Recommend me a hard hitting trail bike

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  • Recommend me a hard hitting trail bike
  • monkeyninja
    Member

    Banshee spitfire v2

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    My shortlist is
    Banshee Spitfire v2 (ridden and liked)
    Cotic Rocket (ridden and liked)
    Knolly Warden (not ridden)
    Bronson (riding next week)
    Pivot Mach 6 (not ridden)
    Transition Bandit (not ridden)

    As much as I like the sound of the Evil Uprising, the tyre clearance issues and historic problems have kind of put me off. I bet it’s fun though!

    toronte
    Member

    Hey Folks,
    Currently I’m riding a Specialized Enduro Comp 2012(32,4 lbs). The idea behind was to go occasionally on park rides but majority of the riding woud be local stuff. My experience in Maribor, Slovenia was that the bike could hold up but I could feel it’s limits. Mainly talking about the fork here (Lyrik R). When i pumped it up so it wouldn’t bottom out it felt harsh on braking bumps, when left at normal pressure it collapsed on the steep, gnarly stuff.
    On the other side when I got to ride a Stumpjumper HT (23,8 lbs) here on the local trails it opened up a whole new world to me. The bike was so light I found myself sprinting half the way. On the Enduro it’s just sit and spin.

    I don’t want to give up on the Enduro’s hard hit capability that much but I am thinking of something in between the two. A bike that can handle small jumps, rocky,rooty sections and relative steep stuff but is sprintable. For the park rides I’ll just rent a Demo, or buy one if the trips get regular.

    Some that came to my mind:
    1, Evil Uprising
    2, Yeti SB66
    3, Stumpjumper FS 29″
    4, Santa Cruz 5010
    5, Intense Tracer 275

    An S-Works Enduro with a lighter build would be ideal I suppose but I just don’t have the cash for that.

    Would be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    For the price of any of those you could totally reinvent your enduro, and it’s a pretty comparable bike to the others you suggested there…

    toronte
    Member

    Thanks for the input.

    @Alex:
    I’d be more than happy to hear your feedback from the Bronson. And if you have the time also your main thoughts about the bikes you’ve already tested, what you liked the most, what the least about them.
    Also have you seen the updated 2014 Evil Uprising? I’m also concerned about previous feedbacks from durability issues but the metal insert is gone from the chainstay which might solve cracking issues. Not sure what happened to the tire clearance but they promised to fix that too. Sick frame, damn good riding reviews.

    @Northwind:
    Not sure if it’s the weight of the Enduro what puts it back when climbing or the suspension design. It’s great for going down, plush, linear feeling, swallows things in a very controlled manner. You can reduce the weight but there’s nothing you can do with the pedal bob. It’s just the way the Enduro is. A pedal platform shock is a must if you plan to pedal it. It’s like they say it is: climbs are bearable but not fun.

    I had a 2009 Zesty which was built light enough for XC riding (~28ish) and capable too. Maybe the Spicy with Pike, thru axle and better pedal platform is to consider as well. It’s just the money I don’t have for the team model…

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    I had a 2009 Zesty which was built light enough for XC riding (~28ish) and capable too.

    You should have just stuck with the Zesty. 🙂

    I’ve just been playing round with my 2009 to bring it up to date in a hashtagenduro kinda vibe. Main things being Pikes and 1 deg. slacker headset (so overall a couple of degrees slacker without significantly raising the BB).

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    I got fed up pedalling my 160mm bike and changed to a Zesty with a 160mm fork.

    Done on the cheap with a s/h 2011 bike, angleset and improved shock tune.

    The 2013 Zestys looked spot on though, so maybe consider a secondhand one and add a Pike?

    deviant
    Member

    Will get flamed for this i’m sure but here goes:

    From what you said the problem isnt the bike but the forks.
    Current air forks are popular because they are light and owners can easily have a fiddle with a pump and change settings….and lets be honest we all like to have a bit of a tinker with our bikes.

    Keep the bike but change to some forks with a spring in an oil bath, if you opt for a progressively wound spring you get soft/small bump ability at the start of the travel which ramps up to a firmer feel for hard hitting riding as more travel is used, this characteristic is hard to get with air forks in my opinion. You can also change the weight of the oil to achieve subtle characteristics that are harder to come by on an air fork.

    All the bikes you’ve shortlisted will have the same problem as your current bike if the fork set-up isnt right.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon
    Subscriber

    Well most of my thoughts centre around which bikes I find the most playful/poppy.
    I’ve also ridden 3 29ers and while I’m sure I’d learn to love them, they don’t behave in the way I’d want. I like changing lines, finding small things to pop off, etc. Most of my current learning is about trying to get around corners – unfortunately the Peak District doesn’t have many 🙂

    So…
    Cotic Rocket:
    Stiff, playful at the back, but also fairly slack and long. This seems quite a good mix to me. It’s heavyish, but then without carbon, most of the bikes I’m looking at are like that. I only weight 58kg so most will be overbuilt for me, so it’s more about geometry and suspension design. I would have preferred longer on this bike – the demo loop was limited. It climbed fine. For some reason I find single-pivots slightly odd in the wheel travel – they seem to hinge under me in a bike-folding-in-half way. I could live with it.
    Obviously the lowish price and made in UK by someone I’ve met thing goes a lot in its favour.

    Spesh Stumpjumper carbon 29er:
    It was a fast, grippy bike, but just felt like it wanted to cruise everything. That’s not my kind of riding. I still had fun on it, but not doing my usual thing – just riding into everything.

    Banshees:
    These all rode fairly similar at the back end – they are all pretty short at the rear – the rear of the 29ers didn’t feel like 29ers. Decent pedalling and reasonably poppy. Rode fairly high in travel until you dropped from height, then seemed bottomless (even the 105mm travel Phantom didn’t bottom-out harshly).
    Didn’t manage to try and dial in the CCDB shock to see if I could make them more poppy. Would like to try.
    The 29ers just felt a little hard to wrestle around corners. Again, I could live with them, but it was refreshing when I jumped on the Rune (650b) and flicked through the berms again.
    I love the raw finish.
    Rune would be high on my list if it was a pound lighter, so Spitfire is probably best bet.

    kedmun
    Member

    The 2013 Zestys looked spot on though, so maybe consider a secondhand one and add a Pike?

    I’ve got a 2012/13 Zesty (2012 bike with replacement 2013 frame) and it kicks ass. Rockshox revs are fantastic for my kind of riding and seem to hold up well on rough terrain when pushing hard. Few bits and bobs changed to try and keep weight down – sub 30lb, climbs really well.

    toronte
    Member

    Thank you all again for the feedback, espacially Alex for the detailed one.

    Spesh Stumpjumper carbon 29er:
    It was a fast, grippy bike, but just felt like it wanted to cruise everything. That’s not my kind of riding. I still had fun on it, but not doing my usual thing – just riding into everything.

    It’s exactly what’s going on with the Enduro. Just imagine more of that kinda stuff. And this is what makes pedaling less efficient + that little added weight.

    @timmys, chakaping, kedmun: I had both Enduro and Zesty at a time. I decided to give up on the Zesty because the Enduro is more confidence inspiring and even more capable. I didn’t have the confidence to bring the Zesty to a park. Nobody should have with a 140mm 26er with 9mm QR’s. (I’m not talking trail centres, I’m talking about big mountains with hairy rocky and root sections with proper steep terrain and drops) The idea was that the Enduro could do both trails and parks.

    @deviant: You are perfectly right. I can’t tell you how much I struggled if I should change the Lyrik R for a Marzo 55 rc3 ti. It’s still something to re-consider. (Or just throw in rc2dh damper+rebound units)And then I’d have a bike that can do parks without any trouble. My thought here was that I buy something more XC-ish (a trail bike) and rent a Demo on those few occasions when I go abroad. And that would be the ideal bike to ride parks.

    The new 650b Stumpy is the shiznizzle. As I believe the youth of today say.

    Rode one back to back with a 29er version recently, and at the risk of killing lots of fluffy little kitty cats, the tweenerwheeler was lovely.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Saracen Ariel?

    I had the 2011 one and it was a real hooligan bike, but heavy.

    They seem to be lighter now – so if they still ride as loutishly then it could be a great bike.

    b r
    Member

    An S-Works Enduro with a lighter build would be ideal I suppose but I just don’t have the cash for that.

    Just buy a lighter fork (RS Rev maybe) and wheels plus maybe smaller rotors to get your current bike below 30lbs. Add some lighter and fast-rolling tyres to that too.

    Far cheaper than a new bike.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    The new 650b Stumpy is the shiznizzle. As I believe the youth of today say.

    Rode one back to back with a 29er version recently, and at the risk of killing lots of fluffy little kitty cats, the tweenerwheeler was lovely.

    Interesting, I’ve not ridden one yet but I know a few that have. The word ‘shit’ was used, but not in a nice way. they said it felt like they’d put a 26inch rear end on a 29er front end, cut and shut stylee, then fitted 650b wheels and got the worst of all worlds.

    Could have been a pre production one though.

    In STW tradition, i’ll recomend what I have, which is a solo, and its perfect.

    toronte
    Member

    Putting a Rev on an Enduro just doesn’t sound right. If I’d go for a lighter fork, I’d go less travel. Rev would be perfect for a Stumpy.
    650b Stumpy sounds perfect for the task. It’s just prejudice but I have a feeling that spesh just put bigger wheels on and made minor modifications to the frame to accomodate them. I would expect something what Tom mentioned. That being said, I have never ridden one.

    Honestly I’d like to brake away from the super plush FSR design to something that rides higher in its travel. Something with more pop to it. Also don’t want the brake jack of single pivot design. Here I must admit that I have never ridden a single pivot, who knows, maybe I’d like it.

    maxtorque
    Member

    Do people really find loosing a couple of lbs makes that much difference?

    Sure, going from a 32lb, long travel slackster to a 23lb HT whippet of a bike is going to be different, but i can’t really see THAT much difference just say dropping from 32lb to 29lb at the same geo/travel etc??

    Of course, if you just want a new bike, well, that’s completely different 😉

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    maxtorque – Member

    Do people really find loosing a couple of lbs makes that much difference?

    depends how you do it. In this case a lot of that weight is coming out of the fork, which is also going to be a good performance upgrade. More could come out of the wheels which again you’ll notice bigtime. The rest will help a bit but those are the big wins, and with a frame of the enduro’s quality, they’ll still be the big wins even with a new bike.

    toronte
    Member

    Of course, if you just want a new bike, well, that’s completely different

    That’s what’s the topic about.
    Less travel, better pedaling platform, somewhat lower weight. I’m not wishing 23lb from a trail bike here but 28,5 is realistic. That’s about 4 lb drop. Sounds a good recipe in theory.

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