Other than Flaremax…
So temptation is prpving too much. Looking to replace my T129RS with another 29 short travel trail bike. I do not want carbon so The Flaremax is option one, Commencal Meta TR Race is option 2. Any other suggestions for a metal framed bike with decent bits on – budget about £3.5k?Posted 7 months ago
Nukeproof reactor comes in alu. You could build a new alu Santa Cruz tallboy up for that money too. There’s quite a few bikes in this space these days.Posted 7 months ago
140mm is short travel right?
Posted 7 months ago
Swarf ContourPosted 7 months ago
I went with the FlareMax and am very happy with it, but the other bike on my shortlist was the Orange Stage4, which I’m sure I would have enjoyed too.Posted 7 months ago
Oh, one of these you mean..:D
Posted 7 months ago
I have a FlareMAX which I love but if I was looking now I’d add the Norco Optic to those already mentioned, which I think is alu.
Edit, the cheapish Vitus, can’t remember the model, looks very well thought out.Posted 7 months ago
dit, the cheapish Vitus, can’t remember the model, looks very well thought out.
If I had funds for a Flaremax / equivalent I don’t think I’d be considering the Mythique. The seat tube angle is a bit odd – means you can’t get much seatpost in the frame.
Think the Optic is carbon and quite slack for a trail bike but they look great.
Reactor 290 looks pretty appealing as per the above poster’s comments.
Is the Whyte S120 available in Alu?Posted 7 months ago
S120 is carbon only. Have you looked at the 2020 orbea occam H10? Also giant trance 29 is worth a look if you want something light. The top alu model comes with carbon wheels and is well priced on sale.Posted 7 months ago
Transition smuggler?Posted 7 months ago
If you can wait, Bird will be doing a 29” version of the new Aether at some point. This year I hope, cos I wants one.Posted 7 months ago
What you looking to do on it? Where would the riding sit on the XC <—-> Enduro spectrum?Posted 7 months ago
Oh, one of these you mean..:D
Yep, hands down the best looking bike I’ve ever seen. Would love to have one someday.Posted 7 months ago
Another happy flare max owner here but for alternatives 3.5 k would get you a fairly high spec sonder evol .
I wonder if norcos would be more popular here if they weren’t sold just through Evans as they do look pretty sorted and get pretty good reviews on pinkbike etcPosted 7 months ago
Thanks for the suggestions – riding more gnarly XC/trail and long days out ideally as exploring rather than bike parks is my thing, though with the geometry to be able to hoon down when I can. I love the T129 though I have upped the front end travel to 140 as I have long legs so end up sitting loads higher than the bars! Downsides are the seat angle when post is fully up (my bum is pretty much over the rear axle!) and the lack of clearance for the rear tyre, combined with a short chainstay. Climbing anything steep has me lifting the front even when seated!
I like the Norco idea of longer chainstays for taller riders but Evans being the only seller does not fill me with joy.
If Bird are about to produce a trail 29er then that would be very interesting. I love being able to spec the components to get what you want rather than having to compromise.Posted 7 months ago
like the reactor but appears to be alloy only in 275Posted 7 months ago
How about the new BIRD Aether? That looks lovely, I think there is a review on PinkBikePosted 7 months ago
Production privee shan no is now 29er and a dame fine looking bike gotta say.Posted 7 months ago
in both martini race car colour and the Mercedes silver to.
The meta is such a cool looking bike, do you need to look for longer chainstays than average though OP?
The reason I asked what kind of riding is that the cotic is a great bike but geared more towards descending than some options.
The orange stage 5 could be worth a look, if the sizing works for you and you appreciate the delights of a single pivot frame.Posted 7 months ago
I’ve previously owned a FlareMAX, and still have my RocketMAX, but recently got a 2020 Trek Fuel EX8. The RocketMAX has been ridden so infrequently since getting the Trek that I’ve stripped the frame to upgrade bits on the EX. I much prefer the ride, handling and weight of the Trek to the Cotics – the latter do have a relatively perky feel for their weight, but the Trek climbs noticeably quicker, and what’s surprised me is that it descends better than the RocketMAX, even though that had higher spec suspension components.
In a nutshell, I think Trek have come up with an absolute blinder of a ‘do it all trail bike’ – and I quite like the plain Jane anonymity of it. (& I’m generally more attracted to niche brand bikes).Posted 7 months ago
Reactor is available in alloy in 29. £3k gets you one with a Pike and Super Deluxe.
JPPosted 7 months ago
So the list to look at – Reactor alloy with the Pike, Trek Fuel ex 8 with some swaps and additions, Giant Trance 29 1, Commencal meta TR, Cotic Flaremax and Orange stage 4 or 5. Love the Starling but too much for me! The Swarf maybe but reckon I would bust the budget badly! Nearly got carried away on the Bird site with the AM9 but should wait for a shorter travel 29 if they are going to make one……..
So time to ride some demos then! Thanks for all the helpful ideas. I will et you know once the demos are done!Posted 7 months ago
I’m looking at similar bikes
I’d add the’ve Santa Cruz Tallboy in Al to the demo listPosted 7 months ago
Having owned both a trance and a flaremax, I’d be looking at a trance 29 for that sort of brief
Flaremax is a great bike, but it is heavy and if you spending an appreciable amount of time lifting it over stiles then something a bit lighter would be welcome.
Trance suspension is less active than flaremax and I think it climbs a little bit better. Flaremax is much better going down – very stable and confidence inspiring.Posted 7 months ago
Giant has some strange sizing going on, rode a large and it felt quite small. Short headtube means bringing the bars up, you lose a load of reach. I had a 2014 for a couple of years and really liked the way it rode, efficient and was a sub 30lb build.
I’ve just replaced my 2017 Smuggler with a Reactor. So far so good, the reactor is a lot more active, so local xc stuff I’ll be winding on the low speed and adding a bit more pressure to the rear. More supple off the top and the shock is a step on from the DB inline I have on the smuggler.
I would class the smuggler as a trailbike, short travel, not to slack/long/low/fashionable. The reactor feels more like a mini enduro bike, its as slack as my Enduro 29! I can see me riding the reactor over my bigger bike, which was always the plan, especially as the Privateer when it arrives is a step on from the enduro in terms of length/slackness.
£1900 is strong money for a nukeproof frame, they used to be sub 1500! However, it comes with the ultimate shock, helitaped in the wear areas and a headset. Internal routing is well thought out.Posted 7 months ago
If the Bird Aether suddenly arrives in 29er it should be a decent price with shock – you can get the Aether 7 with deluxe select+ shock / rear axle / chainstay protector / headset / seat clamp for about £1300. The RS ultimate shock was I think about £100 more or you could get the Super Deluxe for a bit more again.
Not sure in terms of weight how it would compare with the Flaremax – they’re both built robustly / to take some abuse.
Don’t be tempted with the AM9 for what you describe – it’s very much an Enduro bike and on easy xc ish Singletrack / pedally trail centre stuff it dumbs it down quite a lot. On more difficult terrain it’s epic through from what I read. I’ve just sold the Aeris 145LT which is the 650b Bird bike and it’s similar ish to the AM9 – although apparently the AM9 pedals a bit better. Point it down something fast and rocky and it’s immense though!Posted 7 months ago
£1900 is strong money for a nukeproof frame, they used to be sub 1500!
Wasn’t the original Mega £900?
Which is what I paid for my old Mega 290 frame & shock NOS as well actually.
Not many things are certain in this life, but Nukeproof bikes/frames getting reduced is a pretty safe bet.Posted 7 months ago
V3 banshee phantom?Posted 7 months ago
Tallboy was on the list but when you look at the spec for the cash the others beat it hands down. Having said that it would still be worth a demo….
@slackboy – I like your thinking regarding gates and stiles. Devon riding has plenty of those to deal with so I will consider that. Trying to find a Giant demo in XL at the moment. Light and capable…Posted 7 months ago
Nicolai Saturn 14 is another left field option
Bit spendy thoughPosted 7 months ago
Looks lovely @slackboy but once on the configurator I got to £4k before adding bars, grips, saddle dropper etc! So defo too spendyPosted 7 months ago
@chakaping You are right the Meta TR looks great, has lots of good reviews and comes stacked with great gear. I could even find a flimsy excuse to go to Andorra and pick it up! The chainstay thing is mainly because I have long legs and when I bung the saddle up the kinked seat tubes tend to mean the actual seat angle is very slack. It is exactly the problem I have with the current bike, so I am concerned that I could end up with my bum near the rear axle again.
Norco do that thing of having different chainstay lengths as you go up sizes which makes sense to me! Lets face it if the front centre is getting longer surely the rear centre should too to maintain balance?Posted 7 months ago
I’m all about the longer chainstays myself too, 450mm for me if I have the choice.
Limits your buying options a bit though.
Did someone mention the Vitus escarpe 29? That’s got long stays iircPosted 7 months ago
LBS came up with the Orbea Occam as you can upgrade suspension, cockpit and brakes. Frame looks great and with the upgrades it is bang on budget.Posted 6 months ago
I seem to remember Giant have a good demo scheme. They just send the bike to your nearest dealer for a refundable fee
And now the TranceX enters the fray. Could be a winner when it gets to the UK!Posted 4 weeks ago
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