April 5, 2018 at 11:47 am #819502
I’ve been hesitant to buy a new bike – standards/hyper innovation – but given this year is numero 40 on the birthday calendar I’m saying screw it and treating myself with some new wheels. Back is feeling good, got some good trainer time in… daddy deserves a new toy.
It’s ON, but I like to play and be able to roam a bit without worrying about whether I’m undergunned. So I’m leaning to the trail segment but XC capable. Local trails are in Durham, but also ride Ravenshoe, plan to check out the YMBA network, Kingston, Kelso… stuff within a couple hours of the city. I ride for smiles, not miles… otherwise I’d just get a rigid carbon 29er and go for strava segments in Durham. 🙂
Current front runners: 5010, Fuel, Altitude. I’ve been on a Fuel EX9 for a few years now (love the geo, didn’t love the proprietary shock though).
I’m reading the reviews, gathering the specs, etc. But curious if any of you guys have personal experience, particularly the little oddities and got-ya’s that don’t tend to be included in reviews. Repeated warranty issues, service challenges, etc. I don’t live near a shop and try to buy for a 5yr horizon, so quality and reliability matter a whole lot.
It’s a bit overwhelming to buy these days… so many iterations of bikes that overlap (just reading Marc’s recent post about the Blur and where it fits in the SC line made my head spin a bit!)
Totally open to suggestions for other bikes to consider that can be actually be bought (a lot of smaller brands are just too hard to track down!)
Looking forward to CS demo days. Fit is going to be a big factor. I’m a wee shy of 5’10” but with stumpy 29″ inseams so standover and reach fit can sometimes require some compromise. I’m open to 29ers, but given my size and limited time on 29ers (parking lots, mostly) they do feel a bit too big for me – need to get on a trail to know if it works or not.
Anyway…. I’d appreciate any feedback or considerations you all are kind enough to share. Didn’t want to post a “what bike should I buy” thread, but it’s foolish to not tap into your collective experience, especially given how significant of a purchase a bike has become ($$$$).
Thanks in advance.April 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm #819505
Ahhh, new bike shopping. Fun.
Well, I think now is a great time to buy a bike, and call me a crazy optimist, but I think if you buy a bike with GX Eagle (which every bike seems to have this year), quality suspension, and Boost hubs, you should be good for quite some time. Geometry seems to be stabilizing and the Trail/XC segment has many great bikes.
I am a Giant man, not because they are sexy, but because they are cheap and work well. I’ve found them to be deadly reliable. I have a friend that is an ex-Giant employee. I was going to buy a Rocky Mountain and he told me to buy a Giant, even after leaving them, he had a lot of trust in the quality of their frames. I’m on a Trance, which I think is a good compromise for Ontario, though I do miss the quickness of an more XC style bike a lot of the time.
Are you set on a 27.5? In my opinion, that’s the biggest question right now. You really need to try both sizes to figure that out for yourself. I was on a 29er (Giant Anthem), then went to a 27.5 (Anthem), back to a 29er (Process 111) and now back to a 27.5 (Trance). I honestly like both. 29ers definitely have their merits. I think I like 27.5 for Ontario, but it’s splitting hairs.
As for Santa Cruz, I think if you can afford it, they are worth it. I have two friends that had issues with 2 and 3 year old frames. Both were replaced free of charge with no hassles. Both of them moved the parts over and are riding Santa Cruz’s latest bikes. I just spend 4 days on a Hightower in Sedona. It was a great bike. Very easy to ride, could handle rough stuff, but also had pretty quick handling and climbed well.
Oh, and if I were buying a new bike this year (Don’t do it Adam!), I’d probably get a RM Instinct, but I’d have to demo the Norco Sight again too.April 6, 2018 at 11:34 am #819524
I bought a Norco Optic (29er) in November so I have only gotten 8 or so rides in with that bike so far… But I can tell that it is by far the best bike that I have had. I find it perfect for Ontario… 120/110 travel (130/120 travel in the 27.5) so it is very efficient yet can handle whatever jumps or drops are in my way… While I wouldn’t take her to blue, I would take her just about anywhere else. I had a 26er Anthem, 29er Norco Shinobi, 29er Rocky Mountain Instinct (upgraded to 160mm pike fork to make it more AM) and a 27.5+ Devinci Marshall before getting my Optic. I love 29ers and think they are perfect for XC riding in Ontario. My trails of choice are some of the ones that you mentioned; for Durham forest, the 29er wheels keep you moving fast, for Kelso, I appreciate the ability to roll over the rock gardens a bit easier. If you look on pinkbike, there are some Norco Optic C9.1 which is the top model carbon frame but I have noticed most are with alternate builds which makes the price more tolerable.
I am also super curious about the SC Blur. After reading that review, I couldn’t help but think that it’s a perfect bike for Ontario as well.
Good luck! New bike time is always a good time.April 6, 2018 at 12:05 pm #819525
Giant and Norco are always on the radar – usually great value.
I guess it’s soon time to call Nelson at @cyclesolutions and see what’s available.April 6, 2018 at 1:05 pm #819526
Check out the Transition Scout, it is a smaller trail bike but very fun and rides well. I have the 2017 model with 125mm rear travel, but with a 150mm fork on it, it even handled Pisgah with not much a problem. Rowdy, yes….
I spent multiple hours on a carbon 5010 and it was very similar to the Scout. Lots of fun to ride.
If you can swing it and can wait, I’d consider about going to the DirtFest bike festival in Pennsylvania in May. You can demo the majority of those bikes and more, back to back. This is how I settled on getting a Transition Scout. Its a pretty cheap camping weekend with lots of bikes to ride.April 6, 2018 at 10:03 pm #819528
if i was shopping for a bike in ON and not planning to hit blue with it, the new rocky mountain thunderbolt would be top of my list…rode the optic at the don demo day last year and it was a great bike…but that thunderbolt just seems so much ‘moreish’
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