Who is doing long low slack 29er FS trail bikes around £1500

  • This topic has 32 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by  wzzzz.
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  • Who is doing long low slack 29er FS trail bikes around £1500
  • wzzzz

    I have a ten year old 26er FS that I have not really used for about 5 years (life/health) but I’m getting back into MTB and my bike is starting to show signs of age!

    I’ve demoed a few £2-4k bikes with what seems to known as modern geo:

    29er (ideally with room for 27.5+)
    66/67 head angle
    75 seat angle
    460ish reach
    620ish ett
    1200ish wheelbase
    435ish stays
    340ish BB height

    These ride really well for the riding I do lakes/dales.

    But I don’t have deep enough pockets for those….

    I can only find the Marin Rift Zone 1/2 with this kind of geo at this price point. This seems to be the same frame as the B17 which comes with 27.5+. Others have some flaw like high BB or slack seat tube and lower reach.

    Struggling to get a decent demo on a rift zone.

    Does any one know of others? Or do I need to wait for next years bikes for everyone to catch up?

    I usually buy used, but this geo seems new so not much about used either at my price point.


    have a look at Pauls cycles for Marins and others. Massive discounts.


    ta, not many in large theres a full price merida 120 that looks OK.

    Premier Icon frogstomp

    Don’t know if it ticks all of your boxes exactly, but the Calibre Bossnut Evo could be in the ballpark (with £500+ spare for some choice upgrades) and has been well received.



    The bossnut is 27.5, also its too “high” with 18mm bb drop (looking at 30mm), seat tube is too slack meaning reach is shorter than I’m looking for. Probably also means wheelbase is down around 1100.

    I want the moon on a stick. Perhaps I should try harder to have a go on the Marin, the shock lets it down according to reviews so I might well need to compromise and demo some cheaper bikes….

    I might just wait and see if Alpkit ever make that 29er FS or when Planet-X / that Brant bloke release their imminent swathe of new bikes there may be a frame kit for me.

    Premier Icon joebristol

    You’re probably struggling for a LLS 29er full suss in that price range.

    A couple I found that are a little more expensive:



    Premier Icon frogstomp

    My bad, I was actually thinking of the new Calibre Sentry – it’s at £2k at the moment but bound to drop further at some point.

    Premier Icon funkrodent

    The Norco Fluid FS2 looks pretty good. Available at Evans for £1750 but pretty sure they knock a couple of hundred quid off if you trade in an old (any old) bike.

    29er,slack,long,loww bb, steep seat tube.

    Used to have a Norco, they’re great bikes. This one reviews well as well..

    Premier Icon duncancallum



    Brill thanks all.

    That Calibre looks spot on geometry, I wonder if it will drop to £1500. But then maybe its too much bike, I was thinking 120/130/140 mm travel bikes rather than 150/160.

    Love the Bird but its already reduced and too much £, unless I can find a used frame.

    Bergamont, never heard of them, look good -£1800 contrail looks great but slightly steep up front, trailster spot on but maybe too much bike again. Both out of budget.

    The Norco! How have I missed these. hmmm. Dammit just missed the evans trade in ended 30th april for £150 off.

    Ditto the Vitus.

    One hand thinks I should stew on it over summer and see what pops up in sales in the autumn, the other is saying buy and enjoy.

    Going to try and find a Norco and a Vitus demo.

    Premier Icon joebristol

    Don’t miss the summer – just get something bought! You might struggle to demo the vitus unless you can find a friendly soul on the Vitus Owners Facebook group (loads of people on there).

    Guessing Bird AM9’s won’t be going secondhand too much yet as hey haven’t been out that long.

    Premier Icon frogstomp

    I have a ten year old 26er FS that I have not really used for about 5 years (life/health) but I’m getting back into MTB and my bike is starting to show signs of age!

    But then maybe its too much bike

    You may be surprised how versatile modern bikes are compared to those from 10 years ago.

    That Calibre looks spot on geometry, I wonder if it will drop to £1500.

    Bank Holiday coming up.. extra 10-20% discounts common @ Go Outdoors.



    Getting confused over forks

    is this true:

    Sector < Recon < Revs < Yari

    With yari being the best of those? sectors and recon 32mm and revs/yari 35mm stanchions?

    My old float 120mms are 32.

    The Calibre sentry is the best spec but is out of budget. Will see if go outdoors will let me ride it and see what the prices do over the bank hol as suggested!

    Premier Icon joebristol

    Broadly on forks yes. Just be careful with dampers in the Yari and the Revelation.

    To clarify:

    The Yari has the same chassis as the Lyrik, but lower spec dampers.

    The Revelation has the same chassis as the Pike, but lower spec dampers.

    Both of the above chassis have 35mm diameter dampers but the Yari/Lyrik one has thicker walled metal and a heavier duty crown – so it’s stiffer but heavier.

    The older / less good dampers are called Motion Control.

    The ‘best’ RS dampers are Charger dampers – although there are different levels of these.

    There is a new damper called a charger rc that has been introduced that’s better than a moco but maybe a tiny bit behind a full charger.

    I think the Reba / recon / sector are all quite a way behind the above 4 forks – 32mm stanchions etc.


    Deffo try and get a set of 35mm forks, they can all be upgraded with pike or lyric charger dampers and air shafts so plenty of room to upgrade. The lower end forks, below the revs/yari are not great for upgrades.

    The Vitus Escarpe came second in MBUK Bike of the Year recently, so worth a look. Beaten to first place by the Commencal Meta TR, again worth a look. Both, I think, come in various spec levels to suit various budgets.

    I’d also have a look on Winstanley’s bikes ; they have a Whyte S-150 for just over £2k, which is more than you want to spend, but must tick the boxes you’ve noted…


    How about a Dartmoor Bluebird?
    It’s currently top of my list, but I’ll be moving all the bits from the HT over…

    Premier Icon muggomagic

    GT Sensor. I was very close to buying one but wanted something a bit more xc oriented as I already have a YT Capra.
    The sport model is £1500 and gets good reviews. Next one up in the range is about £1800 which gets you better fork and dropper.

    Premier Icon Mary Hinge

    @joebristol- thanks for the fork synopsis. Very useful for me as I need new forks but haven’t been keeping up with developments.

    All I need now is someone to do similar for Fox, cane creek, dvo, dt etc! 😁😉


    I was tempted by a rift zone but decided to go with a hawk hill because I wanted to boost off stuff and not win races. It’s a right laugh, I’d definitely go and have a look at one, puals are selling last year’s off still and they’re cheap, the geometry is slightly better than the hawk hill too, because the seat tube isn’t as long.

    Premier Icon The Pinkster

    I’d recommend a GT Sensor too. Took my AL Comp for its first ride last weekend and was truly amazed at how good it was, never mind it costing less than 2k.

    I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with the Sport as a good value FSer for 1.6k

    That does assume you can get one though, had real problems tracking mine down and ended up ordering it weeks in advance of arrival in the UK


    Thanks for the fork run down, really helpful!

    Now then, a Dartmoor Bluebird frame at €650 ex shock I could probably squeeze a build in using existing kit, just need shock, rims, spokes, stem and probably a used fork.

    However….. they are out of stock everywhere at that price – seen any Large anywhere at that price?

    GT sensor looks good, but I worry about the high BB and that is mentioned in reviews. Whether I would notice it or not is another matter. Another to try and ride.

    Hawk hill as far as I can see is the same frame as B17 and rift zone but with shorter chainstays to suit its 27.5 wheels. I’d rather one that can fit 29 and 27.5+ in there.

    Premier Icon johnw1984

    My missus has just got a Marin B-17 3 and she loves it. Says it’s the most confidence inspiring bikes shes had (even moreso than the Ohlins/coil equipped Juliana Roubion she had).

    I think she paid around £1500 from Rutland and the spec is excellent (GX Eagle, Pike, Super Deluxe RCT3 etc).


    Thanks. Seems it is well worth getting a notch or two up from the base model to get better shock and forks.

    Damn my “average” size needing a large size. Theres loads of offers around on Smalls…

    I contacted sonder yesterday and they say their 29er will be this year defo.

    Then they had a facebook post this morning saying 2020….


    Trek Fuel Ex 29 fits those numbers ish. Ridden one couple of weekends as hire bike – climbs well with platform on and descends ridiculously well for it’s travel – capable of carrying decent speed even over rocky terrain until it gets really rocky.

    Only issue is out of stock in XL in every model but the 6.5k one in UK. (I wanted to get one!)

    Premier Icon ampthill

    I’m after something similar

    Why is this not the answer? I’m not trying to be clever just interested in your thoughts, you seem to know more than me. It’s 29er in the larger sizes


    Although I’d probably go one up the range



    Ps maybe we should wait for the container of discounted Fuel ex’s from the states. Presumably they’ll be loads once they realise that no on in the states is going to stand a 25% price hike….


    That could well be the answer. Maybe its a fraction too steep HA and a fraction too slack STA. Maybe I’m nit picking.

    Turns out there are lots of bikes that might suit.

    I would rather have deore kit and better fork than the slx/xt.

    Getting tired of scouring geometry charts now. Might go for a ride.

    Hob Nob

    I’d pick up a second hand 2017+ Fuel. There are plenty of the EX8’s in your budget. They are slacker & lower than Trek advertise, and by proxy a little bit longer in the wheelbase. I’ve run mine with a 140mm fork & it’s HA is just sub 66 degrees. The seat angle is a little slack if you are tall (virtual number isn’t bad, actual makes it a bit of a pain).

    It’s had a 150mm fork on it to slacken it out more, i’ve run it with a coil shock & it works well too.

    You can also pull the travel spacer out of the shock & it will increase the travel by another 7mm with no issues too, taking it to just under 140mm.

    It’s a really good trail bike.


    New rift zone in large for £950 and leaves plenty for any upgrades


    Brill thanks I messaged him, but he is at the other end of the country and explicitly says collection only.

    Premier Icon stevemorg2

    I’ve just decided to sell my Trek Fuel 29er if its of any interest?

    Frame is 2019 size 19.5/18.5 – a warranty replacement back in August and in excellent condition.
    It’s running XT 2×11 with 11-42 Sunrace (cassette, rings and chains are a week old), XT brakes and shifters.
    KS Dropper, Rental Fat lite bars.
    Its got a 140mm Pike with Luftkappe (service by TFT in September) and Hope on Mavic 821 rims (I’m thinking about keeping the forks and wheels to go on my new Stage Five though)
    Could sell complete (£1750) or minus wheels and forks (£1250) – or I could source some cheaper wheels and forks – In Cardiff – can sort out pics and post if required -let me know if it’s of interest


    Hi Stevemorg2 I will message you now cheers.

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