Other than Flaremax…

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  • Other than Flaremax…
  • Premier Icon crashrash
    Subscriber

    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?

    Gotama
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Subscriber

    Starling Murmur?

    140mm is short travel right?

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Subscriber

    Swarf Contour

    Premier Icon roverpig
    Subscriber

    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.

    dumbbot
    Member

    Swarf Contour

    Oh, one of these you mean..:D

    Premier Icon fathomer
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Subscriber

    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?

    davros
    Member

    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.

    Premier Icon superstu
    Subscriber

    Transition smuggler?

    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.

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    What you looking to do on it? Where would the riding sit on the XC <—-> Enduro spectrum?

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
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    Oh, one of these you mean..:D

    Yep, hands down the best looking bike I’ve ever seen. Would love to have one someday.

    Premier Icon moonsaballoon
    Subscriber

    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 etc

    Premier Icon crashrash
    Subscriber

    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.

    Either of these Orange’s would fit the bill. Don’t forget to add the extra 10% code.

    Stage 4

    Stage 5

    Premier Icon crashrash
    Subscriber

    like the reactor but appears to be alloy only in 275

    Premier Icon johnjn2000
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    How about the new BIRD Aether? That looks lovely, I think there is a review on PinkBike

    batman11
    Member

    Production privee shan no is now 29er and a dame fine looking bike gotta say.
    in both martini race car colour and the Mercedes silver to.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon bowglie
    Subscriber

    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).

    Reactor is available in alloy in 29. £3k gets you one with a Pike and Super Deluxe.

    JP

    Premier Icon crashrash
    Subscriber

    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!

    Premier Icon ampthill
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    I’m looking at similar bikes

    I’d add the’ve Santa Cruz Tallboy in Al to the demo list

    Premier Icon slackboy
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    gnarly XC/trail

    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.

    Premier Icon Sir HC
    Subscriber

    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.

    Premier Icon joebristol
    Subscriber

    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!

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    £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.

    V3 banshee phantom?

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