Solaris vs Soul – help me decide please
Since buying a retro Kona and riding fully rigid its made me realise how boring my full suspension bike makes everything, my local trials aren’t exactly challenging and an FS makes them even less so, which for me makes it a lot less fun. Generally its a mixture of tight singletrack and general cross country missions out in the sticks.
I’ve decided to sell the FS frame and buy a hardtail, I like the look of the Solaris and Soul (owned one previously), I’m just having trouble deciding which one.
I’ve got decent parts on my FS and if I bought a Soul they would swap over apart from the seat post and f/mech. For a Solaris I would need forks and wheels etc, but the extra 10mm in the TT would fit me better and I can see the benefits of big wheels on a HT
Obviously demoing a Solaris would be idea, but I can’t find anyone local so its out of the question.
How does it compare to the Soul? I want to get the best idea I can before deciding. Does the Solaris handle tight singletrack well? Is it still flickable like a Soul? I expect it to be a bit slower but I don’t want it to be too compromised.
Any input that would make my decision easier would be appreciated, thanks.Posted 4 years agodantiSubscriber
Having had both a Soda and a Solaris I’d say a Solaris, I’m 5’11” on a medium Solaris running a 55mm stem which keeps the handling nice and tight. You do have to “work” the bike a little more through tight switchback stuff but the extra speed you can carry along and down more than make up for this work. You don’t feel the bumps as much so it’s a comfier ride and you don’t feel as beat up after a long ride.
Also due to better traction of a larger footprint I find I can clean climbs now the weathers turning that the Soda may struggle with.
As you say demo one if possible.Posted 4 years agometalheartSubscriber
Sometimes its difficult to make a decision…
Somewhat unsurprisingly they do ride different. Soul is ‘quicker’ but Solaris rolls better. I don’t find it too compromised, just needs a bit more body movement in the tight stuff. once you get used to it it doesn’t really feel that much different to me… As others have said, always good to get a test ride (but I ordered mine on spec)
If you like 29ers, all good, its a cracking bike. Definitely comfier.
But if you fancy re-using the 26er bits and bobs the Soul is also a cracking bike. But I’d be less inclined if your forks aren’t 120mm as IMHO that’s the best height.
Then you just need to decide what you actually want…Posted 4 years ago
That’s odd because I find my Solaris much ‘quicker’ and comfier than the Soul it replaced. I had 660mm bars on the Soul and have 740mm on the Solaris. They feel as nimble as each other. The Solaris rolls much better and obviously absorbs bumps bettet. They are both great bikes.Posted 4 years ago
Although, looking at 26″ wheels now I can’t see how they don’t just fall down every hole on the trails…
Thanks for the replies so far. I’ve managed to get a test ride on a Solaris at Kinetic Cycles in Hitchin, a very helpful chap.
The demo bike is a large and I’m 5’11” with a 32″ inseam. I prefer a long TT so I’m guessing a large with a short stem would be a better bet to keep the steering quick rather than a medium with an 80mm stem?
How tall are you Metalheart and what size do you have? Nice collection by the way!!!
Edit: I previously had a medium Soul with an 80mm stem which it felt too short for me and gave me back ache.Posted 4 years ago
Similar to metalheart above – I have a large Solaris and a large Soul (and a Simple!). They are different as noted and expected, the Soul is huge fun as you know and it throws around well.
I bought the Solaris second-hand to dip a toe into the clown-wheeled world, and expected it to struggle on my local riding of tight turns around trees etc, but it has managed surprisingly well. I took it to the Quantocks and went round first time on a very steep technical corner that I had never been able to get close to riding on the Soul – no idea how that happened. It’s not as “lively” but still a great ride. The biggest issue I have with the Solaris is it makes me feel weird for the first 5 minutes when back on 26″!
So the 26 vs 29er argument in microcosm – they are different but neither is better.
As for sizing, I can’t help as I’m 6’2″ and the large sizes are perfect for me.
Hope that helpsPosted 4 years ago
A large with a 60mm stem will be the same as my current bike with an 80mm stem (which is spot on), I have ape arms and shortish legs.
Ononeorage – I live in Edenbridge but we have family in Hatfield so I can demo when visiting.
Would anyone be kind enough to measure the standover on their large for me please? It would help me out a lot!Posted 4 years agoBreganteSubscriber
The Solaris is the best hardtail I’ve ever ridden. 6’1 and a bit here on a large and it fits me perfectly but I’m running a 40 mm stem. Could probably have gone to a medium too. Never ridden a Soul but by all accounts they’re ace too. I just prefer a 29er hardtail. I’ve got serious envy of metalhearts bike collection!Posted 4 years agometalheartSubscriber
To the OP: sorry, forgot to check back on this.
I’m a smidge under 6′, 33.5″ inseam and they are all mediums. Stems are 65 on Solaris and 70 on the Soul. Perfect for for me. The soul started off at 90 but with 645 bars. Gradually got shorter & wider. It felt at its limit for a start.
Solaris is 10 mm longer (ETT) if iirc. If you like a long top tube (and Cotic recommend the L) then I’d go with that. Cy was adamant the med was my size and I went with it.Posted 4 years agoalandavidpetrie79Member
I’m 6′ 3″ – 34″ inside leg & ride an XL Solaris.
It is such a great all-rounder! I sold my SC Nomad, now just use the Solaris, suits the riding I do so much better.
Sticking with it for a while yet.
Only thing id swap it for is a 2souls QH, but they are silly money! (Nice tho…….)
Im sure you won’t disappointed with either, my mate had a Soul & loved it.Posted 4 years ago
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