XC, Full Sus or new hardtail
I’m looking for a bit of advice if anyone has any thoughts.
Currently I have a santa cruz chameleon, hope hubs, dropper post, maxxis wheels, I’ve spent the weekend in Cornwall riding some trails and some costal paths and my local ride is in a forest mostly steep climbs along with some single track, I’m finding with this bike it’s a slog the bike feels heavy I struggle to getting it rolling when coming down hill so I’m looking for and all rounder – local is climbing about 80% fire roads, normal roads and some technical roots and rocks
20% downhill single track and visits to some trail centres a couple of times a year..
So what do I get ? I’ve got cycle to work scheme so I’d be happy spending about £2000 the cap is unlimited but I think that’s a good price the Santa Cruz was bought off a mate and it’s pretty old now, it’s a nice bike but it just feels a chore, my mate had a Vitus and it’s so much nicer to ride.
ThanksPosted 3 months agostanleyFull Member
Shocker… Vitus better than Santa Cruz!
Sounds like short-travel full suspension might be right for you. But you’ll probably have to spend plenty to get it lighter than the Chameleon.
I love my Gen 4 Tallboy, but very expensive. Vitus Rapide FS maybe? It would be light for the money.Posted 3 months ago
you need to decide on that.. i mean.. its not like youre going to get a scott spark or something for the budgetPosted 3 months ago
the right tyres nad wheels for where and how you are riding can change a bike drastically… it’s not like a few degrees here and there is going to be a game changer for a new hardtail…
Id try and identify exactly what your current bike is missing/ weak and use theat as guidance for the way forwards
Draggy and heavy tyres can completely kill the feel of a bike and make it seem much heavier and more sluggish. What variety of Maxxis Tyres do you have? When I took my double casing (DD) DHF & Aggressor off for a normal set of Minions when I got back from the Alps and it dropped 1kg off the bike and felt like a completely different machine!Posted 3 months agodevashFree Member
As above, I bet it’s the tyres.
Solution = Second set of lighter (carbon?) wheels with fast XC tyres front and rear.Posted 3 months ago
^ very much this! Check what weight and tread pattern your current tyres are then decide if you want for example a tougher casing with harder compound faster rolling tread at rear with a more malleable adhesive and bitier tread at front.
Also your choice should be altered somewhat by rider weight, rim width and inevitably tyre pressures.
Eg, heavy bassas like me who like supportive rear tyres choose a heavier tougher carcass sidewall version and those like me who prefer a bitey front and softer compound with a profile that likes to shape around the terrain.
If your Chameleon is a 29er then at a rough guess rear tyre at 1.1kg and front at 0.9 kg
Fyi Michelin Wild Enduro racing versions are like 2.8 kg. Now that would be a lump to ride.Posted 3 months ago
Hi, so I’ve just checked
Mavic 819 disc
Minion DH F DOWNHILL SPECIFIC
MAXIs 2.5 26×2.5
I’m not really up on tyres as I just bought this will it make a big difference changing the tyres ?Posted 3 months ago
Yep Downhill Maxxis Tyres will be like pedalling through treacle! So I’d say you can make a big difference for quite a small investment in some more suitable ones.Posted 3 months agoblikingFree Member
Changing from downhill specific tyres will make a massive difference!Posted 3 months ago
yup, i usually ride sensible enduro/trail casing tyres, but recently ive fallen in love with more XC orientated tyes, so much differencePosted 3 months ago
I’m guessing from that spec it’s the old 26″ Chameleon?
In that case I guess it depends how much you feel it’s holding you back.
Any half decent XC-Trail 29er with faster rolling tyres will feel both like a rocketship uphill and much quicker downhill.
But equally some lighter wheels (or even just lighter tyres) will make your bike feel much quicker. So whether that’s worth the other £1900 of the budget is upto you.
£2k regrettably doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. Some of the predominantly online brands like Vitus, On-One, Canyon etc offer better value, but in bricks and mortar shops you see Deore drivechains and Judy forks on £2k XC hardtails (albeit as the entry level to the carbon frame in the case of the BMC I was looking at)!
If it were my £££ I’d maybe buy an On-One Scandal for £1200 or whatever they are at the moment (because that’s what I did) and then upgrade it as and when. They need better tyres out the box though. And the remaining ~£700 of the budget spend on some light XD or microspline wheels and GX or XT cassette in a years time which will make it feel more nimble.Posted 3 months ago
Yes it is the old Chameleon, I’ll take a look at some other tyres while I’m looking for a new bike, I can stretch the £2000 if needed they give you unlimited budget but I don’t want to go nuts, are the Scandals good ?
Would it cover most of my riding that I mentioned ?
Thanks for all the responses aswell really helpfulPosted 3 months agoseriousrikkFull Member
From what you have described… tyres will make a huge difference.
In the STW spirit of recommending what you have, I’m finding that Nobby Nic is a nice compromise of fast rolling vs good grip when it gets rougher.
If you are definately going for a new bike, either budget for tyres or buy a bike that comes with tyres most suited to what you ride.Posted 3 months ago
are the Scandals good ?
For the money, I think so. The only real compromises in the spec are the crap tyres. Most owners find the hubs to be a bit rubbish, and the SX cassette.
But if you go into it knowing that, chuck some nice tyres on it straight away, ride it for a while (say a year, 2000miles) then it’ll be due a drive chain refresh and you can upgrade the wheels when you replace the cassette.Posted 3 months agotailsFree Member
I think the cycling boom has gone bust so lots of nearly new bikes for sale at the moment.Posted 3 months agoandrewhFree Member
Get some Maxxis Ikons or Schwalbe Racing Ralphs on there and see how much of a difference it makes (a lot!)Posted 3 months ago
That’s over a pound saved per tyre,plus much less draggy. Pair can be had for £60ish, so worth doing before you chuck £2k at a new bike
If I can get my current bike running how I want I would definitely keep it, it’s just working out if it’s the frame or the tyres, but I think I’ll go for the tyres see how that changes the bike, riding through treacle was a good description because that’s how it feels everytime I ride it, I’ll look at the wheels and see how that goes and report back, anything else you’d change ?Posted 3 months ago
I am fairly conclusive that NNs are love / hate
I sure as heck do not rate NNs as near good enough. Can’t stand them.
Schwalbe Racing Ralph up front and Hans Dampf rear in a 2.35″ width with Evo Addix Snake skin should do nicely.
Probably a good kg straight off rotational weight.
Oh and I misread title every time I came on here so no NO new £2k bike needed.Posted 3 months agotwonksFull Member
I’d look at the On One Whippet over a Scandal if they are available.
Mine with a set of Reba forks was great and probably faster than my main HT, a Carbon Chameleon.Posted 3 months ago
Not entirely fair as the Whippet was built with lighter weight kit and ultimately didn’t ride as nice but, it wasn’t far off for the significant difference in price.
So on the back of this post I am looking at new tyres but I have never really got into tyres and its a minefield, I want to get something good so they last.
Wheel size is 26 current tyres are 26×2.5 on a rear Mavic 719 Rim and 819 disc front this was built up by the last owner so I want to get it right for my riding.
My local ride is uphill fire track with some lanes, rocky and then single track which can get massively muddy in autumn / winter the ups and straights are killing me currently the tyres just have no roll unless its pointing downhill, I want something that will be fast going up and down I know I’m asking a lot 🙂
so what should I buy, do I need to run different on front and rear what makes would anyone advise.
thanksPosted 2 months ago
If you have DH minions then it’s no surprise they’re slow.
If you ride where it’s muddy all winter I’d try a Maxxis DHR2 on the back in exo casing and dual compound rubber. The 2.3” version is a lot less draggy than the 2.4” version in 650b – not sure about 26” wheels. You could run the same tyre on the front but in 3c compound – still exo casing.
If you want to go faster than that you could run a pair of maxxis dissectors or pair of forekasters. The dissector is like a lighter / faster rolling DHF – the forekaster is classed as aggressive xc so is a bit lighter but hooks up surprisingly well in mud I’ve found.
In other brands the Nobby Nic is pretty similar to a Forekaster – just probably not quite as good. The specialised Ground Control is probably another equivalent ish tyre. Reasonable all rounders but will have less ultimate grip than the dhf you have now.Posted 2 months agoads678Full Member
Obvs changing tyres like others up there have said will make the bike less draggy, but Old 26″ wheeled bike and bike to work scheme available. I’d be looking at what I could get for your 2K budget. Sonder cortex can be had for much less than 2K and they take most cycle to work schemes.
A shortish travel modern full susser will be like a rocketship compared to your current bike, up and down. Especially in 29er flavour IMO.Posted 2 months agozerocoolFull Member
What about a lighter, stiffer set of wheels and less draggy tyres?
That’s what I have on my hardtail, 30mm tough rims with Minion DHF and SS and some lighter 25mm rims with a pair of Minion SS on them.
I always thought the Chameleon rode quite well with light wheels/tyres on it.
Or get a gravel bike?Posted 2 months ago
Good 26″ tyres are getting harder to find, Nobby Nicks’s would fit the bill though. Ground Controls I treat more as a summer-mixed tyre, and use Purgatory’s for winter-mixed conditions, the GC’s are OK in the occasional wet section but aren’t great once its almost always wet (whereas Purgatory’s are Ok to good in the wet without being draggy on hardpacked sections).Posted 2 months ago
The Cortex is available under £2000 but the spec isn’t brilliant. Deorr
E 12 speed is fine but that one for £1899 gets a Recon silver fork which is pretty low rent. The lowest one I’d take is the GX Eagle one which gets a revelation – but that’s £2699.
If a Vitus hardtail was noticeably quicker than a chameleon I bet the biggest issue was tyres tbh.Posted 2 months agostumpy01Full Member
As a few people have said, finding decent 26″ tyres is becoming increasingly difficult, especially if you want them to go up tubeless.
I’ve got a Schwalbe Nobby Nic front & Spesh Ground Control rear tyre on my On One Inbred. They work well & grip pretty well. I managed to get a flinty cut in the Nobby Nic a few months ago, which was a first for me so not sure how durable they are. It sealed OK with a tubeless blob thing and been OK since.
On the full-sus (also 26″) I use a Purgatory front & Ground Control rear.
All of them are the tubeless ready versions (TLR for Schwalbe & 2Bliss for Specialized, I think).
For the sort of riding I do on the Inbred, I probably could have got away with a Racing Ralph front & rear.Posted 2 months agooldenoughFree Member
Merlin have 26″ nobby nics and racing Ralph’s in stock. NN front RR rear is my go to day to day XC combo.Posted 2 months ago
Everyone is right ref the 26inch they are few and far between
Maxxis options I have Ardent, Minion or high roller and or Nobby Nic Addix all rounder, Magic Mary or Racing Ralph or specialized ground control – how would you mix these for the conditions I know it will be trail and error, but in terms of front and back to I go for a better tyre on the rear for braking, cornering etc,
Someone mentioned a gravel bike, I’m still wanting to ride trails, single-track which involves a bit of everything, once I have tried some new tyres I will start looking at other bikes, but for now it will be good to see the difference the tyres make
thanks for all the info aswell its been really helpfulPosted 2 months ago
Just an update on this post, so I changed the tyres and went tubeless now its rides really well, I ended up with nobby nic and hans dampf.
After a night riding in I now want a full sus, I ended up coming off the bike a couple of times as it was so wet and muddy which is fine I just think a full sus would help with the downs 2 of my mates have full sus bikes and left me for dust, I get ability makes all difference but me on my 2010 Santa Cruz and they had a new Trek 29er and Norco it kind of felt like I turned up to a gun fight with a knife.
so again with some advice if anyone can help.
The riding is some up and then single-track down, lots of roots, rocks etc so pretty technical in some parts and steep.
What are you riding in similar conditions in the now rubbish UK weather, I have my cycle to work ready ideally I don’t want to spend a fortune below is what I’ve looked at and these are really the most I want to spend, I’m also happy to upgrade over time.
VITUS MYTHIQUE 29 VRSPosted 2 months ago
Spectral 29 AL 5
Ibis Ripley AF
How about a Bird Aether 9? Sounds like you want a capable trail bike that’ll give you confidence.
Out of your list the Spectral is probably the most capable bike for really rowdy stuff – but the Ripley will pedal a lot better and probably be more fun on Singletrack. The spectral is bordering on being an enduro bike / long travel trail bike. Same as my Transition Sentinel really in that respect.
I’d probably skip the mythique – I think the Ripley and Spectral are better.
Not sure on the specialised – it’ll probably be a good all rounder. Maybe between the spectral and the Ripley.
I think I’d probably take the aether 9 if you can spec one ok for the money over all of the above options for your described use.Posted 2 months ago
Funnily the Aether 9 was on the top of my list but after looking on the website it seems that everything was out of stock. I really did like the look of them, I’ll have another look.
The Ripley looks really nice as-well but a lot of the things I’ve read they where saying that it’s not great at technical decents, rocks etc I’m not sure how true that is, I don’t trust a lot of reviews as you just don’t know who’s paying them.
It’s finding that combination of something that isn’t a slog to ride up but is capable coming down. ThanksPosted 2 months ago
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