- What short travel 29er trail bike?
I’ve recently sold my Chameleon and want something with a bit of bounce in the rear. I live in Tunbridge Wells so bar the odd trip to Sheffield and Wales, most of my riding is either Bedgebury or the SDW. I’ve always got on better with full sussers so I’m looking at the shorter travel end of the market.
Have given some serious thought to a Stage 4, however the lack of waterbottle mounts is a bit off putting (I don’t like riding with a pack). Also their full builds are a joke price wise but I’m happy to build it up myself. Other options are an alloy tallboy, built up similar to a stage 4, or maybe a Fuel EX 8 which comes in a fair bit cheaper.
I’ve got a budget up to about 3.5k, I’d prefer 29er and don’t really need anything over 130mm of travel. I’m also not really into the long/low side of things, tried a Cotic and it just felt a bit much for where I live (although ideal for the peaks).
Any ideas?Posted 6 months agoHob NobMember
The Fuel is a bloody good 29″ trail bike IMO. But I would try one for sure, as they are a bit lower and slacker than Trek advertise.
I still really like mine, now it’s back in its light weight trail bike setup, it’s just a really good MTB.
But I do have a bigger, long travel bike for racing on now, to make life easier 🙂Posted 6 months agoAdam_BucklandMember
If I was in your shoes I’d be having a very goods look at the new 29 Giant Trance.
I have the no not available 650b Anthem with 130mm forks and find it a perfect trail bike for similar riding that you describe and I think the new Trance is just a grown up version of it.Posted 6 months agocymohndeeMember
So many fantastic choices here. Scott Spark has to be on your list as well…. The Merida 120 too. Me? I love my Evil Following MB. I really recommend demoing them though. Some bikes I thought I’d love didn’t connect when I actually rode them, others were a very pleasant surprise. They all feel different.Posted 6 months agoroverpigSubscriber
I much prefer my longshot flaremax to the smuggler I had before. But if you found the cotic too long then the smuggler might be ideal for you. It’s a great bike and at least the previous versions weren’t as extreme 8n terms of length as many of the newer offerings.
I had a 26” trance back in the day, which was a great XC/trail bike. The new 29er does indeed look great, but I think it’s getting as long and slack as all the others now.Posted 6 months agobungalisticSubscriber
This Merida just got a decent review – https://www.pinkbike.com/news/merida-one-twenty-8000-review.html
I’ve got a alu smuggler, it’s a little heavy with poor rear tyre clearance but it’s good fun.Posted 6 months agosnotragMember
The lack of bottle cage mounts is, your quite right, annoying, but I’m putting up with it (back bottles are a good solution).
However I am super pleased with my Stage 4, which I built up considerably cheaper than Oranges off the peg bikes.
I’ve got Fox Performance Series 34s with the Grip Damper, GX 1×11, Hope brakes, Mavic Trail Elite wheels etc. I love it.
My size Large frame fits me just right with a 125mm dropper, and is reasonably long in the TT without being quite Cotic long.
A Flaremax would have been my other favourite contender but the Orange was a lot cheaper with a Fox Shock.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/HGtDGD]_20180520_213935[/url] by simonholehan, on FlickrPosted 6 months agostewartcSubscriber
I recently bought a complete 2017 SC Tallboy C from my LBS for roughly 2,500 GBP. Its a mk3 so has the current geometry but has the 2017 color scheme so a bargain to be had. Even after upgrading the forks to MRP Ribbon Air (set to 130mm) and Flow Mk3 wheels it still falls under your 3.5k target.Posted 6 months ago
Its an absolute blast, so much so I’m considering selling my Firebird as it now hardly gets ridden.flangeSubscriber
Thanks for all the suggestions folks, much appreciated.
I’ve considered the Smuggler but it sounds like weight could be a bit of an issue? I want to do the SDW in a day and I’d be wary of something heavy and draggy – of course this said I want to ride it in wales and the peaks too, so basically I’m looking at ‘moon on a stick’ type stuff.
I do really want a Stage 4, it’s just the lack of bottle that puts me off. And obviously I like Santa Cruz because…well, because it’s a Santa Cruz so still considering a Tall boy.
Snotrag – can I ask how tall you are? I sat on a large Stage 6 and it felt pretty long (I’m 6’2 with long arms and legs).
Hadn’t considered an intense – will mooch over to their website now and have a look.Posted 6 months agoClinkSubscriber
I want to do the SDW in a day and I’d be wary of something heavy and draggy – of course this said I want to ride it in wales and the peaks too, so basically I’m looking at ‘moon on a stick’ type stuff.
Nope. Carbon Tallboy, Intense Primer, Orbea Occam will all do both types of riding. Modern bikes are great.Posted 6 months agojet26Member
Definitely worth a demo on an intense – even the primer pedals and climbs like a rocket, despite being pretty handy downhill. (Think one of their mechanics does easier enduros on one at times).
Lot of bike for the money now they are direct sale. And no I don’t work for/with them!!Posted 6 months agoKryton57Subscriber
If you’re a medium: https://www.merlincycles.com/intense-spider-275c-expert-build-enduro-mountain-bike-2017-103083.html
https://epic-cycles.co.uk/orbea-occam – the Occam Carbon TR M30 on that page
this stunning Whyte S120 C RS – https://whyte.bike/collections/bikes/products/s120crs
In fact, forget the rest just get the Whyte….
Posted 6 months agokumanSubscriber
I got my Marin Rift Zone 3 2019 from Biketart sale about month ago and it’s bloody a lot of bike for £1600. So far changed tyres to minions and got longer dropper post and still under £1800. I have clocked 200miles around Cannock Chase in a month and love it.Posted 6 months ago
If I had 3.5k budget I would probably get Santa Cruz tho.chiefgrooveguruMember
One of my mates loves his Intense Primer – his other bikes are a 26” Ti Slackline (which he now finds annoyingly slow) and a Nomad 3 (which now only comes out for gnarly days). Seems quick up and down and along (on the South Downs as well as elsewhere) and I’ve seen him send the Motherhucker drop in the Surrey Hills which is a good 10’ odd vertical.Posted 6 months agoKingofBiscuitsMember
Lots of great bikes in the short travel 29er category for that budget.
Trek Fuel. Scott Spark. Giant Trance. Transition Smuggler. Stumpy ST. Pivot Trail 429. Ibis Ripley LS.
Yeti SB4.5? Now discontinued by Yeti so some deals around for C series builds or T series frames. 114mm rear / 140mm front. I like mine. A very versatile bike that’s equally as comfortable dispatching xc rides as well as riding more challenging terrain.Posted 6 months agomindthegapMember
Another Orbea Occam TR owner here. Very pleased with the bike, climbs really well and great downhill for what I use it for. You can also customise your bike to a degree when you order. Well worth a look in my opinion. I borrowed one of the new stumpjumpers over the summer and it was good but definitely heavy up hill. That was the 150mm stumpy thoughPosted 6 months agoSir HCSubscriber
Smuggler isn’t what you’re after, not a good enough pedaler.
If not the stage 4
Smuggler pedals fine, the Orange on the other hand is terrible. Had plenty of big days out on the smuggler (5000ft, 30miles). I’d bin the monarch shock that comes on it and stick a double barrel IL on it, monarch holds the bike back.Posted 6 months ago
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