posted 4 years agowobbliscottMember
Sorry but weight is a red herring. I’ve got a 20lb ish XC hard tail and a 30lb ish full suss AM bike and the AM bike climbs brilliantly, you can’t feel the extra weight at all. For the OP coming from road riding I’d say go for a 29er for starters, it will feel more like a road bike in terms of pedaling and climbing efficiency. I would say look to something like a Transition Bandit 29. I’ve got the Covert which is more DH orientated, but still climbs very well, but the Bandit will be an even better climber.Posted 4 years ago
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